Description: The year is 2015. It's been thousands of years since the great Queen Nefertiti of Ancient Egypt has ruled the land of the New Kingdom. Amaunet is a girl with Egyptian blood, but is new to Egypt as her mother and father are archaeologists who are part of the excavation of King Tut's tomb. At 17, Amaunet is unsure about what she wants to be in this life. Most girls her age have their lives figured out. But, when she enters the Tomb of Tutankhamun, something seems to change. Suddenly, she has a purpose for life, and it's all because she falls through a falses door, and discovers the tomb of Queen Nefertiti. She doesn't get hurt, but then days later when she returns with her parents, she sees a mirror image of herself, and suddenly is thrown back in time to a time when this tomb was not even a tomb, just a empty, deserty landscape. And thus begins an incredible journey into the life of the Great Queen who died so long ago. But, why is Amaunet chosen to live the life of a Queen? And who is Nefertiti really? How does she fare in the modern world with Amaunet's parents? Secrets must be unveiled.
This and the next few bits titled Information Part (-) may be skipped now. thank you. you may skip ahead to chapter One.
One of the most mysterious and powerful women in ancient Egypt, Nefertiti was queen alongside Pharaoh Akhenaten from 1353 to 1336 B.C. and may have ruled the New Kingdom outright after her husband's death. Her reign was a time of tremendous cultural upheaval, as Akhenaten reoriented Egypt's religious and political structure around the worship of the sun god Aten. Nefertiti is best known for her painted sandstone bust, which was rediscovered in 1913 and became a global icon of feminine beauty and power.
Nefertiti may have been the daughter of Ay, a top adviser who would go on to become pharaoh after King Tut’s death in 1323 B.C. An alternate theory suggests she was a princess from the Mittani kingdom in northern Syria. She was her husband’s Great Royal Wife (favored consort) when he ascended the throne in Thebes as Amenhotep IV. In the fifth year of his reign, he displaced Egypt’s chief god Amon in favor of Aten, moved the capitol north to Amarna and changed his name to Akhenaten, with Nefertiti taking on the additional name “Neferneferuaten”—her full name meaning “Beautiful are the beauties of Aten, a Beautiful Woman has come.”
EGYPT - THE LAND OF THE NILE
Copyright, John T. Stevenson, 2000
Hail to you, O Nile, sprung from the earth,
Come to nourish Egypt,
Who creates all that is good. (Ancient Hymn).
Egypt is a land of shifting desert sands, a land of giant pyramids and a place of great rulers from the past. It is the land of the Nile.
THE GEOGRAPHY OF EGYPT
If it can be said that nature plays favorites, then Egypt was her favorite child. There are several geographical features which combine to make this a unique land.
1. An Isolated Land.
Ancient Egypt was isolated from the rest of the world by its topography. To the west was a vast desert. To the north was the Mediterranean. To the east was the Red Sea. There were only two points of entry into Egypt aside from sea routes.
a. The south.
The Nubians to the south of Egypt often proved to be troublesome, but they were rarely a match for the more advanced military of Egypt.
b. The Northeast.
Most of the invaders who came against Egypt moved down through Palestine and then across the northern section of the Sinai Peninsula. To counter this threat, the Egyptians built a line of fortresses along the western edge of the Sinai.
2. The Nile River.
The Nile is the longest river in the world. It flows from three branches: The Blue Nile, the White Nile and the Atbara. They join far south of Egypt to become a single river a mile wide.
The Nile was the lifeline of Egypt. It fashioned the nation's economy, determined its political structure, and molded the values it chose to live by.
Just as the surrounding deserts and oceans gave Egypt security, so the Nile gave Egypt prosperity. The Nile was almost wholly responsible for Egypt's economy.
a. It made Egypt an agricultural nation.
The Nile River flooded on a regular basis each year, depositing rich sediments on the plains. Crops were planted in the fertile soil as soon as the river had receded. The result was a full harvest.
b. It determined all real estate values.
The value of land was determined by how close to the Nile it was located and whether or not it was flooded annually.
c. It provided transportation.
Ancient Egypt was made up of a long narrow strip of land over 700 miles long and only a few miles wide. The Nile was the unifying factor of Egypt. It provided the best means of north-south transportation. This factor led to the political unity of Egypt very early in her history.
The Nile might have also served as a path for invading forces from the south, had it not been for the many waterfalls to the south of Egypt.
3. The Climate of Egypt.
Because of the warm climate and the rich, fertile soil, the Egyptians were able to take life rather leisurely. This gave them time to engage in philosophy, religion, and developments in architecture, astronomy and mathematics.
Egypt sees very little rainfall. Its water comes from the mountains of Central Africa, many hundreds of miles to the south. This dry climate has brought the added benefit in the preservation of thousands of monuments and papyrus scrolls.
