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Nefer-Ankhe

Identity of KV55

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Nefer-Ankhe

I've always came to the conclusion that KV55 was probably Smenkhkare or anyone other than Akhenaten because the analysis indicates that the remains were too young to be that of Akhenaten. 

Recently an individual believing that the remains were in fact that of Akhenaten said that Aidan Dodson believes also they are of Akhenaten and has evidence to support his claim. 

I've been out of the Egyptological pool for a while, has there been any new analysis or information arise on the KV55 remains? Could the remains be older than first thought? As far as I recall KV55 didn't even have wisdom teeth yet. 

Thanks in advance. 

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seanjo

I thought they'd decided it was probably Tut's brother and not his father.

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The Wistman
Posted (edited)

It's a good idea to use reference dates when quoting Dodson, since his views on late Amarna/Theban-restoration have changed since he first was writing about the subject in the early nineties.  I believe I'm correct in saying that his identification of Akhenaten as the mummy from KV 55 dates from 1993.  However, he revealed in his book Amarna Sunset, 2009, that he'd reversed his views earlier expressed about the line of kingship, and now saw a co-regency of Akhenaten/Smenkhkare for one year, which terminated in the early death of the Prince, necessitating (because of Tut's infancy) another co-regent, that being Nefertiti.  It is a much disputed lineage.  But in any case, I am not aware of Dodson making any pronouncements about the inhabitant of KV 55 after the recent scans revealed it to be @ 25 years old, which would ostensibly negate the identity with Akhenaten.

However, there seems to be two camps, some Egyptologists still insisting the mummy is Akhenaten (Hawass, for example) and those who see the results of the scan as conclusive, ie: no one other than Smenkhkare would fit all the evidence we now have.  At least, that's my understanding...I could have missed some current thinking on this.... 

edited to add: here is a National Geographic News article from 2007 on this issue; Dodson states therein that he thinks the mummy is Smenkhkare.  This is page 2 of the article, you can scroll back to page 1 for the full reading, which argues for Akhenaten as the KV 55 mummy.   https://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2007/07/070710-king-tut_2.html 

It should be noted that DNA analysis of Tut's mummy compared to that of the KV55 mummy revealed that KV 55 is the father of Tut.

Edited by The Wistman
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kmt_sesh

Hawass is the only one of whom I'm aware who maintains the KV55 remains belong to Akhenaten. I've read several excellent reports on examinations of this skeleton, most especially the article in Archaeology years ago from Joyce Filer. I enjoy her work. As with almost all other forensic examiners, she places age at death in the early twenties. Of course, that almost certainly eliminates Akhenaten, unless he ascended the throne as a very young boy, and there is no extant evidence to suggest that.

So it's Hawass who pushes the KV55 = Akhenaten scenario. This followed on the CT scans and genetic analyses of the Amarna mummies; I think that was started in 2007. Hawass and an Egyptian doctor working with him stated that the KV55 bones revealed degenerative or disease processes that actually presented a much older age for this individual. But as Jo Marchant points out in her excellent book The Shadow King, when Hawass and his doctor friend were challenged by other forensic and medical experts to explain their evidence for these degenerative or disease processes, they sudden;y clammed up. They never even bothered to try to prove it.

It seems, for whatever reason, Hawass simply wants that skeleton to be Akhenaten, evidence be damned.

Personally I'm one of many who believes the remains to be of Smenkhkare.

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The Wistman
9 hours ago, kmt_sesh said:

Hawass is the only one of whom I'm aware who maintains the KV55 remains belong to Akhenaten. I've read several excellent reports on examinations of this skeleton, most especially the article in Archaeology years ago from Joyce Filer. I enjoy her work. As with almost all other forensic examiners, she places age at death in the early twenties. Of course, that almost certainly eliminates Akhenaten, unless he ascended the throne as a very young boy, and there is no extant evidence to suggest that.

So it's Hawass who pushes the KV55 = Akhenaten scenario. This followed on the CT scans and genetic analyses of the Amarna mummies; I think that was started in 2007. Hawass and an Egyptian doctor working with him stated that the KV55 bones revealed degenerative or disease processes that actually presented a much older age for this individual. But as Jo Marchant points out in her excellent book The Shadow King, when Hawass and his doctor friend were challenged by other forensic and medical experts to explain their evidence for these degenerative or disease processes, they sudden;y clammed up. They never even bothered to try to prove it.

It seems, for whatever reason, Hawass simply wants that skeleton to be Akhenaten, evidence be damned.

