Akhenaten (Box, Carter Archive 001K)

Oct 2011
24,348
Lago Maggiore, Italy
What does Ay’s tomb at Amarna tell us about Akhenaten and the Aten?
Just read the article on Osiris.net regards tomb 25-Ay at Amarna. Fascinating stuff. Many things struck me, but most of all Ay’s mention of Akhenaten being his ‘teacher’. Reminds me of the disciples calling Jesus their teacher. Ay is deeply in the Aten mindset as I see it. And I never thought of Akhenaten as a ‘teacher’. Wow! (Incidentally, Ay strove to be a good listener and kept his mouth shut. What a devoted devotee he must have been, at least, early on!]

I am now off to see what his tomb in the VoK can tell me about his changing perspectives!


Edit: back from reading about KV23 on Osirisnet. Ay sure put Atenism behind him, no mention at all! The devotee ‘saw the light’ and returned to older traditions. It seems obvious.

Lots of interesting things to see, two things stand out immediately for me.

1. The desecration of depictions of Tey is more thorough than that of Ay!!!
2. The groin area of depictions of Ay have been chiselled out. Which reminded me straight away of KV55’s missing penis (citing Martha Bell). Surely removing a man’s man-bits was saying something very important! Certainly no compliment. So Horemheb (presuming it is him) disrespects Ay’s memory and manhood, just like Ay (presuming it was him) disrespected KV55’s memory and manhood. Ay, as you guys know I think, did not care for Akhenaten, but he was once a devotee. Paatenemheb-Horemheb too, was a devotee at one stage! Both men were reformed smokers (Atenists) with a vengeance IMO.

Time now come to check out Osirisnet for Paatenheb’s tomb and Horemheb’s 2 tombs....

Further edit: forgot to say: could Tey be the queen of the Hittite Prince letter?
Now, I quote the two posts together, since the Tomb of Ay at Amarna tells us that he was absolutely "accurate" and "correct" [also politically]. If we observe the inner jambs [The rock tombs of El Amarna : Davies, Norman de Garis, 1865-1941 : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive] we can see all the Great Names of Akhenaten and the mention of Ay as "overseer of all the horses", "Royal Scribe" and "Father of the God" ["justified", as usual]. Here I note that "pa" ["the"] is not present. And it happens he uses the epithet Waenre talking about Akhenaten [Inner Door].

This indicates a strict relationship with the Monarch, but I don't see a great passion for the Aten. It's to be said that in his tomb we can note the early versions of the Aten, and Ra-Horakti is present. So he ordered the burial site before of Year 9 [and he didn't mind to change the cartouches of the Aten after Year 9: this is a clue that he wasn't that interested in the evolution of the private God of his friend Akhenaten].
 
Oct 2011
24,348
Lago Maggiore, Italy
The matter of the Hittite letter ...

Just read the article on Osiris.net regards tomb 25-Ay at Amarna. Fascinating stuff. Many things struck me, but most of all Ay’s mention of Akhenaten being his ‘teacher’. Reminds me of the disciples calling Jesus their teacher. Ay is deeply in the Aten mindset as I see it. And I never thought of Akhenaten as a ‘teacher’. Wow! (Incidentally, Ay strove to be a good listener and kept his mouth shut. What a devoted devotee he must have been, at least, early on!]

I am now off to see what his tomb in the VoK can tell me about his changing perspectives!


Edit: back from reading about KV23 on Osirisnet. Ay sure put Atenism behind him, no mention at all! The devotee ‘saw the light’ and returned to older traditions. It seems obvious.

Lots of interesting things to see, two things stand out immediately for me.

1. The desecration of depictions of Tey is more thorough than that of Ay!!!
2. The groin area of depictions of Ay have been chiselled out. Which reminded me straight away of KV55’s missing penis (citing Martha Bell). Surely removing a man’s man-bits was saying something very important! Certainly no compliment. So Horemheb (presuming it is him) disrespects Ay’s memory and manhood, just like Ay (presuming it was him) disrespected KV55’s memory and manhood. Ay, as you guys know I think, did not care for Akhenaten, but he was once a devotee. Paatenemheb-Horemheb too, was a devotee at one stage! Both men were reformed smokers (Atenists) with a vengeance IMO.

