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Amarna, Before and After


Wistman

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On 1/16/2022 at 4:07 AM, Wepwawet said:

Difficult questions.

To the best of my knowledge Thebes was also known as Southern Heliopolis from the Middle Kingdom on..........

In a previous post I posited that conventional non Atenist religious thought must have continued during the reign of Akhenaten at a very high level, not just in the complexity of what was produced, but at a high level within the royal court, otherwise how does the first complete Book of the Heavenly Cow and the enigmatic texts on the second shrine suddenly appear, a shrine made it seems within three years of the death of Akhenaten. Coupled with the conventional solar hymns seemingly originating in Thebes, not Heliopolis, it may be possible that during the reign of Tutankhamun, Thebes was the more productive place for solar theology, so in using the epithet "Ruler of Southern Heliopolis" he is making a statement that Thebes is, at least at that time, pre-emminent in solar theology, and as the chief god was Amun-Ra, also makes the Amun part even more important as it brings Ra more into/under Thebes, if you see what I mean. And all wild conjecture of course.

The gold throne, from very early in his reign, and maybe originally for Akhenaten, has the "Ruler of Southern Heliopolis" epithet in the altered cartouches, indicating this was seen to be a statement needing to be made right from the start.

 

Wepwawet,

Orientation of the Karnak temple made it a sun temple.  Its main avenue was aligned with sunrise on the winter solstice day.  https://dnebuzz.com/2020/12/21/karnak-temple-celebrates-solar-alignment-at-its-main-axis/

WhatsApp_Image_2020-12-21_at_1.53.09_PM.

Edited by atalante
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2 hours ago, atalante said:

Wepwawet,

Orientation of the Karnak temple made it a sun temple.  Its main avenue was aligned with sunrise on the winter solstice day.  https://dnebuzz.com/2020/12/21/karnak-temple-celebrates-solar-alignment-at-its-main-axis/

 

And also the large number of obelisks. They have nothing to do with the Theban triad at all and are purely solar. The pairs of obelisks specifically link the king who commissioned them with Ra-Horakhty on one, and with Atum on the other.

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Ruler of the Southern Heliopolis was perhaps preferable to HqA wAst--as "wAs" was a scepter of certain gods and the name of the  city was written with the "wAs" sign.   When Tutankhaten began as ruler, he was still an Atenist--so the southern capital temporarily had been given a different name in the Atenist period and he a name without the "wAs".  Just a guess.

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That may well be the case, though it's going to be one of those oddities about Amarna that will never be resolved. I can see that if still "Atenist", Waset might be an issue as it is also the name of a goddess, and as you say, the was scepter was used by a number of gods and does not appear in known Atenist iconography.

A problem is attempting to work out what Tutankhamun's beliefs were at the start of his reign, or rather, the beliefs of those who had control, or at least influence, over him. At about eight he is not going to be deep into this and will just have the beliefs he has known since he was able to have some understanding, not long. Presuming his reign began on the death of Ankhetkheperure Neferneferuaten, then I would say that his earliest exposure to religion that he could have some recognition of was whatever she believed. The question is was she still an Atenist, and I don't know. Her re-used burial goods are mostly ambivalent, neither clearly Atenist or Osirian, really just a continuation of basic kingly culture that is not specifically tied to any god or gods. The mummy bands just have her name, and as mentioned, the canopic stoppers give nothing away. The sarcophagus, if originally hers, was not Osirian, yet that second shrine, if hers, is certainly not Atenist. All very confusing, as normal.

 

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Neferneferuaten was still an Atenist but not a very strict one. The golden throne of Tutankhaten provides the information about this.  There is a young king depicted there and a queen whose name and image have been altered, but the Aten is there as it had been during the reign of Akhenaten, its rays caressing them both.   As Tut was so young, of course he wouldn't have been consulted about matters of religion but his original name on the throne and the presence of the Aten are undeniable and were still there when the boy-king was shown "crowned with the Atef", a phrase used in the Great Harris Papyrus to refer to another ruler of another dynasty.  So the future Tutankhamun was an Atenist, at least for a time.  There are wine jar dockets from KV62 that say "Year 4 from the estate of Tutankhamun" so perhaps that was the year of the name change.  Anyway, there is no wine from an earlier year in that tomb, except one docket that can only have come from the reign of Amenhotep III.

Edited by Aldebaran
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I think what can cause us some confusion is the fact that we use this term "Atenist", but then what else can we say for clarity. So we draw this religious line that I think did not exist at that time as there was never an issue with Aten the god, only with Akhenaten. Therefore being a "soft Atenist" is a distinct possibility during the period when they were trying to create order, literally I think to re-establish Ma'at. Maybe they were struggling to work out how to re-establish a normality that many of them, depending on age, were not familiar with, so we have something like a hybrid religion, at least within the royal household as doubtless many further down the pyramid had never changed their beliefs, but it's in the temples and with the priesthoods that knowledge of the proper forms and rituals lie, not in the home of a butcher or carpenter.