Personally I'm one of many who believes the remains to be of Smenkhkare.

The Nat Geo article from 2007 I linked to had Peter Lacovara of the Amarna Royal Tombs Project agreeing with the designation of Akhenaten as KV 55 occupant.  Of course then, in that year, Hawass was very powerful in Egypt and may have exerted some influence.  I've read plenty of amateur investigators asserting the mummy is Akhy, rather unconvincingly in my judgment, but otherwise it seems Hawass is alone these days among his peers on this question, as you say.  ;)

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kmt_sesh
9 hours ago, The Wistman said:

The Nat Geo article from 2007 I linked to had Peter Lacovara of the Amarna Royal Tombs Project agreeing with the designation of Akhenaten as KV 55 occupant.  Of course then, in that year, Hawass was very powerful in Egypt and may have exerted some influence.  I've read plenty of amateur investigators asserting the mummy is Akhy, rather unconvincingly in my judgment, but otherwise it seems Hawass is alone these days among his peers on this question, as you say.  ;)

And right you are. Shamefully, I read your post but not your link, so I went back and corrected that. I wasn't aware of Lacovara. Hawass certainly was overbearing when he was in power, so I wouldn't be surprised if that had come into play.

I'm on record as positing that the KV55 remains are those of Smenkhkare and not Akhenaten. Take that for what it's worth.

Or maybe they belong to Jimmy Hoffa.

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The Wistman
On 6/7/2018 at 6:41 PM, kmt_sesh said:

And right you are. Shamefully, I read your post but not your link, so I went back and corrected that. I wasn't aware of Lacovara. Hawass certainly was overbearing when he was in power, so I wouldn't be surprised if that had come into play.

I'm on record as positing that the KV55 remains are those of Smenkhkare and not Akhenaten. Take that for what it's worth.

Or maybe they belong to Jimmy Hoffa.

Well Jimmy's got to be somewhere after all.  :rolleyes:

I like Dr. Lacovara a lot, in spite of his lonely duet with Hawass on this subject.  BTW, I've read in his bio that he helped on a re-installation of the Egyptian Collection at the Field Museum.  Did you by chance interact with him when he did that? 

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kmt_sesh
2 hours ago, The Wistman said:

Well Jimmy's got to be somewhere after all.  :rolleyes:

I like Dr. Lacovara a lot, in spite of his lonely duet with Hawass on this subject.  BTW, I've read in his bio that he helped on a re-installation of the Egyptian Collection at the Field Museum.  Did you by chance interact with him when he did that? 

I didn't even know he was a part of that. It's odd that I've never heard that before. My old boss there, who's retired now, has told me all about the re-install. I'll have to ask him when I see him again.

In any case, I believe the exhibit was rebuilt in 1988 and re-opened in 1989. That's long before I joined the team.

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Lord Harry
Posted (edited)
On 6/6/2018 at 12:06 PM, Nefer-Ankhe said:

I've always came to the conclusion that KV55 was probably Smenkhkare or anyone other than Akhenaten because the analysis indicates that the remains were too young to be that of Akhenaten. 

Recently an individual believing that the remains were in fact that of Akhenaten said that Aidan Dodson believes also they are of Akhenaten and has evidence to support his claim. 

I've been out of the Egyptological pool for a while, has there been any new analysis or information arise on the KV55 remains? Could the remains be older than first thought? As far as I recall KV55 didn't even have wisdom teeth yet. 

Thanks in advance. 

More recent analysis of the remains indicates that the man was 35 years old when he died.  Since Akhenaten reigned 17 years and was clearly an adult when he ascended the throne, the remains are likely his. I will find the source and post it here.

Also interesting, though not at all surprising, are that the remains reveal him to have been a perfectly healthy individual with no obvious deformities. This suggests as I had already assumed, that Akhenaten had himself depicted in an endrogenous manner in order to identify himself with the creator deity, the father and mother of mankind.

Edited by Lord Harry
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atalante
Posted (edited)
On 6/6/2018 at 8:20 PM, kmt_sesh said:

 

....Personally I'm one of many who believes the remains to be of Smenkhkare.

A TV episode of Expedition Unknown in 2018 commissioned a meticulous forensic reconstruction of the head of the Younger Lady in KV35. https://www.inquisitr.com/4783528/expedition-unknown-host-josh-gates-reveals-the-face-behind-the-legend-of-nefertiti/

When Aidan Dodson looked at the forensic reconstruction, Dodson declared on the TV show that it (Younger Lady's reconstructed face) matches the famous face of Nefertiti.    

