Tutankhamun and the Age of Appropriation: Priceless Secrets and Palimpsests Hidden in Plain Sight–Part I | Ancient Origins Members Site


Tutankhamun and the Age of Appropriation: Priceless Secrets and Palimpsests Hidden in Plain Sight–Part I

Tutankhamun and the Age of Appropriation: Priceless Secrets and Palimpsests Hidden in Plain Sight–Part I

Among the stupefying hoard of over five thousand objects that were recovered from the tomb of Tutankhamun (KV62), some sported distinct Atenist leanings. While the golden throne of the boy-king is the most prominent in this regard, other treasures are no less sensational. It is the existence of palimpsests (where an artifact or text has been reused after original writing removed) on many artifacts that has intrigued Egyptologists for decades; mainly because they hint that a female pharaoh ruled before Tutankhamun.

Tutankhamun presided over the demise of the Amarna dream. This painted wooden head depicts him as the god Nefertem who springs from a sacred blue water lily at dawn; symbolizing the Sun God rising. Egyptian Museum, Cairo.

Akhenaten, the rebel pharaoh, had taken it upon himself to rid the pantheon of ancient Egyptian deities, reserving special hatred for the worship of Amun, the state god. He set about this enterprise of proscription around Year 8 or a little later. The promotion of the Aten as the sole deity did not arise out of a sudden epiphany, but, it was a well-planned move that was born out of both religious and political necessities. The subtle elevation of this hitherto minor god was actually set in motion by his father Amenhotep III, if not substantially by earlier pharaohs.


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