Looking at the vast amount of literature out there, the general concensus is that the name change occured in year two, or shortly after. However, the wine jars point to a later time, and, I tentatively put the end of use of the lunar Nebkheperuiah to year four, and for anybody wondering why, it's worked out on measuring the length of the straps for these lunar items and judging, by his hight at death and his probably hight at various stages, that by twelve, his year 4, they would have been too short. I'll also point out that had this lunar name been continued, then the straps would have been lengthened, an easy task, but none of them have, so it's two names that were changed/discontinued within the first four years of his reign.

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8 hours ago, Wepwawet said:

I think what can cause us some confusion is the fact that we use this term "Atenist", but then what else can we say for clarity. So we draw this religious line that I think did not exist at that time as there was never an issue with Aten the god, only with Akhenaten. Therefore being a "soft Atenist" is a distinct possibility during the period when they were trying to create order, literally I think to re-establish Ma'at.

In truth, there wasn't much in it for the average person.  It had all the trappings of a cult of personality (Akhenaten and the royal family) and very little for other folks.  No afterlife, no other rewards.

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6 hours ago, Kenemet said:

In truth, there wasn't much in it for the average person.  It had all the trappings of a cult of personality (Akhenaten and the royal family) and very little for other folks.  No afterlife, no other rewards.

Yes, nothing for your ba to do except perch at the nearest Aten temple and bask in the rays of your god and adore him, every day, all day, for ever and ever, an utterly sterile and futile form of existance that seems more like a vision of Hell.  Seems like Akhenaten as well as inventing monotheism also invented the concept of our Heaven, nothing to do except bask in the presence of your god.

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23 hours ago, Wepwawet said:

I think what can cause us some confusion is the fact that we use this term "Atenist", but then what else can we say for clarity. So we draw this religious line that I think did not exist at that time as there was never an issue with Aten the god, only with Akhenaten.

 

There is no confusion where the iconography was concerned.  The presence of the Aten and its rays caressing the royals is a picture that is overwhelmingly, if not exclusively, present at Akhetaten.  It was a major part of the religion of the Aten there, the sun as a mandatory factor in every scene.  That didn't happen before the reign of Akhenaten who, as far as I am concerned, became a coregent at the very time his father decided to elevate himself to oneness with the sun-god.  What private citizens thought of all this doesn't really signify as they had no say in the official stance.  The throne of Tutankhaten says "I follow the religion of my father". You may think that religion no longer existed but the chair contradicts you.  It is only when the name of the young pharaoh was changed to Tutankhamun and he is no longer depicted with the Aten as his father had been--that is when the religion of the exclusive worship of the Aten no longer officially exists.

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But we are using the term "Atenist" when they did not even have a word for religion, so we are imposing our ideas onto them, but, I think we need to so that we can differentiate between adherents of Akhenaten's new religion and those who continued worshipping the rest of the gods.

I'm not at all sure of where you get the idea that I think religion no longer exists, and I presume you mean the continued worship of the Aten. But the Aten never went away, only returned to it's relative obscurity in it's occasional appearance on temple walls, were, without a name tag, cannot be differentiated with Ra.. The Aten was still the visible Sun, omnipresent. So the chair does not contradict me as I have not stated that "Atenism" vanished at the start of the reign of Tutankhaten, only that there is a transition, and of that there is no doubt.

What I am trying to tease out is to what degree Neferneferuaten remained Atenist, was she still adhering to the new religion, or did she initiate the move back to normality. This is why I'm looking at her re-used burial goods to see if they can shed any light on this, and you can see by my posts that they present a mixed picture. I'm also trying to work out to what degree the "old" religion persisted within the royal court even when Akhenaten was still alive. I'm not talking about the traditional trappings of kingship, including the statues of Akhenaten in Osirian pose, or the continued use of the uraeus and other elements, but of their religious thoughts. This is of course something just about impossible to do on the evidence we have, but an explanation for Tutankhamun's second shrine needs finding. As I have suggested, if this shrine belonged to Neferneferuaten, and I cannot see on the evidence we have that it was anybodies except hers, in what circumstances do we have the appearance of the first "Book of the Solar-Osirian Unity", and appearing no more than three years after the death of Akhenaten. I suggest that as this is an item for the burial of a king, then the texts have been composed within the royal court, and over a period of more than three years. Even the Darnells do not discuss how these texts appeared so suddenly, and only discuss their content, so I believe I am opening a new avenue of approach to Amarna, one in which there is the possibility that at the highest levels not all of the "old" religion was thrown out with the bath water.

Edited by Wepwawet
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On 1/22/2022 at 10:01 AM, Wepwawet said:

What I am trying to tease out is to what degree Neferneferuaten remained Atenist, was she still adhering to the new religion, or did she initiate the move back to normality. 

