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Still Waters

Tutankhamun's death & the birth of monotheism

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TUTANKHAMUN'S mysterious death as a teenager may finally have been explained. And the condition that cut short his life may also have triggered the earliest monotheistic religion, suggests a new review of his family history.

Since his lavishly furnished, nearly intact tomb was discovered in 1922, the cause of Tutankhamun's death has been at the centre of intense debate. There have been theories of murder, leprosy, tuberculosis, malaria, sickle-cell anaemia, a snake bite - even the suggestion that the young king died after a fall from his chariot.

But all of these theories have missed one vital point, says Hutan Ashrafian, a surgeon with an interest in medical history at Imperial College London. Tutankhamun died young with a feminised physique, and so did his immediate predecessors.

http://www.newscient...monotheism.html

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Akhenaten was the first pharoah depicted with his children and wife,just playing .

There are wall carvings of him with his family,in happy social situations.

Even after he declared that only the one sun god exsisted,he acted completely normally,in every other way,for years.

Dunno. It's an interesting theory ,but not plausible ,in my opinion .

????

His religious views caused him to be despised actually .After his death,all records of who he was,were wiped out,and he was removed from his original tomb ,and put in an anonymous tomb .

Who he was ,was discovered via DNA testing I believe .

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Sorry.

Edited by the L

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Sorry.

My point was,that I didn't think his religious fervor was somehow genetic,which was allegedly inherited by tut,which supposidly killed them all .

He acted as a normal father ans husband,and not a religious fanatic.

Sadly,his rebelling against normal religious beliefs,caused him to be hated ,posthumously .

The only reason we know he is tuts father,is DNA testing .His body was not buried as a pharoah .

All of this has just come to light in the last five years .

My life long interest in Egyptology ,finds me quite excited about all of it .

I'm sorry if I wax poetic in regard to it.

Don't even get me started on Ramses II and the Ptolemys

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Dr. Ashrafian's research is a little outdated by this point. While it's true some of the men in the later line of Tuthmosides died fairly young, not all did. Amunhotep III, grandfather of Tutankhamun, reigned for almost forty years, so he was clearly an old man. His son Akhenaten is believed to have died at around thirty-five years of age, which was a typical lifespan in the Late Bronze Age. As far as that goes, some had very brief lives. One thing that throws off Ashrafian's equation is Prince Tuthmose, oldest son of Amunhotep III and crown prince. Akhenaten (Amunhotep IV) became king only because big brother Tuthmose died very young, perhaps about eleven years of age. And several of Tutankhamun's half-sisters, daughters of Akhenaten, died even younger than he did.

Judging the physicality of royals by their statues and depictions is not a reliable approach. Egyptian statues and wall reliefs do not represent portraiture, as we would understand the term. Years ago the decidedly odd appearance of Amarna Period statues and reliefs (e.g., Ashrafian's "feminised physique") led some researchers to speculate that Akhenaten and kin suffered from Marfan's syndrome or a similar disorder. This is not borne out in the examination of royal mummies from this period, however. Most Egyptologists have argued that the appearance of such artwork is a religious convention, not a reflection of physical appearance.

Extensive pathological and genetic testing of sixteen mummies dating to before, during, and immediately after the Amarna Period has provided many answers to old questions (and created some new questions, not surprisingly). This included the mummy of Amunhotep III; that of his principal queen, Tiye; the putative mummy of Smenkhkare, and Tutankhamun himself. The testing occurred between 2007 and 2009. Excepting for a slight possibility in the poorly preserved mummies of Tut's two miscarried daughters, no evidence for Marfan's or similar disorders is present in any of these mummies. I needn't dwell on the genetic and pathological findings for most of these mummies, but the findings for Tut are relevant to this discussion.

CT scans of Tut's body in 2005 revealed the severe fracture to his left-distal femur. The new CT scans and examinations of the boy-king's body in 2007 confirmed the severity of this wound. It would've consisted of a compound fracture, to the extent that not only the femur but the knee joint was damaged; the young king's knee cap had been physically knocked loose. This is where the "chariot accident" comes from. It's often repeated in media stories, and to be fair it originates from Egyptologists and probably mostly from Zahi Hawass. To be honest no one can know how Tut broke his leg. It's consistent with a violent fall from a speeding chariot, but it's also consistent with an axe wound or similar battle instrument. There is reliable evidence to suggest Tutankhamun led his army into battle at least once in his life. So no one can really say how Tut sustained his wound, but it was violent. And fatal. This is almost certainly how the boy-king died.

