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The Amarna Age
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Osiris II
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PostPosted: Tue May 04, 2004 2:40 pm    Post subject: The Amarna Age Reply with quote

I'm just in the process of reading a startling book, "The Amarna Age: Egypt" by Frederick J. Giles. It was published by the Australian Centre for Egyptology. I am not familiar either with Giles or the Centre--anyone else recognize the names?
In this very well documented book--the bibliography is extensive, and uses well know Egyptologists statements--several points are made that set popular belief about the Amarna Age on its ear! To whit--

Akhenaten and his father co-ruled for at least 2 years, and possibly 9.
Nefertiti did not co-rule with Akhenaten, or by herself witha changed name. She died in yeart 12 of Akhenaten's rule.
Smenenkhra was Akhenaten's son-in-law, marrying Meritaton, but was not his son. Written records show that Kiya had only one child--a girl.

These are just a few of the statements that shook up my previous conceptions about the Amarna Age. I'm only about 1/2 way through the book, so I expect many more! I highly recommend it--even though it's easy to get bored with some of the detail he goes into!

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Sekhmet
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PostPosted: Sat May 08, 2004 6:38 am    Post subject: Re: The Amarna Age Reply with quote

Osiris II wrote:
I'm just in the process of reading a startling book, "The Amarna Age: Egypt" by Frederick J. Giles. It was published by the Australian Centre for Egyptology. I am not familiar either with Giles or the Centre--anyone else recognize the names?
In this very well documented book--the bibliography is extensive, and uses well know Egyptologists statements--several points are made that set popular belief about the Amarna Age on its ear! To whit--

Akhenaten and his father co-ruled for at least 2 years, and possibly 9.
Nefertiti did not co-rule with Akhenaten, or by herself witha changed name. She died in yeart 12 of Akhenaten's rule.
Smenenkhra was Akhenaten's son-in-law, marrying Meritaton, but was not his son. Written records show that Kiya had only one child--a girl.

These are just a few of the statements that shook up my previous conceptions about the Amarna Age. I'm only about 1/2 way through the book, so I expect many more! I highly recommend it--even though it's easy to get bored with some of the detail he goes into!

Osiris II

Hi Osiris II, i hadn't heard of either, until now thanks to you. Sounds like a book i need to check into ASAP Smile
So far as you have posted, none of those statements surprise me. Except that others are saying them as well! Thank God!
I do have a new book on Amarna coming, but it is about the diplomacy that was found in the Amarna letters Smile i can hardly wait!

There are really alot of old theories about Akhenaten, his city, and times. Some of them filter down to affect Tutankhamun as well. It is good news to me, that others are objecting to some of the wilder ones. While more folks are beginning to consider these people in the light of reality, not pink tinted sunglasses. Wink

Myself, since discovering that Akhenaten did not start the "religious war" once credited to him. I find the concept of a long co-regency with his father far more possible than the old thought. That he didn't or it couldn't be a very long one. The main reason why scholars objected to the belief of a long co-regencey was they couldn't bring themselves to believe that a boy-Pharaoh could have done it! They figured that he had to come to the throne as an adult to push his Aten reforms.
Today, it is known that the Aten had been a popular god of both his father, and grandfather. To me it makes more sense that Akhenaten was a young man, if not boy when he started his reform, with his elder father the protector of the evolution of the Aten.
Again thanks for the new book i need to get Smile And happy reading to you!
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Osiris II
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2004 12:28 am    Post subject: Plague? Reply with quote

Sekhmet, I just found this and thought you might be interested. I know we're spoken of the Plague a bit...

News Notes Geoarchaeology
Fossilized plague in Egypt
Eva Panagiotakopulu went to the ancient city of Amarna, Egypt, to study how people lived 3,500 years ago through fossilized insect remains. Unlike the nice clean city portrayed in many reconstructions, the city, she discovered, was infested with bedbugs, fleas and flies. And what she found in the insects was also a surprise: plague. On further inspection, Panagiotakopulu began to think that perhaps the plague did not originate in Central Asia, as has long been believed: Perhaps it began in Egypt.

Paleoentomologist Eva Panagiotakopulu found plague in fossilized flea remains in ancient ruins in Amarna, Egypt. She now believes the plague may have begun in Egypt rather than Central Asia. Photo courtesy of Eva Panagiotakopulu.

