Post by Barry Gray
Smenkhare is a very shadowy figure, and even
the sex of the person with this name is
uncertain. A much more likely possibility
than that postulated is that Smenkhare is
the throne name taken by Nefertiti when she
became Akhenaten's co -regent
I'll tell you why I never liked that idea:
Most of what is attributed to Nefertiti -- her
power, her relationship with Akhenaten -- is
better associated with Queen Tiye.
Tiye is a influential figure, the proverbial
"power behind the thrown" during the reign of
Amenhotep III. As evidence for this (or so
people smarter than me claim) there are statues
depicting her of equal size (importance?) as her
husband the king, and her mention in foreign
correspondence as demonstrated by the Amarna
Okay, so here's the $100 thousand question:
When has anyone even approaching what I am
describing above EVER walked away from it all?
What person in history -- woman or man -- ever
took the reigns of power, as Tiye is believed
to have -- only to throw them away?
What I guess I'm saying is that job was taken.
The position that Nefertiti was supposed to have
held was already filled.
Okay, okay, so you can argue that if Nefertiti
was co-regent it wasn't until some time after
Tiye was dead anyway, so there's no conflict. But
you forget: Royal families lived, breathed &
slept succession. It meant absolutely *Everything*.
Who the people at the top were, how everyone you
cared for, everyone that meant something to you
related to them dictated not only their power and
social status, put their position within the cosmos.
I just find it hard to believe that Queen Tiye would
have given up on her power, and that if she had
power she wouldn't allow an outsider to grow to the
prominence which Nefertiti was supposed to have....
beginning quite a while before Tiye's death.
Now I suppose you can get around this by arguing that
Nefertiti was Tiye's daughter. And, yes, that would
certainly put to rest all of my objections, but there's
nothing to suggest that Nefertiti was of royal parentage.
And, oh, interesting twist for those who think that
Nefertiti was Smenkhkare: In the famous correspondence
where an Egyptian queen asks the Hittite king to send
her a son, the name /can be/ transliterated as something
suspiciously close to one of the names of Akhenaten's
co-regent. Wiki currently has the name as "Niphururiya."
Secondly, queen Tiye is identified as the mother of
Tutankhamun. Okay, not exactly sure of that...
The miniature coffins which held Tiye's hair, the ones
found in Tutankhamun's tomb, identify her as the kings
wife, as well as mention of the "old" gods. Now the
arguments that this hair had to have been removed from
her postmortem are compelling, to say the least.
Speaking of leasts...
At the very, very extreme least, we can't simply accept
things at face value.
Post by Barry Gray
Going one stage further, Akhenaten was so obsessed
with his religion that he could not contemplate the
possibility that it was failing - see for example
"Egypt's False Prophet" Nicholas Reeves 2001.
A wise man once said to me: Read one book and you're
an expert. Read two or more and you're not sure anymore.
What he meant by that is of course the author of any
book is going to have a position, and if he has a lot
of facts & science behind him -- or even if he's just
a really good writer -- he's going to make a strong
case. So, yeah, you walk away thinking, "He got it
right. That must've been what happened."
...but then you read some other equally smart/talented
writer on the exact same topic, someone who holds a
different position than the first guy. Now you don't know
Post by Barry Gray
Some of the Armana period books are just pure bunk,
others very selective in their use of the
archaeological evidence. What does emerge however
is that in many areas there is no consensus even
among highly respected and very experienced
Easy enough to believe. Part of it is what evidence
they look at, part of it is how they look at the
evidence. Whatever the case, everyone sees a different