Akhenaten (Box, Carter Archive 001K)

Ayrton

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
4,145
Bendigo
Overview of the transition of power from the 18th to 19th Dynasty

Geography also plays into this situation. There are some assumptions made that there needed to be messengers back and forth between the Hittite capital and Thebes but no, the court was at Memphis, and Horemheb was engaged in military activity out of Avaris.
Good article. Lucid and clearly written and logically put.

You know, while reading, I suddenly thought: Horemheb was a damn usurper.

Ay was a close associate and functionary of the Thuthmossides. Probably a relative, to get to where he was in the early days. His wife was tutor of Nefertiti, and he himself tutor and minder of Tut. God’s Father, in fact. His highest official. And why wouldn’t an old and experienced member of the family take on that role. Ankhsenamun would have been under his wing as well. She may not have cared to marry him, but she would have done her duty, willingly or not. Choosing Tey as GRW might seem a fait accompli because we see in the family close connections between husbands and wives. Thuya and Yuya. Amenophis III and Tiye. Akhenaten and Nefertiti. Presuming here: Tut and Ankhsenamun. Ay and Tey. Ankhsenamun was a Hereditary Princess, but Tey was always his number one wife. So she may have been his only choice as GRW, it being no real slight, in familial terms in a sense, to Ankhsenamun. She may even have understood - to a point.

But, anyway, Ay was surely more likely to be heir, stated or not. How the hell did Horemheb get a look in anyway with Ay ‘always’ (IMO) very, very close by. Surely, Tut trusted Ay to protect his interests always.

Thinking of Horemheb waiting in the wings. Clearly a very powerful figure by then, having started climbing the political ladder way back in Amenophis III’s time. Surely he was not Hor-emheb before he scuttled off after Akhenaten to Akhetaten and adopted the name Pa-atenemheb. (Edit: Actually, maybe it wasn his original name...?) Even if he was not Paatenemheb, he must have been a ‘somebody’ at Amarna, with a name ‘Horemheb’ not attested in any real sense at Akhetaten until AFTER he was Pharoah. At least, as far as I know. Not a nobles tomb for him? Are we kidding ourselves? I think he was Paatenemheb, full stop. I even suspect he was Minemheb back at Thebes. He was involved in building stuff during Amenophis III’s (1st?) Heb Sed. Paatenemheb, I think, has some trademan’s-type reference at Akhetaten as well as his soldierly titles? You know, overseer of building buildings, or some such title. Not sure if I remember right here. Did look it up awhile back. I am old.

Anyway, I detect Horemheb as a scrabbler and crawler and upwardly mobile chap. Even he would not have aimed for the Very Top, but his trajectory of advancement certainly got him there in the end.

So, the Ramessieds, heirs of an usurper, clearly wanted to blur out their own shaky claim to the throne. Heirs of a usurper? Better wipe that from the record! Well, there was that there Criminal. And his brood surely needed to be removed from history... let’s make them illegitimate rulers because of what Akhenaten did. Yeah sure. No, let’s just remove them totally from history. Horemheb was Amenophis III’s heir. Forget about Horemheb claiming to be Tut’s heir. That lie is obsolete. Direct heir of Amenophis III is a far better lie to ply for us Ramessieds, by gom!

As to Ankhsenamun. With or without the blessing of Ay, ailing and very old, she was desperate to stop old Horemheb - who actually was a few years younger than Ay when I think about it, but still much older that Ankhsenamun - with the support of Thuthmosside loyalists, tried to order in a mail order Prince, with the prospect of getting Hittite support to thwart the very powerful Horemheb. She had no intention of marrying that social climbing toady, Horemheb! Really, he had plum got above himself! The transition from Ay to Horemheb is murky, but it may have included Ankhsenamun getting her whats for. Tragic, really. Though you can’t really excuse her treason. Better to have produced an heir through Horemheb than let in foreign scum to rule the country, all said and done.

Akhenaten really has a lot to answer for! 🤬

It’s all so simple when you know. 🤗
 
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Corvidius

Ad Honorem
Jul 2017
2,786
Crows nest
Nice piece of work, I must say. 👍

Paragraph 1: So were Princesses ‘sah’ too? Actually, was KV35YL a Queen of Akhenaten? And sister, of course.

