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Baby depicted in mourning scene for Meketaten
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anneke
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PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2004 7:34 pm    Post subject: Baby depicted in mourning scene for Meketaten Reply with quote

In the mourning scene for Meketaten is a nurse holding a royal baby.
Here's a line drawing of the scene.

This has often been interpreted as Meketaten dying in childbirth.
There is an alternative theory (by Gabolde I think) that this child is actually a young child of Nefertiti.

Dodson mentions in his book about royal families that some think that the vague outlines of the inscription may show that this child was a boy.

There is also a block from Amarna which mentions "The King's Son Tutankuaten". This means most likely that Tutankhuaten was the son of Akhenaten.

It may just be that the child in the mourning scene then is a depiction of Tutank(u)aten.

I am a little puzzled by the age of the child. Did Meketaten die in ca. year 14? That leaves 3-4 more years under Akhenaten, and maybe 3 more under Smenkhare and Neferneferuaten. Does that mean that the child in this scene may be 2-3 years old???

If it is Tut, then the woman holding him should be the wet-nurse Maya.
I don't know if there is a part of the inscription that could give us some idea if her name was included.
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Sesen
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2004 8:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We discussed an article, by Marc Gabolde, some time ago. There is a drawing of the wet nurse and a very small part of the inscriptions:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ancient/egyptians/amarna_04.shtml

He also states that the sarcophagus of Meketaten is scarcely 1 meter long, meaning she was probably too young to be the mother of a child.
I guess we can assume that measurement to be accurate, I always wonder though. Do you know where the sarcophagus is now?

You know looking at the bbc drawing, it seems to me that the child is actually wearing a menat, too large for him/her. The menat is associated with Hathor and was the conduit through which she passes on her power.
Then again it could be something else entirely Wink

Amarna tar pits strike again?! Laughing
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anneke
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2004 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the link. I had read that before, but couldn't remember where it was on the web.

This must be the reconstruction of the text that Dodson/Hilton mention in their book.

The age for Meketaten would put a different light on th period though. If she died at age 9 in year 13/14, then Meritaten was possibly only 14 or so when she became Great Royal Wife to Smenkhare?
It also makes Ankhesenpaaton a lot younger than I always thought at the end of the Amarna reign.

I'm not sure if that's a menat. Wouldn't it be unlikely for a royal prince and supposed son of Akhenaten and Nefertiti to have something associated to Hathor around his neck? (All big IFS of course)

I don't know where Meketaten's sarcophagus is. We hope in a museum somewhere. Cairo???
Murnane mentions in his book "texts from the Amarna Period in Egypt" that only fragments remain. The inscriptions do date to the later part of akhenaten's reign (based on the name of the aten and the avoidance of spellings using god's images). I got the impression that not much is left. I don't knnow how easy it would be to reconstruct something that may have been quite unconventional.

I did notice that in the link you gave the child depicted seems to have a side-lock. Most children I know don't have enough hair to provide a side-lock until they are a bit older Cool
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Sesen
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 10, 2004 7:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anneke wrote:
Quote:
I'm not sure if that's a menat. Wouldn't it be unlikely for a royal prince and supposed son of Akhenaten and Nefertiti to have something associated to Hathor around his neck? (All big IFS of course)

Yeah, really it is hard to see what it might be. Just on the subject of Hathor, I do remember that Tiye is depicted with Beketaten at Amarna, and Tiye is wearing Hathors horned headress. Granted though its not the same as a young Amarna royal prince wearing a symbol connected to the goddess.

Very Happy Good point on what looks like the side lock - a kid sized 'rug' or a child that is no new born, or artistic licence?
How frustrating that so little of the inscriptions remain Confused
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Amun
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2008 1:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

and who was this baby? Idea



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Gerard.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2008 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The two dead persons and the baby can be anybody guess. I just believe the child's mother died when giving birth. IMO the fan tell us that the child is royal. I suspect he has no name because his mother did not have the time to give him one (or was supposed not to have it).
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burlgirl
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2008 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've always taken the sidelock to mean this is a royal child. The necklace has always made me think of the necklaces on many other pictures of the princesses. For this reason, I think this is a princess, although I WANT to believe it's Tut.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2008 12:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The sidelock can indeed be one indication of royalty but children of all classes have been depicted with it, so one must be wary of narrowing it down too much with the sidelock. Smile
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anneke
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2008 3:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is also a theory (recently written about by van Dijk) that this isn't a baby at all, but the reborn soul of Meketaten.
"the newborn baby which is shown leaving the death chamber in the arms of a nurse is the reborn Meketaten herself."

Somehow maybe an Amarna period reworking of the concept of the ka or ba? But instead of say a small ba-bird the soul takes the form of a child.

The article by van Dijk can be found here:
http://history.memphis.edu/murnane/
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2008 6:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

burlgirl wrote:

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Welcome, Jo.

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Gerard.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2008 9:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I knew the van Dijk's theory. However, in room Alpha there two dead persons, one baby, one fan. In room Gamma with Meketaten there are one baby two fans. This theory works for room gamma, but fail in room alpha.
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2008 1:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is also a theory (recently written about by van Dijk) that this isn't a baby at all, but the reborn soul of Meketaten.
"the newborn baby which is shown leaving the death chamber in the arms of a nurse is the reborn Meketaten herself."
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THE DEATH OF VIRGIN MARY: (Chora Church in Istanbul)

http://www.planet-turquie-guide.com/kariye.01.JPG

In this picture we see a baby which is in fact "the soul of Mary" (mother of Jesus).
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Bob Brier wrote that the baby can be Tutankhamun!

(Bob Brier, "The Murder of Tutankhamen)

I read the Turkish version of it...
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anneke
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2008 4:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gerard. wrote:
However, in room Alpha there two dead persons, one baby, one fan.


You mean two scenes showing the deceased, one with a baby and one without a baby? I had not realized that.

I somehow find the interpretation as the baby being a rebirth still appealing. Maybe the rebirth was meant to be shown in one scene but not the other for unknown religious reason?

It hard to figure out what would have been meant because we have no real comparisons in other tombs. For as far as I know there are no other depictions of babies as part of a mourning scene. There are examples of rebirth (there are ba-birds depicted in many tombs). But the rebirth is never in the form of a baby for as far as I know.

I have read before that the scenes were in a good state when the epigraphic teams studied them in 1894 (hope I get the year right). Not sure if the inscriptions above the baby shed more light on the identity / meaning of the baby.
I think it's these older copies that suggest actually that this is a royal baby? But not enough was legible even then to say for sure who the baby was or who the mother would have been?
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anneke
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2008 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

anneke wrote:
You mean two scenes showing the deceased, one with a baby and one without a baby? I had not realized that.


LOL the scene is of course just a couple inches above my post ....
DUH! Very Happy
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2008 4:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sesen wrote:
He also states that the sarcophagus of Meketaten is scarcely 1 meter long, meaning she was probably too young to be the mother of a child. I guess we can assume that measurement to be accurate, I always wonder though. Do you know where the sarcophagus is now?
We are not sure this was a sarcophagus, a canopy box has been mentioned as an alternative. (G.Martin in the Royal Tomb II ?) At the age of nine, a girl can produce a child (see J.Tyldesley, Daughters of Isis p. 51) and Meketaten was probably far above that age when she died.
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