Akhenaten (Box, Carter Archive 001K)

Ayrton

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
4,246
Bendigo
My impression is that, considering the titles carried by Tey, I actually think that she was the real noble, while Ay, getting married with her, gained a higher social status [which probably helped him in his career at Court].
Maybe. I always return to the issue of Nefertiti as a child being nursed/tutored by Tey. Why? Who was she? If daughter of just nobles (commoners), presumably it was higher ranking nobles than Ay and Tey? Or do I presume incorrectly? Ay and Tey seem pretty high ranking themselves. And I can’t help but intuit a familial relation with Yuya somewhere. One thing is clear, Ay’s Amarna tomb was surely delved post the Akhetaten move. So one presumes she was well and truly Nefertiti (irrespective of what name she may have begun life with) when Ay and Tey look back to their tutoring/nursing days.

I really would like to see some evidence of when ‘Nefertiti’ first appears in the record.
 

Ayrton

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
4,246
Bendigo
My impression is that, considering the titles carried by Tey, I actually think that she was the real noble, while Ay, getting married with her, gained a higher social status [which probably helped him in his career at Court].

Poking around in the Nobles Tombs at Amarna (via Wikipedia).

Wikipedia (as source):
Any: Scribe of the offering table of the Lord of the Two Lands, Steward of the House of Aakheprure (Amenhotep II), etc

Ay, Fanbearer on the right of the King, God's Father, The commander of all the horses of his Person.
Ay, Servant, presents Any with a bouquet of lotus flowers. From Votive stele found in tomb of Any.

The tombs of Any, Paatenemheb and Ay are close together. May mean nothing, may suggest something. Curious about that votive stele with ‘Ay’ as Servant of Any. Any was Steward of Aakheperure Amenophis (II)! So were Ayand Paatenemheb, (previously under his original name, of course) servants of Any under Amenophis II? Is that when Ay began his career? And did he STILL serve Any at Akhetaten??? Any must have been quite long in the tooth, but still able enough to move to Akhetaten. When I think of Yuya and Thuya, they surely were contemporaries of Amenophis II. And Ay, presumably, a younger contemporary of Amenophis II, serving under Any...

I wonder what this may mean to the age of Amenophis III and his age at ascent to the throne? We are surely looking at Any being old enough to be Amenophis II’s Steward. Yet young enough to get through to the early (??) days of Akhetaten, aren’t we? With Thutmose IV’s 10 year reign, and Amenophis III’s 38-39, we must see Any as being (allowing, say, him being 20 years old when he became Steward) about 70 years old, minimum, at the beginning of the Akhetaten move. Not implausible in the least. Though a Steward might be older, perhaps, when he took up his duties? Even starting at 20, Any may have been as old as 80? This would at least give him about 10 years as Steward of Amenophis II.

Anyway, if Ay is a Servant of Any while at Amarna, then what might this say about his wife being nurse to the child Nefertiti? Do we perhaps see a connection of Nefertiti to Amenophis II? Maybe through a brother or sister of Thutmose IV?A. (A brother or sister of Amenophis III?) I think the idea has been canvassed here before now.

I wonder who Thutmose IV’s Steward was? Can’t see him anywhere at Amarna.

My brain hurts. Am I rambling...

From wiki. Any. Under votive Steles.
(table would not copy - sorry if a bit messy, but keep losing it when I try to edit).

“Votive stelae from the tomb of Any Name of donor Title Description Notes Pakha[1]Overseer of the WorksPakha presents Any with a bouquet of lotus flowersSteindorff reads the names as Pa-kharu "the Syrian"[1]Nebwawi [1]ScribeThe stele shows two registers. At the top Nebwawi is shown before Any. At the bottom Nebwawi offers an ox. [1][4]Any-men[1]ServantAny is seated on a chair in front of a latticed door which leads to the shrine. Any-men present him with a large jar of wine. [1]Thay [1]Charioteer of the royal scribe AnyThe stela depicts Any in a chariot with Thay.The only stele not to provide for the Ka of Any. [1][Ptah?]May[1]His brother[Ptah]May stands before a seated Any.The signs before "May" have been erased. Davies mentions the reading "the Scribe May" is also possible. [1]Ay[1]ServantAy presents Any with a bouquet of lotus flowers.”

Notice that May is mentioned. Presumably the general from Tomb 14. Thay, Any’s charioteer, is brother of May (the General and Scribe as well?) Ay is a charioteer btw. May is in the nobles tombs too, of course. So do we see old army men from the days of Amenophis II still supporting the dynasty in the early days of Akhetaten... but no Paatenemheb mentioned in Any’s tomb? At least, not by that name.
 
