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 Reconsideration of the Chronology of the Eighteenth Dynasty

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MensajeTema: Reconsideration of the Chronology of the Eighteenth Dynasty   Sáb Mar 19, 2016 2:11 am

Reconsideration of the Chronology of the Eighteenth Dynasty

E. Lin

The chronology of the Eighteenth Dynasty is not completely satisfactory.

It is currently accepted that Meritaten ruled Egypt for three years after the death of Akhenaten. It seems that the strongest evidence came from Manetho, who gave certain daughter of the king a reign of twelve years and one month. Unfortunately, Manetho’s twelve years was cut down to three, allegedly because the highest attested date was merely three years based on the finding of TT139. I suspect that the real reason is that the chronology, either high or low, was unable to accommodate the twelve-year period without causing major disturbance. Hence, the so-called “spurious decade” might not be any more spurious than the current three-year reign assigned to this Lady of Two Lands, unless it could be demonstrated that adding a decade to the reign had been an established practice of Manetho’s time, or he had a special motivation for doing so in this instance.

In reality, it might not be so difficult to find an answer to all the confusions. Remember the name of the fourth daughter of Akhenaten? It is Neferneferuaten Tasheri, thus her mother must be Neferneferuaten, and that was, of course, Queen Nefertiti. As matter of fact, Akhenaten moved to the new capital Akhetaten (Amarna) in his Year 5. In the same year, Nefertiti adopted the name “Neferneferuaten”. Neferneferuaten Tasheri was born in Year 7. From Akhenaten Year 5 until Akhenaten Year 17, when he died, was exactly twelve years. This period is probably what Manetho referred to when he mentioned the twelve year reign. Of course, it would be coregency starting from the date when they moved to the new capital. As far as the title of king’s daughter, Nefertiti is said to be Princess Tadukhipa from Mitanni, according to some. If that is true, she is certainly entitled to this title. In any event, her facial feature does not resemble that of Ay, if the plaster of Ay is indeed his. Furthermore, Nefertiti and Mutnodjmet do not look like sisters even though they are suppose to be. I suspect that Nefertiti was merely adopted by Ay, if they got anything with each other at all.

At this point, I should mention the Coregency Stela, where Akhenaten, Nefertiti and Meritaten have been identified. The name of Nefertiti was later changed to Ankhkheperure Neferneferuaten, while the name of Meritaten was changed to Ankhesenpaaten. This is consistent with the known name change of Nefertiti to Neferneferuaten, although it is more difficult to explain why the name of Meritaten needs to be replaced.

Regarding the widely quated “graffito” from the Theban Tomb of Pere (TT139), which reads "Year 3, 3rd month of the Inundation, day 10. The king of Upper and Lower Egypt, lord of the Two Lands, Ankhkheprure - beloved of Aten, son of Re, Nefereneferuaten beloved of Waenre (Akhenaten) ... ", “Ankhkheprure” most likely refers to the new pharaoh Smenkhare, since his full name is Smenkhkare Djeserkheperu Ankhkheperure, as far as I know, while Nefereneferuaten (Nefertiti) is his step-mother. Apparently, Smenkhare ruled at least for three years after Akhenaten, while Nefertiti was still alive. Nefereneferuaten obviously means Nefertiti. In this case, the two of them seems to appear together.

The rumor of Nefertiti’s death in Year 14 of Akhenaten is pure speculation. Her disappearance accompanied by the rise of Smenkhkare must be the result of Akhenaten’s decision to pass the throne his own son Smenkhkare rather than her. Another factor to be considered is that Nefertiti would have been merely over thirty years of age if she died in Year 14 of Akhenaten while her celebrated bust suggests an lady over forty. If she survived until the Restoration of Tutankhamun, she would be the right age to account for the statue of the “most beautiful woman in human history”.

Finally, it is not likely that Smenkhkare died immediately after Akhenaten. If his health had been as bad as that, he probably would never be chosen as the successor. All these arrangements look very contrived. It is more convincing if Smenkhkare survived the old pharaoh for a few years. Hence, I suggest assigning the three years between Akhenaten and Tutankhamun to this poor fellow. Thus, the revised chronology would be as follows:

Akhenaten 1353-1336
Neferneferuaten 1349-1336
Smenkhkare 1335-1333
Tutankhamun 1333-1324






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MensajeTema: Re: Reconsideration of the Chronology of the Eighteenth Dynasty   Sáb Mar 19, 2016 2:11 am

History is not all about kings and queens. Nonetheless, it would not be fair if we are not allowed to challenge the establishment in this field after so many Egyptologists spent so much time writing about the alleged murder of Tutankhamun and all those stuff for self-promotion.it seems that very few are interested in the real hard work.

