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Implications of DNA results + KV55=Akhenaten
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stephaniep
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 5:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The face on the right is most probably Nefertiti because of the chin. Only Nefertiti (when not a caricature) and Kiya are portrayed with a straight, non-jutting chin. Everyone else from Amarna has the chin of the face on the left who could easily pass for Ahkenaten. The headgear of the woman was apparently blue, thus making it a crown rather than the oversized bald head of Meritaten. The bas relief is unlabeled and in any case is not great artwork, which obscures who the artist was intending to portray.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 7:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

stephaniep wrote:
The face on the right is most probably Nefertiti because of the chin. Only Nefertiti (when not a caricature) and Kiya are portrayed with a straight, non-jutting chin. Everyone else from Amarna has the chin of the face on the left who could easily pass for Ahkenaten. The headgear of the woman was apparently blue, thus making it a crown rather than the oversized bald head of Meritaten. The bas relief is unlabeled and in any case is not great artwork, which obscures who the artist was intending to portray.


I'm not sure exactly how that was identified as Smenkhkare and Meritaten (help anybody?) The pose is typical of a lot of Tut/Paaten scenes. Since I no longer believe Smenkhare existed, I'm going with this being a picture of Tut using a different name.

Smenkhkare's name seems to get smeared into forms of what people think is Nefertiti's throne name. I think it's an 8-9yr old Tut borrowing his still living mother's name to bolster his own. Ankhkheprure Neferneferuaten. Like Akhenaten did (as AIV) until his father's name wasn't needed any longer.

Someone else posted that if KV55 is Akhenaten, and Smenkhare vanishes, there will be a lot of people trying to scholarly paper him back into existence. Should be fun to watch!
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 9:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

RobertStJames wrote:
stephaniep wrote:
The face on the right is most probably Nefertiti because of the chin. Only Nefertiti (when not a caricature) and Kiya are portrayed with a straight, non-jutting chin. Everyone else from Amarna has the chin of the face on the left who could easily pass for Ahkenaten. The headgear of the woman was apparently blue, thus making it a crown rather than the oversized bald head of Meritaten. The bas relief is unlabeled and in any case is not great artwork, which obscures who the artist was intending to portray.


I'm not sure exactly how that was identified as Smenkhkare and Meritaten (help anybody?) The pose is typical of a lot of Tut/Paaten scenes. Since I no longer believe Smenkhare existed, I'm going with this being a picture of Tut using a different name.


As far as I know, no one knows who is portrayed in the "Promenade in the Garden" (as Aldred called Berlin 15000). There is no inscription.

Tutankhamun's image with a walking stick is far different from the Promenade, as the similar scene with Tutankhamun (Carter No. 540) shows the king leaning forward with the cane supporting the weight of the right leg, while the Promenade piece shows an Amarna king with the stick looped about the arm, partially behind him, but not bearing weight.

Walking sticks in ancient Egypt are a sign of prestige and authority, with gods, kings and men carrying them. You have them represented in reliefs and in sculptures, an example being the Sheikh el Beled from the Old Kingdom.

So simply because one sees an Amarnan example of a walking stick in the hand of a royal does not make it an identifying feature, IMO.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 10:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

neseret wrote:
<..>
As far as I know, no one knows who is portrayed in the "Promenade in the Garden" (as Aldred called Berlin 15000). There is no inscription.


Do you know what the basis was for identifying this figure as Smenkhare?

Quote:

Walking sticks in ancient Egypt are a sign of prestige and authority, with gods, kings and men carrying them. <...>
So simply because one sees an Amarnan example of a walking stick in the hand of a royal does not make it an identifying feature, IMO.


But when I see it in the hands of a royal whose tomb has dozens of canes and who has signs of spinal defects and club foot, it's hard to get past the idea that he was a cripple, and that, in his case, it is an identifying feature. Which is why I'm curious as to why an uninscribed carving of a king with a cane is thought to be Smenkhare.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 10:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

In any case, the things known about KV35YL are:

She was annoying enough (apparently) to be murdered by a bash to the face. What's left of the visible body (from the photos) showed no trauma elsewhere.

It was either an isolated incident, which seems unusual for a royal or it was part of a systematic elimination of the family (at more or less the same time).

She was not apparently buried as a queen (with the flexed arm), either because she wasn't or they were humiliating her.

She looks relatively young.

