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Who was Smenkhare?
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 04, 2004 4:18 pm 
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I have read many accounts of the Amarna period and there seem to be so many differences in the realtionships between rulers and officials. Was Smenkhare the brother or son of Akhenaten, who was the mother of Smenkhare? Was Ay the brother of Tiy and was Tutankhamun the son or brother of Akhenaten? If Tutankhamun was the brother of Akhenaten then who was Kiya? It all seems so confusing, i wish more research could be done into that period.


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Re: Who was Smenkhare?
PostPosted: Sun Jul 04, 2004 8:33 pm 
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Si-Amun wrote:
I have read many accounts of the Amarna period and there seem to be so many differences in the realtionships between rulers and officials. Was Smenkhare the brother or son of Akhenaten, who was the mother of Smenkhare? Was Ay the brother of Tiy and was Tutankhamun the son or brother of Akhenaten? If Tutankhamun was the brother of Akhenaten then who was Kiya? It all seems so confusing, i wish more research could be done into that period.


Hi Si-Amun, Welcome to KingTutOne. :) Keep reading because on the Amarna Era there is always new information coming. In part because of on going archaeological work there. In part because the new research casts otherwise accepted theories into the dark. Like the once held belief that Akhenaten was a woman held back in 1824, then he was a confirm one wife woman. The abiliity to read hieographics undid that first theory that he was a woman. The discovery in much later years of Kiya a secondary wife that apparently did give Akhenaten a daughter. While she is often in today's world considered to be the mother of Tutankhamun there is no evidence to support this newer consideration. Because of the very close relationship of the royal, male body found in KV55 believed to be Smenkhare, with the remains of Tutankhamun, she is sometimes considered to be the mother of him as well. Again there is no evidence to support Kiya a secondary wife of Akhenaten having any children except for the one daughter, name unknown.

The original old theory was that Tutankhamun was the son of Tiy the Great Wife of Amenhotep III. Or even his son with his secondary Queen Sitamun, often considered to be his daughter or possibly sister. (i tend to accept her as his sister, adopted by him and his wife Tiy.) So, this theory along with forensic science that says the two royal bodies were of close family relationship would mean that Smenkhare would also be a son of AmenhotepIII. However this theory of Amenhotep III as their father is discounted today in part because of the discovery of Kiya, Akhenaten's secondary wife, and in part because of the guestion... Did Amenhotep III, and his son Akhenaten share a corregencey, and if they did was it long or short.

This is a valid question when considering Amenhotep III and a wife of his as parents of the boys Smenkhare and Tutankhamun. If they didn't share a corregnecy could Amenhotep III have fathered children late into his forties? What of his wife Queen Tiy? IF there was a coregencey this question kind of fades into importance, especially if they shared a long coregencey. It is my belief that they did share a long coregencey.

Smenkhare isn't a very well attested (known) Pharaoh outside of Akheaten, he ruled maybe 3-4 years between Akhenaten and Tutankhamun. His parents aren't really known, nor are Tutankhamun's. My personal belief is that they are brothers and sons of Nefertiti and Akhenaten. He did marry the eldest daughter of Nefertiti and Akhenaten, Queen Meritaten.

Who was Ay? He was the successor of Pharaoh Tutankhamun, prior to that he was a high court offical of Akhenaten, probably Smenkhare, and of Tutankhamun. There are those that claim he was the brother of Queen Tiy. However i have real problems with that. He is considered to be the father of Queen Nefertiti, although this too can be argued because the "proof" is more opinion than proof.

As of this date the only real way with what we have, the known remains of Tuya, Yuya the parents of Queen Tiy, and Tutankhamun is to do DNA testing. Comparing it to other DNA from "unknown" remains of other considered to be royal Amarna people. But the Egyptian government will not allow this as of this date. Because DNA is to invasive and destructive in their opinion at this date. They do hold open the possibility of further DNA testing being done at a later date if the techniques used improve.

I hope this is a help. Again welcome to the KingTutOne board :)


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2004 5:21 am 
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Thanks for that, where did you come across that though. I have always been led to believe in the orthodoxy that Tutankhamun was the son of Akhenaten, who was the son of Tiy who was the sister of Ay. I also believed that Tutankhamun was the son of Kiya and Akhenaten as I do not think that a co-regency of about 12 years is that credible a theory. We do not hear of such a long regency betweenn two fully grown men ruling. Of course Pharaohs like Pepy II and Tuthmosis III had to have long regencys but they were children when they ascended the throne. What actual evidence is there of the regency?