Many archaeologists used to mistakenly believe that the people of Palestine were mostly illiterate. The truth is that, except for a few areas around the shores of the Dead Sea, papyrus has a very short life span in Palestine due to its high humidity. The absence of papyrus documents in Palestine is not a sign of illiteracy, but only the lack of longevity in the documents.
Egypt did not suffer from this problem. The dry climate was perfect for the preservation of papyrus. It is for this reason that some of our oldest copies of the Bible were found in Egypt.
We have already contrasted the geography of the Mesopotamian River Valley with that of the Nile, but it would be well to repeat some of those points of contrast.
The flooding of the Euphrates and Tigris was irregular and destructive.
The flooding of the Nile was both predictable and beneficial.
No natural borders to keep out invaders.
Bounded by natural borders of desert and sea.
Ruled by a vast succession of rulers of differing nationalities.
Most of Egypt's history saw a dynastic succession of domestic rulers.
People tended to have a pessimistic outlook on life.
Literature demonstrates a cheerful outlook on life.
The gods of Mesopotamia were cold and cruel and could not be trusted.
The gods of Egypt were considered to be good and benevolent.
PROBLEMS IN STUDYING EGYPTIAN CHRONOLOGY
There are several key problems that the archaeologist faces as he attempts to unravel the history of ancient Egypt.
1. The Lack of a Fixed System for Reckoning Time.
Like many people of the ancient world, the Egyptians had no unified time scale or way of referring to dates. Instead of having numbers to describe their years (May 7, 2000), they used several alternate means.
a. The naming of years.
In the earliest years of Egypt's history, the years were named according to significant events.
The year of the great hailstorm.
The year of fighting and smiting the northerners.
The year of the second enumeration of all large and small cattle of the north and the south.
The Bible also uses this kind of numbering system.
In the year of King Uzziah's death (Isaiah 6:1).
In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month...(Genesis 7:11).
And it came to pass in the seven and thirtieth year of the captivity of Jehoiachin king of Judah (Jeremiah 52:31).
b. Regal years.
The next method of reckoning time was to align it with the reigning monarch.
The 12th year of Amenhotep.
In the fourth year of king Darius (Zechariah 7:1).
In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah (Daniel 1:1).
Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar (Luke 3:1).
This meant that you had to know the name of every Egyptian king who ever ruled and the order in which they ruled.
Another problem with the fact that many kings had sons who were given the same name. They did not call themselves Thutmose 1st, Thutmose 2nd, Thustmose 3rd. We add these numbers for our own benefit.
c. Priestly records.
It was not until the Hellenistic Period that the Egyptian priests began to compile and to record detailed lists of kings, their names and the number of years in which they reigned. These were inscribed on temple walls where they can be found today.
2. The Lack of any Objective Egyptian Historians.
Egypt has yielded more in archaeological finds than any other area of the ancient world. Yet in spite of this, we have been limited in our understanding of Egyptian history.
The Egyptian did not emphasize originality or individuality. In his style of writing, he attempted to be like all other Egyptians and their ancestors as much as possible. It is not that we are unable to read his diary, it is that he writes the same thing that everyone else has written in their diaries.
The Egyptians never produced a native historian to evaluate or to give an objective account of their civilization. It was not until the Hellenistic Age when the Greek Ptolemies were ruling Egypt that her history began to be analyzed and interpreted by her own people.
3. The Use of Astronomical Dating Methods.
The Egyptians used a solar rather than a lunar calendar. They had 365 days in their year and divided their year into 360 days of twelve equal 30-day months and then added five additional feast days at the end of each year. It was this same calendar that was adopted by Julius Caesar and made the official calendar of the Roman Empire. It is essentially the same calendar that we use today.
The Egyptian months were grouped into three seasons of 4 month durations:
The warm season
The Egyptian astronomers were able to calculate and to keep records of three events.
a. The rising of the sun.
b. The rising of Sothis (Sirius, the dog star).
c. The start of Inundation.
These three events took place simultaneously once every 1460 years. Modern research has established that this event took place between 1325 and 1322 B.C. during the 19th dynasty of Egypt. This fact is confirmed by ancient scribal records (the previous cycle would have begun the Pyramid Age in 2785-2782 B.C.).
4. The Translating of the Hieroglyphics.
Until the 1800's everything that historians knew of Egypt came from Herodotus and the Bible. This began to change in 1798 when Napoleon invaded Egypt with a fleet of 328 warships. The expedition was a military failure, but led to an archaeological victory with the discovery of the Rosetta Stone. This small stone contained an inscription in three languages.
It was thought at first that the hieroglyphics were a form of picture writing where each picture represented a complete thought. Thus, a picture of an Omeans the word "ear." It did not immediately occur to scholars that Omight merely stand for the sound "ear."
It was left to Jean Francois Champollion to painstakingly decipher the Egyptian hieroglyphics using the key in the Rosetta Stone.