The team claimed that the mummy they examined was damaged in a way suggesting the body had been deliberately desecrated in antiquity. Mummification techniques, such as the use of embalming fluid and the presence of an intact brain, suggested an eighteenth-dynasty royal mummy. Other elements which the team used to support their theory were the age of the body, the presence of embedded nefer beads, and a wig of a rare style worn by Nefertiti. They further claimed that the mummy's arm was originally bent in the position reserved for pharaohs, but was later snapped off and replaced with another arm in a normal position.
Most Egyptologists, among them Kent Weeks and Peter Locavara, generally dismiss Fletcher's claims as unsubstantiated. They say that ancient mummies are almost impossible to identify as a particular person without DNA. As bodies of Nefertiti's parents or children have never been identified, her conclusive identification is impossible. Any circumstantial evidence, such as hairstyle and arm position, is not reliable enough to pinpoint a single, specific historical person. The cause of damage to the mummy can only be speculated upon, and the alleged revenge is an unsubstantiated theory. Bent arms, contrary to Fletcher's claims, were not reserved to pharaohs; this was also used for other members of the royal family. The wig found near to the mummy is of unknown origin, and cannot be conclusively linked to that specific body. Finally, the 18th dynasty was one of the largest and most prosperous dynasties of ancient Egypt. A female royal mummy could be any of a hundred royal wives or daughters from the 18th dynasty's more than 200 years on the throne.
In addition, there was controversy about both the age and sex of the mummy. On June 12, 2003, Hawass also dismissed the claim, citing insufficient evidence. On August 30, 2003, Reuters further quoted Hawass: "I'm sure that this mummy is not a female", and "Dr Fletcher has broken the rules and therefore, at least until we have reviewed the situation with her university, she must be banned from working in Egypt." On different occasions, Hawass has claimed that the mummy is female and male.
In a more recent research effort led by Egyptian archaeologist Dr. Zahi Hawass, head of Egypt's Supreme Council for Antiquities, the mummy known as "The Younger Lady" was put through CT scan analysis. Researchers concluded that she may be Tutankhamun's biological mother, an unnamed daughter of Amenhotep III and Queen Tiye, not Queen Nefertiti. Fragments of shattered bone were found in the sinus, and blood clots were found. The theory that the damage was inflicted post-mummification was rejected, and a murder scenario was deemed more likely. The broken-off bent forearm found near the mummy, which had been proposed to have belonged to "The Younger Lady" mummy, was conclusively shown not to actually belong to it. Scholars think that, after Tutankhamun returned Egypt to the traditional religion, he moved his closest relatives: father, grandmother, and biological mother, to the Valley of the Kings to be buried with him (according to the list of figurines and drawings in his tomb). Nefertiti may be in an undiscovered tomb.
A KMT article called "Who is The Elder Lady mummy?" suggested in 2001 that the elder lady mummy may be Nefertiti's body. It was argued that the evidence suggests that the mummy is around her mid-thirties or early forties, Nefertiti's guessed age of death. More evidence to support this identification was that the mummy's teeth look like that of a 29-38 year old, Nefertiti's most likely age of death. Also, unfinished busts of Nefertiti appear to resemble the mummy's face, though other suggestions included Ankhesenamun and, the favorite candidate, Tiye.
Due to recent age tests on the mummy's teeth, it appears that the 'Elder Lady' is in fact Queen Tiye and also that the DNA of the mummy is a close, if not direct, match to the lock of hair found in Tutankhamun's tomb. The lock of hair was found in a coffinette bearing an inscription naming Queen Tiye. Recent DNA testing has proved the elder Lady is a daughter of Yuya and Thuya, therefore she is identified as Queen Tiye, mother of Akhenaten.
Further information: Nefertiti bust
Nefertiti's place as an icon in popular culture is secure as she has become somewhat of a celebrity. After Cleopatra she is the second most famous "Queen" of Ancient Egypt in the Western imagination and influenced through photographs that changed standards of feminine beauty of the 20th century, and is often referred to as "the most beautiful woman in the world".