Epidemic plagues have been documented all over the world throughout the ages ? the 13th to 12th century B.C. plague of the Philistines, the 5th century B.C. Athenian plague in Greece, the A.D. 6th century Justinian epidemic in the Eastern Mediterranean, and the most infamous, the Black Death that killed more than one-fourth of Europe?s population in the Middle Ages. And plague is still present, with 1,000 to 3,000 cases reported worldwide each year, according to the World Health Organization, and a reported 10 to 15 individual cases each year in the rural United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In almost all cases, plague epidemics strike areas with poor and cramped living conditions, much like the ?Workmen?s Village? section of Amarna where Panagiotakopulu, a paleoentomologist at Sheffield University in England, carried out her research. Amarna, the site of excavations by Barry Kemp (a renowned Egyptologist from the University of Cambridge), is a good place to study ancient life in Egypt, Panagiotakopulu says, because the site is well-preserved in the dry desert sands. Archaeologists have flocked to the site for more than 100 years to learn why the city was capital for only 20 years (around 1350 to 1330 B.C.) and then abandoned. However, Panagiotakopulu is the first to look at fossilized insect remains in the ancient city.

The Workmen?s Village was the section near the ancient capital reserved for the artisans who toiled on the nearby stone tombs for the pharaohs Akhenaten and Tutankhamun. There, Panagiotakopulu found a very high frequency of fossilized human fleas, bedbugs and other insects and parasites that ?present a picture of squalid living conditions? in and around the workers? houses, she says.

Because pandemic plague throughout history often first showed itself by a large number of black rat deaths, scientists have long thought that plague originated in India and Central Asia, where black rats were endemic. They thought the plague then spread throughout the Mediterranean and Europe by fleas on black rats that entered the Mediterranean region via shipboard trading. But the identification of fossilized plague bacteria in the fossilized fleas in Egypt led Panagiotakopulu to hypothesize that plague instead originated in Africa, in fleas that fed on the endemic Nile rat. The plague only grew to epidemic proportions when the Asian black rats ? new hosts ? were introduced to Egypt, Panagiotakopulu wrote in the February Journal of Biogeography.

Because fleas, Nile rats and plague coevolved simultaneously in Africa, Panagiotakopulu says, Nile rats did not die of the disease but passed it on. When black rats, which had no immunity to plague, were bitten by plague-ridden fleas, they easily contracted and spread the disease around the Mediterranean on the ships of traders who also spread the disease. Furthermore, Panagiotakopulu says, the annual flood of the Nile helped bring into contact the primary host (the Nile rat) and its parasite with a new host (the black rat), in early urban areas. But, she cautions, further detailed paleoecologic and pathologic research will be needed to substantiate her findings.

Paul Buckland, an environmental archaeologist and paleoentomologist at Bournemouth University in England, says that fossil insects are important to the study of daily human lives from thousands of years ago, including what diseases humans may have faced and their quality of life. ?A more regional picture of climate and environment is also available from the insect record, including evidence for crops, weeds and pest infestation of stored products, including mummies,? he says. Panagiotakopulu?s research and findings are ?tremendously original,? he says, and provide new dimensions to the study of the past.

Megan Sever

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http://www.geotimes.org/may04/NN_plague.html

In the Plague Prayers of the Hittite king Mursilli, one of Suppiluliuma's successors, it is
recorded that:

'When the Egyptians became frightened, they asked outright for one of his [Suppiluliuma's]
sons to [take over] the kingship. But when my father gave them one of his sons, they led
him there and they killed him. My father let his anger run away with him, he went to war
against Egypt and attacked Egypt. He smote the foot soldiers and the charioteers of the
country of Egypt. But when they brought back to the Hatti [Hittite] land, the prisoners
which they had taken, a plague broke out among the prisoners and these began to die.
When they moved the prisoners to the Hatti land, these prisoners carried the plague into
the Hatti land. From that day on people have been dying in the Hatti land.'


'It is very possible that the sudden deaths of several members of the royal family could be
linked to the plague.'


The text implies that a great plague was ravaging the Middle East at the time. The same
plague is mentioned in the Amarna Letters EA 11, EA 35, EA 96 and EA 932. Given the
scale of this epidemic, it is very possible that the sudden deaths of several members of the
royal family could be linked to the plague. The plague may, furthermore, have been felt to
be a punishment from the old, neglected, gods, and may have precipitated the end of the
cult of the Aten. Indeed, the return to traditional religious practices and the desertion of
the palace at Amarna can be clearly dated to the reign of Ankh(et)kheperure
Neferneferuaten, alias Merytaten, and not to that of Tutankhamun, as has generally been
assumed.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ancient/egyptians/amarna_07.shtml
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Si-amun
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2004 5:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It takes millions of years for anything to fossilise, I am suspicious! lol
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Osiris II
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 05, 2004 8:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here is another article on the subject, taken from the Geo Times, a publication of the American Geological Survey.
I don't understand the use here of the term fossil, I, too, thought that fossils were millions of years old. But if the article is acceptable to the AGS, I think it gives the principle offical standing.