As adept as ancient Egyptian physicians were at mending broken bones, the severity of Tut's compound fracture would've been a death sentence in the Late Bronze Age. The CT scans clearly show signs of inflammation consistent with infection. The wound most likely led quickly to sepsis from which Tut would've died in about a week's time.

As it turns out, even if the fractured leg didn't happen, poor Tut was pretty much screwed, anyway. The studies of Tut's genetic material revealed the DNA for cerebral malaria, the deadliest form of the disease. And if that weren't enough, the young king was also suffering from osteonecrosis in his left foot. Infection from that could've been fatal, as well. In fact, had Tut indeed toppled out of a chariot, it might have been because his ailing left foot could not bear his weight and made him unstable in the chariot's carriage—he struck some bump in the landscape and toppled out, fracturing his leg.

Sorry to drone on so long. I'm just always in the mood to discuss this sort of thing. And the precise time period of Dynasty 18 in which Tut lived is endlessly interesting to discuss. Suffice it to say, the reason for the death of Tutankhamun is fairly obvious, but a "feminised physique" for him or other kings of his line is not.

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I was waiting for you to post kmt :)

Edited by Simbi Laveau

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I was waiting for you to post kmt :)

Was there any reason to doubt? :w00t:

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Was there any reason to doubt? :w00t:

well, you made yourself pretty thin lately...

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well, you made yourself pretty thin lately...

Hey, I've been quite active in several other discussions lately. As usual, I again need to try to distance myself from the latest Atlantis nonsense and concentrate on other threads, but I can't seem to help myself.

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How about the "curse" of tut's tomb?

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How about the "curse" of tut's tomb?

There is none. The "curse" is something that originated in popular literature around the same time that Tut's tomb was discovered. That oft-repeated Hollywood phrase "Death shall come on swift wings to him who disturbs the peace of the King" is not even ancient Egyptian but was invented by a Gothic novelist during the years that Tut's tomb was being cleared by Howard Carter.

This isn't to say tomb curses did not exist. Some are known, although they were more common in the Old Kingdom (Tut lived a thousand years after that). But none is recorded in any inscription in Tut's tomb.

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Certainly no curse associated with his tomb, though perhaps there was a curse, a curse on his entire family. Horses came late to Egypt, there seems to be no god of horses, perhaps an error...

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Nothing would surprises me about the Pharoah Castes of Egypt, They were all inbred to the point of genetic anomaly, so nothing would surprise me!

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I had thought that he was kicked in the chest by a horse, tragic as this seems to have been his mother's cause of death. However, an article in the latest edition of the magazine Ancient Egypt, by Peter Sheldrick M.D. claims that he was killed by a hippopotamus. Without copying the article, tsk tsk, It does seem very convincing and better than any falling from chariot or getting kicked by a horse theory.

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I had thought that he was kicked in the chest by a horse, tragic as this seems to have been his mother's cause of death. However, an article in the latest edition of the magazine Ancient Egypt, by Peter Sheldrick M.D. claims that he was killed by a hippopotamus. Without copying the article, tsk tsk, It does seem very convincing and better than any falling from chariot or getting kicked by a horse theory.

This physician has given a couple of lectures at conferences of ARCE (American Research Center in Egypt). Sheldrick was the one, I believe, who first proposed that Tut was killed by a kick to the chest by a horse. He subsequently revised his hypothesis to death by massive chest trauma caused by a hippo bite.

Neither hypothesis is supported by evidence. Some of us involved with ARCE have wondered how this guy got to present his hypotheses not once but twice. An Egyptologist I know suggested he probably knows someone high up on the national board of the organization. I have not heard this fellow's lectures nor have I met him. Evidently he's a very nice person. It's just that these hypotheses are rather...oddball.

It all stems from the unusual fact that the body of King Tut is missing its sternum and several portions of ribs. The image below is from the first X-rays taken of Tutankhamun's mummy, in 1968:

Tutankhamun-ribs-X-ray-Harrison-1968.jpg

There are two theories behind this. First is that the embalmers did it during the mummification 3,300 years ago, and second is that it was done to the mummy during World War II. Why the embalmers might have done it is not clear, unless there was trauma to the sternum and the embalmers felt it necessary to remove it. What might have caused the trauma in this scenario is unknown, but Sheldrick's hypotheses do not fit the extant evidence. A fatal kick from a horse would've caused much more extensive damage to the rib cage, which is perhaps one of the reasons Sheldrick abandoned this scenario. Hippopotami have one of the strongest jaws in the animal kingdom and a fatal bite to the chest would've caused most if not all of the rib cage to implode and collapse—and that is definitely not in evidence.

