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AKHENATEN/TUTANKHAMUN

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Bianca
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« Reply #1095 on: March 22, 2009, 07:39:22 pm »











Which is probably true. But not, according to Thomas Hoving, for the reasons Carter gave. "Their lack of sleep had nothing to do with these questions, for they had already obtained the answer to most of them. Carter's published account of his first examination of the antechamber and its contents is highly deceiving - it is a lie."


If they "slept but little... that night," alleges Hoving, it was because they "... spent practically the whole of it physically inside the tomb, penetrating even into the Burial Chamber, moving objects around, and disguising their entry..." Quoting unpublished materials in the Egyptian Department of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Hoving says that rather than re-sealing the peephole, Carter enlarged it so that first Lady Evelyn, the smallest in the party, then Lord Carnarvon and Carter, and finally Carter's American assistant, Pecky Callender, could squeeze through.


The four intruders, says Hoving, "darted from one treasure to the next like scavengers... dimly realizing how close to the feeling of the ancient thieves were their emotions," and "feeling that they should keep looking over their shoulders, lest they be caught." Carter, Hoving goes on, was dismayed to discover that the third sealed door had also been penetrated, and was consumed by the desire to find out if the burial chamber, which he assumed lay beyond, had been plundered. Prying loose some of the stone blocks that had been used to re-seal the doorway, Carter, followed by Lord Carnarvon and Lady Evelyn, squeezed through. Before them stood the doors of a great blue-and-gold shrine, bolted but not sealed.


Carter drew back the two ebony bolts and the great doors swung open, revealing the doors of yet another shrine. To Carter's great relief, the seals of the inner shrine were not broken, indicating that at this stage the cemetery guards had discovered the tomb robbers and the king had not been disturbed. Their curiosity satisfied, the intruders withdrew, re-closing their entry holes behind them. They took with them, says Hoving, a magnificent perfume box Carter found between the first and second shrines, and a beautiful alabaster chalice from the antechamber.
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« Reply #1096 on: March 22, 2009, 07:40:37 pm »










Hoving, apparently, overlooked Herbert's disclosures; in the introduction to his book, published in 1978, Hoving says that "in all the accounts (of the discovery) published up to now" the facts of the break were omitted. Actually the extracts were disclosed in 1972, six years earlier, by a British author named Barry Wynne, in a book entitled Behind the Mask of Tutankhamen - in which Adamson collaborated with Wynne and attempted to verify it. He says he sent a copy of her alleged confession to Lady Evelyn asking for her comments. She replied: "Having read the enclosed very carefully, I have no recollection at all of this incident happening."


To complicate it still further, my research turned up information that does not fit any of those versions. No one - not Hoving, not Carter, not Lady Evelyn in her letter, nor Herbert in his diary - mentioned that the Times once ran an article by Lord Carnarvon himself openly admitting that Carnarvon, Carter and Lady Evelyn entered the ante-chamber - but not the burial chamber - on the night of the discovery.


In that article - published December 11, two weeks after the discovery - Lord Carnarvon describes their first view of the treasures through the peephole and then goes on to say, "we enlarged the hole and Mr. Carter managed to scramble in." After enlarging the hole still further, he says, "we went into the ante-chamber to examine the treasures more closely/' But, he adds, they resisted the urge to break down the "tantalizing wall" leading to the burial chamber because "it would have been harmful and almost impossible to do before clearing the first room of its contents and we must possess our souls in patience until this is done"
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« Reply #1097 on: March 22, 2009, 07:41:38 pm »










So what did happen?


Richard Adamson, the only survivor of those who were there, insists that Carter was not involved but Dr. I. E. Edwards, former Head of the Egyptian antiquities department at the British Museum, tends to go along with the version written by Lord Carnarvon and published in the Times— on the grounds that it would be logical behavior on making such a discovery. He also said he thinks it "likely" that Carter would have at least poked his head into the burial chamber simply to ascertain that there would be something to show the Cairo officials if they came, but at this distance, it is impossible to determine precisely what did happen in what sequence.






And does it really matter?


After all, it was Carter who found, and preserved for Egypt some 5,000 priceless items found in the tomb, including the 22-pound gold mask, countless other statues, chalices, earrings and necklaces, and of course, the coffin: 2,448 pounds of pure gold worth, at 1981 prices, more than $13 million. Could he - and Lord Carnarvon, who put up $500,000 of his own money to finance the search - really be excited by one small chalice and a tiny box?


