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Ay and Nefertiti
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Jim Stinehart
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 07, 2016 10:23 pm    Post subject: Ay and Nefertiti Reply with quote

Ay is often thought to be Nefertiti’s biological father. At least Ay seems to have been a father figure to Nefertiti, though he never states that he has any relationship to Nefertiti. Ay’s wife Tey says that she was Nefertiti’s wet-nurse.
Here is my question.
Nefertiti seems to fall into disgrace during Year 13, per her husband Akhenaten’s orders. Yet Ay continues to be powerful at the royal court. At least, Ay is often viewed as being the power behind the throne during Tut’s reign, and we know that Tut liked Akhenaten. Something seems askew here.
If Akhenaten put Nefertiti into disgrace, how could Ay remain in good favor with the royal court, and why would Ay have been willing to have a close relationship with Tut, who liked Akhenaten?
I am trying to pinpoint the exact relationship between Ay and Nefertiti, both as to bloodlines, and also as to whether there was or was not, in any event, a strong father-daughter emotional bond between them.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2016 12:39 am    Post subject: Re: Ay and Nefertiti Reply with quote

Jim Stinehart wrote:
... Nefertiti seems to fall into disgrace during Year 13, per her husband Akhenaten’s orders. ...

An outdated, by archaeological researches and through new findings refuted conception (which also was, by the way, never more than pure speculation).

See: "Egyptian Dreams Forum Index -> Evidence from Amarna -> Nefertiti Documented in Year 16 of Akhenaton".

Greetings, Lutz.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2016 5:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ay as Nefertiti's father is also speculation. He is called God's Father in his Amarna tomb (No. 25?), so many beleive that for him to have that title he had to be at least "father in law" to Akhenaten, meaning the father of Nefertiti. But what if he was father to Kiya? Or any other wife at the royal harem?

Another idea comes from the fact that Mutnodjemet, who is documented as Nefertiti's sister, appears in Ay's tomb. But she is just standing there. With dwarves. So are three of Akhenaten's daughters. So Mutnodjemet's appearance in Ay's tomb could just be circumstantial.

Ay also held the same title as Akhenaten's grandfather Yuya, which was "master" or "overseer" of horses. So he is beleived to have inherited his father's title, meaning he was a member of the royal family. Nefertiti who is not documented as Akhenaten's sister may then be his cousin by Ay's daughter. But she could also be anyone else's daughter as well.

At least these is what some people beleive points to Ay and Nefertiti's relationship as father-daughter.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2016 7:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

evarelap wrote:
Ay as Nefertiti's father is also speculation. He is called God's Father in his Amarna tomb (No. 25?), so many beleive that for him to have that title he had to be at least "father in law" to Akhenaten, meaning the father of Nefertiti. But what if he was father to Kiya? Or any other wife at the royal harem?


Or, as has been shown numerous times with other "god's father" holders, it is a sign of a senior statesmen "mentoring" a royal prince (Habachi 1958; Schaden 1977; Blumenthal 1987; Brunner 1988; Janssen and Janssen 2007). The title only rarely resulted in the holder being possibly related to the royal family (such as Yuya (father of Tiye) being a "god's father" to Amenhotep III (since he was a prince), as well as, later, father-in-law).

The title is quite old in usage (at least since the Old Kingdom) and usually is bestowed by a reigning king upon an elder statesman to provide guidance and mentoring to the king's sons. However, there is no evidence that the title was an inherited one, as it was a boon position, always granted by a reigning king.

References:

Blumenthal, E. 1987. Die "Gottesväter" des Alten und Mittleren Reiches. ZÄS 114: 10-35.

Brunner, H. 1988. Der "Gottesvater" als Erzieher des Kronprinzen. In H. Brunner, Das hörende Herz: kleine Schriften zur Religions- und Geistesgeschichte Ägyptens: 70-81. Freiburg Schweiz; Göttingen: Universitätsverlag; Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.

Habachi, L. 1958. God's fathers and the role they played in the history of the First Intermediate Period. ASAE 55/2: 167-190.

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

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

HTH.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2016 9:23 pm    Post subject: Ay and Nefertiti Reply with quote

Evarelap:

I agree with your statement that “Ay as Nefertiti’s father is also speculation.” Ay’s title “God’s Father” certainly doesn’t mean that he was Akhenaten’s biological father, nor does it mean that Ay was Akhenaten’s father-in-law/Nefertiti’s father.

