Akhenaten (Box, Carter Archive 001K)

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AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,732
Italy, Lago Maggiore
I am with those who consider Smenkhkare the successor of Akhenaten [and his son]. He and Meritaten are the obvious choices for the next king and queen and a coregency between Akhenaten and Smenkhkare can have begun as late as Year 17. That would have been Smenkhkare's Year 1. But, as Akhenaten died in Year 17, it can still have been the Year 1 of Smenkhkare when the wine ripened in 1 Akhet and the Year 17 honey jar re-used for wine. A king has 12 months from the time he is crowned to have a Year 1.

In the graffito of Pawah he mentions a Year 3 of Neferneferuaten and a "“Hwt nTr n imn m tA Hwt anxxprwra” where he is a wab-priest and scribe of the divine offerings of Amen.
"Hwt nTr" means "temple of the god" and "Hwt" plus prenomen means a mortuary temple. So what is this place? Why would there be a "Hwt anxxprwra" if the first person with that prenomen had not died? It would seem odd that there was a temple of Amen in such a place--but who knows? No "Hwt anxxprwra" has ever been found in western Thebes. It is a difficult phrase to understand and just another of the mysteries of the time.
That graffito is odd about that: if it's dated to Year 3 of Neferneferuaten ... usually this would indicate that Ankhkheperure Neferneferuaten was alive ... this would suggest that the "Hwt" was dedicated to a dead Smenkhkare. Anyway there was an active Hwt, clearly dedicated to a living personage ... the Hwt-benben [obviously not "Hwt-Nefertiti"!]. Personally I wondered if the Hwt-benben didn't become the Hwt-Ankhkheperure, with a direct dedication to the living Monarch.

Who and when would have authorized the clergy of the traditional cults in Thebes to build that structure and overall to run it. Smenkhkare himself? Neferneferuaten?

It's just the fact that archaeologists have found a "Hwt anxxprwra" makes me think to a change of destination of an existing Hwt ... Nefertiti's Hwt-benben. But it's only a hypothesis.
 
Mar 2019
417
Ogden, Utah
I do believe in the coregency but one point in particular gets at me. That is, the memory of Amenhotep III in people just past the Amarna period (e.g. Horemheb and Seti I) is unblemished.

Surely if Amenhotep III was senior king and allowed Akhenaten free reign, he would also have been seen negatively? Or are we to conclude that Akhenaten only really started to be regarded as a heretic after his father's death?
I'm sure it's true. And after the death of Amenhotep III the agents of Akhenaten even defaced the name of the father--for obvious reasons. While his father still lived, Akhenaten was locked into the Atenist triad mode and remained subordinate. It was one thing not to follow orthodoxy in ones own city but to shut down the temples of the other gods, allowing only those dedicated to the sun [such as in Heliopolis] to operate was quite another. There might have been more to it, as well, other things that pointed to Akhenaten having been a bad king and a tyrant once he could do as he liked. He is the only pharaoh I know of that was referred to as an "enemy" or "criminal", however many meanings the word "xrw" had.
 
Mar 2019
417
Ogden, Utah
It is written that Hatshepsut's mortuary temple was "dedicated to Amen" and here are some further remarks about those structures.

Mortuary temple - Wikipedia

Even though it stands to this day, I would doubt that Hatshepsut's temple, beautiful as it was, would have been re-used by anybody late in
Dynasty 18--too much association with that lady there. That page I cited says Seti's mortuary temple was built "in the field of Amen". What does it mean?
Can it be that the whole area in which the kingly mortuary temples were built over many years was known as "the field of Amen"? The site of
Hatshepsut's was called "the holy mountain" later. Maybe this "Hwt nTr n imn" in the "Hwt anxxprwra" was a special little house in a courtyard or
something of that nature, containing a shrine of the god. Who built it? Perhaps even the Atenist Smenkhkare changed course at some point prior
to his death. Neferneferuaten certainly did. A pectoral displaying a goddess found in KV62 had formerly belonged to her. Of course, one can readily
see the wisdom of allowing Atenism and orthodoxy to peacefully co-exist after the death of Akhenaten. His successors could not afford to be unpopular
and Tutankhamen even changed his name--although Thebes was not his primary residence.
 
