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Akhenaten's death
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Smenkare
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PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2006 6:29 pm    Post subject: Akhenaten's death Reply with quote

Well I dont know if this has been posted before, if so sorry.

But anyway. How do you think Akhenaten died?
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anneke
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PostPosted: Thu May 25, 2006 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hard to say Very Happy He was probably in his thirties when he died, so that is rather young.

There are indications that the plague was present at the time, so it's possible he conttracted that disease and died.

Given the volatility of the time, he coculd have been assassinated as well. But I have never seen any evidence for that. Smenkhare seems to have followed him on the throne (for however short a period). The succession seems a bit confusing with contradicting evidence regarding the role of Nefernefruaten (was it a queen? a king? a figment of our imagination?)
Such confusion could point to a power struggle, but it could also be the result of a king dying of a disease leaving the country without a king at difficult times.

LOL I guess that's my round about way of saying "I don't know".
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Smartie
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PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2006 12:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

My opinion is that he died of a disease. Smenkare is so mysterious, we really have no other mention of him before his co-regency? which makes me think the man simply came from no where, but I doubt the royal family would allow some random guy to become co-regent.

Either Akhenaten died of disease or nefertiti poisened him for not letting her beome pharaoh Twisted Evil her and Hatshepsut would really have a row.
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Osiris II
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PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2006 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think we can safely say that he did not die a natual death--that he was "done away with" in some fashion, probably poison, so that the death could be called unexpected, but natual. Assuming that Nefertiti was reponsible, or planned it, is assuming that she was still alive. The popular theory, or one of them, is that she died in A.'s 12th year, although this leaves the question of the statue of her that shows a woman in more advanced age. The question--or the answer to the question--of A.'s death is pure speculation. I'm sure, that at that time, many wanted him to be "removed". His experiment in Aten's rule was an obvious failure, his kingdom on the brink of collapse, his dream of a world-wide religion was laughed at by foreign countries, his family life in shambles. It was important to remove him and start over!
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anneke
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PostPosted: Wed May 31, 2006 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Has anyone ever theorized he committed suicide? I'm not advocating that he did, but given that the last years of his life must have been rather traumatic (many deaths, international problems, etc.) I woould expect that someone must have suggested it at some point?

I'm not sure why everyone jumps to the conclusion that his death was unnatural though. It's just as likely that he contracted some illness.
And other kings are known to have died from serious infections that they developed (bad teeth for instance). So I guess that's also a possibility.

I doubt we will find out though. It would be nice to locate his mummy at some point, but identifying it would be tricky I guess.

If the theory is right that the strange mummy usually identified as Amenhotep III is actually Akhenaten, then he may have died from an infection.

If the body in KV55 is Akhenaten (which I personally do not believe) then we don't know a cause of death (or do we?).
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Smartie
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 02, 2006 12:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good point Anneke. I've never thought the man might commit suicide.
If Nefertiti did not outlive her husband then Akhenaten would have lost his great royal wife, his mom, of course already his dad, and a daughter or two. It would seem that if Nefertiti had died before Akhenaten, that her, Tiye (if she did die during this time, some people speculate she survived Akhenaten's reign), and one of Akhenaten's daughters would have all died around the same time. What a blow! that alone happening years apart could be awful but, so close together? it must've felt like a sword hit his chest. Poor guy... Rolling Eyes oh well Rameses was still the best Smile my sympath for Akhenaten as you see...has left.
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Smartie
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 02, 2006 12:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sorry to post so soon but, Anneke didn't they say that the mysterious mummy from KV 55 was murdered? because of the large gape wound on the side? or was that after death?

Quote:
If the theory is right that the strange mummy usually identified as Amenhotep III is actually Akhenaten, then he may have died from an infection.


I've never heard of this theory, maybe you could give me some more information on it please. Isn't the mummy of Amenhotep III a bit too old to be Akhenaten? or maybe not, I've always assumed Akhe was in his 30's when he died though of course I could be wrong.
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Osiris II
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 02, 2006 12:41 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Where did you hear of a wound in the skull of the mummy in kv55?
According to the detailed autopsy preformed not so very long ago by the woman who is the ass't. curator of Egyptian artifacts in the British Museum, the skeleton was in pretty good shape, with no unusual breaks or wounds to any bones. She concluded, that she was 99.9% convinced it was Smenkhara.
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anneke
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 02, 2006 1:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Smartie wrote:
Quote:
If the theory is right that the strange mummy usually identified as Amenhotep III is actually Akhenaten, then he may have died from an infection.


