Joe Baker
Grimm and Schoske on Smenkhkare
Mon Jun 28, 2010 08:50

Hi All

The following is my translation of the chapter labelled "Semenchkare" in the book by Grimm and Schoske. I include it here for your information but also I would say, if I did not know better, that it was written by Marc Gabolde for much of it is what he wrote several years earlier.

Regards Joe


Semenchkare is one more person, whose name is surrounded in mystery, taht has been assigned as a blood relative to the royal family of Amenophis IV-Echnaton, being regarded as a brother, half-brother or son of the "heretic king". The mere name "Smenechkare" has given rise to misunderstandings, since Egyptologist have very clearly assigned two royal persons to this name. The first person, in reality is never called "Semenchkare" but goes under the name "Ankh(et)cheperure ... Neferneferuaton ..." (the dots represent various epithets) who was certainly a woman as shown by the feminine endings in some of her name spellings. The second person bears, within a cartouch, the written names "Anchcheperure Semenchkare-Djesercheperu" and is certainly male: this Semenchkare was the husband of Princess Meritaton when she became queen (Fig. 9).

Both people, before becoming king, were known under other names. For the female King "Ankh(et)cheperure ... Neferneferuaton ...", Egyptologists have suggested identities varying between Kiya, Nefertiti and Meritaten. The repudiation of Kija, which results clearly from the erasure of her names and images, and the death of Nefretete before Echnaton, secured by the only known shabti of this queen, makes it unlikely that one of these two women could have been Echnaton's successor on the royal throne. So only Meritaton remains. The Amarna Letters EA 10, EA 11 and EA 155 show the way that this princess, by the end of her father's reign, became first the royal wife and then regent. If Nofretete had survived her husband then letter EA 155 would make no sense because Meritaton is clearly classified as being of equal standing with the king. Her position, as a royal wife, is also found in the hieroglyphic documents of Anch(et)cheperure ... Neferneferuaton ... where in several inscriptions within the second cartouche she is referred to as one who takes cares of her husband. It is remarkable that this designation also occurs as an epithet of Isis of Coptos, where she appears as the widow of Osiris. One of the representations of this "king" Anch(et)cheperure ... Neferneferuaton ... occurs on stele University College 410, in which "he" is referred to as one who takes care of her husband, and the stele following its second alteration may present a standing Nofretere (?) behind a seated Echnaton and facing them are "king" Anch(et)cheperure ... Neferneferuaton ..., and princess Anchesenpaaton, both tilted slightly forward in an attitude that is typical of the salutations which one renders to the deceased (Fig. 10). Two conclusions can be drawn from this stele: 1 The "king" Anch(et)cheperure ... Neferneferuaton ..., is followed, as on the block from Hermopolis (G. ROEDER 826-VIII-A) by the princess Anchesenpaaton who now takes the role formerly occupied by Meritaton the eldest princess. 2. Echnaton and Nofretete have probably passed away. From these two conclusions necessarily arises a third: that "king" Anch(et)cheperure ... Neferneferuaton ..., can only be Meritaton. The posthumous naming of Echnaton on monuments of king Anch(et)cheperure ... Neferneferuaton ..., is also attested on the usurped pectoral CARTER No. 261p from the tomb of Tutanchamun. On this tomb ornament the traditional pantheon is represented, although the King bears the epithet who take care of her husband - an epithet belonging to the period after Echnaton's death (he remained loyal to his faith until his death). Incidentally, it can not excluded that both stele Berlin 17813 and 20716 (Fig. 11, 12), which show the two co-regents side by side, were created only after Echnaton's death and remained unfinished. The intimate relationship between Echnaton and his "co-regent" is in complete accordance with what we know about Echnaton and Meritaton following Nofretete's death in year 17, however on the other hand, the royal attributes of the "co-regent" correspond to the royal position of Meritaton at the time when the steles were fashioned some time after Echnaton's death. Such contradictory representations are also found with other rulers; at Abydos, Ramses II is depicted as the "royal son" of Sethos I, however he bears his own cartouche on his apron; In unpublished blocks from the Netjeri-menu in Karnak Hatschepsut appears as a "fictitious co-regent" of Thutmosis II. The pharaoh Anch(et)cheperure ... Neferneferuaton ... sometimes bears, as did Amenemhet III and Neferhotep Ichernofret, three cartouches, such as on the fragment of the small box CARTER No. 1k, where following Echnaton's name are both cartouches of Anch(et)cheperure ... Neferneferuaton ... and the title and name sequence of King's wife Meritaton. The last three cartouches on this box relate to the same person, and at the end, the title sequence of the queen corresponds to the epithet taking care of her husband, which is find on other pieces, but here intentionally placed further away from the second cartouche. Three queenly cartouches are also well documented for Hatschepsut although Maatkare, Chenementamun and Hatschepsut do not occur on the same object.

The person named Anchcheperure Semenchkare-Djesercheperu presents a different set of problems. In the tomb of Merifre II at Amarna (Fig. 9) he is shown besides the king's wife Meritaton; his image in this tomb, and on a now lost relief block from Memphis are exclusively male, and leave no doubt that this is a man who is distinct from the pharaoh Anch(et)cheperure ... Neferneferuaton. Since his wife Meritaton bears only the title of queen, his rule must be set before that of Anch(et)cheperure ... Neferneferuaton ..., who can be identified with certainty as Meritaton. A special feature in the name sequence of this king points to a way of clarifying this confusing situation. Contrary to tradition, Semenchkare carries in his two cartouche not a throne name plus a birth name, {31} but two different throne names. The contemporaries of the king were well aware of this feature, because in two texts the cartouche throne name Anchcheperure is placed in second position and not in first position (Fig. 13).

