Today, I spied upon the ‘Royal Ornaments,’ the foreign women who were sent as gifts to my Grandfather Amunhotep III at the Malkata Palace in Thebes. They wore exotic clothes with wrists full of jangling gold bangles and woven shawls from their homelands. All of them were beautiful and smelled of costly perfumes.
My Bath Mistress was aghast. “Those foreigners cling to their traditions and language like trunks of possessions from a land that has already forgotten their faces.” She hugged the folded towels to her breasts, imitating the haughty women who paraded around the palace refusing to learn our language. ” I swear they are panthers with hidden claws coming to scratch out more of our land and our men.”
My dwarf nurse-maid, Hep-Mut argued, “I am happy every time the Pharaoh marries another daughter of one of his enemies. Less barbarians crossing our Egyptian borders to rape us and pillage our villages.”
As I stood on my tiptoes, staring out the window, I counted forty new attendants. The entourage of the Mitannian king’s daughter headed toward the harem, the private quarters for the women and children. I knew that if the Pharaoh kept collecting these Ornaments, he’d have to build more rooms. I bet they had never seen our indoor toilets. The Harem attendant hated it when the newcomers would use our royal shrubbery to pee behind.