Taking Tentopet as an example. She is often described as the queen of Ramesses IV and a daughter of Ramesses III. Sometimes she is described as the queen of Ramesses X and a daughter of Ramesses IX. But why all the uncertainties? Because all we know is that she held the titles of King’s Daughter, King’s Wife and King’s Mother, and was buried in QV74. Is that a sufficient ground for placing her in the Twentieth Dynasty? I doubt it. She was dragged into that position simply because there was “vacancies available”. If you look at the map, her tomb was literally surrounded by the tombs from the 18th Dynasty and 19th Dynasty; the two tombs next to hers both belonged to the daughters of Ramesses II. Overall speaking, the QV tombs show a clear trend of clustering by dynasties and by kingships. It is hard to believe that the tomb of Ramesses III’s daughter would be left there while all the other daughters of Ramesses III were placed closed together in the west side of the valley. Now, don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that she couldn’t be married to a 20th Dynasty king; I am just saying that she must be the daughter of a 19th Dyansty king. Therefore, she cannot possibly be the daughter of either Ramesses III or Ramesses IX. As matter of fact, we don’t even know whether Ramesses X is related to Ramesses IX at all, nor do we know about his relation to Ramesses XI. We could place them under any branch of the Ramesses III super-family.

I personally do not consider any of these late-20th Dynasty kings are important, but that doesn’t give one an excuse to come up with a spurious family tree to deceive the beginners. Now, is this a sign that the scholarship in Egyptology has fallen into a new low?



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MensajeTema: Re: Reconsideration of the Chronology of the Eighteenth Dynasty   Sáb Mar 19, 2016 2:12 am

http://www.scienceforums.com/topic/20941-reconsideration-of-the-chronology-of-egypt/


Of course, there is no historical record for her after the 14th year of Akhenaten's reign, so who could say one way or another :phones:

But, have you considered the shawabti that shows Nefertiti without a pharaoh's attire and essentially calls her a king's wife,

The Heiress, high and mighty in the palace, one trusted [of the King of Upper and Lower Egypt (Neferkheperure, Wa'enre), the son of Re (Akhenaten), Great in] his Lifetime, the Chief Wife of the King (Neferneferuaten-Nefertiti), Living for Ever and Ever.
which would presumably be made after her death, no?

Regarding Lemit's comment, my sentence was partly written in response to someone in a nother forum accusing me of paying too much attention to the royal families (I have done something on the Chinese chronology) and do not care about the average folks. Maybe he just does not like me. Ha!

Regarding the "shawabti", it is a good question. here, the key is when was it made? If it was made before year 5, then no issue; if made during the 12-year period, then there is an issue; if made after his/her death, then it is a question of recognition. I believe it was made when she was alive; otherwise it would not say "Living for Ever and Ever. " Most shawabti figures are in coffin shape, while this one is not. As far as the attire is concerned, I never expect her to be another Hatshepsut. With that said, I do realize that none of the proposed solutions are perfect. I hope her grave/mummy could be found, then it could help to resolve some of the issues. But I don't expect that to happen since Horemheb must have distroyed it long time ago.

Just to consider another possibility of accounting for the missing 12-year period. It was found that the highest attested year of Horemheb based on the wine jars labels in his tomb (KV57) was Year 14, according to Dr Jacobus van Dijk (University of Groningen). Thus, Horemheb might have died in late Year 14 or early Year 15, instead of Year 27/28 as the current low chronology gives him, and that would leave a 12-year period to be assigned to someone else. This could allow the unknown King's Daughter, whoever she might be, to rule by herself for 12 years. If that is the case, she is probably Maritaten. But we do not have a convincing evidence for her adopting the name of her mother Nefertiti. It is impossible if this happened while the latter was still alive! On the other hand, if Nefertiti died in Year 14 of Akhenaten and her age was well over 40, she must be much older than the king. In that case, she might be his step-mother since it has been proposed that Mitanni Princess Tadukhipa married to Amenhotep III, and then to Akhenaten. Unfortunately, this scenario looks unlikely since it would not allow Tutankhamun to die at the age of 18. I don't think it is very likely that Tutankhamun's age of death could be increased again after so much medical studies.

