Akhenaten (Box, Carter Archive 001K)

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Ayrton

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
4,250
Bendigo
The interesting question raised in that text is just who exactly was the "He" who initiated new priests and prophets, as it certainly would not have been Tutankhaten. Then the question is old of course and we can reasonably guess at Ay, a man curiously, IMO, who never held a priestly office, or at least not that survives in the record. I do wonder if he did not have a high opinion of the religious order as it was until Akhenaten. Maybe he was Akhenaten's Thomas Cromwell, but with the fortune to outlive his king. Then when the game is up, maybe by a show of force by the "old order", or at least the survivors, he reverses the changes.

As an aside, I do sometimes wish that Shakespeare had known about Amarna, for even the little that remains gives scope for great story telling.
That Ay was heavily involved in ‘restoring’ tradition - broadly speaking - seems more than plausible. His association - suggested by his wife being wetnurse - to Nefertiti might support Nefertiti as Ankhkheperure Neferneferuaten-Smenkhkare being involved in this ‘restoration’ before her death. My guess that Ay moved Tiye out of KV55 to me as part of his overall distancing - and reversion - from his former Royal role in the whole Atenist business might hint at this too.
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
26,889
Italy, Lago Maggiore
Well ... there is an aspects of the so call "Amarna Period" we should keep in mind: it was brief. We usually hear that the mean lifespan of Ancient Egyptians was around 30 years [34 for the optimistic scientists!]. But this doesn't mean that there weren't wealthy Egyptians who lived a normal life [that is to say 70-80 or even 90 years]. Akhenaten reigned for 17 years ... we could make a comparison with Hitler or Mussolini ... [Hitler didn't keep the power so long, but Mussolini lasted more than 20 years ...].

Reality is that it was an intense episode when an absolute Monarch decided to build a new capital [without problems to make children and teens work] and to reform the religious organization of the country. But it was a matter of a couple of decades. My educated guess is that not a little part of the establishment simply observed such an exceptional unicum just to go back to common existence once Akhenaten was no more.
 

Ayrton

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
4,250
Bendigo
Well ... there is an aspects of the so call "Amarna Period" we should keep in mind: it was brief. We usually hear that the mean lifespan of Ancient Egyptians was around 30 years [34 for the optimistic scientists!]. But this doesn't mean that there weren't wealthy Egyptians who lived a normal life [that is to say 70-80 or even 90 years]. Akhenaten reigned for 17 years ... we could make a comparison with Hitler or Mussolini ... [Hitler didn't keep the power so long, but Mussolini lasted more than 20 years ...].

Reality is that it was an intense episode when an absolute Monarch decided to build a new capital [without problems to make children and teens work] and to reform the religious organization of the country. But it was a matter of a couple of decades. My educated guess is that not a little part of the establishment simply observed such an exceptional unicum just to go back to common existence once Akhenaten was no more.
This makes sense to me. Akhenaten moved to Akhetaten in about his Year 5-6 (?), when his ‘Atenist’ ideas could really begin to evolve. Around 12 years of this. And it seems to have only been a religious movement affecting the beliefs of those at the top of the tree in any deep way. And one thinks many at the top just went along for the ride; who knows, biding their time for what they might have seen as ‘sanity’ to return, or just seeing where the new religious ideas would lead? No big issue to go back to old ways that, at least privately, they never really abandoned.

I am curious to know why some nobles got to be buried in the Northern tombs and others in the Southern. What was the dividing line here? Between Akhenaten’s absolute supporters, his ‘close’ circle, and the ‘other’ necessary officials elsewhere?
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
26,889
Italy, Lago Maggiore
Some thoughts on the Restoration Stela, itself, usurped by Horemheb. No glyphs but transliteration and translation:

https://mjn.host.cs.st-andrews.ac.uk/egyptian/texts/corpus/pdf/RestorationTutankhamun.pdf

The Year 1 there is a restoration in itself from a lacuna. It would seem that, in his actual first year, he was still called Tutankhaten, judging from cartouches remaining on his golden throne. Is there really a Year 1 for him anywhere under either name? As to the temples of the old gods, the stela makes it plain they were abandoned prior to the advent of this young king. And yet, in Year 3 of Ankhkheperure Neferneferuaten, there was a graffito by a wab priest of Amen. But a wab priest was not a Hm-priest or a full time servitor. My guess it was the same under Akhenaten as under future reigns in other lands when it came to religion--convert or see some trouble.
Regarding that [Year 1], which looks an educated interpolation at first sight, I wouldn't be that surprise. I've pondered how some Monarchs changed their Son of Ra name. As for I can understand from what happened, it was only the Sovereign to have the possibility to change that name. The traditional clergy had no troubles to deal with Neferneferu-Aten. So that Tutankhaten was Tutankhaten. End of history. Only he had the possibility to change that name into Tutankhamen. Nobody else.

What I imagine is that after getting the Throne as Tutankhaten with Ankhesenpaaten the "regency council" [that is to say the 3 big guys] started a job of persuasion to convince the Royal Couple to change the deity of reference in their names.
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
26,889
Italy, Lago Maggiore
This makes sense to me. Akhenaten moved to Akhetaten in about his Year 5-6 (?), when his ‘Atenist’ ideas could really begin to evolve. Around 12 years of this. And it seems to have only been a religious movement affecting the beliefs of those at the top of the tree in any deep way. And one thinks many at the top just went along for the ride; who knows, biding their time for what they might have seen as ‘sanity’ to return, or just seeing where the new religious ideas would lead? No big issue to go back to old ways that, at least privately, they never really abandoned.

