i have been thinking about your quote from Dr. Tyldesley. This is what i have considered. i would appreciate your consideration of what i have been thinking. Oh, and i did find that your source page in my own book by Dr. Tyldesley
1) the funerary beliefs of the Amarna Royals are not well understood; they are so unlike the beliefs from the rest of Ancient Egypt.
2) i don't know how well, you are familiar with the tomb paintings of the Amarna area. Myself, i have viewed and studied a good many of them. To me they are like snapshots, pictures taken of a particular meaningful experience that one might want to look at often, be reassured.
3) on page 170 we see the scene you wrote about. May i ask, to you where does it look like a birthing scene turn real bad? To me it looks very much like a pure and simple mourning scene. Notice the crate like thing on the wheely thing below what remains of Meketaten's parents feet? Next to what appears to be a partly open box. Okay look over the rest of the things that continues on that line that goes beyond the crossline. There we find Dr. Tyldesley's feast goods. Do you notice more of the box like objects on that line? i do. Now notice that Dr. Tyldesley makes no notation of the young women next to Meketaten, opposite from her parents? Who do you think they might be?
i think they might be Meritaten and Ankhesenpaaten... notice how the foremost one is an adult woman in dress and hairstyle? While the 2nd young woman is wearing a transparent dress and has the sidelock of youth?
4) Okay what would so many box like things, and wheely things be doing at a childbirth? Along with food and drink? i can't think of any purpose for the box like things, to be honest. Being a nurse, i can think of why a wheely thing might be used in modern childbirth, but for the life of me not an Ancient Egyptian one...
However i can see purpose of all these things at a tombside final farewell to a beloved daughter, sister and royal princess. Can you see this with me? In the picture on page 170.
5) Again the child. Even today we don't normally allow very young children to attend funerals, or burials. Why should the Egyptians allow them? Crying babies distract from the primary purpose of mourning the dead. Take another look at the woman i identify as Meritaten... if her dead sister is old enough at the presumed age of 12. As Dr. Tyldesley states she was, to have had a child her sister Meritaten even older is certainly able to have had a living child. As Meketaten's maybe first niece or nephew, and a definate great delight to the new aunt. Would not an exception to the rule of no small babies at the funeral, or burial be relaxed at bit? I think it might be. Espeically in a painting?
6) Two of the most undying thoughts in most humans when it comes to death their death; is will i be remembered, will i be missed, mourned? Add to an ancient Egyptian will i be supplied by the living when i am dead? Does not this scene in a tomb serve as a snapshot of how Meketaten was missed, mourned, and supplied when she was buried. She certainly wasn't able to see it as we understand death, but safe in her tomb she could look upon it and know. Yes, to all her questions.
Okay, you still with me? Turn your book page 171, Dr. Tyldesley is correct about the use of a bower being a Memphisite thing not a Theban thing. Akhenaten really did not like Thebes, the home of Amun. On the other hand he most likely succeed his older brother as High Priest of Ptah whose domine was Memphis. The Mnevis bull that he had brought to Akhetaten belonged to Ptah of Memphis. She doesn't go into these, because she really wants to believe that the bower is a clue to Meketaten's death. But she is enough of a professional to offer a more realistic explaination.
Turn the page to 172 and see the scene she has described on page 171. The youngest 2 babies of Nefertiti and Akhenaten are absent in this again tomb painting for the dead daughter Meketaten. And this time Meritaten is dressed in the dress of a young princess, and is wearing the sidelock all the Amarna princess are known for wearing. So, what gives? Can i still be right?
Oh, yes... consider if you were an Egyptian ka looking upon a scene of your still living family... paying tribute, remembering you, making needed funerary goods to continue your other world existence...who would you want showing on it? Myself i would want those i was closet to in the family. Not the babies who aren't even really old enough to attend temple services let alone funerary related services. i would want them dressed how? As i best remember them, of course! What is her best memory of how Meritaten was dressed, like her and her younger sisters Ankhesenpaaten and Neferneferuaten-the younger. Not as a young woman, but as a young princess.
Notice too, on the 2nd picture that while food and drink are very evident the boxes are not, nor is the wheely thing. Why because this is not a tombside scene, but is a memory picture for Meketaten. Which would serve to assure her she was not forgotten. Here she could not forget her living family, friends and servants who continued to mourn and supply her needs.
i hope Akhnesenamun3 you do look at these pictures closely and see. That what i am saying has as much if not more agreement than what Dr. Tyldesley has to say about them.
Good work Akhnesenamun3! Good work! Getting me to think like this LOL thanks!