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Amarna, Before and After


Wistman

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Dodson is saying that KV55 is Smenkhkare, but not the father of Tutankhamun as he believes that the DNA cannot resolve the difference between two full brothers. He determines that KV55 is Smenkhkare on the basis of the younger estimates of it's age at death. He introduced an element of confusion I think when he addressed the issue of Smenkhkare being a son of Akhenaten and also the father, by Meritaten, of Tutankhamun, an impossibility of course, as he points out, but in a clumsy way, IMO.

Btw, Dodson's book should have been released last Tuesday after having been put back twice already. I had an email from Amazon saying that they do not know when this book will be available. So, I bought the Kindle version, and a word of warning here because Amazon have changed the file format for Kindle new books, and these new books will not download to any Kindle that was made before 2022, thanks for that Amazon as you need to but a new Kindle or use the desktop app, which is what I have had to do, which while you can still read the book, defeats the object of a Kindle as a mobile device.

Edited by Wepwawet
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Apparent 18D Royal Tomb discovered near VotQ.. Maybe an Amarna era queen or princess.  Poor condition of course.

Edited by Wistman
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I'm sure it will contain prince Thutmose, Kiya, Meritaten, Meketaten, Neferneferure, Setepenre and Sitamun. But, to hedge my bets, there is a small possibility it may contain some broken jars which may have the name of the occupant/s if we are lucky, or the name of an 18th Dynasty king up to, but not after, Amunhotep III.

On the other hand, all these missing are somewhere, but perhaps not here.

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  • 5 weeks later...

A fine, detailed lecture by C. Raymond Johnson recapping his team's analysis and reconstruction of the strewn decorated blocks at Medinet Habu that faced the Western High Gate and then his research into and reconstructions of the talatat blocks from tel el Amarna, re-used by Ramesses II, etc. and now scattered worldwide.  Interesting notes on antecedents to Amarna pictorial schema and its influences, also on the duration of Atenist temples, etc.    1:09:03

 

 

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On 2/16/2023 at 9:45 PM, Wistman said:

.......Interesting notes on antecedents to Amarna pictorial schema and its influences, also on the duration of Atenist temples, etc.    1:09:03

 

 

Wistman,

That is a very informative video.

The following link, within this lecture, pinpoints evidence that the cult of Aten continued after Horemheb.  In fact Horemheb even built an addition to the Great Aten temple at Amarna.  See times marked 32.40 to 36.50 in the following link, which starts at 32.40.

 

https://youtu.be/VlNpJxw8uPk?t=1959

Edited by atalante
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22 hours ago, atalante said:

Wistman,

That is a very informative video.

The following link, within this lecture, pinpoints evidence that the cult of Aten continued after Horemheb.  In fact Horemheb even built an addition to the Great Aten temple at Amarna.  See times marked 32.40 to 36.50 in the following link, which starts at 32.40.

 

https://youtu.be/VlNpJxw8uPk?t=1959

Indeed, as Johnson noted, some Nubian Atenist temples remained functional into the reign of Seti I.   You've mentioned these previously if I recall, yes?  So we see again that Horemheb apparently didn't shut all Atenist temples (other than those closed at Karnak and its environs) but did use some Atenist talatat from Akhetaten as well as dismembered Atenist constructions at Karnak for infil to his pylon at the Great Temple of Amun. 

Horemheb's destructive attention was evidently aimed at Akhenaten specifically and to a lesser degree Tut, as well as King Ay. 

Seti's son Ramesses II is responsible for shutting all of Atenism down (or, perhaps, Seti I later in his reign) and carried out further and massive dismemberment of Akhetaten stone works (temple and palace) for reuse of its limestone blocks in his own constructions. Thus Johnson confirms that Atenism did not die with the death of Akhenaten, nor during Neferneferuaten's reign, nor Tut's, nor Ay's, nor Horemheb's, nor Ramesses I's, nor seemingly Seti I's reign.  It survived in some degree for a stretch of time.