Mar 2019
417
Ogden, Utah
I admit to not knowing a great deal about many of the mortuary temples but this site gives interesting info. They
were not all built of durable stone. In those post-Akhenaten times, the material appears to have been mud-brick.
That was also the material of the hall of Smenkhkare at Akhetaten. So the Hwt anxxprwra referred to by Pawah
may have entirely disappeared.

Luxor News - Jane Akshar: Mortuary Temple of Amenhotep son of Hapu and Ay/Horemheb
 
Nov 2016
1,686
Germany
In the final analysis, Akhenaten failed in diplomacy. There is no doubt in my mind that he had been still a boy when he was made co-king and had spent the next eight years concentrating on building up Akhetaten. He was only a man in oriental terms, had reached puberty. Nobody asked him to rule the country for some time, although people in his own area of Egypt probably considered him *their king*. But, when his father died, the buck stopped with him.
Below I quote the text of EA 27, written about the same time as EA 26 and personally addressed by Tushratta to Akhenaten. With regard to co-regency there are two things to mention:

(1)
The reading of the dating at the beginning of the text is controversial because the place is damaged. Erman was the first to decipher the stone and with certainty recognized a 2 (as regnal year of A IV) and only if possible a 10 before it (i.e. a total of 12, i.e. regnal year 12 of A IV). Since then there has been much controversy about how to read the number, as it depends on it whether a co-regency should be set at 12 years or a maximum of 2 years (if any). So the choice is very limited, and all those who assume a co-regency, but shorter than 12 years (such as Marianne, who to my knowledge estimates 4 - 8 years), are confronted with the need to explain the deviation of the dating fixed on the stone (whether 2 or 12 years) from their own estimate. At the latest in the reign year 10 Akhenaten began to aggressively suppress the Amun cult and to have not only the representations and the name of the god, but also partly the personal name (not the throne name) of his father extinguished, because this contained the name part Amun. This should make it clear that the reading ´12´ makes no sense if connected with a co-regency. According to EA 27 only the reading ´2´ remains, whereby no co-regency of 2 years is proven, but only that a co-regency would have lasted at most 2 years.

(2)
A second problem is of a content nature. It is quite clear from the letter that the person addressed (Akhenaten) is a rookie from a political and diplomatic point of view, who not only lacks the basics, but who, unlike king mother Tiye and two other persons (Kelya and Mam), has not the slightest idea of what Amenhotep III ever discussed with the King of Mitanni. That would be impossible in the case of a co-regency worthy of the name. Why should Akhenaten have to ask his mother for information about things that happened between A III and Tushratta when he himself was supposedly co-regent for years ("I have said, "My brother must ask his mother [...] He will see that […].”) ???

Tushratta to Akhenaten:

The words that I used to speak to your father, and that your father used to speak to me, no one knows. Teye, your mother, Keliya, and Mam know them, but no one else knows them. My brother's mother knows everything, how your father would speak with me and did not forget his love for my father, and how I would speak with your father and maintained the love that he had from my father.

I believe that the above arguments are sufficient to make a co-regency of 12 years seem impossible and a co-regency of 2 years very unlikely. Someone with the ignorance as it emerges from EA 27 had most likely never been co-regent.

