Saturday, February 20, 2010

After Nefertiti

With the recent release of the data from the DNA and CT scanning of the eighteenth dynasty mummies in particular the mummies believed related to king Tutankhamen some new questions have been raised.

The results show that the Kv55 man found in a coffin bearing the titles of Akhenaten is a son of the Amenhotep III mummy and the mummy identified as Queen Tiye while the test results show the Kv35YL to be Tutankhamen's mother and sister to the Kv55 skeleton.

First must come the question of Akhenaten, a known son of Amenhotep III or Smenkhara a shadowy figure and never mentioned as a son of Amenhotep III. There are a number of similarities with Smenkhara's names that resemble Nefertiti's names including Neferneferuaten and there may never have been a male king named Smenkhara.

This may be backed up by statues found in Tutankhamen's tomb of a women wearing the white crown which may be among the equipment reused in the boy kings burial.

Three Women are known to be possibilities for Tut's mother these including Nefertiti, Kiya and Meritaten. Meritaten eldest daughter of Akhenaten and Nefertiti is probably ruled out as being too young to be Tut's mother though she is the only one of the three women to bear the title king's daughter. Nefertiti is never mentioned on the known surviving monuments as giving birth to a son and Kiya is believed to be foreign by birth.

Should the Kv55 mummy really be Akhenaten than the DNA results say Tutankamen's mother was also a full blood sister to the Kv55 skeleton.

The sisters of Akhenaten have never been thought of as part of the Amarna revolution but they are now candidates for an elevation to "kings mother". The known sisters of Akhenaten include Queen Sitamen, Queen Isis both of whom married their father Amenhotep III but neither has the known title of kings mother.

Three lesser sisters are also known including princess' Henut-Tenab and Nebetah both of whom possess title of "kings daughter". All four of these ladies has the potential to be the Kv35's younger lady and mother of the boy king. The last Princess Beketaten was more than likely too young to be Tutankhamen's mother


s. stockwell said...

I still think Meketaten, Ankhetaten's second daughter could be a candidate for Tut's mother. She died in year 14 at the approximate age of 12. If Tut was born in year 14 he would have been about 8 when Ankhetaten died. The wall reliefs in the Royal tomb at Amarna showing Meketaten on the funeral pire with a nurse carrying an infant away are so compelling. I am not sure what the difference is in the DNA markers that would make Tut's mother the sister of Anhetaten as opposed to the daughter?

tim said...

Hi S

There is no shortage of potential mothers to king Tut with Meketaten being another real possibility. The death scene of Meketaten in the royal tomb at Amarna may well be exactly that of a princess dying in child birth.

The age of that baby would at the least make an ideal playmate for the boy king, if it's not Tut himself.

The kv35 younger lady though appears to be a little older than a young teen and has been described as being perhaps as old as 25 which puts a little doubt for me in Meketaten?