Solange Ashby received her Ph.D. in Egyptology from the University of Chicago. Dr. Ashby’s expertise in sacred ancient languages, including Egyptian hieroglyphs, Demotic, and Meroitic, underpins her research into the history of religious transformation in Northeast Africa. Her book, Calling Out to Isis: The Enduring Nubian Presence at Philae, explores the Egyptian temple of Philae as a Nubian sacred site. Her second book explores the lives of five Nubian women from history including queens, priestesses, and mothers.
Dr. Ashby is an Assistant Professor in the department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at UCLA where she teaches Egyptology and Nubian Studies.
February Bible & Archaeology Fest 2024
Shepenwepet II Kushite God’s Wife of Amun
Shepenwepet II was a royal woman of the Kushite dynasty from ancient Nubia (now northern Sudan) who arrived in Egypt during the time of her family’s reign as Egypt’s Twenty-Fifth Dynasty (747-656 BCE). She was the daughter of king Piankhy and sister of the pharaoh Taharqa. Shepenwepet herself held the powerful religious and economic role of the God’s Wife of Amun (GWA), the highest-ranking religious leader of the preeminent temple of Amun at Karnak (Thebes/Egyptian: Waset). This paper will explore the religious rites performed by the GWA as related to the Beautiful Feast of Valley and the Decade Festival. Both of these celebrations consisted of processions from the temples of the east bank of the Nile (primarily Karnak) across the river to visit various temples on the west bank of the river (Small Temple of Amun, funerary complex of Hatshepsut at Deir el Bahari, and the temple-tombs in the Asasif and South Asasif areas). The Kushite revival of the office of God’s Wife of Amun, created for the earlier queens of the Eighteenth Dynasty (ca. 1520 BCE), incorporated new elements of the central role played by royal women in Kush. Shepenwepet II represents the trifecta of power – ritual, political, and economic.