Akhenaten (Box, Carter Archive 001K)

Jul 2017
2,768
Crows nest
I agree and also wanted to apologize if you felt I was attacking you previously. It certainly was not my intention—I simply would love to discuss all of this free of comments towards one camp or the other that could be construed as dismissive (and I wasn’t referring to just you but to everybody). And if you felt that I did exactly that to you, I’m both mortified and apologetic.

I sincerely want to get to the truth of the matter, and am interested in what you’ve read to persuade you of there being no co-regency. You mentioned that you once felt there could be one of duration around 8 years, which is where I’m at currently and why I’m especially interested in what convinced you otherwise.

In your opinion—or anyone else’s, who’d like to join in—mounted more towards no co-regency? You mentioned Bailey’s article which I’m familiar with, and I posted some other articles, including this one by Allen, that have given me pause for thought.

But so far, unless more evidence comes to light or I’m pointed towards papers with evidence that I’m not yet familiar with, I believe that Murnane, Allen, Aldred, Johnson and Luban provide convincing counter-arguments to the evidence presented by those in favour of no co-regency.

But I’m open to persuasion and anything you can point me towards would be gratefully appreciated.
No reason to apologise. It's the internet and it's difficult to communicate properly as we miss so many cues, expressions, tone of voice etc. I'm as guilty as anyone of misreading.

On the co-regency. I stated that I once believed in one, primarily because the first book I ever read specifically about Amarna was Aldred's Akhenaten, and initial information tends to stick, and it did for a while. The reason I stopped believing in a co-regency of any duration, and that was only about 18 months or so ago, was not the result of any specific information from any specific sources to say there was no co-regency, but the gradual realization that the evidence for a co-regency was not real evidence at all, only circumstantial at best, with some areas of "problematica", and I'll put Tiye's hair and teeth into that box to join the supposed dinosaur footprints found in Permian sediments.

Two areas attract my attention more than others. The first is any evidence found on the walls of tombs because of their known propensity to warp time and space for magical and ritual reasons. The second is contained in my post above, in that the cartouches of the two kings on a temple wall will be far far better than on a tomb wall, but as yet the joint cartouches of Amunhotep III and IV/Akhenaten are missing from any temple wall, there is no co-regency, despite the other circumstantial evidence.
 
Likes: Kyla
Oct 2011
26,185
Italy, Lago Maggiore
Lack of any mention of Amunhotep III as a living king at Akehnaten's Karnak constructions seriously mitigates against them reigning at the same time. Building, still as Amunhotep IV, such an edifice as the Gempaaten without the presence of a joint, and senior king, is not feasible, and that goes also for the Hwt-bnbn. Excuses can be made for the temples at Akhetaten constructed when he had become Akhenaten, but not at Karnak.
In case Amenhotep III was busy to deify himself, I don't see the difference: until Akhenaten didn't go to his "holy land" to stay there [let's remember his Proclamations], Karnak was the available place for his Great Temple of the Aten.

It's out of doubt that, any kind of coregency, on the base of the archaeological evidences, should imply that the father simply retired without abdicating [we would say today]. This is not that easy to explain. What said Nebmaatre?

"From now on, I will be a full God. My son, the Monarch Neferkheperure, will rule.
Don't disturb me, I want to stay alone witht Amen, Sekhmet, Ra, Osiris, Ma'at, Thot, Isis, Mut, Nut and Ptah!"


This would make Amenhotep father's final part of reign, suitably odd for the Amarna Period ...

Let's say that, according to my usual historical approach, the explanation of the contextual archaeological reality becomes a bit too complicated. I do prefer simple explanations.
 
Nov 2016
759
Germany
About this work, I find curious this new iconographic path: the Mitannian depictions of deities would be similar to the way they depicted Akhenaten and Nefertiti in the Amarna art. A clue that the Beauty came from Mitanni?
Not only Nefertiti, also Kiya would be a possible candidate for a later identity of the Mitannic princess Tadukhipa (Mongolian name = possessing sweetness). However, I see with the hypothesis Tadukhipa = Nefertiti a problem in so far as Akhenaten seems to have radically broken off diplomatic contacts with the Mitanni king, as the fruitless correspondence of his father-in-law Tushratta with Akhenaten proves, in which the Mitanni king asks for the sending of full-fledged gold statues, to which Akhenaten initially responded inadequately (probably in deliberate provocation) and then no longer at all. In EA 27 (quoted by me recently) Tushratta writes:

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.

