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Tutankhamun: The Book of Shadows

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burlgirl
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Tutankhamun: The Book of Shadows

Postby burlgirl » Thu August 12th, 2010, 8:13 pm

I just started this second book by Nick Drake, a sequel to Nefertiti: The Book of the Dead.

Sadly, it's been so long since I read Nefertiti that I don't remember much about it (an unfortunate side effect of reaching middle age with a failing memory and/or having read way to many books in between) except that she went missing. I don't remember the end, and that would be so nice to know... This new book picks up about 10 years later and Rahotep, a detective if you will, is trying to find the connection between a series of murders and/or attacks and some disturbances occurrences aimed at the young king. I'm not yet half way through, but am enjoying the book, despite some anachronisms (tapestries hanging on a wall in ancient Egypt? talk of a coup at the palace, etc.) that take me out of the story.

I keep finding myself wondering when the author was writing... was it before the DNA information on Tut and his family came out or after. Sometimes there is evidence for before (he still refers to Kiya as Tut's mother) and sometimes after (he clearly knows about Tut's problem foot). How I'd love to have a coffee with Mr. Drake and talk about this stuff!!

I have yet to find a book about this period that get's it right for me - at least the way I've got it put together in my head. So, while I love reading about ancient Egypt, I find it frustrating, too. I fully realize that everyone's idea will be different. How I wish I was talented enough to write a book about that time period. Since I'm not, I will continue reading everything I can get my hands on. Don't mistake me, I think this book has the potential to give a good pay off at the end. I'm rooting for Rahotep! And , (hurray!!!) there's a third book to come.

Speculating about that third book:
  1. Nefertiti was about, well, Nefertiti
  2. Tutankhamun is 19 in this book, set 10 years later, so I don't have much hope that he'll live to the end of the book.
  3. Who will book 3 be about? Aye? Horemheb? Seti I, Rameses? I hope, hope, hope it's Horemheb. Please!! No body writes about him.

Edited to add: I wish they would give poor Nike Drake better covers. I almost didn't pick up either of his 2 books because the covers were so bad. That would have been my mistake judging a book by the cover. But still!

Jo

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SonjaMarie
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Postby SonjaMarie » Fri August 13th, 2010, 12:18 am

Oh I've been wanting to read this one but was wondering if it was going to be as good as the first one.

Glad to know it's just as good!

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Shield-of-Dardania
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Postby Shield-of-Dardania » Tue April 10th, 2012, 9:47 am

Talk about resurrecting a ghost thread. But I do hope to get some responses.

I seem to have developed this funny habit, if you could call it that, of diving deep into the ancient past and using the material from there to build around it chapter 1 or 2 - as a kind of flashback story - of each of the three draft books of my WIP trilogy.

The trouble is there're so many versions of the Tut-ankh-amun and Nefertiti stories. Most versions agree that Tut was a son of Kiya, Pharaoh Akh-en-Aten's second queen, and that Nef was Tut's stepmother. Meaning that Tut's bride Ankhe-sen-amun, daughter of Nef, was his own half-sister. Quite normal for the pharaohs & co., it seems.

Now Nef (her name, or title, meant 'The Lady has Come') has also been suggested to be the princess Tadukhipa of vassal kingdom Mitanni, who was initially sent to marry old Amen-hotep III, Akh-en-aten's father. But Amen-hotep III died, so Nef married Akh-en-aten instead, who then became pharaoh as Amen-hotep IV.

While another oft-cited theory is that Nef was a daughter of Vizier Ay. Now, if that is true, that's really bad news, because on Tut's death Ay married his widow Ankhe-sen-amun, in order to qualify himself as candidate for Pharaoh. Which meant that Pharaoh Ay's queen was his own granddaughter!

Good Gosh! The lows that guys craving power could sink to.

From what I've read also, it seems that Pharaoh Ay was so reviled that practically all records about him were erased by his successsor, the ex-commander Hor-em-heb, the last pharaoh of Egypt's 18th dynasty. Umm ... perhaps Ay was really that bad. :cool:

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burlgirl
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Tut and his family

Postby burlgirl » Wed April 11th, 2012, 8:31 pm

I'm intrigued by your WIP... and how it could tie into my favorite family and time period -also known as the Amarna tarpits. ;-)

I agree that there are many versions of the family history, but we are in a pretty enviable time, in that we have had DNA testing done to help unravel some of the questions.