The sternum was physically removed from the corpse, as were the portions of ribs connecting to the sternum. All of this was clearly carefully sawed out.

If you look closely at Harry Burton's photos of the autopsy of Tut's mummy (1924-25, I believe), you will see garlands of flowers arrayed across the corpse's chest. The chest appears to be intact at that time, meaning it would've been intact 3,300 years ago when the boy-king died. Proponents of the perimortem or post-mortem removal of the sternum (meaning, it was done 3,300 years ago) note that perhaps the embalmers placed the necklaces of flowers on the chest to conceal the removal of the sternum. This is not a likely explanation because many mummies excavated in situ have been found with flower necklaces on their chests.

The same proponents note the clean cuts to the ends of the ribs and state the sawing of ancient bones would leave them splintered at the tips, thus the sawing must have been done by the original embalmers. I also don't see this as definitive because certain types of saws can perform this procedure on ancient bones without splintering them. Such saws are often used in forensic sciences.

This brings us to the second theory, involving World War II. With such unrest throughout much of the world, many Egyptian historical sites were left unprotected. Remember Harry Burton's photos which seem to show the corpse's chest intact, and covered by garlands. These were covered with so much ancient resins and unguents that Howard Carter had favored leaving them in place, rather than risking further damage to the body (his team had not been kind to the corpse when removing it from the innermost coffin). The flower garlands, then, were still in place by the early 1940s. The theory goes that modern tomb robbers entered Tut's tomb during the period of World War II and carefully cut out the chest to steal the flower necklaces. When the body was next seen for its first X-rays in 1968, the chest was fully exposed and a gaping hole was evident.

Both of these theories have their strengths and weaknesses, and it's likely the real answer will never be known. But the gist of it is, Egyptologists and forensic anthropologists and other specialists don't buy Sheldrick's hypotheses because they are frankly unrealistic. The best the available evidence can tell us, Nebkheperure Tutankhamun died from sepsis resulting from a severe compound fracture to his left distal femur. It was not the sort of injury from which an individual could've survived in that time and place. No one knows how the injury was sustained, so a chariot accident is just one possible scenario (the wound is consistent with a hard fall from a chariot, as would be a crush injury to the sternum, for that matter).

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Both of these theories have their strengths and weaknesses, and it's likely the real answer will never be known. But the gist of it is, Egyptologists and forensic anthropologists and other specialists don't buy Sheldrick's hypotheses because they are frankly unrealistic. The best the available evidence can tell us, Nebkheperure Tutankhamun died from sepsis resulting from a severe compound fracture to his left distal femur. It was not the sort of injury from which an individual could've survived in that time and place. No one knows how the injury was sustained, so a chariot accident is just one possible scenario (the wound is consistent with a hard fall from a chariot, as would be a crush injury to the sternum, for that matter).

Having read the article again I find he has avoided any mention of the broken leg, which rather degrades his hypothesis. However, I think he has come up with the hippo attack in order to try to explain why Tutanhkhamun's mummy is not much more than a skeleton. If Tutankhamun had died on land, then it seems reasonable to assume his body could be recovered before the apparent advanced decomposition occured, unless he suffered the same fate as Sequenenra-Tao II, something of course hidden to us by lack of any written evidence. In the matter of decomposition I go with Sheldrick, and others, and also the use of so very much resin in order to mask the horrible smell, and it is horrible, believe me... There has to be some reason why the body was not recovered very soon after death. This seems to preclude ancient traffic accidents, as he would not have been alone. There is one possibilty I have not seen before, and I simply fly a kite here. Is it possible he was involved in a shipwreck. Perhaps having suffered a broken leg he has somehow managed to get to shore, alone, then lingered in pain for some days before expiring, his pathetic remains being found by a search party a week or so later. Well, it's Armarna territory, anything is possible, even falling from top of Great Pyramid after trying to fix the "universal communications device" :wacko:

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some particularly odd things I have seen written about King Tut et al.

first, both King tut and his father, Akhenaten, had elongated skulls.

this is not something that people cannot create, however, it is very curious that both men had an extra bone

in the base of the skull. Tut's mother also had the elongated skull, and his siter's remains have not yet been located.

secondly, When Aten the Sun Disk was elevated above all other deities, Sun Disk had yet to be named "Aten" - that came

at a much later time.

