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Age in relation to the period

 
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Chrismackint
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 4:11 am    Post subject: Age in relation to the period Reply with quote

Just wondering if anyone could fill me in on the details of the ages of Akhenaten and Nefertiti.

I'm just interested to know because the changes they made were quite incredible and I was just wondering what age group we would be talking about when these thought processes of theirs were occuring.

Also information on the ages that AIII and Queen Tiye are thought to have lived to would be interesting to know aswell.

My pre-conception of them is they were all relatively young people, but I have no idea what ages Egyptologists think they may have been.
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anneke
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 16, 2011 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I don't think this is known to any great degree of accuracy.

I believe it has been proposed that Akhenaten was fairly young when he came to the throne. I think this conjecture was based on the chubby features in his very early monuments (still in the orthodox style) and the fact that in some of the Theban tombs he as depicted with his mother Tiye instead of with his wife. I think one of the Amarna letters written to Queen Tiye has been used to argue that she had a lot of influence over her son, and hence he may have been very young.

On the other hand he does become a father very early in his reign. So he cannot have been a small child.

I honestly do not know what the latest thinking is in this matter.
Guessing: maybe mid teens when he came to the throne (still maybe influenced by his mother but able to have children) and so in his early to mid thirties when he died ????

Similarly I do not think we know all that much about Nefertiti's age. She was able to bear children at the beginning of Akhenaten's reign. So maybe same age as Akhenaten? But who knows?

I have always understood that Amenhotep III was between 8 and 12 when his father died. Ruling for some 38 years that puts time of death in his late forties / early fifties?

With Tiye it depends on if there was a co-regency or not. If there was no co-regency she may have been roughly the same age as her husband, but she survived him by some 12 to 14 years, meaning she was in or about her early sixties when she died. The age at death would be younger if there was a co-regency. The estimates of the possible co-regency (if it existed at all) seem to range from 2 to 12 years. And those arguments get confusing Smile
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Chrismackint
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2011 1:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The only reference to age I have is this article from the Heritage Key site:

http://heritage-key.com/egypt/nefertiti-most-beautiful-king-egypt

Quote:
Nefertiti continued her upbringing in obscurity, not appearing in any records until, aged just 15, she married the teenage king Amenhotep IV himself a boy of just 16.


The scenes in Amarna Tomb 1 do complicate the whole thing don't they?
You don't know if they portray an ideal or reality.

I've too also have heard AIII was between 8 and 12 when he took the throne.

Although I haven't found any info on what people thought Tiye's age was when she married AIII.

It's amazing how we just don't know there ages isn't it? You would think that they would have recorded them on a monument in stone somewhere.

Still I wonder if someone in there teens or early 20s is capable of all the changes attributed to Akhenaten's reign?

According to Tiye's wikipedia entry her mother was involved in a lot of different religious cults and was of royal blood and her father seems to have been of foreign origin.

Makes one wonder what effect they had on Tiye and what influence she had in turn, on the very young and impressionable AIII- which from all the monuments dedicated to Tiye during AIII reign seems to have been she had quite a dominating influence on him.

Makes you wonder what role Tiye's influence had in the whole amarna era as it's hard to believe people of such a young age would be re-interpreting there whole society in such an unorthodox way.
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kylejustin
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2011 4:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

chris you might spend some time with teenagers and people in their early twenties. they are quite capable of making life changing decisions.

my cousin just renounced a majority of our family because his relationship with his lady was affecting the family interactions. he is 19. he moved out, with her, and now they have set up shop, dealing with the consequences.

young people are very impressionable yes, but i do not think it is a long shot akhenaten came up with his religious views on his own. i agree that tiye would have influenced him.
if you trace the ideals of the period though, amenhotep II seems to be the first king the aten makes an appearance under. and thutmose IV got his throne with the help of the re priesthood......amenhotep III himself was trying to dominate over the priests, limiting their power.

so akhenaten's reforms arn't solely about religion, or a supremacist god. they also involve politics. the amun priesthood would have had a big say in the day to day running of the country.....and they eventually ruled egypt themselves. something i think akhenaten would have tried to stop by introducing a god the royal family controlled, not one they answered too or depended on to keep power.
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neseret
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 17, 2011 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Chrismackint wrote:
The only reference to age I have is this article from the Heritage Key site:

http://heritage-key.com/egypt/nefertiti-most-beautiful-king-egypt

Quote:
Nefertiti continued her upbringing in obscurity, not appearing in any records until, aged just 15, she married the teenage king Amenhotep IV himself a boy of just 16.


