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AKHENATEN/TUTANKHAMUN

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Bianca
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« Reply #885 on: October 12, 2008, 11:07:21 pm »










The broad doorways between the three brick pylons were originally floored with limestone blocks. The gypsum plaster foundations for these survive and have been planned in detail. They have been covered with sand to protect them, and a new single layer of limestone blocks has been laid over the top. These replacement floors create a clear horizontal ground line which helps visitors to appreciate the fact that the temple was built on rising ground. They also advertise the fact that there were originally monumental stone doorways between the brick pylon towers. In the case of the first pylon, which formed the front entrance to the temple, the original gypsum layer was itself on two levels, implying that a raised portion had stood in the middle. We interpret this as evidence that a platform or pedestal, perhaps reached by stairs, stood in the middle of the gateway. The shape of this central feature has been reproduced in a second layer of limestone blocks.

 



The gateway in the first pylon after re-excavation in 1987. The original gypsum-concrete layer has been exposed.
It is this which provides the authority for restoring the pavement in new limestone blocks. Note the central raised part, which must have supported stonework at a higher level, probably a stone platform.
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« Reply #886 on: October 12, 2008, 11:10:12 pm »





 Laying the stone floor in the gateway of the first pylon








Laying the stone floor in the gateway of the first pylon. The upper layer is probably the base of a low platform
with its own ramps or stairways. The evidence for its existance was preserved in the underlying gypsum-concrete foundation layer, which was on two levels.

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« Reply #887 on: October 12, 2008, 11:14:15 pm »






View along the axis of the temple, from the stone pavement in the first pylon.

The stone pavements in the gateways of the second and third pylons (in the middle distance)
emphasise the rising ground level from west to east.
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« Reply #888 on: October 12, 2008, 11:16:58 pm »





                       







The Amarna Trust is registered with
the Charity Commission as no. 1113058.
Its registered address is:



The McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research

University of Cambridge

Downing Street
Cambridge CB2 3ER
United Kingdom



It is also supported by, and works in conjunction with, the Egypt Exploration Society



http://www.amarnaproject.com/
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« Reply #889 on: October 13, 2008, 09:33:20 pm »

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« Reply #890 on: October 13, 2008, 09:35:06 pm »









                                                          Nefertiti's Eyes 






Volume 61 Number
2, March/April 2008 
by Earl L. Ertman 


                     Did the queen's distinctive feature become a symbol of Egyptian royalty?


All eyes were on the Valley of the Kings the morning of February 5, 2006, when our expedition first looked into the chamber now known as KV63, the first tomb found in Egypt's Valley of the Kings since that of Tutankhamun (KV62) in 1922.

Press speculation was rampant over what the tomb might hold. Would our expedition find the mummies of royal women from the late 18th Dynasty, such as Queen Nefertiti, thought by some to be Tut's mother? Or the six princesses she bore to the pharaoh Akhenaten, including Tut's queen, Ankhesenamun? The mummies of these women have either not been found or identified. Perhaps they were removed from Akhenaten's capital at Amarna when a later king, presumably Tut, returned to the traditional capital of Thebes on the Nile opposite the Valley of the Kings. Did Tut rebury them in the Valley?

After taking out several stones blocking the doorway from the tomb shaft into the chamber, we peered through the narrow opening. Inside, we could see many large ceramic jars and several wooden coffins, some with yellow-painted faces. The press speculation was incorrect on all counts. We found no mummies in any of the tomb's seven coffins and no inscriptions to tell us for whom these coffins were initially intended.

But while studying the coffins, I discovered--in the eyes of faces painted on three of them--an intriguing link to Nefertiti, the queen whose name means, simply, "the beautiful one has come." While none of the coffins held Nefertiti's remains, the eyes may tell us something unexpected about her celebrated beauty. Was it in part the result of a genetic syndrome?   
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« Reply #891 on: October 13, 2008, 09:36:22 pm »










If not a royal tomb, what was KV63? Finds include the seven coffins, a small gilt coffinette, two large alabaster vessels, floral garlands, pillows, natron (the natural salt used in mummification), and many ceramics. It seems to have been a cache of material used by embalmers, but including coffins, unused or salvaged from disturbed burials, suitable for upper-class, but not elite or royal, funerals.

