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Daughters of Akhenaten and Nefertiti
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kylejustin
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2011 2:28 pm    Post subject: Daughters of Akhenaten and Nefertiti Reply with quote

the 6 daughters:

meritaten, meketaten, ankhesenamun, neferneferuaten tasherit, neferneferure and setepenre.

what do we think happened to them?

1) meritaten- was the wife of akhenaten and smenkhkare. may have ruled as nefneferuaten either on her own or as regent for tutankhamun.

2) meketaten- died and was buried in the royal tomb at amarna.

3) ankhesenamun- wife of tutankhamun, and possibly ay. dissapears around the time of ay's accession.

and the younger three vanish before akhenaten's death. neferneferure and setepenre are not present at the death of meketaten, they are not carved in the scenes from the royal tomb. are we to assume they were too young to participate? or that they had died before her?

are we to assume that meketaten, neferneferure, and setepenre all died around the same time, the same time nefertiti and tiye and kiya all dissapear?

than what happened to neferneferuraten? did she vanish at the same time?

what is the historical consensus here? the evidence for their fates?
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neseret
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 07, 2011 10:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Of the 6 daughters - Meritaten, Maketaten, Ankhsenpaaten, Neferneferuaten-tasherit, Neferure, and Setepenre - only Ankhsenpaaten is known to have survived until the reign of Tutankhamun, when she married Tutankhaten and both reverted their names to -amun extensions.

It's not clear how all of the other sisters fared, but we do know that Maketaten died about Year 12, but Neferure and Setepenre seem to have died about the same time as Akhenaten (Year 17), and possible excavated tomb sites have been located for them at Amarna. However, there is little or no evidence of burials so we're faced with the fact they appear to "disappear" about the same time as Akhenaten in Year 17.

As for the eldest daughter, Meritaten, we know she served as her father's chief queen after the "disappearance" of Nefertiti about Year 12. But Meritaten also shows up again in the tomb of Meryre (de Garies Davies 1905), in a scene showing Smenkhkare as regent with Meritaten as his Great Royal Wife. The implication seems to be that Meritaten survived at least until the reign of Smenkhkare, but perhaps no longer than that.

The daughter of which we know almost nothing about is Neferneferuaten-tasherit. There is no evidence of her life or death beyond what few references we have of her at Amarna.

For more about Neferneferauten-tasherit, see

Allen, J. P. 2009. The Amarna Succession. In P. Brand and L. Cooper, Eds., 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. (Online (PDF))

HTH.
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2011 1:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

thanx neseret, that was a good reply. i hate it that we cant really confirm much though.

i just read that article, and i like the conclusions of tut's parentage, bravo for coming to those conclusions before the DNA was released!!

i don't like his assumptions though that the 3 eldest daughters bore children to akhenaten, and that is the basis for trying to get a son. i think it is likely if mertitaten and ankhsenpaaten jnrs were akhenaten's daughters, it would make sense if at least one was kiya's? we now she had a daughter, but not two? maybe she had one daughter, andbecause of later aditions and renovations it appears there were two, when there isnt?

it seems also, that no body really knows if smenkhare or neferneferuaten was akhenaten's successor. the article prefers neferneferuaten, and thinks the 4th daughter is the best fit. the author also thinks the reason the 4th daughter got promoted over her 2 elder sisters was because akhenaten already tried having heirs with the eldest 3, and the 4th could achieve it?

ah what a screwed up period. i like to think akhenaten was succeeded by his younger brother smenkhkare, who in turn was succeeded by his wife/niece meritaten who may have been regent for her step son/cousin tutankhamun. but i doubt it will be proved to be as simple as that!
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2011 5:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

'Less lucid' now there's an understatement for you! Laughing

There is in fact no firm evidence of a co-regent, Male or Female, with Akhenaten. There is however a talatat showing him officiating at the Aten's altar attended by his two eldest surviving daughters dressed as adults but neither wearing queenly regalia, with Kiya and her young daughter in a lower register strongly implying a) Nefertiti predeceased her husband b) Merytaten was NOT her father's wife and c) no co-regency.

If we are to interpret the presence of infants in the mourning scenes as evidence of death in childbirth than TWO royal ladies not just one must have done so since there are two burials. This is of course possible but given Meketaten's probable age and the question of why Akhenaten would prefer his second daughter to his eldest in his attempt to sire a son is unanswerable.

The writer makes a fairly large assumption in stating that Akhenaten was desperate for a son to succeed him. GIVEN that he was in fact succeeded by a younger brother with apparently no trouble this is questionable to say the least. For all we know Akhenaten was quite resigned to his lack of a male heir - or he had a harem full of sons by concubines who of course did not rate a mention in the record. Given the invisibility of King's Sons the latter is a distinct possibility but if so Smenkhkara son of Amenhotep III was preferred - possibly because of his age and his leanings to the Old Religion. His succession was secured by his marriage to Akhenaten's eldest daughter Merytaten who is well attested as his consort.

The logic of Akhenaten going through one daughter after another in his search for a son as opposed to continuing to try with the eldest who had at least proved her fertility and might have better luck next time escapes me. As does the logic of appointing a very young girl co-regent (especially given the lack of evidence for any co-regency).