She was bald, so must have worn a wig, how many did that and how many were au natural like Tiye.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 10:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

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uninscribed carving of a king with a cane is thought to be Smenkhare


No one knows who he is. They were all halt and lame. It could be anyone.
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 25, 2010 11:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

stephaniep wrote:
Quote:
uninscribed carving of a king with a cane is thought to be Smenkhare


No one knows who he is. They were all halt and lame. It could be anyone.


They weren't all kings, and Akhenaten is never pictured this way. That leaves me with two choices. One of them is documented all over the place, has a tomb, and can be DNA'd to several securely ID'd mummies. The other one exists as a handful of carvings (one of which is uninscribed) some gold foil no one can prove came from KV55, and 1000s of pages of dicey reasoning, most of which became obsolete last week. Theories aren't going to work anymore. I'm curious to know who it was claiming this picture is Smenkhare and what their reasoning was.


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 1:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Regarding the Berlin 'Walk in the Garden' stela, here's the explanation proffered by Aldred.

The couple are shown in Armana style - hence Akhenaten + Nefertiti, Smenkhkare + Meritaten, or Tut + Ankhesenpaaten.

However - the couple are shown as teenagers or young adults, rather than children, so unlikely to be Tut + Ankh, as by adulthood they were presumably eschewing anything Atenesque and depicted more in the old style.

So, either Akhenaten + Nefertiti, or Smenkhkare + Meritaten left.

The women is wearing what Aldred describes as a 'red girdle' (those ribbony streamers) which he says are only worn by 'heiress queens'. (No idea where this factoid originally came from, but presumably someone somewhere had made a note of the various clothing styles associated with the different family members/ranks to come to this conclusion?). Since Nefertiti was not a 'Kings daughter', this only leaves Meritaten - thus it is Smenkh + Meritaten, (or poss Akhenaten + Meritaten, or one of the other daughters at a pinch - though unlikely given that he doesn't look any older than her).

Of course, if DNA tests suggest Akhenaten married one of his sisters, or if the red girdle business is a bit hokey, then this could easily still be Nefertiti - she and Akhenaten are my best bet.

The staff does suggest Tut, but I just cannot seem him being portrayed in that style so late in the reign.

So really, we have no firm idea.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 2:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I'm curious to know who it was claiming this picture is Smenkhare and what their reasoning was.


This a very old attribution, going back 60 years or more, mostly based on IDing Meritaten as the woman and therefore the man had to be Semenkare.

At that time Sememkare was emerging as a as theory because the supposed age of the skeleton in KV55 was thought to be too young to be Ahkenaten and they were looking for coraborative images, of which this is the only one ever put forth that is actual artwork, not a sketch.

The woman was thought to be Meritaten because she is always depicted, since a small child, as having an oversized head--a real conehead, which may or may not have been the the case in her real life.

In a recent search on the web under images it most often comes up as Nefertiti and Ahkenaten. The portrait head most closely resembles Nefertiti, but it's crappy art. The red sash may or may not hold up.

According to Semenkare enthusiasts Amenhotep III could have slews of kids (all them presumably lame because of the multiple bone disabilites), which is why I said it could be anyone.

I have to agree that it is tiresome to have Semenkare resurrected over and over again in the same tired theory, which was by no means universal before the Discovery Channel program. And regurgitated over and over instead of examining the new evidence.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 9:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

anneke Write:
Quote:
If KV 35YL is actually Nefertiti herself, then she died relatively young and that may put a crimp in the theories that Nefertiti became "Pharaoh Neferneferuaten

This is pure speculation. It can never be Nefertiti since she is not a member of the Amentohep family, and the test result of Tut’s wife and his babies confirms that. Now I see why you are hostile to my theory because you always wish to demolish Pharaoh Neferneferuaten even in front of the contradictory evidence. Your subjectivity is showing through.

For those who want to argue KV55 mummy as Smenkh-ka-re, none of you realize the true implication of the findings. I just quote from another site of genetist:

Quote:
For the moment we must assume that the DNA is correct. This shows that Amenhotep III could not have been Tutankhamun’s father. In two of the 8 markers the former has neither of marker alleles found in Tutankhamun. [correct]
So what if we assume that Tutankhamun’s (abbrev. to T) father was Akhenaten?
The DNA data gives a full match for T’s father/mother being KV55/KV35L. True this “only” shows a relationship, but it shows that KV55 was as closely related to T as T’s own father. So the simplest solution is that KV55=Akhenaten. [correct]
I have done some “back-of-the-envelope” Mendelian calculations on the possibility that another son of Amenhotep III and Tiye could have actually been T’s father, which would allow the attribution of KV55 to Smekhkare and Akhenaten to the other brother (B2) who was actually T’s father.
I examined two possibilities:
1. That B2 (not KV55) was married to KV35YL and that they were T’s parents – but there was only a probability of 1.3% of another brother fulfilling this condition. [should be 2.3%]
2. That we make no assumption about B2’s wife, only that B2 was the father of T. This had a probability of 8.7%, but each candidate B2 would impose restrictions on the genotype of his possible wives. This would doubtless reduce the probability. The relationships in the known tree are so tight that I would be surprised if we didn’t again need a sister to fulfill the restrictions on the wife’s genotype in these cases as well. So we would have 2 brothers and 2 sisters who could pair off with each other so either pair could have been the parents of Tutankhamun.
Sorry this is confusing, but my impression is that unless the data is wrong, KV55=Akhenaten looks a pretty good bet (although anything is possible).


The comments in [] are mine. I strongly recommend you guys to learn a little bit of genetics. It wouldn’t hurt!
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 10:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

ELISE wrote:
The women is wearing what Aldred describes as a 'red girdle' (those ribbony streamers) which he says are only worn by 'heiress queens'. (No idea where this factoid originally came from, but presumably someone somewhere had made a note of the various clothing styles associated with the different family members/ranks to come to this conclusion?). Since Nefertiti was not a 'Kings daughter', this only leaves Meritaten - thus it is Smenkh + Meritaten, (or poss Akhenaten + Meritaten, or one of the other daughters at a pinch - though unlikely given that he doesn't look any older than her).


I have never heard any credible study which claimed a "red girdle" was the sign of a "heiress queen." I'd love to know the Aldred source for this theory, for we know now that there is no such thing as a "heiress queen" and that theory has been thoroughly rebutted (Mertz 1952; Robins 1983 and Troy 1986). In reviewing Aldred (1988) in which he states this (Plate 71), you can see he relies heavily upon the idea that marriage to the most senior daughter as "heiress" is a requirement for a king in his view, as he posits that after Smenkhkare marries Meritaten, that Akhenaten then marries Ankhsenpaaten as his next "heiress queen!"

This is demonstrably incorrect (by titles, at any rate) as Ankhsenpaaten does not possess any queenly titles at Amarna except in connection with Tutankhamun after his ascension as king, when her name had changed to Ankhsenamun at that point (Troy 1986: 167, 18.45).

Aldred's comments on the Promenade in the Garden in his 1973 work, Akhenaten and Nefertiti, states that the assumption that the piece shows Meritaten and Smenkhkare is based upon Newberry's one-half page assessment of the stela in 1928. Here is Newberry's reasoning for his ID as Smenkhkare:

The scene upon it is said to represent "Amenophis IV mit seiner Gemahlin im Garten," but the female figure is certainly not Nefertiti, nor do I think that the male figure represents Amenophis IV. Both figures are shown with the royal uraeus upon the forehead, so it is clear that we have here a king and a queen. That they belong to the El-'Amarnah period is, of course, certain, but do they represent Semenkhkare and Merytaten, or Tutankhaten and Ankhsenpaten? (snip discussion about mandrake and lotus in the queen's hand)...I am inclined to think that this little scene represents Semenkhkare and Merytaten rather than Tutankhaten and Ankhsenpaten, for the youthful king's features are not like those of Tutrankhaten. (Newberry 1928: 117)

That reasoning strikes me as a tad short of definitive.

Aldred's support for the Newberry theory is that the face of the male king seems youthful, which argued against Akhenaten (Aldred, in his palcement of this stela, placed it within the post regnal year-15 period (Aldred's "Late" period of Amarna art) (Aldred 1973: 188, No. 120).

The problem I have with Aldred's assessment of this not being Akhenaten due to the youthful view of the face is that earlier in the same work, Aldred notes the "late" phase of Amarna art shows a "softening" of earlier angular features of Akhenaten and thus a more "youthful" and "plump" appearance (Aldred 1973: 63). So, in other words, Aldred appears to contradict himself,

ELISE wrote:
Of course, if DNA tests suggest Akhenaten married one of his sisters, or if the red girdle business is a bit hokey, then this could easily still be Nefertiti - she and Akhenaten are my best bet...
So really, we have no firm idea.


I agree: Trying to double-guess who's who in Amarna art based upon a walking stick strikes me as fairly thin in reasoning. I know that much of the doubt in the DNA study is that the 2005 scan showed no scoliosis nor club foot for Tutankhamun, and so it has been argued that perhaps rather than the club foot one is looking at on the KV 62 mummy is instead a side-effect of mummmification (which can bend feet back unnaturally). It is known that Tutankhamun's coffin was too short for the body, which required the king's body to get stuffed into it: for all we know, this may be the source of the bent "club foot."