Thus it seems logical (to me at least) that the remains of Smenakhare and Nefertiti have been identified. 

 

 

Edited by atalante

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The Wistman
Posted (edited)

The bone structure and features in the face of the Younger Lady from KV35, other than the horrible wound which indicates a violent death, do resemble the famous Berlin head of Nefertiti.  Dodson stated in 2014 that he thinks it is she and that, supported by the molecular DNA tests carried out by Hawass's team in 2010, the mummy is of the Tuthmosid line, and is the mother of Tut, and therefore Nefertiti is also the mother of Tut.  Atalante, we should remember that Younger Lady was found, not in KV55, but in the KV35 tomb/cachette of Amenhotep II, where many Tuthmosid kings were relocated; unlike the kings she was found in in alcove alongside the Elder Lady and a young male, not in coffins but laying side by side.  The Elder Lady was ID'd by the 2010 DNA tests as being Queen Tiye; the identity of the young male is unknown.  Thus the three separate mummies form, seemingly, an Amarna trio.  I believe the young man has been ruled out as being Smenkhkare, but I will ascertain that...my memory fades.

Interestingly, Dodson again changed his ID of the KV55 mummy in 2014... back to Akhenaten, but not for the reasons laid out by Lord Harry above.  Dodson says:

Quote

The age of KV55 seems to be more toward 18-25 range, but Smenkhkare is unlikely to be the father of Tutankhamun.  Smenkhkare would have been c. 16 years old, while his queen Meritamun would only be about 10 years, too young to be the mother of Tutankhamun. 

He concluded that the view of Akenaten as Tutankhamun's father remains by far the most attractive on both historic and genetic grounds.  It seems these references came from his 2014 Amarna Sunrise, Egypt from the Golden Age to the Age of Heresy, but I couldn't get a direct link to those statements;  I'll continue to look for the sourcing.

I have some business to attend to right now, but when I return I'll post a bit more analysis and references concerning the 2010 KV55 CT scans and molecular DNA alleles which some point to as contradictory, and where the argument seems to lie currently.

Edited by The Wistman
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Lord Harry
Posted (edited)
35 minutes ago, The Wistman said:

The bone structure and features in the face of the Younger Lady from KV35, other than the horrible wound which indicates a violent death, do resemble the famous Berlin head of Nefertiti.  Dodson stated in 2014 that he thinks it is she and that, supported by the molecular DNA tests carried out by Hawass's team in 2010, the mummy is of the Tuthmosid line, and is the mother of Tut, and therefore Nefertiti is also the mother of Tut.  Atalante, we should remember that Younger Lady was found, not in KV55, but in the KV35 tomb/cachette of Amenhotep II, where many Tuthmosid kings were relocated; unlike the kings she was found in in alcove alongside the Elder Lady and a young male, not in coffins but laying side by side.  The Elder Lady was ID'd by the 2010 DNA tests as being Queen Tiye; the identity of the young male is unknown.  Thus the three separate mummies form, seemingly, an Amarna trio.  I believe the young man has been ruled out as being Smenkhkare, but I will ascertain that...my memory fades.

Interestingly, Dodson again changed his ID of the KV55 mummy in 2014... back to Akhenaten, but not for the reasons laid out by Lord Harry above.  Dodson says:

He concluded that the view of Akenaten as Tutankhamun's father remains by far the most attractive on both historic and genetic grounds.  It seems these references came from his 2014 Amarna Sunrise, Egypt from the Golden Age to the Age of Heresy, but I couldn't get a direct link to those statements;  I'll continue to look for the sourcing.

I have some business to attend to right now, but when I return I'll post a bit more analysis and references concerning the 2010 KV55 CT scans and molecular DNA alleles which some point to as contradictory, and where the argument seems to lie currently.

If Dodson's analysis of the remains is correct, Akhenaten could have been no more than 8 years old when he ascended the throne. Given the tremendous vigour with which he ruled immediately upon his ascension as indicated by the historical record, we know this to have been impossible.

The remains likely are of Akhenaten, however he could not have been 25 at the time of death considering he reigned 17 years.

Edited by Lord Harry
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The Wistman

Yes, I'm familiar with the Ancient Origins article.  Checking the three sources linked to at the bottom of the page, the first, an article at Historic Mysteries, does not  mention or analyze any results from the 2010 testing, and makes no conclusion (certainly not a definitive one) about the mummy being Akhenaten or Smenkhkare.

