Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Friday, December 17, 2010

This is something that came up recently on EEF with somebody linking to material I hadn't seen before which suggests that Maia, Tutankhamun's wet nurse, was in fact Meritaten.  I haven't read the paper but personally I am sceptical.  It is pretty clear that Meritaten was a Queen and probably married to both Akhenaten and Smenkhare / Smenkhkare. There is no mention of this title in Maia's tomb which seems to reduce the changes that she was Meritaten. The video below gives an introduction to Maia's tomb.



You might also me interested in this article on Tia the wet nurse of Ankhesenpaaten (Ankhesenamun).

(Thanks to Andie Byrnes and Raymon Betz).

PS I've created a Squidoo lens about Tia.  It's very brief and has nothing that isn't in this article so I don't recommend it!  It does offer me a steady bookmark though which is why I created it.   I'll add a longer one about Maia in the next few days.

50 comments:

Ron Lankshear said...

Interesting - the main claim seems to be how the name was pronounced could imply Maia or Matia.
And your Tia link and discussion on the word menat translated as wet nurse seems to mean something more - like guardian.

But then surely the tomb of Maia should have show her name as Meritaten or would the Aten part have been dropped by that time!

Kate Phizackerley said...

The tomb was constructed during Tutankhamun's reign so almost certainly she would have dropped the Aten from her name. However, there seem to be no mentions of her as Meriamen ... at least none I have heard of. It suggests that either Meritaten wasn't on the scene by then (dead?) or else her name changed more substantially ... or the evidence just hasn't been found. As ever, absence of evidence isn't evidence of absence.

tim said...

Hi Kate

Would Meritaten have had need to drop her birth name by the time Tutankhamun and Ankhesenamun did? Her role in the propaganda by this time was probably minimal and there may have been no reason for her to possess an "Amun" name?

Why Meritaten would have no need for the title of kings daughter but instead would want to be remembered strictly as a wet nurse is beyond me when she could be both?

Kate Phizackerley said...

I don't see Meritaten as being self-effacing. I'm with you Tim, I think she'd have wanted her royal titles. However it has made me realise that the identity and ancestry of Maia is yet another mystery in the Amarna canon.

tonic said...

this theory is just an idea of Alain Zivie. Nothing at Amarna, nothing at her tomb indicated that Maïa = Meritaten. no mention of queen title inside de tomb. nothing about Maïa = mother of Toutankhamon.

the DNA tests has broken this theory.

and M. Zivie has not indicate an real chronology of the tomb.

If Maïa = Merytamen, daughter of the king, maybe wife of Akhenaten and Smenkhare and king after Akhenaton (please read Gabolde before said everything), Zivie has found nothing inside the tomb. this is an little problem to prove this idea

Stephanie said...

I cannot follow Zivie`s reasoning either.
The complete absence of any royal titles and/or attributes makes it IMO impossible that she is identical with Meritaten. He argues that due to the troubled times she sort of had to hide her identity, but were the times that bad?
We can guess from many sources that the transition period from Aten-to old regime went smoothly. Besides,Meritaten was definitely GRW to Semenkhkare, a king who actually initiated the re-approach to the old ways. I don`t think she would have needed that sort of cover-up to kep her from harm.
The representations in the tomb seem to be typical for a non-royal tomb, from the themes of the depictions down to the lady`s headdress. By the way, the woman nursing a baby in one of the Amarna royal tomb depictions wears the same headdress as Maia does, but probably many noblewomen did. The style and her facial features do not resemble Meritaten`s known representations either.
And we know that Amarna royalty (KV55) was transferred to the VoK, why should Meritaten be at Saqqara?
I remember one of Zivie`s points was an inscription saying something like "we have put our Horus on the throne".
This indicates to him that Maia was the regent before Tut`s coronation, once more pointing to Meritaten.
But I think this "we" probably refers to the whole cabinet of highest officials who simply were around when King Tut was crowned according to his birth right.

Even the assumption of her being Tut`s mother lacks support. Zivie refers to the depiction where Tut sits on her lap holding an ankh-sign which happens to point to her belly. This he assumes means that he received his life from her womb. To me it is probably just coincidence.
And why should any reference to her as his mother be missing in the tomb? At least once the prestigious title of king`s mother should have been mentioned, there was no harm in that.

It`s only the sheer size of her lavish tomb which was built for her alone which makes one think. But this is most likely the result of a close and relatively long-lasting relationship between nurse and her royal charge than anything else.

Ron Lankshear said...

Does DNA break the Vivie theory? DNA says KV35L is Tut's mother. Much discussion that KV35L must then be Merit. Is there a body for Maia?

