|14th century BC
|Bust of Nefertiti
Thutmose, also known as "The King's Favourite and Master of Works, the Sculptor Thutmose" (also spelled Djhutmose, Thutmosis, and Thutmes), was an Ancient Egyptian sculptor in the Amarna style. He flourished around 1350 BC, and is thought to have been the official court sculptor of the Egyptian pharaoh Akhenaten in the latter part of his reign. A German archaeological expedition digging in Akhenaten's deserted city of Akhetaten, known today as Amarna, found a ruined house and studio complex (labeled P47.1-3)in early December 1912; the building was identified as that of Thutmose based on an ivory horse blinker found in a rubbish pit in the courtyard inscribed with his name and job title. Since it gave his occupation as "sculptor" and the building was clearly a sculpture workshop, the determination seemed logical and has proven to be accurate.
Among many other sculptural items recovered at the same time was the polychrome bust of Nefertiti, apparently a master study for others to copy, which was found on the floor of a storeroom. In addition to this now-famous bust, twenty-two plaster casts of faces—some of which are full heads, others just the face—were found in Rooms 18 and 19 of the studio, with an additional one found in Room 14.Eight of these have been identified as various members of the royal family, including Akhenaten, his other wife Kiya, his late father Amenhotep III, and his eventual successor Ay. The rest represent unknown individuals, presumably contemporary residents of Amarna.
A couple of the pieces found in the workshop depict realistic images of older noblewomen, something rare in Ancient Egyptian art, which more often portrayed women in an idealized manner as always young, slender, and beautiful.One of the plaster faces depicts an older woman, with wrinkles at the corner of her eyes, bags under them, and a deeply lined forehead. This piece has been described as showing "a greater variety of wrinkles than any other depiction of an elite woman from ancient Egypt" It is thought to represent the image of a wise, older woman. A small statue of an aging Nefertiti also was found in the workshop, depicting her with a rounded, drooping belly, thick thighs, and a curved line at the base of her abdomen showing that she had borne several children, perhaps intended to project an image of fertility.
Examples of his work recovered from his abandoned studio may be viewed at the Egyptian Museum of Berlin, the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City. Upon the death of Akhenaten, the seat of government was returned from Amarna to Thebes and the associated bureaucratic and professional industries followed.
In 1996 the French Egyptologist Alain Zivie discovered at Saqqara the decorated rock cut tomb of the "head of the painters in the place of truth", Thutmose. The tomb dates to the time shortly after the Amarna Period. Although the title of the Thutmose in Saqqara is slightly different from the title of the Thutmose known from Amarna, it seems likely that they refer to the same person and that the different titles represent different stages in his career.
An extensive article by Zivie in the July–August 2018 edition of Biblical Archaeology Review provides great detail and many images of artifacts recovered in an adjacent tomb,discussion of many aspects of several topics regarding Ancient Egyptian research and identification, as well as information about the sculptor, Thutmose.
Amarna is an extensive Egyptian archaeological site containing the remains of what was the capital city of the late Eighteenth Dynasty. The city was established in 1346 BC, built at the direction of the Pharaoh Akhenaten, and abandoned shortly after his death in 1332 BC. The name that the ancient Egyptians used for the city is transliterated as Akhetaten or Akhetaton, meaning "the horizon of the Aten".
Akhenaten, also spelled Akhenaton or Echnaton, was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh reigning c. 1353–1336 or 1351–1334 BC, the tenth ruler of the Eighteenth Dynasty. Before the fifth year of his reign, he was known as Amenhotep IV.
Nefertiti was a queen of the 18th Dynasty of Ancient Egypt, the great royal wife of Pharaoh Akhenaten. Nefertiti and her husband were known for their radical overhaul of state religious policy, in which they promoted the earliest known form of monotheism, Atenism, centered on the sun disc and its direct connection to the royal household. With her husband, she reigned at what was arguably the wealthiest period of ancient Egyptian history. Some scholars believe that Nefertiti ruled briefly as the female king Neferneferuaten after her husband's death and before the ascension of Tutankhamun, although this identification is a matter of ongoing debate. If Nefertiti did rule as Pharaoh, her reign was marked by the fall of Amarna and relocation of the capital back to the traditional city of Thebes.
Tiye was the Great Royal Wife of the Egyptian pharaoh Amenhotep III, mother of pharaoh Akhenaten and grandmother of pharaoh Tutankhamun; her parents were Yuya and Thuya. In 2010, DNA analysis confirmed her as the mummy known as "The Elder Lady" found in the tomb of Amenhotep II (KV35) in 1898.
The Nefertiti Bust is a painted stucco-coated limestone bust of Nefertiti, the Great Royal Wife of Egyptian pharaoh Akhenaten. It is on display in the Egyptian Museum of Berlin.
Smenkhkare was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh of unknown background who lived and ruled during the Amarna Period of the 18th Dynasty. Smenkhkare was husband to Meritaten, the daughter of his likely co-regent, Akhenaten. Since the Amarna period was subject to a large-scale condemnation of memory by later Pharaohs, very little can be said of Smenkhkare with certainty, and he has hence been subject to immense speculation.
Kiya was one of the wives of the Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenaten. Little is known about her, and her actions and roles are poorly documented in the historical record, in contrast to those of Akhenaten's ‘Great royal wife’, Nefertiti. Her unusual name suggests that she may originally have been a Mitanni princess. Surviving evidence demonstrates that Kiya was an important figure at Akhenaten's court during the middle years of his reign, when she had a daughter with him. She disappears from history a few years before her royal husband's death. In previous years, she was thought to be mother of Tutankhamun, but recent DNA evidence suggests this is unlikely.