Furthermore - though this has been overlooked - Lord Carnarvon and Carter had a perfect right to enter the tomb. As Foreign Office records show, articles of the "authorization to excavate," an agreement between the Director General of antiquity services and Lord Carnarvon signed on April 18,1915, unequivocally gives them that right: "To the permittee himself [Carnarvon] shall be reserved the privilege of opening the tomb or monument discovered and of being the first to enter therein."


In any case, Lord Carnarvon didn't live long enough to enjoy their triumph; in March, just four months later, he was bitten by a mosquito as he left the tomb and the next day, while shaving, nicked the bite with his razor. As a result, the infection spread, blood poisoning set in, followed by pulmonary pneumonia of which, on April 6,1923, in Cairo,
he died.
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« Reply #1098 on: March 22, 2009, 07:43:07 pm »










In the 1920s, of course, death from pneumonia was common. Nevertheless, newspapers around the world began to attribute Lord Carnarvon's death to a "curse" from the tomb when, it was reported, all the lights in Cairo went out and Lord Carnarvon's pet terrier suddenly howled, rolled over and died at Highclere Castle in England 4,000 miles away - both at the same moment that Lord Carnarvon died.


Not everyone accepted the story of the curse, but Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, acclaimed creator of Sherlock Holmes, did - publicly. And even skeptics began to wonder when an investigation showed that there had been an unexplained power failure in Cairo that night.


Around the world, as a result, fear spread swiftly. In England hundreds of people packed up antiquities and souvenirs from Egypt and sent them to the British Museum, and in the United States several politicians went so far as to demand an investigation of mummies in various museums to determine whether they presented any medical danger to the public.


In 1930, the "curse" hit the headlines again when Lord Westbury committed suicide following the sudden death of his son, Richard - who had served as Carter's secretary during the opening of the tomb - and when a young boy was run over and killed by Lord Westbury's hearse enroute to the cemetery.


The story was revived still again when two archeologists, one from the Louvre, the other from the Metropolitan, both died - reportedly right after visiting the tomb. In 1967 the press trotted it out still again when the man who had signed the contracts to send King Tut exhibits to Paris was hit by a car and died - as the treasures were being packed - and when a leading antiquarian was killed just after leaving the exhibit. In 1972 Dr. Gamal Mehrez, director of the Egyptian Antiquities Department, suffered a cerebral hemorrhage as the Tut treasures were being packed for an exhibition in London.
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« Reply #1099 on: March 22, 2009, 07:44:07 pm »









In all, some 40 deaths have been attributed to the "curse of Tutankhamen," and as we struggled to get Adamson and his wheelchair down the steps to Tufs tomb I couldn't help thinking it was an ideal time for the pharaoh to strike again. The steps and the passageway plunge at a 45-degree angle into the earth and with only two of us able to get a proper grip on the chair, one slip that day and Adamson could have hurtled down the whole flight.


Adamson, however, was not perturbed. "The curse," he says, "is absolute rubbish."


According to Adamson, the story of the curse started when a British newspaper reported that a curse - on all who entered - had been found inscribed on the entrance to the tomb. In fact, says Adamson, although curses were inscribed on some Egyptian tombs to deter thieves, none whatsoever was found in that of Tutankhamen. But Carter decided not to deny the newspaper report, says Adamson, because, as Carter put it: "It will do wonders for security if this thing gets around."


Furthermore, Adamson says, of the 40 people said to have been killed by the curse, many of them had never been in Egypt at all and only seven had anything to do with the excavation. There was, for example, Colonel Aubrey Herbert, who never visited the tomb, but was confused with his brother Mervyn (author of the apparently incriminating diary). Then there was the workman in the British Museum, said to have fallen dead while labeling objects from the tomb, when, in fact, the museum had no such objects in its collection.


Certainly Tutankhamen took no revenge on Howard Carter, who died in 1939 of natural causes at the age of 66, or on Lady Evelyn Herbert, who lived, until 1980, to the ripe old age of 82, or, for that matter, Adamson himself.
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« Reply #1100 on: March 22, 2009, 07:45:10 pm »










But what of Adamson? Couldn't the loss of his legs be due to the curse? "I lost them," the old soldier says categorically, "through the curse of war, and no other curse." His doctors confirm that he had to have his legs amputated in the mid-seventies because of damage caused to his arteries by gas poisoning in the First World War - before he ever went to Egypt.