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2004 6:36 am 
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Not a lot really is the answer to that! I think, although i'm not sure here, but I would speculate that the idea of a co-regency was popular as, depending on how long such a co-regency may have lasted, it would go a long way to identifying whether Amenhotep III or Akhenaten was the father of Tutankhamun.
We know Tut was about nine when he came to the throne, if he was the son of Amenhotep III then a co-regency of some some must have been in place given that Akhenaten reign from somewhere between 12-17 years???
I believe an artifact was discovered in his tomb where he refers to Amenhotep as his father but he may have been using the term in the same way that we use the term 'grandfather'. Also a lock of Tiy's hair was found in his tomb also. Tiy did have a daughter in later life, Princess BAketaten, so whose to say she didn't have a son also. Who knows but I really wish the S.C.E.A would get off their high horses and allow some serious and widespread DNA testing done and settle things once and for all.


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Re: Who was Smenkhare?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2004 7:07 am 
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Sekhmet wrote:
The original old theory was that Tutankhamun was the son of Tiy the Great Wife of Amenhotep III.

But that would make Tut and Akhenaten brothers, right? Ok, I have a small theory to disprove this, here it comes :D .... Tuts original name was Tutankhaten, I thought it was that because Akhenaten was his father so he wouldve have named him that when he was born. If Akhenaten was Tut's brother than Tutankhaten would not have been his original name at birth. He might have changed it later on to support his brother or something. So then what would Tuts original name at birth have been? Maybe it was Smenkhare?


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2004 9:40 am 
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Very interesting PharaohKel but remember that the rise of the Aten did not completely start with Akhenaten. The aten was on the rise during the reign of Amenhotep III. If Amenhotep was the father of Tutankhamun that would put the birth at the end of a 12 - 17 year regency, during which time monotheism had been well established. It is possible that Akhenaten and Tutankhamun were brothers but I think it is far more likely that they were father and son, there is little evidence to prove otherwise. However it seems that Tutankhamun had to validate his kingship by marrying Ankhesenpaaten as females traditionally held the royal bloodline. TuthmosisIV had married the foreign Mutemwiya, Amenhotep III had married the commoner Tiy and Akhenaten had married either a distant, non royal relation or a commoner (depending on Nefertiti's paternity). Why did Tutankhamun have to validate his rule by marrying his half-sister or neice (depending on his paternity).


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2004 9:42 am 
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Does it say he married her to validate his rule? Maybe he just wanted to lol


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2004 9:51 am 
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Si-Amun wrote:
Thanks for that, where did you come across that though. I have always been led to believe in the orthodoxy that Tutankhamun was the son of Akhenaten, who was the son of Tiy who was the sister of Ay. I also believed that Tutankhamun was the son of Kiya and Akhenaten as I do not think that a co-regency of about 12 years is that credible a theory. We do not hear of such a long regency betweenn two fully grown men ruling. Of course Pharaohs like Pepy II and Tuthmosis III had to have long regencys but they were children when they ascended the throne. What actual evidence is there of the regency?


Hi Si-Amun, i copied this from an older post... On the coregency.
quote: Originally posted by nickrice hey guys i got a project on co-regency between akhenaten and Amenhotep III. Seeing my local libary ahs none of the books i need for the assignment and the internet didnt have much info either thought would ask you guys.

I have found heaps of reasons for co-regency but have strugled to find any theorys against co regency any info would be much appreciated.



Hi Nick, welcome to KingTutOne
I would be very interested in those references in support of a coregencey if you could put then, in another post i would be most appreciative.

For a great source againt the coregencey check out Dr. Donald Redford's Seven Studies, pg. 146. He does not accept a co-regencey of much lenght. My source on this is Fredrick J. Giles, The Amarna Age: Egypt (2001), pg 31. Here he writes "Redford remaked in his dismissal of the date, year 2 or year 12. No other number will suit the traces. If, year 2 is restored, only a very short coregencey amounting to but a few months at the most is possible. If year 12 is restored, a coregency of not less than eleven years is as good as proved."

