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kmt_sesh

The shapely figure of Akhenaten

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kmt_sesh

Recently in another thread the subject popped up about the weird way a lot of the artwork looks from the Amarna Period of Egypt. I tired to steer us away from too much discussion of it because it wasn't relevant to the topic in that thread, and suggested a separate thread because the appearance of Amarna artwork is an interesting topic unto itself. No one took me up on it so I'm taking myself up on it.

For an historical perspective the Amarna Period defines a short period of time during the New Kingdom of ancient Egypt, specifically in Dynasty 18. It most directly involves the heretic king Akhenaten (1351-1334 BCE) but would extend to the immediate royal successors Smenkhkare (1335-1334 BCE), Tutankhamun (1332-1323 BCE), and Ay (1323-1319 BCE). I pulled these dates from Wikipedia just to provide a frame of reference.

Amarna artwork is a noticeable departure from previous pharaonic artwork, especially of the figural variety, and had a lasting effect to a lessening extent into the Ramesside period of Dynasty 19. The most famous examples are the colossal statues of Akhenaten that show him with a long face, pouty lips, breasts, spindly limbs, and wide hips:

akhenaten1.jpg

Amarna relief carvings show a similar appearance:

122613a51c42ae698e9b969138c74353.jpg

But why? When almost all previous kings showed themselves with perfect manly physiques and handsome faces, why did Akhenaten portray himself and his family in this bizarre manner?

Rather than my usual tendency to turn this into a tedious historical discourse of great length, I am going to behave and turn this over to you posters. What do historians have to say? What do fringe writers propose? Are there real answers out there? I say yes, but I want everyone to have a say in the matter.

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back to earth

When younger we had a guy around with a face exactly like that , so much so he got nicknamed  ' Ra '    . I used to joke about him looking like 'Anky '   . 

Also, I've seen those kind of thighs before  ....   but not a man 

 

Spoiler

Ha !   made you look ... nope, no pics or memes this time :)  

 

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kmt_sesh
3 minutes ago, back to earth said:

When younger we had a guy around with a face exactly like that , so much so he got nicknamed  ' Ra '    . I used to joke about him looking like 'Anky '   . 

Also, I've seen those kind of thighs before  ....   but not a man 

 

  Reveal hidden contents

Ha !   made you look ... nope, no pics or memes this time :)  

 

I am truly shocked. I mean, this is you, back to earth, we're talking about. But don't worry, I won't give up the startling surprise.

I imagine quite a few of us have seen or known people who kind of resemble the Akhenaten statues, and it has to do with one of the old theories. Not a woo idea but an actual theory. But I won't give it away. I'm restraining myself to let other people have a say.

It ain't easy.

rrr.gif

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jaylemurph
20 minutes ago, kmt_sesh said:

akhenaten1.jpg

 

 

...I can't help but notice you skipped over the long, velvety fake ears displayed here. Sure, you could say it's part of the headdress, but then you'd be part of the cover-up. As would be a proponent of the cats.

--Jaylemurph

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Nefer-Ankhe

I think Akhenaten and his immediate family actually had SOME of these physical traits and from there Akhenaten chose to simply exaggerate them in his art work. It's noted that Tutankhamun had an abnormally large shaped skull and also that of his father KV55 (IMO Smenkhkare).

Interestingly enough Amarna's artwork changed due to a transition between two chief sculptors of Akhenaten during his reign, Bek and Thutmose. Bek created the extreme androgynous artwork we puzzle over today with the elongated head, feminine curves, half-closed eyes, long face and neck. Thutmose however took on a more realistic outlook. He created the beautiful bust of Neferteti, now her features notably being more distinct and individual opposed to the depictions of her through bek and the busts of their eldest daughters.

As to why art differed so much from the idealized norm under Akhenaten is beyond me. Perhaps he was simply just an uniquely artistic creature ahead of his time, craving something different. If there's anything one should gain from reading about Akhenaten is that he was anything but normal, so a magnificent change in art style doesn't surprise me. The artistic interpretations of nature during this period are beautiful!

I always refer to this link when discussing this topic. Quick, interesting and logical read http://www.ancientegyptonline.co.uk/amarnaart.html

:D

Edited by Nefer-Ankhe
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kmt_sesh
25 minutes ago, jaylemurph said:

...I can't help but notice you skipped over the long, velvety fake ears displayed here. Sure, you could say it's part of the headdress, but then you'd be part of the cover-up. As would be a proponent of the cats.

