Akhenaten (Box, Carter Archive 001K)

Ayrton

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
4,247
Bendigo
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.
I have wondered before now if Meritaten was made GRW around the menarche. To link ‘wife’ (cohabitation with a man) with menarche seems a reasonable suggestion. I wonder if the same timing might not apply to Sitamun and her marriage to her father? Likewise Iset within in a few years?

That Year 16 graffito for Nefertiti is a curiosity to me. If already Ankhkheperure Neferneferuaten, would the inscriber not have used that name, or part thereof, to signify her state as pharaoh-coregent? Was the inscription on the Carter Box, after all, a posthumous one regards Akhenaten? And Pairi’s tomb, also posthumous as far as Akhenaten is concerned? Nefertiti still reminding of her claim to rule? Or acknowledging her dead husband’s ‘divinity’? Reading Ridley (a second time), he makes mention that Meritaten may (as one option) have been born around Year 3 or 4. In around Year 17, then, she would have been around the menarche...
 
No evidence exists that dates any coregency between Akhenaten and Neferneferuaten/Smenkhkare, so it’s completely plausible that it happened very late in the reign. Add to that the the main reliefs depicting two “kings” are trial pieces or incomplete, and aside from that all you have are items naming Akhenaten, Neferneferuaten (with the efficient for her husband epithet) and Meritaten from Tut’s tomb. Who’s to say that the epithet was applied initially because Neferneferuaten was ruling FOR her husband who was sick or dead? It’d be a good justification for her rule before taking on full titulary as Smenkhkare. Parallels to Hatchepsut’s development from queen to queen regnant to full coregent to senior king.
 
Likes: Kyla

Ayrton

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
4,247
Bendigo
No evidence exists that dates any coregency between Akhenaten and Neferneferuaten/Smenkhkare, so it’s completely plausible that it happened very late in the reign. Add to that the the main reliefs depicting two “kings” are trial pieces or incomplete, and aside from that all you have are items naming Akhenaten, Neferneferuaten (with the efficient for her husband epithet) and Meritaten from Tut’s tomb. Who’s to say that the epithet was applied initially because Neferneferuaten was ruling FOR her husband who was sick or dead? It’d be a good justification for her rule before taking on full titulary as Smenkhkare. Parallels to Hatchepsut’s development from queen to queen regnant to full coregent to senior king.
Hatshetsup may indeed offer a further precedent if Nefertiti ruled upon Akhenaten’s behalf for an unknown period.

I am interested to know, and still have seen no offerings in this regard, why would a pharaoh would would use the same Throne Name of another pharaoh who ruled immediately before them, concurrently with them, or immediately after them? I can think of no motive for this. Pharaohs of the 20th dynasty did so after a fashion, but there was a salient reason for their choice, choosing that of Great Ramesses II. But it seems bizarre for it to occur in the 18th Dynasty. I would like to know a rational motive. For me, of course, Neferneferuaten and Smenkhkare are one, has been for a long time now, and the nomens came in that chronological order. Hatshetsup is clearly a readily found precedent for adopting male trappings, and a new stage in the rule by the adoption of ‘Smenkhkare’ and the dropping of epithets. Which makes me think of that business of Akhenaten’s ‘20’ year rule. Was he, in his last years, totally removed from public life, for whatever Reason? Maybe incapacitated as you suggest? This might be one way of potentially explaining the Pairi tomb graffito? Nefeferuaten ruled, but Akhenaten was still alive?
 
Using the same throne name would most likely indicate the same person. Some earlier and some later kings changed their name - Akhenaten did but kept the same throne name. If you think about it like that it makes sense that Nefertiti is Smenkhkare.

Akhenaten incapacitated, possibly, or perhaps so devoted to his god that someone else needed to actually take responsibility for running the country.
 
Likes: Kyla

Ayrton

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
4,247
Bendigo
Using the same throne name would most likely indicate the same person. Some earlier and some later kings changed their name - Akhenaten did but kept the same throne name. If you think about it like that it makes sense that Nefertiti is Smenkhkare.

Akhenaten incapacitated, possibly, or perhaps so devoted to his god that someone else needed to actually take responsibility for running the country.
For me, Nefertiti is Neferneferuaten-Smenkhkare. Unless new evidence arises, I am happy to think that. Have so for quite awhile now. Seems inescapable.

Religious ‘effective’ incapacitation? Yes. I would definitely include that as an option.
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
26,632
Italy, Lago Maggiore
Using the same throne name would most likely indicate the same person. Some earlier and some later kings changed their name - Akhenaten did but kept the same throne name. If you think about it like that it makes sense that Nefertiti is Smenkhkare.

Akhenaten incapacitated, possibly, or perhaps so devoted to his god that someone else needed to actually take responsibility for running the country.
Let's follow the events.