What is being discussed is the Amarna Letter known as EA27. On the back of it there is a label in hieratic noting the date and circumstances of the receipt of it at the Egyptian royal court. It is from Tushratta, King of Mitanni the brother-in-law, of Amenhotep III, and father-in-law of Akhenaten. (He actually sent his daughter to marry Amenhotep III, but he died before the marriage and Akhenaten married the princess. The original hieratic date is damaged somewhat and this is why there is a question as to just what number was written.

The Gurob Papyri (a collection of 4 papyri that are pretaining to business matters by commoners) they are dated from year 27 of Amenhotep III to year 4 of Akhenaten. They are another source that Giles uses to support his belief, in a long coregencey. It covers X number of years, with many of the same people included in the documentation. The X stands for 14-15 years if you don't accept a long coregencey, or 2-8 years if you do accept a long coregencey. Redford argues that these documents show only generations carring on with the original matter. There are generations noted in the documents... Giles' answers with some logic that for X number of generations to be carrying out the same matters over 15 years in a time when death came early for many commoners, is stretching it some. He also points out that the same scribe wrote them all. (It is interesting to note Nick, that Amenhotep III ruled seven months into his 38th year. Add 27 to 12 and you get 39)

He notes too, that the scribe in describing the 2nd appearence of one man, uses the verb whm, 'repetition' and this implicates a relatively short term repeated action. In this translation, Giles is supported by the late Prof. R.J. Williams of the Universtity of Toronto. (See The Amarna Age: Egypt pg 35, by Giles) Redford disagrees.

Giles' points out that Amenhotep III in its rebus (a composition of words or syllables that appear in the form of pictures) form spells Amenhotep (Nebmaatre) is the Splendour of the Aten. He offers that "the reason why Amenhotep III had so little identification with the Aten cult is because it was the vehicle used for his own worship; during the coregency period Amenhotep III was the "Great Living Aten"." see pg 15.

Here i believe he is on to something... it is known that earlier in the reign of Amenhotep III in Soleb, Nubia he had himself deified as the Moon God, unheard of in Egyptian history. In Egyptian mythology, espeically in Thebes the Moon God is Khons, the child of Amun-Re, and Mut. As he grew older to take on the aspect of the father, Amun-Re in the appearence of the Aten, i find credible. As i haven't finish the book, i can't tell you if Giles' makes this connection as well. (Normally, in Pharaonic Egypt, Pharaoh died before he became a god.)

Giles also points out "that by the earliest period in AKhenaten's reign from which data is available, the Aten cult was already systemic. That is to say it had considerable staff (priests, scribes, servants, and administrators) buildings, estates ... and an iconography. ...it appears that by the time that Akhenaten began to rule the whole apparatus of Atenism was already functioning.... the conclusion that the development of Atenism was the work of Amenhotep III, and only its propagation was the work of Akhenaten." (see pg 8.)

Giles mentions that on the Boundary Stele of Akhetaten, the city Akhenaten founded in his 5th year. He claims that the Aten, "his father" had commanded the building of the city. "The terminology used in this statement may have been formal, in which case he would be attributing the impulse to found Akhetaten to a command of the god, but it is possible that his teminology may have been exact, and he founded Akhetaten at the comman of his father, Amenhotep III, The Great Living Aten'. The text permits either reading." (see pg 43)

Please read on and see why i do believe as i do :)


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2004 9:53 am 
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Recopied from an earlier post.

So, where does the belief that Akhenaten had no coregencey with his father, or if he did it was of a very short period. Well, it goes way back Akhetaten the city was first found by Westerners in 1824, when very few folks could read hieroglyphs. One of the first impressions of this one of a kind Egyptian period included that Akhenaten was actually a women, the city ruled by two queens. (See Akhenaten, King of Egypt by Cyril Aldred pg. 1
Others were that he was a devoted husband of one wife-Nefertiti. They had 6 daughters, he was the first monotheist, a pacifist, a dreaming poet-priest as he lead his religious revolution. James H. Breasted (1863-1931) the founder of the University of Chicago's Oriental Institue called him the first individual in history. He wasn't alone with this thought in his day many scholars shared it with him. To be able to "buck" the system as Akhenaten did, it was decided that he had to be an adult when he came to the throne.