Time now come to check out Osirisnet for Paatenheb’s tomb and Horemheb’s 2 tombs....

Further edit: forgot to say: could Tey be the queen of the Hittite Prince letter?
A detail is pivotal: Ankhesenamun is absent in Ay's tomb!

Sorry? Ay decides to put depictions from daily life in his tomb and he orders to put Tey, the Hereditary Princess, his Great Royal Wife, in some representation, but not Ankhesenamun ... Let's remind that the ring which proves their Royal Marriage doesn't prove that Ankhesenamun became Great Royal Wife ... not seeing her in Ay's tomb I do think she remained Royal Wife. Period. And I cannot exclude she spent only a brief period at palace with Ay.

I do think that when Ay died Ankhesenamun was no more around. What we don't know is the age of Tey. Sure, even if a bit old, she was anyway a Hereditary Princess, so she was in condition to offer the Throne to a foreign husband. And political marriages happen despite differences of age. Actually, if we think to the French President ... they happen also naturally!
 
Jan 2017
3,073
Bendigo
Now, I quote the two posts together, since the Tomb of Ay at Amarna tells us that he was absolutely "accurate" and "correct" [also politically]. If we observe the inner jambs [The rock tombs of El Amarna : Davies, Norman de Garis, 1865-1941 : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive] we can see all the Great Names of Akhenaten and the mention of Ay as "overseer of all the horses", "Royal Scribe" and "Father of the God" ["justified", as usual]. Here I note that "pa" ["the"] is not present. And it happens he uses the epithet Waenre talking about Akhenaten [Inner Door].

This indicates a strict relationship with the Monarch, but I don't see a great passion for the Aten. It's to be said that in his tomb we can note the early versions of the Aten, and Ra-Horakti is present. So he ordered the burial site before of Year 9 [and he didn't mind to change the cartouches of the Aten after Year 9: this is a clue that he wasn't that interested in the evolution of the private God of his friend Akhenaten].
I read all the translated texts in Ay’s tomb at Amarna. For me, it really struck a chord. Akhenaten as guru, Ay as devoted follower. Suddenly,for the first time, I am seeing Master and disciple. I am seeing a mesmerising leader and something of a new beginning. I suddenly see a religious visionary leader who begins with purely religious innovation and revelation and the building of a city in Aten)s Holy o,ace, and then, I see a religious visionary who behingps going to extremes, turning his love of Aten into a hate of idols and empty silly rituals. I can easily think of Akhenaten seeing traditional cultic beliefs as a mockery of true belief. I had never really looked at it from this angle before, yet, I am really reminded of mesmerising leaders: Moses, Jesus, Mohammed, Hitler.... We may apply value judgments as we like, but all these personages seemed t own a hypnotic power over people, drawing them along to new meanings. Just saying.
 
Jan 2017
3,073
Bendigo
The matter of the Hittite letter ...



A detail is pivotal: Ankhesenamun is absent in Ay's tomb!

Sorry? Ay decides to put depictions from daily life in his tomb and he orders to put Tey, the Hereditary Princess, his Great Royal Wife, in some representation, but not Ankhesenamun ... Let's remind that the ring which proves their Royal Marriage doesn't prove that Ankhesenamun became Great Royal Wife ... not seeing her in Ay's tomb I do think she remained Royal Wife. Period. And I cannot exclude she spent only a brief period at palace with Ay.

I do think that when Ay died Ankhesenamun was no more around. What we don't know is the age of Tey. Sure, even if a bit old, she was anyway a Hereditary Princess, so she was in condition to offer the Throne to a foreign husband. And political marriages happen despite differences of age. Actually, if we think to the French President ... they happen also naturally!
Yes, we did notice that Ankhsenamun was kings wife but not Great Royal Wife. I wonder how often Hereditary Princesses became king’s wife’s but not Great Royal Wives? Amenophis III for instance: did he marry any of his sisters?
 
Jan 2017
3,073
Bendigo
Just did some quick checking of Paatenemheb-Horemheb’s 3 tombs. Sadly, I can’t find an article yet just on Paatenemheb’s tomb alone. I would love to know what texts, if any, were recorded there.