You will often see Sun Disk depicted as a golden disk with wings coming out of each side (3:00 and 9:00)

What could it possibly be about this disk that could make it so important? Why is it God-like?

Supposedly, in a song, it is said that Akhenaen was educated in the Sirius star sysem and then brought back here

to lead Egypt. Also, supposedly, the Sun Disk was his means of transport.

Very interesting scenerio. Could Akenaten et al be decended, at least in part, from ET's?

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some particularly odd things I have seen written about King Tut et al.

first, both King tut and his father, Akhenaten, had elongated skulls.

this is not something that people cannot create, however, it is very curious that both men had an extra bone

in the base of the skull. Tut's mother also had the elongated skull, and his siter's remains have not yet been located.

secondly, When Aten the Sun Disk was elevated above all other deities, Sun Disk had yet to be named "Aten" - that came

at a much later time.

You will often see Sun Disk depicted as a golden disk with wings coming out of each side (3:00 and 9:00)

What could it possibly be about this disk that could make it so important? Why is it God-like?

Supposedly, in a song, it is said that Akhenaen was educated in the Sirius star sysem and then brought back here

to lead Egypt. Also, supposedly, the Sun Disk was his means of transport.

Very interesting scenerio. Could Akenaten et al be decended, at least in part, from ET's?

Unfortunately we will never know the full story, and in particular we will never know what they really thought. Though there are some points that can be better explained. The elongated heads exist only as sculpture, tomb paintings and reliefs, as also do the pot bellies for all and the wide hips on the males. We simply do not know why they depicted themselves like this because their actual bodies do not show these deformaties. Marfans syndrome has been completely ruled out by the intense scientific scrutiny their remains have come under. There is an un-named mummy of a prince in KV35, who is very probably an uncle or brother of Tutankhamun, who's skull is very brachycephalic (wide), though not to an extent as to come within the realms of the "Flat head syndrome". I think people have seen the evidence of head binding from the Americas, and probably the skull of the "Star child", and jumped to the wrong conclusions about the later Thuthmosids based only on weird and, so far, inexplicable artistic representations. Also, mummified heads seen side on all seem to be very elongated, particulary when seen in conjunction with the skinny neck of the mummy. The Armarna mummies are all within normal range for head size/shape.

About the Aten. This name for the disk of the Sun had been in existance for some time and did not seem to have any great significance until the reign of Akhenaten's father, Amunhotep III. For reasons we probably will never know, during his reign he elevated the status of the Aten to a level seemingly equal with, or perhaps just below, that of Ra-Horakhty and Amun. Akhenaten, when he became king (not pharaoh in those days), then seems to have taken the Egyptian impulse to syncretism a stage further and made the Aten the visible aspect of Ra-Horakhty, that syncretic god being a combination of Ra and Horus, and in my opinion only, Khonsu. Ra-Horakhty then being the invisible force behind the Aten (open to debate). There was also a silver Aten to represent the disk of the Moon, hence my hypothesis about Khonsu being part of the equation (debatable). I think the wings either side of the Sun (Ra-Horakhty) simply refer to Horus as being a winged god and, the wings simply just add that touch of awe. It cannot be denied that the winged sun is a magnificent decorative symbol, and I think that is all it is. By the way, the name Ra-Horakhty can be used to express the term "Alpha and Omega", so yet another religious concept borrowed from AE :)

As for Akhenaten being ET or descended from ET, well, I'm a big fan of Stargate and it's spinoffs, yes, even Universe, but I wouldn't draw any conclusions from that about whether I think ET was in AE :lol:

Edited by Atentutankh-pasheri

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some particularly odd things I have seen written about King Tut et al.

first, both King tut and his father, Akhenaten, had elongated skulls.

I would refer you to Atentutankh-pasheri's preceding post. I might take issue with one or two things but I think he explained things really well. However, being the unrepentant windbag that I am, I'd also like to respond.

