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Tombs in Amarna

 
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anneke
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2004 8:11 pm    Post subject: Tombs in Amarna Reply with quote

There are several tombs in Amarna. The Royal tomb is an interesting tomb, but the noblemen's tombs are also very interesting. The inscribed tombs give us quite a bit of information about important events.

I found a good website from Cambridge. Seems to be in conjunction with the Supreme Council of Antiquities of Egypt, supported by the
Amarna Research Foundation, and supported by the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research Very Happy
http://www.mcdonald.cam.ac.uk/Projects/Amarna/Guide/Stombs.htm#Tomb%207

I may summarize some of the comments I find most intriguing. (Save others some reading. Wink )
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anneke
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2004 8:38 pm    Post subject: tomb of Huya Reply with quote

http://www.mcdonald.cam.ac.uk/Projects/Amarna/Guide/Ntombs.htm

Huya was "Overseer of the Royal Harim and of the Treasuries,and Steward, of the Great Royal Wife, Tiye".

This tomb shows scenes of Queen Tiye at the Amarna Court. There is a royal banquet showing Akhenaten and Nefertiti on one side, and Tiye with her daughter Baketaten on the other side.

On a lintel is a depiction of Amenhotep III and Queen Tiye, and Princess Baketaten stands before Queen Tiye.

There is one more depiction of Baketaten in the tomb.

There is a question remaining if the depiction of Amenhotep III means that the king ever visited Amarna. This is part of the co-regency debate.
If this is a depiction of Amenhotep III visiting Amarna, then he must have reigned alongside Akhenaten.
It is possible that this is a posthumous depiction of the great king.

Princess Baketaten is another enigma. We don't know what ever happened to her, and even her parentage has been questioned. If there was a co-regency, then there is no problem. If there was no co-regency, then there is some doubt that Amenhotep III could have fathered her.
Some have suggested that Akhenaten and his mother had an incestuous relationship, and that Baketaten was the result of that.

The tomb does depict a scene of a funeral. His sister Wen-her, and his wife Tuy are shown.

Does this mean that Huya was actually buried here?
Did he have another tomb prepared? Maybe in Thebes?
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2004 8:47 pm    Post subject: tomb of Meryre II Reply with quote

The tomb of Meryra II is interesting in that it depicts all 6 of the daughters of Akhenaten and Nefertiti.
Neferneferura is shown holding a pet gazelle. (So even the smallest of the 6 was not that small anymore?)

This tomb depicts a foreign tribute in year 12. This event was also depicted in Huya's tomb. I believe that this event is sometimes referred to as the "Durbar"
The link for this description is the dame as the one above for the tomb of Huya.

Another very interesting feature in this tomb is a depiction of King Smenkare and Queen Meritaten. This scene was sketched in in ancient times, and there is not much left of this image in modern times. Luckily the scene was copied by Archeologists in the 19th century!

The fact that Smenkare is shown with a wife, Queen Meritaten, makes it somewhat unlikely that Smenkare was Nefertiti.
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anneke
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PostPosted: Fri Mar 26, 2004 8:58 pm    Post subject: palace and royal tomb Reply with quote

There is a description with plan of the North Palace, and a description of the Royal tomb at:
http://www.mcdonald.cam.ac.uk/Projects/Amarna/Guide/PLofInterest.htm

The royal tomb has a strange outline. It seems that it had been planned to bury Akhenaten and several relatives there.
It seems pretty clear from the inscriptions that the second oldest daughter Meketaten was buried there. The Princess Meketaten was present at the festivities in year 12, so she must have died sometime after that.

Off the main corridor is anothere suite of rooms. This almost has the appearance of a separate royal tomb. It has been suggested that this was intended for the burial of Nefertiti, but the rooms were never finished.
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anneke
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2004 4:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Back to the royal tomb:
http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/royaltomb.htm

It has a rather strange layout. There's a main corridor with 3 suites of chambers coming off the corridor. There's Akhenaten's burial chamber.

Also of interest is a collection of 3 connected chambers often referred to as alpha, beta and gamma. There were apparently 2 women buried here.

In room alpha is a depiction of a woman who seems to have died in childbirth. There's a male child carried away from the scene by a wetnurse.
It has been suggested that this depicts the birth of Tutankhamen, and that his mother was the Royal Favorite Kiya.
There's no conclusive evidence, because the insccriptions have been damaged too badly.

Room gamma is definitely the burial chamber for the Princess Meketaten. She was the second daughter of Akhenaten and Nefertiti.
The inscriptions here are damaged as well, but enough remains to identify the dead woman/girl as Meketaten. Again, a wetnurse carries away a child, who is attended by female fanbearers and identified as

[...... born to the King's bodily daughter, his beloved], Meketaten, [born to the King's Chief Wife, his beloved], NEFERNEFERUATEN-NEFERTITI, may she live forver continually.

(from Murnane's book; [] means the text has been restored, CAPITALS means that name was included in a cartouche.)
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anneke
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2004 4:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fragments of Meketaten's granite sarcophagus have survived.
They contain the names of her sister Ankhesenpaaten, Amenhotep III, and his wife Tiye.

