SMENKHKAREs REX

A Pharaoh Between Two Worlds


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I. HIS ILLUSTRIOUS PARENTAGE

(b). Monuments of Amunhotep III

(1). Large stone votive barque at BM -- names her as "Royal Heiress"
(2). Birth Room at AM III's Temple At Luxor -- shown in role of "God's Wife" -- not named as "God's Wife"

II. HIS OBSCURE CHILDHOOD

A. Amunhotep III takes Sitamun to wife about AM-23/24.

1. Why did he wait so long? He could have married a "daughter" earlier.

a. Presumably they were betrothed when he ascended the throne
b. He never felt a need to legitimise his secure throne.

2. The death of Crown Prince Tuthmosis precipitated this action.

a. Born at most 3 years before Prince Amunhotep
b. Held major offices, groomed to acceed

i. Governour of Memphis (administrative position)
ii. High Priest of Ptah at Memphis (religious position)
iii. Captain of the Troops (military position)

c. Probably died in his early teens -- AM-23 postulated.

3. Pharaoh needed more sons -- death of Crown Prince precipitated the decision

a. After Crown Prince Tuthmosis' death about AM-23/24, only one son left.
b. Thought that Queen Tiye unable to bear more children -- Gave birth to no known sons after Year 12 (age 16)
c. Needed at least one more son for insurance

4. Wanted a daughter by the Royal Heiress for Tiye's son

a. Why hadn't Pharaoh considered this before?

i. Marriage to Tiye was decision of his father and Aye
-- Strengthened Aye's family's connections
-- After death of Tuthmosis IV, his widow Mutemwiya and Aye
(quite possibly related) moved Tiye to the fore.
-- Royal Heiress Sitamun moved into background
ii. While succession had been clearcut until the death of Prince
Tuthmosis, it no longer was.
iii. Pharaoh's stress on reviving lapsed customs
--. Continuation of the traditional Royal Heiress succession
formula

B. Smenkhkare' born about Year 26 -- Sitamun at the minimum was 27 years old

1. Basis for his position as legitimate heir to the throne -- The only son of Pharaoh by the Royal Heiress
2. His claim was set aside by his father in favour of Prince Amunhotep

i. Due to Amunhotep III's deliberate favouritism to Tiye and her children
ii. Continued favouritism to Aye's family

(a). This was why Sitamun's parentage was deliberately obscured -- Originally done by Yuya, not Amunhotep III -- Probably acted as Sitamun's surrogate family
(b). Once the policy was begun, it had not been altered. -- No reason to alter it for over twenty years -- Sitamun accepted what she may not have cared to change

3. Claim set aside possibly due to his age

i. He was only two years old when Akhenaten reached age 16 -- Sense of immediacy to have a co-regent -- Feeling his mortality after the death of Tuthmois -- Was Pharaoh's health fragile at this time?
ii. His arrival on the scene had not been anticipated

(a). Amunhotep made Crown Prince upon the death of his brother
(b). No thought of another son -- Smenkhkare' was an unexpected prince
(c). At other times and places Smenkhkare' would have been strangled at birth, or by the Crown Prince.

C. Sitamun's contribution

1. Had two sons

a. Smenkhkare'
b. His full brother, Tut'ankhuaten -- What accounts for the 11-year gap between the births of the two brothers?

2. If she had any daughters, they were likely born too late to be married to the new co-regent Amunhotep in AK-1 (AM-28)

3. Once again Aye's family stepped in to fill the "gap", now with Nefertiti D. Late 18th Dynasty family planning strategy was a disastrous failure

1. Amunhotep wanted more sons by Tiye, but didn't get them.
2. Amunhotep wanted daughters by Sitamun, but got sons -- irony in this.
3. Akhenaten, in turn, wanted sons, but got daughters.
4. No royal sons known to have been born during the last ten years of the dynasty. -- Despite the efforts of four Pharaohs and countless wives.