There is almost everything to figure out about Neferneferuaten.  The only attested year in her reign is the Year 3 from the Pawah graffito but--does this really represent a true third year of rule *after* the death of Akhenaten?  An altered text seems to show that Ankhkheperure Neferneferuaten had once been a co-regent with him--but for how long?  So it makes sense that any year she reigned after him would be part of an ongoing count.  However, in the text of Pawah, the worship of Amun appears to exist, so the mention of Neferneferuaten is surely post Akhenaten.  Still, the graffito has lacunae and one cannot tell for sure if she is styled "mery Aten" there or not, but this has been surmised.  It seems to me that religious tolerance would have been the key to success as a ruler at this point and Neferneferuaten would have been foolish not to opt for it.

Meanwhile, cartouches of both Neferneferuaten and Tutankhamun have been found in the Sinai [Tell Borg ]in about the same spot but nothing to indicate they were coregents.  I wonder how this worked much more than I do about the religious aspect.  In one kingly portrait Tut looks so young, the implements of kingship that were saved and found in his tomb look like they were made for a small child.  And yet some children still look very small at eight or nine, especially in the days before vitamins and fortified foods.  Thutmose III was a child king but was not seen in the official art in the reign of Hatshepsut until around her Year 9, depicted as an adult.  I am not sure that anyone has ever figured out for sure if Tutankhaten and Neferneferuaten reigned simultaneously or not.  If anything had ever been found with their cartouches together, we would all have seen that by now.  And yet the canopic coffinettes of Neferneferuaten have the faces of Tut as a boy--although he was certainly a man when he died.  Odd.

Edited by Aldebaran
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I think a reasonable sequence could be that as Nefertiti is still GRW in the year 16 graffito, then obviously she does not become co-regent until after that graffito later in year 16. So, for the sake of argument, about 18 months before the death of Akhenaten, and it could be somewhat less depending on when in his year 17 he died. This then pins down Box 001K to having been made within that time frame, and removes, I think conclusively, as or as best as we get in Amarna, any possibility that Smenkhare followed Akhenaten, as Meritaten is shown on the box as GRW to the co-regents, Smenkhare having died at some point, perhaps an event that prompted Akhenaten to promote Nefertiti?

This could then give her only a roughly 18 month independant reign, with Tutankhaten being correspondingly younger when he became king. As his ten year reign is not disputed, then the timeline as usually presented needs to be pushed back, something I've suggested early, and his presumed year of birth needs to be pushed back, or, if  the minority estimates of his age at death being more like 16-17 could ever be proven, his age on becoming king would, as you say, be younger than thought, maybe only five and not eight, a significant gap at that age. If his regnal years date from the death of Akhenaten, as they should even in the event of a co-regency with Neferneferuaten, it's going to put his birth back to before year 12, IMO, and before the chamber alpha and gamma scenes were made.

Am I sinking in the tar, or clawing my way out, as putting back his year of birth may help in making clearer some issues.

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On 1/16/2022 at 4:07 AM, Wepwawet said:

In a previous post I posited that conventional non Atenist religious thought must have continued during the reign of Akhenaten at a very high level, not just in the complexity of what was produced, but at a high level within the royal court, otherwise how does the first complete Book of the Heavenly Cow and the enigmatic texts on the second shrine suddenly appear, a shrine made it seems within three years of the death of Akhenaten.....

 

Wepwawet,

I suspect Akhenaten initially aimed to degrade and purge the power of Amon-Ra-Min (i.e. a syncretic New Kingdom concept - that the Egyptian god Amon-Ra-Min had originated, and lived at Gebel Barkal in Nubia.)  Thothmes III built the first temple at Gebel Barkal to this syncretic deity.  

It is generally accepted that Akhenaten rebuilt the previous Amon temple B500 at Gebel Barkal, and converted it into an Aten temple.  http://www.learningsites.com/GebelBarkal-2/GB-B500.php

It would be unrealistic for contemporary Theban people to argue that the sungod Ra (even as a syncretic deity) lived in a purely southern direction from Egypt.  After all, the sun rises in the east; and the Karnmak temple was oriented to the most extreme southeast direction of sunrise for Thebes/Karnak. 

 

Thus it seems possible that Akhenaten aimed to degrade the syncretic Amon-Ra-Min priesthood, moreso than to completely wipe out all of the other Amon priesthoods at Thebes. 

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22 minutes ago, atalante said:

Wepwawet,

I suspect Akhenaten initially aimed to degrade and purge the power of Amon-Ra-Min (i.e. a syncretic New Kingdom concept - that the Egyptian god Amon-Ra-Min had originated, and lived at Gebel Barkal in Nubia.)  Thothmes III built the first temple at Gebel Barkal to this syncretic deity.  

It is generally accepted that Akhenaten rebuilt the previous Amon temple B500 at Gebel Barkal, and converted it into an Aten temple.  http://www.learningsites.com/GebelBarkal-2/GB-B500.php

It would be unrealistic for contemporary Theban people to argue that the sungod Ra (even as a syncretic deity) lived in a purely southern direction from Egypt.  After all, the sun rises in the east; and the Karnmak temple was oriented to the most extreme southeast direction of sunrise for Thebes/Karnak. 

