Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Tuesday, January 04, 2011

This is the text of the interview. You'll have to listen on YouTube as embedding is disabled.

28 comments:

Aledin said...

Ankhesenamun's tomb and Cleopatra's!!!??
I'm speechless! I'm uber-excited!
Can't wait for the results. These two tombs alone could be a huge breakthrough.
I hope they will find what they're looking for.
Imagine what the intact tomb of Ankhesenamun could reveal, especially if they find the mummy!

Can't wait!

Stephanie said...

I do hope it`s not just hot air!
Why doesn`t Hawass talk about the alleged indications of this tomb belonging to Ankhesenamun??

Better try not to get too excited although I want to be.

Ron Lankshear said...

Has KV64 been found? It sounds like wihful thinking. The radar seems to show something but the Hawass blog seems to say this was underground electric cables causing a fake reading. Then a lot of discussion of "steps" but maybe just ground fissures. So several places are being checked. And why does he think Ankhesenamun? Was there something in the workmen huts?
BUT it would be good if they find something

Marianne Luban said...

Just want to tell you, Kate, that you're doing a great job with this blog. All good things to you in the New Year!

Geoff Carter said...

Hi Kate,
Happy New year
Is this clip recorded recently?
Could have said all this a year ago?

Stuart Tyler said...

Lets hope for updates soon. But in the meantime, speculation will flourish.

have any of Ankhesenamun's funerary items ever been found? Anything that could pour cold water on this story?

Thanks,

Happy New Year,

Stuart

Stephanie said...

As far as I am aware nothing whatsoever bearing her name has come to light apart some items from Tut`s tomb and the famous ring with her and Aye`s cartouches.
So there`s nothing so far that could spoil Hawass` dream of finding her intact tomb.

Anonymous said...

If it was Ankhsenamen who wrote to the Hittite king asking for a husband, could she expect a burial in The Valley? I would have thought she might have been regarded as something of a traitor.

Ken said...

Maybe, but it is likely that after the letters, she was still forced to marry Ay and so was still Royal wife (again). Thinking about this for a minute, whether or not Ay usurped the tomb Tutankhamun was building (now KV/WV 23), there are no provisions in that tomb for the burial of a wife. So yeah, her tomb should be out there somewhere. I personally hope that KV64 would be Meritaten and/or the other daughters of Nefertiti. That would be huge in terms of figuring out the Smenkhkare situation.

Marianne Luban said...

Ay, of course, was already married to a woman named Tey, seen in his commoner tomb at El Amarna and also shown in the royal tomb of Ay in the Valley. Was Ankhesenamun ever married to Ay? I don't know, but there may not have been much point according to my interpretation of some evidence. The rings in question are two cartouches, one of Ay as king and the other just saying "Ankhesenamun", not "Hmt nsw wrt" or anything else. Of course, we associate rings with marriage but there is no evidence that the ancient Egyptians did. So this is unique. Akhenaten and Nefertiti had rings with their cartouches, but not together. Theirs were of gold but those relevant to Ay were of cheap faience, to be distributed like a scarab--and just why they were is hard to say. Maybe for propaganda, anouncement. My theory is that, briefly, Ay ruled as a regent for Tutankhamun, who was a very ill young man, perhaps even in a coma leading to his death. The rings may have been distributed to announce that Ay had the support of Ankhesenamun in this, whether that was true or not.
Because when it came right down to it, it would have been Ankhesenamun who was her husband's successor in the absence of offspring, she being a princess of the Thutmosid dynasty and the daughter of a king.

The scene of Ay wearing the khepresh crown opening the mouth of the deceased Tut in KV62 is also unique. But this cannot have been an act of propaganda because, once the tomb was sealed, nobody was, ideally, ever supposed to see this painting again. However, if Ay had been a regent for the dying Tut, he could hardly be shown as anything but a king in that opening of the mouth depiction. Also, in every case that I have personally seen where there were two kings at once in Egypt, one of them was styled "nb irt xt", which has been loosely translated as "lord of the ritual". This epithet could be applied to any king, but when two pharaohs had their cartouches *beside* one another, it appears to me that the one in a lesser position was called "nb irt xt". Thus was called Thutmose III when his cartouche was near that of Hatshepsut, Ankhkheperure vis a vis Akhenaten at Amarna and Ay, once again in KV62--all "nb irt xt". The other king in question was styled "nb tAwi" or "lord of the two lands". Only the pairing of Tut and Ay are in a funerary context, so that has no bearing on this juxtaposition.

Ken said...

Marianne,

That makes good sense. So is your view then, that the letters to the Hittite king did not come from Ankhesenamun? I know the timing of when they were sent is shaky. I think that viewing Ay as a bit of a tyrant who forced Ankhesenamun to marry him and usurped the pharaoh-ship from Horemheb is becoming antiquated, since it now seems unlikely that Tutankhamun was murdered. He may have been a perfectly fine fellow...

Marianne Luban said...

