Posted by Kate Phizackerley on Friday, February 11, 2011

This documentary is showing on More 4 on Saturday at 10pm.

Over 3000 years ago, Nefertiti, 'The Perfect One', and her husband, Akhenaten, the radical king, tore ancient Egypt apart and then vanished. They threw out the old government and the old capital city and even replaced the old gods.

In less than 20 years they turned Egypt on its head, before disappearing from history. But where did they end up? The debate has raged for decades.

Now a brand new scientific investigation brings state-of-the-art CT scans to the Valley of the Kings on the hunt for this mysterious family of pharaohs: a family most famous for the little boy, believed to be Akhenaten's son, who would grow up to be King Tutankhamun.

Using non-invasive 3D volumetric imagery, the team, led by Dr Zahi Hawass, Egypt's top archaeologist, head to dark and mysterious tombs to investigate mummies that could be Nefertiti and Akhenaten.

Hawass and his team unearth a clear case of murder, the possible identity of a Pharaoh and a link that ties them all together. Have they uncovered the family of King Tut?
Update: Channel now corrected - thanks Dave!


Anonymous said...

More4 that is!Daveh

Anonymous said...

You are very welcome!

Geoff Carter said...

Bad News it clashes with Match of the Day !

Anonymous said...

Inc a wonder goal from Rooney, Geoggdaveh

John Bright said...

So, the older lady in KV35 is Tiye, the younger lady is not Nefertiti and "KV55" could be Akhnaten. Both the younger lady and "KV55" were confirmed as being close relatives of Tutankhamen (possibly mother and father). What was really new? I suppose the wounds to the younger lady having been inflicted before embalming and the likelihood she was alive when they were perpetrated.
It was good to see the inside of KV55 being shown but to describe it as roughly hewn was inaccurate. Personally speaking, I could have done without the re-enactments.
One last thought: where is the young man from KV35? I would have assumed it would be good scientific method to have tested him as well.

Stephanie said...

First, Hawass uses this show to quite openly scold Joanne Fletcher who had earlier made another TV-show claiming the YL could be Nefertiti. Everyone knows that she got into deep trouble for this.
His statement that one must not come up with a theory unless it is proven and his dismissal of the bent arm as belonging to the YL which is to him the only indication of this being a queen are all aimed at Fletcher. I think this is not very gentleman-like to say the least.

And where is the proof of his theory that the YL was Kija? All made-up stuff of rivalry and jealousy and a violent murder. After DNA-testing this theory has been rather disproved and the evidence points to a royal lady once more.

In any case I wondered how for the first time he makes a point of the YL being Tut`s mother. The physical resemblance between the two certainly is not so striking as to suggest this conclusion besides an extra bone in a skull suture (which apparently is also shared by KV55).
As this show was made in 2007 it makes me think that maybe some DNA-testing had been done already which pointed to this relationship but it wasn`t far enough advanced to show that the YL is in fact Tiye`s daughter or granddaughter. As the DNA-testing was not yet announced to the public he made no mention of it in the show.

John Bright said...

I think Dr Hawass did definitely not see eye to eye with Dr Fletcher. I would hope this did not affect his approach.
As to DNA and the YL (that seems a good term!), has any link to Tiye been established that anyone can confirm? If it has, it suggests Nicholas Reeves might have had a point in identifying her as Sitamen. Now that, if proven, would stir up a whole hornet's nest of speculation. "KV55" as the father and Sitamen as Tutankhamen's mother??

Stephanie said...

The link between them has been established using the results obtained in the testing of autosome DNA. This shows that the most likely relationship between YL and Tiye is that YL is her and AIII`s daughter (or possible granddaughter which fits just as well). It is likely that they share the same mtDNA as well but those results have not been published yet.
I have doubts though that YL could be Sitamen as she (Sitamen) is Eldest King`s Daughter and the KV55 individual died as young as 20-25 around the end of Akhenaten`s reign. This means that he was most likely born in the last years of AIII`s reign whereas Sitamen as eldest child will have been born in the earlier part of that reign which makes her about 20-25 years older than KV55. I don`t think such an alliance would have been forged especially as there were other younger sisters available (if one goes for the brother-sister theory).

Reeves of course seeks to make KV55
older to make it possible for him to be Akhenaten as he denies Semenkhkare`s existence. So the age difference might not be a big issue for him.

I myself didn`t know that he proposes the YL to be Sitamen.
Was this suggestion made before or after the DNA results were known?
And what are the reasons for his suggestion?

John Bright said...

In last night's programme, the age range at death of YL was quoted as 22-45 while "KV55" was given as 25-40.The upper limits are at odds with previous estimates, while such a wide range is not very helpful.
Dr Reeves proposed the identification in his book The Valley of the Kings: the decline of a Royal Necropolis (I think this was a published version of his PhD. thesis.). His argument was that the 3 bodies in the side chamber might have been moved into KV35 along with that of Amenhotep III from Amenhotep's Weast Valley tomb. He tentatively identified the young man as Tuthmosis, Akhnaten's older brother.
There were lots of loose references to finds from KV55, but I was unaware of any mention directly of Kiya. They also referred to Sir Alan Gardiner's work on the coffin, but in Egypt of the Pharaohs he refers to Cyril Aldred's ideas as more up to date.

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