Nefertiti, the Great Royal Wife of the Amarna Period

Mar 2019
417
Ogden, Utah
Rymerster, I've always considered you a reasonable bloke [my father was born and died in England] probably more reasonable than I am. But I think the Egyptological scene is hardly reasonable nowadays and I am not of the mindset that all the opinions deserve that much respect. The other day I read another new paper with a messed-up DNA aspect--and which then chose Kiya as the ID for the Younger Lady even though Kiya is not seriously thought to have been a member of the immediate family of Akhenaten. DNA is just out of control in these papers, such faulty understanding, and i don't know how it's ever going to get straightened out. Anyway, as to the "king's daughter" business--here's a quote from that Baketaten paper I made a link to a few posts up this page:

"Although the Amarna Age has been called “iconoclastic” and even “innovative”, people still seem to expect the same old conventions to have been observed aside from the official monotheism, the worship of the Aten. Therefore, these same persons who do accept the word of some world-class microbiologists on the kinship between the YL and the KV55 male, insist that the Younger Lady cannot be Nefertiti because the latter was never styled “king's daughter”. That no other queen following the reign of Akhenaten was given the title of “king's daughter”, either, until the end of the 18th Dynasty doesn't seem to matter.
And so, a “known” sister of Akhenaten is sought, despite the fact that he only had two attested wives, Nefertiti and the mysterious Kiya."

I wrote this paper because I thought Baketaten could be eliminated. If the circumstances had been different, she would actually have been my second choice for the Younger Lady. Or even my first. But I must stick to Nefertiti, not out of stubbornness but because of the reasons I stated in my paper. The other day some very rude person said to me "Nefertiti hasn't been found or nobody would be looking for her." That guy really has no understanding of the world of Egyptology. As I said, my paper about Baketaten was an "anti nomination" but I see no point these days in nominating anybody as the Younger Lady because proof is hopeless. The impasse has been reached. Everybody knows that if there was a way to prove an identification I would have figured that out by now. Proof or disproof must come from archaeology, a new find or something rescued from a storage depot in Egypt.
 
Apr 2019
215
UK
Yes we need more evidence. The debris at Karnak being organised will hopefully yield something of note, also the KV40 material which looks like giving a fuller picture of information about the family of Amenhotep III. I do think though that the most likely place to find new material about Nefertiti and Tut is in the area of Memphis, with the finds at the Aten temple there showing some promise of more to come.
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,614
Italy, Lago Maggiore
@Alcandra,
regarding that "storage depot in Egypt" I could comment, but I prefer to focus my attention on what Egyptians are doing now: they are preparing the new Pharaonic Egyptian Museum [Pharaonic for real!] and they are checking not a few depots which have been totally forgotten for more than a century. This was what I have been underlining for years: in Egypt there are depots of archaeological finds which have never been catalogued. May be now they are going to catalogue them ...
 
Apr 2019
215
UK
The other day I read another new paper with a messed-up DNA aspect--and which then chose Kiya as the ID for the Younger Lady even though Kiya is not seriously thought to have been a member of the immediate family of Akhenaten. DNA is just out of control in these papers, such faulty understanding, and i don't know how it's ever going to get straightened out.
Yes in agreement, Kiya is clearly at most a foreign princess if royal at all, given her titles and the most surprising thing in some respects is her participation in scenes of worship and purification. Clearly at one time she had importance but only on the basis of her relationship with Akhenaten and the Aten. It would be fascinating to learn more but she seems to have been erased - literally - well before the court abandoned Amarna. In any case I think she can be ruled out in terms of KV35 and Tut's mother.

I also don't think Baketaten is likely as the mother of Tut as she is shown as a young girl, appearing to be more juvinile than Meritaten in my opinion. Yes all I'm going on are visual representations, but they all have meaning and substance. As for Baketaten's parentage, it's likely she is Tiye's daughter but equally possible she is a granddaughter - another has been named in KV40 "the one of the royal son" - so they did exist.