 

Edited by Wistman
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  • 2 months later...
On 5/6/2023 at 2:52 AM, Wepwawet said:

This went under the radar at the end of last year. Andrew Nelson, a professor of archeology and bioarcheology, has presented a new reconstruction of the face of Tutankhamun

Bioarcheologist comes face-to-face with King Tut

Short video

 

Nice, but he looks a tad old for 18.   I'd believe it more if it was said to be Akhenaten or even Ramesses II.

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25 minutes ago, Kenemet said:

Nice, but he looks a tad old for 18.   I'd believe it more if it was said to be Akhenaten or even Ramesses II.

I would agree. Probably unconcious bias, though he should look something like his father.

The two guardian statues from his tomb will be the best likeness, and from this one his age looks right as well. Could say that the real likeness of Tutankhamun was hiding in plain sight all these years, but folks like playing with skulls, matchsticks, putty and CGI.

Wooden-Guardian-Statue-of-the-Ka-of-the-

This is a good angle as well, and I think if you disregard the black paint,treatment of the eyes and eyebrows, we see the real person, unlike with any of the reconstructions.

1aa64a6bfa1f144c8b8efb9b09dfe11b.jpg

Edited by Wepwawet
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1 hour ago, Wepwawet said:

I would agree. Probably unconcious bias, though he should look something like his father.

The two guardian statues from his tomb will be the best likeness, and from this one his age looks right as well. Could say that the real likeness of Tutankhamun was hiding in plain sight all these years, but folks like playing with skulls, matchsticks, putty and CGI.

Wooden-Guardian-Statue-of-the-Ka-of-the-

This is a good angle as well, and I think if you disregard the black paint,treatment of the eyes and eyebrows, we see the real person, unlike with any of the reconstructions.

1aa64a6bfa1f144c8b8efb9b09dfe11b.jpg

Yes, those look right.  Youthful, with shapely full cheeks, and the family mouth positioned correctly.  Also his mother's chin.  :yes:

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On 5/8/2023 at 4:12 PM, Wepwawet said:

I would agree. Probably unconcious bias, though he should look something like his father.

The two guardian statues from his tomb will be the best likeness, and from this one his age looks right as well. Could say that the real likeness of Tutankhamun was hiding in plain sight all these years, but folks like playing with skulls, matchsticks, putty and CGI.

Wooden-Guardian-Statue-of-the-Ka-of-the-

This is a good angle as well, and I think if you disregard the black paint,treatment of the eyes and eyebrows, we see the real person, unlike with any of the reconstructions.

1aa64a6bfa1f144c8b8efb9b09dfe11b.jpg

I think that's exactly right.

One thing I noticed at an exhibit of Akhenaten is how the elongated features do NOT look 'weird' when viewed from below (the replica of his face was about 10 feet above the floor and I'm a mere 5'2") - at that angle, things smooth into a more regular-looking face and I wondered if some of the art was perhaps meant to be viewed at an angle.

That's a bit much, I know, and there's no evidence that they played with perspective like that or that Akhenaten was an artist and wanted that effect.

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3 hours ago, Kenemet said:

I think that's exactly right.

One thing I noticed at an exhibit of Akhenaten is how the elongated features do NOT look 'weird' when viewed from below (the replica of his face was about 10 feet above the floor and I'm a mere 5'2") - at that angle, things smooth into a more regular-looking face and I wondered if some of the art was perhaps meant to be viewed at an angle.

That's a bit much, I know, and there's no evidence that they played with perspective like that or that Akhenaten was an artist and wanted that effect.

Either an art historian or Egyptologist has said that the large statues were in fact meant to be viewed from below, and, as you point out, do not show the weird distortions we see when viewing them, usually in a photo, from the same height. If correct, then the AE got it about perspective and creating distortions to get the correct effect before the Greeks with the Parthenon columns. I think the statues in the Egyptian Museum are mounted too low, but I think I can get hold of some photos and or video of them that are outside what we get shown in books or documentaries.

Edit: And here we are. Expand the video description and you get timestamps, the Amarna Room is at 51:14. I would say it's inconclusive. The larger statues are I think mounted lower than they would have been at Karnak, but on one of the others with so much missing it not much more than a bust, he does get below it.