 

II. HIS BELATED EDUCATION

A. Brought up and educated at Memphis

1. At the glittering Malkata court of Amunhotep III
2. Tutor probably same as that of his elder brothers: Amunhotep, son of Hapu [see CAH II, 1 1973), 1315]
3. Normal scribal education to a point [but CAH II, 2, 78]

B. Pharaohnic education after ca. 1349 (AK-7), when Smenkhkare' was 8 years old -- Later than usual to begin grooming a Crown Prince -- Prince Amunhotep had little time to learn the vital pharaonic skills -- Inherited title of High Priest of Ptah at Memphis, but none others known

1. Akhenaten only siring girls

a. By AK-7 four daughters known to have been born

i. MERITATEN born ca. 1354 (AK-2)
ii. MEKETATEN born ca. 1353 (AK-3)
iii. ANKHESENPAATEN born ca. 1351 (AK-5)
iv. NEFERNEFRUATEN TASHERIT born ca. 1349 (AK-7)

b. Now trying for son by secondary wife Kia

2. Amunhotep III and Queen Tiye increasingly concerned by Akhenaten's actions

a. Preoccupation with his religion

i. Name change
ii. Personification of the Aten -- names in cartouches
iii. Over emphasis of pharaoh as living god
iv. Jubilee of the Aten

b. Nefertiti's regality -- not in the Egyptian tradition -- Memories of Hatshepsut were still fresh -- Was there a late hesitation about Aye's family?

c. Massive building programme

i. Karnak Aten temple
ii. Akhetaten

3. An heir to the throne had to be prepared for any eventuality

a. This was a paramount duty of the Pharaoh as fertility god
b. If Akhenaten died, a successor woud be required.
c. If Akhenaten continued to be unsuccessful procreating a son, a successor would be required.
d If Akhenaten had to be "set aside", a replacement would be required.
e. In scenarios b-d, Nefertiti was probably discussed as a possibility

i. Nefertiti as co-regnant Pharaoh was apparently Akhenaten's solution
ii. Nefertiti not acceptable to the family as a successor -- She simply was not of royal blood, and Hatshepsut had been
iii. Nefertiti could be only a temporary measure -- after her the deluge

f. Smenkhkare' was the ideal, the legitimate, and the only, solution

 

III. HIS PRAGMATIC MENTOR

Parentage
Direct contemporary of AMENHOTEP III
Probably born about the same time
Likely to be older brother of QUEEN TIYE and older than AANEN -- possible nephew of Queen Mutemwiya
First son to follow in footsteps of his father
Second son into priesthood
Family retainer dedicated to the fortunes of the Tuthmossid line
His loyalty is to the House not to any individual
A survivor and a pragmatist
Looking at the long view
Assigned to AMENHOTEP IV in the move to AKHETATEN
Construction of his tomb stopped ca. (?) 1347 (AK-9)
Recalled to MEMPHIS about 1348 (AK-10)
Possibly at time of AHKENATEN's removal of anthropomorphic gods? Likely this was later.
Obviously the MEMPHIS administration was the senior [cf Aldred, JEA 63 {1957}, p.34)
Amarna letters
How much decision-making happened at AHHETATEN?
Were letters screened by the THEBES administration?
Letters only went to Akhenaten after death of AM III about Year 12.

 

V. HIS REVERED OLDER BROTHER

THE YEAR TWELVE (1344 B.C.)
Equals AM-39, the last year of AMENHOTEP III
Death of AMENHOTEP III
AKHENATEN to THEBES for funeral and burial of AMENHOTEP III
Amarna letter dated Year 12 -- pharaoh in THEBES
QUEEN TIYE and retinue to AKHETATEN
Position of Theban (?) bureaucracy at this point
Continued as before
No indication of mass movement to AKHETATEN
Is building of North Suburb related to a movement?
Parade of Foreign Tribute
QUEEN TIYE not shown as present
Position of the religious institutions
Revenues not cut off until at least Year 12
AMENHOTEP III's policy of balance
Restoration of the Sun God
Essentially a period of restoration [see CAH II, 2 {1957}, 52]
Emphasising traditional values/forms from the Old Kingdom
The Pharaoh as God-King.