Despite his disability, Adamson remains irrepressibly cheerful and not at all self-conscious. In Egypt he amused himself by asking startled shoe-shine boys for a shine, and enroute cracked up the cabin crew by demanding a pair of in-flight slippers like everybody else. Only once during our trip did he get even slightly ruffled: when over-zealous ground staff at Cairo airport tried to put him on a stretcher to carry him off the plane. "I don't need that damn thing yet," he exploded.


That certainly seemed true. Although confined to a wheelchair, Adamson, at the time we began to discuss the discovery, was traveling all over Britain giving lectures on Tutankhamen - and donating the fees to the Royal Star and Garter Home.


As a consequence, Adamson has achieved a degree of fame. When word got around the Old Winter Palace Hotel at Luxor, he was inundated by questions from fellow guests, and one Italian tour group, who recognized him from a recent appearance on Italian television, asked him to tell them of his experiences.


In his talks, Adamson tells how, following the discovery of the tomb, he was seconded by the army to the expedition as security officer, a job he held until 1930 when the last of the 5,000 treasures had been removed from the tomb and shipped to Cairo. For almost seven years, he says, he patrolled the area -unobtrusively dressed in ordinary clothes, his revolver hidden, an umbrella on his shoulder to ward off the sun - and slept each night in the tomb itself along with the mummified pharaoh.
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« Reply #1101 on: March 22, 2009, 07:46:04 pm »










Was he ever frightened? "Not really, but it was a little creepy down there." Particularly disconcerting, he says, were the two life-sized statues that stood guard, one on each side of the door to the burial chamber. Carter told him that these were the Royal Kas, refuge for the pharaoh's soul during mummification and within which, it was believed, the pharaoh still lived. "I'd have got a right fright," says Adamson, "if I had woken up one night and found the blighters bending over me."When the antechamber had been cleared, Sergeant Adamson moved his army camp bed into the burial chamber, sleeping right next to Tutankhamen's priceless coffin.


Adamson, by then, was not alone. The Government Antiquities Guard and a detachment of Egyptian soldiers watched the valley around the clock, and Sergeant Adamson, locked in the tomb, could throw a switch by his bed and activate a flashing red light above ground in case of emergency.


It was lonely, of course, but Adamson whiled away his vigil by playing opera records on an old gramophone that Carter had provided. The operas, he said, also served another purpose. "The scratchy strains of music coming from the tomb were enough to scare off any robbers."


Returning to his past last April, after nearly 60 years, was a visibly moving experience for the old soldier. At first, he was confused by the changes made in the meantime - the dividing wall between the antechamber and burial chamber has been removed and replaced by a railed platform - but soon got his bearings. "Right there," he said, pointing to the space between the giant quartzite sarcophagus and the wall of the burial chamber, "that’s where I had my bed." And for a few moments he sat there in the narrow passage, lost in thought, his head bowed, his eyes half closed and saying nothing.


Unfortunately, King Tutankhamen's tomb is one of the great tourist attractions in Egypt and so, unaware of what was happening, backed-up crowds behind him began to protest the delay. As a result, Adamson, the last survivor of an expedition that spent 15 years finding and excavating the tomb, was allowed less than five minutes in it. Adamson, however, did not complain. "I never dreamed," he said, "that I would ever come back again for even such a brief visit. Thank you very much for bringing me."


I didn't complain either. We had proved that it was possible for a disabled person to make a singularly difficult trip without excessive difficulty. We had defied the "curse" of Tutankhamen and it did appear, as Adamson had said, to be "rubbish." And though we hadn't conclusively proven why and under what circumstances the tomb was entered, we didn't, at the end, mind at all. Somehow, in the dim interior of the tomb, it no longer seemed to matter.





John Lawton is a regular contributor to Aramco World.




This article appeared on pages 10-21 of the


November/December 1981 print edition of

Saudi Aramco World.
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« Reply #1102 on: March 22, 2009, 07:47:05 pm »




             








                                                              R E V I E W






A Journey Between Souls is the biography of Richard Adamson, the security guard who protected an ancient Pharaoh's tomb in Egypt while it was being excavated. Long-time friend Elaine Edgar has recounted the amazing story of Adamson's experiences from letters he sent to her and with the help of his old suitcase, which was filled with information relating to the tomb discovery.
The story tells of his exciting journey into the Valley of the Kings and how he slept in the tomb of Tutankhamun for seven years.

