Tuesday, 23 August 2016

Eighteenth Egyptian, Dynasty, 1550 - 1292 BCE Part 5, Smenkhkare, Neferneferuaten

The eighteenth dynasty of ancient Egypt (notated Dynasty XVIII) 1550 - 1292 BC is perhaps the best known of all the dynasties of ancient Egypt. As well as boasting a number of Egypt's most famous pharaohs, it included Tutankhamun, the finding of whose tomb by Howard Carter in 1922 was a sensational archaeological discovery despite its having been twice disturbed by tomb robbers. The dynasty is sometimes known as the Thutmosid Dynasty because of the four pharaohs named Thutmosis (English: Thoth child).

Ahmose I/Nebpehtire
XVIII Egyptian Dynasty 1550 - 1292 BCE
Ahmose I/Nebpehtire 1549 - 1524 BCE
Amenophis/Amenhotep I/Djeserkare 1524 - 1503 BCE
Thuthmosis I/Akheperkare I503 - I493 BCE
Thuthmosis II/Akheperenre I493 - 1479 BCE
Hatshepsut/Maatkare 1479 - 1458 BCE
Thuthmosis III/Menkheper(en)re 1479 - 1424 BCE
Amenophis/Amenhotep II/Akheperure 1424 - 1398 BCE
Thuthmosis IV/Menkheperure 1398 - 1388 BCE
Amenophis/Amenhotep III/NebMaatre 1388 - 1350 BCE
Amenophis/Amenhotep IV (Akhenaten)/Neferkepherure-Waenre 1351 - 1334 BCE
Queen Nefertiti
Smenkhkare/Ankhkheperure 1335 - 1333 BCE
Neferneferuaten/Ankhkheperure-Meriwaenre 1335 - 1333 BCE
Tutankhamun/Nebkheperure 1333 - 1323 BCE.
Ay II/Kheperkheperure 1323 - 1319 BCE
Horemheb/Djeserkheperure-Setepenre 1319 - 1292 BCE

Smenkhkare (sometimes erroneously spelled Smenkhare or Smenkare and meaning Vigorous is the Soul of Ra) was an ephemeral Ancient Egyptian Pharaoh (1335-1333 BCE) of the late Eighteenth Dynasty, of whom very little is known for certain. Believed by a growing number of experts to be the mummy found in KV55, he is thought to be a younger son of Amenhotep III and queen Tiye, and therefore a younger brother of Akhenaten. Traditionally he is seen as Akhenaten's co-regent and immediate successor, and predecessor of Tutankhamun. He is assumed to be a close, male relative of those two kings (either by blood or marriage).

More recent scholarly work has cast serious doubts on this traditional view and most aspects of this individual's life and position. His relation to the Amarna royal family, the nature and importance of his reign, and even "his" gender are up for debate. Related to this is the ongoing question as to whether Akhenaten's co-regent and successor were the same person. The scenes in the tombs of Meryre II and Huya (located in the Amarna Northern tombs necropolis) depicting the "reception of foreign tribute" are the last clear view of the Amarna period. The events depicted in the tomb of Meryre II are dated to the second month of Akhenaten's regnal year 12. (In the tomb of Huya they are dated to year 12 of the Aten.)

They show the last appearance of the royal family as a whole (that is: Akhenaten and his chief-queen Nefertiti, together with their six daughters), which scholars have dated to their satisfaction. These scenes are the first dated occurrence of the latter name-forms of the Aten. After this date, the events at Amarna and their chronology become far less clear. It is only with the accession of Tutankhamun, and the restoration early in this king's reign, that events appear to become clear again. A scene from the tomb of Meryre II, depicts pharaoh Smenkhkare and his Great Royal Wife Meritaten handing out tribute from the "window of appearances". The inscription was recorded upon discovery, but has since been lost.

The sole regnal date (year 1) attested for Smenkhkare comes from a jar label for wine from "the house of Smenkhkare"; this date might however refer either to the reign of Smenkhkare or that of Tutankhamun. The highest known date for Ankhkheprure Neferneferuaten, regnal year 3, is attested in a graffiti in the Theban tomb of Pairi (TT139). It is unclear whether this refers to a sole rule or a co-regency. Manetho's kinglists includes three 18th-dynasty rulers named Akenkeres (which might be identified as a Greek rendering of Ankhkheprure), one of which is identified as a king's daughter who ruled for twelve years and a month. Both the repetition of names and the attested length of reign might be due to corruptions. Finally, it is also possible that the sole rule of Smenkhkare coincided with the beginning of Tutankhamun's reign.

Virtually nothing is known about the politics of Akhenaten's co-regent/successor. The TT139 graffiti mentioned above refers to an active Amun-priesthood, practising in the temple of Ankhkheprure Neferneferuaten (possibly this individual's mortuary temple). This could indicate a first step towards an agreement between the Atenist and traditional religions, which would be further consolidated during the reign of Tutankhamun.

Ankhkheperure Neferneferuaten was a woman who reigned as pharaoh toward the end of the Amarna era during the Eighteenth Dynasty. The royal succession of this period is very unclear. Manetho's Epitome, an ancient historical source written in Egypt during the third century B.C., mentions a certain Akenkeres who was a "King's daughter" and ruled Egypt for twelve years and one month. This information is confirmed by the rare epithet, "Effective for her husband", which was used to refer to her in Egyptian records.The epithet establishes that a female king, who was the daughter of a king (presumably Akhenaten), assumed power as pharaoh toward the end of the Amarna era. Akenkeres or Achencheres is probably the Greek form of her prenomen, Ankhetkheperure, as Rolf Krauss and Marc Gabolde have previously argued.

Manetho places her immediately before a certain Rathothis who ruled Egypt for nine years. This later king must be equated with Tutankhamun, who is attested by several Year 10 hieratic wine jar dockets from his tomb and, hence, enjoyed a minimum reign of nine full years. With the removal of a spurious decade from the original twelve year figure, Neferneferuaten would have ruled Egypt for two years and one month which conforms well with a long Year 3 graffito attested for her in the Theban Tomb of Pere (TT139).

No comments:

Post a Comment