Anonyme a dit: What can you tell us about the mothers of most pharaohs? Obviously we know about some, especially those that were Great Royal Wife, like Hetepheres or Tiye, but what about those like Mutemwiya who were only secondary wives during their husband's lifetime?
Unsurprisingly, not a lot. As with most historical records, the achievements and lives of men often overshadow those of the women in their lives. A woman would have to be remarkable to be brought to the forefront of the records, and even then a modern historian may choose to discard her worth.
Most secondary wives, and even beyond that, were not thought of as particularly important, and in some ways they weren’t. If they were not mother to the heir to the throne of Egypt, then they were not noted down with any great care. Most secondary wives were known as Hmt nTr (God’s Wife), and if they bore the king a son who would become Pharaoh then they also had the name mwt nTr (God’s Mother). Great Royal wife is not always used in the titulary so distinguishing chief wives is tricky. Beyond this, there is little anyone can say about them, bar names, titles, and various conjecture about lineage, as there is a dearth of information relating to them. This is particularly prominent in the 17th Dynasty where even the fathers of some are in dispute. The secondary wives, if indeed there are any, are often completely unknown. We can barely piece their lives together, and those we can (such as Hetepheres and Tiye) are more widely known. Even Nefertari, being the great love of Ramesses II, does not have a lot of information recorded about her. The same goes for his other wives Istnofret, Bint-Anath, Aerytamun, Nebettawy, Henutmire, Maathomeferure, and the unnamed final Queen (probably Hittite in origin).
Those such as Mutnofret (or Mutneferet if you write out translit differently) wife of Thutmosis I and mother to Thutmosis II, have barely any record to their names at all. She’s at Deir el Bahri, a stele in the Ramesseum, and mentioned on a statue in the Chapel of Wadjmose (another of her son’s by Thutmosis, but who died in infancy). Other than this we know nothing about her.
Nubemhat is the name of the Great Royal wife of Sobekemsaf I, we only know of her through one statue found in Kawa, Nubia, and a stele at Dendera. The stele also mentions Haanhkes, wife of Sekhemre-Heruhirmaat Intef, whose son Ameni, married Sobekemheb who was the daughter of Nubemhat. But this is the only attestation of her to exist.
Tem, given the name Queen Consort as one of the wives of Montuhotep II, was also known as Mother of the Dual King meaning that it is highly likely she is Montuhotep III’s mother. But beyond the one mention of her we know nothing more. Montuhotep III is thought to have fathered Montuhotep IV with a harem wife, Imi, but this is still debated, and again this is only one of a couple of mentions of her existing.
Finally, since this could drag on for a while with me naming lost Royal wives, Neferitatjanen was the wife of Amenemhat I and mother of Senwosret I. We only know of her through a single statue of her son that bears her name, and the title mwt-nsw “King’s Mother”
So, I guess to reiterate the statement at the beginning of this wall of text, is that we know very very little. Even though we want to know more, the record just does not survive beyond a name found here or there to tell us who these women were.