 

Thus it seems possible that Akhenaten aimed to degrade the syncretic Amon-Ra-Min priesthood, moreso than to completely wipe out all of the other Amon priesthoods at Thebes. 

I doupt we will ever know why he had a problem with Amun beyond needing to erase him as "King of the Gods". However, an initial degrading occured before excising the god. Perhaps for much of his reign, despite having absolute power, he needed to move cautiously before the ultimate step. As far as opposition from the priesthood goes I don't think that would be a significant issue, except if there had been a rebellion, and that cannot be ruled out. He as king was the only real priest and they all answered to him, who alone could dismiss and appoint the various HP, before the 19th Dynasty and the problems with them becoming hereditary. I think perhaps he may have had an issue within the court, with relatives who he could not so easily dispose of, or tread too heavily on their toes early in his reign when he may have only been in his early/mid teens.

A focus of some sort in Nubia is a possibility as one was created by Amunhotep III at Soleb, a temple for Tiye as the "Southern Eye Goddess", there probably being a northern temple, perhaps in the region of Bubastis, for her as the "Northern Eye Goddess". Malkata sits roughly between the two, and O'Connor and Cline suggest some sort of "plan", a joining up of dots south to north and east to west, and as Amunhotep III is highly likely the prime architect of "Atenism", this "plan" may have been continued by Akhenaten, though the founding of Akhetaten is a fly in the ointment here.

What we need to do is find out is what the "bad things" were mentioned on the boundary stelae, and nobody is holding their breath on that.

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17 hours ago, Wepwawet said:

I doupt we will ever know why he had a problem with Amun beyond needing to erase him as "King of the Gods".

My own hypothesis is even simpler:  If he got rid of the other deities, all the property and wealth of the other temples would go directly to him and his Aten... and he could use the income for whatever he liked, including building his new royal city or whatever he liked.  At the time, the main economic power was the temples; not the pharaoh.

I think he liked gold.

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20 hours ago, atalante said:

Wepwawet,

I suspect Akhenaten initially aimed to degrade and purge the power of Amon-Ra-Min (i.e. a syncretic New Kingdom concept - that the Egyptian god Amon-Ra-Min had originated, and lived at Gebel Barkal in Nubia.)  Thothmes III built the first temple at Gebel Barkal to this syncretic deity.  

It is generally accepted that Akhenaten rebuilt the previous Amon temple B500 at Gebel Barkal, and converted it into an Aten temple.  http://www.learningsites.com/GebelBarkal-2/GB-B500.php

It would be unrealistic for contemporary Theban people to argue that the sungod Ra (even as a syncretic deity) lived in a purely southern direction from Egypt.  After all, the sun rises in the east; and the Karnmak temple was oriented to the most extreme southeast direction of sunrise for Thebes/Karnak. 

 

Thus it seems possible that Akhenaten aimed to degrade the syncretic Amon-Ra-Min priesthood, moreso than to completely wipe out all of the other Amon priesthoods at Thebes. 

An interesting point.  Gebel Barkal's mythological identification as the source of Egyptian kingship is as follows:

Quote

The idea that the pharaohs of the New Kingdom may have viewed Gebel Barkal as the source of their own kingship, or more particularly Upper Egyptian kingship, may seem unthinkable. But there is a growing body of evidence to suggest that they did. The Barkal Stele of Thutmose III, for example, had two images of Amun in its lunette; to each the king appeared making offerings (Reisner and Reisner 1933a, pl. 3). Although both gods were erased by the followers of Akhenaten, the god on the right ("south") can still be identified by his partly preserved epithet "[Amun .… who is] in Pure Mountain." This god is made to say to the king "I give you the kingship of the Two Lands." The figure and name of the god on the left ("north") are completely destroyed, but it was certainly Amun of Karnak, who is made to say "I give you all foreign lands." We see from this the surprising fact that the Egyptians, even in early Dynasty 18, considered the god of Gebel Barkal to be the one who granted the "kingship of the Two Lands (i.e. Egypt)." The text even seems to echo Hatshepsut's in her Red Chapel at Karnak, who states that Amun of "Southern Sanctuary" (Gebel Barkal) told her father Thutmose I in an oracle that she would be ruler "of the Two Lands" and "all foreign lands" (see above, Section III).