EA 27:

Say to Napbureya, the king of Egypt, my brother, my son-in-law, whom I love and who loves me: thus Tushratta. Great King, the king of Mittani, your father-in-law, who loves you, and your brother.
For me all goes well. For you may all go well. For Teye, your mother, for your household, may all go well. For Tadu-Yeba, my daughter, your wife, for the rest of your wives, for your sons, for your magnates, for your chariots, for your horses, for your troops, for your country, and for whatever else belongs to you, may all go very, very well.
Mane, my brother’s messenger, came and I heard the greeting of my brother and I rejoiced greatly. I saw the goods that my brother sent and I rejoiced greatly.
My brother said this: "Just as you always showed love to my father, Mimmureya, so now show love to me.” After my brother is desirous of my love, shall I not be desirous of my brother's love? At this very moment I show you 10 times more love than I did to your father!
And your father, Mimmureya, said this on his tablet. When Mane brought the bride-price, thus spoke my brother, Mimmureya: "These goods that I have now sent are nothing, and my brother is not to complain. I have sent nothing. These goods that I have now sent to you, I have sent to you with this understanding that, when my brother hands over my wife whom I have asked for, and they bring her here and I see her, then I will send you ten times more than this."
I also asked your father, Mimmureya, for statues of solid cast gold, one of myself and a second statue, a statue of Tadu-yeba, my daughter, and your father said, "Don’t talk of giving statues just of solid cast gold. I will give you ones made also of lapis lazuli. I will give you, too, along with the statues, much additional gold and other goods beyond measure.”
Every one of my messengers that were staying in Egypt saw the gold for the statues with their own eyes. Your father himself recast the statues in the presence of my messengers, and he made them entirely of pure gold. My messengers saw with their own eyes that they were recast, and they saw with their own eyes that they were entirely of pure gold.
He showed much additional gold, which was beyond measure and which he was sending to me. He said to my messengers, "See with your own eyes, here the statues, there much gold and goods beyond measure, which I am sending to my brother.” And my messengers did see with their own eyes!
But my brother has not sent the solid gold statues that your father was going to send. You have sent plated ones of wood. Nor have you sent me the goods that your father was going to send me, but you have reduced them greatly.
Yet there is nothing I know of in which I have failed my brother. Any day that I hear the greetings of my brother, that day I make a festive occasion.
When Yamassi, my brother’s messenger, came to me, reported my brother's words, and I heard them, I spoke as follows; "Just as I always showed love to Mimmureya, your father, I will now show 10 times much more love to Napbureya.’’ Thus did I speak to Yamassi, your messenger."
But now my brother has not sent me the statues of solid gold, nor has my brother sent all the additional goods that your father ordered sent.
May my brother now give me the statues of solid gold that I asked your father for, and may he not hold them back.
And with gold being like dirt in my brother's country, then why have the statues been a source of such distress to my brother that he has not given them to me?
I sent Haamatii post-haste to Mimmureya, my brother, and within months he sent back Haamatii post-haste. Your father sent me much gold. There were four sacks full of gold that he sent me - may my brother ask Yamassi, his messenger.
The words that I used to speak to your father, and that your father used to speak to me, no one knows. Teye, your mother, Keliya, and Mam know them, but no one else knows them. My brother's mother knows everything, how your father would speak with me and did not forget his love for my father, and how I would speak with your father and maintained the love that he had from my father.
And now my brother has said: “Just as you always showed love to my father, so show love to me." My brother will see that I shall show great love to my brother. I have said, "My brother must ask his mother [...] He will see that […].”
Mane, my brother’s messenger, […] I heard my brother's words and I rejoiced greatly.
I herewith send post-haste Pirissi and Tuiubri with a small escort, and have told than to hurry. May my brother not detain them, but release them so they can report back to me, that I may hear my brother's greeting, and rejoice. May my brother's messengers come to me with Pirissi, according to the custom of kings, posthaste. […] the messengers of each one will turn back. Accordingly, I will let Mane, my brother's messenger, go, and my messengers my brother shall let go. Gladly shall I send Mane to […] of my brother.
When my brother's messengers arrive along with Pirissi, I shall invite them to celebrate a great feast. So may they arrive […] and if they do so […] for […] then how will I treat them […] the feast.
May my brother send me much gold. At the feast, […] with many goods may my brother honor me. In my brother's country gold is as plentiful as dirt. May my brother cause me no distress. May he send me much gold in order that my brother, with the gold and […] may honor me. May my brother [...] more than his father did. May they bring back to me much gold.
Herewith, as your greeting-gift: 1 shirt, Hurrian-style; 1 […]; 1 robe; 1 […]; 1 stone; […] pairs for the hand; eye- stones of genuine […] 5 per string, mounted on gold.
I send 1 scent container filled with sweet oil; 1 set of stones mounted on gold— for Teye, your mother.
I send 1 scent container filled with sweet oil; 1 set of stones mounted on gold— for Tadu-yeba, my daughter, your wife.
 