In the arts
Mika Waltari, The Egyptian (1945).
Allen Drury, God Against the Gods (1978). Story of Akhenaten and Nefertiti.
Mwaffaq Irshaidat, Ein Shams Journal (1975). A love story in the early Egyptian Days - A Jordanian point of view.
Naguib Mahfouz, Akhenaten, Dweller in Truth (1985) Nefertiti is one of the characters who reflects on Akhenaten and the Amarna period
Michelle Moran: Nefertiti: A Novel. (Crown, 2007).
Nick Drake: Nefertiti: The Book of the Dead. (Harper, 2008).
Esther Friesner: Sphinx's Princess. (Random House, 2009).
Poetry Dave Malone in his poem, "A Long Weekend" in Poems to Love and the Body (Bliss Station, 1998; Smashwords, 2010), weaves a modern-day love poem with references to Nefertiti, King Akhenaten, and the city, Akhetaten (Amarna).
(1954) The Egyptian, played by Anitra Stevens
(1961) Nefertiti, Queen of the Nile, played by Jeanne Crain
(1994) Nefertiti, figlia del sole, played by Michela Rocco di Torrepadula
Did Ancient Egyptians believe in reincarnation?
This question is rather like asking if Americans believe in reincarnation, or if Chinese believe in reincarnation. There are a lot of people to consider, and in particular with ancient Egyptian society, it had a long and varied history. However, from my perspective, the short answer is, yes.
As with all societies thru history, the more educated someone is (formally or otherwise), the more likely they have some understanding or appreciation of philosophical or spiritual matters. There is little time for reflecting on the nature of consciousness if you are struggling to survive, or fighting battles, or building monuments. Ancient Egypt was fairly prosperous and peaceful, so the citizenry had time to pursue luxuries like art, science and spiritual matters, as they existed in their culture at that time.
In general terms the priestly class and those who studied spiritual matters in Egypt very likely did understand that the soul, or Ba, does survive death of the physical body. And, at least among those who had access to the higher knowledge or secret teachings, reincarnation was understood as being a mechanism thru which the soul or consciousness of an individual can learn and grow over a succession of lifetimes. There is a reason some of those concepts are depicted in their art...
The above image is from The Book of Going Forth by Day which is also known as The Egyptian Book of the Dead. Here is a synopsis of what the illustration is attempting to communicate: Soul Life - A Light Heart - Egyptian Key
Again, the people grinding grain and selling goods in the marketplace may have had little understanding or appreciation of these concepts, as it is still today, but even a brief study of Egyptian mythology will reveal a number of concepts that are very similar to concepts depicted in Eastern traditions such as Buddhism and Hinduism. The Light of the Creator, as the Kabbalists would say, shines thru the lenses of many cultures and traditions.
One of many wonderful scenes in ancient Egyptian art is “The Judgment,” sometimes called “The Weighing of the Heart.” It appears in the papyrus scrolls of The Egyptian Book of the Dead. The scene shows a deceased Egyptian named Ani being led to the chamber of his judgment. The god Anubis, the underworld guide, brings Ani before a huge scale. On one side of the scale, Ani’s heart is placed in a jar. On the other side of the scale is the feather of the goddess Maat. Observing this weighing of the heart are various other gods. Thoth (Hermes, to the Greeks) stands nearby with Ani’s Book of Life in his hands, ready to inscribe the outcome of this weighing. Horus, the god who was immaculately conceived by Isis to save the world from Egypt’s satan, waits to see if Ani’s heart is light enough for him to lead Ani out of the underworld through Osiris’ chamber and on up into the heavens. Isis and Nephthys stand behind Osiris, who is seated on his throne. All await the outcome.
If one’s heart were heavy with regret, unfinished Earth business, or the pull of selfish desires, then the ancient Egyptian -- in this case, Ani -- could not enter the heavens. A beastly creature would eat his heart, and he would have to return to Earth to get a new heart, one light enough to rise into heaven (presumably by reincarnating and living a better life than before).
