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Nubian Revolt
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kmt_sesh
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2005 12:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

That Amunhotep III was an Atenist is no secret. Atenism begin its ascendancy during the reign of Amunhotep III; prior to that the Aten had been around a long time, but had never been viewed with much importance. Your mention of Amunhotep III's building up Atenism to detract power from the temple of Amun, Diorite, is certainly possible. As anneke intimated, Amunhotep III was no warrior pharaoh. He lived off the success of the the great kings before him and did quite well for himself. Amunhotep III was a builder and politician, not a soldier. So the military decline, however severe it may have become, began under the reign of Amunhotep III.

But in the readings I have done concerning him, Amunhotep III seems quite sincere in his affection for the Aten. He knew not to carry it too far and allowed the old ways to continue unabated. Atenism was more of a personal religion to him, if I can term it that way. I personally do not think Amunhotep III was out to rein in the Karnak complex. Remember, his great builder was Amunhotep son of Hapu, and among many other splendors this architect is responsible for the building of the processional way at Luxor and the third pylon at Karnak--so Amunhotep III was actively adding to these great temples, not detracting from them. Anneke mentioned the gifts pharaohs gave to the temples. Whether they enjoyed doing so is another matter, but the truth is, as the high priest of all of the Two Lands, pharaoh was expected to support the temples both spiritually and financially.

Akhenaten represents Atenism taken to extremes. His very name supports that notion. By all accounts Akhenaten had to be something of a tyrant to pull off what he did, and he most certainly wreaked havoc on the Egyptian economy by closing such religious centers as Karnak and Luxor. He was the original Howard Hughes, if you will, shutting himself off from the world in his private playground of Akhetaten. This very thread on the Nubian revolt is suggestive of the weakened state in which Egypt found itself in the Amarna Period. As already mentioned, whenever foreigners and vassals thought that Egypt was on shaky ground, they stretched the limits to see what they could get away with. It is also clear from the Amarna letters that much of Egypt's concerns in Canaan were being woefully neglected.

Horemheb's lavish tomb in Saqqara is fitting testament to the military engagements that were required in order to return Egypt to stable ground. In the beautiful reliefs we see vivid depictions of Nubians, Libyans, Hittites, and numerous peoples of Western Asia being brought back under the yoke of the Two Lands. Horemheb the general left ample evidence for all to see.

As for the troubled years following the demise of Akhenaten, there are a lot of unanswered questions. That much is obvious. Of all the people in this period it is Akhenaten himself who one would expect to have been assassinated, and yet there is no evidence whatsoever for this. We do not even know for certain who Smenkhare was. He has been dead now for over 3300 years, and Egyptologists are still hotly divided on whether he was a male "manifestation" of Nefertiti or a son or brother of Akhenaten. We know so little about him that we cannot even safely say how he died. I for one was always a proponent of Tut's having been assassinated, but it would seem the recent CT scans have put that one to rest. And Ay most likely was not murdered, either; he was already very old when he took the throne, and it's not surprising that he lived for only about four more years.

anneke wrote:
Quote:
The two youngest daughters are given names incorporating the names of Re, not Aten.


I was just wondering, anneke, were you talking about Ankhesenpaaten-tasherit and Meritaten-tasherit, or am I way out in left field here? Just curious. Wink
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2005 2:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

it would seem the recent CT scans have put that one to rest.

Not necessarily, kmt_sesh. The scan only proves that Tut did not die from a blow to the back of the head. As Hawass has said since then, "undoubtedly there was a conspiracy." We just do not know how it was accomplished--he may have been poisoned (they are doing toxicological test to try and find this out), he may have been "accidentally" pushed from a chariot or some other method used to "help" him to the beyond. Hopefully, time will eventually tell.
I really don't understand the big interest in how he died, anyway. Being Pharaoh was definately a risky job--many other deaths are in question, and just as interesting--Rameses I, Smenkhakara, Amenemhat (was it I or II? I always forget!) and i'm sure there are plenty others that are questionable. Maybe it was a romantic impresion we have of Tut--a child, told what to do and what to say, getting his own opinions and dying before they could be expressed--a beautiful, young wife obviouly deeply in love, a "life cut short". Who knows?
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anneke
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2005 2:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kmt_sesh wrote:
anneke wrote:
Quote:
The two youngest daughters are given names incorporating the names of Re, not Aten.

I was just wondering, anneke, were you talking about Ankhesenpaaten-tasherit and Meritaten-tasherit, or am I way out in left field here? Just curious.


No I actually meant Neferneferure and Setepenre, the two youngest daughters of Akhenaten and Nefertiti.

