Marianne Luban
Re: the age of kv55
Fri Sep 2, 2016 10:17

Hello Joe,

"Meryre II's tomb has the last appearance of the royal Amarna family dated to Year 12 and these representations are followed by Smenkhkare's debut with Meritaten by his side."

"I too think the close proximity of these two scenes in the tomb of Meryre means they were executed about the same time - but after the death of Akhenaten, Nefertiti and Mekitaten. The “dubar” scene is a anachronistic rendition while the Smenkhkare/Meritaten scene is a contemporary scene with both scenes intended to depict important moments in Meryre’s career."

I agree that the durbar scene could be anachronistic. But there were five years between Year 12 and 17 and I am doubtful that Meryre II would wait until the very last to want that important tableau in his tomb.

"They are thus from the one year period following the death of Akhenaten while his queen/daughter Meritaten was waiting for the arrival of Smenkhkare - that is the name that the Egyptian had provided for the Hittite prince Zannanza (which itself is a Hittite rendition of Egyptian zȝ-n-nzw, “son of the king”). Yes I am not one who dogmatically holds to the notion that an Egyptian princess/queen could not marry a foreigner because the whole Taḫamunzu (the Hittite rendition of Egyptian tȝ-ḥmt-nzwt, “the king’s wife”) incident proves that such a notion is wrong."

It's in the Bible, as well. A Hebrew named Caleb married the daughter of a king of Egypt. However, your writing of "son of the king" In Egyptian is in error. It would never look like that. The preposition "n" or "of" is not used there. It is only "sA nsw" [king's son] "Hmt nsw" [king's wife] "sAt nsw" [king's daughter] "mwt nsw" [king's mother and even "pr nsw", the house of the king. You gave the correct writing in your example "tA-Hmt-nswt"--although I believe that actually says "The Royal Woman" due to the "royal" agreeing with the gender of "Hmt".

"The “dubar” scene in Meryre’s tomb is dated to year 12, but it has several anachronistic features
•The six daughters are all shown as the same sized adults, whereas the same scene in the tomb of Huya (also dated to year 12) shows only Meritaten and Mekitaten with Mekitaten being about 25% smaller."

Interesting. Of course, that of Meryre II was among the North Tombs, the later ones. It is difficult to know in what year he was granted the tomb, but the decoration was only about half done. The finished scenes were on the south and east walls. Therefore, the north and west walls were still available. It is possible that, at some point, one half of the north wall was scheduled for resumed painting at the time of a new reign. But all that was accomplished of the scene with Smenkhkare and Meritaten was line drawing. Something did not go according to plan and some things cannot be assigned a definite plan--such as what wall of a tomb will be decorated first or last. Just because the scene with Smenkhkare is around the corner from the durbar scene, dated to Year 12, cannot firmly be interpreted to Smenkhkhare having become a coregent close to that date, as some believe. One would have to ask such a believer--then why was the scene not completed? Did Meryre II fall out of favor and work on his tomb was halted?
Or did Smenkhkare arise as king [illegally] after Akhenaten was dead and Meryre acknowledged him briefly--but then left Akhetaten because he was the servant of Nefertiti and she moved elsewhere? Oddly, the last five years of the reign of Akhenaten are poorly attested except on wine jar dockets, which account for all years between 6 and 17.

"The later form of the Aten name is used but this came into use later than year 12."

Who claims that? The consensus has been that the later form of the Aten cartouches came into being during Year 9. I say this is because Amenhotep III had died in Year 8 of Akhenaten and now there was no need for the triad. No more Ra-Horakhty in one cartouche. No more Shu in the other. Just the Aten--monotheism becoming absolute.

" Actually it was this scene with the later form of the Aten name which used to be taken as the earliest dated reference to the new form. However since this scene is an anachronistic the earliest dated reference to the new name is the recently discovered year 16 document (see next point)."

Probably not.

•In Huya’s tomb Nefertiti is only ever given the title “King’s Chief Wife” (ḥmt nzwt wr). However in the dubar scene in Meryre’s tomb she is given the title “King’s Great Wife” (ḥmt nzwt ʿȝt) but this was only a posthumous title as the year 16 inscription and her ushabti shows that she died and was buried having only the title “King’s Chief Wife” (ḥmt nzwt wr). The other occasion she is given the title “King’s Great Wife” is on stele UC 410 but again this stele text is posthumous."

Nefertiti's new title of "Hmt nsw aAt" never entirely replaced "Hmt nsw wrt". I think in the Year 16 inscription she is "Hmt nsw wrt", too. Nobody knows what the distinction between "wr" and "aA" was now, but the ancient Egyptians seemed to think they were to be differently used. For instance, a god is called "nTr aA" but not "nTr wr". The king's house was "pr-aA" and later, this applied to the king, himself, becoming what we write as pharaoh. I think that "aA", whatever exactly it meant, was more weighty than "wr". It seems possible that, after Nefertiti was no longer a coregent with Akhenaten, she became "Hmt nsw aAt", to distinguish her from Meritaten, who was never demoted from "Hmt nsw wrt"--or wife of her own father, a title she inherited during the period when Nefertiti was coregent as Ankhkheperure Neferneferuaten. I am not one who believes this period necessarily came at the tail end of Akhenaten's reign--although it could have.