The DNA pretty much proved that Tut's mother and father were full siblings - son and daughter to Pharoah Amenhotep III and his Great Royal Wife (Queen) Tiye. That pretty much leaves Tadukhipa out of the picture, and also Kiya, who never claimed to be a king's daughter (something she surely would have).
There is some possiblilty that his mother may have been a granddaughter instead of a daughter of Amenhotep III. So, they way I see it Tut's parents were either
  • Akhenaten and a sister - there are a few contenders
  • Smenkhara (a presumed younger son of AIII and Tiye) and a sister - same
  • Akhenaten and one of his daughers - Meritaten?
  • Smenkhara and a niece - Meritaten


I won't say which I think, in order not to bias your in your work.

I feel that Nefertiti is probably an egyptian, though I'm unsure of her father. Aye? Maybe. I lean in that direction, but really, there is no proof.

You mentioned that Horemheb practically erased Aye from his monuments, but really, that happened to all of the Amarna kings. I don't know that Aye was the baddie he is sometimes made out to be. I'm not sure that there is evidence that he actually married Ankhesenamen. I know there is a ring that refers to Aye as pharoah and Ankhesenamen as queen, but I don't know if they were actually married... Could be Ankhesenamen is on the ring as the "dowager" queen, so to speak. But I'm on a limb here and won't bet my house on it.

As I said - the tar pits. And I was brief above so as not to drag you into them. :rolleyes:

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Postby DianeL » Wed April 11th, 2012, 10:58 pm

burlgirl, that is great - thank you for the background *and* the insights!
"To be the queen, she agreed to be the widow!"

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Shield-of-Dardania
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Postby Shield-of-Dardania » Thu April 12th, 2012, 7:38 am

@BurlGirl:

Thank you for answers. They've given me further valuable leads. My WIP is actually about a fictional dynasty in a 11C South East Asian kingdom fighting for their land's independence. I have inserted a foreign prince into this dynasty, the result of a chance meeting in Byzantium. Serendipity, oh yeah.

This prince happened to have lineage from the ancient Levant, the time of which happened to be around that of Tut-ank-amun and Nefertiti. That's how their names got pulled into my story. I just though I should make an effort to get the history as accurate as I could, even if it's going to be in only one chapter of the whole story.

The version I'm exploring is that Nefertiti was mother of Ankhe-sen-amun, bride and half-sister of Tut-ankh-amun. So Nefertiti could still be Princess Tadukhipa. This theory is supported by the absence of Nefertiti's mummy, possibly because her body was sent back for burial/cremation to her home kingdom Mitanni when she died.

My understanding is that the custom of that time required that one has to marry the current queen or seniormost princess (she was also automatically holder of the post of High Priestess, if I'm not mistaken) in order to qualify one to be pharaoh. So Vizier Ay had no other choice but to marry Ankhe-sen-amun to take the throne.

If you have any more leads, I'd be glad to have them. I don't mind being dragged into something which could give me more material.

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lauragill
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Postby lauragill » Thu April 12th, 2012, 8:29 am

"Shield-of-Dardania" wrote:@BurlGirl:

Thank you for answers. They've given me further valuable leads. My WIP is actually about a fictional dynasty in a 11C South East Asian kingdom fighting for their land's independence. I have inserted a foreign prince into this dynasty, the result of a chance meeting in Byzantium. Serendipity, oh yeah.

This prince happened to have lineage from the ancient Levant, the time of which happened to be around that of Tut-ank-amun and Nefertiti. That's how their names got pulled into my story. I just though I should make an effort to get the history as accurate as I could, even if it's going to be in only one chapter of the whole story.

The version I'm exploring is that Nefertiti was mother of Ankhe-sen-amun, bride and half-sister of Tut-ankh-amun. So Nefertiti could still be Princess Tadukhipa. This theory is supported by the absence of Nefertiti's mummy, possibly because her body was sent back for burial/cremation to her home kingdom Mitanni when she died.