 

VI. HIS EXPANDING FUTURE

: READYING SMENKHKARE' FOR RULE (1344-1341 B.C.)
AKHENATEN still only has girls -- now six of them!
NEFERNEFRURE' born ca. 1348 (AK-8)
SETEPENRE' born ca. 1347 (AK-9)
Why no more children by NEFERTITI after AK-9?
Marriage to KIA (ca. 1346/45) produced no boys. Speculation aboutTUTANKHATEN (born ca. 1346) being a child of this union.
Marriage to MERITATEN (ca. 1343/42 [AK-13/14]), her aged about 12.
Sign of increasing desperation on part of AKHENATEN
Still no hope of siring a son
If NEFERTITI was the Royal Heiress of tradition and if she died aboutthis time, then SMENKHKARE' had as good a claim on the crown asAKHENATEN.
Increased education of SMENKHKARE' for pharaohnic duties
Due to influence of QUEEN TIYE and AYE
Was this deliberately covert or with knowledge of AKHENATEN?
Plague begins in Egypt ca. 1342 (AK-14
The plague is history's wild card!
Comparison with Black Death of Middle Ages
Less virulent due to lower population concentrations
Effects of Black Plague on European peasantry
Royal house decimated
Death of NEFERTITI (ca. 1343 [AK-13})
Death of NEFERNEFRURE' (ca. 1343 [AK-13])
Death of MEKETATEN (ca. 1342 [AK-14])
Death of SETEPENRE' (ca. 1342 [AK-14])
Death of QUEEN TIYE (ca. 1342/41 [AK-14/15])
AKHENATEN takes his revenge on AMUN
Aldred believes this began about AK-14 (1342 B.C.)
Restraining influence of QUEEN TIYE and, possibly,NEFERTITI are now gone
Attempt to destroy AMUN by destroying his name
Has AKHENATEN now become a madman who must be confined?
Public relations exercise to prepare populace fof SMENKHKARE?
Issuance of faience rings? Possibly not.
Must have been done with acquiescence of AKHENATEN
Found in northern (latest built) area of AKHETATEN
Foundation of "House of Smenkhkare'" vinyards?

 

VII. HIS SHINING HOUR

PHARAOH ANKHKHEPRURE' SMENKHKARE' DJESERKHEPRURE' (1341-1338 B.C.)
The inevitable moment arrives
AKHENATEN has no choice but to select him as co-regent (EA27?)
Due to plague-caused instability
Due to AKHENATEN's inability to sire an heir
Age of majority
SMENKHKARE' was 17 years old (possibly 16)
Evidence regarding his name
Choice of throne name
Double Re's
Influence of AYE toward synchretism?
Coronation as co-regent and marriage to MERITATEN
Building of "Coronation Hall" at AKHENATEN (AK-14 or AK-15)
Probably not for cornation but for marriage
Royal Heiress concept continuesSMENKHKARE' (presuming NEFERTITI is dead) now does have astronger claim than AKHENATEN
AKHENATEN marries ANKHESENPAATEN (1340 B.C. [AK-16]) aged 11.
Increasingly pathetic attempts for a son and heir
Birth of ANKHESENPAATEN TASHERIT (late AK-16/early AK-17)
"Royal Wife" title for NEFERNEFERUATEN TASHERIT aged about 9.
Birth of MERITATEN TASHERIT, presumably daughter of SMENKHKARE'
Homophilic associations between AKHENATEN and ANKHKHEPRURE'
Pasi Stela
Full discussion of stela
Cartouches
Why not two sets of three cartouches?
Was ANKHKHEPRURE' without a queen at this time?
After death of MERITATEN?
Not likely due to MERYRE' II tomb relief.
Khepresh helmet
Near Eastern customs of male contact
Living in Truth
Akhenaten as god, and S. is beloved by the god (Kadry, ASAE 68 [1982], 191 referencing Englebach, ASAE 31 [1931], 105)
Wilson's comment
Rule from THEBES?
Memphis blocks

 