Although KV63 didn't yield the mummies of Nefertiti, Ankhesenamun, and the rest, the tomb is linked to Tutankhamun's time. Seal impressions found there match some discovered in Tut's tomb, which is just 50 feet away. KV63's date should fall within or close to Tut's reign (1343-1333 B.C.), but association with his burial is uncertain at this point. Perhaps we will gain further evidence for the date of KV63 from the contents of the remaining 16, of 28 total, storage jars that we plan to open this season.

Otto Schaden, our expedition director, asked me, as staff art historian and object analyst, if any information could be gleaned from the coffins to narrow this date range. I began with the four coffins that had yellow-painted faces. The KV63 coffins were almost totally destroyed by termites, but the faces were made separately. Faces on coffins were often covered with thin plaster or gesso as a base for gilding or painting (as in the KV63 coffins). The termites seem to prefer untreated wood, so while the remainder of the coffins were mostly consumed, the gessoed and painted faces survived.
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« Reply #892 on: October 13, 2008, 09:37:56 pm »


















In the art of the ancient Near East, including Egypt, females were generally depicted with lighter skin than males. Were the coffins with light yellow faces made for women? Two such coffins in museum collections, however, were inscribed for males. Furthermore, a painting in a tomb in Thebes shows coffins of Nebamun and Ipuky, sculptors who worked during the reigns of kings Amenhotep III and his son Akhenaten. Each of their black coffins has a yellow-painted face. So rather than indicating the coffins were for females, the yellow faces probably copied those of the very wealthy, who could afford gold faces on their coffins.

With no inscriptions and the ambiguous nature of the yellow face color, I began looking at other characteristics that might prove helpful, such as the shape and details of the faces. In doing that, the eyes on three of the painted KV63 coffins brought me back to Nefertiti.

Nefertiti is best known from the painted bust of her found at Amarna and now in Berlin. Her parentage is not entirely certain, but most Egyptologists believe she was the daughter of the powerful courtier Ay, who eventually succeeded Tutankhamun.

The face of one, which we designated coffin A, had eyes rimmed with blue glass in a traditional shape, unlike the other three coffins with yellow faces, designated B, F, and G. What links the eyes of these three coffins, beside the fact that all are painted, is that the inner canthus--the corner of the eye near the nose--descends abruptly and abuts the upper lid, giving them an East Asian appearance. Nefertiti's famous bust illustrates this eye shape better than words. Both her proper right eye and the empty socket of the left show this form. What is the meaning of this eye shape?
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« Reply #893 on: October 13, 2008, 09:39:35 pm »



Coffin F is one of three from KV63, an embalmer's cache
from around the time of Tutankhamun, that shows faces
with eyes shaped similarly to Nefertiti's.

(Heather Alexander/Amenmesse Project
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« Reply #894 on: October 13, 2008, 09:41:48 pm »



Object in the Ägyptisches Museum Berlin
(Egyptian museum, building of the New Museum),

Berlin, Germany.










One of the earliest appearances of Nefertiti's unusual eye shape is on a stela showing the royal family. Found at Amarna and now in Berlin, it is dated by an inscription to before years 8 through 12 of Akhenaten's reign, or around 1350 B.C. On the stela, however, Akhenaten's eye shape is "normal" and resembles those seen on sculptures of him in Thebes, but Nefertiti's is not. So this stela may show a real, physical condition.

It could be that Nefertiti had an epicanthic fold, a piece of skin from the upper eyelid covering the inner edge of the eye. This feature is found not just in people of East Asian descent, but also in individuals with a number of different syndromes--groups of symptoms characteristic of an abnormality--some of which are genetically based. Some syndromes are debilitating, others less so, and still others are passed only from mothers to daughters. We are currently investigating the possibility that Nefertiti's eyes reflect such an underlying physical condition, but without her remains no diagnosis can be made (and the evidence may have been destroyed or altered during mummification).