Murnane mentions that "avoidance of spellings that employ the god's images proscribed in the second half of the reign provides a terminus post quem for the decoration of Meketaten's sarcophagus."


Laughing I'm going to have to brush up on my Latin....
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anneke
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2004 4:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There were also "heirlooms" in the Amarna Royal tomb.
There were limestone bowls that had belonged to Khafre (4th dynasty) and to Thutmosis III.


Another that I found puzzling is an alabaster bowl inscribed with:
"The king's daughter and King's wife. Nebmaatre(sic) , <daughter of> the good god Nebmaatre, given life like Re; (and) born to the King's Chief Wife Tiyi, may she live forever."


Nebmaatre is Amnehotep III, so would this be an alabaster bowl from Sitamen? I guess it could also have belonged to Hennutawy or Isis. These were other daughters Amenhotep III married.


They also found a votive shabti of Nefertiti.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 09, 2004 4:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It should be noted that they discovered a fragment of an Amphora from tomb 29.

According to Murnane: Below the handle is an oval stamp with the text, identifying this item as belonging to the inner (burial) chamber of Neferneferure.


I believe that Neferurre was the fifth daughter of Akhenaten and Nefertiti.
So, why was she not buried in the royal tomb with the rest of the royals?
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anneke
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 13, 2004 5:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I read an article the other day in which they mentioned that there is some evidence that AKhenaten was interred in his tomb in Amarna.
His sarcophagus was smashed to bits at a later date, but they have also found some canopic jars that belonged to him.
(They also found some magic bricks with his name inscribed in tomb 55 in the King's Valley).

If he had himself mummified, isn't that mighty strange considering his religious beliefs? The mummy is a way to identify the dead person with Osiris, a God he did not believe in anymore!
There are also shabtis of Akhenaten. These were meant to do some of the work in the afterlife if I remember correctly. So again he seems to go back to old practices.
Is it just that the person who came after him did not share his beliefs fully? (That would be interesting, considering the fact that Nefertiti may have come after him. And otherwise Smenkhare and Akhenaten's daughter Meritaten.)

It also seems clear from the evidence that at least 2 of his daughters died and were mummified during Akhenaten's reign. (See post above.)

Anyone know what Akhenaten believed about the afterlife?
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2004 3:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Anyone know what Akhenaten believed about the afterlife?

I've only just started reading a book Son of the Sun by Savitri Devi and I quote some of his comments on this subject:
Quote:
Three elements seem to have contributed to the propagation of every widespread religion: a mythology; miracles; and a more or less definite doctrine concerning the hereafter.
But the cult of Aton seems to be devoid of all three from the start.
Akhenaten appears to have given his followers no definite doctrine about death and the fate of the dead (eg:as does the Book of the Dead). The custom of mummification was observed under him and in his own case. He therefore did not discourage it. We hear nothing of hell in his teachings.

The prayer inscribed at the foot of his coffin, and probably composed by himself:
I breath the sweet breath which comes forth from thy mouth
I behold thy beauty everyday
It is my desire that I may hear thy sweet voice, even in the north wind
that my limbs may be rejuvenated with life through love of thee.
Give me thy hands holding thy spirit, that I may receive it and live by it
Call thou upon my name unto eternity, and it shall never fail.

From this it seems that Akhenaten believed in the survival of the individual soul after death under some much subtler state of corporeality (there is no mention of food or drink in his words - no threatening monsters or protecting gods), and that he considered the universal Energy within the sun - the object of his worship - to be the principal of the new life.

No wonder the Egyptians found this radical change hard to handle, it seems to me to be vague and abstruse, not at all what they have believed for so many centuries. From what I've read it appears to be more of a philosophy than a actual religion, only it includes rituals, hymns and music.
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anneke
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 15, 2004 7:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wonder if he had to include the preservation of the body in his religion. This was such an integral part of their beliefs. It might have been hard to convince anyone to go along with him if their fundamental beliefs of the afterlife were attacked.

I will have to read up on this aspect of Atenism some more.
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2004 3:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Devi also has some insights into this
Quote:
It seems, from this prayer addressed to the One God, that Akhenaton believed in the survival of the individual soul after death. The 'I' who speaks here is, or at least has all the appearances of being, a personal consciousness. But it is difficult to imagine personal consciousness beyond death without some sort of survival of the body.
Akhenaton seems to have been aware of this, and not to have separated the survival of the individual from some sort of hazy corporeality. At least this is what we would imagine to be implied in words such as "that my limbs may be rejuvenated with life through love of thee".

He goes on to mention a couple of courtiers (not which ones though) who have inscribed on their tombs the wish that their 'flesh might live upon the bones', which seems to imply the hope of resurrection.
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Yves Van Herp
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PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2004 12:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

anneke wrote:

Quote:
There are also shabtis of Akhenaten. These were meant to do some of the work in the afterlife if I remember correctly. So again he seems to go back to old practices.


Maybe he was just a little bit lazy! Laughing I thought in Tutankhamun's tomb there were found almost 300, one for every day of the year!

Quote:
Anyone know what Akhenaten believed about the afterlife?


Heb believed there was an afterlife that's for sure. And didn't he also believe to become one with Aten?
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