Tut's father is still contested. Due to genetic testing of numerous Amarna Period mummies we know for a fact his father was the mummy found in the tomb called KV55 (the mummy often goes by the same designation) but we do not know for certain who this mummy had been in life. After the publishing of the JAMA report following the genetic analyses of 2007-2009, KV55's identity was flatly reported as Akhenaten, no doubt at the insistence of Zahi Hawass. However, immediately following there was a backlash from the professional community emphasizing how poor the evidence is for naming KV55 as Akhenaten. Hawass subsequently backed off. Probably most scholars have believed KV55 was the ephemeral king Smenkhkare, and that theory still holds. So it's altogether likely that Tut's father was Smenkhkare, whose remains demonstrate that he was too young a man to have been Akhenaten.

Both Tut and KV55 definitely have oddly shaped heads. This is quite clear to see in the most famous of the forensic busts of Tutankhamun. However, both skulls have been carefully studied by forensic scientists and other specialists, and there is a consensus that the skulls of both of these young men are within normal limits. Many people would be surprised by how weird their skulls would look if they shaved off their hair. I know I was when I was a kid in the army.

this is not something that people cannot create, however, it is very curious that both men had an extra bone

in the base of the skull. Tut's mother also had the elongated skull, and his siter's remains have not yet been located.

Skull binding is well evidenced in Mesoamerican cultures and I believe in some African cultures, but it was not a tradition in pharaonic Egypt. The forensic scientists who specialize in Egypt are clear on this fact. Based on genetics Tut's mother is the unidentified mummy designated as KV35YL and she does indeed also have an oddly shaped head. It is not evidence for deliberate deformation, however. I think Atentutankh brought up an excellent point in mentioning how a mummy's head might seem disproportionate because of the wizened and withered body. I get this comment all the time at the museum, when people see the mummies in our exhibit. Rarely do they consider the lost girth to so much of the body, especially to the shoulders and chest.

One or two of the female mummies studied in the genetic analyses might actually be sisters or half-sisters of Tut (the daughters of Akhenaten and Nefertiti). One is speculated to be the poorly preserved mummy of Tut's wife, Ankhesenamun. More genetic testing is required to clarify that point, but for the time being, you're right: we can't be sure where all of the royal daughters ended up.

secondly, When Aten the Sun Disk was elevated above all other deities, Sun Disk had yet to be named "Aten" - that came

at a much later time.

It came before, actually. Consider that Amunhotep III (father of Akhenaten) constructed a special boat for his first Heb-Sed festival, in honor of his great queen, Tiye. Amunhotep named this boat itn-THn, "Shining Aten." It was actually Amunhotep III who elevated the Aten to a status it hadn't quite known before, and Akhenaten ran wild with it and made the Aten the state god. Akhenaten's own name contains the word "Aten." In the line-drawing of the top cartouche below, "Aten" is spelled by the first four glyphs at the left (reed leaf, bread loaf, water ripple, sun disk):

akhenaten.gif

The Aten had been a minor manifestation of Re for much of pharaonic history but began to take on prominence early in the Tuthmoside line of kings, of whom Tut was the last.

You will often see Sun Disk depicted as a golden disk with wings coming out of each side (3:00 and 9:00)

What could it possibly be about this disk that could make it so important? Why is it God-like?

The winged sun disk goes back to the earliest times in pharaonic history. It did not represent the deity called Aten that far back, but merely the god Re in a general sense. It represents a fusion between disk and aviary deity, most probably Horus. The sun was a powerful symbol of life and afterlife, so its various symbology in pharaonic culture was there from the start—millennia before Akhenaten was even born.

Supposedly, in a song, it is said that Akhenaen was educated in the Sirius star sysem and then brought back here

to lead Egypt. Also, supposedly, the Sun Disk was his means of transport.

LOL What song is this? It's not something that comes from Akhenaten's time, I can assure you. The most famous song or poem from the Amarna Period is the Great Hymn to the Aten, preserved in one of the Amarna nobleman's tombs. Many scholars believe Akhenaten himself composed it, but the thing about the Sirius star system is not in there. In all probability Akhenaten and his older brother, Tuthmose, who died young, spent much of their education in the Heliopolis temple complex, the main cult center for the god Re.

Very interesting scenerio. Could Akenaten et al be decended, at least in part, from ET's?

I am quite confident when I answer: no.