The question of how to assign the 12-year period left by a shorter reign of Horemheb remains – that is the implication of Dr Jacobus van Dijk’s finding if it stands up to the test of time. The solution could come from the Flavius version of Manetho’s kinglist, where we find that Acencheres I & II each ruled for 12 years after Rathotis (Tutankhamun), followed by a 4-year reign of Harmais and a quarter of a year under Ramesses of the 19th Dynasty. In the Africanus version and the Busebius version, there are also three rulers between Rathotis and Ramesses, while the current kinglist only gets two. Could the current list miss a ruler?



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MensajeTema: Re: Reconsideration of the Chronology of the Eighteenth Dynasty   Sáb Mar 19, 2016 2:13 am

There is a reason why there should be another ruler between Ay and Horemheb. We know that Ay was buried in WV23 and then desecrated in a later date. These two acts are unlikely to be carried out under the same ruler. If Horemheb was responsible for the latter act, there should be another king to allow Ay to be buried with honor. Who would this king be? It was probably Nakhtmin, whose tomb and mummy was never found. When Manetho named Acencheres I, Acencheres II and Harmais as the three kings between Rathotis and Ramesses, he suggests a kinship between the first two kings, which fits well with Ay and Nakhtmin, while Harmais might be the Graecized form of Horemheb. For this reason, the kinglist could be modified as the following:

Akhenaten (17 y)
[Neferneferuaten (12 y)]
Smenkhkare (3 y)
Tutankhamun (9 y)
Ay I (? y)
Ay II (Nakhtmin) (? y)
Horemheb (Harmais) 14-15 y
Ramesses I

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MensajeTema: Re: Reconsideration of the Chronology of the Eighteenth Dynasty   Sáb Mar 19, 2016 2:13 am



No, that is nothing like a shawabti. The arms are always crossed in a shawabti. They are always mummiform.

I found an image of Nefertiti's, or part of it—it's fragmentary. This part is in the Louvre:

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MensajeTema: Re: Reconsideration of the Chronology of the Eighteenth Dynasty   Sáb Mar 19, 2016 2:14 am

and another part is apparently in Brookyn. It certainly looks like a shawabti to me, and I don't see why it would be made before her death, but I admit it is not a lot of evidence to hang ones hat on. But, given that the historic record ends and this shawabti, I would certainly say she most likely died during his reign.

For a description of what these little statues are and why they made them I'd recommend:

Encyclopedia of the archaeology of ... - Google Books

And, the piece you depicted above, called "Akhenaten and Nefertiti" is talked about here:

Art Through Time: A Global View - Amenhotep IV (Akhenaten) and Nefertiti
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MensajeTema: Re: Reconsideration of the Chronology of the Eighteenth Dynasty   Sáb Mar 19, 2016 2:14 am



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Posted 18 February 2010 - 10:29 PM

I got the image from [http://heritage-key....ful-king-egypt], where it is treated as a shawabti. In any event, the statue violates every artistic convention in ancient Egypt. They are very religious people, and the post are highly dignified, with their eyes looking straight forward. In case of a statue of a couple, there is only one person, the husband, with his left foot step froward since this is a status symbol. Even Amarna art still observes most of the convention. Here, the king's eyes are rolling sideway, and assume a cynical look. Nefertiti does not looks like her other statues. In addition, both of them have their left feet steping forward. "artistic development" cannot explain it (compare it to other statues from that period). I suspect it is a hoax unless someone can come up with a physical dating of it.

Regarding the Luvre statue, the identity must be from the inscription in the front, which is rather brief. it cannot possibly gives the text you quoted (The Heiress, high and mighty in the palace, one trusted [of the King of Upper and Lower Egypt (Neferkheperure, Wa'enre), the son of Re (Akhenaten), Great in] his Lifetime, the Chief Wife of the King (Neferneferuaten-Nefertiti), Living for Ever and Ever.) So where did the text come from?

As far as the record is concerned, we don't know what it means: (1) she died; or (2) she simply changed her name; (3) she was pushed to the backstage. If she died in Year 14, she must be younger than depicted in the Berlin statue, unless she was initially married to Amenhotep III. I am afraid Nefertiti might not be the step-mother of Akhenaten since it is said that Meritaten was born before year one or in the very beginning of year one, which means Akhenaten had to marry his step-mother before his father died. How funny!

