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Nefertiti as king - a new thought?

 
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burlgirl
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 02, 2011 5:10 pm    Post subject: Nefertiti as king - a new thought? Reply with quote

I'm thinking about this subject while I'm reading Joann Fletcher's (out of date) book.

If KV35YL isn't Nefertiti, as seems to have been demonstrated by Hawass and group, and if Nefertiti never claimed to be a king's daughter, really how could she have become a King? If she had no royal blood she really had no claim, right? Other female kings were at least daughters of a king, as far as I remember.

I know we've talked about Nefertiti as a king before, her lack of claim to be a king's daughter, etc., but I don't recall we ever hashed out the un/likelyhood of her being able to become a king/co-regent based on lack of descent. I may be remembering incorrectly, and if so I apologize. Could a KGW position be enough to elevate her to kingship? Doesn't seem like it could with children of a current king available, even if "just" daughters...

The romantic and huge fan of Nefertiti side of me wants you to argue me out of my conclustion because I love the idea of her becoming a king. The logical part of my brain just doesn't see it happening. Rats...

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PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2011 1:52 pm    Post subject: Re: Nefertiti as king - a new thought? Reply with quote

burlgirl wrote:
I'm thinking about this subject while I'm reading Joann Fletcher's (out of date) book.

If KV35YL isn't Nefertiti, as seems to have been demonstrated by Hawass and group, and if Nefertiti never claimed to be a king's daughter, really how could she have become a King? If she had no royal blood she really had no claim, right? Other female kings were at least daughters of a king, as far as I remember.

I know we've talked about Nefertiti as a king before, her lack of claim to be a king's daughter, etc., but I don't recall we ever hashed out the un/likelyhood of her being able to become a king/co-regent based on lack of descent. I may be remembering incorrectly, and if so I apologize. Could a KGW position be enough to elevate her to kingship? Doesn't seem like it could with children of a current king available, even if "just" daughters...


I don't think anyone could say that Nefertiti could not become king simply due to lack of consent: her apparent claim to kingship comes from Akhenaten, who may have set her up as his co-regent. The personal choice of a king to make someone other than a family member his royal co-regent/heir is attested in several cases:

Amenemhat I was first the vizier of Montuhotep IV, and either was chosen or usurped the kingship, beginning the 12th Dynasty.

In the 18th Dynasty, Amenhotep I, last of the Ahmosid line, was childless and chose Thutmose, who was either a distant relative or comrade in arms, to succeed him, this starting the Thutmosid side of the 18th Dynasty.

Similarly, Horemheb did not have children, and this his comrade in arms, Paramessu, was chosen as his successor, who later became Ramses I, and began the 19th Dynasty of Ramessid kings.

Generally, the females who ruled at the end of a dynastic line did so cause there was no other choice since no male side of the line remained. However, if the DNA tests are to be believed, there was a royal male available: Tutankhamun. He may have been the son of KV55 and KV35, who were both descended from Amenhotep III, but the point is that to name Nefertiti as king (or her daughter, Neferneferuaten, as proposed by Allen 2006) seems to not make sense: Tutankhamun is present and able to be king.

So,one has to wonder if another reason was present: that is, if carrying on the religious revolution of Atenism was the driving force to name another as co-regent rather than simply allow another family member to step in should Akhenaten not survive. If such was the reason to name a co-regent, then I suspect that whoever would have been seen by Akhenaten as his "philosophical heir" (again, as proposed by Allen 2006) would have been named as Akhenaten's co-regent (and later king).

Reference:

Allen, J. P. 2006/2009. The Amarna Succession. In P. Brand and L. Cooper, ed., Causing His Name to Live: Studies in Egyptian Epigraphy and History in Memory of William J. Murnane. Culture and History of the Ancient Near East Volume 37. Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers. (Online (PDF))

HTH.
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 03, 2011 4:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, Neseret, it does help.
I hadn't considered the point you made since I was thinking purely of women prior to Akhenaten.