Why would the Egyptians attribute their kingship to a remote mountain in Nubia? The reason is evident in Ramses' relief at Abu Simbel, which shows the anthropomorphic Amun of Karnak ("Lord of the Thrones of the Two Lands, who is in Ipt-swt") seated inside Gebel Barkal, from which rises an enormous uraeus, crowned with the White Crown (fig. 17). From this, it appears that the pharaohs believed this mountain - an extension of Karnak - was the home of the most important manifestation of Nekhbet (of Nekheb/Nekhen) and thus was the true source of the Upper Egyptian uraeus and kingship. This idea is given further support by the texts of Amenhotep Huy, Viceroy of Kush under Tutankhamun, who informs us variously that his authority extended from "Nekhen to Nswt-t3wy ('Karnak'=Gebel Barkal)" or from "Nekhen to Karoy". These texts also state that "Khenethennefer was entrusted to him, and Upper Egypt was bound together under his supervision" (Davies and Gardiner 1926, 10-11). From this we conclude that by Dynasty 18 the Thebaid and all of Nubia, with a "Karnak" at each pole, had become the united province of Upper Egypt and the White Crown.

Here's a modern view of the sanctuary showing the signifying outcrop in the background:

578134113_jebelbarkalsite.thumb.jpg.da99d6f402591b7f8a759578387727cf.jpg

also*:

Quote

From their first forays into upper Nubia, it seems, the Egyptians considered Gebel Barkal to be the original Karnak and the home of the primeval aspect of Amun.  Both Karnak and Gebel Barkal also shared the epithet "Upper Egyptian Heliopolis".  Luxor Temple, the "Southern Sanctuary" is shown to have been founded at Thebes by Hatshepsut as a response to the Egyptian discovery (by Thutmose I ?) of Gebel Barkal in Nubia.  Luxor, it seems, was built as a magical substitute at Thebes for Gebel Barkal which was the real "Southern Sanctuary".

 

Could you provide a citation showing the presence of syncretic Amon-Ra-Min at the site, as the Min component there isn't known to me, and it's curious that the Akhmim contingent of the royal family of AIII and at Amarna would encourage any enhanced resentment toward Min (their local deity, however I'm sure the issue would have been more complicated than that).  It's true the Amon-Ra depictions there and at Pnub were heavily damaged by the Amarnaean iconoclasts, but I am curious about your point.

* Gebel Barkal, the Mythological Nubian Origin of Egyptian Kingship, and the Formation of the Napatan State, Timothy Kendall  (includes details on southern/northern epithets for temples and sanctuaries, a must read.)

http://rmcisadu.let.uniroma1.it/nubiaconference/kendall.doc

also see:  The Amun Cult and its Development, Luc Gabolde, 2021, (you'll have to copy/paste the url, it wouldn't active link for me) :

   file:///C:/Users/amunr/AppData/Local/Temp/Gabolde%20L.%2093.%20Amun%20Cult%20Nubia%20oxfordhb-9780190496272-e-19.pdf

 

Edited by Wistman
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21 hours ago, Wepwawet said:

I think a reasonable sequence could be that as Nefertiti is still GRW in the year 16 graffito, then obviously she does not become co-regent until after that graffito later in year 16.

I don't think it's so obvious.  Why not coregents at some point prior to Year 16?  I have pointed out that Neferneferuaten having the style "beloved of another king" [Akhenaten under one of his names] in her cartouche indicates someone intended to be a temporary ruler.  Kings who were intended to be permanent successors were only beloved of the gods. It was Smenkhkare who was the successor of Akhenaten, briefly made a coregent in order to divert the succession from little Tutankhaten, the rightful heir as son of the chief queen.  Smenkhkare's cartouches were of the normal variety.  But he didn't last long and died without a son, making it possible for Tut to succeed him, no one now having a better claim due to a coregency manipulation.  We think. A coregency always has a purpose.  Recall the calcite jar fount in KV62, the one having once borne the cartouches of Akhenaten and Smenkhkare in juxtaposition.  They were all but erased prior to the item being placed in the tomb.  No heirloom this jar, no approval of that coregency.

This is my theory but it doesn't really matter as far as a year count for Neferneferuaten is concerned.  If she was a king with a prenomen at any point, temporary or not, she is going to keep counting from there.  Once Hatshepsut made herself king, there is almost nothing with a year count on it for Thutmose III for about five years.  He was definitely pushed into the background. But he starts again after Hatshepsut is out of the picture with Year 22, having been the rightful king all along.  So, normally, a regent for an immature pharaoh is not supposed to be a king--but Hatshepsut became one, claiming her father had made her his coregent years before.  This was probably a lie--but Akhenaten creating Neferneferuaten his coregent pro tem may have been the truth.  The remains that are probably of Neferkheperure have such a bad hip for a young man that he must have sustained a serious injury in some year.  Perhaps that was the reason--dire illness.

So what exists for Tut before a Year 4 date?  This is my question. I am not sure there is anything.  The Restoration Stela has been assigned a Year 1 date but that, in itself, is only a restoration from a lacuna.  

 

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32 minutes ago, Wistman said:

 

Could you provide a citation showing the presence of syncretic Amon-Ra-Min at the site, as the Min component there isn't known to me, and it's curious that the Akhmim contingent of the royal family of AIII and at Amarna would encourage any enhanced resentment toward Min (their local deity, however I'm sure the issue would have been more complicated than that).  It's true the Amon-Ra depictions there and at Pnub were heavily damaged by the Amarnaean iconoclasts, but I am curious about your point.

