Anck-Su-Namun, the third of six known daughters of Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenaten and his Great Royal wife Nefertiti, was born in 1348 BC. Later, Anck-Su-Namun became the Great Royal wife of her half-brother Tutankhamun.

Interestingly, Anck-Su-Namun’s father was her first husband. She gave birth of her first child at the age of 12. After few days, Akhenaten passed away and Smenkhkare became his immediate successor. Anck-Su-Namun had no other option, but to marry Smenkhkare as per Egyptian tradition. Smenkhkare’s lifespan, too, was short and in 1332 BC, Tutankhamen became the king at the age of nine.

In ancient Egypt, kings used to consider themselves as a part of God and to marry close relatives in an attempt to maintain the order of succession. As per the tradition, 16-year-old Anck-Su-Namun became of queen of King Tut.

Archaeologists and historians are of the opinion that Anck-Su-Namun’s life was peaceful for 10 years. During this period, she earned respect and love. Archaeologists found a picture that shows the queen is offering lotus to King Tut. However, Tutankhamen died at the age of 19 and he was buried quickly. The entire process was suspicious.

Soon after Tut’s death, Queen Anck-Su-Namun wrote a letter, filled with passion, to the king of Hittite. She wrote: “My husband has died and I have no son. They say about you that you have many sons. You might give me one of your sons to become my husband. I would not wish to take one of my subjects as a husband… I am afraid.” Her move was extraordinary, as Egyptians traditionally considered foreigners as inferiors.

Then, why (and in which situation) Anck-Su-Namun wrote such a letter? The letter surprised even King Suppiluliuma I of Hittite, who told his courtiers: “Nothing like this has happened to me in my entire life!” Eventually, he sent one of his sons, Zannanza, to Egypt, but the prince died (perhaps murdered) en route. Some historians claim that King Tut’s granduncle or grandfather-in-law Ay murdered Zannanza. According to the historians, Ay had also murdered King Tut. Later, he forcefully married Anck-Su-Namun to become the king. After their marriage, the existence of Queen Anck-Su-Namun was purposefully deleted from the history.

Inter-family marriages badly affected Anck-Su-Namun’s health. She gave birth to dead daughter twice. Anthropologists have discovered mummies of the two girls near the famous mummy of King Tut. Only, the queen is missing. Even DNA tests have failed to identify Anck-Su-Namun’s mummy. She is not in the Valley of Kings.

Egyptians believe plague will sweep the world, if she returns. Perhaps, plague is the terrible truth that was hidden in Anck-Su-Namun’s coffin.

Koushik Das, based in the Indian capital of New Delhi, is a senior news editor with more than 15 years of experience. He also runs a blog - Boundless Ocean of Politics. E-Mail: [email protected]