In searching re her tomb - I kept coming across that for Maya and his wife Meryt also at Saquarra

But I also wonder at the size of her tomb. Obviously someone very special to Tut.

Marianne Luban said...

I was the one who made the arguments contra Zivie's theory on the EEF. It was Tutankhamun who was responsible for the tomb and if this woman, Maia, had been his mother, it would have been mentioned. A tomb with three chambers decorated with carvings, as opposed to plaster and paintings is a very great undertaking. I feel sure there weren't "tomb companies" who could be hired for a price. The tombs were a favor of the pharaoh and that is why the owners were called "Hsy" or "favored one". There was a workforce at the Theban necropolis, too, at Deir el Medina and that was certainly owned by the king. The gang made royal tombs as well as for the nobles. In its spare time it made some tombs for the overseers at the "Great Place", as well. The king supplied the gang with provisions and even water. Ironically, Tutankhamun, himself, did not get as lavish a tomb as he granted his nurse, Maia.

John Bright said...

It is always possible that Tutankhamen was not buried in his intended tomb. I know that of Ay is often thought to have been started by Tutankhamen, but KV57 is also a likely candidate. I know the arguments that he was a boy-king and had no time to prepare a tomb but I remain unconvinced as Tuthmosis IV managed much better in an equally short period of rule.
Memphis is clearly a favoured location for Tutankhamen's reign: it makes you wonder what else is waiting to be uncovered. There is a fine un-named limestone dyad at the BM in the style of the time of Tutankhamen that might have originated there.

Marianne Luban said...

KV62 certainly is a poor tomb and I don't know how or why Tut ended up in it. Anyway, the tomb surviving with such a great amount of treasure in it is a fluke. On the other hand, nothing survived at Saqqara that wasn't made of stone. Being near Memphis, can you imagine how many times this necropolis must have been scavenged by foreign invaders? If I'm not mistaken, the Saqqara tomb that yielded the most artifacts thus far was that of Aper-el and family, but their coffins were in deplorable shape, robbed of their gold and further damaged by fire and damp. Thebes, being so far south, was not immune from robbery on a large scale, either. By the time of Ramesses IX, some of the better-hidden royal tombs were still intact but the tombs of the nobles had suffered a sorry fate. The officials of the era thought they had all been plundered, but that was not quite the case. Then along came the 21st Dynasty kings, who probably took whatever there was to find in the royal tombs of the predecessors. Still, cramped little KV62 managed to avoid all of it except an aborted robbery or two. So I suppose the verdict must be that posterity is lucky that Tut ended up in it.

Marianne Luban said...

Oh--I forgot to mention the West Valley tomb WV25. That might have been begun for Tutankhamun. After all, the great pharaoh of this part of the 18th Dynasty, Amenhotep III, has a tomb in the West Valley, too. Now some believe that WV25 was begun for Akhenaten before he changed his name and moved to the new capital at El Amarna, but I don't know if that's been proved. It wasn't finished, so why couldn't it have been completed during the reign of Tutankhamun? I hsve no idea. Anyway, Reeves calls WV25 a tomb "of royal pretensions". The Boundary Stele make it clear that Akhenaten did not wish to leave Akhetaten dead or alive and the royal tomb there certainly puts a period to any idea he still entertained thoughts of being interred in the Valley. Some think that Ay's tomb, WV23 was really meant for Tutankhamun but that one is no great shakes, either. Nor is KV55--and who was that intended for? Nothing is too clear about the reign of Tutankhamun, although every few decades we seem to learn something new about him.

rymerster said...

The limestone dyad in the British Museum has been identified as Horemheb and Amenia based on a match between it and a fragment of hands found in the courtyard area of his tomb.

Do we know who Maya (Treasurer)'s parents or siblings were?

Marianne Luban said...

Yes, we do. In his graffito in the tomb of Thutmose IV, Maya says his father was "Iawy" and his mother "Weret". His tomb gives more information. Maya's wife was Meryt, as you pointed out and he had a brother named "Nanuher" and a step-mother called Henutiunet. I think there were others but I would have to search them up.

rymerster said...

Thankyou Marianne,

I was ruminating that Maya may have been a relative of Maia, explaining his apparent closeness to Tutankhamun. He probably just earned his position through good work and support from Horemheb (who seems to have trusted him implicitly).

A further arguement against Maia being Meritaten would be the likelyhood that when he was aged 0 - 2, when he may have required a wetnurse, Meritaten was probably still a princess. Even after her father's reign, her sister was Queen so surely she would have retained some Royal titles.

Ron Lankshear said...