Mr. Adamson had to have both his legs amputated but his had nothing to do with the so-called curse of the mummy, says Elaine. "He always told me that his leg problems were from the curse of the war, not of the tomb... He said that the curse was made up to keep journalists and tourists away from the site and the treasures." -- Gillian Ellison, Whitehaven News - U.K., Jan 23, 1997

A battered suitcase discovered in a Scottish attic may at last prove an old man's claim that he was responsible for the discovery of the tomb of Tutankhamen.

It was filled with old photographs, a movie film and notes made by Corporal Richard Adamson, a mysterious figure who acted as assistant to British Egyptologist Howard Carter, but who has not been mentioned in the dozens of books written about the discovery; not even by Carter.

When Carter was picking over the last area he was to dig in Egypt's Valley of the Kings in November 1922, his aide was Adamson, a stocky 23-year-old who was, in fact, a spy...

Now, 15 years after his death, British author Elaine Edgar, who befriended Adamson when he was a lonely old man, has discovered a suitcase with photographs and notes which she says prove he was telling the truth about his discovery... -- Desmond Zwar, Sunday Herald - Australia, March 8, 1998

Chief among the archaeologists who have been applauded over the years for discovering the tomb of Tutankhamun were Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon, but there was a third player in the drama whose vital part has never been fully acknowledged.

Richard Adamson, a military policeman, was posted from Cairo to Luxor, officially to supervise the shipping of military surveying equipment. What might have been a brief assignment turned into a ten-year stint as he graduated to guardian of the tomb of Tutankhamun.

For seven years, he slept in the boy king's shrine, whiling away the nights with his gramophone and books...
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« Reply #1103 on: March 22, 2009, 07:48:12 pm »









Mrs. Edgar first met Adamson in 1973 when he was lecturing as the last survivor of "the find of the century." They became close friends. To write this book she has had access to letters, family papers, Adamson's own account of his experiences, and the contents of his recently discovered battered old suitcase. -- George Bott, Keswick Reminder - U.K., April 25, 1997

For 75 years the discovery of the tomb of the Egyptian Pharaoh Tutankhamun and subsequent events have been a topic of heated debate among Egyptologists and archaeologists. A Journey Between Souls is the true story of a soldier, Richard Adamson, who was present at the discovery of Tutankhamen's tomb, and who slept at and guarded the boy god/king's tomb for seven years. Elaine Edgar, the author of this remarkable story, is a British Egyptologist who for ten years was the friend and confidante of Richard Adamson. A Journey Between Souls is the result of the discovery of an aging suitcase in a dusty attic in Scotland, belonging to Richard Adamson. This simple suitcase turned out to be a veritable treasure chest containing a wealth of information relating to the tomb's discovery and its aftermath. A Journey Between Souls is one of those rare works of nonfiction that are as gripping as any novel. Easy to pick up and hard to put down, A Journey Between Souls is "must" reading for anyone who has ever seen the fabled treasure of the pharonic boy king, or heard tales of its discovery and the fates that befell men afterwards! -- Midwest Book Review

Interest in Richard Adamson's role in the discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb has been reawakened by a new book by Elaine Edgar, who befriended Adamson during his latter years. As a young military policeman, he was sent to the Valley of the Kings to work for an archaeology team led by Lord Carnarvon and Howard Carter. Mr. Adamson had been watching workmen uncovering some ancient huts when he noticed an unusual looking stone and reported it to Carter. It proved to be the first of a flight of steps leading to Tutankhamun's tomb.

The temporary posting turned into a long-term assignment as Mr. Adamson stayed on to guard the tomb, ultimately as a civilian, until work finally came to an end in 1982.

He remained silent about his experiences until after the death of his wife Kate in 1967. After his wife's death, Adamson toured the country, giving lectures on the discovery of the tomb. --



Richard Bettsworth,

Portsmouth News -
U.K., Feb 24, 1997



http://www.amazon.com/Journey-Between-Souls-Soldier-Pharaoh/dp/1888580003
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« Reply #1104 on: March 22, 2009, 07:49:59 pm »








He remained silent about his experiences until after the death of his wife Kate in 1967. After his wife's death, Adamson toured the country, giving lectures on the discovery of the tomb. -- Richard Bettsworth, Portsmouth News - U.K., Feb 24, 1997

The fascinating true story of a man who slept for seven years in the tomb of Tutankhamun has been revealed. It is the biography of Richard Adamson, who guarded the Pharaoh's tomb while it was being excavated...