Thank you, Katherine Griffis-Greenberg, for this: “[A]s has been shown numerous times with other "god's father" holders, it is a sign of a senior statesmen "mentoring" a royal prince (Habachi 1958; Schaden 1977; Blumenthal 1987; Brunner 1988; Janssen and Janssen 2007). The title only rarely resulted in the holder being possibly related to the royal family….”

Ay was probably Akhenaten’s blood uncle, as Ay was likely the full-brother of Akhenaten’s birth mother, Queen Tiye. But such title should not be viewed as establishing that Ay is allegedly Nefertiti’s biological father.

So far, so good. Next up is to examine your statement that “Mutnodjemet…is documented as Nefertiti’s sister”. I believe that the conventional view is that Mutnodjemet (or Mutbenret) was Nefertiti’s half-sister, with Ay allegedly having married his wet-nurse Tey. That is conventionally viewed as being the basis for Mutnodjemet/Mutbenret being said in Ay’s tomb at Amarna to be “The Sister of the King's Chief Wife”.

But as noted above, I myself question whether Ay was Nefertiti’s biological father. In that case, Nefertiti and Mutnodjemet/Mutbenret would only have been “de facto” sisters, not blood sisters: neither being full-sisters nor half-sisters by blood. Based on the great prominence of Mutnodjemet/Mutbenret in Ay’s tomb at Amarna (she is accompanied by two dwarves with fanciful names, and courtiers, on both the north wall and the south wall of Ay’s tomb), it seems likely that Ay both was the biological father of Mutnodjemet/Mutbenret, and had a close father/daughter relationship with her. By sharp contrast, I do not see Ay as being the biological father of Nefertiti, or as having a close father/daughter relationship with Nefertiti.
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 08, 2016 9:32 pm    Post subject: Ay and Nefertiti Reply with quote

Lutz:

Thank you so very much for citing to that 2012 discovery of an inscription at Amarna in Year 16 that refers to Nefertiti as “Great Royal Wife, His Beloved, Mistress of the Two Lands, Neferneferuaton Nefertiti”. In a way, this “new news” could be viewed as strengthening my view that Ay was not Nefertiti’s biological father, nor did Ay seem to have a particularly close relationship with Nefertiti. When Ay was building a tomb for himself at Amarna, we now know that, per that 2012 inscription, Nefertiti was the Queen of Egypt. Yet Ay never says that he is the father of the Queen of Egypt, nor does Ay ever claim any relationship at all to Nefertiti. By contrast, Ay’s wife, Tey, proudly claims to have been Nefertiti’s nurse.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2016 7:57 pm    Post subject: Re: Ay and Nefertiti Reply with quote

Jim Stinehart wrote:
Evarelap:

I agree with your statement that “Ay as Nefertiti’s father is also speculation.” Ay’s title “God’s Father” certainly doesn’t mean that he was Akhenaten’s biological father, nor does it mean that Ay was Akhenaten’s father-in-law/Nefertiti’s father.

Thank you, Katherine Griffis-Greenberg, for this: “[A]s has been shown numerous times with other "god's father" holders, it is a sign of a senior statesmen "mentoring" a royal prince (Habachi 1958; Schaden 1977; Blumenthal 1987; Brunner 1988; Janssen and Janssen 2007). The title only rarely resulted in the holder being possibly related to the royal family….”

Ay was probably Akhenaten’s blood uncle, as Ay was likely the full-brother of Akhenaten’s birth mother, Queen Tiye. But such title should not be viewed as establishing that Ay is allegedly Nefertiti’s biological father.

Interesting to note: Thuya - who was Tiye's mother, mentions only Tiye as her daughter and the high-priest Aanen as her son. Ay is NOT mentioned as the son of Yuya and Thuya, and for this reason, his association with the family is (if any) a further removed link in the family. So, no - Ay was NOT Akhenaten's blood uncle not was he Tiye's brother (Davis 2000 (1908)). Schaden (1977), who literally wrote the main work on Ay, also doubted that Yuya and Ay were related, as I recall.