I think the Maia tomb does indicate that the word "manet" does mean more than wet nurse - if it even means that. Surely Tut would not remember being wet nursed.
All adding to the mysteries of Amarna times

Marianne Luban said...

Tut wouldn't have to remember. In many ages gone by, upper class ladies did not nurse their own babies and it could be that was the case in ancient Egypt. Or--if the mother died, obviously someone had to feed the child. Children stayed at the breast for a very long time in antiquity and not so long ago--as long as to the age of three.

Now you are right in that the word "mnat" [not vocalized "manet", though] meant more than just "wet nurse". It meant "governess" or perhaps "aya" in the Indian sense. There was even a male version, "mna", something which Senenmut, for one, was called in connection with Princess Neferura. However, the text in the tomb of Maia makes it plain that she "nourished the flesh of the god" [Tutankhamun]. In the royal tomb at El Amarna, there is depiction of a female servant, hair tied back with a ribbon just as Maia's is, nursing a royal child at her breast.

Stephanie said...

In my view too Maia would have been honoured even if she "only" nursed Tut because a child basically owned his/her life not only to the biological mother but also to the woman nursing him/her if she happened to be a different person.
There was no survival without breastmilk in those days and in fact until quite recently.
But Maia seemsto have been around for rather a long time as we have Tut`s image as crowned king in the tomb. If her tomb was just begun after his accession she was alive for at least the several years it took the tomb to be finished. (Question: has the tomb been completely finished at all or not?
I don`t have any information on this point.)

Marianne Luban said...

I have to make a correction with regard to Senenmut. "mna" is only the verb "to nourish or raise". What Senenmut was actually called was "it mnay" which amounts to "governor" or "tutor". The "it" element means "father", so I suppose it all amounts to in loco parentis, the one who is doing the raising. This may have been an honorary title in the case of Senenmut as he had a great many and was probably too busy to spent a lot of time with the princess. And yet...who really knows? In one of my works of fiction, "The Pharaoh's Barber" [set in the court of Thutmose III] I make him Neferura's natural father, which is supposed to be a secret but suspected by many, regardless. Literary license.

As to Stephanie's question about the state of Maia's tomb--in Zivie's "The Lost Tombs of Saqqara" he says nothing about the tomb being unfinished, so perhaps it was complete. But I really don't know for certain. Anyway, the fact that Tut wears a crown even though he is a child on the lap may mean nothing. Zivie refers to it as a "retrospective fiction with politico-ideological motivations". In other words, he may not have been king when he was a baby but he became one eventually. Certainly if he reigned only nine years and was only eighteen when he died, Tutankhamun did become pharaoh at a young age. The real question is--when was he born? He may be the babe-in-arms in the royal tomb at Amarna, the one being shown so much deference and I cannot agree with a current theory that the baby was supposed to represent the rebirth of Princess Meketaten, the deceased. However, Tut is nowhere to be seen in the grand "durbar scene" of Akhenaten's Year 12, only the princesses. There were five more years remaining for Akhenaten to produce a son, but then Tut couldn't be nine when his father, Akhenaten, passed from life. Regardless, Tut did not directly succeed Akhenaten and may not even have been his son if Kate is correct.

Kate Phizackerley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Kate Phizackerley said...

While there is some debate about the identity of Tutankhamun's father, we know that his gradfather was Amenhotep III. Put another way we know that Smenkhare cannot be both the son of Akhenaten and the father of Tutankhamun. Since I believe that the KV55 mummy is Smenkhare (or at least is not Akhenated), that suggests Smenkhare was probably Akhenaten's (step) brother and Tutankhamun Akhenaten's nephew. That's speculative but seems a reasonable deduction. Tutankhamun was therefore probably the son of the heir presumptive. We'd therefore expect him to be treated with respect (he had the clear potential to the pharoah) but kept from sight as much as possible because Akhenaten hoped for a son of his own. That seems to be what happened.

He'd therefore rate a noble, potentially royal nurse, but would Akhenaten wish to further advance his status by making his oldest daughter his nurse? I really think not.

Anonymous said...

Could there be any possibility that Akhnaten and Amenhotep IV were twins? What would the Egyptians have done if their pharaoh was a twin? The KV55 body might then be Akhnaten's twin brother..... and Tutankhamen could then be his son. Perhaps this is speculation gone mad!!

Marianne Luban said...

I think it's pretty clear that "Akhenaten" is a name change from Amenhotep IV because the prenomen, Neferkheperure, remained the same. In the case of twins, one is always born first. That one usually had a string tied around its ankle in times past, so it would remain clear which was the eldest. When it came to twin boys, especially, this string could be very important, indicating who was the heir and who was the spare.