Since Manetho, had not included Akhenaten in his history of Ancient Egypt...he didn't know about him, Smenkhkara, or Tutankhamun to include them. These early founders and explorers of Akhetaten were left to their own thoughts on this strange Pharaoh of the New Kingdom. They reasoned that he couldn't have come to the throne very young, who would have accepted the changes Akhenaten demanded from a fresh, young Pharaoh. Therefore he had to be an adult. As Amenhotep III left no surviving notation of serving a coregency with his son it was accepted that Akhenaten hadn't had a coregencey with his father. (Of course the destruction of Akhenaten works by the 19th Dynasty Pharaohs might explain why there where no such surviving notations. These Pharaohs accepted Horemheb as the successor of Amenhotep III no one else.) Herein, is the reason why it is so difficult for many to accept that Akhenaten might have been in a coregencey period, let alone one of 12 years.

But what is changing? It is that it's becoming more and more evident that the Atenist revolution first thought to be the sole work of Akhenaten was actually begun by his grandfather Thutmose IV (see KMT A Modern Journal of Ancient Egypt, Volume 13, Number 2, Summer 2002 Menkheperure Djehutymes: The Fourth and Fnal Thutmose by Dennis Forbes, pgs 40-56).
With further development by his father Amenhotep III. With this expanded knowledge the need for Akhenaten to have been an adult capable of fighing off traditionalists and the priest of Amun, disappears. Until he can actually have been much younger when he came to the throne period, or have had a long protected coregency with his older and experienced father.

PS, i do support the long coregency theory, have for years.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2004 9:55 am 
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With regards to the parentage of Tutankhamun. Reposted from an earlier post.

A new take on Tut's parents?

quote: Originally posted by Osiris II I've just been going through some older copies of KMT and trying to index them, and I've come across an article that is quite interesting. It's from the Fall 1997 issue. I've also found that the article is on line. It can be read at:
www.egyptology.com/kmt/fall97/endpaper.html

Basically, it says that Smenkhkara and Meritaten may have been Tutankhamen's parents. Far out as it seems at first glance, if the article is read, it gives a good arguement. Check it out, Sekhmet, and let me know what you think of the possiblities...



Hi again Orsisi II it was an interesting read, and presents another possibility. At which, i can hear Dr. Giles comments on the fanciful statements made by those who should know better about the Amarna royals and time. I agree.

The fact is Nefertiti a non-royal woman takes the primary female position in Akhenaten's court. The only other such women are Queens Tiy, Nefertari, and Isetnofret both wives of Ramesses II. All these women gave their husbands their heir. All these women lived within approx. 100 years of Nefertiti showing a rather close relation in time to each other.

I find it extremely hard, to accept the old belief that Nefertiti achieved her exalted position because she accepted Akhenaten's religious reforms. We have both read Giles and his belief that Amenhotep III began the true reforms. If, this is accepted, and i do accept it. The old theory on why, Nefertiti achieved the exalted position is voided. We are left again, without why a non-royal woman with no sons, would achieve that position. Historically Egyptian Queens achieved their position by being the daughter/sister of the King. Tiy, Nefertari, and Isetnofret are the women that break the mold. They did it by giving Pharaoh his heir. Non-royal Nefertiti breaks the mold even further as far as everyone is concern. She can't even provide her husband with a heir! As for the lack of evidence of Nefertiti providing Akhenaten a male heir. I suggest that her mere presence as Queen is evidence that is hard to negate.

The lack of Akhenaten proclaiming a son... outside of Ammenemes I and Seti I, i am not overtly aware of other Pharaohs proclaiming their sons. It is normally the son proclaiming his father. (Ramesse II is another exception and this is due to the many sons that were Crown Princes only to die before their father did.) Amenhotep III and his non-royal wife made much todo about their daughters, as did Akhenaten and Nefertiti. There is no mention of the sons, Princes Thutmose or Amenhotep (Akhenaten) during the rule of their parents Amenhotep III and Tiy. This only scores again that Akhenaten did nothing different than his parents in todoing about his daughters. While leaving open the possibility that sons were provided by Nefertiti.

