Kim Sargerson
re: the age of kv55
Mon Sep 5, 2016 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 there are no objects from that phase of the reign e.g. no objects with the nomen "Amunhotep (IV)", no "heirlooms" from Amunhotep III, and very few of "Akhenaten" which can be definitely placed before year 8/9.

I was not in this instance trying to "angle" the comment to a "no coregency" position.

"There were a number of items bearing the name of Akhenaten in the tomb of Tutankhamun, but not a single one actually spelling "Smenkhkare""
Hardly surprising in any event, if Smenkhkare ruled only a few months and was buried with his own items. Whatever your view on the political set-up and how the reigns overlapped, the absence of such items must be explained somehow. There are a number of items with Merytaten's name, and she was certainly associated with Smenkhkare, and this association was before the reign, or at any rate before the death, of Tutankhamun.

"I would be surprised if his name was not there"
So would I be, but the only information I could find related to the BoD texts used on the four that were positioned according to the compass, not to any dedicatory name.

"What makes you so sure that no one was influenced by the belief that it was *not* Akhenaten?"
Probably they were. But it is not the same, as a "not-Akhenaten" could be any age. The oldest theories that I could find regarding Smenkhkare and Tutankhamun simply refer to them as sons in law of Akhenaten, without speculating on their antecedents, so the question of "how old was Smenkhkare?" is more likely to be determined by, rather than determining, the forensics.

" I feel sure that unerupted wisdom teeth swayed more than one examiner to place the age-at-death on the low side"
And indeed Smith puts the age of KV35YL as 25 at maximum. However, the wisdom teeth of KV35YL is a good point of comparison also. I do not know what prompted the Hawass team to supply ages of 25-35 for KV35YL, and 25-40 for KV21A and KV21B.

"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"
Yes it is Neferneferuaten, female pharaoh, which is what I said. But who says Akhenaten needed a Great Wife? The period where Akhenaten and Neferneferuaten overlapped is probably quite short - part of year 16 and the incomplete year 17 at best, no matter who is Great Wife to whom. As I said before there is no certain depiction of a royal couple Akhenaten / Merytaten extant, although it seems that there is a depiction of Akhenaten / Neferneferuaten posed as a royal couple. Since everyone knew that Neferneferuaten was a female pharaoh, and was still married to Akhenaten (whence the epithets) I do not see that a vacancy exists.

I have changed my mind many times on this particular topic, as new information becomes available. With regard to Smenkhkare I see problems with each scenario possible.
(a) before Neferneferuaten: as Neferneferuaten is associated with Akhenaten very strongly by both epithets and depictions, a position "before" means certainly within the reign of Akhenaten. The two are not associated, unless it be on the much discussed calcite jar (and as both royal names were erased this is by no means certain). His existence as an interloper between Akhenaten and Tutankhamun must be explained.
(b) alongside Neferneferuaten: again, the two are not associated. If, with Gabolde (and Joe) we assume that Merytaten becomes Neferneferuaten only after the demise of the Hittite prince, then there has to be a lot a special pleading to explain the box lid as two individuals, not three, and to explain the association of Neferneferuaten with Akhenaten as posthumous. Similarly the fact that Merytaten is the Great Royal Wife of Smenkhkare must also be explained if he is an interloper, as must his origins, his power base, why Meryre II recognised him, and so on.
(c) after Neferneferuaten: I once thought this might be a possibility. It would explain his "interloper" position, but as everyone points out the lack of items relating to him is baffling, and would be more so if he has an independent reign. Against this probably is the graffito in TT139, dated to year 3 of Neferneferuaten, but referring to a temple estate of "Ankhkheperure" at Thebes. This might simply be Neferneferuaten again, but it might also be Smenkhkare, who should precede at least year 3 therefore.

At present I am inclined to accept Neferneferuaten as (a) Nefertiti and (b) the Dakhamunzu, with Akhenaten the king who died in the reign of Suppiluliuma. This rules out Gabolde's proposal, but leaves no good explanation for the sidelining of Tutankhamun unless he was not, in fact, the son of Akhenaten. It also leaves no good explanation for Smenkhkare as an interloper, so he must somehow be in the line of succession but precede Tutankhamun. This does not directly depend upon an assessment of the age of KV55 - as I do not accept a coregency, I think Akhenaten was in his twenties when he acceded and around 40 at death, so any age younger than this is an acceptable result. It only impacts on my suggestion that Smenkhkare's birth name was Thutmose, combined with Dodson's suggestion that Smenkhkare died as junior coregent only, several years before Akhenaten. These tighter brackets would require him to be 25 or less at death.



  • 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 kv55 — Kim Sargerson, Mon Sep 5 19:05
      • 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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