Reference:

Davis, T. M. 2000 (1907-1908). The Tomb of Iouiya and Touiyou, with the Funeral Papyrus of Iouiya. Duckworth Egyptology. London: Duckworth.

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

HTH.
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 09, 2016 9:03 pm    Post subject: Ay and Nefertiti Reply with quote

Katherine Griffis-Greenberg wrote: “Interesting to note: Thuya - who was Tiye's mother, mentions only Tiye as her daughter and the high-priest Aanen as her son. Ay is NOT mentioned as the son of Yuya and Thuya, and for this reason, his association with the family is (if any) a further removed link in the family. So, no - Ay was NOT Akhenaten's blood uncle nor was he Tiye's brother (Davis 2000 (1908)). Schaden (1977), who literally wrote the main work on Ay, also doubted that Yuya and Ay were related, as I recall.”

O.K. But before we analyze Thuya and Queen Tiye, I would like first to establish that Ay likely is not the biological father of Nefertiti. The traditional view that Ay married his wet-nurse Tey, with Ay being the biological father of Nefertiti, not only has no solid evidence to support it, but also carries with it so many problems as to make it virtually untenable.

1. Why is there no name of Ay’s first wife (who allegedly bore Nefertiti), or any other indication that Ay had ever been married before he married Tey?

2. If Nefertiti was borne in Ay’s house (rather than coming to Ay’s house some time after Nefertiti was born), the meaning of the name “Nefertiti” doesn’t seem to fit: “A Beautiful Woman Has Come”.

3. If Ay is Nefertiti’s biological father, (i) why doesn’t Ay ever say that he is the father of the Queen of Egypt (especially since we know, per that inscription uncovered in 2012, that Nefertiti was still Queen of Egypt in Year 16), and (ii) why doesn’t Ay ever seem to show any particularly strong affection for Nefertiti? (Mutnodjmet/Mutbenret is given more prominence in Ay’s tomb at Amarna than in any other tomb, which makes sense if Mutodjmet/Mutbenret is Ay’s biological daughter. Seeking to bolster the status of his biological daughter, Ay may have stretched the biological facts a bit in conferring upon Mutnodjmet/Mutbenret the grand title of 'The Sister of the King's Chief Wife'. But by contrast, Nefertiti’s role in the iconography of Ay’s tomb at Amarna seems to be simply the standard iconography for Nefertiti and Akhenaten in most of the nobles’ tombs at Amarna.)

4. If Ay is Nefertiti’s biological father, and if Nefertiti’s birth mother (Ay’s first wife) was a native Egyptian, then why is it that Nefertiti looks like an exotic foreigner, whereas Ay looks like a native Egyptian? Where did Nefertiti get her looks?

5. At least two of Nefertiti’s daughters had extremely elongated skulls; Nefertiti probably did as well. Akhenaten and Tut had only slightly elongated skulls. Ay and Tey and Yuya and Thuyu and Queen Tiye did not have elongated skulls.

Joyce Tyldesley (at p. 41 of "Nefertiti") seems right in saying: “As Nefertiti appears to have sprung from nowhere, speculation regarding her origins has been rife.”

Let’s see if we can figure out a more plausible theory of the case, which will answer the above five questions while not raising new problems. I myself do not think that Nefertiti is Ay’s biological daughter.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2016 4:37 am    Post subject: Re: Ay and Nefertiti Reply with quote

Jim Stinehart wrote:
Based on the great prominence of Mutnodjemet/Mutbenret in Ay’s tomb at Amarna (she is accompanied by two dwarves with fanciful names, and courtiers, on both the north wall and the south wall of Ay’s tomb), it seems likely that Ay both was the biological father of Mutnodjemet/Mutbenret, and had a close father/daughter relationship with her.
.

Please explain what you mean by "great prominence" of Mutnodjemet at Ay's tomb in Amarna.

All I see from the descriptions in "The Rock Tombs of El-Amarna" (Davies) and "Texts from Amarna" (Murnane) is Mutnodjemet standing next to three of Akhenaten's daughters, and she is at the back of the line and her name is only mentioned twice.

