Nefertiti, the Great Royal Wife of the Amarna Period

Nov 2016
1,343
Germany
From: Tutanchamun - Leben, Tod und Geheimnis (Life, Death and Mystery) by Angelika Franz, 2017 / translated with DeepL:

Also the second female mummy in the grave, KV 21B, suffered from strongly deformed feet. She was about 45 years old when she died, and during her lifetime somewhat taller than the rather dainty KV 21A with only 1,62 meters. Both women belonged to the ruling family, because in both mummies the right arm lay along the side of the body, while the left arm was bent over the chest and the hand clenched. Thus only queens were embalmed in the 18th Dynasty, and the younger lady from KV 35 also carried her arms tied up in this way. Zahi Hawass suspects that the two mummies KV 21B and KV 21A might have been Nefertiti and one of her daughters.
 
Apr 2019
213
UK
However KV40 proves that a king (in that case Amenhotep III) had more wives not attested elsewhere - so why not Tut as well?
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,401
Italy, Lago Maggiore
I've noted I've made a bit of confusion with letters in the previous post. I've corrected it.
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,401
Italy, Lago Maggiore
However KV40 proves that a king (in that case Amenhotep III) had more wives not attested elsewhere - so why not Tut as well?
Obviously we cannot absolutely exclude this possibility. We enter again in the field of "it's not possible to prove it, but it's not possible to deny it".
If Nefertiti [as it seems now] wasn't Tut's mother, she isn't related with an identified [with certainty] mummy, that is to say the one of King Tut. We need an other certain identification of a mummy related to her to find her.
So that, to identify with certainty Ankhesenamun [who was a daughter of Nefertiti] would be pivotal [if KV21B will result to be the mother of KV21A]. In this case the doubt regarding a secondary wife of Tut values and it doesn't allow to identify with certainty KV21A. And so KV21B if she is her mother.

Only finding something concrete in the archaeological context they could increase the probability that KV21A is Ankhesenamun. This is what I'm going to check now: if Hawass et al have found something else a part the relation of KV21A with the two foetuses in Tut's tomb.
 
Mar 2019
417
Ogden, Utah
Only finding something concrete in the archaeological context they could increase the probability that KV21A is Ankhesenamun. This is what I'm going to check now: if Hawass et al have found something else a part the relation of KV21A with the two foetuses in Tut's tomb.
I guarantee he has not. Because of missing DNA information even the relationship to KV21A to the foetuses in the Cairo study is not proven by any means. In my opinion, those females should not have been included in the publication at all once their genetic information was not fully obtainable even in 8 markers. It has only caused confusion.
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,401
Italy, Lago Maggiore
I guarantee he has not. Because of missing DNA information even the relationship to KV21A to the foetuses in the Cairo study is not proven by any means. In my opinion, those females should not have been included in the publication at all once their genetic information was not fully obtainable even in 8 markers. It has only caused confusion.
About Hawass and his coworkers there is what we can call a " background problem", that is to say that Egypt [present Egypt] needs great discoveries [or promises of great discoveries] to revive the industry of tourism [one of the main source of good foreign money for Egypt].

Salima Ikram [personal impression] sounds neutral in that context. I cannot say if it's because she's satisfied with her Nat Geo cooperation, but she doesn't look on a hurry to find the greatest intact Ancient Royal Egyptian tomb ever.

This said, I'm building a scenario in my mind. In this perspective I'm planning a visit to MET in New York to observe using my eyes some pieces. I've realized that I've mentioned that museum a lot of times even if I've never been there! I'm a bit old about this: internet is not enough for me. Like I went to the British Museum I'm going to go to the Metropolitan ...

In any case, that place is light years far from my personal [and imaginative] theory about where Nefertiti's tomb is. But this is a different tale.
 
Apr 2019
213
UK
Salima Ikram seems to be mostly interested in studying the development of mummification in the whole rather than specifics about the persons or history. I just caught up with the Dan Snow on Tutankhamun special programmes shown last week in the UK on Channel 5 and it was refreshing to see the Egyptologists involved be cautious about the identification of Akhenaten as Tut's father - "it seems he may be based on evidence we have" is as definitive as they got. Nefertiti was presented as his likely step-mother. The box we have discussed here with the throne name of Neferneferuaten and titles of Akhenaten was also shown and discussed as an example of goods re-used by Tutankhamun, as were several statuettes and the white canopic jars which the more I see (and I have seen one up close at the Tut exhibition in London) really do have facial similarities with Nefertiti's depictions.