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Ayrton

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
4,246
Bendigo
Still poking round... found this:
Arpi. Universita di Pisa
“A black-varnished coffin brought by Ippolito Rosellini to Florence (Museo Egizio, inv. no. 9477), found during the excavations made in the Theban necropolis by the Franco-Tuscan Expedition, bears the name of a God’s Father Qenamon. The presence of the title it-nTr, not followed by any divine name, in association with the name Qenamon, and the dating of the Florence coffin to Dynasty 18 suggested a possible connection with the owner of TT 93, Qenamon, Chief Steward of Perunefer and foster-brother of Amenhotep II (Betrò 2013a). This paper gives a detailed description of the case and its texts, and examines the proposed attribution in the light of Rosellini’s notes about the intact tombs the Expedition found in the Theban necropolis and the available data on Qenamun, his tomb and his known objects.”

Qenamon was Steward at Prince Amenophis (Amenophis II’s) naval base, Peru nefer. Great mate of his by all accounts. Right into Amenophis II’s reign. As you will notice: he was ‘God’s Father.” Now Qenamon was a Foster-brother of Amenophis II. In the sense Qenamon’s mother was a young Amenophis’s wetnurse. They grew up together. But this ‘God’s Father’ business is curious. Thought it was a term used uniquely by Yuya and Ay? Some thinking it might mean ‘Father in Law’. Well, that idea is surely sunk. (Hope I remember the ‘God’s Father’ business correctly...) And did Ay become Tuts ‘steward’?
 
Nov 2016
872
Germany
Thought it was a term used uniquely by Yuya and Ay?
A few thoughts on the role of the house of Yuya.

The influence of this house on the final phase of the 18th dynasty cannot be overestimated. Yuya belonged to the noble class in the Upper Egyptian city of Akhmim and was very wealthy. His ethnic origin was probably Indo-Aryan (from Mitanni) or Semitic. He may have been a brother of Queen Mutemwiya, the mother of Amenophis III (Cyril Aldred), who may have had a Mitanni king (Artatama I) as her father, but this is poorly documented. He acted for Thutmoses IV, the grandfather of Akhenaten, as "King´s Lieutenant" and "Master of the Horse". His daughter Tiye was married to young Amenophis III, who was probably between 6 and 13 years old when he ascended the throne. Even more astonishing is the age of Tiye at the time of the coronation of Amenophis III, because she was barely older than 3 years when her childish husband ascended the throne. She was the first Egyptian queen to emancipate herself alongside her king and whose name was always mentioned together with the name of the king. Her influence on Egyptian politics was extraordinary. She corresponded independently with kings abroad and was highly esteemed for her wisdom as a counsellor. She probably ruled over Egypt during the time of the illness that led to Amenophis III's death.

Ay, who also comes from the city of Akhmim, was according to a much held theory Tiye´s brother and therefore a son of Yuya and his wife Tjuyu. He was a high civil servant at the court of Akhenaten and according to a theory is considered the father of Nefertiti (inscriptions in the tomb of Ay), whose mother was Ay´s wife Tey (Tij).

Assuming that Tiye and Ay were siblings and that Nefertiti was Ay's daughter, a picture emerges in which the Yuya family increasingly gains power over the royal house and determines its politics, also and above all its religious policy. In this scenario, Nefertiti's high position at court could be explained by the fact that Tiye and Ay did everything they could to give her the same equal position alongside the Pharaoh (Akhenaten), which Tiye had fought for as the wife of Amenophis III.

One can assume with high probability that Tiye, due to her experience and competence, together with Ay led the government business during the first years after Akhenaton's accession (similar to Queen Mother Mutemwia for the child Amenophis III after the death of Thutmosis IV) and that the king did not begin to pursue an independent policy until year 5 of his reign, when he initiated the establishment of Akhetaten, even though he was still very young at that time, since he presumably came to the throne at the age of 9 or 10 years.

Here, of course, the much discussed question has to be dealt with whether Akhenaton ruled for a while together with his father Amenophis III (co-regency). As can be seen from the previous paragraph, I assume in my presentation that there was no co-regency. What seems to speak for a co-regency is based among other things on a find in the grave of the vizier Amenhotep-Huja in the year 2014, from which some experts conclude a time of at least 8 years of a common governing of father and son. I am not aware of any conclusive findings that would provide conclusive evidence. There are several arguments against co-regency. For example, in the tomb of the treasurer Cheriuf, who organized two Sed feasts for Amenophis III, the 36th year of Pharaoh's reign (who reigned for a total of 38 years) is mentioned in one place, while in another place in the same tomb Akhenaten is depicted together with his mother Tiye. If Akhenaten had been co-regent at that time, one would expect him to be shown near his father instead of near his mother. A wine delivery from the 37th reign year only mentions Amenophis III, but no co-regent. A hieratically written note about an Amarna letter mentions the 2nd reign year of Akhenaton without naming a co-regent, which would be surprising if Amenophis III had co-ruled at that time.