VIII. HIS

Death of AKHENATEN (1339 B.C. [AK-17])
Full royal burial at AKHETATEN
Sole rule of ANKHKHEPRURE' begins
Counter evidence of re-dated (Year 17 to Year 1) honey jar
Letter EA41 from SUPPILULIUMA
Relief in tomb of MERYRE' II.
Giles re. distinctive headdress. Was this passed down as atradition so MERITATEN wore it and laterANKHESENPAATEN?
ANKHKHEPRURE' changed name, dropping Waenre elements
He is now "beloved of the Aten"
No longer beloved of dead god Waenre
Death of MERITATEN
Evidence that she died
After MERYRE' II relief was completed
ANKHKHEPRURE' marries sole remaining Royal Heiress: ANKHESENPAATEN
Pharaoh rules from both AKHETATEN and MEMPHIS -- the moveable feast that was Pharaoh!
Again MERYRE' II relief
Apostacy of ANKHKHEPRURE' [Gardiner, JEA 43 {1957}, 24]
Continuation of policy of balance of AMENHOTEP III
Funerary furnishings
Where made? Englebach says at THEBES
Begun under co-regency (witness Waenre name)
Amun Temple (?) or Mortuary Temeple built at THEBES
Begun during co-regency
Ill feelings by Atenists
Pharaoh dies at AKHETATEN (1338 B.C. [S-4])
His pantheistic funerary furnishings in AKHETATEN?
Temporary funeral at AKHETATEN by the Atenists
They refuse to use the pantheistic furnishings
Atenist uraeus on brown of coffin
Englebach (1931) and Gardiner (1957) say yes.
Reeves (1981) says no
Interred in Atenist coffin
Adapted from one made for a young MERITATEN
Why was it not used for her?
Possibly she shared her husband's pantheism
A new coffin had been made for her as his queen
His arms folded in attitude of a royal female
Atenist disrespect due to his relationship withAKHENATEN?
AYE, ever the pragmatist, does not intervene

 

IX. HIS WORTHY (?) SUCCESSOR

ACCESSION OF TUTANKHATEN (1338-1329 B.C.)
Possible co-regency with ANKHKHEPRURE'
No evidence of overlapping years
Evidence of "Year 1, wine from the estate of Smenkhkare', deceased" docket
Acceeds to the throne at AKHETATEN
Coronation at Karnak
Aldred says MEMPHIS
Marries ANKHESENPAATEN
Her third marriage
Emphasises further the necessity of marrying the Royal Heiress -- sheis the last one
Who acted as regent for the 8-year-old pharaoh?
NEFERTITI argument
AYE much the most likely
Not a Machiavellian figure
Continues Atenism but shows tolerance
Relief of offerings to AMUN-RE' and MUT
Removal of court to THEBES (ca. 1336 B.C. [T-3])
Takes up residence at Malkata Palace
Sealings and scarabs with name of TUTANKHAMUN and,interestingly, ANKHESENPAATEN found there
TUTANKHATEN name changed to TUTANKHAMUN
Ring bezen of TUTANKHAMUN found in north AKHETATEN
Why was the name change necessary?
Propitiation of the Amun priests at THBES?
Work re-commences on AMENHOTEP III colonnade at LUXOR
Removal of royal burials from AKHETATEN to THEBES
Tomb 55 in Valley of the Kings
Comment on small pit tomb near KV-55 re. T-6
ANKHKHEPRURE'
His orthodox funerary furnishings later usurped forTUTANKHAMUN
Gold canopic coffinettes
Second outermost gilt shrine
Gilt statues standing on leopards
Box
How did ANKHKHEPRURE' have time in (maximum) threeyears to complete so much of his furnishings whenTUTANKHAMUN's burial (after a reign of ten years) foundit necessary to rework old pieces. Thrift or necessity?
QUEEN TIYE
First placed in KV-55, later moved
Why not with AMENHOTEP III, either first or later?
Ramesside actions in KV-55
Removal of QUEEN TIYE
Desecration of SMENKHKARE' (thinking itAKHENATEN?)
Mummy found in cache in tomb of AMENHOTEP II
Where had she been in the years before priests ofDynasty XXI moved her?
The "Akhetaten Missing"
Various princesses
MEKETATEN
NEFERNEFRURE'
SETEPENRE'
Queens
NEFERTITI
KIA
MERITATEN
ANKHESENAMUN
New Kingdom necropolis at Memphis/Saqqara?
AKHENATEN
Body hidden by Atenists
KV-55 per Aldred?
Thrown to jackals
At this time -- unlikely
At a later date -- likely if not hidden by Atenists

 

X. HIS THREATENED AFTERLIFE INCORPORATE THE FOLLOWING:

-- As there is no mention of Prince Amunhotep prior to his accession, we can presume that his period as Crown Prince was relatively short.

-- As there is no mention of Prince Amunhotep prior to his accession, so it is not unusual that there are no surviving depictions of his younger brothers Smenkhkare' and Tut'ankhuaten from the years of Amunhotep III. Particularly as they were kept in the background due to their claims to the throne.