--Jaylemurph

Were I to admit that, my masters would come for me. And they have sharp claws and teeth. You know how fickle they are.

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back to earth

I read once it was some type  of 'disease'  a genetic thingo   or inbreeding  

then again there is this ancient hymn ;

Oh Akhenaton , thou art full of potential

like a woman in waiting 

Thou shalt pursue  thine enemies  swiftly

with thine stong thigs

Thy long face looks down on all

Thy ears hear all ,

thou long nose smells the truth

as thy big lips speak it   ..... 

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back to earth

Oh no  ......      what will some make of this  ? 

 

An unfinished bust of an Armarna princess copyright Keith Schengili-Roberts

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back to earth
14 minutes ago, kmt_sesh said:

Were I to admit that, my masters would come for me. And they have sharp claws and teeth. You know how fickle they are.

Image result for 10 000 bc movie

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kmt_sesh
23 minutes ago, Nefer-Ankhe said:

I think Akhenaten and his immediate family actually had SOME of these physical traits and from there Akhenaten chose to simply exaggerate them in his art work. It's noted that Tutankhamun had an abnormally large shaped skull and also that of his father KV55 (IMO Smenkhkare).

Interestingly enough Amarna's artwork changed due to a transition between two chief sculptors of Akhenaten during his reign, Bek and Thutmose. Bek created the extreme androgynous artwork we puzzle over today with the elongated head, feminine curves, half-closed eyes, long face and neck. Thutmose however took on a more realistic outlook. He created the beautiful bust of Neferteti, now her features notably being more distinct and individual opposed to the depictions of her through bek and the busts of their eldest daughters.

As to why art differed so much from the idealized norm under Akhenaten is beyond me. Perhaps he was simply just an uniquely artistic creature ahead of his time, craving something different. If there's anything one should gain from reading about Akhenaten is that he was anything but normal, so a magnificent change in art style doesn't surprise me. The artistic interpretations of nature during this period are beautiful!

I always refer to this link when discussing this topic. Quick, interesting and logical read http://www.ancientegyptonline.co.uk/amarnaart.html

:D

Speaking for myself, I don't think Akhenaten and family looked that way in real life—at least not to the extent the figural art depicts them. You may be correct that the artwork is a deliberate distortion of actual traits, such as seen in the somewhat abnormal shape to the skulls of KV55 and Tut (I also readily agree that KV55 was Smenkhkare, not Akhenaten). But recall that the deliberate distortions are also present in representations of Nefertiti, at least during Bek's time as royal sculptor. However Nefertiti may have fit within the wider royal family (if at all), she was apparently of no close relation to Akhenaten. It would be quite odd for her, too, to have had such unusual bodily proportions.

In short I think the odd look is a religious convention, a belief shared by many Egyptologists and historians. There are numerous possibilities for the explanation, beginning with...

Nope, won't do it. Not yet. I'm trying not to dominate the discussion with one of my diatribes!

Editing to add: I also like that link.

Edited by kmt_sesh
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Hammerclaw

He probably had Marfan's Syndrome.

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kmt_sesh
13 minutes ago, back to earth said:

Oh no  ......      what will some make of this  ? 

 

An unfinished bust of an Armarna princess copyright Keith Schengili-Roberts

Beyonce?

Probably not. That's one of the Amarna princes. I think her name was Melissa. That's not true. There were six of them, so take your pick. (>>Various other photos of them<<)

All six of the daughters—Merytaten, Meketaten, Ankhesenpaaten (the future Mrs. Tut), Neferneferuaten Tasherit, Neferneferure, and Setepenre—are often showed with the same odd bodily figures, such as in the photo of the stela in my OP.

---------------------------------------------------------------

For everyone's edification, I recommend this page for information on Akhenaten and his family and court. It was put together by a personal friend of mine who's probably more expert in the Amarna Period than any other amateur historian I know, myself included.

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kmt_sesh
5 minutes ago, Hammerclaw said:

He probably had Marfan's Syndrome.

That is one of the leading old medical theories.

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kmt_sesh

There's more I'd like to say but it's time for bed. Even an evil overlord mummy moderator needs his sleep.

Especially an evil overlord mummy moderator?