If a genetically based physical trait was the basis for this eye shape, did Nefertiti pass it on to her children and was it recorded in the appearance of their eyes in artwork? Images of Nefertiti show the trait more frequently and markedly than those of any other individual portrayed at Amarna.

German excavators at Amarna in 1912 found many representations of Nefertiti and her daughters in the studio of an artist named Tuthmosis, including the painted bust of Nefertiti. Many of these representations are in various stages of completion, but their distinctive eyes are easily noticed.

This is especially clear in a relief, now in the Brooklyn Museum, that may show Meritaten, the queen's eldest daughter.
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« Reply #895 on: October 13, 2008, 09:43:43 pm »



Tutankhamun's "Lotus Head"








                                       It is possible that Nefertiti was Tutankhamun's mother.





If so, it wouldn't be surprising if he were shown with an eye shape similar to hers. This is the case with some depictions, such as a wooden head of the young pharaoh that was found in his tomb. It shows his head, sprouting from a lotus bloom, with eyes that match those of Nefertiti.

Other explanations for its appearance with Tut include the possibility that his mother was not Nefertiti but perhaps a woman of the extended royal family who also carried the trait. And it could even be that Tut did not have the eye shape himself, if his mother was a woman other than Nefertiti who did not have it or if the trait was passed only from mothers to daughters. In either case, Tut could be shown with it simply as an artistic continuance of the characteristic.

If the sculptor Tuthmosis were responsible for recording and then re-creating this eye shape, perhaps he extended its use from those who actually had it to--as an artistic convention--a "royal marker" to distinguish images of the king and a few select nobles. For example, this eye shape is also seen on a representation of King Amenhotep III, Akhenaten's father, seated in a relaxed pose with his wife Queen Tiy on a stela found at Amarna, and now in the British Museum. Amenhotep III was Nefertiti's father-in-law, but this stela was probably carved after his death, so the eye shape does not predate its appearance on Nefertiti. It is also used in the 19th Dynasty, such as in depictions of the pharaoh Seti I at Abydos and of Nefertari, queen of Rameses II, who died around 1254 B.C.

And this brings us back to KV63, with its upper-class coffins. Like the yellow faces meant to represent gilding, did the eye shape seek to portray a "royal marker" derived from Nefertiti's own eyes?

The final word is not yet in, but there seems to be a high probability that Nefertiti herself had eyes with epicanthic folds or eyes with a similar shape with descending inner canthi. Eyes of this type undoubtedly created what must have been quite a striking feature to all who saw her. This may have been passed along to some of her royal offspring. Moreover, in the sun cult that they fostered, both Nefertiti and her husband Akhenaten were the only ones through whom prayers could be directed to the solar god Aten. This divine or semi-divine status may have accounted for this eye shape being transformed into an artistic convention that was copied by high-ranking officials and subsequent rulers.




Earl L. Ertman is a professor emeritus at the University of Akron. An authority on art of the Amarna period, he is a member of the KV63 expedition.


For news of the 2008 season at the tomb, see www.kv-63.com. The excavation is part of the Amenmesse Project, a mission of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities.

 


© 2008 by the Archaeological Institute of America
www.archaeology.org/0803/etc/nefertiti.html
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« Reply #896 on: October 13, 2008, 09:49:58 pm »










                             The Androgynous Pharaoh? Akhenaten had feminine physique






By ALEX DOMINGUEZ –
May  2, 2008

BALTIMORE (AP) — Akhenaten wasn't the most manly pharaoh, even though he fathered at least a
half-dozen children.

In fact, his form was quite feminine. And he was a bit of an egghead.

So concludes a Yale University physician who analyzed images of Akhenaten for an annual conference Friday at the University of Maryland School of Medicine on the deaths of historic figures.

The female form was due to a genetic mutation that caused the pharaoh's body to convert more male hormones to female hormones than needed, Dr. Irwin Braverman believes. And Akhenaten's head was misshapen because of a condition in which skull bones fuse at an early age.

The pharaoh had "an androgynous appearance. He had a female physique with wide hips and breasts, but he was male and he was fertile and he had six daughters," Braverman said. "But nevertheless, he looked like he had a female physique."

