Akhenaten (Box, Carter Archive 001K)

AlpinLuke

Ad Honoris
Oct 2011
24,348
Lago Maggiore, Italy
It requires a certain time to recycle the entire administration of a so centralized system of power and Akhetaten had developed its own social and economical sphere of influence. It took years to see the city totally abandoned. There are clues that when Horemheb got the Throne the city was still alive, even if near to the end. At the end its position was quite strategical and this probably allowed the community to carry on for some years. But once the Court, the administration and the commanders of the Army left ... with the temple of the Aten reduced to a local temple for a tiny community of strong Atenists ... the city became only a big village to leave not to remain jobless.
 
Jan 2017
3,073
Bendigo
It requires a certain time to recycle the entire administration of a so centralized system of power and Akhetaten had developed its own social and economical sphere of influence. It took years to see the city totally abandoned. There are clues that when Horemheb got the Throne the city was still alive, even if near to the end. At the end its position was quite strategical and this probably allowed the community to carry on for some years. But once the Court, the administration and the commanders of the Army left ... with the temple of the Aten reduced to a local temple for a tiny community of strong Atenists ... the city became only a big village to leave not to remain jobless.
I wonder if the area remained inhabited to some degree from that time onwards. Could aspects of Atenism remain in local traditions? I remember saying once - in humour - that maybe Atenism could trace its descent through the Millenia to Coptic Christianity in the area. Coptics did use some of the Amarna tombs, I think. I did not suggest it in those words exactly, but my words were to that effect. It would be interesting to know a bit about the local customs for people living there. Maybe long lived local traditions that modern intelligentsia have never thought to explore and, if it exists, based on oral traditions that would, of course, be naturally scorned by same. Yet, oral traditions are not always as unreliable IMO as many among our modern intelligentsia seem to think. I guess it is not an area of interest I can google up, sadly.
 
Jul 2017
2,094
Crows nest
Briefly about what was not found in Tutankhamun's tomb that we would like to have been found. The royal tomb is a sort of living spell and support mechanism to protect the mummy. Unlike the tombs of nobles, which can contain biographical details, there is no place in the royal tomb for such things, so in the typical 18th Dynasty royal tomb we only see scenes from the Amduat and generic scenes of the king with, typically, Anubis, Osiris and other gods. Try looking even for mention of the king's wife in a wall scene and you will not find her, nor any of his children or parents. Personal items buried with the king, as we see with Tutankhamun, are another matter, but we only have his tomb to go by and cannot make any conclusions as to what is normal or not. His tomb, btw, is barely functional as a living spell, and in the Egyptian belief system it's unlikely he was able to pass through the gates as the route was not laid out for him, or the names he needed to recite. His tomb would function for a commoner as the route for them was not the same and was far simpler, but as king he was "trapped in his tomb" with no way through the Amduat nor the means to fight the demons.

On the flippant side, I imagine a horror film could be made of that aspect.
 
Jan 2017
3,073
Bendigo
Briefly about what was not found in Tutankhamun's tomb that we would like to have been found. The royal tomb is a sort of living spell and support mechanism to protect the mummy. Unlike the tombs of nobles, which can contain biographical details, there is no place in the royal tomb for such things, so in the typical 18th Dynasty royal tomb we only see scenes from the Amduat and generic scenes of the king with, typically, Anubis, Osiris and other gods. Try looking even for mention of the king's wife in a wall scene and you will not find her, nor any of his children or parents. Personal items buried with the king, as we see with Tutankhamun, are another matter, but we only have his tomb to go by and cannot make any conclusions as to what is normal or not. His tomb, btw, is barely functional as a living spell, and in the Egyptian belief system it's unlikely he was able to pass through the gates as the route was not laid out for him, or the names he needed to recite. His tomb would function for a commoner as the route for them was not the same and was far simpler, but as king he was "trapped in his tomb" with no way through the Amduat nor the means to fight the demons.

On the flippant side, I imagine a horror film could be made of that aspect.
Why trap him in his tomb? That’s perplexing, if so....

So there is no obvious reason to think Tut was anti his father in any way (assuming, as I do, his father was Akhenaten). The fact Ay raided KV55 (and KV63) and removed Tiye (IMO) says it all. Ay had a problem with what Akhenaten had done, even though I think Tiye and Nefertiti as a hand in it all. I guess it was on his watch that everything happened.
 
Jan 2017
3,073
Bendigo
I made a quick effort to discover something about the current locals of Amarna and vicinity. No luck. But by chance I looked at a map of Akhetaten I had not noticed before. I did not realise the Northern Tombs and Southern tombs were so far apart. Nor that the Royal wadi was in the middle. Seems the northern tombs were for officials linked with the northern part of the city and very much ‘religious’ functionaries of Aten and close personal aides of Tiye, Nefertiti and Akhenaten. The southern tombs seem all about administration and generals. You guys no doubt are fully aware of this, but for me, it is another fascinating tidbit of information.

Points eof particular interest at the moment: Huy’s tomb depictions suggest to me that Tiye was up to her armpits in Atenism. And I am struck again by the very close association of Meryre II with Nefertiti and Atenism.
 
Last edited:
Oct 2011
24,348
Lago Maggiore, Italy
I wonder if the area remained inhabited to some degree from that time onwards. Could aspects of Atenism remain in local traditions? I remember saying once - in humour - that maybe Atenism could trace its descent through the Millenia to Coptic Christianity in the area. Coptics did use some of the Amarna tombs, I think. I did not suggest it in those words exactly, but my words were to that effect. It would be interesting to know a bit about the local customs for people living there. Maybe long lived local traditions that modern intelligentsia have never thought to explore and, if it exists, based on oral traditions that would, of course, be naturally scorned by same. Yet, oral traditions are not always as unreliable IMO as many among our modern intelligentsia seem to think. I guess it is not an area of interest I can google up, sadly.
Coptic Christianity was born in 1st century CE, the adjective "Coptic" has got an Arab origin, as for I know. The Coptic language kept something of the Ancient Egyptian language [still today to guess how to pronounce hieroglyphics Egyptologists help themselves using the Coptic language].

