Sunday, May 3, 2015

ARCE Annual Meeting (Cont.)

     The first day continued after a short break with a paper delivered by Kelly-Anne Diamond of Villanova University. The paper, entitled "The Goddess Isis: She who Makes the Shade with her Feathers", attempted to identify the actual species of bird (the Hait bird) that Isis takes in many situations, including Pyramid Texts #1255 and #1280. The speaker gave me two pieces of information that I was not aware of:

          1) There is no reference to Isis before Dynasty Five

          2) No Egyptian town claims to be her place of origin

     After this, Gay Robbins discussed a representation of Nefertiti that is unique in the nobles tombs at Amarna. Her paper (called "Nefertiti Pours a Drink for Akhenaten in the Tomb of her Steward Merira") analyzed a scene in which Nefertiti pours a drink through a strainer and into a cup for her husband. One of their daughters stand between the couple and two more daughters stand behind the Queen. The Aten is not shown (although the cartouches of the Aten are). The lamp stand shown in the scene may indicate that this took place at night in privacy.

     What is unique about this scene in the nobles tombs is that Nefertiti is shown doing something different than Akhenaten. In all other scenes in tombs at Amarna she is shown doing the same thing as her husband. If he is adoring the Aten, so is she. If he is rewarding officials at the window of appearances, so is she. Also, in the other scenes she is shown facing the same direction as the Pharaoh, but in this one scene from the tomb of Merira she is shown facing her husband.

     The significance of this scene is unclear, although it may me in Merira's tomb to illustrate the fact that, as Nefertiti's steward, he had access to the royal couple in private.

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