The entire video, filmed in March, shows just how far it is away from the opening of the GEM. From news bulletins you would have thought that all the exhibits were in the GEM by now, but clearly not.

 

Edited by Wepwawet
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12 hours ago, Wepwawet said:

Either an art historian or Egyptologist has said that the large statues were in fact meant to be viewed from below, and, as you point out, do not show the weird distortions we see when viewing them, usually in a photo, from the same height. If correct, then the AE got it about perspective and creating distortions to get the correct effect before the Greeks with the Parthenon columns. I think the statues in the Egyptian Museum are mounted too low, but I think I can get hold of some photos and or video of them that are outside what we get shown in books or documentaries.

Edit: And here we are. Expand the video description and you get timestamps, the Amarna Room is at 51:14. I would say it's inconclusive. The larger statues are I think mounted lower than they would have been at Karnak, but on one of the others with so much missing it not much more than a bust, he does get below it.

The entire video, filmed in March, shows just how far it is away from the opening of the GEM. From news bulletins you would have thought that all the exhibits were in the GEM by now, but clearly not.

 

It also raises the question of "is there a preferred angle" for other Amarna art?"  I can't think of any but I haven't looked into it.

Pharaohs undoubtedly had more skills than banging things into other people's heads and setting out demands, but until the time of the Ptolemies (Auletes the Flute Player) I don't think we have any record of artistic accomplishments among them.  And, of course, who would dare compete with the ruler?

 

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13 hours ago, Kenemet said:

It also raises the question of "is there a preferred angle" for other Amarna art?"  I can't think of any but I haven't looked into it.

Pharaohs undoubtedly had more skills than banging things into other people's heads and setting out demands, but until the time of the Ptolemies (Auletes the Flute Player) I don't think we have any record of artistic accomplishments among them.  And, of course, who would dare compete with the ruler?

 

I can't think that there is, unless it's UP to see Akhenaten framed against the sky and the Sun, but as not a single statue of him remains in it's original position, it's all just speculation.

I would suspect that if you asked any pharaoh to show his artistic accomplishmments, all of them would point to their monuments, or even monuments they have appropriated, as proof, the actual artist/architect/builder simply being a tool in the virtual hand of pharaoh in creating something "Ad gloriam Dei", the same as it was for the builders of the medieval cathedrals. I'm not a 100% on this, but I think that we cannot put a name to the builder of any cathedral, or creator of any artwork, until the Late Middle Ages or even into the start of the Rennaisance. The name of the prince, bishop or potentate who ordered the building, yes, but not the architect, maybe not until Brunelleschi, though I'm sure I could be corrected on this.

Edited by Wepwawet
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11 hours ago, Wistman said:

080502-akhenaten-vlarge-9a.thumb.jpg.1db77572a55e7449a0f29d081a04d1ae.jpg

1686870321_akhenaten1.thumb.jpg.72faced53da2bd0ab673e0854d862d7f.jpg

 

Perhaps if you viewed it by laying on the floor with the statue 100ft in the air it might look less distorted :)   So maybe the idea of deliberate distortion for visual effect, and not religious, is a non runner.

Edited by Wepwawet
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4 hours ago, Wepwawet said:

I can't think that there is, unless it's UP to see Akhenaten framed against the sky and the Sun, but as not a single statue of him remains in it's original position, it's all just speculation.

I would suspect that if you asked any pharaoh to show his artistic accomplishmments, all of them would point to their monuments, or even monuments they have appropriated, as proof, the actual artist/architect/builder simply being a tool in the virtual hand of pharaoh in creating something "Ad gloriam Dei", the same as it was for the builders of the medieval cathedrals. I'm not a 100% on this, but I think that we cannot put a name to the builder of any cathedral, or creator of any artwork, until the Late Middle Ages or even into the start of the Rennaisance. The name of the prince, bishop or potentate who ordered the building, yes, but not the architect, maybe not until Brunelleschi, though I'm sure I could be corrected on this.

Among the ancient Greeks we have Phidias as sculptor and artistic director of the Parthenon, but of course they had no kings.