I understand the basics of DNA but find it difficult to recall all the intricacies. So I have a question for Kate: Why do you think that Smenkhkare could not have been Akhenaten's full brother?

Kate Phizackerley said...

Sorry Marianne, I didn't intend to imply that they can't be full brothers: they can, and indeed that's probably likely. But equally they could be half-brothers sharing a father.

Marianne Luban said...

Everybody knows that history repeats itself, the same solutions to the same problems. Circa 1685 CE, a king of England, James II, was a Catholic. He had a stern and uncompromising character and was not popular with many of his subjects for all those reasons. James had two daughters, Mary and Ann, by a first wife, who had been brought up as Prostestants and a son by a Catholic wife.

Not wishing another Catholic king of England, the Protestant Whigs invited the equally Protestant Prince of Orange [Holland], who was married to James' eldest daughter, Mary, to England as a counter-king. This was clearly unconstitutional, as James did have a male heir. There was chaos for a while but James II lost his throne.

Then Parliament declared William of Orange and the Princess Mary joint sovereigns for several reasons. The first was probably that William was a foreigner but he could be made much more palatable to the English with a native queen at his side--being no lower in status than himself. Catholics became barred from succeeding in the future.

I wonder if something like this didn't happen toward the end of the 18th Dynasty. Akhenaten and his religion was probably not popular with many and he was lacking as an administrator of the Egyptian Empire, too. He had daughters but perhaps no male heir--or he did have one, who knows?

When Akhenaten died or perhaps he was even ousted, one of his daughters took the throne as a female pharaoh [if only as a regent for a too young heir]but she was still an Atenist, so she was given an ultimatum--stand down or marry one of your relatives who is connected to the old religion and Amenhotep III so the people will be satisfied. So enter Smenkhkare, who even takes the throne name of his wife, Meritaten, and she becomes relegated to a mere queen consort. This did not happen to Mary of England but she definitely took a secondary role to her Dutch husband. The son of James II by his Catholic wife became known as The Old Pretender because he always maintained, even in exile, that he was the rightful king of England and his claim had much merit, of course.

One could compare him to Tutankhaten, if he was an infant son of Akhenaten who had to give way to Smenkhkare and Meritaten, a pretender who, unlike the heir of the Stuart king, was finally put on the throne. That used to be my theory but, if Tut is the son of Smenkhkare, it becomes untenable.

Ron Lankshear said...

Very good Marianne - the comparison to 1688 Glorious Revolution is very apt.
I did hope the DNA would sort out this mess but other than the link back to A III from Tut nothing is clear

The English wanted William as he was a strong ruler and the right religion.
Tut has on DNA a right to the throne
or was the strong ruler after him

John Bright said...

It is interesting to recall that at one stage both Smenkhare and Tutankhaten were considered to be young nobles who owed their positions as pharaohs to their marriages. Interpretations have changed somewhat since those early days of Egyptology.
I have asked this question of a lot of people this year, without a satisfactory response, but how reliable is the sample of DNA obtained from Tutankhamen? With all the trouble it took to obtain it, is there the possibility of a large factor of error?

Ron Lankshear said...

Smenkhare is to me a real mystery. Seems to be so many "rumours" about who he or some even say she was. Perhaps he was the strong ruler married in but died. BUT I would think he is KV55. If KV55 is Tut's father and is Smenkhare then seems to me to resolve some of the mysteries of why not much of Tut in Amarna family pictures. And also Merit is supposed to be Smenkhare wife and now we are back to Maia tomb BUT again why no royal titles in the tomb.

As Tut DNA actually has a match with A III then it seems to mean not contaminated. If nothing came from the tests then I would say yes could mean errors in taking sample. I wonder how that would stand up in court on a cold case.

Marianne Luban said...

Whoever Smenkhkare was, he may not have been a strongman but just someone who could be placed on the throne in a troubled era, inspiring more confidence than a woman on her own or any little boy who might have existed. And I don't mean only in Egypt but abroad.

Smenkhkare and Meritaten, by the way, did not renounce Atenism and seemed even to have lived at El Amarna. It was not necessary for them to repudiate the religion of Akhenaten because the Aten was, after all, just a form of Ra. What may have been needed to reconcile the land was an end to the persecution of the other gods, notably Amun, and I think this was done. Even Tutankhamun and his wife kept their original names for a time until they were changed and then any special focus on the Aten ended for good. With that change came a proclamation declaring Tut to be a unifier of the Two Lands, the one who pacified the gods and restored prosperity.

Anonymous said...

Is there not a reference to Smenkhare on a stela from Thebes in which Amen is also mentioned? There is also some evidence to suggest a Theban mortuary cult.