Braverman, who sizes up the health of individuals based on portraits, teaches a class at Yale's medical school that uses paintings from the university's Center for British Art to teach observation skills to first-year students. For his study of Akhenaten, he used statues and carvings.

Akhenaten (ah-keh-NAH-ten), best known for introducing a revolutionary form of monotheism to ancient Egypt, reigned in the mid-1300s B.C. He was married to Nefertiti, and Tutankhamun, also known as King Tut, may have been his son or half brother.

Egyptologist and archaeologist Donald B. Redford said he supports Braverman's belief that Akhenaten had Marfan syndrome, a genetic disorder marked by lengthened features, including fingers and the face.

Visiting clinics that treat those with the condition has strengthened that conviction, "but this is very subjective, I must admit," said Redford, a professor of classic and ancient Mediterranean studies at Penn State University.

Others have theorized Akhenaten and his lineage had Froehlich's Syndrome, which causes feminine fat distribution but also sterility. That doesn't fit Akhenaten, who had at least six daughters, Braverman said.

Klinefelter Syndrome, a genetic condition that can also cause gynecomastia, or male breast enlargement, has also been suggested, but Braverman said he suspects familial gynecomastia, a hereditary condition that leads to the overproduction of estrogen.

The Yale doctor said determining whether he is right can easily be done if Egyptologists can confirm which mummy is Akhenaten's and if Egyptian government officials agree to DNA analysis.

Braverman hopes his theory will lead them to do just that.

"I'm hoping that after we have this conference and I bring this up, maybe the Egyptologists who work on these things all the time, maybe they will be stimulated to look," he said.




Previous conferences have examined the deaths of Edgar Allan Poe, Alexander the Great, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Florence Nightingale and others.




http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5hdvQNzx1hwtpXa2_M-CQn2wjs08AD90DE8AG0
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« Reply #897 on: October 13, 2008, 09:52:47 pm »










                                                  DNA tests on foetus mummies 





 
 Washington, D.C.
August 21: 2008
ANI

A scientist has said that the ongoing analysis on the mummified remains of two female foetuses buried in the tomb of Tutankhamun will most likely show that at least one of the stillborn children is the offspring of the teenage Egyptian Pharaoh.

The scientist in question is Robert Connolly, senior lecturer in physical anthropology from the University of Liverpool’s Department of Human Anatomy and Cell Biology, who has carried serological analysis on the mummified remains of the two foetuses.

“I studied one of the mummies, the larger one, back in 1979 (and) determined the blood group data from this baby mummy and compared it with my 1969 blood grouping of Tutankhamun,” said Connolly.

“The results confirmed that these larger foetuses could indeed be the daughter of Tutankhamen,” he added.

The foetuses have been stored at the Cairo University’s Faculty of Medicine since archaeologist Howard Carter first discovered them in Tutankhamun's tomb on the west bank of Luxor, Egypt in 1922.

Egyptologists have long debated whether these mummies were the stillborn children of King Tut and his wife Ankhesenamun or if they were placed in the tomb with the symbolic purpose of allowing the boy king to live as newborns in the afterlife.

Never publicly displayed, the two foetuses will soon undergo CT scans and DNA testing to determine possible diseases and their relation to the famous pharaoh, and possibly “identify the foetuses’ mother,” Zahi Hawass, the head of Egypt’s Supreme Council of Antiquities, said in a statement.

“This is a very important project, as these foetuses have never been fully studied,” Swiss anatomist and paleopathologist Frank Ruhli told Discovery News.

The smaller foetus, about five months in gestational age, has only been examined by Carter in 1925. The mummy is less than 30 centimeters (11.8 inches) in height and is well preserved, according to Ruhli.

The older, larger foetus is estimated to be between seven and nine months in gestational age. It is less well preserved than the other and measures 38.5 centimeters (15.16 inches).

According to Hawass, DNA tests might help solve the riddle of the mummies and even more mysteries around King Tut.

“The foetuses might help identify the lineage and the family of King Tutankhamun, particularly his parents,” he said.