I noticed again that Mutedjmet was buried in his Saqqara tomb which apparently seems odd because the more traditional thing, apparently, was she would be entombed in the VoK. But Horemheb seems to have based himself in Memphis. To entomb his wife so far away may have seemed an unnecessary procedure and effort. He had a perfectly good tomb already at Saqqara where his first wife was interred. This may have something to say about why Horemheb seems to have continued to do some works in his Saqqara tomb. The tomb, though after his enthronement not where he intended to be interred himself, was still important to him. Also, this heir business. Are we sure he saw himself as Tut’s heir, or was he notating that he was Ay’s heir? Was an agreement made with Ay, who was old and had not produced an heir himself?

Much is made of Horemheb’s erasing of Ay’s memory, but did he really? Yes, he usurped monuments etc. of Ay, but also of Tut as far as I know.

I still see Horemheb as being a disappointed follower of Akhenaten. So a dislike for him is very feasible, but I wonder that he had such a dislIke for Tut and Ay.

To me it seems more likely that the younger Ramessied, Ramesses II, who did not have any connection to Akhenaten’s successors, would be the more likely to erase all the Thuthmossides from Akhenaten to Ay.

Which begs the question: in whose time were the first lists of Pharaohs made omitting Akhenaten and his successors?

I wonder: did Horemheb perform the Opening of the Mouth ceremony on Ay? As heir, he would be the logical choice. From what I read, Ay may have actually been entombed by someone. Why not Horemheb? But Memphis is a long way away from Thebes. Maybe Horemheb was pressed to do the minimal for Ay in such an unsettled time when a new dynasty was beginning.

Looking back, Ramesses II would see Horemheb in a positive light, he having raised his own family to preeminence, but to Akhenaten and his successors, it was in Ramesses interests to erase them from history, far better to see Horemheb as the true heir of Amenophis III, though Horemheb himself saw himself as heir of Tut, or maybe Ay even...


Edit: I have request, Alpinluke, regards: are you able to check out Horemheb’s Saqqara tomb and confirm that Horemheb, when calling himself iry pat, is definitely referring to Tut? Or is it an assumption (persuasion?) with no room for other interpretation? In other words, could he be claiming to be iry pat to another pharaoh; which would mean Ay? Because if it is not absolutely clear without ambiguity that he is iry pat to Tut, then we must keep our minds open.
 
Last edited:
Oct 2011
24,348
Lago Maggiore, Italy
Just did some quick checking of Paatenemheb-Horemheb’s 3 tombs. Sadly, I can’t find an article yet just on Paatenemheb’s tomb alone. I would love to know what texts, if any, were recorded there.

I noticed again that Mutedjmet was buried in his Saqqara tomb which apparently seems odd because the more traditional thing, apparently, was she would be entombed in the VoK. But Horemheb seems to have based himself in Memphis. To entomb his wife so far away may have seemed an unnecessary procedure and effort. He had a perfectly good tomb already at Saqqara where his first wife was interred. This may have something to say about why Horemheb seems to have continued to do some works in his Saqqara tomb. The tomb, though after his enthronement not where he intended to be interred himself, was still important to him. Also, this heir business. Are we sure he saw himself as Tut’s heir, or was he notating that he was Ay’s heir? Was an agreement made with Ay, who was old and had not produced an heir himself?

Much is made of Horemheb’s erasing of Ay’s memory, but did he really? Yes, he usurped monuments etc. of Ay, but also of Tut as far as I know.

I still see Horemheb as being a disappointed follower of Akhenaten. So a dislike for him is very feasible, but I wonder that he had such a dislIke for Tut and Ay.

To me it seems more likely that the younger Ramessied, Ramesses II, who did not have any connection to Akhenaten’s successors, would be the more likely to erase all the Thuthmossides from Akhenaten to Ay.

Which begs the question: in whose time were the first lists of Pharaohs made omitting Akhenaten and his successors?

I wonder: did Horemheb perform the Opening of the Mouth ceremony on Ay? As heir, he would be the logical choice. From what I read, Ay may have actually been entombed by someone. Why not Horemheb? But Memphis is a long way away from Thebes. Maybe Horemheb was pressed to do the minimal for Ay in such an unsettled time when a new dynasty was beginning.

