When Tutankhamun Lay in State: Did Ankhesenamun Willfully Delay Her Husband’s Burial? – Part I

When Tutankhamun Lay in State: Did Ankhesenamun Willfully Delay Her Husband’s Burial? – Part I

The twilight years of the Amarna interlude are shrouded in mystery. We have little concrete evidence of the persons who reigned and their actions. Tossed into this confounding milieu are details of an unprecedented communication from a recently-widowed Egyptian queen to the rival Hittite king. Did Ankhesenamun, who is widely believed to have penned the plea, willfully delay Tutankhamun’s burial to use it as a bargaining chip to achieve her goal of saving Egypt and her dynasty?

The untimely death of the last ruler of the Amarna bloodline, Tutankhamun, threw the race for the Egyptian throne wide open. Old hands Aye and Horemheb fancied their chances, with the former succeeding. But before Aye became pharaoh the young widow, Ankhesenamun, made a last ditch effort to save her dynasty. Egyptian Museum, Cairo.

The untimely death of the last ruler of the Amarna bloodline, Tutankhamun, threw the race for the Egyptian throne wide open. Old hands Aye and Horemheb fancied their chances, with the former succeeding. But before Aye became pharaoh the young widow, Ankhesenamun, made a last ditch effort to save her dynasty. Egyptian Museum, Cairo.

Dakhamunzu and Egypt in Decline

It is of crucial importance to study the Dakhamunzu episode with regard to the diplomatic relations that Egypt maintained with her neighbors during the second-half of the 14th century BC, in particular, the other major powers in Western Asia. A battle for supremacy raged between Egypt, Mitanni and the new entrant in the power-game, the Hittites under King Suppiluliuma I. Even though scholars have conducted in depth studies into the Amarna corpus which details, among other aspects, the utter neglect of international affairs by Akhenaten; we are left at the mercy of the Hittite chronicles to reconstruct events that occurred during the late-Amarna age and its immediate aftermath. 


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