I wrote this paper because I thought Baketaten could be eliminated. If the circumstances had been different, she would actually have been my second choice for the Younger Lady. Or even my first. But I must stick to Nefertiti, not out of stubbornness but because of the reasons I stated in my paper. The other day some very rude person said to me "Nefertiti hasn't been found or nobody would be looking for her." That guy really has no understanding of the world of Egyptology. As I said, my paper about Baketaten was an "anti nomination" but I see no point these days in nominating anybody as the Younger Lady because proof is hopeless. The impasse has been reached. Everybody knows that if there was a way to prove an identification I would have figured that out by now. Proof or disproof must come from archaeology, a new find or something rescued from a storage depot in Egypt.
I think people miss the fact that the team under Hawass are looking for tombs not necessarily the mummies of Ankhensenamun and Nefertiti. It does cross my mind that the search may be motivated partly by the need to move away from the consideration that KV62 contains hidden chambers. Sadly I feel that there may have been no real tomb for Ankhensenamun if she was involved in the Hittite prince affair. If she lived through the reign of Ay and was loyal to him I fear that she may have been in a very tricky position at the point Horemheb came to power, especially if as the Newberry ring suggests she helped put the elderly king on the throne. As for Nefertiti, it seems to me that she was tainted by association with the Aten religion and Akhenaten, and judging by the medical analyisis of KV35YL may have had a violent and sudden end. It must have been an extremely turbulent time for the court and wider society.
 
Mar 2019
417
Ogden, Utah
I think people miss the fact that the team under Hawass are looking for tombs not necessarily the mummies of Ankhensenamun and Nefertiti. It does cross my mind that the search may be motivated partly by the need to move away from the consideration that KV62 contains hidden chambers. Sadly I feel that there may have been no real tomb for Ankhensenamun if she was involved in the Hittite prince affair. If she lived through the reign of Ay and was loyal to him I fear that she may have been in a very tricky position at the point Horemheb came to power, especially if as the Newberry ring suggests she helped put the elderly king on the throne. As for Nefertiti, it seems to me that she was tainted by association with the Aten religion and Akhenaten, and judging by the medical analyisis of KV35YL may have had a violent and sudden end. It must have been an extremely turbulent time for the court and wider society.
I think it was but I also think Nefertiti had a son and he was a king. Also, I am not convinced that because the YL has a smashed-in face that this occurred ante-mortem. Regardless, she was found in KV35, placed there with what looks like careful intentions even though lacking so much as a cheap coffin. But, as I have said before, it is my belief that, long before this happened the parents and some close relatives of Tutankhamun were placed in KV55 under his seal. I wish that KV40 had been found to be in a better condition with its numerous occupants but, for me, it is just further proof that it pays to think outside the box and not take the most narrow view, which is the tendency in Egyptological circles. It has been concluded from the archaeology of the tomb by Bickel et al that KV40 saw its activity in the reign of Amenhotep III. Those children named within were his, for the most part---daughters of which nobody has ever heard. Some artisan in the Theban tomb of Kheruef attempted to show that this pharaoh had many daughters by depicting sixteen there, although not all were from Queen Tiye, of course. But those of us who do genealogy are only too well aware of how many children were routinely borne by even a single wife in those long-ago times before birth control. Over and over again I have seen ten to twelve children of one woman with the last being born when she was in her 40's and then, the probably welcome menopause arrived. BTW, Rymerster, I took the stance that Baketaten was the last child of Queen Tiye from her husband but, of course, it can't be proved that Baketaten was not a granddaughter. But, as I stated in a slighter earlier paper about Baketaten on that subject, it is my belief that, if Baketaten was a daughter of Akhenaten by a different wife, she would not have been shown in scenes with Nefertiti. So then whose daughter was she? There is always the element of the unsuspected unknown.
 
Apr 2019
215
UK
With KV35 we can't be sure that the trio of mummies weren't at some point in very high quality coffins that were repurposed elsewhere by the people who did the restorations and moving around of the royals and priestly families in the 21st (?) dynasty. The kings were (mostly) given coffins but only those stripped of valuables to the bare wood, with sometimes contradictory inscriptions between the mummy bandages and the coffins themselves. I'm pretty sure Tiye was in KV55 as her shrine was still there and looks like there was an attempt to move it before whoever was doing so gave up. Nefertiti may of course have been the original occupant of KV62 until Tut died - no hidden chambers - just turfed out to KV55 or elsewhere before KV35 at the end of his reign. For all we know the hodge-podge of material in Tut's tomb may include material from the original contents of KV62 plus KV55.
 