Geoarchaeology
Fossilized plague in Egypt

Eva Panagiotakopulu went to the ancient city of Amarna, Egypt, to study how people lived 3,500 years ago through fossilized insect remains. Unlike the nice clean city portrayed in many reconstructions, the city, she discovered, was infested with bedbugs, fleas and flies. And what she found in the insects was also a surprise: plague. On further inspection, Panagiotakopulu began to think that perhaps the plague did not originate in Central Asia, as has long been believed: Perhaps it began in Egypt.

Paleoentomologist Eva Panagiotakopulu found plague in fossilized flea remains in ancient ruins in Amarna, Egypt. She now believes the plague may have begun in Egypt rather than Central Asia. Photo courtesy of Eva Panagiotakopulu.

Epidemic plagues have been documented all over the world throughout the ages — the 13th to 12th century B.C. plague of the Philistines, the 5th century B.C. Athenian plague in Greece, the A.D. 6th century Justinian epidemic in the Eastern Mediterranean, and the most infamous, the Black Death that killed more than one-fourth of Europe’s population in the Middle Ages. And plague is still present, with 1,000 to 3,000 cases reported worldwide each year, according to the World Health Organization, and a reported 10 to 15 individual cases each year in the rural United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

In almost all cases, plague epidemics strike areas with poor and cramped living conditions, much like the “Workmen’s Village” section of Amarna where Panagiotakopulu, a paleoentomologist at Sheffield University in England, carried out her research. Amarna, the site of excavations by Barry Kemp (a renowned Egyptologist from the University of Cambridge), is a good place to study ancient life in Egypt, Panagiotakopulu says, because the site is well-preserved in the dry desert sands. Archaeologists have flocked to the site for more than 100 years to learn why the city was capital for only 20 years (around 1350 to 1330 B.C.) and then abandoned. However, Panagiotakopulu is the first to look at fossilized insect remains in the ancient city.

The Workmen’s Village was the section near the ancient capital reserved for the artisans who toiled on the nearby stone tombs for the pharaohs Akhenaten and Tutankhamun. There, Panagiotakopulu found a very high frequency of fossilized human fleas, bedbugs and other insects and parasites that “present a picture of squalid living conditions” in and around the workers’ houses, she says.

Because pandemic plague throughout history often first showed itself by a large number of black rat deaths, scientists have long thought that plague originated in India and Central Asia, where black rats were endemic. They thought the plague then spread throughout the Mediterranean and Europe by fleas on black rats that entered the Mediterranean region via shipboard trading. But the identification of fossilized plague bacteria in the fossilized fleas in Egypt led Panagiotakopulu to hypothesize that plague instead originated in Africa, in fleas that fed on the endemic Nile rat. The plague only grew to epidemic proportions when the Asian black rats — new hosts — were introduced to Egypt, Panagiotakopulu wrote in the February Journal of Biogeography.

Because fleas, Nile rats and plague coevolved simultaneously in Africa, Panagiotakopulu says, Nile rats did not die of the disease but passed it on. When black rats, which had no immunity to plague, were bitten by plague-ridden fleas, they easily contracted and spread the disease around the Mediterranean on the ships of traders who also spread the disease. Furthermore, Panagiotakopulu says, the annual flood of the Nile helped bring into contact the primary host (the Nile rat) and its parasite with a new host (the black rat), in early urban areas. But, she cautions, further detailed paleoecologic and pathologic research will be needed to substantiate her findings.

Paul Buckland, an environmental archaeologist and paleoentomologist at Bournemouth University in England, says that fossil insects are important to the study of daily human lives from thousands of years ago, including what diseases humans may have faced and their quality of life. “A more regional picture of climate and environment is also available from the insect record, including evidence for crops, weeds and pest infestation of stored products, including mummies,” he says. Panagiotakopulu’s research and findings are “tremendously original,” he says, and provide new dimensions to the study of the past.

Megan Sever
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PharoahKel
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 06, 2004 1:19 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Si-amun wrote:
It takes millions of years for anything to fossilise, I am suspicious! lol
Thats actually not true. Under the right conditions, animals can fossilize rather quickly.
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Osiris II
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 06, 2004 2:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree, Kel. And obviously, it was a serious study, done by a qualified researcher.
I read those two postings above, and just realized the're the same article! Sorry! I got it from two different sources, the BBC news and the AGS web-site, so I thought they were different--should have read them completely before I posted them!
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Sekhmet
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 06, 2004 11:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Plague in the workmen's village is far different than plague that kills off the Royals. Ancient Egypt was a highly segregated society between the have's and have not's.

