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Book about Maia(Zivie) - connection to Meritaten
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Rozette
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 29, 2009 2:35 pm    Post subject: Book about Maia(Zivie) - connection to Meritaten Reply with quote

LA TOMBE DE MAĻA MERE NOURRICIERE DU ROI TOUTANKHAMON ET GRANDE DU HAREM
par Alain Zivie.
Photographies de Patrick Chapuis, Carole Fritz et Gilles Tosello, plans de Patrick Deleuze, relevés de William Schenck. 220 pages dont 100 d'illustrations (plans, dessins, photos).
http://www.hypogees.org/index.asp

Book about the tomb of Maia, wetnurse of Tutankhamun by Alain Zivie.
The French book will be available the end of November 2009.

Video Tomb Maia
http://video.nationalgeographic.com/video/player/places/countries-places/egypt/king-tuts-wet-nurse.html
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Rozette
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 28, 2009 9:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alain Zivie, La tombe de Maļa, mčre nourricičre du roi Toutānkhamon et grande du harem, Caracara Edition, Toulouse, 2009.

Maļa alias Meritaton

This scientific publication (published end of November 2009) is the first volume of a new series entitled Les tombes du Bubasteion ą Saqqara. It is devoted to the tomb Bubasteion I.20 discovered in 1996 by D. A. Zivie and his team of the French Archaeological Mission of the Bubasteion at Saqqara, but excavated, cleared from later masonries, consolidated, preserved and restored during some twelve campaigns, the last one occurring in 2008. A long, difficult, sometimes dangerous work which was realised in close collaboration with different specialists of the Supreme Council of Antiquities on the site of Saqqara, and which benefited from the permanent support and understanding of Dr. Zahi Hawass, General secretary of the SCA, and of the other authorities of the SCA.
The first part of the book provides a complete and detailed description of the rock-cut tomb Bub. I.20, with all the hieroglyphic texts, their transliteration and their translation. A complete set of plans and sections by P. Deleuze, the complete series of drawings by W. Schenck and some 50 plates of photographs, all in colour, by P. Chapuis, C. Fritz, G. Tosello, complete this publication.
The second part of the book is devoted to Maļa herself. It took years for the discoverer and author of the book to confirm some intuition he got early. It was indeed necessary to remove all the later masonries and blockings, to study the inscriptions, to compare with what we know about the Amarna Period. But at the end, the first intuition seems to be confirmed. Maļa was not just a “wet-nurse” like others. She was a very important lady of the royal court, even if the tomb does not give complete and accurate information about her, due to the difficult period of king Tut’s reign, breaking with the previous yrars of Akhenaten’s reign. But taking the time to study what is shown and written, and what is not said, we can understand something sure. At a certain time Maļa also sat on the throne of Egypt, just before and perhaps during king Tutānkhamun’s coronation. And we know at least one lady who was the coregent or the regent of the kingdom at the end of the reign of Akhenaten: his own elder daughter, the princess Meritaten.

Therefore, for this reason and others, Maļa appears now not as a previously unknown character, but as Meritaten herself. It was indeed impossible to mention explicitely that she was a royal daughter because her father was Akhenaten; but it was also impossible to completely dismiss her because she was the necessary link for the transmission of the royal power; she was the warrant of the legitimacy of Tutankhamen, and she was certainly not only one of the most beautiful Egyptian ladies we know, but also one of the most influential. Moreover we know from some “Amarna Letters” that Meritaten was called (or her name was pronounced) something like Mayati. And in the tomb Bub. I.20 of Saqqara, the spelling of the name Maļa sometimes includes a letter “t”, giving a reading like Maļtia or Maļatia, which could fit with the name of Meritaten (the last “ia” of the names of this period was certainly pronounced “I” or “y”).
Another question comes then to mind and cannot be avoided. As Maļa was very close to king Tut, and as she fed him with her own milk, she could be the mother of king Tut. If she was not, she had in the same time a baby and the biological mother of king Tut died very early. But this a less simple solution. So the question is still partly open, but it is certainly tempting to see also in Maļa/Meritaten/Mayati the mother of the famous king. For the reasons mentioned above, it was impossible to say that explicitely (specially if Akhenaten was the father), but many details of the tomb show the close links of Maļa with Tutānkhamun, her nephew, relative or perhaps even son.