The subject matter is captivating. It gives a detailed account of Mr. Adamson's thoughts and feelings during the 10 years of his life which were taken over by the discovery of the famous tomb.

A lot of his experiences are actually from his own notes which he took during the excavation works. "I will admit to feeling very strange down here, cooped up all alone, just me and the mummy." "I sleep just inches away from it and it's damn eerie. I am actually beginning to feel entombed myself."

The book gives a real-life insight into how such an incredible experience changed one man's life forever. -- Gillian Ellison, Whitehaven News - U.K., Feb 6, 1997

This biography of a bystander at one of archaeology's great events will be of particular interest to Egyptophiles ... The book relates the previously little-known story of Richard Adamson, a British soldier who was responsible for security at the tomb throughout the decade of its clearance. Adamson was truly a behind-the-curtain player in the drama which unfolded around the "cursed" royal sepulcher, its horde of treasures and the case of colorful on-stage principals.

Author Elaine Edgar was a longtime friend and confidante of Adamson (who died in 1982 at age 81) and her brief account of the old soldier's story focuses on his late-in-life personal recollections of the Tutankhamen experience, as well as "reconstructions" by her of diary entries, as they might have been written had Adamson kept such a journal (these were approved by the subject's surviving family members, as "credible" reflections of his verbally expressed thoughts on the varius subjects dealt with.) -- Dennis Forbes, KMT: A Modern Journal of Ancient Egypt, Summer 1997



http://www.amazon.com/Journey-Between-Souls-Soldier-Pharaoh/dp/1888580003
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« Reply #1105 on: April 25, 2009, 03:02:16 pm »



             









                                                                       
                                           T U T A N K H A M U N    L I N K S







Here are links to information about King Tut, available over the Internet. Be sure to check out the actual entries from Howard Carter's journal which are included for your enjoyment.





Tutankhamun: Anatomy of an Excavation



FINALLY! The long awaited online electronic publication of Howard Carter's records of the excavation of the tomb of King Tut! Brought to you by the Griffith Institute.






Tutankhamen

Learn more about King Tut including his tomb, his name and his treasures.






Who Killed King Tutankhamen

Here's an article that speculates on the cause of the death of King Tut






Tutankhamun Boy King

Here's another nice presentation by Anthony DiPaolo, featuring info about Tut's attendants, death of the king, discovery of his tomb and more!






In The Tomb of Tutankhamun

Learn about the discovery and preservation of Tut's tomb.






Eighteenth Dynasty: King Tut'ankhamun

Enjoy viewing some of the treasures from  Tut's tomb through this virtual museum site.






The Death of Pharaoh

A concise accounting of the life and death of King Tut including some history about the timeframe in which he lived.






The Diaries of Howard Carter

Check out this two part installment of the journal of Howard Carter around the time of his discovery of Tut's tomb.



Part ONE

October 28 - December 31, 1922




Part TWO

January 1 - May 31, 1923



http://www.guardians.net/egypt/tut1.htm
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« Reply #1106 on: April 25, 2009, 03:06:35 pm »










                                                     The return of Amenhotep III






Dec. 28, 2008
Al Ahram Weekly

EGYPTIAN archaeologists were in high spirits this week as a greywacke head of the 18th Dynasty King Amenhotep III was returned to Egypt after two decades of being shunted back and forth between Switzerland, Britain and the US, reports Nevine El-Aref.

The distinctive features, with full cheeks, wide, raised and slightly arched eyebrows above elongated but sharply edged narrow eyes, are a supreme example of the sculptural style that dominated King Amenhotep III's reign. Originally part of a larger statue of Amenhotep III, the head is thought to have been made in the studios located within the Ptah Temple enclosure at Memphis, near the Saqqara necropolis.

The story of the theft of the head dates back to 1992, when antiquities restorer Jonathan Tokeley-Parry began stealing Pharaonic objects and smuggling them out of Egypt. He succeeded in pilfering 35 items from the tomb of Heteb-Ka in Saqqara, 10 kilometres south of Giza, smuggling them through customs by hiding each under a layer of plaster, which he then painted in a crude fashion so that they resembled replicas produced by the Egyptian Documentation Centre.