'Night, all.

can-stock-photo_csp23418071.jpg

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back to earth

72310477a7ef372a046a1d9db0cc3e89.jpg

Edited by back to earth
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Eldorado

We're simply the best, better than all the rest.  Children of the one true God.  We are man, we are woman; we are the sun and the moon and the stars; we are everything.  We are the people.

(Times change but people don't)

Edited by Eldorado
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acute

A shapely figure, indeed! I certainly wouldn't kick her out of bed.

I bet her brothers were fighting over her!

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Khaemwaset

Such a splendid topic!  Well, I'd put it this way: the wicked Priests of Amun had busily amalgamated their wealth and power in the New Kingdom, especially after Hatshepsut, and then halfway through the reign of Amenhotep III, the High Priest of Amun Ptahmose was made Vizier, as well as Director of Public Buildings and Head of all the Priests of Egypt.  I do not know if that was before or after the death of Crown Prince Thutmose, Sem Priest and High Priest of Ptah.  But it was a significant surge in power flowing into the hands of the Theban cult.

A number of years ago a few fellows and myself mused about this topic.  What if High Priest and Vizier Ptahmose saw High Priest and Crown Prince Thutmose as a threat to his plans.  Without his mummy we cannot know how the prince died, but it must have dashed a lot of the hopes of his parents.  If he was 'gotten rid of', would Tiye have figured it out?  Would she then have instigated her second son to reject the Amun priests' power?  Would she have advised him (and thereby Bek) to fashion a new standard of pharaonic representation, one free from the 'framing' that had become concretized by the Amun dictates?  Somebody did.  Amun was dropped, and the art changed.

Sorry for the crystal ball gazing...but it's a theory.

 

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Kenemet
On 3/1/2017 at 10:12 PM, jaylemurph said:

...I can't help but notice you skipped over the long, velvety fake ears displayed here. Sure, you could say it's part of the headdress, but then you'd be part of the cover-up. As would be a proponent of the cats.

--Jaylemurph

Cats?

 

Ah, me of course.  We always cover things up.  Much more tidy that way.  If you'll step over here, I can demonstrate.

 

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Kenemet

I should  point out that early statues of him show him looking pretty normal.  We can also point to the famous bust of Nefertiti in the Berlin Museum which is quite lifelike and nothing like her depiction in Amarna art.  It's clearly a style, just like the very odd stick figure god phase that Thutmose went through.

 

One thing I have noticed is that when you walk up to those huge statues, the elongated features start to look very normal, leading me to wonder if the extreme appearance is in part due to the way these things were to be viewed (the position of the viewer, in other words.)

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ShadowSot
1 hour ago, Kenemet said:

I should  point out that early statues of him show him looking pretty normal.  We can also point to the famous bust of Nefertiti in the Berlin Museum which is quite lifelike and nothing like her depiction in Amarna art.  It's clearly a style, just like the very odd stick figure god phase that Thutmose went through.

 

One thing I have noticed is that when you walk up to those huge statues, the elongated features start to look very normal, leading me to wonder if the extreme appearance is in part due to the way these things were to be viewed (the position of the viewer, in other words.)

Oh come on, you know the Ancients didn't understand perspective. Had to wait for the Greeks to invent it.

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kmt_sesh
11 minutes ago, ShadowSot said:

Oh come on, you know the Ancients didn't understand perspective. Had to wait for the Greeks to invent it.

art-art-art_historian-ancient_egyptian-p

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ShadowSot
11 minutes ago, kmt_sesh said:

art-art-art_historian-ancient_egyptian-p

I knew it was just a prank we weren't getting!

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lilthor
On 3/1/2017 at 8:47 PM, back to earth said:

An unfinished bust of an Armarna princess copyright Keith Schengili-Roberts

Great.  I had thought earth was supposed to be some sort of wonderful slave colony where humans work mining gold and writing software.

Now I see it's just a dump for disgraced aliens who want to marry their sister.

The more I learn the less I want to know.

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ShadowSot
3 minutes ago, lilthor said:

Great.  I had thought earth was supposed to be some sort of wonderful slave colony where humans work mining gold and writing software.

Now I see it's just a dump for disgraced aliens who want to marry their sister.

The more I learn the less I want to know.

So the Earth is the Galaxy's Alabama? That explains a lot.

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