I am curious to know why some nobles got to be buried in the Northern tombs and others in the Southern. What was the dividing line here? Between Akhenaten’s absolute supporters, his ‘close’ circle, and the ‘other’ necessary officials elsewhere?
The Northern tombs are in better conditions because they had built in a better context. A part this the Northern cemetery is reserved to a few nobles who look to be quite near to Akhenaten and Nefertiti [we've got Huya, the two Meryre, Ahmose, Penthu and Paneshy], but the Southern Tombs hosted very important personages as well [or were intended to ... before of the end of Akhetaten]. Anyway the Southern cemetery shows also little less important tombs. There are a couple of Viziers, a Mayor and Ay ...

If I have to find something in common among the owners of the Northern tombs ... they were connected with the palace of Nefertiti or with the House of the Aten. [Btw, Meryre II substituted, de facto Huya, as overseer of the Harem ... from Tiye's Harem to Nefertiti's Harem].
 

Corvidius

Ad Honorem
Jul 2017
2,995
Crows nest
What I imagine is that after getting the Throne as Tutankhaten with Ankhesenpaaten the "regency council" [that is to say the 3 big guys] started a job of persuasion to convince the Royal Couple to change the deity of reference in their names.
As I doubt either of them would have known much of any significance about the orthodox religion, I think those conversations would have been very interesting, to say the least. Perhaps as revelatory as having a discussion about "soylent green". Just imagine if today you were sat down and told that your current beliefs were a lie and that the old gods were the real deal....
 

Ayrton

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
4,250
Bendigo
The Northern tombs are in better conditions because they had built in a better context. A part this the Northern cemetery is reserved to a few nobles who look to be quite near to Akhenaten and Nefertiti [we've got Huya, the two Meryre, Ahmose, Penthu and Paneshy], but the Southern Tombs hosted very important personages as well [or were intended to ... before of the end of Akhetaten]. Anyway the Southern cemetery shows also little less important tombs. There are a couple of Viziers, a Mayor and Ay ...

If I have to find something in common among the owners of the Northern tombs ... they were connected with the palace of Nefertiti or with the House of the Aten. [Btw, Meryre II substituted, de facto Huya, as overseer of the Harem ... from Tiye's Harem to Nefertiti's Harem].
I find it hard to escape the thought that the owners of the Northern Tombs were more intimate courtiers of pharaoh.

I have looked at Any before now and that ‘servant’ of his Ay. Any was a high official of Amenophis II. Another servant, ‘Thay’ has caught my attention, along with the reference to chariots: does the name ‘Thay’ share a relationship with the name ‘Thuya’? Is it the same name? No, not suggesting it was Thuya, just wondering if it could be another ‘Akhmim’-type name?
 

Ayrton

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
4,250
Bendigo
As I doubt either of them would have known much of any significance about the orthodox religion, I think those conversations would have been very interesting, to say the least. Perhaps as revelatory as having a discussion about "soylent green". Just imagine if today you were sat down and told that your current beliefs were a lie and that the old gods were the real deal....
Though they may have heard plenty about the ‘wrong’ cults and cultic practices Aten had replaced.
 
Mar 2019
261
Peterborough, Ontario Canada
...So, should we not look beyond Akhmin for a place to provide wives and officials for the Thutmosids, and look more closely at priesthoods beyond that of Amun ,which gets all the attention, with that of Ptah getting a mention due to Thutmose, and look more closely at Abydos and the core and wider family that provided this succession of HP of Osiris and Anhur, and two viziers and a viceroy. While all bar one of these people mentioned held office after Amarna, I don't think they emerged from a vacuum on the death of Akhenaten, they cannot to have been in such high positions with Tutankhamun, and they seem to have been a serious power.
Could you—or anyone on the thread—please tell me more about the Viceroys? It seems the Viceroys of Kush and Nubia are especially important.

I seem to recall that Amunmessu, the Viceroy of Nubia became Pharoah in a later dynasty. And there were all of those dignitaries (presumably viceroys) present—or symbolically present—at King Tut’s funeral depicted in KV62. Perhaps there was some sort of ceremony to do with the Crown Prince concerning the Viceroys? And perhaps the post of the more coveted Viceroy of Nubia was something like England’s Prince of Wales post, or France’s the Grand Dauphin?
 
Mar 2019
384
Ogden, Utah
I seem to recall that Amunmessu, the Viceroy of Nubia became Pharoah in a later dynasty. And there were all of those dignitaries (presumably viceroys) present—or symbolically present—at King Tut’s funeral depicted in KV62. Perhaps there was some sort of ceremony to do with the Crown Prince concerning the Viceroys? And perhaps the post of the more coveted Viceroy of Nubia was something like England’s Prince of Wales post, or France’s the Grand Dauphin?
It looks like the Viceroy of Kush could have been just about anybody, royal or commoner. As a parallel example, the last Viceroy of India [colonized by the British] was a man I actually met, visited him at his home. His name was Lord Louis Mountbatten. He was royal because he was a grandson of Queen Victoria and his father had been a minor German prince. However, other Viceroys of India were mere aristocrats. I and some others believe that Messuy, Viceroy of Kush, temp. Merneptah, was the same man as Amunmessu, who was the son of a daughter of a king, Ramesses II. But I know of other viceroys who had no such connections. One in the early 18th Dynasty even inherited the office from his father. I am sure this title was not like Prince of Wales or Dauphin but it was possible for a viceroy to become a pharaoh in Egypt.
 
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