I do now have a hard time accepting that a woman was made co-regent when there was a male heir - as you pointed out. It sure seems that a nephew (if KV55 is not Akhenaten) would have been chosen. Man, I've rewritten this so many times with all of the different permutations of what could have happened in mind! I think for the sake of brevity I'll just leave it at that. Laughing

And since Akhenaten's successors started to return to the traditional way of thinking, it makes it even harder to believe. (And I do want to believe it!) The only thing I can think of is that Akhenaten didn't realize that Ankhkeperura might not have been as solid an Atenist as he hoped.
I wonder if it's possible that the other cults could have exerted enough pressure to cause her or him (Smenkara) to cave in? This is purely rhetorical since I'm quite certain we can't know after all this time.

I give up. The more I think about this the muddier it becomes!

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2011 2:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

burlgirl wrote:
And since Akhenaten's successors started to return to the traditional way of thinking, it makes it even harder to believe. (And I do want to believe it!) The only thing I can think of is that Akhenaten didn't realize that Ankhkeperura might not have been as solid an Atenist as he hoped.
I wonder if it's possible that the other cults could have exerted enough pressure to cause her or him (Smenkara) to cave in? This is purely rhetorical since I'm quite certain we can't know after all this time.


This is why it strikes me as more likely that King Neferneferuaten was one of Akhenaten's children rather than Nefertiti. Since she would have been a central part of the Atenist revolution for 17 years it is difficult for me to see her all of sudden becoming accommodative of the Amun priesthood within only two years of her husband's death. Along with the seeming disappearance of Nefertiti in year 14, the funerary figurines that fail to refer to her as king and Manetho's reference to a King's Daughter, this all makes it seem less likely that Akhenaten's wife became his royal successor. Perhaps in Nef-tasherit Akhenaten saw a more devoted Atenist although I also find it difficult to understand why he would appoint a 12 year old when he had older daughters. Perhaps he did not expect to die so quickly after he appointed her as co-regent. Once he was dead, though, Nef-tasherit could have been easily convinced by her advisors to be more accommodating of the old religion.
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 04, 2011 6:18 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

i personally believe that nefertiti predeceased akhenaten. how else do you explain kiya's prominence? then she fell from favour at some point (how else would you explain her monuments being usurped?) and was replaced as great royal wife by meritaten.

there may have been a coregency, as evidenced in the berlin stelae, which is unfinished, and people do say there is evidence that stelae shows a co regency between a man and a woman, therefore it must be nefertiti elevated to kingship. i think it is possible akhenaten made his brother smenkhkare regent, but it is shaky. the berlin stelae may in fact represent a co regency between smenkhkare and neferneferuaten, whom i believe to be his wife, meritaten.

after smenkhkare dies, neferneferuaten ascends to power, whether on her own as sole ruler or as regent for her step son/cousin tutankhamun is also unclear.

i do think though, ankhesenamun was also a great royal wife for akhenaten, possibly echoing amenhotep III's reign and foreshadowing ramses II. the fact akhenaten seems to have 2 great royal wives in his daugters at the same time (i do not know if they held the title together) may point to a co regency. if meritaten is great royal wife, and smenkhkare is designated heir, akhenaten marries his daughter to his brother for legitimacy. there fore he needs a new great royal wife, which would be ankhesenamun. then he elevates smenkhkare to co regent, and you 2 kings and 2 queens at the same time.

but to reiterate, i do thoroughly believe nefertiti died around year 14. there is no evidence to suggest she was ever more than great royal wife. and the evidence we do have supports her daughter meritaten as neferneferuaten as being the most straightforward answer. i find it hard it hard to believe the 4th daughter of akhenaten could somehow gain control of egypt over her 2 eldest sisters.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have reverted persistently to a talatat found at Hermopolis which depicts Akhenaten attended by Meritaten and Ankhesenpaaten, both dressed as adults but neither wearing a queenly crown, with Kiya and her young daughter in a lower register indicating their rank is inferior to that of the two princesses.