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Ayrton

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
4,269
Bendigo
I really don’t know personally which way to jump with the coregency discussion. It occurs to me (and has before now occurred to me) that Akhenaten was not a young child when he ascended the throne if, within a few years he has produced Meritaten with Nefertiti. Wouldn’t this make him 14 at minimum - around 13 at Meritaten’s conception (minimum?)? So how old when he pursues his Atenist calling and founds a new city? How old was he in around Year 30 (say) - an around about Year for the Coregency starting - and how old, then, in Year 39, the beginning of his sole reign (without a Coregency)? Akhenaten being around 14 in Year 30, or older, seems plausible enough for start of a Coregency. Being around 18-23 in Year 39 for start of his own rule, without a coregency, seems plausible. Does a Coregency suggest Amenophis III’s involvement in the founding of Akhetaten, because Akhenaten would seem (plausibly?) to be quite young at his accession, or does a sole rule beginning after Amenophis III’s death, suggest Akhenaten was old enough and mature enough to create his new city and cult on his own volition?

Obviously, I throw numbers around above. But I wonder if we could nail down some plausible numbers (years, according to Amenophis III’s reign] for Akhenaten’s birth and the beginning of his procreative life with Nefertiti, might have important bearings on whether we allow for a Coregency or not?

NB I can only think Akhenaten was well into his twenties in Year 39 of his father. Though, this hinges with me on thinking Amenophis III was about 12 years old when he ascended the throne. But I see it said (on Wikipedia) that the years are between 6 and 12. Corvidius has suggested it might be possible he could be as old as 15 (from memory). Why not? I don’t know.

I would really like to know some thoughts of others here on the questions I post below.

Regards Amenophis III:
1. How old was Amenophis III when he ascended the throne?
2. How old was he when he began producing children with Tiye? (Sitamun? Thutmose?) [14 - 18 years old???]
3. How old was he when Prince Amenophis (Akhenaten) came along? [? - 40 years old? Allowing Tiye a 20 year procreative life?]

Regards Akhenaten:
1. How old was he when he ascended the throne?
2. How old was he when he produced Meritaten with Nefertiti?

NB As to how old father and son were when they respectively produced their first child must surely have some bearing on dating things? From what I glean, both produced their first Hereditary Princess only after coming to the throne. Did Amenophis III need to wait several years before producing Sitamun/Thutmose, or was it in his first few years of reign? Akhenaten, it seems, produced Meritaten very early in his reign.
 
