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PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2004 1:19 pm 
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I am sure you are alreadfy aware of this I-Amun, but many Egyptologists believe that the portrayal of the Pharaonic family in amarna art may have had something to do with Akhenaten's contraversial break-away idea.

After all, the Egyptians normally always did idealise their pharoahs and their families. Pharaohs who died in old age (like Pepi II!) are always shown as young athletic men, and their wives (whose bodies would have been virtaually destroyed after holding so many children) are always shown as beautiful, tall and perfectly formed.

Surely Akhenaten must have had some religious reason for portraying himself in that way- even if it was how he really looked?


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2004 1:37 pm 
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Everything I've read on the subject believes that the elongated skulls shown on the Amarna royal family was just an artistic elaboration, and not an actual portrayal of the person. The elongated skull, associated with Akhenaton and his family especially, can be seen on many persons portrayed in the various tombs--and we know that they were not so deformed. Akhenaton may have been distorted himself, and to "curry favor" with him, artists would show other members of the court with the same features--pot bellies, long skulls, elongated and facially distorted, bandy legged, large breasts on men, etc.
I have read of a slight elongation of Tutankhamen's skull, but not a very large distortion.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2004 2:57 pm 
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I agree that the distortions were probably exagerrated but I don't beleive that they were a complete fabrication. To say that the whole thing is a mere expression of artistic license seems a little far fetched. The evidence seen on the bodies and the corrolation with several art works points me in the direction that their art was solely the exagerration of a defect in the family.


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PostPosted: Wed Oct 13, 2004 11:48 pm 
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Do Egyptologists have any idea what this Amarna-disease could have been?


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PostPosted: Thu Oct 14, 2004 3:28 pm 
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The disease spoken of the most is Frolick's syndrom. Akhenaten show all of the classical signs--elongated face, pot belly, long, taped fingers and toes, weak, spindly legs. I'm not sure about the height though--people suffering this is often quite tall. (incidentally, Abraham Lincoln was thought to be a good example of Frolick's) But the biggest question-mark with that decision is the following: Sufferers of Frolick's are usually unable to have children--and we're quite sure that Akhenaten and Nefertiti had several daughters.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2004 8:55 am 
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I've also read a lot about Akhenaten maybe having Marfan's syndrome.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2004 8:57 am 
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I have haerd both of them mentioned quite a bit to be honest. Do you all think he was actually deformed or do you think it was an artistic revolution?


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2004 9:06 am 
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I think he might have been at slightly deformed (I mean if you're good-looking, why wouldn't you want to be shown as yourself?) but I think the statues probably really exaggerated. I picture the entire court looking more like the works of the later Amarna period than the early Amarna images.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2004 9:09 am 
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I have to agree with you there. And the evidence of slight defirmation on the bodies shows that there probably was some slight deformity in the family line.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2004 9:10 am 
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It was most certainly a bit of both. Other kings (like Siptah for example) who we know to have had malformation of the body are always shown as athletic heroes with perfectly formed bodies.
Akhenaten however, by no stretch of the imagination has a 'perfectly formed body' in his sculptures (at least to modern eyes)! I do believe that Akhenaten and his family did have some sort of malformation disease, but rather than hiding it (risking being labelled as mutants as well as heretics) probably claimed that their disease was some sort of divine gift or something along those lines. I really am not sure, but they probably wanted to distance themselves from the old order, whilst not hiding any diseases that may have led to people claiming that they were not divine.


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PostPosted: Sun Oct 17, 2004 9:12 am 
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I know his mummy has been found but I have a bad memory for this. Amenhotep III didn't have signs of any genetic deformation did he? And neither did the mummy of the woman supposed to be Queen Tiy. Where did this sudden and quite horrific mutation come from?


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 29, 2004 7:31 am 
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I don't think either body has been found... if so let me know, give me a URL on it.

As far as the elongated skulls are concerned this is no joke, They have found skulls with elongated heads. They were not all 'tape & bound" as some were. These found were real, not artificialy deformed.

So as far as the dipictions in the Armarna period, I'd say we have no proof because we do not have the mummy. However, it is a possiblity their heads were that way. The ‘Shemsu-Hor’ are thought to have this head shape as well.

Image

When some of these pictures (the first two) were posted on a newsgroup, for all eyes to scrutinize, the majority of people assumed that they represented an example of binding of the head, well known to be in fashion in ancient Nubia, Egypt and other cultures. Indeed the skulls show the capacity of holding about the same volume of brain matter as present day humans. But anthropoligists have admitted that the shapes of the Peruvian skulls is unlike the deformity caused by binding.

you might want to look at the site...
http://www.mondovista.com/peruskull.html

Deb


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 29, 2004 8:43 am 
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The Mayans did that to newborn children by presing two boards against the head. They also dangled a shiny object in the sunlight to make the eyes squint. Pretty screwed up.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 29, 2004 10:54 am 
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The mummy of Amenhotep III can be seen at:

http://www.secker.fsbusiness.co.uk/amenhotep3.html

Do you have any examples of Egyptian skulls that were deformed, debraregypt? Those you posted seem to be all from Peru.
That of Amenhotep III does not seem to be mis-shaped at all. I have to agree with the opinion of it being part art and part reality. But to the best of my recollection, I have seen no mummies or skulls from Egypt that have any deformation. I think you'll agree, though, that in the art of Amarna elongated skulls were an artistic way of showing support and admiring Akhenaten. This shows itself very well in the tombs of the royal supporters in Amarna. Elongated faces, pot bellies and spindly legs are the rule of thumb--but such mummies do not exist.


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PostPosted: Fri Oct 29, 2004 12:59 pm 
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Image

Image

The Armana Mummy
dates unknown (18th Dynasty)

No mummy has proved as controversial as the remains found in tomb KV55 by Theodore Davis in 1907. The situation hasn't been helped by the 'excavation' of the tomb, which was (to be fair) a disaster.

In this small, hastily-assembled tomb a mummy was laying in a coffin from which the names had been erased, wrapped in gold bands (that were stolen shortly afterwards and never recovered) that displayed the name of Akhenaten.

Davis virtually immediately took the mummy outside the tomb, grabbed a passing doctor and claimed to have found the body of Queen Tiye (wife of Amenhotep III and mother of Akhenaten).

The remains (Davis had succeeded in reducing it to a disarticulated skeleton) were sent to Grafton Elliot Smith in Cairo, who wrote back 'are you sure the bones you sent me were those that were found in the tomb?' Smith had expected the bones of an old woman. He was sent what he took to be the remains of a young man.

Smith was convinced the remains were those of Akhenaten's, although he found it difficult to age the mummy at more than 30. In fact, most of the evidence indicated that this individual had been around 25 years old at the time of death.

Smith thought the skull exhibited signs of hydrocephalus, although he admitted that parts of the skull had been mislaid in transport.

Over the years, despite the fact that of all the names found in and around KV55 his is conspicuously absent, scholars have generally (and grudgingly) concluded that the remains must be those of Smenkhkare, the supposed successor of Akhenaten.

However, a new examination of research done on the skull in 1978 raises the possibility that the body may actually have be that of a woman - and if it is, the weight of the evidence favours it being the mummy of Tutankhamen's mother Kiya.

DNA research (which is still possible) would resolve the issue - although if the body in KV55 does turn out to be male after all, its identity remains a mystery.
( source )


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