Yuya & Tjuyu (Thuya)
(Parents of Tiye, Anen & possibly Ay
Grandparents of Akhenaten
Great Grandparents of Tutankhamun)
Yuya (first four photographs) was a powerful Egyptian courtier during the eighteenth dynasty of Ancient Egypt (circa 1390 BC). Taking into account his unusual name and features, some Egyptologists believe that Yuya was of foreign origin, although this is far from certain. The name Yuya may be spelled in a number of different ways as Gaston Maspero noted in Theodore Davis’s 1907 book—The Tomb of Iouiya and Touiyou. In “The Hebrew Pharaohs of Egypt” one solution is that Yuya had some Mitannian ancestry; this argument is based on the fact that the knowledge of horses and chariotry was introduced into Egypt from Asia and Yuya was the king’s “Master of the Horse.” It was also suggested that Yuya was the brother of queen Mutemwiya, who was the mother of Pharaoh Amenhotep III and may have had Mitannian royal origins. However, this hypothesis can not be substantiated, since nothing is known of Mutemwiya’s background. While Yuya lived in Upper Egypt, an area that was predominantly native Egyptian, he could have been an assimilated descendant of Asiatic immigrants or slaves who rose to become a member of the local nobility at Akhmin. If he was not a foreigner, however, then Yuya would have been the native Egyptian whose daughter was married to Amenhotep III. Yuya is believed to have died around 1374BC in his mid 50s.
Tjuyu (Thuya) (bottom two photographs) is believed to be a descendant of Queen Ahmose-Nefertari, and she held many official roles in the interwoven religion and government of Ancient Egypt. She was involved in many religious cults and her titles included, ‘Singer of Hathor’ and Chief of the Entertainers of both Amun and Min. She also held the influential offices of Superintendent of the Harem of the god Min of Akhmin and of Amun of Thebes. She married Yuya, & is believed to have died in around 1375BC in her early to mid 50s.
Both were buried in the Valley of the Kings, in KV46, where their largely unpillaged remains were found in 1905. It was the best preserved tomb discovered before their great grandson’s Tutankhamun's was later discovered in 1922.