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Mar 2019
417
Ogden, Utah
The reading of the dating at the beginning of the text is controversial because the place is damaged. Erman was the first to decipher the stone and with certainty recognized a 2 (as regnal year of A IV) and only if possible a 10 before it (i.e. a total of 12, i.e. regnal year 12 of A IV). Since then there has been much controversy about how to read the number, as it depends on it whether a co-regency should be set at 12 years or a maximum of 2 years (if any). So the choice is very limited, and all those who assume a co-regency, but shorter than 12 years (such as Marianne, who to my knowledge estimates 4 - 8 years), are confronted with the need to explain the deviation of the dating fixed on the stone (whether 2 or 12 years) from their own estimate
Anyone who asserts I advocate 4-8 years must never have read a single of my papers on the subject. I advocate eight years of coregency--no more and no less. By his Year 12, Akhenaten has been sole ruler for only four years. And I would like to know how that fact would prevent Tushratta from being put out by the *cheapness" of the things he sent in response to the requests of his father-in-law. Amenhotep III reigned for many more years than that and was known to have disappointed foreign rulers, too--like the king of Babylon, who wanted an Egyptian princess and couldn't get one. Besides, in his Year 12 Akhenaten must have had considerable expenses what with hosting his Great Durbar, as it is called, on the occasion of the birthday of the Aten. I can't believe in a 12 year coregency because I can't believe in anybody being elevated to co-king any earlier than Year 30, as the Meidum graffito demands.
 

Ayrton

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
4,269
Bendigo
Anyone who asserts I advocate 4-8 years must never have read a single of my papers on the subject. I advocate eight years of coregency--no more and no less. By his Year 12, Akhenaten has been sole ruler for only four years. And I would like to know how that fact would prevent Tushratta from being put out by the *cheapness" of the things he sent in response to the requests of his father-in-law. Amenhotep III reigned for many more years than that and was known to have disappointed foreign rulers, too--like the king of Babylon, who wanted an Egyptian princess and couldn't get one. Besides, in his Year 12 Akhenaten must have had considerable expenses what with hosting his Great Durbar, as it is called, on the occasion of the birthday of the Aten. I can't believe in a 12 year coregency because I can't believe in anybody being elevated to co-king any earlier than Year 30, as the Meidum graffito demands.
I must admit, I thought that ‘4’ years of yours sounded odd to me, lol. I thought you might have something to say about that. ?
 
Mar 2019
417
Ogden, Utah
To place too much reliance on the complaint from Mitanni in constructing a time line would not be wise. Tadukhipa, the daughter of Tushratta was sent to Egypt near the time of the death of Amenhotep III. That much seems clear. Then she was turned over to Akhenaten so that Egypt and Mitanni could be joined by marriage into the future. In a different letter, Tushratta says "My daughter who is there with you", probably meaning Akhetaten. Even though there was construction in Year 5 of the latter, Akhenaten and family probably did not move there until his Year 6. So, with a coregency in place, by around Year 38 of Amenhotep III, corresponding to Year 8 of the coregent, Tushratta had received much gold by his own admission. Presumably, this gift satisfied him for some time and it would have been awkward to ask for more in a short period. But time goes by and the king of Mitanni needs funds. So now he claims that Amenhotep III had promised him more statues at the time of the marriage but never had the opportunity to send them and even asserts the statues were somehow changed before the eyes of his messengers, which seems rather spurious. Why would they be hanging around the royal workshops?

If all this had happened only two years since and wthout a coregency, Akhenaten would have still been at Thebes and probably remembered everything. But, after four years and a move to Akhetaten, perhaps Tushratta was banking on a hazy recollection of anything AIII had done in Year 38 [at least by Akhenaten] as he hadn't been in Thebes at the time, anyway. By Year 12 [instead of Year 2] Akhenaten had already been in Akhetaten for six years. He inherited Tadukhipa only four years ago. That's why Tushratta is saying "Ask Mom" or this or that person--because Akhenaten was never around at the time all these so-called promises had been made. Think about it.
 
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Corvidius

Ad Honorem
Jul 2017
3,047
Crows nest
Just for interest, this walkabout tour of the Egyptian Museum in 4K does linger in the Amarna Gallery and there is some good footage of the KV55 coffin. Although he has not zoomed in on the foot of the lid, the quality of what we see is better than seen in most text books on the subject. It also shows just how much of the basin is missing, including the foot. I don't want to be seen as advertising the guys channel, but his walkabouts at Giza are outstanding, far better footage than any documentary and second only to actually being there.
Footage of the Amarna Gallery begins at 22:10
 
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