This snapshot of the royal family at worship implies a) Nefertiti predeceased her husband. b) Meritaten and Ankhes assumed her precedence and some of her duties but WERE NOT royal wives to their father. c) Kiya survived Nefertiti and was in favor in the final years of Akhenaten's reign. d) There was NO co-regent!
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 5:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Meretseger wrote:
I have reverted persistently to a talatat found at Hermopolis which depicts Akhenaten attended by Meritaten and Ankhesenpaaten, both dressed as adults but neither wearing a queenly crown, with Kiya and her young daughter in a lower register indicating their rank is inferior to that of the two princesses.

This snapshot of the royal family at worship implies a) Nefertiti predeceased her husband. b) Meritaten and Ankhes assumed her precedence and some of her duties but WERE NOT royal wives to their father. c) Kiya survived Nefertiti and was in favor in the final years of Akhenaten's reign. d) There was NO co-regent!


While the joint depiction of Kiya with Meritaten and Ankhes seems to suggest that Kiya somehow had taken over the role of favourite wife (though not GRW) and in so far replaced Nefertiti who usually would have been depicted in this very manner, I do not think that one should conclude that there was no co-regent at that time.

Scenes or "snapshots" like this one likely depicted those individuals who were deemed necessary in this particular instant, but they were not meant to always depict all the members of the royal family and all the rulers if there were more than one.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 6:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Meretseger wrote:
I have reverted persistently to a talatat found at Hermopolis which depicts Akhenaten attended by Meritaten and Ankhesenpaaten, both dressed as adults but neither wearing a queenly crown, with Kiya and her young daughter in a lower register indicating their rank is inferior to that of the two princesses.


I've never seen that! Is it posted anywhere on the web? What an exciting talatat.
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 05, 2011 8:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Meretseger wrote:
I have reverted persistently to a talatat found at Hermopolis which depicts Akhenaten attended by Meritaten and Ankhesenpaaten, both dressed as adults but neither wearing a queenly crown, with Kiya and her young daughter in a lower register indicating their rank is inferior to that of the two princesses.

This snapshot of the royal family at worship implies a) Nefertiti predeceased her husband. b) Meritaten and Ankhes assumed her precedence and some of her duties but WERE NOT royal wives to their father. c) Kiya survived Nefertiti and was in favor in the final years of Akhenaten's reign. d) There was NO co-regent!


You have referred to it, but it would be very nice to see a reference for it.
Is it one described by Roeder?

I have heard of talatat's where Kiya was replaced by Meritaten and/or Ankhesenpaaten, but I have never heard of this talatat.
Considering how many "facts" are presented even in supposedly solid literature and then refuted in other publications, it would be nice for the rest of us to have a clear reference to the depictions and inscriptions of this talatat.

This talatat for instance is not mentioned by Murnane in his Texts from Amarana for as far as I can see. That does not mean it does not exist, but it does make me wonder about the interpretations.

No offense, but I' curious as well as a tiny bit skeptical Smile
I know you don't make up stuff and if you think it's an important piece I would like to know more about it. So I would love to hear where this talatat appears in the literature.
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Meretseger
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 06, 2011 5:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's described in Aldred. When I get home I'll look it up.
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 10, 2011 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Found it! Very Happy On page 227 of Aldred, Cyril, Akhenaten: King of Egypt ,Thames and Hudson, 1991 (paperback), ISBN 0-500-27621-8

Aldred mentions that Kiya appears with Akhenaten, Meritaten and Ankhesenpaaten in a talatat from Hermopolis dated to Akhenaten's last years.

This is both interesting and puzzling. Aldred mentions he believes that Nefertiti most likely died somewhere between year 12 and 14. He seems to base this on the wine jar labels? The production of wine from the House of Neferneferuaten stops in year 11. Nefertiti is present however in year 12 (the durbar) and when Meketaten is buried.