The exceptional positioning of his name forms is also attested by the fact that in one of the few texts in which both names of Semenchkare are given, the title King of Upper and Lower Egypt is spread above both cartouches instead of only above the throne name (Fig. 14). The reason for Semenchkare's two throne name and for the lack of a real birth name is clear: only on the occasion of his coronation would both royal names be formulated. Previously he must have been had a different name. As a husband of Meritaton, Semenchkare would have had at least the status of a "king's son" before his accession.

However between the end of the reign of Amenophis III and the end of the reign of Echnaton, other than Tutanchamun, there is no evidence of any other Egyptian prince under this or any other name. These two findings justify the formulation of a new solution: Is it be possible to identify Semenchkare with the Hittite prince Zananza? In the Hittite archives at Boghazköy, texts were found of the correspondence between the widow of the Egyptian king and the Hittite king Suppiluliuma in which she asks him for one of his sons as her bridegroom. After much toing and throwing, the Hittite king sent his son Zananza to Egypt, where he was – according to the Hittite sources – murdered. The archive material relating to this state of affairs includes at least seven documents that are generally dated, apart from a few Egyptologists (D. REDFORD, R. KRAUSS, W. HELCK), to the end of the reign of Tutanchamun. It seems appropriate to present these texts in their entirety in order to reach a better understanding of the events that took place in Egypt between year 17 of Echnaton and year 1 of Tutanchamon.

    • Re: Grimm and Schoske on SmenkhkareKim, Tue Jun 29 12:12
      Hi Joe Thanks for posting this. It does indeed read as though Gabolde wrote it. Is he not credited, even in a footnote? The authors present the idea of Smenkhkare = Zannanza as though they had just... more
      • Hermopolis blockJan Bailey, Thu Jul 1 02:43
        Kim said: "The Hermopolis block showing a prince among the children of Nefertiti does not identify him by name AFAIK and it has been construed as being TutankhAmun only by default. " Can you please... more
        • re: Hermopolis BlockKim Sargerson, Fri Jul 2 18:56
          Hi Jan It is my understanding that these blocks are published in "G. Roeder, Amarna-Reliefs aus Hermopolis: Ausgrabungen der Deutschen Hermopolis-Expedition in Hermopolis 1929–1939", ed. R. Hanke,... more
          • Hermopolis block showing male childJan Bailey, Fri Jul 9 19:48
            Hi Kim I have had two independent people look at your reference: "G. Roeder, Amarna-Reliefs aus Hermopolis: Ausgrabungen der Deutschen Hermopolis-Expedition in Hermopolis 1929-1939", ed. R.... more
            • Joe some assistance pleaseKim Sargerson, Wed Jul 21 12:53
              Hi Joe Jan Bailey has questioned the source of the reference to a Hermopolis block showing a male child. I have checked my own notes and I do not find any reference to an article - I first read about ... more
              • Re: Joe some assistance pleaseJoe Baker, Thu Jul 22 07:39
                Hi Kim Apology for writing 43-VIIIC it is actually 433/VIII C. I have this information from an old post of the French Egyptologists Marc Gabolde which he sent to the original but now defunct Amarna... more
                • block 433/VIIICJan Bailey, Tue Jul 27 02:23
                  Hi I now have an image of block 433/VIIIC, as well as the other images from Heliopolis. (I can send off line to you Joe) Sorry, but it would take a whole lot of imagination to make the squiggles into ... more
                  • Re: block 433/VIIICJoe Baker, Thu Jul 29 07:04
                    Hi Jan Thanks for the picture. Well I for one can not make much out of it. Presumably those who have done extensive work on the style of royal depictions in the Amarna pictures can make more sense... more
                  • block 433/VIIICJan Bailey, Wed Jul 28 03:26
                    whoops, of course I mean Hermopolis!
                • re: Joe some assistance pleaseKim Sargerson, Thu Jul 22 12:11
                  Hi Joe Many thanks for the correct plate reference. I also thank you for re-posting Gabolde's thoughts on this, which (to me) make perfect sense. Although it is not explicit any where that Baketaten... more
      • Re: Grimm and Schoske on SmenkhkareJoe Baker, Wed Jun 30 07:18
        Hi Kim As for shabti figures, we have no idea if these would have been prepared in advance at this date ... With regard to the "disappearance" of individuals, this seems to be a result of the lack of ... more
        • Re: Gabolde on SmenkhkareKim Sargerson, Wed Jun 30 11:49
          Hi Joe Thanks for your comments. "But as yet there is no evidence of pharaonic shabti figures for Nefertiti." Are there any for Neferneferuaten (discounting any re-used goods) - irrespective of who... more
          • Re: Gabolde on SmenkhkareJoe Baker, Fri Jul 2 06:31
            Hi Kim In their book Edward Wente and James Harris used X-ray technique to derive an age estimate of near 35. Wente repeated this in an article in 1995, see... more
            • Re: Gabolde on SmenkhkareKim, Fri Jul 2 12:04
              Hi Joe Thanks for the references. I had read Wente's article, but not the Hussein / Harris report. Not being an anatomist, I would really like to pull all of these people out of time from Elliott... more
      • Gabolde?Jan Bailey, Wed Jun 30 01:12
        Hi Joe and Kim My little grey cells were not functioning very well when I sent the 10 page extraction to you Joe. The section about SmenkhaRe is taken from the chapter Das Ende Der Amarnazeit and was ... more
        • re: Gabolde?Kim Sargerson, Wed Jun 30 12:15
          Hi Jan Thanks for the correction on authorship. You wrote "As to MeryAten being too young to be wily enough to confound officials, one must not place modern thoughts of 'children' on the throne with... more
  • Click here to receive daily updates