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Ancient Egypt
1. Introduction
2. People
3. Life styles
4. Culture
5. Education and Science
6. Society
7. Economy
8. Government
9. Cities and Villages
10. Language
11. Religion
12. Kings / periods
13. History
14. Map

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Open map of Ancient EgyptAncient Egypt / New Kingdom / 18th Dynasty /
Other spelling: Kheperkheprure Ay

Fragment showing Ay.
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Fragment showing Ay.

Inside the Tomb of Ay. Valley of the Kings, Luxor, Egypt.
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Inside the Tomb of Ay. Valley of the Kings, Luxor, Egypt.

King of Ancient Egypt 1327-1323 BCE, 4 years, being the 13th ruler of the 18th Dynasty.
Ay had originally no legal claim to the throne, but served in the civil service and the military. He was brother of Queen Tiy, Amenophis 3's wife. It has even been suggested that he was Nefertiti's father.
When Tutankhamon became king at the age of 9, Ay became his vizier and closest adviser. He was active in the reconciliation process after the religious revolution of Akhenaten, bringing back prestige and funding to the temples in Thebes.
When King Tutankhamon died at only 18, no direct heir was ready to ascend the throne. Ay used the power vacuum to usurp the throne, but the main challenge was from Tutankhamon's widow, Ankhesenamen. She tried to marry a Hittite prince, and by that get foreign military assistance to take back the throne. Ay had the prince murdered, and many scholars believe that he also married Tutankhamon's widow, thereby legitimizing his own position. But it was his original wife that would be the main queen.
He had built a well decorated tomb in the Valley of the Kings. He had no son, and was succeeded by general Horemheb.

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By Tore Kjeilen