Since Nefertiti holds the female power position from the time of her first daughters' birth and it is never threatened despite 6 daughters. I see no reason not to accept that her first born child was Smenkhkara. The closeness of throne names also heightens, to me this possibility. Between the births of Ankhesenamun and the 4th daughter there is a gap of about 2 years pleanty of time for Tutankhamun to be born. Of course a stillbirth or neonate death might have occured but so to a males' birth could have.

The biggest support i can think of for Mr. Forbes theory of Smenkhkara and Meriaten as Tutankhamun's parents is the congential defects in the premature infants in Tutankhamun's tomb. However, if Tutankhamun was the son of Akhenaten and Nefertiti, as i believe. Those congential defects are the result of marrying his full sister not his aunt.

If you happen to have KMT A Modern Journal of Ancient Egypt, Volume 12, Number 2 Summer 2001 take a good look at the pithum of Nefertiti and then take some looks at Tutankhamun pithum, then the cheekbones not to mention the neck. To me, they are very close for two folks with no blood relationship.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2004 9:56 am 
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Regarding the relationship of Ay, Tiy, and Nefertiti reposted from an earlier post.

quote: Originally posted by Ankhesenamun3 Very interesting!! But I believe Tutankhamun and Nefertiti were related ever if they were not mother and son. I have always thought Aye to be Nefertiti's father Aye had a sister Tiye who was married to Amenhotep III who had a son Amenhotep IV. Well if Akhenaten is Tutankhamuns father with Kiya Tut and Nefertiti would be related , I know that they may not be as close in apperance as a mother and her son but they may still have simalar features. I can not find my book that told me this but it showed on a family tree that Aye and Tiye were brother and sister the book was called Nefertiti the Sun Queen.



Well argued Ankhesenamun3!
Yes, there is the supposed relationship of Tiye and Aye. What it is based upon is Aye's use of a title first noted by Yuya the father of Tiye. "The God's Father" along with a supposed similarity in their names Aye and Yuya. It is also believed that Aye comes from the same area as Tiye's parents this belief is from a stela he had placed in that area. Then there is the fact that Aye's wife is called the "Nurse of Nefertiti" and that Aye's daughter Mutnodjmet is called in some Amarna reliefs as Nefertiti's sister.

In the tomb of Tiye's parents both Tiye and her brother An are mention. An held an important priesthood under the reign of Amenhotep III. There is no mention of the supposed younger son Aye. Why? To reach a similar agreement between the names of Yuya and Aye one must do cutting and rearrange the letters. As the title of God's Father, since the meaning, role of such a title isn't understood there is no reason to mean it was an heritary title passed from father to son, as currently believed. Mostly to strenghten the identification of Aye as Yuya's son. In fact the strongest support for Aye being a brother of Tiye is in his stela in her parents hometown. But this can be explained as a near relation, the son of An? Or just an overeager to impress noble stroking his boss. As this area would also be the home area of Akhenaten's grandparents Aye might have made tribute on this account.

It is generally ceeded that Aye's wife wasn't Nefertiti's mother. If she was, why is she only titled as Nefertiti's nurse? That Mutnodjmet was Aye's daughter is most certainly a correct identification. In his Amarna tomb, Mutnodjmet picture is all over it. Nefertiti isn't mentioned even there to be his daughter. What about the identification of her as Nefertiti's sister. Aye's wife also a Tiy, is excluded as Nefertiti's mother on account of her title as nurse. Here is a possible reason for Mutnodjmet's status as sister to Nefertiti... children of nurses often had close relationships with those that nursed at their mother's breast. This is bore out in that Queen Satioh, first Queen of Thutmose III, was the daughter of his nurse.

Until there is firmer proof that Aye was Queen Tiye's brother, let alone Nefertiti's father... i am not a believer.

As for Nefertiti's looks showing in Tutankhamun due to a blood relation through Aye, and Tiye. There is none of Nefertiti's beauty or even Tutankhamuns fine looks noted in either the statues of Tiye nor the remains of her parents.


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Re: Who was Smenkhare?
PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2004 10:15 am 
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PharoahKel wrote:
Sekhmet wrote:
The original old theory was that Tutankhamun was the son of Tiy the Great Wife of Amenhotep III.