In 1994, while trying to sell 24 papyrus texts, Tokeley-Parry was asked to produce a provenance for the items by an antiquities trader. The scam was revealed when his assistant took the papyri to the British Museum and the curator recognised them as part of a collection discovered in 1966 by a British mission excavating in the animal necropolis of north Saqqara.

The museum immediately contacted Scotland Yard, the Egyptian Embassy in London, the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA) and the Egyptian tourist and antiquities police. The trail led back to Tokeley-Parry who was arrested in Britain in 1997 and subsequently handed a three-year prison sentence for masterminding the operation. In Egypt he was sentenced in absentia to 15 years of hard labour.

In 2002 the stolen collection was retrieved and put on display at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, though without the head of Amenhotep III which had been purchased by an American citizen and then used as collateral on a loan from a US bank.

After being smuggled out of Egypt in the early 1990s the head was first taken to Switzerland and then to the UK. It was recovered in 1999 by the Met Police's art and antiques unit, which had been investigating New York antiquities dealer Frederick Schultz -- a former president of the National Association of Dealers in Ancient, Oriental and Primitive Art and consultant in antiques to former president Bill Clinton. In 2002 the FBI prosecuted Schultz for his role in handling the stolen head. He was sentenced to 33 months and fined $50,000. Since then, the sculpture has been in the kept at a secure facility in London.

"The case was extremely complicated as the head was the subject of two criminal proceedings, in the UK and the US," says SCA legal consultant Ashraf Ashmawi.

Karen Sanig, head of art law at Mishcon de Reya, London, said in a press conference held to highlight the recovery: "As so often happens with cultural heritage artefacts, the perpetrators are apprehended and dealt with long before the art finds its way back to the true owner. The reason is that there is no international law which deals with the trafficking of stolen art and antiquities."



http://weekly.ahram.org.eg/2008/927/fr3.htm
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« Reply #1107 on: April 25, 2009, 03:07:39 pm »






Amenhotep III was father to Akhenaten and grandfather of Tutankhamun
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« Reply #1108 on: April 25, 2009, 03:09:30 pm »




               








                                               King Tut's Father ID'd in Stone Inscription






Rossella Lorenzi,
Discovery News
Dec. 17, 2008

-- An inscribed limestone block might have solved one of history's greatest mysteries -- who fathered the boy pharaoh King Tut.

"We can now say that Tutankhamun was the child of Akhenaten," Zahi Hawass, chief of Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, told Discovery News.

The finding offers evidence against another leading theory that King Tut was sired by the minor king Smenkhkare.

Hawass discovered the missing part of a broken limestone block a few months ago in a storeroom at el Ashmunein, a village on the west bank of the Nile some 150 miles south of Cairo.

Once reassembled, the slab has become "an accurate piece of evidence that proves Tut lived in el Amarna with Akhenaten and he married his wife, Ankhesenamun," while living in el Amarna, Hawass said.

The text also suggests that the young Tutankhamun married his father's daughter -- his half sister.
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« Reply #1109 on: April 25, 2009, 03:12:33 pm »





             

               TUTANKHAMUN AND ANKHESENAMUN









"The block shows the young Tutankhamun and his wife, Ankhesenamun, seated together. The text identifies Tutankhamun as the 'king's son of his body, Tutankhaten,' and his wife as the 'king's daughter of his body, Ankhesenaten,'" Hawass said.

"We know that the only king to whom the text could refer as the father of both children is Akhenaten, himself. We know from other sources that Ankhesenamun was the daughter of Akhenaten and Nefertiti. Now, because of this block, we can say that Tutankhamun was the child of Akhenaten as well," Hawass said.

Found among other sandstone slabs in the storeroom of El Ashmunein's archaeological site, the block was used in the construction of the temple of Thoth during the reign of Ramesses II, who ruled around 1279-1213 B.C.

But the block wasn't freshly cut by the workers of the temple. Instead, it was recycled and brought there from el Amarna, along with some other thousand blocks, originally used to build the Amarna temples.

Now known as el Amarna, the city was once called Akhetaten after the "heretic" pharaoh Akhenaten (1353-1336 B.C.) had established the capital of his kingdom, introducing a monotheistic religion that overthrew the pantheon of the gods to worship the sun god Aton.

When Akhenaten died, a state decree was issued to purposefully destroy Amarna and its building materials were distributed for use elsewhere.
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