For me, the most important point actually is not so much about the death of Nefertiti as it is about the possible missing king between Tutankhamun and Ramesses I. I think there is a need to add Ay II to the list, so it becomes the following:

Akhenaten 17 y
(Neferneferuaten 12 y)
Smenkhkare 3 y
Tutankhamun 9 y
Ay I ???
Ay II (Nakhtmin) ???
Horemheb (Harmais) 14-15 y
Ramesses I

I know Manetho (or someone before him) might have manipulated the numbers; I actually looked into this issue already but have not yet posted it here. I will do that later. But it is less likely that he created Acencheres I and Acencheres II out of blue.
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MensajeTema: Re: Reconsideration of the Chronology of the Eighteenth Dynasty   Sáb Mar 19, 2016 2:14 am

Thought-provoking 'Michelangelo' on PBS | The-Tidings.com

Michelangelo Revealed ~ Watch the Full Episode | Secrets of the Dead | PBS
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MensajeTema: Re: Reconsideration of the Chronology of the Eighteenth Dynasty   Sáb Mar 19, 2016 2:15 am

why would a forger not follow tradition as close as possible?

well, this argument has been used over and over by those who argue against any challenge. Unfortunately, the forgers typically do not know enough about the tradition, nor do they want to bother. Maybe some of them do, but in that case we wouldn't be able to spot them in the first place.

I have to say a few more words about their feet. If Nefertiti was only a queen, she should not put her left foot a full step froward in the presense of the king (half a step is the most she could do). If she was a co-ruler, then she was entitled to do so. If this statue is genuine, it argues for the corengency. I don't want to use it as an evidence because there are too many problems associated with it. For example, Nefertiti was too much shorter than the king, which suggests they are not equal in status. In this sense, the statue is a self-contradiction. Another odd thing about it is that they held hands. Show me another example of Egytian couples holding hands. All these might not have anything to do with the death of her, but is interesting enough to be discussed.

By the way, Seith is a dog deity, it might have some other species associated with it (which was rather common) but does not change its nature.

Regarding modest's late post, The page I quoted put the image besides the discussion of shawabti. The text "the Chief Wife of the King (Neferneferuaten-Nefertiti)" could be an issue because her name is in parenthesis, does that means it was assumed and unknown or at least uncertain? It could be a problem since the statue got no head and is hard to identify. I would appreciate if you also post the image of the Brooklyn fragment here. I just did a search in Brooklyn Museum's site, found sevaral shawabti but none associated with Nefertiti.

Regarding the counter arguments, I will only mention that the text you quoted mentions Nefertiti "Living for Ever and Ever", which means she was alive. I don't need to propose further speculation on it. On the other hand, you have not yet address the age issue of Nefertiti and the Manetho's list. You need to put enrything together since it is not a one-statue issue.
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MensajeTema: Re: Reconsideration of the Chronology of the Eighteenth Dynasty   Sáb Mar 19, 2016 2:16 am



Her cartouche is clearly visible on the lower portion. The full reconstruction done by Christian Loeben is as such:

I don't know the intricacies of Egyptian hieroglyphs. The form is given on the left side of this page, about the 10th down:

How to read Egyptian hieroglyphs: a ... - Google Books

It says living "for all time" instead of living "for ever and ever" (an interesting Stargate reference for the movie savvy), but I can't see the reconstruction above clearly enough to make out exactly what's there, and I wouldn't know the implications of it anyway. I don't know if it would be improper to use that hieroglyph describing the deceased. From what I know of the ancient religion I would find it unlikely.

It might be of interest :singer: that another of Akhenaten's wives, Kiya, has "living for ever and ever" as part of her official title which is:

The wife and greatly beloved of the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Living in Truth, Lord of the Two Lands, Neferkheperrure Waenre, the Goodly Child of the Living Aten, who shall be living for ever and ever, Kiya.

seen on her wikipedia page
http://www.scienceforums.com/topic/20941-reconsideration-of-the-chronology-of-egypt/
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MensajeTema: Re: Reconsideration of the Chronology of the Eighteenth Dynasty   Sáb Mar 19, 2016 2:16 am



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Posted 21 February 2010 - 06:13 AM

I cannot tell how reliable is the "reconstruction" (that could be tricky), but let us assume that she got it right for the time being, it all boils down to the phrase of "living for ever and ever" ( that was on your quote) or "for all time" - not much a difference - it is the key issue. Such a phrase could refer to the dead, or to the living persons, but not to both. Since "living for ever and ever" was used in the Hyme to Aten" (see the following sentence), and that was clearly a case of living king and queen, I believe the phrase was not used to refer to the dead at the time. I don't think it is a part of the title but merely a eulogy.

"Who came forth from thy body: the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, ... Ak-en-Aton, ... and the Chief Wife of the King ... Nefert-iti, living and youthful forever and ever."

Also, the eulogy to Nefertiti found on the boundary stelae of Akhetaten:
"... Neferneferuaten-Nefertiti, May she live for Ever and Always."

and then the so-called text E describing Tuthmosis III's visit to Step Pyramid:
"... under Tuthmosis III, may he live for ever and ever!"