From all the references to "he", it looks as if the Samson theory of Smenkhare = Nefertiti has died a natural death.

If KV55 is Smenkhare, if his age at death was 23, and if the DNA is correct in placing KV55 as Tutankhamen's father rather than brother, then this would make him 14 or thereabout's when Tutankhamen was born.

Ash said...

If Tut became King at the age of nine, then in my opinion someone else might have been making decisions on affairs of state because at the age of nine all of us were kids without indepth knowledge of whats happening in our world. So who was he/she ruled on behalf of Tut? I believe entire rein of Tut was handled by someone else. Location of his tomb must have been known to few bigshots like Aye, Horemheb, Ramses the first. It looks like Horemheb certainly protected Tut's tomb for unknown reasons when previously built KV55 was being vandalised. Then there is one mummy of young boy found with Elder Lady (Tiye) and Younger Lady (disputed indetity). Has any DNA tests been done for this young boy to link him up somewhere with respect to Tut? A cartouche is cut away systematicaly from KV55 coffin, with size of KV55 coffin hieroglyphs has someone attepmted to fit an oval of diffrent names, say Akhenaton, Nefertiti, Smenkhare, Tiye in that gap?

John Bright said...

The Hatshepsut scenario: the king is too young to rule so his mother or step-mother acts as regent until he has reached his Majority, In Ancient Egypt, that was 16. However, if his mother was dead or otherwise incapacitated, presumably the next senior member of the royal family would act.Could that have been Ankhsenamen?

Did Smenkhkare exist? Has anyone read Susan Moseley's book on Amarna? There is an interesting section on the origins of Smenkhkare. I am not totally convinced but it has made me very sceptical

I received a reprint of Davis's account of the clearance of KV55 at Christmas to replace an original lost when we moved to France. It is well worth reading slowly and carefully. Smith's description of the mummy is a masterpiece of non-commitment as to its age at death. We are no further on it seems!

Stephanie said...

There is no evidence suggesting that Ankhesenamun actually ruled the country or exerted any other than queenly power.
As is evident from sources like the little golden shrine her role was that of a queen being beneficient to her husband and thus to the country, not more.
In fact, IMO the people who actually ruled during Tut`s minority are well known: Aye and Horemheb who both held unusually high offices. It has been pointed out by Van Dijk who examined Horemheb`s Memphite tomb that Horemheb held his high positions from about the start of Tut`s reign, which further indicates that there was a lack of a capable royal ruler, be it male or female.
Together with two viziers, a viceroy and hoards of officials they would have governed the country efficiently enough.

No need to search for a ruling member of the royal family other than Tut.

John Bright said...

A Council of State or its equivalent also makes sense: perhaps that is the group pulling the catafalque in his tomb.Horemheb, Maya, Ay, Huy, Nakhtmin and possibly Ramesses (later Ramesses I)are all suitable candidates.
However, Ankhsenamen would be older than Tutankhamen according to most chronologies of the period (by how many years is a matter for discussion). There is the precedent set by earlier queens in Dynasty 18 to consider. She would also have seen her mother Nefertiti apparently ruling as joint pharaoh. Not that long before Tutankhamen,Amenhotep III would have required a regent as he would seem to have become king as a child.

Marianne Luban said...

Most of you will recall that Manetho mentioned very few women who ruled Egypt, but he definitely had an "Akencheres" on the throne before "her brother" "Ratothis". I don't think "Akencheres" can be anything other than the prenomen "Ankhkheperure" in this case and "Ratothis" all that could be recalled of Tutankhamun--as he was given the right number of regnal years, at least. There was not much to be seen of Tut as far as his names went, his monuments having been usurped. I once suggested on the EEF that "Ratothis" had to do with a crippled foot [for philological reasons I won't go into now] and recently it looks even more likely that could be so. Mnemohistory. But the salient point is that, in ancient Egypt, no woman could reign before her brother unless she was an usurper--or a regent. Could Ankhesenamun have been a regent for Tut? I don't see why she has to be out of the running because, as has been pointed out, she could have been quite a few years his senior and, if Meritaten was dead, next in seniority. Yes, she became his wife, but marriages in ancient Egypt were not necessarily equal matches. Cleopatra VII, for example, had her little brother, Ptolemy, as a husband for a while. Julius Caesar thought they should rule jointly but Ptolemy [or his camp because Cleopatra was obviously not a loyal wife to her brother]rebelled against this but his forces were beaten and Cleopatra took up with Caesar and was made a woman-king. Clearly, Ptolemy had the right to be pharaoh over his elder sister--but things didn't always go according to "maat".

