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Bent arm only for queens or not?
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Sothis
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2010 6:52 am    Post subject: Bent arm only for queens or not? Reply with quote

There is an entry on Kate`s news blog regarding another article about the dna-test results.

http://www.dylanb.me.uk/wp/?p=463

Hope the link works.

There are some good thoughts in it, but what I found strange is that the author obviously doubts that the bent left arm in female mummies always points to her being a queen.
On the other hand he suggests that a bent left arm might as well be found in females other than queens who are just somehow related to the royal family.
He concludes that therefore the two KV21 mummies do not have to be queens but can be any otherwise related individuals maybe highly appreciated as wetnurses.

I thought until now that only Great Royal Wives were mummified with a bent left arm and the hand clutching a sceptre.

Am I wrong?
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Naunacht
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2010 12:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The bent arm pose is a theory. So far, as far as I know, there are two putative queens to prove it. Tiye and Hatshepsut.

Does anyone know of an 18th Dynasty female mummy who has been convincingly identified as a commoner, whose arm is bent in that position? That would pretty much demolish that theory.

So far I can think of:

KV 60 A (Identified, although not to universal satisfaction) as Hatshepsut. I tend to agree with the identification but like this author, I'd like to see more DNA testing of both the Thutmosid and Ahmosid clans, before I'd be completely satisfied. I did find it a bit odd that this lady did not share many of the birth defects that seem to have plagued this family. On the other hand, she was pretty early in the family, and her bloodline (presumably) died out with her daughter Nefrura.

KV 35 EL Convincingly identified through this round of testing as Tiye

KV 60 B (Sitre Inet) I believe that this woman was shown during the CT scan done in 2007 to have had her arm broken off and later repositioned when she was rewrapped. What I thought was interesting is that she seems to have shared some of the genetic problems of members of the royal family. Maybe she was the nurse, maybe she wasn't or maybe the nurse was a relative of Thutmose I. Once again I'd love to see them do the level of testing that they did on the Armana mummies onthe early 18th Dynasty clans of Ahmose & Thutmose.

KV 21 A & B Unidentified.
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Granite
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 28, 2010 6:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

After reading the Dylan Bickerstaffe article cited above by Sothis, I can wholeheartedly recommend it to all those interested in Amarna affairs. It brings some welcome common sense into the discussion.
It is, by the way, a pity that in these exciting times, when modern science is supplying with more and more precise instruments for investigating the past, the whole show is run to a large extent my an individual only interested in his own self-glorification. This only gets in the way of true academic and scientific progress.
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Sothis
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 1:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It may not be proven but in my view a bent arm does point to the mummy being of a queen, presumably of a Great Royal Wife.

It is the pose in which queens were depicted in life as well. We know many statues of the 18th/19th dynasty which show GRW`s (Tiye, Nefertari etc.) standing with one arm straight and the left arm bent to the chest holding a flower, sceptre or something similar.
When I have more time than I have right now I`ll try to post some pictures (secretely I hope that meanwhile someone else might do this job for me).

Besides it is the logical counterpart to the kings being mummified with both arms crossed. Queens were considered somewhat less than the king but still above ordinary beings so they had one bent arm.

And it`s not only the arm. For as far as I know a bent arm always has a clenched hand which would have held some kind of insignia. There are just no insignia left at the time of the discovery of a mummy and unfortunately we have too few queen`s mummies left to either prove or disprove the theory.
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Meretseger
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 6:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Of course KV55 - who was not a queen whoever he was! - had one arm bent over his chest and Tut himself had his arms at his sides. I would suspect that the AEs were perhaps less consistent in this matter than Egyptologists would desire.
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anneke
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 6:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

For Sothis:


Tiye


Ahmose Nefertari


Merytamen


Bint-Anath


Nefertari


Tiye again

Tutankhamen's mummy had his arms across his chest:
Picture from the original exavation

The arms were later broken so they could remove the bracelets and then straightened out. But he was mummified in the position shown on the coffin: with his arms crossed over the chest.
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Sothis
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 29, 2010 7:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote






In these and other images it is clearly visible that Tut`s arms were originally neatly crossed over the chest.
What we see now is the careless rearrangement of broken bones,nothing else.

As to the KV55 mummy, how reliable are reports that only one arm was bent?

I have heard that there are doubts as to the reliability of Weigall`s reports about the mummy bands.
It isknown that Davis wanted to see Queen Tiye in the mummy, is it possible that he made up a story about a bent left arm?

I guess there are no pictures available to show how the mummy or the skeleton was originally arranged?
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Sobek
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 12:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The partial, possible Nefertiti shabti in the Louvre clearly shows a person with two bent arms holding the "fly-swatter" in the right hand and something else in the left.
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Sothis
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 1:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I knew it!
I knew that someone like anneke would do a much better and quicker job than I could ever do! Thanks anneke Smile
Interestingly our last post crossed each other. When I started mine Meretseger`s post was the last one but mine came after anneke`s. Gives you an idea how long it took me to prepare my meagre post. Embarassed

Now I would like to know if all of the ladies were Great Royal Wives or if some were just King`s daughter`s. I`m not sure about Meritamun and Bint-Anath (?).
We might get a little bit closer to finding out if KV21A+B were likely queens (GRW`s) or could have been just princesses
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anneke
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 2:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sothis wrote:
Thanks anneke Smile

You're welcome Very Happy I just had to browse through my photobucket account, so it was pretty easy to do.