 

Is this part of your post for Atalante?

Anyway, there is no god that is actually named as Amun-Ra-Min, rather it is Amun-Ra appearing as Min. All the ithyphallic depictions of Amun-Ra are showing the god in the form of Min, though the name Min does not appear, presumably as it's very obvious that Min is here. But then, as you know, none of these syncretic gods are ever a single entity, but are two individuals shown in an image that conveys the idea of their combined power.

A bit on the possible reasons for Akhenaten to have removed Amun is that Amun and Ra is not a real match, they just don't belong to each other as Ra and Atum do, so Akhenaten may have seen Amun being welded to Ra as heretical. I'm quite certain that the reasons for Akhenaten removing Amun were theological.

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13 minutes ago, Aldebaran said:

I don't think it's so obvious.  Why not coregents at some point prior to Year 16?  I have pointed out that Neferneferuaten having the style "beloved of another king" [Akhenaten under one of his names] in her cartouche indicates someone intended to be a temporary ruler.  Kings who were intended to be permanent successors were only beloved of the gods. It was Smenkhkare who was the successor of Akhenaten, briefly made a coregent in order to divert the succession from little Tutankhaten, the rightful heir as son of the chief queen.  Smenkhkare's cartouches were of the normal variety.  But he didn't last long and died without a son, making it possible for Tut to succeed him, no one now having a better claim due to a coregency manipulation.  We think. A coregency always has a purpose.  Recall the calcite jar fount in KV62, the one having once borne the cartouches of Akhenaten and Smenkhkare in juxtaposition.  They were all but erased prior to the item being placed in the tomb.  No heirloom this jar, no approval of that coregency.

This is my theory but it doesn't really matter as far as a year count for Neferneferuaten is concerned.  If she was a king with a prenomen at any point, temporary or not, she is going to keep counting from there.  Once Hatshepsut made herself king, there is almost nothing with a year count on it for Thutmose III for about five years.  He was definitely pushed into the background. But he starts again after Hatshepsut is out of the picture with Year 22, having been the rightful king all along.  So, normally, a regent for an immature pharaoh is not supposed to be a king--but Hatshepsut became one, claiming her father had made her his coregent years before.  This was probably a lie--but Akhenaten creating Neferneferuaten his coregent pro tem may have been the truth.  The remains that are probably of Neferkheperure have such a bad hip for a young man that he must have sustained a serious injury in some year.  Perhaps that was the reason--dire illness.

So what exists for Tut before a Year 4 date?  This is my question. I am not sure there is anything.  The Restoration Stela has been assigned a Year 1 date but that, in itself, is only a restoration from a lacuna.  

 

It could be down to an issue, discussed before, of the potential incapacity of Akhenaten for a period of time before his death. I think it's correct to say that all we see of him after year 12 is in chambers alpha and gamma of TA26, and named on Box 001K, which because it has Nefertiti now as co-ruler puts it after the year 16 graffito. Where does Smenkhare fit into the timeline? I think he fits between the death of Meketaten, that's just a hunch, and the making of Box 001K, which as I said before, must have been made after the year 16 graffito naming Nefertiti. When did Meketaten die? nobody knows, but obviously after year 12 and after Neferneferure and Setepenre. Usually it is presumed that the deaths of the three princesses occured before the end of year 14, but on what evidence? convenience in creating a narrative for a book perhaps. It's also the case that this ephemeral co-regency of Smenkhare is put around year 14/15, but again there is no evidence, not a jot. So fitting him in between year 12 and, say, the end of year 16, is based on probabilities and guessing, though I do think that Box 001K is a terminal point for him. If Nefertiti is still GRW in year 16, and Smenkhare reigned for such a short time, it could be that that was his year, for instance, Meritaten is not a GRW in TA26, but is in the tomb of Meryre II, who we all know died in year $%£&. I'll need to continue later.

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2 hours ago, Wepwawet said:

Is this part of your post for Atalante?

Anyway, there is no god that is actually named as Amun-Ra-Min, rather it is Amun-Ra appearing as Min. All the ithyphallic depictions of Amun-Ra are showing the god in the form of Min, though the name Min does not appear, presumably as it's very obvious that Min is here. But then, as you know, none of these syncretic gods are ever a single entity, but are two individuals shown in an image that conveys the idea of their combined power.

A bit on the possible reasons for Akhenaten to have removed Amun is that Amun and Ra is not a real match, they just don't belong to each other as Ra and Atum do, so Akhenaten may have seen Amun being welded to Ra as heretical. I'm quite certain that the reasons for Akhenaten removing Amun were theological.