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25 minutes ago, Wistman said:

Among the ancient Greeks we have Phidias as sculptor and artistic director of the Parthenon, but of course they had no kings.

I’ve always found it amusing that the creator of one of the Seven Wonders of the World felt it necessary to  inscribe “I belong to Phidias” on his drinking cup.

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1 hour ago, Antigonos said:

I’ve always found it amusing that the creator of one of the Seven Wonders of the World felt it necessary to  inscribe “I belong to Phidias” on his drinking cup.

Ironic too that it survives while most of his works have vanished (not the Parthenon and its frieze of course).

       And gone are Phidias' famous ivories

       And all the golden grasshoppers and bees.

                             --- W.B. Yeats

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12 hours ago, Wepwawet said:

Perhaps if you viewed it by laying on the floor with the statue 100ft in the air it might look less distorted :)   So maybe the idea of deliberate distortion for visual effect, and not religious, is a non runner.

Hi Wepwawet

odd bellybutton and the second statue has a bellybutton and not sure what the other feature is below it.

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4 hours ago, Wistman said:

Ironic too that it survives while most of his works have vanished (not the Parthenon and its frieze of course).

       And gone are Phidias' famous ivories

       And all the golden grasshoppers and bees.

                             --- W.B. Yeats

Great post, Wistman. Thanks.

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12 hours ago, jmccr8 said:

Hi Wepwawet

odd bellybutton and the second statue has a bellybutton and not sure what the other feature is below it.

I think the round indentation above the navel in the second image is damage. The question about these statues, and similar images, is why the female hips. No conclusive explanation has yet been put forward.

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  • 1 month later...

New study, only last month, on the skull of Tutankhamun https://www.researchgate.net/publication/371120172_Pharaoh_Tutankhamun_a_novel_3D_digital_facial_approximation

The authors, including Michael Habicht, produce new reconstructions of his face, similar to the French one from over a decade ago. The main point, IMO, is that they cannot place his skull with any group of peoples except those with artificially remodeled skulls, ie, head binding, and, even more interesting, have found that the volume deduced from a virtual endocast is larger than normal, and if his brain was the same volume in relation to the endocast volume as it is with a normal brain, then he would have had a significantly larger brain than normal.

I can't extract the images from the article and post them here.

Edited by Wepwawet
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16 hours ago, Wepwawet said:

New study, only last month, on the skull of Tutankhamun https://www.researchgate.net/publication/371120172_Pharaoh_Tutankhamun_a_novel_3D_digital_facial_approximation

The authors, including Michael Habicht, produce new reconstructions of his face, similar to the French one from over a decade ago. The main point, IMO, is that they cannot place his skull with any group of peoples except those with artificially remodeled skulls, ie, head binding, and, even more interesting, have found that the volume deduced from a virtual endocast is larger than normal, and if his brain was the same volume in relation to the endocast volume as it is with a normal brain, then he would have had a significantly larger brain than normal.

I can't extract the images from the article and post them here.

This is interesting and useful yes though I hardly ever like these forensic portrait reconstructions/approximations.  I work with portrait drawings and paintings fairly often and for me the absence of specific unique characteristics in any facial feature (here they are only averaged from some number of common facial specimens/data) renders them rather un-lifelike (as with, say, Peter Lely's late portraits, with their 'generalized' faces) - but I suppose that's just me.   However I would quibble over your use of the term 'normal' instead of average, which is what the article uses.  Tut's actual endocranial volume is shown to be outside the average but within the standard deviation, ie +1.58SD being less than +2SD [Statisticians have determined that values no greater than plus or minus 2 SD represent measurements that are are closer to the true value than those that fall in the area greater than ± 2SD ], so I suppose we could say that, technically, it is within the 'normal' range; however the suggested volume of the approximated brain is 2.01SD, and therefore slightly outside the 'normal', for what it's worth. And also we should note that the skull's closer affinity to the population of reshaped skulls is based on mid-face measurements only, and the clusters themselves represent statistical averages.  Tut's mid-face measurements are evidently anomalous to the common Egyptian standard in this regard. 

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