Tutankhamun has pretty conclusively been proven to be the son of KV55 who was almost certainly Smenkhkara. Possibly the fact he was already the father of a son added to Smen's appeal as a successor?
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 09, 2011 5:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kylejustin wrote:
- what a screwed up period. i like to think akhenaten was succeeded by his younger brother smenkhkare, who in turn was succeeded by his wife/niece meritaten who may have been regent for her step son/cousin tutankhamun. but i doubt it will be proved to be as simple as that!


Definitely messed up, but your scenario, Kylejustin, has the virtue of being Occam's razor compliant!
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2011 11:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

those are my thoughts too meretseger. there are just some theories i find hard to believe. especially the scenario where akhenaten promotes his daughters to queen and tries to have heirs by each one. amenhotep III and ramses II promoted daughters to queen, and there appears no attempt was made to make it a marriage in the modern sense. it purely seems to be to keep power in the family, to give the elder queen in amenhotep III's situation a break, and the younger queen, some experience in government.
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anneke
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

kylejustin wrote:
amenhotep III and ramses II promoted daughters to queen, and there appears no attempt was made to make it a marriage in the modern sense. it purely seems to be to keep power in the family, to give the elder queen in amenhotep III's situation a break, and the younger queen, some experience in government.


Bintanath - the eldest daughter of Ramesses II - is known to have had a daughter. This daughter is depicted (without being given a name) in Bintanath's tomb in the Valley of the Queens. So it seems that this was a "real" marriage.

The marriage with the daughters was likely part of the king's identification with the gods. I would have to look it up (it's in O'Connor and Cline's book on Amenhotep III) where the religious aspect of this is mentioned.

I do not see any reason (expect modern sensibilities) to assume this was anything other than a real marriage.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

that's interesting anneke. i do wonder if the daughter of hers was ramses II daughter, or if it is like kiya's depictions.

i am familiar with re and hathor, and how they had children. but i have not heard of any instances pre amenhotep III.
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 5:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

kylejustin wrote:
that's interesting anneke. i do wonder if the daughter of hers was ramses II daughter, or if it is like kiya's depictions.

All I know is that the daughter is depicted behind her mother (approximately same size). The daughter is not depicted as a little girl. I don't think this is a situation where it is a usurpation.

Unless it's a depiction of a fictitious daughter to keep the princess-queen company in the here after?

There is a colossal statue of a Ramesside queen in Bubastis. I think the current thought is that this may be Meritamen. On photographs I have seen it always looks like there is faint outline of a child on the statue. I cannot for the life of me tell if this is the badly weathered image of a son or daughter or if it is just a trick of the light.

It's the third and fourth images from the bottom at Alain Guilleux's website:
http://alain.guilleux.free.fr/boubastis/boubastis.php

To me it looks like a figure whose left hand is holding a piece of cloth, and who is possibly wearing the tall plumes?

kylejustin wrote:
i am familiar with re and hathor, and how they had children. but i have not heard of any instances pre amenhotep III.

I have not heard of the marriage with the daughter pre Amenhotep either. But maybe there are some examples in the old and middle kingdom?

The main examples are Amenhotep III, Akhenaten and Ramesses II. I would have to look at my notes, but I'm not sure about other ones. Then again the family histories of the queens tends to be rather poorly recorded (if at all).
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anneke
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 5:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The image of Bintanath and her daughter is shown in Joyce Tyldesley's Chronicle of the Queens.

This is my painted version of the scene:


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 5:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Forgot to mention: Some think that the daughter may also have been called Bitnanath. There is a statue of Merenptah which depict the King's Wife Bintanath.



This woman has the titles King's Daughter, King's Sister, Great Royal Wife Bintanath. It would mean that Merenptah either married his sister Bintanath - who must have been in her seventies when Merenptah came to the throne.
Or this could be Bintanath II daughter of Bintanath and Ramesses II who would have been both a half-sister and a niece of Merenptah.

It's of course possible Merenptah honored his eldest sister in this manner and included her on a statue, no matter her age. Who knows Smile
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 2:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I believe some 12th dynasty Pharaohs are thought to have married their daughters. At least some King's Daughters bear titles like 'United to the Scepter' which were usually granted to consorts.

Judging by their burials 12th dynasty Kings treasured their womenfolk.
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 2:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

my first thought if there was father- daughter marriages pre amenhotep III, then they would be 12th dynasty examples. but i cannot see anything there. it does have a lot to do with myth though, and the gods favoured sibling unions, which the pharaohs are known to have done, and have produced offspring.

the 12th dynasty burials for queens and princesses have survived mostly intact, the lack of wives and daughters of new kingdom monarchs may explain a cache or 2, or maybe a few of them are still in their tombs. as a point of interest, they say their have been no mummified remains recovered from the valley of the queens. though they have nefertari's knees, and a noblmans head, called nebseni.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 14, 2011 11:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Appropo of the fate of Akhenaten's daughters there is a fragment of marriage vase showing minor Syrian King with a lady wearing the lotus crown seen on Sitamun and other princesses suggesting the possibility of a foreign match dispite Amenhotep III's lofty dismissal of same. Maybe his successors felt differently? Or possibly the princess had fled her country and taken refuge at the King's court?
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 18, 2011 7:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You mean, here?:
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