To make matters worse, the Mitannic messengers were arrested in Egypt by Akhenaten, about which Tushratta complains in EA 28, threatening to arrest the Egyptian messenger Mane in return:

Pirissi and Tulubri, [m]y messengers, I sent posthaste to my brother, and having told them to hurry very, very-(dan-niš, dan-niš) much, I sent them with a very small escort. Earlier, I had said this to my brother: "I am going to detain Mane, [my brothers's] messenger, until [my] brother lets my messengers go and they come to m[e]."
And now my brother has absolutely refused to let them go, and he has put them under very strict detention.


What is more, considering that one of the statues should represent Tadukhipa, it would be odd under the premise Tadukhipa = Nefertiti that Akhenaten refused to produce and send full-fledged golden statues and instead sent gold-plated statues, which was not only an insult to Tushratta, but would have been also an insult to Nefertiti if identical to Tadukhipa.

Tushratta's unrestrained insistence on gold consignments is related to the contract made between Artatama I and Thutmose IV, according to which Mitanni committed herself at least implicitly to serve as a buffer zone against the Hittites, with which Tushratta, without expressing it clearly, justified his claim to gold gifts. He knew that Egypt obtained her gold in large quantities from Nubia, where brutally enslaved Nubians had to work their way to death in mines in order to bring out the gold (from which, for example, Tutankhamun's so much admired mask was made) which contributed to Egypt's wealth just as much as the countless booty objects and slaves of both sexes which were attained by military raids (or euphemistically, military campaigns).

As for the highly narcissistic monomaniac Akhenaten, he apparently treated his own population worse than other kings did. When archeologist Barry Kemp (director of the ´Amarna Project´) found a worker's cemetery in Amarna, Jerry Rose helped him investigate the health of those buried there. Rose found that many young people had severe bone fractures, spinal injuries, and buckled vertebrae caused by carrying heavy loads, indicating heavy physical labor by very young people who had to work very hard.

In addition, the skeletons, especially of children, had an extremely high rate of anaemia and a very high mortality rate caused by inadequate nutrition, which is particularly unusual in children and youths. On average, 18-20% of people in Egypt were affected by anaemia, compared with 60% in Amarna according to Jerry Rose. Although there was an abundance of food, it is clear that the workers, especially the children, were starving.

So Akhenaten's idyllic family scenes do not really reflect his attitude towards children, but only towards his own children.
 
Last edited:
Jul 2017
2,768
Crows nest
In case Amenhotep III was busy to deify himself, I don't see the difference: until Akhenaten didn't go to his "holy land" to stay there [let's remember his Proclamations], Karnak was the available place for his Great Temple of the Aten.

It's out of doubt that, any kind of coregency, on the base of the archaeological evidences, should imply that the father simply retired without abdicating [we would say today]. This is not that easy to explain. What said Nebmaatre?

"From now on, I will be a full God. My son, the Monarch Neferkheperure, will rule.
Don't disturb me, I want to stay alone witht Amen, Sekhmet, Ra, Osiris, Ma'at, Thot, Isis, Mut, Nut and Ptah!"


This would make Amenhotep father's final part of reign, suitably odd for the Amarna Period ...

Let's say that, according to my usual historical approach, the explanation of the contextual archaeological reality becomes a bit too complicated. I do prefer simple explanations.
How do you "retire" from being at base level the Living Horus, and in the case of Amunhotep III, also Ra-Horakhty, a level up, and then, it seems, Atum-Ra and the Aten. How do you "retire" in any case from being a divinity of any name or description. I would suspect that the only "retirement" comes with death of the body, which then allows an apotheosis to become a god in reality. Surely the simplest answer as to why Amunhotep III is absent as a co-regent at Akhenaten's Karnak temples is that he was dead. The assumption often made here that Amunhotep III let Akhenaten "play in a sandbox" lacks any evidence, and presumes a knowledge of what was actually happening, rather like assuming that person X hated or loved person Y on the basis of not much more than magic and ritual objects or texts.
 