All in all, Egyptology today sees no compelling reason to assume co-regency, it seems rather unlikely. For this reason I prefer to assume that during the first years of Akhenaton's reign his mother Tiye decisively directed politics - also religious politics.
 
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Ayrton

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
4,246
Bendigo
A few thoughts on the role of the house of Yuya.

The influence of this house on the final phase of the 18th dynasty cannot be overestimated. Yuya belonged to the noble class in the Upper Egyptian city of Akhmim and was very wealthy. His ethnic origin was probably Indo-Aryan (from Mitanni) or Semitic. He may have been a brother of Queen Mutemwiya, the mother of Amenophis III (Cyril Aldred), who may have had a Mitanni king (Artatama I) as her father, but this is poorly documented. He acted for Thutmoses IV, the grandfather of Akhenaten, as "King´s Lieutenant" and "Master of the Horse". His daughter Tiye was married to young Amenophis III, who was probably between 6 and 13 years old when he ascended the throne. Even more astonishing is the age of Tiye at the time of the coronation of Amenophis III, because she was barely older than 3 years when her childish husband ascended the throne. She was the first Egyptian queen to emancipate herself alongside her king and whose name was always mentioned together with the name of the king. Her influence on Egyptian politics was extraordinary. She corresponded independently with kings abroad and was highly esteemed for her wisdom as a counsellor. She probably ruled over Egypt during the time of the illness that led to Amenophis III's death.

Ay, who also comes from the city of Akhmim, was according to a much held theory Tiye´s brother and therefore a son of Yuya and his wife Tjuyu. He was a high civil servant at the court of Akhenaten and according to a theory is considered the father of Nefertiti (inscriptions in the tomb of Ay), whose mother was Ay´s wife Tey (Tij).

Assuming that Tiye and Ay were siblings and that Nefertiti was Ay's daughter, a picture emerges in which the Yuya family increasingly gains power over the royal house and determines its politics, also and above all its religious policy. In this scenario, Nefertiti's high position at court could be explained by the fact that Tiye and Ay did everything they could to give her the same equal position alongside the Pharaoh (Akhenaten), which Tiye had fought for as the wife of Amenophis III.

One can assume with high probability that Tiye, due to her experience and competence, together with Ay led the government business during the first years after Akhenaton's accession (similar to Queen Mother Mutemwia for the child Amenophis III after the death of Thutmosis IV) and that the king did not begin to pursue an independent policy until year 5 of his reign, when he initiated the establishment of Akhenaten, even though he was still very young at that time, since he presumably came to the throne at the age of 9 or 10 years.

Here, of course, the much discussed question has to be dealt with whether Akhenaton ruled for a while together with his father Amenophis III (co-regency). As can be seen from the previous paragraph, I assume in my presentation that there was no co-regency. What seems to speak for a co-regency is based among other things on a find in the grave of the vizier Amenhotep-Huja in the year 2014, from which some experts conclude a time of at least 8 years of a common governing of father and son. I am not aware of any conclusive findings that would provide conclusive evidence. There are several arguments against co-regency. For example, in the tomb of the treasurer Cheriuf, who organized two Sed feasts for Amenophis III, the 36th year of Pharaoh's reign (who reigned for a total of 38 years) is mentioned in one place, while in another place in the same tomb Akhenaten is depicted together with his mother Tiye. If Akhenaten had been co-regent at that time, one would expect him to be shown near his father instead of near his mother. A wine delivery from the 37th reign year only mentions Amenophis III, but no Ko-Regent. A hieratically written note about an Amarna letter mentions the 2nd reign year of Akhenaton without naming a co-regent, which would be surprising if Amenophis III had co-ruled at that time.

All in all, Egyptology today sees no compelling reason to assume co-regency, it seems rather unlikely. For this reason I prefer to assume that during the first years of Akhenaton's reign his mother Tiye decisively directed politics - also religious politics.
Paragraph 1: The foreign connection may need some expansion, I think. Yuya shares DNA with Amenophis III and has some form of familial relationship. Being brother or cousin of Mutemwiya seems plausible enough.

Paragraph 2: I am struck by your comment that Tiye was only 3 years old. I would like know more about this. I have never heard that before now.

