Posts Tagged ‘Eighteenth Dynasty’

The Donation Stele of Pharaoh Ahmose I endowed the office of the God’s Wife of Amun with an estate that consisted of financial income, real estate, her own retinue, and the means to support the entire operation.  Called the Per Duat, or, House of the Adoratrice, this estate allowed (at least in theory) the God’s Wife to operate with autonomy from the priesthood and royal house alike.

But in the early part of the New Kingdom the God’s Wife and the Divine Adoratrice were two separate offices within the temple hierarchy at Karnak, which can cause some confusion when exploring the history of these unique institutions.  This article will endeavor to disentangle this relationship as we seek to understand what these two offices were and how they came to be merged into a single position, or at least a single career track.

Note:  At the end of the last article in this series, The God’s Wives of Amun – Royal Women and Power Politics in the Eighteenth Dynasty, I said that this article would also cover the details of the Donation Stele and exactly what was endowed to the House of the Adoratrice.  After some revision it became clear that these were two separate articles.  The properties of the House of the Adoratrice will be explored in Part 2: The Demesne of the God’s Wife.  This present article will focus on the parallel development of the God’s Wife and the Divine Adoratrice, as well as the House of the Adoratrice as an institution.

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During the Middle Kingdom Period, having a daughter appointed as a God’s Wife in your local temple meant that you were a member of the upper crust of Egyptian society.  But at the dawn of the New Kingdom, Pharaoh Ahmose I drafted a legal contract that made the God’s Wife of Amun arguably the second most powerful person in the kingdom.  Before all was said and done, one God’s Wife would use the office to become the most powerful person in the kingdom. 

With Amun now the King of the Gods, his earthly consort came into her own wealth and authority in a way that would ultimately shatter the glass ceiling of Egyptian politics, at least for a while…

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So much for the evil god Set keeping his mouth shut—people just seem to insist on questioning authority.  The JAMA article is jammed with answers, but queries continue.  Assembled here for your pleasure and edification are the best examples of critical questioning culled from the Egyptological blogosphere.    

Tangled roots, the passed-over prince, aging them bones, lack of control, and Kate Phizackerley’s Quest for Accuracy.

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Was King Tut a warrior king or “one sick kid”?  Even as the Family of Tutankhamun Project was publishing its findings in the Journal of the American Medical Association that the Boy King was a frail young man who needed a cane to walk, Egyptologist W. Raymond Johnson was publishing his evidence that Tut was an active young man who rode chariots into battle.

So which is the true Tut?  What if both versions are accurate?  Could this perfect storm of physical challenges and adventurous behavior have led Tutankhamun to a heroic but early grave?

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23
Mar

The Mummies Gallery

   Posted by: Shemsu Sesen

   in New Kingdom, Egypt in the News, Mummies

Meet the mummies of the Family of Tutankhamun Project!  If you are looking for a mummy-by-mummy summary of the recent JAMA article, then you are in luck! 

In The Mummies Gallery we will take a look at each of the mummies in both the study and control groups and pull together the familial and pathological data for easy referencing.

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riddles of the sphinx-tabWho built the Great Sphinx?  Why did they build it?  How did they build it?  These questions and more are addressed in Riddles of the Sphinx, by the PBS series NOVA.

Featuring Mark Lehner, Zahi Hawass, Rick Brown, Gunter Dreyer, Richard Redding, Rainer Stadelman, and Fathi Mohamed.

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Was King Tut murdered?  Did Akhenaten have both a male and female physiology?  Did incest and inbreeding lead the Eighteenth Dynasty down a genetic dead end?  Last month the Family of Tutankhamun Project attempted to answer these questions—and more—with the publication of a two-year forensic study of sixteen mummies of the Eighteenth Dynasty.

This article is the first of several in which we will attempt to put the research into layperson’s terms.  First we will take a look at the what, who, where, why and how of the study itself.

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Plus:  Catching Up Em Hotep!

All the world is abuzz with the long-awaited release of the current genetic study of the Eighteenth Dynasty, particularly as it relates to the goose that continues to lay the golden eggs—King Tut. 

Your humble scribe is still mulling over the subject before attempting his own contribution, but in the meanwhile, here are a few excellent pieces from some of the most excellent writers in the Egyptology blogosphere.  In the spirit of parsimony, I have narrowed my selection down to the three which I found to be the most unique in their approach and thought provoking in their implications.  Enjoy!

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schaden-tabDr. Otto Schaden has posted an update to his webpage stating that the excavation of KV63, the tomb/mummy cache he discovered back in 2005, has been completed.  This milestone was passed this fall when the remaining sealed jars discovered in KV63 were opened and their contents examined.  In addition to seven empty (except for smashed jars and mummification tools) coffins, Dr. Schaden’s team discovered 28 large storage jars in one of the chambers of KV63, most of them sealed.

But with all the jars now opened, work on KV63 is far from over and the most exciting discoveries are certainly yet to come.

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tut chariot-tabKing Tut is known as the Boy King for two reasons.  The first is the young age at which he assumed the throne—around eight or nine.  The second is that he died at around nineteen, so he never really reached adulthood.  Why he died so young is a question that has been with us since his tomb was discovered by Howard Carter in 1922.

In 2005 a team of top radiologists conducted a series of CT scans on Tutankhamun’s mummy, and when the results were announced the following year at the annual meeting of the Radiological Society of North America, the results were not 100% conclusive.  Most of the team felt they had settled the question of what had caused Tut’s early death, but there were some holdouts. 

So when Zahi Hawass announced last August that he was on the verge of announcing the exact cause of Tut’s death, Em Hotep! took notice.  So does a new article and video on Dr. Hawass’ website finally put the question to rest?

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g2m-tabLast week Shemsu trudged out into the cold and rain just to bring a local interest story to Em Hotep!’s Kentuckiana readers.  Stuffed grape leaves, butter-scotch baklava, and bellydancing.  These are just a few of the hazards I braved to bring you this exclusive.

Pictured to the left, Shemsu’s better half—Sekhmet.

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25
Sep

Dra Abu el-Naga: Ray Stole My Tomb

   Posted by: Shemsu Sesen

   in Egypt in the News, Tombs, Valley of the Kings

dra1-tabDra Abu el-Naga is a sort of suburb, if you will, of the Valley of the Kings where some tombs belonging to Seventeenth Dynasty royalty (such as Queen Ahhotep I, to the left) have been discovered, along with the tombs of Theban priests and officials.

Zahi Hawass has released a new video, which premiered at Heritage Key, with some of the recent discoveries at Dra Abu el-Naga, including some details about the tomb of Amun-Em-Opet, the Supervisor of Hunters.

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3
Sep

Eighteenth Dynasty

   Posted by: Shemsu Sesen

   in

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dna-tabKate Phizackerley of News from the Valley of the Kings has raised a few questions of her own regarding DNA Testing Limitations.  It is the most accessible treatment of the subject that I have seen so far, and if you really want to have a thorough understanding of this very interesting story as it unfolds, you owe it to yourself to give it a read.

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wot-tabIf I were a stockbroker and Nefertiti was a commodity, I would be advising my clients to buy.  Dr. Zahi Hawass’ last year with the Supreme Council of Antiquities promises to be an interesting one, with robots crawling the Great Pyramid, mummies in CT scanners, and rumors of KV64.

But somehow Nefertiti seems to keep slipping back into the story.

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