Paragraph 2: This would leave open KV35YL being murdered. I have bored you endlessly with thoughts on Nefertiti (or Meritaten) being KV35YL, so I will refrain just this once, lol. Ankhkheperure Smenkhkare being murdered might well still fit the situation then. Not everyone wanted another Hatshetsup!? I can see what you say regards Akhenaten’s mummy (KV55) only too clearly.

Paragraph 3: Only too true. And then just as at other places and time, the elite lived happy loving well fed family lives..


Paragraph 4: I like clarity and accuracy whenever we can. I have this urge all the time to call Thebes, Waset. That may actually be pedantic, but it was no Greek city back then, nor was it modern Luxor. Maybe using proper accurate translations could help focus the mind. Who knows?

Paragraph 5: Indeed. A wise man once posted here and informed me that nothing was done in depictions and inscriptions without meaning. And those sashes mean something. That wise man was right IMO, lol. [Post noted? ‘Sah’, hey. Learn something every day here]
The sah is what the end result of the mummification process is called. It's not just the body, but the wrappings, amulets, mask, unguents and spells, both written and said. The wrappings, which is the connection to sashes, are vital and endow the body with divinity and are nothing to do with physically protecting the mummy. I've mentioned wrappings before on this thread in connection with them being for more than funeral purposes, for instance the statues of gods in their temple were wrapped, the sign for a god is a wrapped pole with streamers coming of the top, and sashes originate in those streamers. I would also say that while the sash of the lector is a more conventional broad sash draped over the shoulder and chest, it also has it's origins in the sign for a god due to the prime function of the lector as, aside from the king, being the chief interlocutor with the god and reader of the litany. The nemes headgear is also connected as that was the name for a type of cloth used in part of the wrapping ritual. That's why the nemes is composed of strips of cloth, and they will also represent the rays of the sun, as may the pleats in clothing and the shape of the kilt.

So, all Amarna mummies we have had been a sah at one point, but after being unwrapped were no longer a sah. What terminology was used to describe a person in this condition I have no idea. The body before mummification is a khet, but an unwrapped sah has already been transformed beyond that of being a khet and I don't think a reversion is possible.
 

Ayrton

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
4,145
Bendigo
The sah is what the end result of the mummification process is called. It's not just the body, but the wrappings, amulets, mask, unguents and spells, both written and said. The wrappings, which is the connection to sashes, are vital and endow the body with divinity and are nothing to do with physically protecting the mummy. I've mentioned wrappings before on this thread in connection with them being for more than funeral purposes, for instance the statues of gods in their temple were wrapped, the sign for a god is a wrapped pole with streamers coming of the top, and sashes originate in those streamers. I would also say that while the sash of the lector is a more conventional broad sash draped over the shoulder and chest, it also has it's origins in the sign for a god due to the prime function of the lector as, aside from the king, being the chief interlocutor with the god and reader of the litany. The nemes headgear is also connected as that was the name for a type of cloth used in part of the wrapping ritual. That's why the nemes is composed of strips of cloth, and they will also represent the rays of the sun, as may the pleats in clothing and the shape of the kilt.

So, all Amarna mummies we have had been a sah at one point, but after being unwrapped were no longer a sah. What terminology was used to describe a person in this condition I have no idea. The body before mummification is a khet, but an unwrapped sah has already been transformed beyond that of being a khet and I don't think a reversion is possible.
Fascinating. It’s a sad day when you don’t learn something new. Thank you. Note made.
 
Nov 2016
761
Germany
(This is a passage on the subject of mummification I wrote in another thread some time ago)

Until the New Kingdom, only the king can ascend to the stars, that is, the heaven of the gods. For ordinary mortals there is ´only´ the option to enter the supernatural Blessed Realm of Sechet Iaru (after passing the judgment of the dead). From the New Kingdom, members of the upper class also secure the privilege of postmortem existence with the gods.

The "heavenly body" of the dead is actually a plurality: the dead exists in several manifestations simultaneously (more on this below).

So the meaning of mummification is the immortalization of the material body as a prerequisite for eternal heavenly existence.