Thutmose is an anglicization of the ancient Egyptian personal name dhwty-ms, usually translated as "Born of the god Thoth".
Ay was the penultimate pharaoh of ancient Egypt's 18th Dynasty. He held the throne of Egypt for a brief four-year period in the late 14th century BC. Prior to his rule, he was a close advisor to two, and perhaps three, other pharaohs of the dynasty. It is speculated that he was the power behind the throne during child ruler Tutankhamun's reign. His prenomenKheperkheperure means "Everlasting are the Manifestations of Ra," while his nomenAy it-netjer reads as "Ay, Father of the God." Records and monuments that can be clearly attributed to Ay are rare, both because his reign was short and because his successor, Horemheb, instigated a campaign of damnatio memoriae against him and the other pharaohs associated with the unpopular Amarna Period.
Meritaten, also spelled Merytaten, Meritaton or Meryetaten, was an ancient Egyptian royal woman of the Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt. Her name means "She who is beloved of Aten"; Aten being the sun-deity whom her father, Pharaoh Akhenaten, worshipped. She held several titles, performing official roles for her father and becoming the Great Royal Wife to Pharaoh Smenkhkare, who may have been a brother or son of Akhenaten. Meritaten also may have served as pharaoh in her own right under the name Ankhkheperure Neferneferuaten.
The New Kingdom, also referred to as the Egyptian Empire, was the ancient Egyptian nation between the 16th century BC and the 11th century BC. This period of ancient Egyptian history covers the Eighteenth, Nineteenth, and Twentieth Dynasties. Through radiocarbon dating, the establishment of the New Kingdom has been placed between 1570 BC and 1544 BC. The New Kingdom followed the Second Intermediate Period and was succeeded by the Third Intermediate Period. It was the most prosperous time for the Egyptian people and marked the peak of Egypt's power.
The Egyptian Museum of Berlin is home to one of the world's most important collections of ancient Egyptian artefacts, including the iconic Nefertiti Bust. Since 1855, the collection is a part of the Neues Museum on Berlin's Museum Island, which reopened after renovations in 2009.
The Amarna Period was an era of Egyptian history during the later half of the Eighteenth Dynasty when the royal residence of the pharaoh and his queen was shifted to Akhetaten in what is now Amarna. It was marked by the reign of Amenhotep IV, who changed his name to Akhenaten in order to reflect the dramatic change of Egypt's polytheistic religion into one where the sun disc Aten was worshipped over all other gods. The Egyptian pantheon was restored under Akhenaten's successor, Tutankhamun.
Meketaten was the second of six daughters born to the Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenaten and his Great Royal Wife Nefertiti. She likely lived between Year 4 and Year 14 of Akhenaten's reign. Although little is known about her, she is frequently depicted with her sisters accompanying her royal parents in the first two-thirds of the Amarna Period.
Beketaten (14th century BCE) was an ancient Egyptian princess of the 18th Dynasty. Beketaten is considered to be the youngest daughter of Pharaoh Amenhotep III and his Great Royal Wife Tiye, thus the sister of Pharaoh Akhenaten. Her name means "Handmaid of Aten".
Ankhkheperure-Merit-Neferkheperure/Waenre/Aten Neferneferuaten was a name used to refer to a female king who reigned toward the end of the Amarna Period during the Eighteenth Dynasty. Her gender is confirmed by feminine traces occasionally found in the name and by the epithet Akhet-en-hyes, incorporated into one version of her nomen cartouche. She is distinguished from the king Smenkhkare who used the same throne name, Ankhkheperure, by the presence of epithets in both cartouches. She is suggested to have been either Meritaten or, more likely, Nefertiti. If this person is Nefertiti ruling as sole king, it has been theorized by Egyptologist and archaeologist Zahi Hawass that her reign was marked by the fall of Amarna and relocation of the capital back to the traditional city of Thebes.
The succession of kings at the end of the Eighteenth Dynasty of Ancient Egypt is a matter of great debate and confusion. There are very few contemporary records that can be relied upon, due to the nature of the Amarna Period and the reign of Akhenaten and his successors and possible co-regents. It is known that Akhenaten reigned for seventeen years, and it was previously believed that in the last 3 or 4 years, he had two co-regents: Smenkhkare, who was possibly his brother or son, and Neferneferuaten, who was either one of his daughters or his Great Royal Wife Nefertiti. It is unknown in which order they followed each other, and neither of their reigns lasted long, for Tutankhamun succeeded not long after Akhenaten's death.
The Deutsche Orient-Gesellschaft, abbreviated DOG, is a German voluntary association based in Berlin dedicated to the study of the Near East.
The Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt is classified as the first dynasty of the New Kingdom of Egypt, the era in which ancient Egypt achieved the peak of its power. The Eighteenth Dynasty spanned the period from 1550/1549 to 1292 BC. This dynasty is also known as the Thutmosid Dynasty for the four pharaohs named Thutmose.
The Stela of Akhenaten and his family is the name for an altar image in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo which depicts the Pharaoh Akhenaten, his queen Nefertiti, and their three children. The limestone stela with the inventory number JE 44865 is 43.5 × 39 cm in size and was discovered by Ludwig Borchardt in Haoue Q 47 at Tell-el Amarna in 1912. When the archaeological finds from Tell-el Amarna were divided on 20 January 1913, Gustave Lefebvre chose this object on behalf of the Egyptian Superintendency for Antiquities instead of the Bust of Nefertiti.