But that would make Tut and Akhenaten brothers, right? Ok, I have a small theory to disprove this, here it comes :D .... Tuts original name was Tutankhaten, I thought it was that because Akhenaten was his father so he wouldve have named him that when he was born. If Akhenaten was Tut's brother than Tutankhaten would not have been his original name at birth. He might have changed it later on to support his brother or something. So then what would Tuts original name at birth have been? Maybe it was Smenkhare?


Hiya PharoahKel,
It is now considered that Amenhotep III was deified as the "Living Slendor of the Aten" during his 2nd Sed festival. So, the naming of a youngest son after the Aten would not be strange and in fact it is recongized that his youngest daughter was Beketaten.
Would it be impossible to consider that Smekhkara, the first born of Nefertiti and Akhenaten would be so named. Not at all, if he is their first child, Akhenaten was still known and called Amenhotep IV, and they did name their last two daughters Neferneferure (Exquisite Beauty of Re) and Setepenre (Chosen of Re). So it is a possibility.


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2004 2:35 pm 
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This is such a confusing period, I have now found at least three "fathers" for Tutankhamun (Amenhotep III, Akhenaten and Smenkhare)! Do you think that we will ever fully understand this period, or at least as well as we do the earlier eighteenth dynasty? I hope one day we will but I fear that Horemheb and time have damaged too much evidence for us to expand upon. What happened to the brother of Tiy, Anen during the Amarna period. I know he was Second Prophet of Amun and High Priest of Ra, did he die under Amenhotep III or was he a victim of the new monotheism. I am writing a story about the early years of Akhenaten, and the incidents around his elder brother that passed him the throne. Also, is it known how Tuthmosis (the elder brother) died. I am guessing he must have been in or around memphis at the time and not yet reached his twenties. Please help me if you know anything, it is kind off imperitive for the plot to carry forward!


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2004 4:25 pm 
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Si-Amun wrote:
This is such a confusing period, I have now found at least three "fathers" for Tutankhamun (Amenhotep III, Akhenaten and Smenkhare)! Do you think that we will ever fully understand this period, or at least as well as we do the earlier eighteenth dynasty? I hope one day we will but I fear that Horemheb and time have damaged too much evidence for us to expand upon. What happened to the brother of Tiy, Anen during the Amarna period. I know he was Second Prophet of Amun and High Priest of Ra, did he die under Amenhotep III or was he a victim of the new monotheism. I am writing a story about the early years of Akhenaten, and the incidents around his elder brother that passed him the throne. Also, is it known how Tuthmosis (the elder brother) died. I am guessing he must have been in or around memphis at the time and not yet reached his twenties. Please help me if you know anything, it is kind off imperitive for the plot to carry forward!


No i am sorry i don't have any of that kind of information. There is one bit of evidence that was found in Tutankhamun's tomb this being a whip inscribed as beloning to the Thutmose, the King's son, Captian of Pharaoh's chariorts. This might be of interest in your story.
I am not sure about your belief that Atenism was monotheism... it is an old belief that has come to be discarded by most of the scholars. The newer understanding is that Atenism was the concentration of access and limitation to the gods to that of the Pharaoh and his family. Something like that anyway... :)


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2004 6:05 pm 
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The monotheism of the Aten movement is way over the top--it was not an escluvisly monotheistic movement, but rather accentuated the "god-ship" if you will of Akhenaten and Nefertiti. All communication with the god was through the royal family. Akhenaten considered himself to be the living son of the Aten--and only he could speak to the god, and to the people through him.
There is very conclusive evidence that many of the "old" gods were worshipped in Akhetaten secretly, in shrines in private houses.
For some reason--I believe it was after his co-regency with his father--Akhenaten took strong mesures against the old gods, particularly Amen, even going so far as to deface his father's name because it contained the reference to Amen.
As we all know, his attempt proved to be useless. After his death, the gods and their temples were re-established, and particularly in the 19th Dynasty, he was erased from Egyptian history, in an attempt to show that he did not exist. Horemeheb had it carved on walls that he was the Pharaoh after Amenhotep III--that Akhenaten, Nefertiti, Smenkhkara Tutankhamen and Aye did not rule at all.


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