There was an interesting section in the programme speculating about the political situation at Tut's death, how evidence seems to point to the tomb being prepared in a very rushed way despite him having a 10-year reign. For comparison the programme showed tombs of other kings who reigned for a similar length of time e.g. Tuthmosis IV who although in an incomplete tomb was structurally finished just missing artwork, and Ramesses VI's tomb which is huge and has a lot more complete artwork. The argument went that not only was the antechamber and other rooms undecorated, but the KV62 burial chamber was simply painted, not carved, and in some places the final black outline of some figures was not even completed (the baboons were shown). Add to that the very unusual depiction of Ay undertaking the opening of the mouth ceremony, and the later destruction / dismantling of Tut's mortuary temple, all pointing to a period of great uncertainty. The debris field at Karnak showed a huge area of blocks all laid out in rows many of which are unpublished "awaiting future study" but clearly showing the cartouches of Tutankhamun. His mortuary temple won't have been insignificant given the large amount of material shown, all of which it was said was reused as construction material by Horemheb and his successors.

 
Mar 2019
417
Ogden, Utah
...it was refreshing to see the Egyptologists involved be cautious about the identification of Akhenaten as Tut's father - "it seems he may be based on evidence we have" is as definitive as they got
Refreshing? Do you have any idea how much less evidence there is for a hidden tomb within KV62 than that Akhenaten is Tutankhamun's father? And yet that doesn't seem to give a lot of people any pause at all.

1] Tutankhamun has to have been born within the reign of Akhenaten according to the chronology of his life and reign.
2] His mother is a lady with an extraordinarily long neck. Hmmm...seems to me people used to point to that as one of Nefertiti's distinguishing features but now are
strangely reluctant to mention it or see it mentioned. Akhenaten had a swan-necked wife.
3] Rymerster, himself, once claimed to be convinced by the magical bricks in KV55.
4] Many of the talking heads on these TV programs don't even specialize in the Amarna Period, so no wonder they're cautious. They really don't know what to think.
These shows have no importance, are made for the entertainment of people interested in ancient Egypt but not particularly knowledgeable.
5] Who is left to be the father of Tut? Only Smenkhkare. The only thing in his favor is that everyone agrees he was young. But so was Akhenaten. So???
 
Apr 2019
213
UK
1) yes definitely, he has to have been born during the reign of Akhenaten unless we are missing more time from the historical record. The block from Hermopolis naming Prince Tutankhaten also backs that up, as it seems to have been associated with one naming Ankhensenpaaten as a daughter of Akhenaten.
2) There are problems with KV35YL being Nefertiti because she is never referred to as a king's daughter however I do think it is likely that she was, given her status from the outset of the reign seems greater than even Tiye, especially in religious contexts, for example as the lead worshipper in the Gempaaten, independent of Akhenaten. I think that is relevant because it shows she was not an unknown commoner, unlike Tiye, whose credentials were stated. I believe unlike Tiye that she had no reason to give her parents some elevation, because they were already royal.
3) I still am convinced by the magical bricks, as well as by the texts on the mummy bands and the apparent desecration of the mummy, but not destruction. I don't think KV55 was robbed by common people, various pieces of gold were left behind, and Akhenaten was erased from the shrine but Tiye left intact. That, and the DNA work and appearance of the mummy does point towards Akhenaten. I can buy that Akhenaten was a young ruler as well, this seems apparent in depictions of him (for example the Louvre piece that originally had him next to a queen) as well as the tone of the foreign correspondence which asks him to defer to his mother. That to me implies a king known to be actually young and inexperienced, not an older person who I think would have never been treated with disrespect.
4) Agreed, but over the three episodes I thought some of the material was presented very well, such as demonstrating the level of work done on tombs whose rulers had reigns of a similar length to Tutankhamun. Yes it noted unfinished places in all, but the contrast is quite striking. It made the point that even when a king's death was early (e.g. Tuthmosis IV) more work on the tombs had been completed. In terms of the identification of Akhenaten, I liked that the show did not state categorically that the king was Tut's father - I think that respects the spectrum of opinion, professional or not, on the matter. I actually think the "probably" approach is a realistic one, given that there is so much we don't know about the period. You can disagree with what was said, but I think that was a fair representation of the consensus of opinion at the present time.
5) You're right, there are no other candidates for Tut's father realistically, unless Smenkhkare was married to a full sister and was not Akhenaten's son himself. Nothing in KV55 at all names Smenkhkare or Neferneferuaten, but Akhenaten's name and epithets and those of royal women associated with him are.