Do we have light hearts? Or are we carrying around a lot of unresolved issues, unfulfilled desires, the weight of broken dreams and promises, or whatever is weighing on us? The Cayce readings tell the story of an Egyptian high priest named Ra Ta who, at a very old age and in decrepit condition, was able to rejuvenate himself and live another one hundred years, in order to work on the building of the great pyramid of Giza. When Cayce was asked how this priest rejuvenated his aged body, he answered: “through the casting aside of the years of toil and strife through which the body of Ra-Ta itself had passed.” In order words, by letting go of the things that had aged him. We tend to hold on to our pain, our suffering, our sacrifices, and our regrets. All of which age us and weigh our hearts down. Forgive and forget is a much healthier prescription.
Such rejuvenation was not done in one day or in one thought; it took Ra Ta seven years to fully rejuvenate himself. It will likely take us as long.
When in deep trance attunement to the Universal Consciousness, Cayce was asked to give some light on the word heart. He replied in this fashion: As in the physical body the heart is considered the source that impels life to all portions of the body. In that sense, then, one seeks God’s help in creating a pure heart, a pure soul, a pure purpose in body and mind, that one may bring life, light, understanding, to those contacted -- as does the heart to the body. The heart is used to signify that purpose, that intent, that life. It represents an entity, a body, a mind; an imaginative being that through the conscious and subconscious or soul forces brings life to all contacted. As in: “Create within me a pure heart, O God, and RENEW a right, righteous, holy spirit within me.”
In his teachings about actions and reactions, he encourages us to achieve a light heart by helping others’ hearts be lighter: “Keep thy smile of encouragement to others; for it lightens the heart of many.”
In a reading for a member of the Work Readings Group in 1938, Cayce gave this insight and encouragement about keeping our light shining: “Thy light hath gone out before the darkness in the lives of many. Keep that light burning in thy own heart. Grow not weary in well doing. Let thy heart open to those things that bespeak the closeness of His walks, His talks with thee. Thy light of love and faith and hope and thought will not lose its reward in Him. For whom He loveth He comforteth, every one.”
A light heart, both in weight and luminescence, is an important part of our personal spirituality. How do we achieve such? The answer is by being often in prayer, meditation, and doing good for others.
In his parable of the seeds of the word of God sown along the roadside of life, Jesus says that the seeds that fall “in the good ground, these are such as in an honest and good heart, having heard the word, hold it fast, and bring forth fruit with patience.” A good heart in patience is the important point here. Letting go of what weighs our hearts down is achieved with patience. We cannot jump straight out of our present condition into our hoped-for goal. We proceed from where we are to that goal, step by step, little by little, day by day, one situation at a time. Whether we have a week to live or many years, today is the time to begin to lighten and enlighten our hearts and the hearts of those around us. Cayce commented that “some grow old gracefully, some tolerantly, some fussily, and some very meanly.” The key factor may well be patience.
In the Egyptian scene, Ani’s heart is indeed lighter than Maat’s feather, and he is allowed to enter the higher heavens. Let’s lighten our hearts and the hearts of those we contact.
Tut's tomb may hold Queen Nefertiti and is in the valley of the kings.
Given Name TUTANKHAMON
USAGE: Ancient Egyptian
PRONOUNCED: too-tahng-KAH-mən (English) [key]
Meaning & History
Means "image of the life of Amon", derived from Egyptian tut "image" combined with ankh "life" combined with the name of the god Amon. This was the name of an Egyptian pharaoh of the 18th dynasty, most famous because of the treasures found in his tomb.
Much of what is known about Tutankhamun, better known today as King Tut, derives from the discovery of his tomb in 1922. British archaeologist Howard Carter had begun excavating in Egypt in 1891, and after World War I he began an intensive search for Tutankhamun's tomb in the Valley of the Kings.
I will try to get chapter one posted tomorrow.