Smenkhkara and Meritaton: The True Parents of Tutankhamonby Michael Costa
Nefertiti bore daughters to her husband. Based on surviving sculptures, in their early years Akhenaton and Nefertiti were happily married. In later years at least one portrait or sculpture shows them holding hands but leaving their expression somewhat depressed. They never had a male heir or son. Nefertiti's daughters, Meritaton and Ankhesenpaaton, both had female daughters named after them. Even Nefertiti's sister, Mutnodjmet, never bore a son for her husband Horemhab the future King and then-current General of the Army. Mutnodjmet was found as an element in the "floating barge" with an accompanying dwarf/pygmy among Tutankhamon's belongings.
It is recorded that "Nefertiti fell from grace and moved into the Northern Palace of Akhetaton during the later years of Akhenaton." This does not mean that "she died," for most likely she was divorced as she still lived. Divorce was not uncommon for Ancient Egyptians, but was difficult to express when it happened in the royal palace. The people could not know what happened to her, it would be too devastating. Nefertiti was well respected by the people, as they saw her in the Window of Appearances giving rewards to the citizens, or on temple reliefs in ritual smiting of the enemy. The reason was mostly simple: she did not give her husband a son to inherit his doctrine or continue the dynasty. So what did happen?
DNA evidence (2010) has 2 mummies related to each other as "brother and sister," one from KV55 and the Younger Lady mummy. Once thought to be Akhenaton based solely on the condition of its encasement coffin and effaced inscriptions, the KV55 male mummy is someone else. Akhenaton did not have any sisters matching the Younger Lady's description. My theory is that KV55 mummy is Smenkhkara and the Younger Lady is Akhenaton's eldest surviving daughter Merit-aton. This means Smenkhkara is Akhenaton's son by a different source than Nefertiti. Some DNA links hint at a foreign genetic source in the tested mummies, so Smenkhkara's mother is questionable. Was she another wife of Akhenaton, a secret lover / harem girl, or of a foreign royal bloodline?
Smenkhkara adopts the former royal name of Nefertiti to keep the situation current, and to prevent suspicion as to why she is missing. His wife, Meritaton, is the daughter of Nefertiti & Akhenaton, and became the new "Great Royal Wife" of the coregent Nefernefruaton Ankhkheperura. A few years into the new coregency, Smenkhkara drops the reference to Nefertiti and becomes Ankhkheperura Smenkhkara. Gradual name changes give room to smooth transition of power. The people would believe it was the same individuals giving themselves new names or titles; a common practice. Then after Akhenaton died the new Smenkhkara became full sovereign as Djoserkheperura Smenkhkara with Meritaton as Queen.
The DNA evidence states that the KV55 Mummy and Younger Lady are the genetic parents of Tutankhamon.
Copyright 2012 MJC, All rights reserved.
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KMT Magazine - Volume 27, Number 2, Summer 2016: (Pages 21-24)
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