The second link is to an article at the Guardian by Hawass, and his conclusions are known, as we discussed above.  The third link is to the Theban Mapping Project, and it identifies the tomb as that of Akhenaten, but gives no clue as to why they say that or any mention of any of the 2010 tests.  Therefore the definitive nature of the claims of Ancient Origins in that article are really based on the Guardian article penned by Hawass.

Here is an article that discusses the questions surrounding the alleles in the molecular DNA results, from 2010: http://www.kv64.info/2010/03/dna-shows-that-kv55-mummy-probably-not.html   She argues against the Akhenaten identification.

Here is a link to a pertinent section of the book The Unknown Tutankhamun, by Marianne Eaton-Kraus (scroll back one whole page for best context): https://books.google.com/books?id=7cuBCgAAQBAJ&pg=PA9&lpg=PA9&dq=KV55+mummy+age+revealed+by+tests&source=bl&ots=c-cZoB6mjz&sig=adVdb71YqIYa-YHlDq-inNGgg3Q&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjHvry4y9TbAhVK0FkKHUY-BZM4FBDoAQhOMAc#v=onepage&q=KV55 mummy age revealed by tests&f=false      She also argues against the Akhenaten identification.  (2015)

The Swiss Mummy Project (University of Zurich) 2015, briefly discusses the issues of the 2010 tests here:  http://www.swissmummyproject.uzh.ch/en/research-1/egyptology.html     No definitive conclusion there, though they have a good picture of the Younger Lady mummy, so you can see whatever resemblance to Nefertiti may or may not exist.

The most comprehensive article I've found is from 2016 and argues (as many do) for the Akhenaten identity.  The history of all the Thutmosid mummies, including testing and analysis, from their discovery through the 2010 CT scans and molecular DNA tests, is thoroughly presented.  From the 2016 Yearbook of Physical Anthropology: Identification of Ancient Egyptian Royal Mummies from the 18th Dynasty Reconsidered. (scroll to page 8 (journal page 223) to initiate pertinent section...though this is an excellent article and reference through and through.) https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1002/ajpa.22909

The interpretations of the tests from 2010 are not homogenous.

I should mention here the 2014 announcement by Mohamed Ibrahim, Minister of Antiquities, that evidence from an 18th Dyn. minister's tomb conclusively shows that Ahenaten co-ruled with his father for about 8 years, since it is relevant to the matching of the mummy's and Akhenaten's age.  http://www.thehistoryblog.com/archives/category/ancient/page/63  (second article on page)

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Lord Harry
43 minutes ago, The Wistman said:

Yes, I'm familiar with the Ancient Origins article.  Checking the three sources linked to at the bottom of the page, the first, an article at Historic Mysteries, does not  mention or analyze any results from the 2010 testing, and makes no conclusion (certainly not a definitive one) about the mummy being Akhenaten or Smenkhkare.

The second link is to an article at the Guardian by Hawass, and his conclusions are known, as we discussed above.  The third link is to the Theban Mapping Project, and it identifies the tomb as that of Akhenaten, but gives no clue as to why they say that or any mention of any of the 2010 tests.  Therefore the definitive nature of the claims of Ancient Origins in that article are really based on the Guardian article penned by Hawass.

Here is an article that discusses the questions surrounding the alleles in the molecular DNA results, from 2010: http://www.kv64.info/2010/03/dna-shows-that-kv55-mummy-probably-not.html   She argues against the Akhenaten identification.

Here is a link to a pertinent section of the book The Unknown Tutankhamun, by Marianne Eaton-Kraus (scroll back one whole page for best context): https://books.google.com/books?id=7cuBCgAAQBAJ&pg=PA9&lpg=PA9&dq=KV55+mummy+age+revealed+by+tests&source=bl&ots=c-cZoB6mjz&sig=adVdb71YqIYa-YHlDq-inNGgg3Q&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjHvry4y9TbAhVK0FkKHUY-BZM4FBDoAQhOMAc#v=onepage&q=KV55 mummy age revealed by tests&f=false      She also argues against the Akhenaten identification.  (2015)

The Swiss Mummy Project (University of Zurich) 2015, briefly discusses the issues of the 2010 tests here:  http://www.swissmummyproject.uzh.ch/en/research-1/egyptology.html     No definitive conclusion there, though they have a good picture of the Younger Lady mummy, so you can see whatever resemblance to Nefertiti may or may not exist.