"But what about Berlin 20716 and Berlin 17813? In it, Akhenaten is accompanied by a female king, who is clearly more than just his political partner."

"Berlin 20716, which is not inscribed, and Berlin 17813, where the cartouches are blank, were posthumous stelae supporting Meritaten’s claim to kingship as ḥmt-wife (not sꜣt-daughter) of Akhenaten. The triple cartouche intended for Meritaten on BM 17813 is the same form she used on the posthumous Carter 001k - see my post "

Joe, those pieces are not about a mere king's wife but a woman who was a coregent.

"Tutankhamun wasn't also the only baby around in Amarna, don't forget about Meritaten Tasherit and Ankhsepaaten Tasherit"

"Phantom children only ever depicted/mentioned in illustrations/texts from the Kiya dedicated Meru-Aten. Her original inscriptions were later reinscribed to represent the older surviving daughter’s of Akhenaten. Since neither Meritaten or Ankhesepaaten had a child the original accompanying child was named after the newly labelled women. They do not exist or are even mentioned outside these reinscribed scenes."

Not quite. One of the depictions of Kiya was altered for Meritaten senior. Because Meritaten had reached puberty by then, she was allowed to keep the wig of an adult Kiya. The only change was to make the wig higher in order to accommodate the elongated head of an Amarna princess. Another portrait of Kiya, on an Hermopolis block, was changed to become Ankhesenpaaten-Tasherit. There Kiya's image was altered to that of a princess whose hairstyle indicates she had not yet reached puberty--which is to say a shaved skull with the exception of a single decorated lock of hair. Why go to this trouble for a phantom child?

"Whatever the case, one can't disregard forensic results, or else we'd have a 25 year old Akhenaten at death."

"Agree. Therefore, like you I make a choice. I choose the most recent CT scan and previous X-ray studies and even those physical examinations which concluded 30+ (although not the one that said up to 60)."

Yes, and I am not so certain that any forensic examiner could ever distinguish so positively between 25 and 30. That's why the first examiner, Prof. Smith, told Arthur Weigall "30" but stated "at least 24" in his book--because he knew that no individual can be expected to evidence all the signs of maturity on his body in exactly the same way as everyone else. That's why, in the introduction of "The Royal Mummies", he placed the caveat that nobody can judge age by a single bone closure--as he had seen much variety in the Egyptian remains he had examined, with epiphyses remaining open into middle age.

  • Re: the age of kv55Joe Baker, Fri Sep 2 05:15
    Hi Jaime Meryre II's tomb has the last appearance of the royal Amarna family dated to Year 12 and these representations are followed by Smenkhkare's debut with Meritaten by his side. I too think the... more
    • re: the age of kv55Jaime O, Sat Sep 3 07:52
      Hi Joe, thank you for your comments. I appreciate your remarks on Meryre II and they do make sense. To some extent. You and me seem to agree that Meritaten was likelier than not Ankhkhe(t)perure... more
      • re: the age of kv55Kim Sargerson, Mon Sep 5 07:59
        Hi Jaime, Joe I think too much is made of "erasure". There are not always political overtones to this. The calcite jar which apparently had the cartouches of Smenkhkare and Akhenaten side by side,... more
        • re: the age of kv55Marianne Luban, Mon Sep 5 12:23
          Kim: Just a few responses... "It should be remembered that most of Tutankhamun's gravegoods come from a small window of time at the end of the Amarna period. There is one winejar from Amunhotep III... more
          • re: the age of kv55Kim Sargerson, Mon Sep 5 19:05
            Hi Marianne Thank you for your comments. I wrote "(and no objects attesting to a coregency of Amunhotep III and Akhenaten)." Perhaps I could have phrased that better. What I am trying to say is that... more
            • re: the age of kv55Marianne Luban, Tue Sep 6 09:30
              I wrote: "So it is Neferneferuaten on that box element and she did not need a wife. Akhenaten did--and that Great Royal Wife was now Meritaten" Kim: "Yes it is Neferneferuaten, female pharaoh, which... more
              • re: the age of kv55Marianne Luban, Tue Sep 6 09:48
                This site gives information as to how cranial sutures are used in determining age of skeletal remains:... more
    • Re: the age of kv55 — Marianne Luban, Fri Sep 2 10:17
      • CorrectionMarianne Luban, Fri Sep 2 10:47
        Joe: "Phantom children only ever depicted/mentioned in illustrations/texts from the Kiya dedicated Meru-Aten. Her original inscriptions were later reinscribed to represent the older surviving... more
Click here to receive daily updates