© Alain Zivie (November 2009)
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anneke
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 28, 2009 10:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is rather interesting! (To say the least Very Happy)

Quote:
But taking the time to study what is shown and written, and what is not said, we can understand something sure. At a certain time Maļa also sat on the throne of Egypt, just before and perhaps during king Tutānkhamun’s coronation. And we know at least one lady who was the coregent or the regent of the kingdom at the end of the reign of Akhenaten: his own elder daughter, the princess Meritaten.


Does that mean Zivie sees Meritaten as Neferneferuaten? I wonder what it is that leads Zivie to the conclusion that Maia at some point occupied the throne?

The mention of the fact that her name was also written as Maiati is interesting.

So, if we follow this information then Meritaten became regent for Tutankhamen. She married him to her sister Ankhesenpaaten and played an important role behind the scene.

The question if she was mother, wetnurse or regent is interesting.

I wonder if there is a clue in the tomb as to when she died?

(I did move it to the Amarna section because of the content Very Happy)
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2009 2:29 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a doubt. Zivie claims that Maļa/Meritaten's status of Royal Daughter was omitted because of her connection to Akhenaten. Thus the same should happen to Ankhesenamun. Anybody here knows if in her depictions in Tut's tomb her title list includes or not that of "Royal Daughter"?
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anneke
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2009 2:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I always understood that the title of King's daughter was rather conspicuously absent from her lists of titles from Tut's reign.

I have my doubts as well. It would be rather interesting if true, but this would then mean that Meritaten went from being an omnipresent royal daughter, to queen, then regent, only to be buried as a noble woman. I would have expected her to at least have kept titles like hmt nswt weret or at least nebettway. Those titles can be maintained without referring back to the Amarna period.

It would be very interesting to read what is making Zivie reach these conclusions.

Quote: At a certain time Maļa also sat on the throne of Egypt I would love to hear what is shown/written that would support that. Unless it's one of those titles like nebettawy, henuttawy or something like that.
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2009 3:32 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It's really a very instigating hypothesis. I just want to know if there are other known cases of ex-royals performing power duties in low profile throughout AE history. In Japan was very common the presence of ex-emperors ruling behind the curtains as "advisors" for their sons or grandsons who succeeded them as emperors in their lifetimes.
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anneke
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2009 3:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that royal women acting as regents was rather well accepted.
I think Ahhotep may have been a regent for Ahmose for instance.
Clearly Hatshepsut was a regent for Tuthmosis III.

So to have Meritaten serve as regent for Tutankhamen is not out of character.

The only way I can imagine her being buried as a noble woman would be if she survived into the reign of Horemheb or later. If she lived that long, she would not have been part of the ruling royal family anymore.

But there are a lot of big ifs in this story Very Happy
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2009 12:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

OK, but Ahhotep, Ahmose Nefertari and Hatshepsut never gave up of their royal prerogatives in their naming protocol. I just want to know is if there were any royal who did it as would happened in this supposed Maļa/Meritaten identification.
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anneke
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 29, 2009 5:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Robson wrote:
I just want to know is if there were any royal who did it as would happened in this supposed Maļa/Meritaten identification.


I don't know of another case that would have played out in the same way.

And I agree with you, the complete loss of royal titles would be puzzling.

It's hard to form an opinion one way or the other without knowing what the exact arguments are, and what the inscriptions and scenes show.

But if she was the mother of Tut, then the easiest way to maintain her position would be as Queen Mother. Plenty of examples of those. So it begs the question: Why have her fade into obscurity?

The only reason I can think of is if she survived Tutankhamen. In that case she would not be part of the ruling family. But there is a bit too much specualtion there. I would like to see a lot more evidence of something like that.
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2009 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="anneke"]That is rather interesting! (To say the least Very Happy)

Quote:


Does that mean Zivie sees Meritaten as Neferneferuaten? I wonder what it is that leads Zivie to the conclusion that Maia at some point occupied the throne?

The mention of the fact that her name was also written as Maiati is interesting.

So, if we follow this information then Meritaten became regent for Tutankhamen. She married him to her sister Ankhesenpaaten and played an important role behind the scene.

The question if she was mother, wetnurse or regent is interesting.

I wonder if there is a clue in the tomb as to when she died?

(I did move it to the Amarna section because of the content Very Happy)


sorry for the english, i have the zivie book. He is not an amateur to say the least.
A detailed analysis of the relief and the text lead to this conclusion.
Maia is seated on the Pharao throne (same than the one from tut tomb)
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anneke
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PostPosted: Wed Dec 30, 2009 10:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You're right, Zivie is definitely not a light-weight. Smile
As the one who discovered the tomb he woould be in a betetr position than just about anyone to interpret the inscriptions.