The most comprehensive article I've found is from 2016 and argues (as many do) for the Akhenaten identity.  The history of all the Thutmosid mummies, including testing and analysis, from their discovery through the 2010 CT scans and molecular DNA tests, is thoroughly presented.  From the 2016 Yearbook of Physical Anthropology: Identification of Ancient Egyptian Royal Mummies from the 18th Dynasty Reconsidered. (scroll to page 8 (journal page 223) to initiate pertinent section...though this is an excellent article and reference through and through.) https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/pdf/10.1002/ajpa.22909

The interpretations of the tests from 2010 are not homogenous.

I should mention here the 2014 announcement by Mohamed Ibrahim, Minister of Antiquities, that evidence from an 18th Dyn. minister's tomb conclusively shows that Ahenaten co-ruled with his father for about 8 years, since it is relevant to the matching of the mummy's and Akhenaten's age.  http://www.thehistoryblog.com/archives/category/ancient/page/63  (second article on page)

I was unaware of the recent research conducted by Mohamed Ibrahim. The last I heard, the theory of a coregency between Akhenaten and Amenhotep III had been thoroughly demolished by Donald Redford. Nevertheless I will look into it.

With that being said, an examination of the historical record indicates Akhenaten was an adult by the time he ascended to the throne.

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kmt_sesh

That's some very good stuff, Wistman. Personally I still think KV55 was Smenkhkare.

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The Wistman
Posted (edited)

With reference to the question I raised at #11, I've learned that (apparently) no testing was performed by Hawass's team in 2010 on the mummies of Thutmosis IV and the young male mummy found alongside Queen Tiye and the Younger Lady from KV35.  This is a curious thing to not have done, since both these mummies would have added directly to the understanding of the relationships among the Tuthmosid family bloodline.  No explanation nor admission of this error incompetence lack of diligence has been made public by the Hawass team.

So we don't know who the young male is or to whom he might be related because Hawass's team didn't bother to test him...or didn't like the results if they did, and suppressed it.  One can choose whichever scenario pleases one.  The neglect of testing Thutmosis IV is a head scratcher.

Edited by The Wistman
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The Wistman

Here is a photo of the three unwrapped Amarna mummies as they were found inside the tomb/cachette of Amenhotep II.  Queen Tiye lies at left, Younger Lady at right (right arm missing, not recovered), and young male in the center.  Hawass failed to test the mummy of the young male, for unknown reasons.

kv35_jc_3mum.thumb.jpg.c6d0928277712a9e72c86551b66ffc76.jpg

A close up of the young male mummy:

5b26837e57f34_youngmale.png.8803e9137629b9de7dadf5ee19082d0e.png

Here is the mummy of Thutmose IV, which Hawass's team did not test, for unknown reasons.

totmes4_3s.jpg.288fd9a7ada5e47de98370b62a051d42.jpg

 

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The Wistman
Posted (edited)

Since I posted the image of the three Amarna mummies lying together in KV35, it occurred to me I should mention that those who argue against the identification of Nefertiti with the Younger Lady (right side of photo) note that her left arm positioned straight down with the hand resting atop her thigh would be wrong for Nefertiti as Pharaoh Ankhepure Nefernefruaten, since her mummy would then most probably have shown the kingly crossed arms position.

Edited by The Wistman
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kmt_sesh

Leaving the young boy's mummy out of the game has been one of the chief complaints of the testing. I can't imagine why they'd chose each mummy on either side of him but leave him out.

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The Wistman
Posted (edited)

For the last two years of his life I was with my dad almost daily, but somehow I couldn’t remember if he said anything about KV55 and KV35 in the context of the 2010 tests.   He was undergoing cancer treatment, so there were times when he was…less than conversant.  Mostly he liked talking about Saqqara and Memphis subjects.   Just recently we sold my parents’ house and before that his library (an ex-colleague took the whole thing…I wasn’t even allowed to pick it over!)  But I have all his notebooks in boxes in my garage, so I pulled one out and found something about the issues in this thread.

Like other people do, he thought the KV55 mummy is Smenkhkare, whom he saw as Akhenaten’s younger brother.  This would put him nicely as the son of Amenhotep III and Tiye, fitting the DNA results I think, and also meet the findings of the CT scan results because, since Smenkhkare’s age is unknown, he would simply need to be younger than Akhenaten, maybe by as little as a year or (more probably) by a few more.  Since Akhenaten became Crown Prince on Thutmose’s death, Smenkhkare as brother would had to have been younger.  When Akhenaten ended up with no male offspring, his brother would have been the closest male bloodline holder, a nomination Queen Tiye would have supported and possibly instilled in her son the king prior to her death.  Following this reasoning, Tut would be Smenkhkare’s and KV35YL’s son, (I believe this fits the DNA test results) and so Smenkhkare as king also had the advantage of a living son to be crown prince, useful for dynastic reasons.  I think Smenkhkare only ruled for about a year, then Nefertiti took over after his death…supposedly.  (I’m not sure that Tiye would have known about the birth of Tut…she probably died too soon for that, I think.  But she could have foreseen Akhy not having any male heirs.)