Sothis wrote:
Now I would like to know if all of the ladies were Great Royal Wives or if some were just King`s daughter`s. I`m not sure about Meritamun and Bint-Anath (?).
We might get a little bit closer to finding out if KV21A+B were likely queens (GRW`s) or could have been just princesses

All those women were great royal wives.

I think that on the colossal statue of Merytamun the inscriptions only mention her as a king's daughter:
" ...whose forehead is beautiful bearing the uraeus, the beloved of her Lord, the great one [of the harem of Amen]-Re, [sistrum player] of Mut, menit player of Hathor, songstress of Atum, King's Daughter [beloved of ?] .. [Mr]it[I]mn.w."
"the fair of face, beautiful in the palace, the Beloved of the Lord of the Two Lands, she who is beside her Lord as Sothis is beside Orion, one is pleased with what is spoken when she opens her mouth to pacify the Lord of the Two Lands, King's Daughter in the palace [?] of the Lord of many festivals [?] .


But she is a great royal wife as mentioned in her tomb and on other monuments.

Binth-Anath is a great royal wife at Wadi es Sebua (where the statue shown above comes from). In all honesty: that statue could be either Bint-Anath or Merytamen.

I personally do believe the bent arm is a sign of royalty.
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Meretseger
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 4:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

anneke wrote:
For Sothis:

Tutankhamen's mummy had his arms across his chest:
Picture from the original exavation

The arms were later broken so they could remove the bracelets and then straightened out. But he was mummified in the position shown on the coffin: with his arms crossed over the chest.


Whoops! Sorry, I should have known better than to take that darn documentary literally! Still, arent there some pharaohs with hands at sides or cuped over the groin? I still think it might be a mistake to read to much into reported arm position as the Egyptians fully lived up to the motto 'consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds'.
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anneke
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The mummy of King Ahmose had the arms stretched out.
It seems that Amenhotep I may have been to first to have his arms crossed over the chest.

That's what I'm reading on the Theban Royal Mummy Pages at least:
http://members.tripod.com/anubis4_2000/mummypages1/Early18.htm

I don't think Ahmose-Nefertari was buried with her arm bent, and she was by all accounts the most important royal woman from that early 18th dynasty period.

The mummy identified as Hatshepsut from KV60 is the first to be mummified with one bent arm (that we know about)

Tuya, mother of Queen Tiye, is buried with her arms extended. So even the queen's mother did not have her arm bent. Or at least not this one.

I must say I don't know how they exactly know the KV21 mummies were buried with a bent arm. The poor ladies were rather badly dismembered.
But they may have found an elbow joint which shows it's bent?
Unless this was recorded when they initially found them. They were in a much better state when initially discovered.
Which is something that is somewhat annoying. It would be nice to have had the complete bodies and not these fragmented bodies.
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Diorite
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 7:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

anneke wrote:

I personally do believe the bent arm is a sign of royalty.


And if KV55 had one arm bent as reported, it would suggest a royal but not a pharoah...

Diorite
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neseret
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 30, 2010 7:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Sobek wrote:
The partial, possible Nefertiti shabti in the Louvre clearly shows a person with two bent arms holding the "fly-swatter" in the right hand and something else in the left.


All shabtis have two arms crossed and holding something, even the non-royal ones. In non-royal shabtis, they hold agricultural implements, such as a hoe and a scythe (or sometimes, a basket). This motif was a specific innovation during the 18th Dynasty New Kingdom (Stewart 1995).

So, showing two arms bent and engaged on a royal shabti, particularly during the 18th Dynasty, means really next to nothing.

Akhenaten's shabtis often held two ankhs in either hand - not always a crook and flail (Martin 1974). So, Nefertiti's shabti could have held an ankh in each hand as well, a lotus sceptre and another implement, or possibly, the more mundane hoe and scythe.

See

Martin, G. T. 1986. Shabtis of Private Persons in the Amarna Period. MDAIK 42: 109-129.

__________. 1974. The Rock Tombs of El-'Amarna. Part VII. The Royal Tomb at El-'Amarna. The Objects. (Vol. I.) Archaeological Survey of Egypt. 35th Memoir. London: Egypt Exploration Society.

Schneider, H. D. 1977. Shabtis. An Introduction to the History of Ancient Egyptian Funerary Statuettes with a Catalogue of the Collection of Shabtis in the National Museum of Antiquities at Leiden. Collections of the National Museum of Antiquities at Leiden 2. Leiden: Rijksmuseum van Oudheden.

Stewart, H. M. 1995. Egyptian Shabtis. Shire Egyptology 23. Princes Risborough: Shire Publications.

HTH.
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Sobek
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 31, 2010 1:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks, neseret
neseret wrote:
...Nefertiti's shabti could have held an ankh in each hand as well, a lotus sceptre and another implement, or possibly, the more mundane hoe and scythe.


There is a clear picture of the piece in the "Are we trying too hard... topic. It shows three vertical objects in front of and parallel to the upper right arm which end just above the edge of the bent lower arm. Christian Loeben (1986) interpreted them as the end of a flail (which I, possibly incorrectly, refered to as a "fly-swatter").
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