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I would refer you to Atentutankh-pasheri's preceding post. I might take issue with one or two things but I think he explained things really well. However, being the unrepentant windbag that I am, I'd also like to respond.

Thanks, though I would be interested in which parts of my post you don't agree with. Probably the points I flagged myself as debatable, and perhaps Alpha and Omega?. I have theories that actually do need testing. I had thought to say these things on this forum and not the other, as perhaps I would be jumped on by some for not presenting my post as a doctoral thesis with a huge heap of references :D

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Thanks, though I would be interested in which parts of my post you don't agree with. Probably the points I flagged myself as debatable, and perhaps Alpha and Omega?. I have theories that actually do need testing. I had thought to say these things on this forum and not the other, as perhaps I would be jumped on by some for not presenting my post as a doctoral thesis with a huge heap of references :D

Hi, Atentutankh. My main objection is with Stargate. You'd better not try to tell me it wasn't an historical account brought to TV. Just kidding. I was a huge fan of that movie and its TV spin-offs, too. Well, except for Universe. I tried to get into it but couldn't. The fact that I was such a fan of the shows was always the subject of amusement for me. Here I am, a vehement opponent of notions that ancient aliens influenced our past, and one of my favorite TV shows was about ancient aliens influencing our past. :w00t:

It might surprise you to know (or maybe not) that some other "skeptics" at UM were big Stargate fans.

On to actual business. Yes, I'm not sure about the Alpha and Omega thing. While it's a concept I'm certain the ancient Egyptians would've understood, I can't think of any parallel in their own culture. The name of the god Re-Horakhty basically means "Re is Horus in the Two Horizons," and the most important thing the name tells us is the emphasis in the Egyptian mind of the east and west: life and death, the endless cycle.

I might also point out your comment about "pharaoh." If I read your post correctly, you were saying the word did not exist in Akhenaten's time. I've read many sources stating this word, pr-aA, as a reference to the king originated in or around the reign of Akhenaten. Recently, however, I read that it can be attested to the reign of one of the Tuthmosis kings. For the life of me I can't remember in which book or periodical I read this, so I can't remember if it was Tuthmosis I, II, III, or IV (I really need to figure out which book or periodical it is!).

The only other thing I'd mention is the nature of Aten veneration in the reign of Amunhotep III. I am in complete agreement that he was the first to elevate the Aten to a lofty status, but Amunhotep seems to have kept it as something of a personal, family religion. After all, he was an aggressive builder of monuments, and while he erected few monuments himself to the Aten, he expanded Karnak and Luxor significantly during his reign. So in his own time, the god Amun was still foremost.

Oh, the only other thing about which I'm not sure is a silver Aten disk representing the moon. Where did you read that? Just curious.

Honestly, I'll shut up now. Hey, you asked!

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Hi, Atentutankh. My main objection is with Stargate. You'd better not try to tell me it wasn't an historical account brought to TV. Just kidding. I was a huge fan of that movie and its TV spin-offs, too. Well, except for Universe. I tried to get into it but couldn't. The fact that I was such a fan of the shows was always the subject of amusement for me. Here I am, a vehement opponent of notions that ancient aliens influenced our past, and one of my favorite TV shows was about ancient aliens influencing our past. :w00t:

It might surprise you to know (or maybe not) that some other "skeptics" at UM were big Stargate fans.

On to actual business. Yes, I'm not sure about the Alpha and Omega thing. While it's a concept I'm certain the ancient Egyptians would've understood, I can't think of any parallel in their own culture. The name of the god Re-Horakhty basically means "Re is Horus in the Two Horizons," and the most important thing the name tells us is the emphasis in the Egyptian mind of the east and west: life and death, the endless cycle.

I might also point out your comment about "pharaoh." If I read your post correctly, you were saying the word did not exist in Akhenaten's time. I've read many sources stating this word, pr-aA, as a reference to the king originated in or around the reign of Akhenaten. Recently, however, I read that it can be attested to the reign of one of the Tuthmosis kings. For the life of me I can't remember in which book or periodical I read this, so I can't remember if it was Tuthmosis I, II, III, or IV (I really need to figure out which book or periodical it is!).

The only other thing I'd mention is the nature of Aten veneration in the reign of Amunhotep III. I am in complete agreement that he was the first to elevate the Aten to a lofty status, but Amunhotep seems to have kept it as something of a personal, family religion. After all, he was an aggressive builder of monuments, and while he erected few monuments himself to the Aten, he expanded Karnak and Luxor significantly during his reign. So in his own time, the god Amun was still foremost.