Dad also thought KV35 Younger Lady was Meritaten, Smenkhkare’s wife and royal princess, then queen…IOW she married her uncle.  Did Tiye arrange this?

On a side note, Dad speculated that Nefertiti was a beautiful, brilliant psychopath!!!  (Wouldn’t be the first.)  And that she and Tiye battled for influence over Akhy.  He has an entire scenario laid out for this, but I think I should just leave his amusing theory in the notebook for now.

**Today Corvidius over at Historum has made a call-out to us here at UM!  Hey Corvidius!  And yes, some local residents hereabouts are watching your beautiful thread, though we have no depth it seems.  :(

Edited by The Wistman
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Nefer-Ankhe
5 hours ago, The Wistman said:

For the last two years of his life I was with my dad almost daily, but somehow I couldn’t remember if he said anything about KV55 and KV35 in the context of the 2010 tests.   He was undergoing cancer treatment, so there were times when he was…less than conversant.  Mostly he liked talking about Saqqara and Memphis subjects.   Just recently we sold my parents’ house and before that his library (an ex-colleague took the whole thing…I wasn’t even allowed to pick it over!)  But I have all his notebooks in boxes in my garage, so I pulled one out and found something about the issues in this thread.

Like other people do, he thought the KV55 mummy is Smenkhkare, whom he saw as Akhenaten’s younger brother.  This would put him nicely as the son of Amenhotep III and Tiye, fitting the DNA results I think, and also meet the findings of the CT scan results because, since Smenkhkare’s age is unknown, he would simply need to be younger than Akhenaten, maybe by as little as a year or (more probably) by a few more.  Since Akhenaten became Crown Prince on Thutmose’s death, Smenkhkare as brother would had to have been younger.  When Akhenaten ended up with no male offspring, his brother would have been the closest male bloodline holder, a nomination Queen Tiye would have supported and possibly instilled in her son the king prior to her death.  Following this reasoning, Tut would be Smenkhkare’s and KV35YL’s son, (I believe this fits the DNA test results) and so Smenkhkare as king also had the advantage of a living son to be crown prince, useful for dynastic reasons.  I think Smenkhkare only ruled for about a year, then Nefertiti took over after his death…supposedly.  (I’m not sure that Tiye would have known about the birth of Tut…she probably died too soon for that, I think.  But she could have foreseen Akhy not having any male heirs.)

Dad also thought KV35 Younger Lady was Meritaten, Smenkhkare’s wife and royal princess, then queen…IOW she married her uncle.  Did Tiye arrange this?

On a side note, Dad speculated that Nefertiti was a beautiful, brilliant psychopath!!!  (Wouldn’t be the first.)  And that she and Tiye battled for influence over Akhy.  He has an entire scenario laid out for this, but I think I should just leave his amusing theory in the notebook for now.

**Today Corvidius over at Historum has made a call-out to us here at UM!  Hey Corvidius!  And yes, some local residents hereabouts are watching your beautiful thread, though we have no depth it seems.  :(

 

F*%k that was a marvellous read! I for one would love to hear about your father's hypothesis on Nefertiti's character! I often do the same. 

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Nefer-Ankhe

Thank you everyone for the responses! Sorry I haven't responded in a while! I actually had my wisdom teeth surgically removed. Something Amenhotep III could only dream about, alongside many other ancients. I appreciate all responses! 

I see not much has changed in regards to information on this debate and I still firmly believe, now more than ever, that KV55 is Smenkhkare. 

It's just logical. 

 

What evidence is there that indicates Nefertiti was co-regent and that she outlived Akhenaten? It all seems to get really messy and completely confuses me! Did Tiye also outlive Akhenaten? What evidence is there of Akhenaten's death. See my dilemma! It's very everywhere! 

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kmt_sesh
49 minutes ago, Nefer-Ankhe said:

 

F*%k that was a marvellous read! I for one would love to hear about your father's hypothesis on Nefertiti's character! I often do the same. 

It was terrific, wasn't it? And I second your interest in Khaemwaset's psycho-Nefertiti theory. Khaemwaset is missed on these pages, and I acquired enough respect for him to know that what he said was worth hearing.

