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Book about Maia(Zivie) - connection to Meritaten
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chillie
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 3:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why would she marry her little sister to Tutankhaten and not herself????
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Robson
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 3:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe because she was married to someone else (Smenkhkare?) when it happened, or because she simply was Tutankhamun's mother.
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chillie
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 4:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought that, but wasn't Smenkhare dead? It seems weird that such a creature as the first born princess of Amarna would take on, frankly, a servant's role.

That would suggest that trickery was needed to stay alive and well, wouldn't it?
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christphe
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 6:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

wasn't Ay and Horemheb servants before they were kings?
It's funny that people are so impressed by the "wet nurse" title that they can't think of her but as a servant.
No matter who she was, like Tiyi 2, she had a prime role on the court and is obviously linked to the royal family.
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anneke
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 12:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Aset pointed out that in the The Lost Tombs of Saqqara, Alain Zivie mentions that in some places the name should be read as Mut (or Mutia?)

Quote:
Quote:
We shall note in passing that there is another form of Maia's name, undoubtedly to be read "Mut", even though the name is written in the Amarna manner, without the vulture that recalls the goddess Mut, consort of the god Amun. Maia is sort of a diminutive, or, rather, a writing closer to the actual pronunciation of the name.


I think I can see why the idea that she may be Tutankhamen's mother could have ocurred.
1. Her name as "Mut" indicates a motherly role
2. Seated on the throne with the young pharaoh on her lap the image resembles the iconography of Queen Ankhesmerire with Pharaoh Pepi on her lap. Or Isis holding Horus.
3. The depiction with the modius indicates she may actually be a royal lady.

I think it leaves some possibilities open. Could it be Meritaten? Maybe.

It could be that Meritaten was too invested in the Aten cult to make the move to the Amen centered world at court? She was after all born and raised and is shown as having participated in the rites of the Aten. Tutankhamen was also raised on the Aten beliefs, but he was much younger and was not depicted as participating in the rites the way Meritaten was.

It's hard to say Zivie seems to indicate that certain things are hinted at in the scenes and the inscriptions but never really stated in a direct way. Why the need to use "euphemisms"?

I think a regent can be more powerful than a royal wife. Maybe Meritaten decided that this role was more to her liking?
I have no idea!

Sounds like one of those cases where several theories could be developed that all could have a chance at being true.

I'm curious. Is the exacavation of Maia's tomb complete? I.e. could there be scenes or inscriptions in the tomb that have not been found/interpreted? My impression right now is that they have completed the excavation and study of the tomb.

If that is so it may require additional finds.

I wonder if another possibility is that Maia was a minor harem wife and the actual mother of Tut. In that case she may have played an important role at court, but she may have been forced into a "official" role which limited her standing at court?
Queen Mothers had important roles, including that of a regent if the king was under age. Having a minor wife of Akhenaten as Queen-Mother might have been considered bad? In that case she would have even possibly taken precedence over Ankhesenamen?
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christphe
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 6:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

excavations are completed, and a canope fragment is the only proof she was burried in her tomb with the "superior of the harem" tittle. The tomb was left untouched by Horemheb and others.

Question: are there any others tombs solely attributed to a woman in the New kingdom ? (not a queen of course)

How many women are shown wearing the Shebyou collar , Tiyi2, Nefertiti, amarna princess, Maia, a certain Ipet .
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Meretseger
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 06, 2010 10:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It was not unknown for pharaohs to shower honors on their 'wet nurses' - far from it. And such ladies (as well as male tutors) were often depicted with their royal pupil on their lap.

Maia has non-royal titles and is depicted as a non-royal but highly honored noblewoman. There is not the slightest reason to identify her with Meritaten who was a King's Daughter, a King's Great Wife, and not impossibly a King.
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anneke
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 1:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Meretseger wrote:
There is not the slightest reason to identify her with Meritaten who was a King's Daughter, a King's Great Wife, and not impossibly a King.

Alain Zivie seems to disagree with you ...

We've been trying to wrap our heads around what would suggest this theory, looking at the finds. I don't think of Zivie as given to flights of fancy. But he seems to think it's a possibility (apparently he's careful in how he words it?)
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chillie
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 3:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I highly doubt the Meritaten angle.

Ay and Horemhab were servants before ascending yes.

But I doubt Meritaten would go from Crown Princess (and Queen at one point?) to a wet-nurse. And wouldn't that require another child, about Tut's age, for milk to be produced? You must bear a child recently to have milk, which dries up within days of not nursing.

As far as I know, Meritaten Ta-Sherit came around year twelve, Tut around nine.
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Robson
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

chillie wrote:
And wouldn't that require another child, about Tut's age, for milk to be produced?