I have to believe that the letter to the Hittite king was from Ankhesenamun because the name of her late husband [the only account of all this is to be found in the annals of King Mursili, the son of the king the Egyptian widow wrote to] fits best to Nebkheperure Tutankhamun. As I said, Ankhesenaum was the rightful heir to the throne, woman or no, and nobody should be surprised if she viewed herself as such. But, if Ay was already king [and there is an irate and accusing letter from the Hittite ruler saying to an unnamed pharaoh, "you made yourself king"] Ankhesenaum may not have been able to unseat him without the desperate tactic of getting a very powerful husband who was "no servant of mine". Those faience rings were not the work of Ankhesenamun, I feel sure. She may have gone to Memphis or somewhere where it was more convenient to await an envoy of the Hittite king--with Ay remaining at Thebes. But her plan failed and how she was treated in Egypt after that is not easy to understand. I suppose it all depended on the mercy of those in power at the time. Whatever the truth is, I'm sure it was one of the great dramas of the history of the world.

Kate Phizackerley said...

If Ankhesenamun was the Queen, then she might briefly have reigned. The king lists wouldn't show that of course. She'd be quickly pushed aside or murdered. Her tomb could hold major surprises.

Esperanza said...

Estoy totalmente impresionada y emocionada con este nuevo descubrimiento!!! Me imagino tantas cosas a descubrir!!! Es el hallazgo del año. Me apasiona la dinastía 18 y en particular Akenatón y familia!!
Sabremos si Ankhesenamun fue asesinada o no, su edad con una mejor aproximación, su vínculo con las momias kv55 y kv21A y por supuesto con los fetos de Tut, quizás su tumba traiga papiros, elementos para saber más sobre los misterios de esa época... IMPRESIONANTE!!! Gracias Kate por este fantástico blog, yo lo sigo muy de cerca!!!

Marianne Luban said...

Bienvenido, pero espere hasta que usted vea las fotografías de la tumba :-)

John Bright said...

There was a suggestion some years ago that the writer of the letter was Nefertiti, though until then Ankhsenamen had been accepted as its author. I gather opinion has reverted to Ankhsenamen.
I believe the phrase used by the Hittites is "Dahamunzu" which is said to mean "king's wife". No name is actually given. Given she wrote twice, and given the time the messages would have taken to travel, there is a suspicion that it would have taken more than the 70 days for the pharaoh's embalming and burial. If so, her fear of marriage "to a servant" would have already happened by the time the Hittite prince arrived.
I wonder if we have here a tale, like that of the abduction of Helen from Sparta, that was used to justify a war?

Stephanie said...

Before this affair the Egyptians and Hittites had already attacked each other`s territories, mainly Kadesh and Amka, so basically they were at war against each other already. I don`t think either of them would have bothered to justify this war because at least from the Egyptians` point of view any war against the "vile Asiatics" was justified anyway.
But I think that behind this affair (which has been estimated to have lasted 16 to 18 months from the first letter to Zannanza`s arrival at Egypt`s borders!) may in fact have been some other intention, be it political or personal, rather than the obvious one.
Because I just do not get it into my head that the queen thought she could reign peacefully at the side of a foreigner who was one of the hated Asiatics. Not in a country which was so conservative with regards to its divine kingship and which just had been restored and brought back to normal.
She must have known that if the Hittite prince would not make it onto the throne or if he made it but there were rebellions against them, in either case she would have to face harsh consequences. Either the whole thing was staged or she was really so desparate to avoid an unwanted marriage and/or to cling to power to take such a risk.

Marianne Luban said...

The idea of a foreign king would not have been ideal but, again, I refer to Prince William of Orange and those of the House of Hanover who were able to become kings of England just fine. And the divine right to kingship of Ay, if any, is certainly not very apparent.

One of the comments made by King Mursili of Hatti was that the alliance by marriage was sought because the Egyptians "were afraid". By this I can only assume that, hostilities already having started, the people of Egypt feared their own country would be attacked. In her own letter, the queen of Egypt also said she was afraid--but exactly of what she did not specify.

"While my father was down in the country of Karkamis (Carchemesh) he dispatched Lupakkis and Tessub-zalmas to the country of Amqa. They proceeded to attack the country of Amqa and brought deportees, cattle and sheep home before my father. When the people of the land of Egypt heard about the attack on Amqa, they became frightened. Because, to make matters worse, their lord Bibhururiyas had just died, the Egyptian queen who had become a widow, sent an envoy to my father and wrote to him as follows: 'My husband died and I have no son. People say that you have many sons. If you were to send me one of your sons, he might become my husband. I am loathe to take a servant of mine and make him my husband. I am afraid!'"

I am not averse to the notion that, instead of being married to Ay, Ankhesenamun was now a rebel against him. And, after all was said and done, those rings were distributed to signify that Ay and Ankhesenamun had made peace. Could be. I could much more believe in a marriage between them if there had been another woman as queen in Ay's royal tomb, a stranger to us, meaning that Ankhesenamun had died or been superceded, but the queen of Ay remains the very same lady who was his wife when he was still a commoner, Tey. I do not see the point of marrying a king's daughter just to make her a secondary wife in this case. The only point would have been to make her queen of Egypt, chief wife, but in order to do that Ay would have had to insult his wife of record, a woman he may have deeply loved.

