A discovery novel. The findings of a study conducted by an egyptologist from a canadian university say that two of the sisters of Tutankhamun, and not a single one, are mounted together on the throne of Egypt after the death of their father, Akhenaten. The specialists knew for nearly 50 years, that in the Fourteenth century before Christ, a queen-pharaoh had preceded Tutankhamun on the throne, recalls Valérie Angenot, egyptologist and art historian at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM).
Some people thought that it was Nefertiti, wife of Akhenaten, the self proclaimed “king” at the death of her husband. Others thought that it was the eldest daughter of Akhenaten, the princess Méritaton. “Until now, the use of iconographic documents was rather intuitive”, explained Friday to Valérie Angenot.
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The professor of montreal has therefore conducted an analysis based on semiotics (study of signs), which according to her revealed that two daughters of Akhenaten had taken the power at his death while their brother Tutankhamun, at the age of four or five years, was still too young to reign.
another girl associated with power
Akhenaten, who had married his eldest daughter Méritaton to prepare them to rule, would also be associated with the power of another of his daughters, Neferneferouaton Tasherit. They would be mounted together on the throne under the name of coronation common Ankhkheperure, according to Valérie Angenot. The study of some pieces of the treasure of Tutankhamun, discovered in 1922 by british archaeologist Howard Carter, had revealed that the child-king had usurped a large part of the funerary equipment of the queen-pharaoh, Neferneferouaton Ankhkheperure.
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The art historian has also analyzed a stele exhibited in the egyptian Museum of Berlin showing two characters sitting on the throne, one stroking the chin of the other. “We have issued all sorts of assumptions about it : that it would be Akhenaton became homosexual, Akhenaten with his father, Akhenaten and Nefertiti”, she says. “I realized that this gesture of stroking the chin was, in fact, attested only for the princesses, in 100% of occurrences”.
“My idea was surprisingly well received”
in addition, the egyptologist has studied a number of carvings of heads, the royal anonymous that have been attributed to Akhenaton, Nefertiti or Tutankhamun. “As in egyptian art, works on systems of proportions, I have made comparisons of these statues with statuary known princesses and it fits perfectly, I have been able to show that some of the heads of royal were in fact heads of princesses become the pharaohs”, she explains.
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Valérie Angenot has recently presented its findings at a gathering of egyptologists north-americans in Virginia, in the United States. “Egyptology is a discipline very conservative, but my idea was surprisingly well received, with the exception of two colleagues who are fiercely opposed”, she stressed. “I think it can advance our understanding of the issues of succession in ancient Egypt, but especially our knowledge of the fascinating time amarnienne which saw being born the first monotheism”, hotly debated for centuries, ” she says.