Oct 2011
26,185
Italy, Lago Maggiore
Not only Nefertiti, also Kiya would be a possible candidate for a later identity of the Mitannic princess Tadukhipa (Mongolian name = possessing sweetness). However, I see with the hypothesis Tadukhipa = Nefertiti a problem in so far as Akhenaten seems to have radically broken off diplomatic contacts with the Mitanni king, as the fruitless correspondence of his father-in-law Tushratta with Akhenaten proves, in which the Mitanni king asks for the sending of full-fledged gold statues, to which Akhenaten initially responded inadequately (probably in deliberate provocation) and then no longer at all. In EA 27 (quoted by me recently) Tushratta writes:

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.

To make matters worse, the Mitannic messengers were arrested in Egypt by Akhenaten, about which Tushratta complains in EA 28, threatening to arrest the Egyptian messenger Mane in return:

Pirissi and Tulubri, [m]y messengers, I sent posthaste to my brother, and having told them to hurry very, very-(dan-niš, dan-niš) much, I sent them with a very small escort. Earlier, I had said this to my brother: "I am going to detain Mane, [my brothers's] messenger, until [my] brother lets my messengers go and they come to m[e]."
And now my brother has absolutely refused to let them go, and he has put them under very strict detention.


What is more, considering that one of the statues should represent Tadukhipa, it would be odd under the premise Tadukhipa = Nefertiti that Akhenaten refused to produce and send full-fledged golden statues and instead sent gold-plated statues, which was not only an insult to Tushratta, but would have been also an insult to Nefertiti if identical to Tadukhipa.

Tushratta's unrestrained insistence on gold consignments is related to the contract made between Artatama I and Thutmose IV, according to which Mitanni committed herself at least implicitly to serve as a buffer zone against the Hittites, with which Tushratta implicitly justified his claim to gold gifts. He knew that Egypt obtained her gold in large quantities from Nubia, where brutally enslaved Nubians had to work their way to death in mines in order to bring out the gold (from which, for example, Tutankhamun's so much admired mask was made) which contributed to Egypt's wealth just as much as the countless booty objects and slaves of both sexes which were attained by military raids (or euphemistically, military campaigns).

As for the highly narcissistic monomaniac Akhenaten, he apparently treated his own population worse than other kings did. When archeologist Barry Kemp (director of the ´Amarna Project´) found a worker's cemetery in Amarna, Jerry Rose helped him investigate the health of those buried there. Rose found that many young people had severe bone fractures, spinal injuries, and buckled vertebrae caused by carrying heavy loads, indicating heavy physical labor by very young people who had to work very hard.

In addition, the skeletons, especially of children, had an extremely high rate of anaemia and a very high mortality rate caused by inadequate nutrition, which is particularly unusual in children and youths. On average, 18-20% of people in Egypt were affected by anaemia, compared with 60% in Amarna according to Jerry Rose. Although there was an abundance of food, it is clear that the workers, especially the children, were starving.

So Akhenaten's idyllic family scenes do not really reflect his attitude towards children, but only towards his own children.
Tushratta, [The Amarna Letters : William L. Moran : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive] writing to Akhenaten, says that his daughter got married with him. He says that Napphurreya is his "son-in-law". He hope things goes well for his daughter, Tadu Hepa, wife of Akhenaten ...

Beging Italian, I do know that for a country ally of a "superpower" diplomacy is not that easy. In case US change their geopolitics about EU ... EU could just "complain", but at the end ... Tushratta wasn't in a condition to impose his diplomacy to Akhenaten and he had only the possibility to complain.
 
Oct 2011
26,185
Italy, Lago Maggiore
How do you "retire" from being at base level the Living Horus, and in the case of Amunhotep III, also Ra-Horakhty, a level up, and then, it seems, Atum-Ra and the Aten. How do you "retire" in any case from being a divinity of any name or description. I would suspect that the only "retirement" comes with death of the body, which then allows an apotheosis to become a god in reality. Surely the simplest answer as to why Amunhotep III is absent as a co-regent at Akhenaten's Karnak temples is that he was dead. The assumption often made here that Amunhotep III let Akhenaten "play in a sandbox" lacks any evidence, and presumes a knowledge of what was actually happening, rather like assuming that person X hated or loved person Y on the basis of not much more than magic and ritual objects or texts.
As usual about Amarna, there is an opposite problem: the tomb of Vizier Ramose [TT55]. Despite we know he served under Nebmaatre and Neferkheperure he ordered to represent only Neferkheperure on the walls of his tomb. A prohibition? Huya represented both in his tomb [at Akhetaten!].