I've read a great deal of skepticism on the professional lists about the club foot issue because of this, which is why I would not start jumping the gun and start comparing all imagery of kings with walking sticks as evidence of pathology.

As far as I am aware, the only king to ever truly be diagnosed with club feet was Siptah, as his mummy shows a club foot distinctly upon visual examination and X-ray. Yet, every relief and sculpted image of Siptah as king shows him with no walking stick and walking normally.

Reference:

Aldred, C. 1973. Akhenaten and Nefertiti. New York: Brooklyn Museum/Viking Press.

________. 1988. Akhenaten, King of Egypt. London: Thames and Hudson.

Mertz, B. 1952. Certain Titles of the Egyptian Queens and Their Bearing on the Hereditary Right to the Throne. Oriental Languages and Literature. Ph. D. Dissertation (Unpublished). Chicago: University of Chicago.

Newberry, P. E. 1928. Note on the Sculptured Slab No. 15000 in the Berlin Museum. JEA 14: 117.

Robins, G. 1983. A Critical Examination of the Theory of the Right to the Throne of Ancient Egypt Passed Through the Female Line in the 18th Dynasty. Göttingen Miszellen 62: 67-77.

Troy, L. 1986. Patterns of Queenship: in ancient Egyptian myth and history. BOREAS 14. Uppsala: ACTA Universitatis Upsaliensis.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 1:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
For the moment we must assume that the DNA is correct. This shows that Amenhotep III could not have been Tutankhamun’s father. In two of the 8 markers the former has neither of marker alleles found in Tutankhamun. [correct]


We can't all know everything about everything unfortunately. Does this mean that Tut couldn't have picked up the missing pieces from KV35YL?
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 2:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ELISE wrote:
<...>

The women is wearing what Aldred describes as a 'red girdle' (those ribbony streamers) which he says are only worn by 'heiress queens'. (No idea where this factoid originally came from, but presumably someone somewhere had made a note of the various clothing styles associated with the different family members/ranks to come to this conclusion?). Since Nefertiti was not a 'Kings daughter', this only leaves Meritaten - thus it is Smenkh + Meritaten, (or poss Akhenaten + Meritaten, or one of the other daughters at a pinch - though unlikely given that he doesn't look any older than her).


Got it. I suppose that was all he really could argue from given the lack of any inscription or DNA. I'd seen this picture so often (although never any inscriptions with it) that it had been burned into my mind via repetition.

Thanks for explaining this! Seeing how Amarna studies themselves evolved is almost as fascinating as the Amarnids themselves.

RstJ
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 3:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

stephaniep wrote:

The woman was thought to be Meritaten because she is always depicted, since a small child, as having an oversized head--a real conehead, which may or may not have been the the case in her real life.


Have to track down the KV21 skulls and see if they have that deformity.


Quote:

According to Semenkare enthusiasts Amenhotep III could have slews of kids (all them presumably lame because of the multiple bone disabilites), which is why I said it could be anyone.


Given Tut's smashed up leg, maybe there's another explanation since I don't see a lot of images of AIII descendents using canes. I'm curious now as to what size the canes in KV62 were (and why he needed so many of them). If it goes from Tiny Tim size to young adult, then it'll be the clubfoot. If it goes from age 10-19, then it's a childhood injury that wasn't fixed properly. And if they're all of a length, then it might be from the injury that Zahi's crew is saying killed him.

Well, some of them are saying that:

Egyptian antiquities chief Zahi Hawass said the research suggests the boy king died after the wound became infected. Not all the team agree, but all now reject the long-standing murder charge.

Perimortem wounds are very easy to identify versus postmortem damage. And antemortem wounds are also easy to identify. Be nice to see the actual scans.


Quote:

I have to agree that it is tiresome to have Semenkare resurrected over and over again in the same tired theory, which was by no means universal before the Discovery Channel program. And regurgitated over and over instead of examining the new evidence.


I knew the evidence was thin for the guy, but I never realized just *how* thin. His entire existence seems conjured from a presumed age problem with the KV55 mummy. Horemheb would be furious--not only does he fail to erase the real Atenists from the history books, but new ones who never existed have sprung up as well!
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 26, 2010 3:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Has anyone noticed that if the KV62 male mummy is the father of the KV62 fetuses and they are full siblings then the KV55 mummy cannot be their maternal grandfather?
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