Iah (queen)

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Beloved King’s Mother, Great Royal Wife
Petroglyph queen Iah.jpg
Iah (left) and her son Mentuhotep II (right) at Shatt er-Rigal.
SpouseIntef III
IssueMentuhotep II; Neferu II
Egyptian name[1]Jˁḥ
Dynasty11th Dynasty
FatherIntef II
ReligionAncient Egyptian religion

Iah (also Yah, Jah or Aah = "Moon"[1]) was a king's mother and queen of ancient Egypt c. 2060 BC, during the mid 11th Dynasty (2134–1991 BC). Daughter of a pharaoh, possibly Intef II, and mother of pharaoh Mentuhotep II, she was the queen of Intef III.


Little is known for certain about the origin and life of Iah. She bore the title of king's daughter (S3t-nswt),[2] which indicates that she was the daughter of pharaoh, possibly Intef II, but this remains conjectural. Her name is a reference to Iah, an Egyptian Moon god.[3]

Iah was married to pharaoh Intef III, although the important title king's wife is not attested for her. Their children were:

As the mother of Mentuhotep II and Neferu II, Iah was both the maternal and paternal grandmother of king Mentuhotep III.[5]

Iah appears on a rock relief in the Shatt er-Rigal where she is shown standing behind Mentuhotep II. In front of both of them are depicted the beloved god's father, son of Ra, Intef and the royal sealer and treasurer Kheti. She also appears in the tomb TT319 of her daughter Neferu II.[6] She is named on relief fragments of Neferu's tomb and on model coffins, where it is written: "Neferu, born of Iah".[7]


  • Beloved King’s Mother (Merytef mut-niswt)[2]
  • Priestess of Hathor (Hmt-nTr-hwt-Hr)[2]
  • King's daughter (S3t-nswt)[2]


  1. ^ a b Allen, James P. (2000). Middle Egyptian: An Introduction to the Language and Culture of Hieroglyphs. Cambridge University Press. p. 436
  2. ^ a b c d e Joyce Tyldesley, Chronicle of the Queens of Egypt, Thames & Hudson. 2006, pp. 66-68. ISBN 0-500-05145-3
  3. ^ Remler, Pat. (2000). Egyptian Mythology A to Z: A Young Reader's Companion. Facts On File. P. 1
  4. ^ Clayton, Peter A. Chronicle of the Pharaohs: The Reign-by-Reign Record of the Rulers and Dynasties of Ancient Egypt. Thames & Hudson. p. 72. 2006. ISBN 0-500-28628-0
  5. ^ Firth, Lesley (editor-in-chief) et al (1985). "Mentohotep III". Who Were They? The Simon & Schuster Color Illustrated Question & Answer Book. Little Simon Book, Simon & Schuster, Inc., New York City, ISBN 0671604767., page 12.
  6. ^ Silke Roth: Die Königsmütter des Alten Ägypten, Wiesbaden 2001, ISBN 3447043687, p. 426
  7. ^ William C. Hayes: The Scepter of Egypt I, New York 1953, ISBN 0870991906, p. 160, 327