Statue Of Meret Amon
Akhmim is among the weirdest sites from Ancient Egypt. You drive along crowded and dusty roads in the large town of Akhmim, then suddenly, in a large hole in the ground, you see the head of a grand female statue.
It is in size quite similar to those of Ramses 2, but this one is of a woman. Unique in all of Egypt. The statue is 11 meters high, and Meret Amon was the daughter of Ramses 2, and she even became his wife when her mother, Nefertari, died. The statue was discovered in 1981 when a school was about to be built.
Merit Amon was a daughter of Ramesses and his favorite wife Nefertari. She appears as the fourth daughter in the list of daughters in Abu Simbel and had at least four brothers: Amun-her-khepeshef, Pareherwenemef, Meryre, and Meryatum, as well as a sister named Henuttawy. Merit Amon may have had more brothers and sisters, but these five are known from the facade of Queen Nefertari’s temple in Abu Simbel.
Her eldest brother – Amun-her-khepeshef– was the crown prince until at least year 25 of the reign of their father. Prince Prehirwenemef is known to have served in the army and is depicted in the battle scenes from Kadesh. The youngest sibling is known to us – Prince Meryatum – would later become High Priest of Re in Heliopolis.
Around the time her mother died (around the 24th or 25th regnal year), Meritamen became Great Royal Wife, along with her half-sister Bintanath.
There was a temple here, dedicated to the fertility god, Min. There are traces left of this temple, but it is very hard to understand much from the remains around the statue. Of this, however, most of the ancient town, Ipu. Ipu is historically interesting, being called “the oldest city in Egypt” by Leo Africanus in the 16th century.