Kate Phizackerley said...

For me the letter is clear: the succession was passing through the queen. On the death of her husband, she was pharaoh. The letter is usually seen as a woman looking out for herself. I think it could instead be seen as a ruling monarch offering alliance.

John Bright said...

"Of old, Hatti and the land of Egypt were friendly and now this has taken place. Thus the lands of Hatti and Egypt will be friendly with each other forever." so Mursili has Suppiluliuma saying of an existing peace treaty. It was the assassination that provoked war. The war backfired on the Hittites as the Egyptian prisoners they captured brought plague to Hatti.

Anonymous said...

Why choose the Hittites? She could have picked Babylon or even Assyria. What was special about the Hittites?

Marianne Luban said...

Assyria was at this time subjected to Mitanni rule. Babylon was no match for Egypt but Hatti was evidently her equal and continued to be even unto the time of Ramesses II, so anxious to marry a daughter of the Hittite king that the correspondence over the matter is actually amusing. It would seem he had to wait for one to grow old enough to fill the role--and in thos days anywhere close to twelve was good enough. And yet, in the time of King Mursili there was the this terrible plague. if he is correct in saying that it came from Egyptian prisoners, then Egypt must have been suffering, as well.

s stockwell said...

There is never enough emphasis on the pandemic that spread throughout the region during Amarna rule. It is probable that it was the reason to move the capital city and a drastic ousting of Amun and the Gods in favor of the one god symbolized by the solar orb. This was promised to Egypt by Ankhenaten as a cure to the terrible plague. The poignant bas relief in the royal tomb at Amarna picturing the death of Maketaten may well have had monumental significance. Not because she died in child birth but instead from the disease. The hatred of Ankhetaten and the avoidance of all things connected with him may come directly from his failure to stop the death curse sweeping the country and beyond. It may even be the reason Tut's tomb was found almost undisturbed? and it may mean that other tombs very well could be waiting intact?

Marianne Luban said...

I am wondering, though, what kind of contagion this can have been. It seems to have lasted for roughly twenty years in Hatti. However, it was supposedly carried there by men who were Egypian soldiers, evidently still fit to fight and then captured. Any actualy plague that I know of doesn't work that way. One becomes very ill very quickly and dies very quickly [some survive] but one does not have time to be taken prisoner in between. On the other hand, there are some sicknesses, mild among certain populations who have acquired a relative immunity, but devastating to others who have not. This was the case with measles, brought to the New World by the Spanish whom it did not kill but which devastated the people who caught it from them.

On the other hand, Asia Minor, where lived the Hittites, was not as far away from Egypt as the Americas are from Spain. Yet, in those days of restricted travel and not much navigation by the Egyptians, perhaps there really was a microbe gulf between these two locations. I don't know. In the time of Akhenaten, the king of Cyprus wrote to the Egyptian king that sickness [if Alashia really was Cyprus] was preventing his people from producing copper as they used to. And Cyprus is nearer Asia Minor than Egypt, certainly. Perhaps this notion of catching a terrible illness from the Egyptians was a mistaken one. It might be that the Egyptian prisoners were healthy until they came to Hatti and got sick along with everyone else.

Stephanie said...

I`m not sure if there is evidence that the Egyptians had that much confidence in their king that they thought he was able to beat terrible diseases or that they even considered this to be his duty.

They would have known that their kings themselves got sick and because they were unable to help themselves turned to magic, even from abroad as in the case of Amenhotep III.
Besides, I can`t imagine that the reason why Tut`s tomb remained unplundered (and it wasn`t untouched for that matter) was the fear of catching a disease, as the tombs of so many contemporaries were looted.

Interesting in this context is that by now AFAIK none of the Amarna period mummies has thrown up a severe contagious disease.

John Bright said...

The young age at death of Tuthmosis IV suggests the possibility he died of a disease. If other kings are looked at, some of their death ages are, by modern standards, also quite young. Ramesses II and Merneptah seem to be the longest living of the pharaohs whose mummies survive. It is worth recalling that diseases which today are easily cured were, until recently, killers. In addition, influenza seems to go through periodic resurgences: the 1918-19 outbreak is reckoned to have killed more people that World War One. In Dynastic times, the Egyptians would have been vulnerable to such diseases so that when we read of a word translated into modern parlance as plague, it need not mean the equivalent of The Black Death.
If malaria has been reutedly identified in Tutankhamen, are the remaining pharaohs' DNA samples being tested for the presence of disease? Amenhotep III and Tiye would be prime targets for such testing in the context of a possible Amarna Period plague.

s stockwell said...

Interesting recent study. See it here. later in the article you will see references to Amarna.

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2004/03/0310_040310_blackdeath.html

Ken said...

Is this new, or did I miss it? This article claims that Hawass thinks that KV63 was funery equipment from Ankhesenamun because all of the materials seem to be belonging to a female and there is a fragment of pottery with "paaten" on it.

http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/302433

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