The characteristic mummy bandages, however, show the ambiguity of the relationship of the Egyptian to the dead: On the one hand he does everything humanly possible by means of ritual and sacrifices to facilitate their further existence, on the other hand he fears them and goes into ideas of how they haunt the living as bodily revenants. So the mummy bandages can - in addition to their conservation function - also be understood as shackles to prevent revenants from rising from the grave. The ritual of dismembering the body and the subsequent symbolic recomposition (more on this below) has its cause in the prehistoric custom of destroying a corpse or at least robbing important organs (e.g. head, brain, heart, penis) in order to prevent a visitation. Up to the time of the New Kingdom, the penis of royal corpses is sometimes removed and buried separately. The original motive behind this is the fear that a dead person could use it to dishonour the wives of the bereaved. With the emergence of the idea that the dead could leave their bodies in a way other than a material appearance and thus overcome the shackles, the practice of preserving the corpse arises with the ulterior motive of satisfying the dead and discouraging the desire for revenge and the like.

Thus the seed has been laid for the religious concept culminating in the ritual treatment of the royal corpse. The survival and harmony of the human world can only be assured if this corpse permanently retains its human form. The dismemberment of the body is maintained (in the form of evisceration, including removal of the brain), but assumes a positive meaning: The body symbolically receives the removed organs (which are buried separately) back in a way that upgrades it infinitely, for the new "organs" are of divine provenance. This transfiguration of the dead person into the heavenly mode of being takes place. An example is a text from the time of the Middle Kingdom:

You have taken shape by being the totality of all gods;
Your head is Re,
Your face is Upuaut,
Your nose is the jackal,
(...)
Your tongue is Thot,
Your throat is Nut,
Your neck is Geb,
Your shoulders are Horus


(etc.)

Texts of this kind are recited non-stop by priests during embalming; through the lecture the body is restored to a higher level, it is transformed into the divine. The Egyptian expression for this is "divinization of the limbs".

Mythologically, the topic of dismemberment and revival has been reflected in stories about the god Osiris, with whose name the dead man is ritually addressed:

O Osiris N! Receive your head in the Western realm...

(N = placeholder for name of the dead person)

The equation of the dead with Osiris has the following background: Osiris, mythologically the first human to rule the historical world, is murdered and dismembered by his brother Seth who then becomes king. Osiris´ loving sister-wife Isis finds the scattered parts and puts them together magically. The son Horus, born thereupon, defeats the rogue uncle and takes his place in power over the world. His father Osiris takes control of the dead in the Duat (Underworld). This constellation serves as a blueprint for Egyptian royal ideology: Horus is embodied in the living king, Osiris in the dead king. As Horus, the king has the task of defending ma´at (order of the world) from the forces of chaos (embodied in Seth). The reintegration of the fragmented dead is done by the magic of Isis, the mother of Horus resp. the king (thus she takes over the role of the divine mother of the king from the elder goddess Hathor).

Before ascending to heaven, the dead king enters the realm of the dead where he has to pass the judgment of the dead, which under the chairmanship of Osiris applies rigid standards to the past deeds of the dead. Of course, the dead man is not to be seen as the embodiment of Osiris, who stands opposite him as a judge. Both ideas, which originate from different traditions, stand side by side in Egyptian thinking without excluding themselves. If the dead man's heart is not heavier than the feather of the goddess of justice Maat, the test is passed and the dead is able to ascend to heaven. In the negative case, the monster Ammit would eat up the heart with the consequence that the dead would fall into hell ("the second death"), where terrible agonies await him. This idea, as well as the idea of a judgment on the dead, is the basis of later Christian ideas (Last Judgment and "second death" in the Revelation of John).

The purpose of the rituals and pyramid spells is to ensure that the dead ascends to bliss instead of plunging into torment. If these are carried out by the priests and taken into account by the dead, success is preprogrammed. Up to this point, the path of the dead king is no different from that of the ordinary mortal: First, both must face the Osirian court. After this, however, they go their separate ways: The king to the gods of the starry world, the ordinary mortal to the supernatural realm of Sechet Iaru already mentioned.