We actually have no idea how old Amenhotep IV/Akhenaten was when he ascended the throne. Smith and Redford (1976) assume that Meritaten was either born before Year 1 or closely after Year 1, based upon the number of times she appears on talatat, and how she is represented. By that assumption, Akhenaten would have to be capable of fathering a child by that time, and that assumes an age between 13-15 at earliest.

Chrismackint wrote:
Still I wonder if someone in there teens or early 20s is capable of all the changes attributed to Akhenaten's reign?

According to Tiye's wikipedia entry her mother was involved in a lot of different religious cults and was of royal blood and her father seems to have been of foreign origin.


Well, there's no evidence that Thuya was "involved in a lot of different religious cults." It seems that she and Yuya both hailed from Akhmim, where (according to her funerary equipment), Thuya served as

/Smayt n imn/ 'Chantress of Amun'
/Xkrt n imn/ 'ornament of (the harem) of Amun'
/hsy.t n Hwt-Hr/ 'favoured one of Hathor'

The last one is an epithet having to do more with beauty than cult action, but the other two likely have to do with Thuya's role as a periodic (rotating) servant in the temple of Amun, which was common practice for the elite: singers (chantresses) were also considered "ornaments" (honorary concubines/ladies in waiting) of the god.

Yuya was also involved with the local Min cult of Akhmim; he served as

- a priest of Min (at Akhmim)
- Superintendent of the oxen of Min (at Akhmim)

Again, both of these services were likely as part of the rotating phyle service the elite owed to the local temples (on the practices of this system, see Roth 1991) .

Also, in no way can we say for a fact that Yuya was a foreign born individual: Schaden (1977) notes that Yuya's name may have been of foreign origin, but there's no known information that shows Yuya himself was a foreigner in Egypt: his family may have been Egyptianised foreigners from many generations back, who merely kept certain "family names" ongoing even after they resided in Egypt. The fact that Yuya marries an Egyptian and rises as high as he does in the royal service indicates a more long-standing position of being within the Egyptian community, IMO.

As to the question of age in ancient Egypt and decision-making: If one is considered a full adult in Egyptian society by age 13, and the maximum age for most people was about 40 in ancient times (See Janssen and Janssen 2007), then being about 17-20 when Akhenaten most likely ascends the throne, puts him square in "middle age," in Egyptian age terms - definitely old enough to make the decisions about running the country, developing a new cult, etc.

Even Tutankhamun, who ascended the throne at 9 years of age, was an adult and making political decisions by the time he died at 18-19 years of age (he had even led a successful war campiagn to Syria before he died (Johnson 1992)).

So, perhaps it's best to think of all of these individuals as "adult" when they ruled the country and were well capable of making "adult" decisions.

Reference:

Janssen, R. M. and J. J. Janssen 2007. Growing Up and Getting Old in Ancient Egypt. London: Golden House Publications.

Johnson, W. R. 1992. An Asiatic Battle Scene of Tutankhamun from Thebes: A Late Amarna Antecedent of the Ramesside Battle-Narrative Tradition. Ph.D (Unpublished). The University of Chicago.

Roth, A. M. 1991. Egyptian Phyles in the Old Kingdom: The Evolution of a System of Social Organization. Studies in Ancient Oriental Civilization (SAOC) 48. Chicago: Oriental Institute.

Schaden, O. J. 1977. The God's Father, Ay. Ph.D. Dissertation (Unpublished). History. University of Minnesota.

Smith, R. W. and D. B. Redford 1976. The Akhenaten Temple Project. Vol. I: Initial Discoveries. Warminster: Aris and Phillips.

HTH.
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