As in Ptolemaic Egypt, there were probably various advisors at this point in the 18th Dynasty but there had to be a ruler who was old enough to "hold the throne". By that I mean to make sure that no advisor became too powerful and to inspire loyalty in others, have a camp. Men serve a sovereign not just out of patriotism but in order to receive favors. An adult king may not handle courtiers judiciously, but a child will surely not be in a position to do so.

John Bright said...

There are three "Acencheres" recorded: a daughter of Oros, her nephew and his son. In the version of Josephus they all rule for approximately twelve years. In Africanus's version, the daughter reigns for 32 years. In Josephus, Rathotis is ruler for 9 years but in Africanus for only 6 while Eusebius omits him. This does seem to reflect that there was at least one female ruler at, or towards the end of Dynasty 18. The Dynasty ends with Harmais who rules for 4 or 5 years according to which writer you choose.

Stephanie said...

There is pretty much confusion in all these ancient records written long after the time in question.
Again, there is no indication of Ankhesenamun in the role of a ruler and age alone certainly is no indicator.

Stephanie said...

Besides, Ankhesenamun most likely wasn`t more than about twelve years old at the end of her father`s reign.
I don`t think she would have been in a position to rule before Tut or at the beginning of his reign at this age.
There were certainly more suitable and more powerful figures around.

Kate Phizackerley said...

I'm a bit pressed for time so this may seem rushed.

The standard theory is that the Amarna period was brought to an end by a rebellion against Atenism. It is true that there was a return to the old religion, but was that the cause of the end of the Amarna period? So far as I am aware there is no direct evidence.

An alternative theory would be that Akhenaten and Nefertiti built on the Hatshepsut tradition and changed the role of women and their inheritance rights. Nefertiti seems to have led worship alongside Akhenaten, and that is unprecented - either Hatshepsut potrayed herself in male role. There is some evidence that Meritaten was also a priestess in her own right.

What if the rebelliion wasn't against Atenism per se but against the (partial) liberation of women? It is assumed Akhenaten didn't have a male heir, but what if he insisted on Meritaten as his heir over and above any claims by royal males. Then the throne could have passed to Smenkhare via Meketaten and finally to Tutankhamun via Ankhesenpaaten. Faced with growing revolt, the couple first restored the prominence of Amun then maybe Tutankhamun became the focus as king.

There is no proof that is what happended, but it seems to fit the facts as well as the standard theory. I am not advnacing it as "this is what happened" but to highlight that the standard theory is based on some key assumptions which don't seem to have been archaeologically evidenced during this period.

John Bright said...

According to Donald Redford, Ankhsenamen/Ankhsenpaaten is shown officiating in the Aten rites at East Karnak from Year 4 of Akhnaten's reign. It does not seem likely she would be shown thus if she were but a baby. This would make her older than 13 by Year 17 of his rule. There is also Ankhsenpaaten the minor to consider. If she was the child of Ankhsenamen (and I am ignoring at this stage the father), then clearly Ankhsenamen was of child bearing age. Having taught special needs in a unit for expectant schoolgirls, I am more than aware this can happen at 13 or 14. However, if Akhnaten was the father, this would have taken place before Year 17.
I am not sure of Kate's line of reasoning since after this period we have more prominent queens including another ruler in Tausert and the marvels of the tomb of Nefertari. Then later still we have the God's Wives of Amen.

Marianne Luban said...

Josephus and Theophilus have Akencheres, the daughter of Orus [the consensus is that "Orus" is a repetition of Amenhotep III because of the length of regnal years] ruling at least 12 years before her brother Ratothis, whom they give nine years. Africanus does not supply the relationships, nor do his regnal years agree. His version is via the monk, Syncellus, far removed from Manetho, and also via him is Eusebius, who might agree with the first two men but his regnal years are unclearly transmitted. The Armenian version of Eusebius has something totally different but quite interesting. It gives a single Akencheres for 16 years and makes him a male, saying "In his time Moses became the leader of the Hebrews in their exodus from Egypt". However, this agrees with Syncellus' version of Eusebius, although there this male is called "Cencheres"--although what passes for Akencheres and Ratothis are not omitted in this version. Eusebius was the one who was very interested in an exodus during the 18th Dynasty and agrees with Artapanus regarding it. And yet...if this Cencheres [who exists in Bar Hebraeus, as well] with his 16 years is Akhenaten by some chance, then he may be the same man Tacitus, Diodorus Siculus and Lysimachus call "Bocchoris" [not to be confused with the later Bochchoris] a very ugly king who was implicated in an exodus from Egypt. In my book, I theorized that this came from the only written way that the person, Akhenaten, was recalled, which was "pA xrw" or "the criminal". If he was called something else in folklore, it may have been "Cencheres" but that is only a supposition.