Oh, the only other thing about which I'm not sure is a silver Aten disk representing the moon. Where did you read that? Just curious.

Honestly, I'll shut up now. Hey, you asked!

Indeed

What I liked about Stargate was the humour, they never took themselves seriously and there aren't the equivalent of trekkies, praise Aten :D

I had always thought that Per-a came into use with the Ramessids, but in that I only go with what I have read, which is not everything, yet...

The "silver" Aten is not something I would not stake my life on. This idea has been put forward on some Russian sites. One has a reference to an English book that I have not read. "Fleming, Fergus, and Alan Lothian (1997). The Way to Eternity: Egyptian Myth". There is some attempt to see beyond the physical evidence and get into Akhenaten's mind. If Khonsu is also Horus and Horus is Ra, and of course others such as Shu are in the equation, then I can see no reason for Akhenaten not to see the Moon as the night aspect of the Aten. Of course there is nothing written, no night scenes in Armarma tombs etc. It is only conjecture. It certainly seems that Akhkenaten was cutting through a lot of the accumulated nonsense that had complicated their religion (Read Barry Kemp's new book on Armarna, page 21 complete. A brillant piece that copyright forbids me posting) and was getting to the core beliefs. I would not be surprised if he did not actually believe in the various myths, the contendings of Seth and Horus for instance, and saw the universe in a very straight forward way. I think had Atenism not fallen so quickly and easily, then it would have become something that we could with more confidence say was monotheism. What we see in the records is only the beginings, a tadpole, and we have no idea of the frog/prince/princess it may have turned into. Or perhaps just a poisonous toad :) . However, it is because of the Khonsu/Horus connection that I think the Moon may have been seen as a silver Aten.

Ra-Horakhty, Ra who is Horus in the Two Horizons. The horizon of the rising Sun in the East and the horizon of the setting Sun in the West. The beginning of the day and the end of the day, life and death, the first and the last, the Alpha and the Omega. Perhaps it is not unfeasable to think that some of Egypt's neighbours used this to describe their newly created God as being at the beginning of everything and the end of everything, and indeed everything in the middle. A concept they borrowed from Egypt, along with Isis and Horus in a later heresy. Ooops, better shut up now or the religious thought police will come for me :D

Edited by Atentutankh-pasheri

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Indeed

What I liked about Stargate was the humour, they never took themselves seriously and there aren't the equivalent of trekkies, praise Aten :D

I had always thought that Per-a came into use with the Ramessids, but in that I only go with what I have read, which is not everything, yet...

LOL "Indeed." That's what Teal'c always said. I remember looking forward to watching Stargate: SG1 every Friday evening. I also remember when Stargate: Atlantis came out, and I thought it would be garbage. I was quite wrong.

It's not like I've read everything out there, to be sure. I doubt anyone humanly could. I did in fact try to track down where I'd read about "pharaoh" originating in one of the reigns of the Tuthmosis kings but—bah!—failed miserably. I'm almost positive it was in one of the periodicals to which I subscribe, but I can't remember which one or which issue of the right one. I have more looking to do. I'm interested in verifying this point, if only for myself. But until then I'm pretty confident it can be traced at least to Akhenaten's reign.

The "silver" Aten is not something I would not stake my life on. This idea has been put forward on some Russian sites. One has a reference to an English book that I have not read. "Fleming, Fergus, and Alan Lothian (1997). The Way to Eternity: Egyptian Myth". There is some attempt to see beyond the physical evidence and get into Akhenaten's mind. If Khonsu is also Horus and Horus is Ra, and of course others such as Shu are in the equation, then I can see no reason for Akhenaten not to see the Moon as the night aspect of the Aten. Of course there is nothing written, no night scenes in Armarma tombs etc. It is only conjecture. It certainly seems that Akhkenaten was cutting through a lot of the accumulated nonsense that had complicated their religion (Read Barry Kemp's new book on Armarna, page 21 complete. A brillant piece that copyright forbids me posting) and was getting to the core beliefs. I would not be surprised if he did not actually believe in the various myths, the contendings of Seth and Horus for instance, and saw the universe in a very straight forward way. I think had Atenism not fallen so quickly and easily, then it would have become something that we could with more confidence say was monotheism. What we see in the records is only the beginings, a tadpole, and we have no idea of the frog/prince/princess it may have turned into. Or perhaps just a poisonous toad :) . However, it is because of the Khonsu/Horus connection that I think the Moon may have been seen as a silver Aten.