My understanding is that the custom of that time required that one has to marry the current queen or seniormost princess (she was also automatically holder of the post of High Priestess, if I'm not mistaken) in order to qualify one to be pharaoh. So Vizier Ay had no other choice but to marry Ankhe-sen-amun to take the throne.

If you have any more leads, I'd be glad to have them. I don't mind being dragged into something which could give me more material.


That so-called custom of the king having to marry the current queen has pretty much been debunked by Egyptologists. Ay was already married at the time, and that wife appears with him on the walls of his royal tomb; the ring is the only evidence of a marriage between Ay and Ankhesenamun. Egyptian kings married their sisters because that was how the gods themselves behaved, and the king was the earthly incarnation of the divine Horus. There were kings, though, who did not marry within their immediate family, or whose principal queen was not a sister or niece.

It is very unlikely that a Southeast Asian prince of the 11th century AD would have heard of Tutankhamen or Nefertiti. Horemheb and the Pharoahs of the 19th Dynasty went to great lengths to erase their names, and they were not discovered again until the 19th century.
Last edited by lauragill on Thu April 12th, 2012, 8:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Shield-of-Dardania
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Postby Shield-of-Dardania » Thu April 12th, 2012, 9:45 am

Thank you, LauraGill, for your input and for stimulating further discussion.
"lauragill" wrote:That so-called custom of the king having to marry the current queen has pretty much been debunked by Egyptologists. Ay was already married at the time, and that wife appears with him on the walls of his royal tomb; the ring is the only evidence of a marriage between Ay and Ankhesenamun.

That doesn't sound too unreasonable, although there's still room for debate, considering the multitudes of story versions floating around.

"lauragill" wrote:Egyptian kings married their sisters because that was how the gods themselves behaved, and the king was the earthly incarnation of the divine Horus.

Nope. It's the other way around, really. Horus, Seth & Co. married their sister goddesses because that was how the pharaohs behaved, ostensibly for the purpose of maintaining dynastic purity. It was the pharaohs, or their chief priests/priestesses, who invented Horus, Seth & Co., just like the ancient Greeks invented Zeus, Appollo & Co., and made those 'gods' in their own images.

You have a bunch of loyal followers, you install yourself as king, invent a god or gods who basically mirror your own attitudes & behaviour, then claim yourself to be god incarnate. Then, pronto! You have a kingdom that only a more powerful king than you can take away. :cool:

"lauragill" wrote:It is very unlikely that a Southeast Asian prince of the 11th century AD would have heard of Tutankhamen or Nefertiti. Horemheb and the Pharoahs of the 19th dynasty went to great lengths to erase their names, and they were not discovered again until the 19th century.

No, he did not. An Oghuz Turk slave child he rescued and brought home from Constantinople turned out to be of noble blood, which both only came to know about after the latter had grown up and married the former's daughter. The child of that marriage later went to Byzantium as an adult, in search of action, experience and adventure, and heard the story from a (now) distant cousin.

The Battle of Kadesh, between Egypt and the Hittites, occurred only about a couple of generations or so after the time of Tut-ankh-amun and Nefertiti, and the accounts of that war were recorded in detail in both Egyptian and Hittite chronicles. Plus, there is also that oral tradition of storytelling, a la Homer, down the ages.

On the other hand, the ancient islandic South East Asians were also great seafarers as well as shipbuilders, actually. Their ships sailed as far west as Mesopotamia and Egypt, and their merchants traded with the peoples of those regions. They built better ships than the land-based, self-contained, inward-looking Chinese, who only emerged as serious players in the shipbuilding scene in the 11th century. Early Chinese Buddhist scholars and missionaries in fact learned Buddhism from them - before they later converted to Islam beginning around the 11th century - and travelled on their ships between China and India.

My Oghuz prince is not related to Tut or Nef, but descended, partly and ultimately, from some ancient house further up north in the Levant. Egypt, as far as I understand it, is not normally considered part of the Levant.

Come on, Laura. It's fiction time. If someone else can make King Arthur a descendant of Julius Caesar, and Romulus a progeny of Aeneas, I can also make a hero of mine have lineage from Assyria, Lydia or Mitanni, can't I?
Last edited by Shield-of-Dardania on Fri April 13th, 2012, 2:38 am, edited 13 times in total.

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burlgirl
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I love the tarpits!