However, after passing the test, envious gods can block the king's way to sabotage the heavenly ascent. Even if he tries to gain the support of the gods by praying, he can fail, so that bigger guns come into play, namely threats of punishment against enemy gods (part of the ritual sayings in the pyramid texts). Threatened consequences are, for example, deprivation of food and expulsion from divine society. A prerequisite for the effectiveness of the threats is, of course, that the divine potential of the dead is superior to that of his adversaries. According to the pyramid texts, however, there is no doubt about this superiority, so the threats will surely be successful.

In the divine world of stars, the dead man exists simultaneously side by side in several forms of being, as already indicated. The most important ones are Ba, Ka, Ach and Sechem.

1) Ach: The dead man's beatitude body. It only arises when you enter heaven.

2) Ba: The body of action of the dead. With it he represents his interests externally. It exists in every human being from the outset.

3) Ka: The nutritional body of the dead. It is in charge of food supply. Embodied in a statue of the dead, the bereaved sacrifice to it the gifts essential for the continued existence of the dead. Since the Egyptians, however, consider every possibility, including the lack of offerings, pictorial representations of food are placed in the tomb, which are able to compensate for the lack of food. The Ka is also part of every human being.

4) Sechem: The ruling body of the dead, symbolized in the sceptre. By the power of this body, the dead can rule over other gods. It is an exclusive attribute of kings and perhaps also of important members of the upper class.

Through his Ba and Sechem, the dead king can also exercise power in the earthly world. This makes it all the more important to maintain his body (firewall function of the pyramid) and to provide him with strength through ritual sacrifices.
 

Ayrton

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
4,145
Bendigo
Kyla and I had a quick discussion about Ankhsenamun and the Hittite Prince before she went off to nighs nighs (is that all people do in the Northern Hemisphere- sleep!?) she put me on to an article by Belmonte regards the subject - broadly speaking.

As an aside, Belmonte mentions that if KV21A - mother of the foetuses in Tuts tomb, following Kate Phylackery - is Ankhsenamun, then KV55mummy can’t be Akhenaten. Well, all I can say is, it appears KV21A isn’t Ankhsenamun. Nothing indicates her as KV21A, not even a magic brick. Plenty of folk identify Akhenaten as KV55mummy in his tomb. The only straw left for the ‘its not Akhenaten’ folk is the age issue. Spitalfields places a great burden on the age straw, I think.

It intrigues me how we can be so confident KV21A is Ankhsenamun just because she is likely mother of Tuts foetuses. A reasonable enough guess, I grant, but hardly a cause for outright confidence.

I by no means say I am proven right btw. I just have my theory and for the time being I am sticking to it. Akhenaten is KV55mummy. You know, I almost begin to think I am not alone, and Akhenaten fir KV55mummy is becoming a ‘Consensus’ view among Egyptological pundits. I am not used to being on the side of the respectable. It seems strange. 😱
 

Ayrton

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
4,145
Bendigo
(This is a passage on the subject of mummification I wrote in another thread some time ago)

Until the New Kingdom, only the king can ascend to the stars, that is, the heaven of the gods. For ordinary mortals there is ´only´ the option to enter the supernatural Blessed Realm of Sechet Iaru (after passing the judgment of the dead). From the New Kingdom, members of the upper class also secure the privilege of postmortem existence with the gods.

The "heavenly body" of the dead is actually a plurality: the dead exists in several manifestations simultaneously (more on this below).

So the meaning of mummification is the immortalization of the material body as a prerequisite for eternal heavenly existence.

The characteristic mummy bandages, however, show the ambiguity of the relationship of the Egyptian to the dead: On the one hand he does everything humanly possible by means of ritual and sacrifices to facilitate their further existence, on the other hand he fears them and goes into ideas of how they haunt the living as bodily revenants. So the mummy bandages can - in addition to their conservation function - also be understood as shackles to prevent revenants from rising from the grave. The ritual of dismembering the body and the subsequent symbolic recomposition (more on this below) has its cause in the prehistoric custom of destroying a corpse or at least robbing important organs (e.g. head, brain, heart, penis) in order to prevent a visitation. Up to the time of the New Kingdom, the penis of royal corpses is sometimes removed and buried separately. The original motive behind this is the fear that a dead person could use it to dishonour the wives of the bereaved. With the emergence of the idea that the dead could leave their bodies in a way other than a material appearance and thus overcome the shackles, the practice of preserving the corpse arises with the ulterior motive of satisfying the dead and discouraging the desire for revenge and the like.