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The Wistman
Posted (edited)

First of all, on my dad’s behalf, thanks.  This will, necessarily, be a somewhat long post (I apologize in advance).  I’ll try to make it clear.

Nefer-Ankh, good questions.  As you point out, the evidence (the little there is) is really confusing; my dad would say yes, it is…it was meant to be so. 

The 2010 tests by Hawass yielded information on the identities and familial relationships of the Amarna and Thutmosid mummies in KV55 and KV35, but didn’t add much to clarify the murky era of the late Amarna succession.  Scriptural/epigraphic evidence remains as scant and confusing as it was prior to those tests (other than Mohammed Ibrahim’s find in 2014 clarifying the co-regency of Amenhotep III and Akhenaten which, though not directly evidentiary to the late Amarna period, is new important evidence, useful for the counting of regnal years.)

For a full understanding of the epigraphic evidence we have, I refer to this 2009 article by James P. Allen of Brown University, “The Amarna Succession” (from the book Causing His Name to Live: Studies in Egyptian Epigraphy and History in Memory of William J. Murname, scroll to page 9 for the start of the Allen article): https://books.google.com/books?id=jXEj4dnhvKMC&pg=PA12&lpg=PA12&dq=Akhenaten,+length+of+reign&source=bl&ots=D7rFws4t9_&sig=GzrZCpMQ9FqZHgPjCnEf1VtRm3A&hl=en&sa=X#v=onepage&q=Akhenaten%2C length of reign&f=false   It’s short, thorough, and still current in its references and conclusions.  (note: the link is a Google book view, so there’s a time limit on access.)  Authors over at Historum might want to look at this article, btw.

I’ll try to answer those questions Nefer-Ankh, and give some reference to how they work in dad’s theory, then finish with his conclusions.

Queen Tiye died ca. 1338 BCE,  the 12th year of Akhenaten’s reign.  That is significant, because after the twelfth year of Akhy’s reign, the evidence gets significantly rarer.  IOW, after Tiye is gone, the already scant Amarna trail fades. (Allen article, page 9, paragraph 2)

From the article you’ll see that, based on two jar labels, Akhenaten’s reign probably ended in his year 17.  There’s no scriptural evidence other than that of his end.  (Ibid, page 12, paragraph 2)

I want to correct something I inferred in my last post (I’m no Amarna expert, just a dabbler with loose lips and a leaky memory); I supposed Queen Tiye died before Tutankhamun was born.  Wrong…page 12, column 2, paragraph 3 of the article explains:

Quote

Tutankhamun’s age at death has been estimated as young as 16-17, but the most recent examination of his mummy [pre-2010] seems to confirm the usual estimate of 19 years.  With a reign of nine years, he must have become king at age ten or eleven.  Depending on the length of time between Akhenaten’s death and his accession, this places his birth between Akhenaten’s regnal year 7 at the earliest and 11 at the latest.

So Tiye likely lived when Tut was born.  As I pointed out previously, in dad’s theory this would give her some real leverage, from a dynastic standpoint, to push Akhy to consider his brother, her younger son Smenkhkare as successor pharaoh.  Such a notion would have been far from Nefertiti’s goal for herself to attain the throne as king, as Hatshepsut had done.  However, unlike Hatshepsut, Nefertiti was not of the blood royal, and therefore kingship was more difficult to attain.

I’ve kept your first question for last; it’s the hardest to explain, but also crucial to dad’s Nefertiti theory.  I’ll take a stab at it, whatever that’s worth, yipes!

The big issue is: following Akhenaten and preceding Tutankhamun, cartouches for two pharaohs have been found: Ankheperure Smenkhkare and Ankheperure Neferneferuaten.  There’s very little evidence for Smenkhkare, somewhat more for Neferneferuaten.  Inferences for both to co-regencies with Akhenaten exist, but are contradictory.  The use of the same prenomen (Ankheperure) for two pharaohs (succeeding ones at that) is unique in Egypt, and puzzling.  Previous to Akhenaten’s demise, his Great Royal Wife’s name was Neferneferuaten Nefertiti, and there are depictions in the evidentiary stream that indicate the pharaoh Ankheperure Neferneferuaten was a female; thus the modern conclusion that Nefertiti had not died before Akhenaten, as had once been thought, but that she had become pharaoh, like Hatshepsut.  Except how could this be, and what about the few bits of evidence about pharaoh Smenkhkare?  (Ibid, starting with page 9, column 2, paragraph 1 for full details).