It's interesting that the 4th daughter is called Neferneferu-Aten (- Tasherit) (nefertiti jr. literally) and daughter #5 is called Neferneferu-Re, almost the same name but dedicated to Re instead of Aten.
And finally daughter #6 is named Setepen-Re. Which is also a name Horemheb later uses when he gets to the throne? (does it mean "whom Re has chosen"?)
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2005 11:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
And finally daughter #6 is named Setepen-Re. Which is also a name Horemheb later uses when he gets to the throne? (does it mean "whom Re has chosen"?)


I'll have to bow to your better command of the royal women. Setepen-Re was actually her formal birth name? It just seems kind of odd because that's a kind of generic accolade stuck onto a great many pharaonic names. All it means is "Chosen of Re" to express one's favored status with the sun god.

In any case, it doesn't strike me as terribly odd that Akhenaten should allow such a name. Though he disallowed the formal worship of many of the old deities, Re never fell under his wrath. Before the time of Akhenaten the Aten was just another manifestation of Re, albeit a minor one; Akhenaten kind of turned that on its head, though. He did not repress the worship of Re because of that deity's solar aspects and especially his long connection with the Aten.
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 16, 2005 11:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kmt_sesh wrote:
..Setepen-Re was actually her formal birth name? It just seems kind of odd because that's a kind of generic accolade stuck onto a great many pharaonic names. All it means is "Chosen of Re" to express one's favored status with the sun god.

Yes, it was her name according to the sources I have Smile

kmt_sesh wrote:
In any case, it doesn't strike me as terribly odd that Akhenaten should allow such a name. Though he disallowed the formal worship of many of the old deities, Re never fell under his wrath. Before the time of Akhenaten the Aten was just another manifestation of Re, albeit a minor one; Akhenaten kind of turned that on its head, though. He did not repress the worship of Re because of that deity's solar aspects and especially his long connection with the Aten.

I was just reading something this afternoon which showed how the Aten was depicted as the falcon headed god Re-Harakhty in the very early days of Akhenaten, when he was still known as Amenhotep IV.
It was later that the Aten was depicted as a slightly more abstract solar disc.
Apparently the Aten combined elements of Atum and Re-Harakhty.
I also read that Akhenaten and Nefertiti were sometimes depicted as Shu and Tefnut. I did not know that.

There was some speculation that the large Osiride statues are actually depictions of Aten, Shu and Tefnut and that the statues may have represented Amenhotep III (Aten), Shu (Akhenaten) and Tefnut (Nefertiti).

But I think I'm digressing.... Very Happy
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2005 12:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I was just reading something this afternoon which showed how the Aten was depicted as the falcon headed god Re-Harakhty in the very early days of Akhenaten, when he was still known as Amenhotep IV.


Re-Horakhty is of course one of the most familiar manifestations of Re (I believe the name translates as "Re of the Two Horizons"). You're right that this is another connection with the Aten you'll see in some Amana Period artwork, especially in the early stages.

Quote:
Amenhotep III (Aten), Shu (Akhenaten) and Tefnut (Nefertiti).


This makes some sense. Akhenaten was big on presenting himself as the divine representative of the Aten, and it took on a family form--with his father as the "God's Father" (if I may use that term in this context) and Nefertiti as his rightful wife. The only thing missing in this example is the divine child, which is the form such a triad usually takes. Do you know if one of the royal daughters was ever depicted in a triad like this as a goddess?
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 17, 2005 2:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kmt_sesh wrote:

Quote:
Amenhotep III (Aten), Shu (Akhenaten) and Tefnut (Nefertiti).

This makes some sense. Akhenaten was big on presenting himself as the divine representative of the Aten, and it took on a family form--with his father as the "God's Father" (if I may use that term in this context) and Nefertiti as his rightful wife. The only thing missing in this example is the divine child, which is the form such a triad usually takes. Do you know if one of the royal daughters was ever depicted in a triad like this as a goddess?


No, I have never seen any of the daughters depicted as a goddess. They were very involved in the worship as you no doubt know.

I did wonder if the Amenhotep III - Akhenaten - Nefertiti as Aten - Shu - Tefnut was kind of an "upside down" triad. Instead of a god and goddess with their 1 offspring, this would be the creator god with his 2 main offspring.

I found the whole idea of Akhenaten and Nefertiti as Shu and Tefnut rather interesting anyway. Shu and Tefnut are the moisture and the air and are the givers of life in some sense. It makes sense in that they are the children of Re.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2005 12:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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As Hawass has said since then, "undoubtedly there was a conspiracy."