Looking back, Ramesses II would see Horemheb in a positive light, he having raised his own family to preeminence, but to Akhenaten and his successors, it was in Ramesses interests to erase them from history, far better to see Horemheb as the true heir of Amenophis III, though Horemheb himself saw himself as heir of Tut, or maybe Ay even...


Edit: I have request, Alpinluke, regards: are you able to check out Horemheb’s Saqqara tomb and confirm that Horemheb, when calling himself iry pat, is definitely referring to Tut? Or is it an assumption (persuasion?) with no room for other interpretation? In other words, could he be claiming to be iry pat to another pharaoh; which would mean Ay? Because if it is not absolutely clear without ambiguity that he is iry pat to Tut, then we must keep our minds open.
Before of checking the inscriptions in Horemheb's tomb, I can underline something which is sure [an evidence, finally ...]. The first list of Monarchs avoiding to mention the Pharaohs of the Amarna Period is the one of Abydos. The last monarch in that list is Menmaatre, that is to say Seti I.

Now, the list presents Seti I and his son [future Ramses II] still a child, introducing the sequence of the cartouches, so the temporal reference is clear.

* About who opened the mouth of Ay's mummy ... we cannot rely on direct evidences, but Horemheb is the most possible candidate. It wasn't about heir, but about being successor. Note: Ay wasn't Tut's heir, but he opened the mouth of his mummy.
 
Jan 2017
3,073
Bendigo
Before of checking the inscriptions in Horemheb's tomb, I can underline something which is sure [an evidence, finally ...]. The first list of Monarchs avoiding to mention the Pharaohs of the Amarna Period is the one of Abydos. The last monarch in that list is Menmaatre, that is to say Seti I.

Now, the list presents Seti I and his son [future Ramses II] still a child, introducing the sequence of the cartouches, so the temporal reference is clear.

* About who opened the mouth of Ay's mummy ... we cannot rely on direct evidences, but Horemheb is the most possible candidate. It wasn't about heir, but about being successor. Note: Ay wasn't Tut's heir, but he opened the mouth of his mummy.
I wonder how old Ramses I was when he died. Also, Seti must have been relatively young when he fathered Ramesses. So he began that erasure of the Amarna Pharaohs early after Ramses I’s death. I always think of Ramses as being elderly, but can we be that sure? His mummy may not even be his mummy, not confirmed by all Egyptologists, or am I getting my mummy wrong? Perhaps Ramses was 15-20 years younger than Horemheb, and Seti 15 to 20 years younger than Ramses I? Did Ramses I die around 35-40 years old?

We have no reference to Ay as heir, because maybe no heir had been selected. Tut was young when he had his fall. Maybe it was unclear what should happen if Tut died. When Amenophis III was young, did he have an heir designated??? Perhaps it was deemed a waiting game for a male heir to be born. Anyway, to me, looking at the things I have read about Ay and Horemheb, Ay was closer to Akhenaten and Neferiti - especially Nefertiti - both in association and family connection than was Horemheb. He was the most logical person IMO to open the mummy mouth and succeed if no direct heirs were available.

NB I wondered if Seti started all the real erasing. He had a strong connection to Horemheb and not Ay, so his first loyalty was to Horemheb. As a commoner, successor of a commoner, it was in his interests to strengthen and confirm their claim to the highest office in the land.

I don’t know if any record that Horemheb himself claimed direct descent as horo from Amenophis III. If I am right, this says Horemheb claimed the throne as heir to Tut (or Ay?) as publicised several times in his Saqqara tomb.
 
Last edited:
Jul 2017
2,094
Crows nest
* About who opened the mouth of Ay's mummy ... we cannot rely on direct evidences, but Horemheb is the most possible candidate. It wasn't about heir, but about being successor. Note: Ay wasn't Tut's heir, but he opened the mouth of his mummy.
Horus performed the opening of the mouth ceremony on Ay. I presume that Horemheb either did not want to be associated with Ay in any form, or, at the time of Ay's burial, a successor had not emerged. There is precedence for Horus performing this ceremony, not in person of course, but by a lector priest in the guise of Horus. If depicted in a tomb, it was shown as if Horus himself performed the ceremony.