Confusion abounds, with many twisting theories trying to explain it all (mostly that Nefertiti was both pharaohs, somehow, because of the prenomens.)  Simplicity has been abandoned in untying the knot.

Epigraphic evidence points to a reign of 1 year for Smenkhkare, 3 for Nefernefruaten (Nefertiti). 

The cartouches on a jar from Tut’s tomb show Akhenaten and Smenkhkare together, but were erased (their traces have been recovered.)  This, showing them together, is the only surviving evidence which may (likely) indicate a co-regency for Smenkhkare, albeit a very short one, to fit the timeline as it’s understood.

Several boundary stelae at Aketaten show Akhenaten and Neferneferuaten together, as equals.  This is the powerful evidence of a co-regency with Akhenaten for Nefertiti, rendering a co-regency and reign for Smenkhkare baffling and seemingly impossible.  However, Allen:

Quote

Several stelae from the end of the Amarna period show a male and a female king who must be Akhenaten and Neferneferuaten (figs. 3-4).  These have been interpreted as anachronistic scenes carved after Akhenaten’s death, but the nature of the interaction between these two individuals indicates that they were depicted as living.  It is therefore likely that Neferneferuaten’s reign was at least partly contemporary with that of Akhenaten. [bold, italics mine]

That last sentence is what most investigations infer from these stelae, without weighting the importance of the words I’ve bolded…ie: the stelae were added much later, when Neferneferuaten had achieved supreme power, and that they might be inaccurate and placed for a purpose other than truth.  After all, who would stop her?

The stelae eradicate any notion of the co-regency and reign of Smenkhkare. 

Dad’s theory is that Nefertiti never intended for any male heir to exist, so that she could become co-regent and assume the throne herself on the death of Akhenaten.  Simple.  He thought that she might (probably) have dispensed with any sons she could have given birth to (she had six daughters, some died untimely though.)  When Tiye became curious about these (male) infant deaths, she caught on to Nefertiti’s secret goal and looked to a way to thwart this plan (this male infanticide theory is supposition only, no evidence.)  Thus after the birth of Tut to Prince Smenkhkare and Royal Princess Meritaten, Tiye seized the initiative and proposed to Akhenaten the idea of Smenkhkare becoming co-regent at some point, since of course Akhy now had no male heirs himself.  Soon Tiye dies (dad thought poisoning or asphyxiation.)  Thereafter, carved epigraphic material dealing with the composition of the royal family is suppressed wherever possible.

Sometime around Akhenaten’s 17th year, he actually does appoint Smenkhkare as co-regent, with Tut then becoming crown prince in waiting.  Akhenaten suddenly dies.  The regency only lasted several months.

After one year on the throne, Pharaoh Smenkhkare suddenly dies.  His wife, Meritaten, suddenly dies (violently, if she is KV35YL).  Infant Tut is not a threat to Nefertiti, so he is left alive…just for appearances; he would be disposed of when the time came. (No repeat of the Thutmosis III defamation against his usurping aunt Hatshepsut would be permitted.)

Nefertiti takes the throne.  She has defied all precedent and would continue to do so.  In order to obliterate the reality, memory, and traces of Smenkhkare’s reign she decides to not just wipe all records clean, but to usurp his name (Ankheperure) as well as his reign.  This was so outside of Egyptian precedent that to this day it seems an impossibility to researchers.  Just as she intended it to seem.

She erases his cartouches showing the Smenkhkare nomen wherever she could.  She replaces everywhere she can the name of the deposed king with hers: Ankheperure Neferneferuaten, keeping the prenomen the same, as if the chronology of pharaoh Nebkheperure (Akhenaten) to Ankheperure (Neferneferuaten nee’ Smenkhkare) had never altered.  She then has the false boundary stalae carved and placed to create the image of the co-regency having always been hers, not Smenkhkare’s.

Eventually, her unique and improper reign comes crashing down around her.  Dad thought it was probably Ay who had her killed, he being the best placed person to do so, and the one who would have a serious familial gripe against her.  He is thought to have been closely related to her, maybe her father, but the fate of the others, plus her own behavior as king, could have mitigated any affection he might have had for her.  Tut, still a child and not having been disposed of yet, succeeds to the throne.

Thus ends Khaemwaset’s theory of the Psycho-Nefertiti.  I’m sure holes can be poked in this theory, at least somewhat; the daughters and grand-daughters of Akhy and Nefertiti seem to present another mess to consider, but as to dad’s theory, Meritaten Tasherit (ie: junior) would have been Tut’s sister, born to Smenkhkare and Meritaten.

Edited by The Wistman
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