Why was there an "extra" Amenhotep III? I think this happened for more than one reason, too complex to go into now. Why was there more than one Akencheres? Because there was--but Manetho did not know quite who they were and when they appeared--no more than we do. The twelve years is rather inscrutable, but there may have been a reasoning behind it.

John Bright said...

In Biblical textual criticism, transpositions and repetitions are "standard" errors of copyists. When the copyists are copying from copyists, the logic is that the errors will be compounded. Again following this logic, the later the copyist, the more likely the text is corrupt: at least that is how the theory goes!
If I recall correctly, the word oros in Greek means boundary. Could this be a miscopying of a word indicating the end of the Dynasty? Who can say?
As for Akhnaten being remembered as ugly, if those colossi and reliefs from Karnak are all to remember him by, no one can argue! Another thought: it might be a sarcastic comment on his epithet of "Beautiful one of Aten".
Happy New Year to everyone.

Marianne Luban said...

Happy New Year to all. Of course you're right, John. Errors must be compounded lacking the original. One dreams of the original Manetho and of this we don't even have copies--only epitomes that have doubtless left out plenty. Flavius Josephus doesn't have much use for the Egyptian historian, but at least he gives us an idea of what his full history was like. Not that Josephus necessarily understands what Manetho wrote, even though he knew how to read Greek. If we buy the same book, we will get the same text, thanks to the man who invented the printing press. But, before that there were, of course, only hand copies. Worse still, they may have been written from dictation--one person reading something that other scribes are copying simultaneously. Can you imagine the margin for error there?

What I believe I cannot prove but I think some of Manetho's "Aegyptiaca" must have come from Demotic accounts, which may have mixed history with folklore. But, as Josephus points out, Manetho purported to transmit "sacred texts", as well, which can only mean in the Holy Language or Middle Egyptian, the monumental or historical venue, in some cases until the Ptolemaic Era--the Rosetta Stone being an example where a modified ME was included. Until the Amarna period, every historic account was written in ME except the parts that contained dialogue. Then Neo-Egyptian was inserted, indicating the spoken language as opposed to the literary one, that being ME. For example, the annals of Thutmose III might be in ME but we know for sure nobody spoke that language in his time--or even in the time of his predecessor, King Kamose. Stories were written in Neo-Egyptian in the New Kingdom. The "Holy Tongue" was not for them.

Of course, there were king lists, some of which anybody could see on a wall and some copied onto papyrus. Manetho surely paid attention to those but, although he probably could read hieroglyphs as well as cursive Egyptian, he never tries to transliterate in Greek exactly what the signs indicate--their phonetic values as we do. Instead, he writes how the kingly names sounded as pronounced, often adding the ubiquitous Greek sibilant at the end. It makes sense to me. In fact, Manetho probably only knew the Egyptian vocalization of his day--not that of a thousand years before. However, mnemohistory may have preserved how some of the very old pharaonic names were said.
Fore instance, the name we write as "Teti" Manetho gives as "Othoes", indicating an original "attai"--and why we can't follow Manetho in this simple equation is beyond me.

John Bright said...

I wonder how Manetho came to be used by Josephus. If Josephus was writng while in either Judaea or Rome, then it would seem copies were relatively widespread.
As to Manetho's sources, I imagine that the Ptolemies had amassed a collection of ancient records for the Library of Alexandria. As they had the Hebrew Bible translated into Greek (reputedly by 70 scholars), I would also wonder if the Egyptian sources/records were likewise translated. Given the passage of time, Akhnaten's memory would not be so vilified therefore Manetho might have recorded his period of rule without any qualms.I would like to hope that a copy will one day be found in an ancient rubbish dump like the Gnostic Gospel of Thomas at Nag Hammadi.
One feature about Ptolemaic temple architecture is that broken lintle gateways are incorporated into temples. These were a prominent, though not exclusive, feature of Amarnan architecture. Likewise, temple entrances were modified to include a columned portico in front of the pylon (seen at Karnak: Khonsu, Monthu, and Mut for example, modified from Ethiopian period kiosks which were taken down and rebuuilt). This was another Amarnan feature. Did this arise from studying ancient records, I wonder?

Marianne Luban said...