I don't know why Hawass says such things. He can be rather presumptious. I used to be a proponent of the assassination theory because of the mysterious bone chip in the skull, which was at least plausible evidence until the CT scan revealed otherwise. But to what evidence does Hawass turn when he says there was "undoubtedly a conspiracy"? Of course such a thing is possible, if even likely, but there's no evidence for it. This is the exact sort of cavalier attitude that got Fletcher in such trouble.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 19, 2005 4:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

When he said that there was more than likely a conspiracy he was not stating any fact, but merely conjecture. He cannot be chastised for saying something everyone believes! Cut him a bit of slack!
He CAN be very dicatorial, and has one of the biggest ego's in the world, but he deeply loves and wants to protect all of Egypt's art and monuments--at times, his methods are irritating, but his personal reasons cannot be faulted.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2005 12:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Personally I think I might like Hawass and would very much enjoy meeting him, which is likely to happen at the Field when we get the Tut exhibit in May 2006. I think he's a wonderful spokesman for his country. But in all honesty he's more of a public relationist than an Egyptologist at this point in his career. Many Egyptologists and other scholars dislike him quite intensely for his ego and overbearing, presumptious nature. He does not play well with others, and one professional I've come to know related to me that he's even quite unpopular with his collegues in Egypt.

Quote:
He cannot be chastised for saying something everyone believes!


Actually, he can. As a professional representing his field, he is required to be more circumspect. Usually he is, but it remains that there is no tangible evidence whatsoever that Tut was assassinated, now that the CT scan has shown us the light. I'm playing devil's advocate here. More than anyone, Hawass attacked Fletcher for her claiming to have discovered the remains of Nefertiti, and she deserved it. The embarrassing thing is, as flimsy as Fletcher's "evidence" is in making her claim, it is founded on more logic and scientific theory than Hawass's statement about a Tut conspiracy. He just needs to be careful.

As I said, I personally believe I would like Hawass. I look forward to the opportunity to meet him and hope I can, if just in passing. Wink

But as for "everyone believes," I've found out the hard way that not everyone does. In fact, I've found that most people who study Egyptology seriously never did give the assassination theory much credence. Even here at Egyptian Dreams, some time ago when I put my weight behind the assassination theory based on the bone chip in the skull (this was before the CT scanning took place), I found I was quite in the minority!
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2005 12:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kmt_sesh wrote:
The embarrassing thing is, as flimsy as Fletcher's "evidence" is in making her claim, it is founded on more logic and scientific theory than Hawass's statement about a Tut conspiracy. He just needs to be careful.

That's not true. The whole problem with Fletcher's arguments were that they were devoid of logic (there is nothing that differentiates Nefertiti from other Queens of that period) and were not using science the way it should be used (poor analysis of gender and age of mummy, wild claims of stabbing wounds, etc.).
From what I have read Hawass was just speculating, and some of it seems a matter of back tracking a bit from a statement he made to the effect that this scan answered the questions (or something of that effect saying that there was no more to talk about? I can't remember his exact words.)

All I can say about Tut is that a seemingly healthy young man (according to the CT scans) all of a sudden died in his late teens. His wife writes a letter expressing fear to the Hittites. That should make anyone wonder what on earth happened. Wink

He could of course have slipped on a wet floor, fell down a flight of stairs and broken his leg. Were after he died of complications....
Who knows?
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2005 12:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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He could of course have slipped on a wet floor, fell down a flight of stairs and broken his leg. Were after he died of complications....
Who knows?


That's my point, we don't know and likely never will. I feared all along that the CT scans would not be conclusive. I was trying to say that at least Fletcher's argument was made on the pretext of scientific theory--that much cannot be denied--while Hawass's statement was idle speculation. But you know what? It doesn't really matter. I'll take a chill pill and give the jolly guy a break.
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2005 1:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have always wondered if something happened during a military exercise.
I know, speculation, but it does allow me to cycle back to Nubia and the army in general (the topic of the thread) Twisted Evil

We clearly don't know where the army was at the end of Tut's reign, but Horemheb's tomb in Saqqara does show the army being active, and it shows Nubian captives.

Do we have other info about the interactions with the foreign enemies during the time of Tut?
Along another line of inquery: What temples are there in Nubia, or the Levant for that matter from Tut's time? And would those building projects in another land have required a military prensence???
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 20, 2005 1:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't know of any Tut monuments in Nubia, but that is not a region with which I am intimately familiar. It's certainly possible. We know that later pharaohs built heavily down there. And as vigorous a builder as Ramesses II was, he was also an active usurper. It's possible he or another pharaoh usurped a monument built under Tut's reign. Then again, who knows what we've lost under the big lake there?

As far as other foreign enemies during the time of Tut, we can turn once more to Horemheb's tomb in Saqqara. One of the finest scenes of all is of the foreigners being presented to Tut by General Horemheb. The walls there are covered by not just Nubians but Libyans and Western Asiatics as well, and with a few Hittites thrown in for good measure. I picture the period after the fall of Atenism as a building time of military conquest in Egypt as the court struggled to reclaim its empire.
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