The king in Ancient Egypt, despite his solar nature, was also a human being. After dying, the pharaoh became also a corpse, so a mummy.
Therefore it was inevitable to asimilate the dead souvereign with Osiris. And he required also a resurection following the belief of Ancient Egypt. Even Akhenaten needed it.
Sarcophagi of Hatshepsut and Amenhotep II.
Royal sarcophagi in Ancient Egypt needed also protection for the Pharaoh in the same way particular coffins did. For that reason, Isis and Nephthys, as the mourners of the dead Osiris, were present also at both ends of sarcophagi of kings of the XVIII dynasty.
But what happenend during the Amarna Period?
Isis, Nephthys and later on also Serket and Neith were essential in the regeneration sphere. They, as women/goddessees, played a crucial role in the process of resurrection in Ancient Egypt.
Canopic chest of priest of Montu Pady-Imenet. Neith pouring water on Qebehsenuef, the son of Horus who protected the intestines. XXII Dynasty.Luxor Museum.
For that reason, ancient Egyptian artist included their images in every funerary artefact related with the mummy (at both ends of coffins and sarcophagi, in canopic shrines, ushabti boxes…).
Nevertheless, what happened under the reign of Akhenaton? During the Amarna Period the official religion changed into a kind of monotheism. The only officialy worshipped divinity was the sun disk Aten and every old divinity disappeared, included the goddesses.
How did they managed the matter of the resurrection and the women/goddesses involved in it?
The most important female figure in that period of the history of Ancient Egypt was Nefertiti. She had a higher status than former royal wives did, even in religion.
Sarcophagus of Akhenaten. Cairo Museum. Photo Mª Rosa Valdesogo.
Not only she had her own role in the cult to the Aten, iconography shows how it was considered that Nefertiti had a reviving power in herself.
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During the reign of Akhenaten many things changed in Ancient Egypt. The new Pharaoh modified the artistic canon, his residence, the religion, the cult…but what happened with the death?
Akhenaten, Nefertiti and their three Daughters. Altes Museum in Berlin. Photo: Mª Rosa Valdesogo
Those ancient Egyptian people from Amarna…did not die? Yes, they did, there was a cemetery. There were also mummies and coffins.
People continued being buried into tombs; and the walls of those tombs were decorated with reliefs. That is, there was a funerary art and a funerary architecture. A mortuary practice existed.
Iconography and texts point to an Egyptian funerary custom of shaving or cutting a piece of hair to the two mourners in the role of Isis and Nephtys. But, does the archaeology say something to us? The answer is yes. There is archaeological information from different moments of the Egyptian history proving the existence of hair offering to the dead.
The two Drty (two kites), offering nw vases to the four pools. Relief from the tomb of Pahery in el-Kab. XVIII Dynasty. Photo: http://www.osirisnet.net
All these archaeological remains make us think of those images of the twomourners called Drt with short hair at the end of the Opening of the Mouth ceremony and also of those texts mentioning the shaving of the mourners and the cut of the s3mt.
 Petrie and M. Flinders, 1902, p. 5, Pl. IV, fig. 7.
 Maspero, 1912, p. 170.
 It was in the group B 213, near the cultivable area.
 Wainwright, 1920, p. 11.
 Nachtergael, 1980, p. 243.
 Maspero, 1893, p. 274.
 Wagner et allii, 1984-1985, p. 188. They are in Musée du Louvre (Département des Antiquités Égyptiennes, Inv. Nº E 18851).
 Winlock, 1932, p. 34, Pl. XXXII y XXXIII.
 Peet and Woolley, 1923, p. 66.
 Crompton, 1916, p. 128. They are in the Manchester Museum.
 Daressy, 1907, p. 34.
Bell, 1985, pp. 61-86, Pl. II.
 Dunand, Heim, Henein, Lichtenberg, 1992; Wagner et allii, 1984-1985, pp. 175- 202.
 The tombs are: T3, T4, T5, T7, T9, T11, T12, T53, T58, T66.
Posted in 04. HAIR AND THE EYE OF HORUS
Tagged Abydos, Amarna, ancient egypt, archaeology, cementery, dead, deceased, Deir el-Bahari, Douch, drt, funeral, funerary, gurob, hair, lock, lock of hair, mourner, mummy, necropolis, remain, resurrection, tomb