There is a lot of Nefertiti and Akhenaten at Ay's tomb, but not so much Mutnodjemet.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2016 7:25 pm    Post subject: Re: Ay and Nefertiti Reply with quote

Jim Stinehart wrote:
Katherine Griffis-Greenberg wrote: “Interesting to note: Thuya - who was Tiye's mother, mentions only Tiye as her daughter and the high-priest Aanen as her son. Ay is NOT mentioned as the son of Yuya and Thuya, and for this reason, his association with the family is (if any) a further removed link in the family. So, no - Ay was NOT Akhenaten's blood uncle nor was he Tiye's brother (Davis 2000 (1908)). Schaden (1977), who literally wrote the main work on Ay, also doubted that Yuya and Ay were related, as I recall.”

O.K. But before we analyze Thuya and Queen Tiye, I would like first to establish that Ay likely is not the biological father of Nefertiti. <snip>


That's nice, because I know of few experts in the field who think Ay was Nefertiti's father. It's a misstatement to say that those in Egyptology believe such a thing.
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 10, 2016 8:32 pm    Post subject: Ay and Nefertiti Reply with quote

evarelap:

You wrote: “Please explain what you mean by ‘great prominence’ of Mutnodjemet at Ay's tomb in Amarna. …There is a lot of Nefertiti and Akhenaten at Ay's tomb, but not so much Mutnodjemet.”

1. I believe that Mutnodjmet/Mutbenret is more prominent in Ay’s Amarna tomb than in any other such tomb or anywhere else.

2. Per http://www.osirisnet.net/tombes/amarna/ay_amarna/e_ay_amarna_01.htm:
On the north wall of the entrance corridor: “Still distinguishable in the upper register is the queen's sister, princess Mutnedjemet (or Mutbeneret, depending on the reading of the vertical sign, 'ndm' or 'bnr'), accompanied by her two dwarfs and courtiers. The dwarfs, who can also be found with her on the west wall of the tomb, have names which, according to Norman de Garis Davies, may have been chosen in jest : the first, a woman according to the determinative of the name, is designated as "the vizier of the queen, Erneheh", the second, a man, is "the vizier of his mother, Para".”

So on two different walls of Ay’s tomb at Amarna (the north wall and the west wall), we not only see Mutnodjmet/Mutbenret, but also her dwarfs. That’s what I meant by “great prominence”.

Yes, as with every nobleman’s tomb at Amarna, Akhenaten and Nefertiti dominate the iconography of Ay’s tomb. But what’s different about Ay’s tomb is the fact that on two different walls, we see Mutnodjmet/Mutbenret and her dwarfs.

3. Mutnodjmet/Mutbenret is depicted in six tombs at Amarna, so she must have been important to the royal family. (As noted above, most of the nobles’ tombs focus most of their attention on the royal family, as opposed to the noble himself, so Mutnodjmet/Mutbenret must have been important to Akhenaten and Nefertiti.)

Mutnodjmet/Mutbenret is sometimes referred to as “The Sister of the King's Chief Wife”, once in the phrase: “Mutnodjmet, may she live like Re forever, sister of the King's Great Wife, Nefernefruaten-Nefertiti”. That means that Nefertiti (and Akhenaten) must have considered Mutnodjmet/Mutbenret to be Nefertiti’s “sister”. But that likely means that Nefertiti and Mutnodjmet/Mutbenret merely grew up in the same family, not that they were related by blood, for the following reasons:

(a) As Katherine Griffis-Greenberg aptly notes: “I know of few experts in the field who think Ay was Nefertiti's father.” Tey likely was not Nefertiti’s birth mother either, since Tey always refers to herself as being Nefertiti’s wet-nurse.

(b) Mutnodjmet/Mutbenret was not Queen of Egypt, yet she is oddly prominent in Ay’s tomb. That suggests that Mutnodjmet/Mutbenret was the blood child of Ay and Tey.

(c) It is very unusual for a wife to receive a gold necklace from Akhenaten, along with her husband. Surely that means that (i) Tey was honored for being Nefertiti’s wet-nurse, and (ii) Nefertiti has no known birth mother (for reasons to be examined later). Meanwhile, Ay has the biggest and best nobleman’s tomb at Amarna. Surely that cannot be merely because he was Tey’s husband. One has to suspect that Ay was a father-figure to Nefertiti, though per the majority view of Egyptologists (and my view), Ay was not Nefertiti’s biological father. Everything is starting to make sense.