Postby burlgirl » Thu April 12th, 2012, 8:58 pm

You're welcome for what I could post, since I do so infrequently.

I have to agree with lauragill that the "heiress" theory has debunked pretty thoroughly, and that Aye’s wife was still alive when he became king. I don’t know what the family politics would have been like to have the previous Great Royal Wife (GRW) married to her grandfather with her step-grandmother taking her place of prominence. I can’t wrap my mind around that at the moment. I guess I still lean toward Ankhesenamen becoming a “dowager” so to speak, mainly because she disappears from the record at this point. Exiled to harem/family farm in the Fayum, dies or …

An angle for your story that I haven’t seen anything done on is this (if I can throw it out there):
Amenhotep III had at least 4 daughters from his GRW Tiye and 2 sons, perhaps 3 that we know of. We also know that he had a lively harem – I’m thinking of the 2 Mitannian princesses at the very least. Who know how many other women were lesser wives. I find it nearly impossible to believe that 2-3 sons total were all that he had. Surely there was another son(s) from lesser wives, somewhere, that was his who must have gone on to have children. I wouldn’t go with daughters, since AIII had made it to clear to another king (forget who) that Egyptian princesses were not given to foreigners as brides. I don’t know what their chances of marrying within Egypt would be, so the safest bet would be to come up with a fictional “other” son of AIII. I could buy that one. (Just don’t name him Thutmose (died before Akhenaton), Amenhotep or Smenkhara, since those names were already taken.) He goes on to beget, an so on... with oral history thrown in.

Feel free to thow this all away as an impertinence.

I wish I had the talent to write, I’d love to shake this story out, since I haven’t seen an Amarna angel that I’ve liked yet. (I know, your bit is focused elsewhere…) ;-)

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Shield-of-Dardania
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Postby Shield-of-Dardania » Sat April 14th, 2012, 12:52 pm

"burlgirl" wrote:I have to agree with lauragill that the "heiress" theory has debunked pretty thoroughly, and that Aye’s wife was still alive when he became king. I don’t know what the family politics would have been like to have the previous Great Royal Wife (GRW) married to her grandfather with her step-grandmother taking her place of prominence. I can’t wrap my mind around that at the moment.

Debunked or not, I don't think the idea is that far out. We're talking a time of of over 3,300 years ago. When it was all right - especially even more so for royalty - to do things that would be disgusting by today's standards. I mean, Kambujiya (Cambyses), eldest son of Cyrus the Great, married not one but two of his sisters (which would have made any offspring of his have not only 100% Achaemenid blood, but also 100% Cyrusid blood), in order to cement beyond challenge his then pole position as heir and successor to Cyrus. But still, what wasn't meant to be will not be (Darius said Kambujiya accidentally impaled himself on his own sword as he fell off his horse on his way back from his Egyptian conquest, but more likely it was much, much shadier than that). And that was like 800 years after Tut-ankh-amun and Ankhe-sen-amun.

"burlgirl" wrote:I don’t know what their chances of marrying within Egypt would be, so the safest bet would be to come up with a fictional “other” son of AIII. I could buy that one. (Just don’t name him Thutmose (died before Akhenaton), Amenhotep or Smenkhara, since those names were already taken.) He goes on to beget, an so on... with oral history thrown in.

From what I've read, Akh-en-aten could have suffered from a disease, possibly caused by severe inbreeding, that made him physically effeminate. Although, that he sired many offspring would sound contradictory to that. There is also a theory about Smenkhare being a woman, rather than a man, based on a picture or sculpture showing a rather effeminate Smenkhare beside Akh-en-aten, and that Smenkhare was actually Nefertiti, who ruled for a while as Smenkhare before Tut-Ankh-amun grew old enough to be pharaoh. And another one about Smenkhare being a homosexual lover of Akh-en-aten.

"burlgirl" wrote:I wish I had the talent to write, I’d love to shake this story out, since I haven’t seen an Amarna angel that I’ve liked yet. (I know, your bit is focused elsewhere… ;) ;-)

You're just saying that, arent you? I think you do have the talent. And you have that passion for detailed research, which is a priceless asset in writing HF.
Last edited by Shield-of-Dardania on Sat April 14th, 2012, 1:24 pm, edited 9 times in total.


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