I see where you're coming from now. I'd take care with Russian sites—some of those Russians can write really odd stuff (you see it here at UM, in Russian sites to which posters link). But you explained your point well. My main objection would be something you pointed out yourself: Akhenaten's tendency to obsess over the daytime. I can't think of inscriptions from his own reign where anything of the night is emphasized. His own Great Temple to the Aten was, in fact, a departure from other, earlier state temples in that nearly all of it was open to the sky, to admit the life-giving rays of the Aten.

Personally I think—and I'm willing to bet most Egyptologists would agree with this point—Akhenaten did not approach his Atenism religion very intelligently. The way he structured it, with himself as the only legitimate intermediary between mortals and the Aten, his religion was doomed to fail and fragment the day he died. And that's essentially what happened. I don't think Atenism was necessarily any better or worse than the more traditional religion of the Egyptian state, but clearly Akhenaten wasn't thinking ahead.

I used to argue against Atenism as a form of monotheism but I abandoned that approach a long time ago. While it's true other deities were permitted in the early years of Akhenaten's reign, by late in his life he had indeed fashioned his religion into monotheism. The Great Hymn to the Aten makes this quite clear, in my opinion. It was quite probably the world's first version of monotheism—and undoubtedly the least successful, as well as the shortest lived.

I've seen Kemp's new book and intend to buy it. I've enjoyed other books he's authored. Just so you know, as long as you properly cite the book in your post so that it's obvious who wrote it and when the book was published, as well as the page number of the material you're citing, there is no copyright infringement. It's what you can call "fair use."

Ra-Horakhty, Ra who is Horus in the Two Horizons. The horizon of the rising Sun in the East and the horizon of the setting Sun in the West. The beginning of the day and the end of the day, life and death, the first and the last, the Alpha and the Omega. Perhaps it is not unfeasable to think that some of Egypt's neighbours used this to describe their newly created God as being at the beginning of everything and the end of everything, and indeed everything in the middle. A concept they borrowed from Egypt, along with Isis and Horus in a later heresy. Ooops, better shut up now or the religious thought police will come for me :D

The way you describe the horizons certainly does ring of "Alpha and Omega," but not quite in the Christian sense. But to be sure, both Judaism and early Christianity were influenced by the religion of ancient Egypt. The only exception I take is when people try to propose that Judaism (and hence, Christianity) was a "carbon copy" of the Egyptian religion. Quite a few posters have said as much at UM, and I regard it as a gross oversimplification. It doesn't even take into account how much the early Egyptians drew on other religions, as they would continue to do through the pharaonic period, as their own beliefs and practices developed.

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Well, I agree with your comments and I know you certainly come from the position of going with what actual facts are, which is correct. About any so called Silver Aten I am trying to put myself in his mind and wondering what he might have thought of the night. Unless he was a bit stupid, then he must have had some thoughts about the relationship between night and day. If he is quite happy to see Ra-Horakhty as being with the Aten, then I would be surprised if he did not think about why Horus is also Khonsu and in that form is of the night. Unless of course he wasn't so happy about the possibility of Khonsu, in his early manifestation, possibly being vampire.

To an extent some of my comments about those who probably borrowed from Egypt are slightly tounge in cheek. I would never say that all of other religions was borrowed from Egypt, but as Egypt came first, then some conclusions can be made..... To me it is necessary to view these contentious subjects from a position outside of any of these religions, as a persons own religious upbringing and beliefs can cloud their thinking, even on a subconscious level. I'm thinking here of very competant and respected Egyptologist John Romer. I have read his book on the Great Pyramid, most excellent, and even now am reading his new History of Egypt, yet it is clear that he is a product of his Christian religion. This is not to be critical of him, simply to show that complete impartiality to AE is very difficult.

When I have some more time than now I will post page 21 of Barry Kemp's book, with all credits. It is also on topic for this thread, and several others :)

About "odd" Russian sites and links posted. Well, I am guilty of some of this :blush: . And here is another, if it was not already posted

http://www.dazzle.ru/spec/ra.shtml

Name of site is "Ra, the ancient Slavic God of the Sun" Now, just now much "contentious" material is there :D

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