Isn't this curious? Could this suggest that even if Ramose was Vizier while Amenhotep III was still at Palace, he was the Vizier of Neferkheperure, but not of Amenhotep III? It would be an indirect contextual clue of a coregency ...
 
Likes: Kyla
Oct 2011
26,185
Italy, Lago Maggiore
For accuracy, in the Palace at Malkata we've got 4 jar labels from Year 30, showing Vizier Ramose [https://imalqata.files.wordpress.co...m-the-palace-of-amenhotep-iii-part-2-1951.pdf the reference is to Weil, Veziere, 85-86. B 12: Hierogl. Texts B.M., VII, 11, No. 1068; Wolf, ZAS, LIX, 118, 11. 1]. As for I know jar labels reach Year 38 at Malkata. This means that Ramose was Vizier under Amenhotep III for about 8 years. Why not to remember this in his tomb?
 
Jul 2017
2,768
Crows nest
It would be an indirect contextual clue of a coregency ...
It could well be, but it is not conclusive, and has the added issue of being from a tomb. I'm not using that as excuse to ignore evidence, but it does mean it we have to be very careful in interpretation. That one should be sitting in the box marked problematica I think, not in a box marked "solved" for either position.
 
Likes: Kyla
Jul 2017
2,768
Crows nest
For accuracy, in the Palace at Malkata we've got 4 jar labels from Year 30, showing Vizier Ramose [https://imalqata.files.wordpress.co...m-the-palace-of-amenhotep-iii-part-2-1951.pdf the reference is to Weil, Veziere, 85-86. B 12: Hierogl. Texts B.M., VII, 11, No. 1068; Wolf, ZAS, LIX, 118, 11. 1]. As for I know jar labels reach Year 38 at Malkata. This means that Ramose was Vizier under Amenhotep III for about 8 years. Why not to remember this in his tomb?
You would think that he would, and they did like proclaiming their service to a king, but does he have to? While they are not normally inconsistent with the basics of how they should be buried, anything else, like non ritual tomb decoration, can be inconsistent, or seem so to us 3,400 years later.
 
Oct 2011
26,185
Italy, Lago Maggiore
You would think that he would, and they did like proclaiming their service to a king, but does he have to? While they are not normally inconsistent with the basics of how they should be buried, anything else, like non ritual tomb decoration, can be inconsistent, or seem so to us 3,400 years later.
One of the curiosities of the Amarna Period is a consequence of Atenism: after a certain moment, who ordered to decorate a tomb, not only changed artistic canon, but also subject. Ramose's tomb is perfect to follow this evolution [like its decoration took more than a decade ... they did it with calm!].

In It we find not a few typical "canonical" representations [and Neferkheperure with Ma'at, depicted in a traditional way Davies, Norman De Garis - The Tomb of the Vizier Ramose (1941) : Davies, Norman de Garis (1865-1941); Peet, Thomas Eric (1882-1934) : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive], but also an Amarna style Royal Couple [Nefertiti and Neferkheperure Amenhotep Davies, Norman De Garis - The Tomb of the Vizier Ramose (1941) : Davies, Norman de Garis (1865-1941); Peet, Thomas Eric (1882-1934) : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive].

With this change there was a disappearance of deities from tombs, a part the Aten and ... the Royal Couple. This is also a reason why Amarna tombs show so many scenes from daily life instead of meetings of the dead individual with deities or other supernatural representations.

Frankly speaking Ramose had all the reasons to occupy a couple of walls with depictions of Amenhotep III and Tiye. Even Huya at Akhetaten reminded Nebmaatre in his tomb.

The only possibility to explain this out of the context of a coregency is that it was a not requested political choice [desptie the tomb was in Thebes]. Ramose would be with all those nobles who, after moving from Thebes, in their tombs at Akhetaten didn't remind Amenhotep III.
 

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