Quote:
Maia is seated on the Pharao throne (same than the one from tut tomb)

That is quite exciting to read. Amazing too to hear that that throne is depicted in the tomb.

Does Zivie ever mention any titles for Maya(ti) that suggest she was a queen? I'm curious about that.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 7:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

anneke wrote:
You're right, Zivie is definitely not a light-weight. Smile

Does Zivie ever mention any titles for Maya(ti) that suggest she was a queen? I'm curious about that.


tomorow i'll try to translate as much as i can from the book but it is clear from reading that Zivie is cautious on his assertion, it's only an hypothesis based on two reliefs(the well know plus a fragmentary one) and a long pray to Osiris. Maia is obviously in the regent position and the 12 nobles depicted twice (the same than in king tut tomb?) are paying tribute to her along with the king.
The idea that she is his mother comes from the principal relief where the ank sign is positioned on Maia stomach and when adressing to Osiris she sates that "She puts Horus on the throne to confort his father (osiris/akhenaton) wishe"
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 10:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am really looking forward to the translations from the book. Can you please also mention if there is any information on Maya`s family (husband,children, others). And does the tomb appear to have been completely finished before her death or is it still unfinished? If finished, it would surely have taken considerable time to do so given the size of the tomb.

I do have some problems with the equation Maya=Meritaton=Regent.
First, when the name Mayati appears in one or more Amarna letters and it refers to Meritaton, the change is probably due to the difficulty of foreigners to pronounce/write an Egyptian name. As seen from the name Neb-Maat-Re and the transcription Nimmuriya (amongst many others), not only the vowels appear differently but also consonants are "swallowed". So I could imagine that the "r" and "n" in "Meritaton" fell victim to the transcription. But why should this happen in an Egyptian tomb, where certainly much attention was paid to the correct spelling, given the importance of names? So I think that Mayat(i) and Meritaton are two different names. Maybe her name was just the female equivalent to Maya as used for males in that time. Strange, though, why sometimes a "t" is added and sometimes not.

The conclusion that Meritaton was the king before Tut is not compelling, either. This king was named Nefer-Neferu-Aton and we do not yet know who really was behind this name.

I have checked the video again with regards to the chair she sits on and I am not sure if it is a throne or just an elaborate chair. The fact that it has lion feet and some decoration does not imply that it is the throne of the Two Lands. Besides, why should she be depicted on the throne but lacking any royal insignia? Instead she wears a flower on her forehead like noblewomen did. And there are, as far as I understand, no erasions in the depictions or inscriptions, so nobody tried to deprive her of her royal status in later times (if she outlived Tut).

Finally, she is mentioned as wet-nurse to Tut. But royal women usually did not breastfeed their own children (whatever the reason), but employed wet-nurses . So I think this woman cannot be Meritaton herself, and I think it also very unlikely that Meritaton would have served as wet-nurse for another woman`s child. And given the obvious absence of the title "Kings mother" in her tomb or anywhere else, I tend to say that Maya(t) was "only" Tut`s wet-nurse. But I am still keen to hear what Zivie has to say about it.
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 1:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

i'm not zivie and i'm not here to convince anybody and i won't be able to translate his book.
After reading it as an amateur and only as an amateur, i will never say that Maya was only tut wet nurse! Certainly not
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 31, 2009 4:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

christphe wrote:

tomorow i'll try to translate as much as i can from the book but it is clear from reading that Zivie is cautious on his assertion, it's only an hypothesis based on two reliefs(the well know plus a fragmentary one) and a long pray to Osiris. Maia is obviously in the regent position and the 12 nobles depicted twice (the same than in king tut tomb?) are paying tribute to her along with the king.
The idea that she is his mother comes from the principal relief where the ank sign is positioned on Maia stomach and when adressing to Osiris she sates that "She puts Horus on the throne to confort his father (osiris/akhenaton) wishe"


Thanks for that Christphe.
I will have to get a copy of the book myself, I'm quite intrigued!

The scenes with the nobles sound fascinating. I don't know of any precedent of such a scene in any tomb of a noble woman.



Quote:
i'm not zivie and i'm not here to convince anybody and i won't be able to translate his book.

I think anyone who wants to know more needs to read the book him/herself Smile
And I appreciate the fact that translating is way too much work. I have translated between languages and that's hard work.

Your comment that Zivie is very careful makes sense to me. He's not usually given to outlandish theories. The fact that he actually poses these questions and suggestions is enough for me to at least look at the arguments he puts forth.
I get the impression that there are enough rather unique traits and unusual scenes that one has to wonder what was going on.
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