In Manetho's day the library of Alexandria would still have been standing and would have been a very good source, indeed. Manetho could read Egyptian and Josephus could read Greek, the language of Manetho's history--even though Josephus lived around 300 years later than Manetho. Perhaps a Roman known to Josephus had acquired a copy of Manetho from Egypt. If Manetho knew anything about Akhenaten he did not indicate that very clearly from what Josephus gives us. The copy of Josephus says nothing about "ugly kings" or any exodus of the Jews within the time of a "Cencheres" in the later 18th Dynasty. What Josephus says is that a certain "Tethmosis" drove out the Jews and he sticks to this even in his rendering of Manetho's tale of "The Polluted Ones", where a pharaoh "Amenophis" has to do with an exodus. The problems are these: Josephus was a Jew and felt obliged to follow the Hebrew Bible, which seems to indicate only one exodus from Egypt. That is why he becomes so upset with Manetho and his indication of yet another exodus under "Amenophis". However, Manetho, being a pagan, did not operate under any Biblical constraints. If there was more than one exodus or expulsion, he wouldn't hesitate to tell it if he knew about it. But Josephus accuses Manetho of fabricating this king "Amenophis"--and, in a way, Josephus was right. In actual pronunciation, the difference between the names "Amenhotep" and "Merneptah" were not that great as one might think. In fact, Manetho *does* call Merneptah "Amenophis" in his kinglist. Therefore, I believe he amalgamated two pharaohs, one who was actually Amenhotep and the other being Merneptah. It looks like the advisor of "Amenophis" was Amenhotep son of Hapu in the "Tale of the Polluted Ones", which is right, but nobody named Amenhotep had a son "Sethos also called Ramesses after his grandfather", so that element applies to Merneptah. Conclusion: there were similar troubles with a foreign element in the reigns of these two kings--but Manetho could not properly separate the incidents.

John Bright said...

I have to write from memory as I no longer have the book, but I think it was Martin Noth who proposed several exoduses and periods of conquest. If I recall the OT lectures correctly, this concept was used to explain the different datings of the sacking of towns that archaeological findings showed happening over several centuries rather than in a single campaign of conquest. This ties in nicely with the ideas you have outlines.
With regards to the Alexandria Library,I seem to recall a suggestion made in a lecture on Ptolemaic culture that the library also disseminated books: in effect it also acted as a publisher or perhaps copier might be a better term.It sounds like the scriptorium in a monastery.
We have come a long way from Tutankhamen's nurse!

Marianne Luban said...

I don't know that author but the idea of more than one exodus has been around for a long time. I seem to recall even Wallis Budge mentioning something on that order. Anyway, I was fortunate to have access to a great library, myself, that of UCLA in Los Angeles for the research of my own book, wherein I have tried to gather everything that was said about the topic in antiquity, the Middle Ages, and the more original ideas of modern times [but not off the wall ones]. I doubt I missed too much and a pattern clearly emerged for me--more than one exodus. At least the latest exodus from Egypt is well-documented, as Jews who were involved in it have written their own books about their experiences during the Nasser regime.

As far as Tut's nurse is concerned, we have reached a dead end but maybe not about Tut. He seems to reveal himself slowly. In 1922 nobody knew the name of his nurse and, until this past year, no one could identify his parents, even as mummies. Nor did anyone have any notions that the young man was severely crippled and had malaria to boot. The year previous to that we knew he had received an injury to the knee. Perhaps one of these days we will learn more about him because of some text or tomb discovered. I wouldn't be surprised.

John Bright said...

Martin Noth was German. His book was called "The History of Israel". It was translated into English by Professor Ackroyd who was Professor of Old Testament Theology at King's London. I suspect that explains why Noth's book was on the reading list! The alternative at the time was "A History of Israel" by John Bright (no relation I hasten to add). Professor Bright's book was the easier to read. As this was 40 years ago, I feel sure they have been replaced by newer authors.

On the topic of Akhnaten and the Oppression/Exodus, at a study day on Ptolemaic Luxor some years ago at Cambridge, I was talking to a postgraduate student about the mud brick walls around the Karnak temenos. The talk turned to Amarna for reasons I now forget. The student told me about some mud brick walls she had studied at Amarna that started off as high quality bricks but then changed to a low quality type as if the builders had been told to hurry up. It made me think of the Biblical story. Amarna isn't Pithom or Pi-Ramesses though.

Anonymous said...

Mayati is Merytaten's nickname, Kiya is Meketaten's nickname, Nofer is Neferneferuaten's nickname, If Merytaten changed her name as did Tutankhaten when he became Tutankkamun and Ankhesenpaaten became Ankhesenamun and Neferneferuaten became Smenkhkare then Merytaten's name would have been Merytre, as she married Smenkhkare and their sirnames became Re

Anonymous said...

Tutankhaten's wet nurse was Tiye the wife of Aye who took the throne after Tutankhamun's death. Aye and Tiye are related to the royals and are perhaps the parents of Maya.

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