Nefertiti Neferneferuaten, around Year 16, disappears and ... Ankhkheperure Neferneferuaten appears ...
Ok, Nefertiti wasn't a Throne Name, in case she became a Monarch she needed a Throne Name [Sedge and Bee Name].

Ankhkheperure Neferneferuaten.

We know that this Monarch decided to get in touch again with the traditional cults.

This is a clue to understand what happened: her husband changed his Son of Ra Name from Amenhotep to Akhenaten when he changed his deity of reference ... if Ankhkheperure Neferneferuaten did something similar she would have changed her Throne Name from Neferneferuaten to something not Atenist. Why Smenkhkare? My absolutely personal and irrelevant opinion is that it was a suggestion of an old and wise courtier ...

We should remember that the people knew the Monarch with his/her Throne Name, so Ankhkheperure. Common Egyptians didn't pay a great attention to the Son of Ra Name. At Palace it was relevant. The Monarch, passing from Neferneferuaten to Smenkhkare was indicating a will of political change to the Court, not to the people [as said, common Egyptians knew Ankhkheperure ... Neferneferuaten or Smenkhkare for the people it was the same, actually].
 
There was a break with atenism and Akhenaten on his death. He was the architect of the enterprise. Nefertiti needed to make gestures to distance herself from him and be reborn as a king. She will have needed to be anointed by the gods to re-establish “ maat” just as Tut did later. A name change would help. Smenkhkare means “strong is the soul of Ra” - a suitable name for a ruler. Neferneferuaten means something like “beautiful one of the Aten” - that would not work under the changed regime.
 

Ayrton

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
4,247
Bendigo
Let's follow the events.

Nefertiti Neferneferuaten, around Year 16, disappears and ... Ankhkheperure Neferneferuaten appears ...
Ok, Nefertiti wasn't a Throne Name, in case she became a Monarch she needed a Throne Name [Sedge and Bee Name].

Ankhkheperure Neferneferuaten.

We know that this Monarch decided to get in touch again with the traditional cults.

This is a clue to understand what happened: her husband changed his Son of Ra Name from Amenhotep to Akhenaten when he changed his deity of reference ... if Ankhkheperure Neferneferuaten did something similar she would have changed her Throne Name from Neferneferuaten to something not Atenist. Why Smenkhkare? My absolutely personal and irrelevant opinion is that it was a suggestion of an old and wise courtier ...

We should remember that the people knew the Monarch with his/her Throne Name, so Ankhkheperure. Common Egyptians didn't pay a great attention to the Son of Ra Name. At Palace it was relevant. The Monarch, passing from Neferneferuaten to Smenkhkare was indicating a will of political change to the Court, not to the people [as said, common Egyptians knew Ankhkheperure ... Neferneferuaten or Smenkhkare for the people it was the same, actually].

There was a break with atenism and Akhenaten on his death. He was the architect of the enterprise. Nefertiti needed to make gestures to distance herself from him and be reborn as a king. She will have needed to be anointed by the gods to re-establish “ maat” just as Tut did later. A name change would help. Smenkhkare means “strong is the soul of Ra” - a suitable name for a ruler. Neferneferuaten means something like “beautiful one of the Aten” - that would not work under the changed regime.
Wise courtier? Why not? And why not Ay? He had been her mentor, I assume, alongside Tey. Though she was smart enough on her own to work it out, I guess.

The trajectory of Nefertiti to Nefertiti Neferneferuaten to Ankhkheperure Neferneferuaten to Ankhkheperure Smenkhkare seems kind of inescapable to me. Mind you, I have been obsessing about this for quite some time.

Incidentally, re-reading Ridley (and taking notes. Lol) I notice he says Nefertiti seems to have first appeared (at Thebes in depictions) about Year 3-4. (Akhenaten, Page 59). With my other odd notion that Kiya is Nefertiti, could this suggest ‘Nefertiti’ as a name appeared only after a few years of Akhenaten’s rule had elapsed? This would allow IMO for Kiya to be shown with 1 daughter very early on, including that business of Meritaten Tasherit (‘the little one’) daughter of Kiya, in one of the inscriptions. Maybe she never lost ‘Kiya’ among family but ‘Nefertiti’ took over in official inscriptions and whenever she was seen publicly.

The signs of a Kiya at the MaruAten are curious. The MaruAten was set a fair distance away from anything else. Kyla suggested to me awhile back (as a hypothetical option) that the MaruAten could be a lodge of some kind. And she sent me photos of mural pathways (?) showing beautiful rural scenes. And there were greyhound bones found too. Hunting lodge? Pleasure lodge? Holiday house-temple? Was this one of the earliest constructions at Akhetaten?

AlpinLuke, btw, did you manage to scratch up some inscriptions of Nefertiti on ‘personal’ items? I might exclude jewellery, as they are really public items in my opinion, but what about kohl jars and cosmetic jars and pen cases, joggers, that kind of thing?
 
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