Not necessarily. The title of Royal Wetnurse (menat) doesn't require that the individual breast fed the king. The term could be also interpreted as a tutor, because even men occupied this position, like Atefrura, Wetnurse for the Royal Son Wadjmose:

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Seshat
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 6:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Speaking as someone with very little knowledge on this subject but a lot of opinions, if you're going to formulate a theory like this which breaks the standard understanding, you'd better have some rock solid evidence to back it up with. I've only read a few papers by Marc Gabolde (slightly off topic, I know, but I'm going to tie it back in), and I feel that he really sets the standard for being able to back up assertions with solid epigraphic data. I've said before that I think Egyptology in general needs to move towards the biological sciences in this respect.
That being said, I really can't evaluate Zhivie's claim. He'd be the person to know this, and I haven't read his book. ( I really can't wait to, though. I've been waiting for it for years.)
From this post, I'm not gathering that he backs up this assertion in his book with anything other than variations on Maia's name. That Maia is Merytaten is a very radical theory. There are a lot of really gaping questions that would have to be answered for this theory to work. These questions could be addressed a lot more simply with less radical scenarios, and that raises some big red flags for me. if you are going to propose a theory this important, you need to be able to back this up with something other than fictional scenarios and circumstantial evidence. It needs to go further than, "yeah, I guess if this and this and this happened, this would be possible."
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anneke
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 6:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree that it would be on the proposer of the new theory to back it up. Then again Zivie knows that too. I don't see him as just idly coming up with some outlandish ideas.

That's why I have been trying to figure out what evidence he sees that would even suggest such an idea. Personally I'm not trying to reach any conclusion at all, because I just don't have enough information. So all I can do is wonder what the scenes and inscriptions tell us.

I don't think the book is available in the US yet. And I think the only way to reach any conclusions is to honestly evaluate the arguments. Right now either accepting or outright dismissing the theory / idea seems premature.
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chillie
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 6:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote from Robson
"Not necessarily. The title of Royal Wetnurse (menat) doesn't require that the individual breast fed the king. The term could be also interpreted as a tutor, because even men occupied this position, like Atefrura, Wetnurse for the Royal Son Wadjmose:"

I confess my complete ignorance of the AE language, so forgive me that it is hard for me to understand. How is it that the title of wet nurse can also be read as tutor? I'm not being sarcastic or anything like that, I really just don't get it.

Are we to assume that Maia was not Tutankhaten's wetnurse, but a tutor? I had thought that Senqed was one of his tutors, and that Maia nursed him (especially if he lost his mother in infancy) and then attended his domestic needs as he grew.

I think relevant to this discussion is this question: did royal women breastfeed their own children? If, say, the child of the Pharaoh and the Great Royal Wife (for example), who might also be the daughter of a king herself needed milk, would it be thought that no other woman's milk was fitting for a child of such pure royal blood? Or, on the other hand, would more importance be placed on the queen preserving her body and/or readying herself to conceive another child for the king (as breastfeeding acts as a form of birth-control)?

I agree with Seshat... this is an extremely radical theory (more so than anything even I have proposed, I think!) which requires a massive amount of evidence to validate it.

Maybe others with more formal education would disagree, but I also use "circumstantial" or, more accurately, social evidence to contemplate the mysteries of Amarna, using what we know of the society as a gauge for determining the possibility of a theory. It seems unlikely, to me, that Mayati would take such a demotion... she did not need to gain close access to the king by taking up the role of attendant, she already had that as his sister-in-law and one of his only surviving relatives. And, as far as I know, she would have been able to live comfortably off the royal treasury until, at least, she made another marriage... so she did not do it for wealth or support. And while Maia was an honored woman, who certainly had considerable wealth and status, she did not forge any policy or espouse any political beliefs. So, Mayati's last reason for becoming a wet-nurse, to continue to wield royal power, is a bust.

And also, was Maia named or depicted before the death of Akhenaten? If so, that sinks this theory, but since I cannot steer anyone to the proper source on that, I'll hope that someone with greater learning can answer this.
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Seshat
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 6:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anneke, as I said, I can't wait to read the book. (I could get it off amazon france). It would then be interesting to see what he does back it up with. I just worry that especially with the Amarna period, and other times when there are a lot of gaping holes in the chronology and not much evidence, there IS a tendency to formulate theories on circumstantial evidence. I've been doing research on 21st dynasty coffins, and with the chronology of this Dynasty, there are lot of gaps where we don't know the father of a particular king or if a particular king even existed. We have lots of names from mummy dockets, but much garbled information and a whole lot of people with the same name. Some of the most preeminent scholars of the period have made some pretty large leaps of logic in setting up chronologies. With a period of time in which so many unusual and sometimes outlandish things DID happen like the Amarna period, there's a huge tendency to do this.
How many books on Akhenaten by serious scholars have compared him to 20th Century Dictators because we see police in wall reliefs? The entire theory that Tut is the son of Kiya is based on pure speculation. I happen to like the theory, but other than the circumstance of Kiya's quick rise to power in Amarna and an extra childbirth scene in the Royal Tomb, there's no real evidence for it!
So, without having read this book, and with all due respect for Zhivie, hearing this theory and reading the posts from people who have read the book, I'm like "Oh no. Here we go again." I'm really hoping not to be disappointed by this book.
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anneke
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 07, 2010 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Very Happy I agree with your sentiments Seshat.
There is a lot of stuff out there that is very speculative in nature.

I may try the amazon.com-france connection. Although my French is far from good Confused

And in this case, the theory does have some few weak points as well:
A high ranking royal retreating to a role behind the scenes seems to be unprecedented?
To my knowledge, no other royals are buried in Saqqara during the 18th dynasty?

And yes, even Egyptologists can come up with some pretty outlandish theories (Hawass to mention one), but I have never known Zivie to do that. I guess this could be a first for him Very Happy

And speaking of Hawass: I'm surprised he has not had anything to say about this.
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