“Since these two foetuses were found in the tomb of Tutankhamen, there is no reason to think that they were other than his offspring, a matter supported by my 1979 blood group studies,” said Connolly.

The two foetuses will be studied at a new ancient DNA lab opening at Cairo University to supplement research at a similar lab created at the Egyptian Museum, with funding from the Discovery Channel.

The DNA tests and CT scans should be finished by December.

ANI 
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« Reply #898 on: October 13, 2008, 09:56:37 pm »










              Bodies found in the tomb of 'boy king' Tutankhamun's tomb are twin daughters






September 1, 2008

The foetuses placed next to Tutankhamun will undergo DNA tests

Two foetuses found buried with Tutankhamun may have been his twin daughters, an expert has claimed.

Professor Robert Connolly, an anatomist who is working with Egyptian authorities to analyse the tomb of the Egyptian Pharaoh, says that preliminary tests on the mummified remains of the two still-born babies indicate that Tutankhamun may have fathered them both. He will present the new findings at the Pharmacy and Medicine in Ancient Egypt Conference at the University of Manchester today.

Professor Connolly, who first studied the remains of Tutankhamun in the Sixties, said: “The two foetuses in the tomb of Tutankhamun could be twins, despite their very different size and thus fit better as a single pregnancy for his young wife [Ankhesenamun]. This increases the likelihood of them being Tutankhamun's children.”

“I studied one of the mummies, the larger one, back in 1979, determined the blood group data from this baby mummy and compared it with my 1969 blood grouping of Tutankhamun. The results confirmed that this larger foetus could indeed be the daughter of Tutankhamun.


“Now we believe that they are twins and they were both his children.”

Professor Connolly, a physical anthropologist at the University of Liverpool, said: “It is a very exciting finding which will not only paint a more detailed picture of this famous young king's life and death, it will also tell us more about his lineage.”

The foetuses have been stored at the Faculty of Medicine in Cairo University since the archaeologist Howard Carter discovered them in the teenage king's tomb on the west bank of Luxor in 1922. Egyptologists have long debated whether they were his children or if they were placed in the tomb with the symbolic purpose of allowing the famous pharaoh to live on as newborns in the afterlife.

The answer to this hereditary puzzle is closer because the two foetuses are to undergo CT scans and DNA testing to determine possible diseases and their relation to Tutankhamun. The smaller foetus is about five months in gestational age and the larger foetus is estimated to be between seven and nine months. The results of the remaining tests are due in December.

“We are very proud to have Professor Connolly speaking at the conference and are extremely excited about his new findings,” said the conference director Rosalie David, of the University of Manchester's Faculty of Life Sciences.

“Tutankhamun is such an important figure in Egyptology. He was a fascinating character whose tomb and indeed body has given us so much information about life in Ancient Egypt, and it seems that he will continue to do so for some time yet.”

More than 100 delegates from ten countries will be attending the conference. It intends to bring together the two elements of Ancient Egyptian healthcare practices — pharmacy and medicine.




http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/specials/tutankhamun/article4648589.ece
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« Reply #899 on: October 13, 2008, 10:02:20 pm »










                                                    Pharaoh gets his eye back






Agence France-Presse
From correspondents in Cairo
September 10, 2008

SWITZERLAND is to return a pharaoh's "eye" stolen 36 years ago from the ancient Egyptian statue of King Amenhotep III.

"The eye is around 50cm long and was stolen from Amenhotep III's statue, which was discovered in 1970 in his Luxor temple," Egypt's culture minister Faruk Hosni said.

The eye was stolen in 1972 when a fire broke out around the temple.

"The thieves sold it to an American antiquities dealer who then auctioned it at Sotheby's," he said.

There, the eye was bought by a German antiquities dealer before ending up in a museum in Basel, Switzerland.

"The Swiss museum unconditionally accepted to return the eye of Amenhotep III back to Egypt," antiquities supremo Zahi Hawass said.

Amenhotep III ruled Egypt for about 40 years during the 18th dynasty (1550-1292 BC), believed to be one of the most prosperous periods of ancient Egyptian history.
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