Thus the seed has been laid for the religious concept culminating in the ritual treatment of the royal corpse. The survival and harmony of the human world can only be assured if this corpse permanently retains its human form. The dismemberment of the body is maintained (in the form of evisceration, including removal of the brain), but assumes a positive meaning: The body symbolically receives the removed organs (which are buried separately) back in a way that upgrades it infinitely, for the new "organs" are of divine provenance. This transfiguration of the dead person into the heavenly mode of being takes place. An example is a text from the time of the Middle Kingdom:

You have taken shape by being the totality of all gods;
Your head is Re,
Your face is Upuaut,
Your nose is the jackal,
(...)
Your tongue is Thot,
Your throat is Nut,
Your neck is Geb,
Your shoulders are Horus


(etc.)

Texts of this kind are recited non-stop by priests during embalming; through the lecture the body is restored to a higher level, it is transformed into the divine. The Egyptian expression for this is "divinization of the limbs".

Mythologically, the topic of dismemberment and revival has been reflected in stories about the god Osiris, with whose name the dead man is ritually addressed:

O Osiris N! Receive your head in the Western realm...

(N = placeholder for name of the dead person)

The equation of the dead with Osiris has the following background: Osiris, mythologically the first human to rule the historical world, is murdered and dismembered by his brother Seth who then becomes king. Osiris´ loving sister-wife Isis finds the scattered parts and puts them together magically. The son Horus, born thereupon, defeats the rogue uncle and takes his place in power over the world. His father Osiris takes control of the dead in the Duat (Underworld). This constellation serves as a blueprint for Egyptian royal ideology: Horus is embodied in the living king, Osiris in the dead king. As Horus, the king has the task of defending ma´at (order of the world) from the forces of chaos (embodied in Seth). The reintegration of the fragmented dead is done by the magic of Isis, the mother of Horus resp. the king (thus she takes over the role of the divine mother of the king from the elder goddess Hathor).

Before ascending to heaven, the dead king enters the realm of the dead where he has to pass the judgment of the dead, which under the chairmanship of Osiris applies rigid standards to the past deeds of the dead. Of course, the dead man is not to be seen as the embodiment of Osiris, who stands opposite him as a judge. Both ideas, which originate from different traditions, stand side by side in Egyptian thinking without excluding themselves. If the dead man's heart is not heavier than the feather of the goddess of justice Maat, the test is passed and the dead is able to ascend to heaven. In the negative case, the monster Ammit would eat up the heart with the consequence that the dead would fall into hell ("the second death"), where terrible agonies await him. This idea, as well as the idea of a judgment on the dead, is the basis of later Christian ideas (Last Judgment and "second death" in the Revelation of John).

The purpose of the rituals and pyramid spells is to ensure that the dead ascends to bliss instead of plunging into torment. If these are carried out by the priests and taken into account by the dead, success is preprogrammed. Up to this point, the path of the dead king is no different from that of the ordinary mortal: First, both must face the Osirian court. After this, however, they go their separate ways: The king to the gods of the starry world, the ordinary mortal to the supernatural realm of Sechet Iaru already mentioned.

However, after passing the test, envious gods can block the king's way to sabotage the heavenly ascent. Even if he tries to gain the support of the gods by praying, he can fail, so that bigger guns come into play, namely threats of punishment against enemy gods (part of the ritual sayings in the pyramid texts). Threatened consequences are, for example, deprivation of food and expulsion from divine society. A prerequisite for the effectiveness of the threats is, of course, that the divine potential of the dead is superior to that of his adversaries. According to the pyramid texts, however, there is no doubt about this superiority, so the threats will surely be successful.

In the divine world of stars, the dead man exists simultaneously side by side in several forms of being, as already indicated. The most important ones are Ba, Ka, Ach and Sechem.

1) Ach: The dead man's beatitude body. It only arises when you enter heaven.

2) Ba: The body of action of the dead. With it he represents his interests externally. It exists in every human being from the outset.

3) Ka: The nutritional body of the dead. It is in charge of food supply. Embodied in a statue of the dead, the bereaved sacrifice to it the gifts essential for the continued existence of the dead. Since the Egyptians, however, consider every possibility, including the lack of offerings, pictorial representations of food are placed in the tomb, which are able to compensate for the lack of food. The Ka is also part of every human being.