Yeah that was meant for Atalante.  I was surprised by the nomenclature and needed clarification.  I've seen the ithyphallic figures referred to as Amun-Ra (at this site and elsewhere) and Amun-Min (elsewhere), but not conflated.  Thanks for your insight, that is: Min is there when the image is ithyphallic even if he's not named..  They were defaced at Gebel Barkal,  Akhenaten did some building there and made it into an Atenist sanctuary; seems like the important site was just being purified of discarded cultic images

Edited by Wistman
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6 hours ago, Kenemet said:

My own hypothesis is even simpler:  If he got rid of the other deities, all the property and wealth of the other temples would go directly to him and his Aten... and he could use the income for whatever he liked, including building his new royal city or whatever he liked.  At the time, the main economic power was the temples; not the pharaoh.

I think he liked gold.

That's right that if you close the temples of the pantheon then their wealth, their estates, transfers to the Aten temples, though I wonder if this was a necessity as all the wealth of all the temples belonged to the king anyway as they were collectively the state treasury. I'm not sure he even needed to close a temple, as the transfer of it's estates and workers to an Aten temple would cut off it's income, it's life. The temple can still physically exist, the priests can still carry out their functions, but who pays them, how can their functions have any meaning if their real priest, the king, no longer has any use for the god. Death of the temples by neglect. I think the major issue is how much resistance to this there was, and I don't see any of the HP having any competance to say no as they held their positions due to the king at that time, for instance, Memphis recently being the domain of Thutmose, and of other princes over the ages, likewise with Heliopolis and to an extent the HP of Osiris and Onuris. There's no proof, but apart from when we know a prince was also a HP, I suspect that by the tail end of the 18th Dynasty most HP were from cadet branches of the royal family and Akhenaten had it all sewn up, apart from the lower ranking priests, and "bad things" if the "peasants revolted.

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Checking in Dodson's "Amarna Sunset" to see if he can shed any light on the dates of Tutankhamun, he does say, on page 63, that the damaged date on the Restoration Stela "was almost certainly Year 4"!  The wine-jar dockets found at Amarna after Year 17 of Akhenaten are not much help because they don't mention a name, except for a Year 1 "from the estate of Smenkhkare, deceased"--so someone after him.  Dodson claims there are plenty of Year 1 and Year 2 dockets found at Amarna but hardly any from Years 3 and 4.  The dissertation "The Winejars Speak", where I got my information, has almost nothing from Year 2 and doesn't indicate  a new ruler having a Year 3 or 4 there--so don't know what to think about that.  Dodson also wrote there were many more faience rings belonging to Tutankhamun at Amarna than those of Neferneferuaten--but as there was a stela fragment discovered there with Tut worshipping Mut, all this could indicate is that Akhetaten continued as a city, if not a royal seat, until the reign of Horemheb.  It really says nothing about a coregency between Tut and Neferneferuaten, especially as Tut's wife's name was on the bezels.  I doubt he had a wife as a small lad--certainly not before he was king in his own right and had no more regent.

It is starting to look like Neferneferuaten did not make it past Year 3 or part of Year 4, at best, and Tutankhaten kept her count where she left off.  Even if they were coregents, why should anything have borne his name with a date while an adult was in charge?

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All of which @Aldebaran I agree with, and I'll add this quote from Ancient Egyptian Chronology by Hornung, Kraus and Warburton. "There are no plausible proposals for his accession date, nor by dated inscriptions for his first three years".

 

I'll present this scenario for the throne and the partially changed names, and stress that this is a guess. It is assumed that the throne was built for his coronation as Tutankhaten, and married to his sister Ankhesenpaaten, and that this coronation took place in his year 1 when he was aged about 8. I suspect that it was built for a coronation in his year 4 when he would have been about 12. On the death of Neferneferuaten he and his sister still carried their Aten names, so a throne was built with these names, but, that the name change may have occured even before the coronation, perhaps while the throne was still being built and they had already inserted some Aten names. They then changed some of the more visible Aten names to Amun ones, and left the out of sight Aten names on the back. This chair may then have never been used again, therefore the rest of the Aten names were never changed and it sat in a store room for about six or so years before being bundled into KV62. There's a caveat about the use of this chair, for while it certainly looks like a throne used for official purposes, such as a coronation, this is our modern assumption. I wonder if a throne for a coronation would have a family scene on the backrest, or something more fitting, I don't know.

Into this I'll bring in the lunar prenomen, Nebkheperuiah. This name, as I've mentioned before, is found on items of jewelry that, due to the length of their straps, would only fit a person below the age of 12, and perhaps no older than about 10. If so, then it shows that Tutankhamun was in fact a king before this asssumed coronation when he was about 12, as only a king has a prenomen. This name is never inside a cartouche though, so is presumably a name used only within the family, and though an alternate prenomen, it is not proclaiming him as king in this name. So this name is part of the mystery of his first three "missing" years, and dissapears when, or before, he becomes visible as king in his own right in his year 4, and with a new nomen.

Edited by Wepwawet
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On 1/24/2022 at 10:41 AM, Wistman said:

An interesting point.  Gebel Barkal's mythological identification as the source of Egyptian kingship is as follows:  .......