Aldred argues that the wine of the "House of the King's Wife" - which appears in year 14 and lasts through year 17 - actually refer to the estate of Meritaten (as queen).

What I find somewhat puzzling in all this is that if Kiya is present with Akhenaten and his daughters at the very end of his reign, then when exactly did Meritaten usurp the Maru-Aten (sunshade) from Kiya?

I do not agree however that the talatat proves that Nefertiti had to be dead at this time. I think an alternative interpretation could be that if Nefertiti was truly co-regent, then she would not appear in any scene as a consort anymore.

So I think the evidence - as it is - still allows for multiple interpretations.

But the talatat Meretseger mentions is very interesting indeed. If I could find my Murnane book I would look through that to see what (if anything) he has to say about it. LOL I have too many books. Cannot find the Murnane text at this point.
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2011 1:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aldred (1988) is appropriate for me only starting from next week (I have here only the German translation from 1968, in that Kija naturally yet do not emerge).

Which source does he give for its realizations / interpretion? Which excavation? Where are the Talatats, allegedly re-sembling this scene, today? Any collection numbers?

I have J. D. Cooney : Amarna Reliefs in American Collections (1964) and GŁnther Roeder : Hermopolis II - Amarna-Reliefs aus Hermopolis (1969).

In Roeder I found a Talatat, which one could possibly interpret as part of a representation (head & shoulders) of a ground kissing princess (Roeder in his describtion in the text-part of his book : a high official).

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Meretseger
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 11, 2011 4:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

anneke wrote:
Found it! Very Happy On page 227 of Aldred, Cyril, Akhenaten: King of Egypt ,Thames and Hudson, 1991 (paperback), ISBN 0-500-27621-8


Thank you for hunting it out yourself Smile I'm sorry to say I completely forgot to follow upl.

Quote:
Aldred mentions that Kiya appears with Akhenaten, Meritaten and Ankhesenpaaten in a talatat from Hermopolis dated to Akhenaten's last years.

This is both interesting and puzzling. Aldred mentions he believes that Nefertiti most likely died somewhere between year 12 and 14. He seems to base this on the wine jar labels? The production of wine from the House of Neferneferuaten stops in year 11. Nefertiti is present however in year 12 (the durbar) and when Meketaten is buried.

Aldred argues that the wine of the "House of the King's Wife" - which appears in year 14 and lasts through year 17 - actually refer to the estate of Meritaten (as queen).


I don't believe that. Meritaten already owned estates in her own name why would she change the designation? IMO the 'King's Wife' of the dockets is an unknown secondary wife of Akhenaten. There were probably several of them after all.

Quote:
What I find somewhat puzzling in all this is that if Kiya is present with Akhenaten and his daughters at the very end of his reign, then when exactly did Meritaten usurp the Maru-Aten (sunshade) from Kiya?


Possibly after Akhenaten's death and her (Meritaten's) accession as Smenkhkara's Great Wife. I have argued that the change in ownership need not indicate either death or disgrace. Possibly there was a general reshuffling of the properties of the royal women after the deaths of Meketaten, Nefertitit, and Tiye. Or for all we know Kiya might have sold Maru Aten to Meritaten for a pretty penny!

Quote:
I do not agree however that the talatat proves that Nefertiti had to be dead at this time. I think an alternative interpretation could be that if Nefertiti was truly co-regent, then she would not appear in any scene as a consort anymore.

So I think the evidence - as it is - still allows for multiple interpretations.


Then why isn't Nefertiti present as co-regent? Why leave her out? But of course the real fun of the Amarna tarpits lies in the fact that every piece of evidence can be interpreted in at least two or more different ways! Wink

Quote:
But the talatat Meretseger mentions is very interesting indeed. If I could find my Murnane book I would look through that to see what (if anything) he has to say about it. LOL I have too many books. Cannot find the Murnane text at this point.


I've always thought so. I'd love to hear what more recent authorities have to say about it, I understand Aldred is considered dated.
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