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Smenkhkare
Human Mummy
Smenk
Biographical Information
Name(s) Ankhkheperure Smenkhkare Djeser Kheperu
Age Possibly 18-25
Sex Male
Status Deceased
Height N/A
Source
Culture Ancient Egypt
Date(s) 1400 BCE - 1301 BCE (Timeframe)
Site Tundetermined
Current Location
Location Egypt
Catalog # N/A

Born Smenkh-ka-re or Djeser-kheperu. He was also called Smenkhkara

Smenkhkare was Pharaoh during the late 18th century for a very short time. He only appeared in the record near the end of Akhenaton’s reign.

The pharaoh's identity and origin are controversial questions that resulted in numerous unsubstantiated theories. Some speculate that Smenkhkare was actually the wife of Akhenaton,  Nefertiti. Those who believe in this theory speculate that Akhenaton simply wanted to give his wife kingly status through "Smenkhkare". Other scholars believe that the young pharaoh was actually Tutankhamen’s brother, based on evidence found within the tomb. To complicate the situation further, in the tomb of Akhenaton, Smenkhkare is depicted alongside Meritaton, the eldest daughter of Akhenaton.   

Mummification

Archaeologist Edward Ayrton discovered a mysterious tomb in the Valley of Kings, Egypt during 1907 called KV55. Inside the tomb was a single body, as well as various artifacts. While the identity of the KV55 mummy is still in question, some evidence suggests that the body of the mummy belongs to Smenkhkare.

Most think that KV55 was in fact used for the reburial of a mummy and funerary equipment that had originally been interred in a royal tomb or tombs at El-Amarna. Unfortunately, it is impossible to determine which of the many names found on the objects in the tomb belonged to the skeletal remains found in the gilded wooden coffin.

The linguist Sir Alan Gardiner argued that the titles showed that the coffin had been made for Akhenaten. Other scholars, however, have noted that the inscriptions were altered at some point, and it has been suggested that the coffin’s occupant might not be its original owner.

Studies

A great deal of studies has been conducted on the KV55 mummy. A cranial and serological analyses have lead scientists to conclude that the mummy was closely related to Tutankhamen.

The bones belong to a male, with an elongated skull. This trait is found in artistic representations of Akhenaten and his family, and can also be seen in the mummy of Tutankhamun, who may have been Akhenaten’s son. In addition, the KV55 mummy shares a blood type with Tut; studies have indicated that the remains from the Amarna Cache belonged to an individual closely related to Tutankhamun. Most previous forensic studies have concluded that the skeleton belonged to a man who died in his early 20s, or at the latest about 35. Historical sources indicate that Akhenaten must have been well over 30 at his death. The majority of Egyptologists, therefore, are inclined to believe that the KV55 mummy is that of Smenkhkare, likely father, son, or brother to Tutankhamun.

Additional

Also, the contents found in the tomb (KV55) are rather interesting. Wooden panels from a shrine that protected the sarcophagus of Queen Tiye were found in KV55. Also, found within the tomb were small clay sealing with the name of Tiye’s husband and Tutankhamun. Furthermore, they found four mud bricks within KV55 that had the name “Akhenaten” inscribed. Other artifacts found include Glass jars, vessels of stone, and pottery.

References

Encyclopædia Britannica. (2010, March 25). Smenkhkare. Retrieved from https://www.britannica.com/biography/Smenkhkare  

Ancient Egypt online. (2016). Smenkhare. Retrieved from http://www.ancientegyptonline.co.uk/smenkhare.html

Hawass, Z. (n.d.). Mystery of the Mummy from KV55. Retrieved from http://www.guardians.net/hawass/articles/Mystery%20of%20the%20Mummy%20from%20KV55.htm

Cyberlinks. (n.d.). Smenkhkare. Retrieved from http://www.crystalinks.com/Smenkhkare.html

https://www.ask-aladdin.com/egypt-pharaohs/smenkhkare/

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