4. Mutnodjmet/Mutbenret is portrayed in Ay’s tomb as being a young girl. So as a “sister” of sorts of Nefertiti (though not being a blood sister), per the above analysis and the titulary “sister of the King's Great Wife, Nefernefruaten-Nefertiti”, Mutnodjmet/Mutbenret is Nefertiti’s younger, non-blood “sister”.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2016 8:26 am    Post subject: Re: Ay and Nefertiti Reply with quote

Jim Stinehart wrote:
evarelap:
(a) As Katherine Griffis-Greenberg aptly notes: “I know of few experts in the field who think Ay was Nefertiti's father.” Tey likely was not Nefertiti’s birth mother either, since Tey always refers to herself as being Nefertiti’s wet-nurse.

(b) Mutnodjmet/Mutbenret was not Queen of Egypt, yet she is oddly prominent in Ay’s tomb. That suggests that Mutnodjmet/Mutbenret was the blood child of Ay and Tey.


Nor does Mutbenret = Queen Mutnedjmet. This has been discussed several times - here and in the scholarly literature. If you look at the titles of Queen Mutnedjmet, you will find no link to the royal family - such as 'sister of the king', or even 'sister of the queen'. As I recall, she holds only a nobility title (iry-pAt), which means she is a "countess", as held by those in the elite classes of ancient Egypt (Ward 1986).

Martin (1991) noted the remains of what was likely Queen Mutnedjmet was that of a woman in her mid to late forties, who was in poor health and who had lost most of her teeth, having died in childbirth. If, as you argue, Mutbenret was a "young girl" at Amarna, this does not explain the late middle-aged female remains of Queen Mutnedjmet, some 20 years later.

See:

Martin, G. T. 1991. The Hidden Tombs of Memphis: New Discoveries from the Times of Tutankhamun and Ramesses the Great. New Aspects of Antiquity. New York: Thames and Hudson.

Ward, W. A. 1986. Essays on Feminine Titles of the Middle Kingdom and Related Subjects. Beirut: American University of Beirut.
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 11, 2016 2:08 pm    Post subject: Ay and Nefertiti Reply with quote

Katherine Griffis-Greenberg:

I fully agree that Nefertiti’s de facto “sister”, Mutbenret, is not the same person as Queen Muthodjmet, who married Horemhab. (We seem to be agreeing on a lot of things.)

But to return to more controversial matters, and before we examine what Hurrian connection Ay may have had as Nefertiti’s de facto father (not her biological father), let’s first note the following important Hurrian item regarding Nefertiti.

I believe that Nefertiti was the first woman in Egypt who ever drove her own horse-drawn chariot. (Her daughters soon did this, too.) It’s hard to think of anything that recalls the Hurrians more than that.

For it was probably the Hurrians who introduced “the light horse-drawn chariot with spoked wheels, the training of horses to draw it, its use as a platform for firing the composite bow, and the development of scale-armour for men and horses to counter it.” Sherratt 1980: 126.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2016 2:45 pm    Post subject: Nefertiti Reply with quote

The DNA of Tut's 2 unborn daughters reveals they had another link to Thuya than through her daughter Queen Tiye. That makes it likely that her daughter-in-law Nefertiti was also a female relative of Thuya. She may have been the daughter of Thuya's younger sister or her niece. Likely but not necessary. There are multiple other options to end up with the two foetuses having mitochondrial DNA liking them to Thuya's female ancestors.
Aanen who as Tiye's brother is supposed to have had several children. It is perfectly possible for him to have married his first cousin (daughter of his mother's sister) and for them to be the parents of Nefertiti and possibly Mutbenret. Aye can be part of the Akhmin-clan without having to be a son Thuya and Yuya.
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 14, 2016 4:47 pm    Post subject: Re: Nefertiti Reply with quote

Thieuke wrote:
... Aanen who as Tiye's brother is supposed to have had several children. It is perfectly possible for him to have married his first cousin (daughter of his mother's sister) and for them to be the parents of Nefertiti and possibly Mutbenret. Aye can be part of the Akhmin-clan without having to be a son Thuya and Yuya.

I would like to recall again in this connection, to a very special writing in the names of both, Aanen and Nefertiti, elsewhere not been established: The first glyph in his name is reversed to face the other two signs, an anomaly also found in Nefertiti's cartouche...

Greetings, Lutz.
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