Kim Sargerson
re: the age of kv55
Mon Sep 5, 2016 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, has both sets erased, and not necessarily at the same time or with equal thoroughness. So whichever one was his father, Tutankhamun evidently allowed the erasure of their name.

There are several types of erasure at this period:
(a) erasure of "Amun" and occasionally other gods from the nomen of Amunhotep III particularly
(b) erasure of "aten" and of the names of Akhenaten generally
These were religiously motivated. However, the erasure of "aten" is generally later than the reign of Tutankhamun - although he changed his nomen to an Amun form, the estate of the aten continued producing wine up to his year 9, so there was no "universal erasure". Likewise a number of objects with the names of Akhenaten, Neferneferuaten, or Merytaten are also known from Tutankhamun's burial goods without any erasure.
(c) erasure for political re-use: commonly on public inscriptions (Horemhab for example usurped a number of Tutankhamun's monuments and stelae). There is AFAIK no evidence of usurpation before, for the period Amunhotep III to Tutankhamun. The latter did re-use some of Akhenaten's masonry at Karnak however.
(d) erasure for personal use: this is quite common in Tutankhamun's gravegoods, particularly those closely associated with his interment i.e. coffins, mask, canopic jars. It is also known elsewhere in an Amarna context (e.g. Kiya). In these cases erasure is generally accompanied by replacement with the names of the new owner.

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 (and no objects attesting to a coregency of Amunhotep III and Akhenaten). Items from before year 12 of Akhenaten include
(i) a linen item (probably a birth shawl) dated to year 7; could be Tutankhuaten's own
(ii) winejar docket of year 10
(iii) ivory clappers with the names of queen Tiye and princess Merytaten in one large cartouche

Inscribed items from within the reign of Tutankhamun (besides the wine jars) are also quite scarce. There is the famous throne, of course, and a great many personal items (clothing, walking sticks, up to chariots) are, naturally, uninscribed. It does seem odd that Tutankhamun's burial detail utilised a great deal of Neferneferuaten's equipment, when the reign of Tutankhamun was three times as long; given the quality of this equipment, and that it does not seem to have been reinscribed twice (i.e. once for Tutankhaten, once for Tutankhamun) I am doubtful that a spur of the moment usurpation is at work.

Magic bricks: I have been unable to find out if Tutankhamun's magic bricks actually contained his name in the texts (trying to compare them to those in KV55). Does anyone know?

The KV55 mummy: considerations of its age at death have clearly been influenced by belief that (a) this is Akhenaten and (b) Akhenaten must have been older than 10 at accession. KV55 and KV62 are closely related and there is no reason (e.g. evidence of malnutrition or childhood disease in KV55) to suppose any significant difference in their physical development. KV62 is undeniably a young man aged 16-20, and this seems confirmed by the historical record of Tutankhamun. KV55 is not more than a few years older (not using European standards but simply KV62 itself as a baseline). If Tutankhamun was born as early as year 7 of Akhenaten (possible) it is difficult to argue KV55 survived this event by a decade. If KV55 is 30-35, then Tutankhamun ought to be 25 at the least. Is anyone suggesting this?

The strip of box lid 001k is not evidence that Merytaten was married to Akhenaten. She is not paired with him as great wife anywhere, and on the box lid Neferneferuaten comes between them. She is paired with Smenkhkare. The evidence of the EA letters does not prove she was married to Akhenaten any more than similar evidence would prove that Tiye married her son. A Great Wife continued to hold property and status even after the death of her husband.
The best evidence indicates that the "Dakhamunzu" was the widow of Akhenaten, that this person was also Neferneferuaten "beneficial for her husband", and that Neferneferuaten and Merytaten were not the same person.



  • 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 kv55 — Kim Sargerson, Mon Sep 5 07:59
      • 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
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