4) Sechem: The ruling body of the dead, symbolized in the sceptre. By the power of this body, the dead can rule over other gods. It is an exclusive attribute of kings and perhaps also of important members of the upper class.

Through his Ba and Sechem, the dead king can also exercise power in the earthly world. This makes it all the more important to maintain his body (firewall function of the pyramid) and to provide him with strength through ritual sacrifices.
That is really interesting. I always find the mythological aspects hard to follow, but you and Corvidius sound almost understandable. I am a simple man at heart.

Regards Akhenaten: you mention the removal of the penis from mummies. Martha Bell made a point of mentioning in her Armchair essay on KV55 that Akhenaten’s penis was missing. I myself see the reversed pectoral wrapped around his head, the missing penis, and the erased cartouches with his name, as all being of a piece in the desecration. I wonder if you have something to add. Would like to have a more in depth view of what was happening there beyond the mere general idea of ‘desecration’. (The reversed pectoral, from memory, Bell thought might be a benign act of some kind. My gut says the exact opposite!)

Also it is thought he might have been placed in the pose of a female - one arm at the side. Do you have thoughts on that from a ‘religious’ perspective. Would like to know Corvidius’s thoughts on all this too. [The (possible?) female positioning makes me think of those androgynous portrayals of Akhenaten. Not sure why]?
 

Corvidius

Ad Honorem
Jul 2017
2,786
Crows nest
That is really interesting. I always find the mythological aspects hard to follow, but you and Corvidius sound almost understandable. I am a simple man at heart.

Regards Akhenaten: you mention the removal of the penis from mummies. Martha Bell made a point of mentioning in her Armchair essay on KV55 that Akhenaten’s penis was missing. I myself see the reversed pectoral wrapped around his head, the missing penis, and the erased cartouches with his name, as all being of a piece in the desecration. I wonder if you have something to add. Would like to have a more in depth view of what was happening there beyond the mere general idea of ‘desecration’. (The reversed pectoral, from memory, Bell thought might be a benign act of some kind. My gut says the exact opposite!)

Also it is thought he might have been placed in the pose of a female - one arm at the side. Do you have thoughts on that from a ‘religious’ perspective. Would like to know Corvidius’s thoughts on all this too. [The (possible?) female positioning makes me think of those androgynous portrayals of Akhenaten. Not sure why]?
It's not possible to use arm position as a firm factor in determining the royal status of a mummy. Coffins show crossed arms, or if not crossed, the fists butted against each other over the chest, but actual mummies don't always show this. Tutankhamun has his arms folded over his belly, Yuya has his arms in almost the same position as Ramesses II, yet he is not a king. It's a mess, and shows that they had no master plan that had to be adhered to in all it's aspects. The very different schemes of "decoration" we see in the royal tombs shows there was no master plan and that they could and did alter things to suit themselves.

This article from 2016 on the royal mummies is very informative. Error - Cookies Turned Off Yes, I know it says "error -cookies turned off" and I don't know why, but the link still works. The article is Identifications of ancient Egyptian royal mummies from the 18th Dynasty reconsidered by Habicht, Bouwman and Rühli
 
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AlpinLuke

Ad Honoris
Oct 2011
26,201
Italy, Lago Maggiore
Btw, regarding the position of the arms of a mummy, we have to ponder the extra difficulty that the Amarna period introduced: the lack of respect [to say the least] of some pivotal aspects of the Egyptian religious traditions. We absolutely don't know if Akhenaten intended to modify something also about the preservation of the body. Regarding the mere process of mummification, it doesn't seem he introduced new ideas. Anyway this could depend on who followed the process of mummification and final preparation of the Royal burial site. Neferneferuaten or Smenkhkare? I guess Neferneferuaten. In this case the surviving Monarch not only opened the mouth of Akhenaten but was represented on his sarcophagus instead of the usual deities ...

Ankhkheperure Neferneferuaten was getting again in touch with the traditional cults, so we cannot be sure that she did exactly all how the husband required. But the general impression is that it was an Atenist entombment and probably she respected his will.
 

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