AlpinLuke

Forum Staff
Oct 2011
27,614
Italy, Lago Maggiore
What we know about this is that someone put together 3 mummies, we unfortunately don't know when and why. In any case the most intuitive thought is that the trio was in some way seen as a part of a family. Or that the perception of who did it was that the three bodies were in some way related.

About the equivalence KV35YL - Nefertiti I keep my doubts [based on the work of the crew hired by Hawass].

Anyway now I'm interested in what's going on in Egypt: advertising for the incoming 2020 touristic season ... or something real?
 
Mar 2019
417
Ogden, Utah
I like the idea that Ankhesenamun may have been the model for the protective goddesses. If so, some beautiful women and girls in that family.

Tutcanopic.jpg
 
Apr 2019
215
UK
Unquestionably, and you can see there how if a portrait (which I think is likely) you can SEE she is a child of Akhenaten and Nefertiti. The various heads of Amarna royal children all have this mixture of features, but in pretty individualistic ways, for example there is one child that very closely resembles Nefertiti more so than the others - I like to think this may be Neferneferuaten-tasherit, although I have no proof at all.

 
Nov 2019
9
Europe
The thing that these representations of Nefertiti as a woman of power [wearing kingly headgear, etc.] should clarify is that she was no foreign woman. Had she been, none of it would make any sense at all. I have tried to make the point, in the past, that no commoner Egyptian girl would have likely been elevated to the status of a goddess [earthly manifestation of Tefnut] but it seems to largely have fallen on deaf ears. People simply cannot get past the fact that Nefertiti was not styled "king's daughter" even though we never see her as a princess but she is introduced as a queen at a time when Amenhotep III is stressing his own deification. Who can even imagine what that implied? I think you had to be there to appreciate the weirdness of it all but one thing is clear. That pharaoh no longer even looks normal. What happened to his face in the art reminds me of the outcome of too much modern plastic surgery where people take on a very strange look. Amenhotep III reminds me of an ancient Joan Rivers, how she looked after being under the knife a few times too many. If one didn't know better, one would think the man had his lips pumped full of collagen and his eyes lifted. Anyway, his sculpted appearance anticipated something that would happen for real in the very distant future.

We don't even know what happened to foreign princesses once they came to Egypt, for the most part. One envoy, looking for his master's sister in the house of the pharaoh couldn't even recognize her. Tadukhepa, intended for Amenhotep III, became transferred to Akhenaten, something for which she surely thanked her gods each day. At least Akhenaten had his front teeth. She might have been called "Kiya" and the younger king seems to have been fond of her, didn't try to hide her away if that was the case. Ramesses II evidently was bowled over by his new young Hittite wife. She is described as "looking like a goddess" and the text goes on and on about her. She is given an Egyptian name but, after much initial fuss, don't see any more mentions. But there is the Bentresh Stela an enchanting bit of pseudographia, describing how an Egyptian physician was sent far away to cure some Egyptian queen's crazy sister. It was supposed to have happened in the reign of Ramesses the Great, also. The king of Bakhtan had sent his eldest daughter to Ramesses in his Year 23, who was very pleased with her. "So her titulary was established as Great Royal Wife Neferure" [for short]. Legends didn't die easily in ancient Egypt as the stela was made in either the Ptolemaic or Persian period. It's one of the reasons I do study their legends and say "where there's smoke there may have fire" as that stela is not exactly based on nothing--although the queen did not come from Bakhtan in the time of Ramesses but Hatti [but who knows what "Bakhtan" referred to at that time]. It is not the only time there is mention of a foreign woman becoming a favorite, either.

Favorites or no, these political brides were never suspected of having risen to anything near the status of Nefertiti. Kiya, although depicted. never even wore an uraeus on her brow. But, at least, even though her images were changed to those of Amarna princesses, at least she left a face [and big earrings] for posterity. I know what she looked like, even recognized her double in an actress on TV--that's how much I have studied the European-looking face of Kiya. But here are the two "plastic surgery victims", Joan and Amenhotep III.
Have you heard of the legend that a lot of people in these times were referred to as diseased physically? And they were driven away? But before you said that the chief priest of Heliopolis and Akhenaten were enemies, but they were both supposedly leaders of these people. What are your thoughts? Thank you.