On my understanding, and I may be wrong, it was a lector priest acting for Horus and not a sem priest, as in normal circumstances the successor was acting as sem priest, so presumably to avoid confusion, it was the lector priest depicted as if he were Horus, not the successor acting as sem priest and also being the new living Horus. I hope that made sense, and I''ll reiterate that this only occurred when there was no successor.
 
Last edited:
Oct 2011
24,348
Lago Maggiore, Italy
I wonder how old Ramses I was when he died. Also, Seti must have been relatively young when he fathered Ramesses. So he began that erasure of the Amarna Pharaohs early after Ramses I’s death. I always think of Ramses as being elderly, but can we be that sure? His mummy may not even be his mummy, not confirmed by all Egyptologists, or am I getting my mummy wrong? Perhaps Ramses was 15-20 years younger than Horemheb, and Seti 15 to 20 years younger than Ramses I? Did Ramses I die around 35-40 years old?

We have no reference to Ay as heir, because maybe no heir had been selected. Tut was young when he had his fall. Maybe it was unclear what should happen if Tut died. When Amenophis III was young, did he have an heir designated??? Perhaps it was deemed a waiting game for a male heir to be born. Anyway, to me, looking at the things I have read about Ay and Horemheb, Ay was closer to Akhenaten and Neferiti - especially Nefertiti - both in association and family connection than was Horemheb. He was the most logical person IMO to open the mummy mouth and succeed if no direct heirs were available.

NB I wondered if Seti started all the real erasing. He had a strong connection to Horemheb and not Ay, so his first loyalty was to Horemheb. As a commoner, successor of a commoner, it was in his interests to strengthen and confirm their claim to the highest office in the land.

I don’t know if any record that Horemheb himself claimed direct descent as horo from Amenophis III. If I am right, this says Horemheb claimed the throne as heir to Tut (or Ay?) as publicised several times in his Saqqara tomb.
Tut's natural heirs died [the two fetuses in his tomb, even if probably female heirs, as for I have understood]. If no younger brothers or sisters around ... the dynasty was at its end. But there were Akhenaten's daughters. They carried the blood of the dynasty. If the successor of Tut wanted to start a new dynasty the choice of the Royal Wife was limited to Akhenaten's daughters.
 
Jan 2017
3,073
Bendigo
Horus performed the opening of the mouth ceremony on Ay. I presume that Horemheb either did not want to be associated with Ay in any form, or, at the time of Ay's burial, a successor had not emerged. There is precedence for Horus performing this ceremony, not in person of course, but by a lector priest in the guise of Horus. If depicted in a tomb, it was shown as if Horus himself performed the ceremony.

On my understanding, and I may be wrong, it was a lector priest acting for Horus and not a sem priest, as in normal circumstances the successor was acting as sem priest, so presumably to avoid confusion, it was the lector priest depicted as if he were Horus, not the successor acting as sem priest and also being the new living Horus. I hope that made sense, and I''ll reiterate that this only occurred when there was no successor.
This would make you wonder what was going on when Ay died. If Horemheb was really Tut’s designated heir, wouldn’t that have been the default position to fall on when Ay died? This makes me wonder about Ankhsenamun (or Tey?), the Queen and the Hittite Prince. Not evidence, but this does sound like a situation where a Queen might take such drastic action. With Horemheb in Memphis or further afield, the Theban Party (if I might concoct that party, possibly fictitious) with Ankhsenamun suddenly a player and not sidelined by Ay to secondary wife status, to keep the dynasty alive. Maybe Ay and Horemheb were indeed rivals by now. Allies in official terms, but not so friendly behind each other’s backs?

Ankhsenamun makes her play and fails.

If Ankhsenamun is KV35YL, she must surely be Ankhsenamun Tasherit. That’s if you are right about her age, Corvidius. Ankhsenamun Tasherit and Tut would be around the same age. Ankhsenamun Tasherit then would be Tuts sister or half-sister... just think tanking here... Maybe Tut and Ankhsenamun Tasherit are children of Meritaten and Ankhsenamun respectively, Akhenaten being father of both?
 

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