Historically it doesn't seem that human activity of a certain importance has been present in the area of Tell El-Amarna after the end of Akhetaten.

This said, we can make all the possible hypothesis about the legacy of Atenism. Sure it influenced the development of the Egyptian "religion", overall about Atum and Ra-Horakti [the second even associated with the Aten in the first phase of the Amarna Period]. Clearly, at popular level, those deities [almost "safe" under Akhenaten] gained not a few kudos. Among other things, also the symbolism of the "heresy" survived [overall because it used traditional symbols].
 
Oct 2011
24,348
Lago Maggiore, Italy
Briefly about what was not found in Tutankhamun's tomb that we would like to have been found. The royal tomb is a sort of living spell and support mechanism to protect the mummy. Unlike the tombs of nobles, which can contain biographical details, there is no place in the royal tomb for such things, so in the typical 18th Dynasty royal tomb we only see scenes from the Amduat and generic scenes of the king with, typically, Anubis, Osiris and other gods. Try looking even for mention of the king's wife in a wall scene and you will not find her, nor any of his children or parents. Personal items buried with the king, as we see with Tutankhamun, are another matter, but we only have his tomb to go by and cannot make any conclusions as to what is normal or not. His tomb, btw, is barely functional as a living spell, and in the Egyptian belief system it's unlikely he was able to pass through the gates as the route was not laid out for him, or the names he needed to recite. His tomb would function for a commoner as the route for them was not the same and was far simpler, but as king he was "trapped in his tomb" with no way through the Amduat nor the means to fight the demons.

On the flippant side, I imagine a horror film could be made of that aspect.
In fact, Ay's Royal tomb [KV23] is really curious from this perspective ... we see him with Tey, his wife, in common scenes of daily life. He hunts and fishes with the wife ... [https://www.osirisnet.net/tombes/pharaons/ay/e_ay_pharaon_02.htm]. Since it's so odd, there is who suggests that those scenes have got a symbolic meaning and they aren't simple recalls.
 
Jan 2017
3,073
Bendigo
In fact, Ay's Royal tomb [KV23] is really curious from this perspective ... we see him with Tey, his wife, in common scenes of daily life. He hunts and fishes with the wife ... [https://www.osirisnet.net/tombes/pharaons/ay/e_ay_pharaon_02.htm]. Since it's so odd, there is who suggests that those scenes have got a symbolic meaning and they aren't simple recalls.
Any possibility Ay might still be associating himself with Tey as Hereditary Princess? Could suggest an element of self-consciousness on his part? Or did Tey bury him? With no immediate heir to do the entombment, perhaps she did it herself? Is it possible?
 
Jan 2017
3,073
Bendigo
Coptic Christianity was born in 1st century CE, the adjective "Coptic" has got an Arab origin, as for I know. The Coptic language kept something of the Ancient Egyptian language [still today to guess how to pronounce hieroglyphics Egyptologists help themselves using the Coptic language].

Historically it doesn't seem that human activity of a certain importance has been present in the area of Tell El-Amarna after the end of Akhetaten.

This said, we can make all the possible hypothesis about the legacy of Atenism. Sure it influenced the development of the Egyptian "religion", overall about Atum and Ra-Horakti [the second even associated with the Aten in the first phase of the Amarna Period]. Clearly, at popular level, those deities [almost "safe" under Akhenaten] gained not a few kudos. Among other things, also the symbolism of the "heresy" survived [overall because it used traditional symbols].
Perhaps there were folk - especially in scribal circles, the literati, so to speak - who found the more spiritual (cerebral?) and monotheistic aspects of Atenism enticing and worshipping animals and ‘man-gods’ suddenly unsatisfying? This could be passed on.

...

Digression into more fanciful theory.

I find it curious that we have a Holy City with a monotheistic type of religion, with a divine leader writing psalm like religious poetry. Reminds me of King David. And Akhetaten is the one and only official cult centre in the land! [David’s campaigns seem remiscent of Thutmose III’s campaigns in the Levant]

We have Solomon and his proverbs, not unlike Amenophis III and his maxims.

Anyway, I find it all very curious.

[Furrher wild thoughts: Ah-Mose and the Hyksos Exodus happens a couple of hundred years earlier. A Moses template (with goodies and baddies reversed), and then, in the ensuing years a King who conquers much of the Levant (Thutmose III/David) and a later Holy City with a jealous god (Akhetaten/Jerusalem) with a King (Akhenaten/David again); then a wise king with a huge Harim, the uttering of wise maxims (Amenophis III/Jedidiah-Solomon)...]
 
Oct 2011
24,348
Lago Maggiore, Italy
Any possibility Ay might still be associating himself with Tey as Hereditary Princess? Could suggest an element of self-consciousness on his part? Or did Tey bury him? With no immediate heir to do the entombment, perhaps she did it herself? Is it possible?
He ordered to underline that title in the depiction where they are probably fishing [it's really evident, near the head of Tey]. Personally I wonder if he still felt the need for a kind of social support making reference to her wife, the Hereditary Princess. It's like who posts on Facebook pictures with a Hollywood star ... Probably he kept the mindset of the courtier and he imposed that curious choice to the overseer of the scribes and the artists who worked at his tomb.
 

Similar History Discussions