| Ay |
|Date(s)||1323-1319 BCE or 1327-1323 BCE|
|Location||Valley of the Kings|
Ay (Aye) was the penultimate Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt's 18th dynasty. He held the throne of Egypt for a brief four-year period (probably 1323–1319 BC or 1327–1323 BC, depending on which chronology is followed), although he was a close advisor to two and perhaps three of the pharaohs who ruled before him and was said to be the power behind the throne during Tutankhamun's reign. Ay's prenomen or royal name—Kheperkheperure—means "Everlasting are the Manifestations of Ra" while his birth name Ay it-netjer reads as 'Ay, Father of the God.' Records and monuments that can be clearly attributed to Ay are rare, not only due to his short length of reign, but also because his successor, Horemheb, instigated a campaign of damnatio memoriae against him and other pharaohs associated with the Amarna Period.
The mummy of Ay has not yet been located and the whereabouts of it still remain unknown. People believe this is because during Horemheb's reign he took the mummy of Ay and destroyed it believing it would eliminate the chance of Ay getting into the afterlife.
Not much is known of Ay's history and his reign since most things related to Ay have been vandalized and tampered with. Also since his mummy has not been located, there have been no studies done on Ay.
Not much is known about Ay's family. However, there are two main theories about his family and link to the throne that historians like to believe. The first being that his parents were Yuya and Thuya, his parents never ascended the throne however they were respected officials and their daughter (Ay's sister) was Queen Tiye. If this theory were to be true he would have been Akhenaten's uncle and his link to the throne would have been through his sister. The second theory is that Ay was the father to Nefertiti and Mutnodjme. If this theory proves to be true his connection to the throne would have been through his daughter Nefertiti who married Akhenaten. Whichever theory proves to be true a popular belief of Ay is that he murdered Tutankhamun in order to gain his power.