Paragraph 3: Ay as son of Yuya and/or father of Nefertiti has been much discussed here. I think the jury is definitely still out on this.

Paragraph 5: Depending on how old Akhenaten was at accession, we might think Tiye had greater influence the younger he was. I do see her having quite some influence even if he was quite mature when he ascended the throne. She is clearly IMO a major figure in those times.

Paragraph 6: I am totally at a loss about the Coregency business. I kind of skirt around the whole thing in my current poking and proddings. I think the arguments for and against still should be heard. You might be right. In fact, I think I even lean toward no Coregency at the moment. For all the reasons you outline. Yet, as I said, the jury won’t be coming in with a verdict anytime soon IMO. Tomorrow I am likely to think there might have been one. I am obviously not as confident as you are. 😎
 
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Ayrton

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
4,246
Bendigo
I have been thinking more on Qenamon, Steward of Amenophis II, and of Yuya and Ay. The ‘Gods Father’ business has certainly got my juices going.

A speculative trajectory (of sorts):

Qenamon is Steward of Amenophis II. One epithet = God’s Father. (Citing University of Pisa). He is a military man.

Any is Steward of Amenophis II, at some stage afterward.He keeps title even through to the Akhetaten sojourn. Ay, from the evidence of the tomb at Amarna, was maybe his servant in the early days up until early in the Akhetaten sojourn.

Yuya, quite plausibly beginning in Amenophis III’s reign, is powerful in the land. He has an epithet = God’s Father. To Amenophis III. He is a military man.

Ay becomes powerful in the land. He has an epithet = God’s Father. To Akhenaten? To Tut? To both in turn? Can’t remember offhand. But he is a military man, I know that much.

Do we see a connection occurring, running like a scarlet thread, from Qenamon through Yuya to Ay?

Were Yuya and Any both in service to Amenophis II? Any was a Steward of the House. What was Yuya, I wonder?
 

Ayrton

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
4,246
Bendigo
Continuing to disturb the dead in the Tombs of the Nobles at Amarna.


From Wikipedia under Maya.
“Aldred suggested that Meryptah had succeeded Ptahmose as High Priest of Amun and served towards the end of Amenhotep III's reign. And hence Maya would have been Meryptah's successor.[4]Donald Redford speculates that Maya is short for Ptahmose and that Ptahmose served from the end of the reign of Amenhotep III until the beginning of the time of Akhenaten.[2]

How about this for size:

Meryptah is High Priest of Amun until about Year 4* of Akhetaten. Then he disappears. Funny how people disappear suddenly around Akhetaten (like there is a conspiracy or something).... but, no! Maybe there is another explanation! Meryptah becomes Meryre (I), High Priest of Aten! The man with the big tomb! Does big tomb = ‘big’ official? Well, Meryre I as a High Priest of Atenism must surely have been a ‘big’ official, surely.

So Redford’s ‘Maya’, short for Ptahmose might better read Ayrton’s ‘Maya’ short for Meryptah! [I think of ‘Mayati’ in the Amarna Letters = ‘Merytaten’. Do we see a pattern here? 🤔) NB Aldred was maybe right to think Meryptah succeeded Ptahmose.

So do we see simple name transitions again?
Meryptah to Meryre (I). High Priest of Amun to High Priest of Aten. Probably not a huge step for an ambitious man.
Meryneith to Meryre (II) to Meryneith.
Minemheb to Paatenemheb to Horemheb - that boy, it seems to me, was really sucking up. Sucked up all the way to the top in the end.


*Wikipedia under Maya. “Maya is not mentioned after year 4, and it is possible he died soon after this expedition.[2]” Died or moved (alive and kicking) to Akhetaten with his pharaoh? [The expedition was to a quarry].


Edit: I might just throw this online. I tend to think Ramesses (later Ramesses I) and Seti, (later Seti I) probably did time at Akhetaten too. Just saying.

Anyhow, I’m off to disturb the dead again....


2nd Edit: Ramose, Suti* and Paatenemheb: looking at the Tombs of the Nobles, Wikipedia has nothing to say about these three. Is Wikipedia concealing that Ramose, Suti and Paatenemheb were up to their armpits in Atenism to begin with... or should I say, Ramesses I, Seti I and Horemheb! 😳 Never would have picked our beloved Wikipedia writers as sympathisers and propagandists-by-omissions for those usurping Ramessieds! 😡

*Satau?
 
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Can anyone show or guess at how old a daughter of a pharaoh was when she became Great Royal Wife (Spouse)? I am guessing around the menarche, but...?
Very hard to say because I don't think we have any examples of mummies of GRW in this situation. Very few kings really did this - just the ones with long reigns who were deified in their own lifetimes - Amenhotep III and Ramesses II for sure.