In both the stoies of Sinhue, and Joseph we see commoners having to bath before entering Pharaoh's presence. Such an act would retard the spread of fleas in the royal court.

i am glad that the experts mentioned in the article are encouraging caution in rushing to the conclusion that plague killed the Royals. i wish Egyptianologists were as cautious.

Another thought on this is that if it does turn out that plague played a large role in Tutankhamun's decision to leave Amarna. Could the so called "criminalization" of Akhenaten and the later destruction of the city be another figment of Egyptianologists imagination? In other worlds, could the city have been destroyed because of the large number of plague deaths there and not because of the Aten?

Thanks for the article Osiris. Smile
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Osiris II
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 07, 2004 1:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Another thought on this is that if it does turn out that plague played a large role in Tutankhamun's decision to leave Amarna. Could the so called "criminalization" of Akhenaten and the later destruction of the city be another figment of Egyptianologists imagination? In other worlds, could the city have been destroyed because of the large number of plague deaths there and not because of the Aten?

That's a very thought-provoking idea, Sekhmet. But there does seem to be an effort made to pretend that the Amarna Period did not exist. I'm sure you know that Horemheb stated that he was the successor of Amenhotep III. That suggests that the city would be completely razed to stamp out the "Criminal" and his family.
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Sekhmet
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 07, 2004 9:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Osiris II wrote:

That's a very thought-provoking idea, Sekhmet. But there does seem to be an effort made to pretend that the Amarna Period did not exist. I'm sure you know that Horemheb stated that he was the successor of Amenhotep III. That suggests that the city would be completely razed to stamp out the "Criminal" and his family.


Since plagues in ancient times were often considered to be curses sent from the gods in punishment for some displeasure. It is reasonable to see where if plague was raging in Akhetaten, killing off so many royals, and nobles as well as the workmen class. Despite the historcial segergation between classes. It might be considered by those surviving others to be a judgment upon the Pharaoh that had established the city. Making him a great criminal and his works worthy of total destruction.
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Senekha
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 20, 2004 4:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Amarna Period is my favorite Egyptian subject. I have binders upon binders of information about it, and, of course, my favorite, the infamous Nefertiti.

At school, I am known as "Nefertiti"...a nickname given me for various reasons, only one of them being my obsession with her.

I have heard many theories about when and how Nefertiti died - still, I am searching for yet more takes on it.

I am currently working on a book (which may or may not turn out successfully - but I have high hopes) that is based mainly in the Amarna period, specifically aprox. Year 3 to the first few years of Horemheb's reign.

Quote:
Akhenaten and his father co-ruled for at least 2 years, and possibly 9.


Yes, this is part of what I have come to believe, as it is very plausible, and is hinted to in several areas.

Quote:
Nefertiti did not co-rule with Akhenaten, or by herself witha changed name. She died in yeart 12 of Akhenaten's rule.


Hmmm. This may be true, but, as you might guess, I have some strong opinions of my own (which, of course, aren't as credible as that of an expert), one of which is that Nefertiti co-ruled with another after the death of Akhenaten...I believe this partly because of the evidence in the names....namely the two variants of this: "Ankhetkhepere", the feminine form of "Ankhkheperure". My story is based on my interpretation of the Amarna period, the events and the people.

Quote:
Smenenkhra was Akhenaten's son-in-law, marrying Meritaton, but was not his son. Written records show that Kiya had only one child--a girl.


I've seen records that Smenkhkare married Meritaten, but another of his names was "Ankhkheperure"...which makes you wonder if he reigned under the advice and sway of Nefertiti, who in turn took the name "Ankhetkheperure". I could babble on and on, but I'll try not to bore you too badly....Smile

In any event, I love studying this period, and anything else about ancient Egypt. If anyone likes a good chat about ancient civilizations, give me a shout at smenkhare_nefertiti@hotmail.com (the Smenkhare with only one k)
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Ankhesenamun3
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 20, 2004 12:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Smile The Amarna Period is really a great period to learn about.
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Senekha
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 22, 2004 4:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can say that again! Very Happy
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Si-amun
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 22, 2004 9:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is a fantastic period, but for a civilisation of close to 5000 years we do spend a little too much time on that 20 year period. It just seems quite amazing when you put it into perspective, doesn't it? So much time spent discussing such a tiny period.
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Ankhesenamun3
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 22, 2004 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yeah , I see what your saying , but I believe alot happened in that time period.
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