 

Could you provide a citation showing the presence of syncretic Amon-Ra-Min at the site, as the Min component there isn't known to me, and it's curious that the Akhmim contingent of the royal family of AIII and at Amarna would encourage any enhanced resentment toward Min (their local deity, however I'm sure the issue would have been more complicated than that).  It's true the Amon-Ra depictions there and at Pnub were heavily damaged by the Amarnaean iconoclasts, but I am curious about your point.

* Gebel Barkal, the Mythological Nubian Origin of Egyptian Kingship, and the Formation of the Napatan State, Timothy Kendall  (includes details on southern/northern epithets for temples and sanctuaries, a must read.)

http://rmcisadu.let.uniroma1.it/nubiaconference/kendall.doc

also see:  The Amun Cult and its Development, Luc Gabolde, 2021, (you'll have to copy/paste the url, it wouldn't active link for me) :

   file:///C:/Users/amunr/AppData/Local/Temp/Gabolde%20L.%2093.%20Amun%20Cult%20Nubia%20oxfordhb-9780190496272-e-19.pdf

 

Thanks for the link to Kendall's analysis and history of Gebel Barkal.  I had read Kendall long ago but did not have a link to it.  Wepwawet probably explained adequately the connection of Min and Amon Ra at Gebel Barkal.

The ancient Egyptians had some knowledge about Min, and about a limnal southeastern region named Wetenet, long before Egyptians discovered Gebel Barkal.  The following link goes to a paper (about Min, Wetenet, Punt, and solar baboons at the eastern edge of the world) that I find interesting; so I will post a few extracts from the paper.  The paper shows that, from very early dates, Min had a connection to a solar cosmic drama, although early details must be reconstructed speculatively.   

from: 
https://www.academia.edu/34959445/_Between_this_world_and_the_Duat_The_land_of_Wetenet_and_Egyptian_cosmography_of_the_Red_Sea_in_C_Di_Biase_Dyson_and_L_Donovan_eds_The_Cultural_Manifestations_of_Religious_Experience_Studies_in_Honour_of_Boyo_G_Ockinga_2017_383_394

p 384  This article will explore the cosmographic and religious discourse surrounding one such toponym, Wetenet , 9 a placename occurring in both historical texts and cosmographies, and explicate its place in the Egyptian world-view. As this toponym was visited by Egyptians on real expeditions on the Red Sea,10 and also evoked in religious discourse, it provides an important point of reference for discussing the boundaries of this world and the Duat.

p. 385  The religious associations of Wetenet are clearly related to solar deities and cosmic drama associated with the southeast. In a Middle Kingdom Hymn to Min (Louvre C30/Cairo 20089), the god [Min] is associated with various toponyms to the southeast of Egypt:18 ...... Related to this dominion is Min’s association with the solar cycle, where the god manifests as the morning sun, thus explaining his presence in the southeastern lands, the regions from where the sun rises every morning.20

dwA=i Mn.w sqAi=i 1r.w fAi a.w nD-Hr=k Mn.w m pri.t=f qAi Sw.wy sA Wsir msi.n As.t nTr(.y)t wr m sn.wt aA m Ip.w Gbtyw 1r.w TmA a.w nb SfSf.t sgr fAw.w iti.y nTr.w nb.w wr iAd.t hAi=f MDA SfSf.ty m 6A-sty WTnt.y iA(w) (?) Hs (?)

I praise Min, I exalt Horus, the one who raises the arm. Hail to Min in his procession, high of the two plumes, son of Osiris, born of Isis, the divine-one, the great-one in the Senut, the great-one in Akhmim and Coptos, Horus, strong of arm, lord of awe, who silences threats, sovereign of all gods, great of moisture as he descends from Medja, respected-one of Ta-sety, He-of-Wetenet, honour(?) and praise(?).

 

p389  Wetenet at the edge of this world and the Duat

Taken as a corpus, these hymns, funerary tracts, and religious epithets consistently show that Wetenet is a foreign-land associated with the solar drama, specifically connected with the solar baboons who foretell the coming of Re in the eastern horizon. This topos in itself derives from a belief that Wetenet was the terrestrial site of solar birth, the point on the earth where the sun arose from Nut’s body and emerged from the sky.

The southeastern peripheries of Egypt’s world were considered auspicious to Nile-centric Egyptians due to its place in solar drama, as this was the cardinal direction from where the sun was considered to rise and enter the world.56  Solar hymns and cosmographies make use of this knowledge, and integrate solar rising with toponyms and agents of the southeast. The Book of Nut exclaims the sun exists (wnn) ‘behind Punt’ in the southeast.57  Egyptians considered these southeastern regions not only directionally associated with solar birth (from Nut), but the region from which the sun issued forth from the Duat.58  John Darnell has remarked on the use of hieroglyphic cryptography in texts, which concern the solar journey and solar transition between this world and the Duat in the eastern horizon.59  This also accounts for the use of cryptography in texts that deal with southeastern ...

Edited by atalante
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