In Ramesses case his daughters took on the GRW role on the likely death of their mothers. In his case this was after Year 25 and from other sources (procession lists) it is known these women were most likely born before he came to the throne, so they won't have been young (Bintanath, daughter of Isetnofret and Meritamon, daughter of Nefertari).

With Amenhotep III we are not confident about when Sitamun was born but she became GRW around the time of the first Sed Festival in Year 30. As she is shown at various ages on the chairs in Yuya and Tuya's tomb, and clearly had an active vineyard (most wine labels after her father), I'd say its extremely probable she was 25 - 28 years of age when becoming GRW. Sitamun is associated closely with Amenhotep Son Of Hapu on his depictions; as he was responsible for the research and management of the Sed festivals until he died it is tempting to see Sitamun's responsibilities as relating to the religious and courtly life, wheras Tiye we know got involved in foreign policy and internal politics (Amarna letters). Iset also became a queen but did not have the same level of titles as Sitamun or her mother. Her promotion to queen came also at the time of the Sed festivals. Age must have something to do with it - daughters of marriageable age but unable to marry. This issue was resolved by the 19th Dynasty, with several daughters of the king married to prominent courtiers e.g. Ramesses II's sister Tia.

As usual, Akhenaten is different, his daughters probably younger than his sisters were at the time of their promotion. We only know that Meritaten was GRW for sure with Neferneferuaten and Smenkhkare (I think this is Nefertiti). In this case, regardless of her age I think she was promoted to GRW to replace Nefertiti. I do think she will have been in young adulthood as she is referred to (as Mayati) in the Amarna letters to Akhenaten - but as his daughter not his queen. It is clear that from an early age she was being groomed to be queen - very much deputising for or supporting her mother in scenes from Karnak in the early years of the reign.
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
26,576
Italy, Lago Maggiore
Very hard to say because I don't think we have any examples of mummies of GRW in this situation. Very few kings really did this - just the ones with long reigns who were deified in their own lifetimes - Amenhotep III and Ramesses II for sure.

In Ramesses case his daughters took on the GRW role on the likely death of their mothers. In his case this was after Year 25 and from other sources (procession lists) it is known these women were most likely born before he came to the throne, so they won't have been young (Bintanath, daughter of Isetnofret and Meritamon, daughter of Nefertari).

With Amenhotep III we are not confident about when Sitamun was born but she became GRW around the time of the first Sed Festival in Year 30. As she is shown at various ages on the chairs in Yuya and Tuya's tomb, and clearly had an active vineyard (most wine labels after her father), I'd say its extremely probable she was 25 - 28 years of age when becoming GRW. Sitamun is associated closely with Amenhotep Son Of Hapu on his depictions; as he was responsible for the research and management of the Sed festivals until he died it is tempting to see Sitamun's responsibilities as relating to the religious and courtly life, wheras Tiye we know got involved in foreign policy and internal politics (Amarna letters). Iset also became a queen but did not have the same level of titles as Sitamun or her mother. Her promotion to queen came also at the time of the Sed festivals. Age must have something to do with it - daughters of marriageable age but unable to marry. This issue was resolved by the 19th Dynasty, with several daughters of the king married to prominent courtiers e.g. Ramesses II's sister Tia.

As usual, Akhenaten is different, his daughters probably younger than his sisters were at the time of their promotion. We only know that Meritaten was GRW for sure with Neferneferuaten and Smenkhkare (I think this is Nefertiti). In this case, regardless of her age I think she was promoted to GRW to replace Nefertiti. I do think she will have been in young adulthood as she is referred to (as Mayati) in the Amarna letters to Akhenaten - but as his daughter not his queen. It is clear that from an early age she was being groomed to be queen - very much deputising for or supporting her mother in scenes from Karnak in the early years of the reign.
About Meritaten, if she became GRW to substitute Nefertiti in that role [I think that this was the reason, actually, whatever was the cause of the "disappearance" of the mother], we can have a temporal reference ... the graffito in the quarry from Year 16. It had written in the first month of Akhet season, this means in the first month of Year 16 [substantially September]. Nefertiti was still Nefertiti Neferneferuaten, Lady of the Two Lands. So that, if Meritaten was born around the end of Year 1, she was 14 [since the end of Year 15] when someone wrote that graffito. If Meritaten was born a bit before of the Royal Marriage .. may be she was 15, max 16.

So that, not having later references to Nefertiti Neferneferuaten, Meritaten became GRW between 14 and 16.
 

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