In all these cases, the person refered to were alive.

On the other hand, in the "Hymn To Osiris", we don't see anyphrase like that. If this phrase is applicable to the dead, I believe it would be allied to Osiris.

Actually I knew the text you quoted but did not think much of it. I don't know and don't want to pretend to know what that statue was for, but I am afraid there is insufficient evidence to prop up the she-die-in-Year-14 theory, and there are other evidence against it, as already mentioned.
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MensajeTema: Re: Reconsideration of the Chronology of the Eighteenth Dynasty   Sáb Mar 19, 2016 2:16 am

From the reconstructed image, it was probably 318 or 320, but the left side was essentially reconstructed. Again, I give her the benefit of doubt. In that case, it might not mean the deceased; only 319 has a clear relation to the deceased. Now, you still have to look at the other side - how to explain the examples I quoted above, none of which are deceased? I check out the Hyme to Aten, which used Ankh + 316 (similar to 317) to refer to the royal couple when they were definitely alive. I don't think the Egyptian do not buther to distinguish the living with the dead. If 316 refers to the living and 319 to the dead, what about 318 and 320? I am not sure. After all, the left side was "reconstructed", you probably would never know the truth. That is why I would like to see the photo instead of the drawing.

The second question is whether the presence of a shawabti proves she was dead? if so, what about the presence of a tomb? does it indicate a person is well dead? Well, the hyme to Atem I refered to was from the tomb of Ay in Amarna, but he was alive long after everyone got out of Amarna. Actually, someone has used this argument to dismiss the shawabti fragments you mentioned, although I cannot remember the name - it was a long time ago when I read it. What I didn't realize then was the extent of reconstruction involved here.

The third question is how are we going to explain her age and the 12-year reign if she indeed died in Year 14? The current theory is that Manetho made up the number. Based on my investigation of kinglist and chronology of Sumer, Babylonia, Egypt, Assyria, Persia, India and China at various historical periods, the ancient kinglist is not to be trusted completely, because they manipulated the numbers in favor of certain numbers, presumably by minor adjustment, not by adding a decade - it makes no sense at all. And the age issue of Nefertiti has to be resolved if she died in Year 14, a theory cannot be established by ignoring this and simply sticking with the two fragments.

Also I don't believe that Smenkhare and Akhenaten died in the same year. I guess I don't need to explain it again. The finding on the wine jars of Horemheb means the current chronology of the 18th dynasty is up for a major revision, it cannot be defended any more, regardless when Nefertiti died. The other important development is the on-going DNA test in Egypt, that could bring some surprise, too.
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MensajeTema: Re: Reconsideration of the Chronology of the Eighteenth Dynasty   Sáb Mar 19, 2016 2:17 am

need to add a few words here because of an important development. I don’t want to wait for modest’s reply because it would not be fair to all the other viewers.
When I was writing my previous reply, I was already aware of a recent publication by Zahi Hawass et al. regarding their DNA test. According to the paper, “Genetic fingerprinting allowed the construction of a 5-generation pedigree of Tutankhamun's immediate lineage. The KV55 mummy and KV35YL were identified as the parents of Tutankhamun.” (Ancestry and Pathology in King Tutankhamun's Family, JAMA. 303:638-47.) If the results are correct, the implication is very profound. This means there is not enough evidence for a male Smenkhare, which was primarily based on the widely accepted assumption that the KV55 mummy belongs to Smenkhare, a brother of Tutankhamun. Now it seems that the KV55 mummy belongs to Akhenaten, his father. In that case, a male Smenkhare would simply vanish into the blue, and we are left with none other than Nefertiti herself to rule Egypt between Akhenaten and Tutankhamun. There is no evidence to suggest that Meritaten ever adopted the name “Neferneferuaten”. Nefertiti might have ruled for 12 years if there was a coregency; otherwise it is hard to explain the number. Her title “king’s daughter” was simply based on the fact that she was the daughter of King Ay. My previous analysis has virtually ruled out the possibility that she was first married to Amenhotep III, which means she must have lived for a while after the death of Akhenaten to account for the mature age reflected by her bust. Although her shawabti – if that is what it is – suggests she might be dead, the contradictory evidences are overwhelming.
In one word, both Neferneferuaten and Smenkhare are just other names of Nefertiti, she simply imitated Hatshepsut by assuming a male title and attire, and we all got confused. The real difficulty is not about this part of the chronology but the last part, after King Tut died. We need some evidence that Nakhtmin has become Ay II and ruled Egypt before he was overthrown by Horemheb.



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