I've never heard of this theory, maybe you could give me some more information on it please. Isn't the mummy of Amenhotep III a bit too old to be Akhenaten? or maybe not, I've always assumed Akhe was in his 30's when he died though of course I could be wrong.


I should probably say that this person suffered acutely from tooth-ache and dental abscesses. And such afflicitions were really dangerous in the ancient world.

This is mentioned in The Royal Mummies by G. Elliot Smith.

He mentions:
"The teeth were worn only to a moderate degree. On the right side, though not on the left (pl XXIV) the teeth of both the upper and lower jaws were thickly encrusted with tartar: and there had been an extensive alveolar abscess below the right lower incisors, and a smaller one above the right upper canine. The upper incisor teeth had been lost before the death of Amenothes and the alveolar process absorbed in part : the right upper upper lateral incisor had been recently lost, for its alveolus and the perforation (facial)of the small alveolar abscess are still present (pl XXV). There is also suppuration around the anterior lateral root of the left, lower, first molar."

The mummy is mentioned on this website, and there are links there to some of the plates mentioned:
http://members.tripod.com/anubis4_2000/mummypages1/18B.htm#Amenhotep%20III

It is mentioned that:
"Whether he was closer to 40 or 50 must remain an open question."

You're right, that seems a bit old. Akhenaten reigned 17 years. He must have then been in his 20s when he came to the throne.
I guess it's possible, but I alwyas thought he would have been younger as well.

The suggestion that this mummy may be Akhenaten comes from the fact that the mummy is rather odd in that the mummy is stuffed with resin. The resin was probably inserted underneat the skin to make the person look more alive? This was not done to any other mummy from that period.
The idea was that this may be explained by the religious revolution?

But that's all speculation.
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Nekht-Ankh
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 02, 2006 10:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="anneke]The suggestion that this mummy may be Akhenaten comes from the fact that the mummy is rather odd in that the mummy is stuffed with resin. [/quote]

I think the idea that this mummy could be Akhenaten may originate with Wente's X-ray studies of the royal mummies. That's the first place that I came across it.
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anneke
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 03, 2006 12:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're probably right Nekht-Ankh.

I should have said that the stuffing with resin has been used to argue in favor of the mummy being Akhenaten. More an argument made after they stated the theory that this could be Akhenaten.

I'm not sure it's even a really good argument. The stuffing with resin is odd. Mummies would be stuffed in the 21st dynasty to give them a more life-like appearance, but from what I have read, they used different methods.

So in some sense the mummy is rather unique. I can't remember why Wente came up with the thoery that this could be Akhenaten? Must be something to do with the shape of the skull?
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PostPosted: Sun Jun 04, 2006 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had a quick re-read of the article by Wente. (You provided a link to it here). It appears that Amenhotep III's mummy is a bit of an anomaly. His skull and face shape are add and not consistent with him being a close relative of Thutmose IV, Tutankhamun or the body in KV55. Motivated also by anomalies with another mummy, that of Amenhotep II, Wente tries some rearrangements that might fit the skeletal data better.

One of these re-identifies the Amenhotep III mummy as Aye. However, this scheme involves re-identifying Thutmose IV, one of the most securely identified of the royal mummies. So Wente proposed a scheme in which Amenhotep III's mummy becomes Akhenaten. In favour of this it is suggested that the features of this mummy are consistent with portraits of Akhenaten. Against this is that this mummy is not a good candidate for the father of Tutankhamun, causing Wente to suggest alternative parentage for Tutankhamun.
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hereticgal
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2006 2:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is a question I have always wondered about too. Most people seem to think he died of a sickness. a few say he may have been killed. With everything that was going on I wouldn't be surprised if they did do away with him.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2006 6:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think I've mentioned this before but there are apparently several depictions of Akhenaten vomiting, and it has been reported that this shows attempted poisoning.

I'm fairly sure that there must be some sort of supporting inscriptional evidence to this effect as otherwise one might reasonably conclude he was simply had flu, or was perhaps suffering fom a common condition like migraine or heatstroke. The attempts are described as 'unsucessful' as I recall, so there must be text relating to this somewhere. It's incredible to think that this was depicted at all - I can only conclude it was show that the king had not succumbed.

If anyone can help out with a reference I would be very grateful. I can't remember whether these were tomb reliefs, or on the talatat (infill material - not the letters!).

Again, as I've mentioned before, the relatively early deaths of most of the Amarna pharoahs has been taken as evidence they were probably quite frail (inbreeding!?). Also, the plague theory is a very sensible one.
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PostPosted: Mon Nov 06, 2006 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Believe it or not, english is my first language - so please excuse the proliferation of typos Very Happy
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