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Author Topic: THE GREAT ATEN  (Read 12222 times)
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« Reply #45 on: February 26, 2008, 12:00:55 pm »

That raises another fascinating and enigmatic issue concerning Akhenaten's revolution, the
centrality of his family in the public presentation of his regime.

Not only do we have many depictions of the beautiful Nefertiti, Akhenaten's principal wife—
more, in fact, than of Akhenaten himself!—but we can trace the royal daughters' births year
by year, and sadly sometimes their deaths as well. Reliefs even show the royal couple play-
ing with the girls. Like no pharaoh before or after him, Akhenaten was family-oriented.

Thus, it seems unlikely he was actually unsexed or a hermaphrodite, certainly not a eunuch,
but the real father of the children he professes, at least through his art, to adore so fondly.
But the gender-bending portraits of him seem ill-suited for such a family man, by modern
standards at least. 

Nefertiti's depictions are not immune to cross-gendering, either. She's shown at least once
wearing the blue crown, the helmet kings don as they go into battle. She's the only Egyptian
queen ever known to have been depicted that way, including Queen Hatshepsut, the woman
who ruled Egypt singlehandedly for two decades a century before (see Section 9).

There's something very odd, by any standard, about the way the Amarna rulers chose to portray themselves.

Indeed, the entire family is depicted with elongated faces and skulls, wide hips and sagging
bellies. The tall hat Nefertiti wears in her famous bust is probably covering—perhaps even
accentuating—her pointed head beneath, even though surely she was not also congenitally
deformed, and certainly as the mother of six daughters, not sexless. Nor were the girls, which
is all the more evidence Akhenaten was not, either.

Naturalistic portraiture seems a less likely explanation of the oddities inherent in this family
than some sort of stylized rendering. There's doubtless something abnormal about them,
but what? And why?

That the royal family constitutes the only people ever portrayed this way is surely a clue.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2008, 12:05:47 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
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