Saturday, January 28, 2012

Mississippi River Pioneers

Some of you may not be aware that I am also an historian of the early settlements on the Upper Mississippi.  Today I have started a new blog called Mississippi River Pioneers.  If you are interested in American history of the Midwest, mostly of the 19th Century, go to this link:

The view in the photo is of the area near Prairie du Chien, where the Mississippi and Wisconsin rivers converge. 

Sunday, January 15, 2012

A Little Nefertiti Logic

Last night, sleepless from too much sleep due to having been in bed for a couple of days on account of a nasty virus, I was struck by a jolt of logic.  In 1999, as many of you know, I published an online paper with the title, "Do We Have the Mummy of Nefertiti?"   If you haven't already read it, you can find it here:

Ever since Dr. Hawass et al published the JAMA paper on the DNA of the family of Tutankhamun, there has been, among the online Egyptolophiles, the knee-jerk reaction that, because she has now been confirmed as a daughter of Amenhotep III and Queen Tiye, the mummy the "Younger Lady from KV35" cannot possibly be Queen Nefertiti.  But the fact remains I first got the idea that KV35YL could be Akhenaten's wife because of physical resemblances of the remains to her portraits.  There are quite a few, and I point them all out in my paper.  I do admit to having had doubts that the KV35YL can have been a daughter of Amenhotep III and Queen Tiye because their [at the time purported but now confirmed] mummies are excessively short in stature and the KV35YL is taller. At 5' 2", the YL is taller than her father and certainly taller than the 4' 9" Queen Tiye. 

But here's the thing.  No matter what arguments people line up against the KV55 individual and the KV35YL being Akhenaten and Nefertiti, it seems an undisputed fact that Amenhotep III and Queen Tiye had a daughter who looked like Nefertiti, possessed the physical attributes evidenced by that lady's portraits [when she was allowed to look like herself and not like a strange version of Akhenaten].  Put differently, Amenhotep III and Queen Tiye were capable of engendering a Nefertiti or someone who resembled her greatly--down to the extraordinarily long, swanlike neck.  Logic and DNA dictate it must be so.  After I had proposed that the KV35YL might be Nefertiti, another woman, Susan James, took a good look at the Elder Lady and concluded that *she* looked like Nefertiti and advocated this identification.  There is no hope for Ms. James' theory now, evidently, but perhaps James' perception of a resemblance was not far off the mark.  For more, please do a search on the blog post "Tutankhamun's Family Tree--the Possibilities" here.

Granddaughter, Danya, making obeisance to the royals