The First Art Newspaper on the Net   Established in 1996 United States Monday, September 16, 2019

King Tutankhamun's wet nurse may have been his sister: French archaeologist Alain Zivie
A picture shows a relief inside the tomb of Maia, the wet-nurse of legendary Egyptian boy king Tutankhamun, in Saqqara, about 35 kms south of Cairo on December 20, 2015. The site has been opened for visitors for the first time since it was discovered in 1996. AFP PHOTO / KHALED DESOUKI.

CAIRO (AFP).- An archaeologist said Sunday that Maia, Egyptian pharaoh Tutankhamun's wet nurse, may have actually been his sister Meritaten, reviving speculation about the identity of the mother of the boy king.

DNA tests have proved that the pharaoh Akhenaten was the father of Tutankhamun, but the identity of his mother has long been a mystery.

On Sunday, Egyptian officials and French archaeologist Alain Zivie unveiled Maia's tomb to journalists ahead of its opening to the public next month.

The tomb was discovered by Egyptologist Zivie in 1996 in Saqqara, a necropolis about 20 kilometres (12 miles) south of Cairo.

Maia was the wet nurse of Tutankhamun, whose mummy was found in 1922 by renowned British Egyptologist Howard Carter in the Valley of Kings in Luxor along with a treasure trove of thousands of objects.

"Maia is none other than princess Meritaten, the sister or half-sister of Tutankhamun and the daughter of Akhenaten and Nefertiti," Zivie told AFP.

He said his conclusion was based on the carvings of Tutankhamun and Maia on the walls of Maia's tomb.

"The extraordinary thing is that they are very similar. They have the same chin, the eyes, the family traits," he said.

"The carvings show Maia sitting on the royal throne and he is sitting on her" lap, said Zivie, director of the French Archaeological Mission of Bubasteion.

Similar carvings were in Akhenaten's tomb at the Tel el-Amarna archaeological site in modern-day Minya province where the pharaoh had his capital city, he said.

A DNA analysis in 2010 revealed that Tutankhamun was the son of Akhenaten, who temporarily converted ancient Egypt to monotheism by imposing the cult of sun god Aton.

The tomb of Akhenaten has carvings showing the death of princess Maketaten -- the second daughter of Akhenaten and Nefertiti, Zivie said.

"In these scenes there is a woman who is breast-feeding a baby, and this woman shown as a wet nurse is princess Meritaten, the eldest daughter of Akhenaten," he said.

The mummy of Meritaten has not been found, but Antiquities Minister Mamduh al-Damati said on Sunday it could be in a secret chamber in Tutankhamun's tomb.

Archaeologists are currently scanning Tutankhamun's tomb in the Valley of Kings after British archaeologist Nicholas Reeves claimed that it has a secret chamber.

Reeves says the chamber could be the burial site of Nefertiti, whose mummy also has not been found.

"All these possibilities exist. Step by step we will be able to better understand the time of king Tutankhamun," Damati said.

Tutankhamun died more than 3,000 years ago aged 19 in 1324 BC after reigning for nine years.

© 1994-2015 Agence France-Presse

Today's News

December 21, 2015

King Tutankhamun's wet nurse may have been his sister: French archaeologist Alain Zivie

Dramatic Indian sculptural masks featured in exhibition on theme of Vishnu at Metropolitan Museum

Overview of the exceptional and intense work of photographer Francesca Woodman opens at Foam

Art Institute of Chicago reopens galleries of contemporary art unveiling largest gift in its history

MoMA appoints Sean Anderson Associate Curator in the Department of Architecture and Design

Tate appoints Inti Guerrero as new Estrellita B. Brodsky Adjunct Curator of Latin American Art

Christchurch Art Gallery reopens after damage from the earthquakes in 2010 and 2011

Rare early Renaissance painting by Circle of Ercole de’ Roberti now on view at the Art Gallery of Hamilton

Metamorphics and juxtapositions in anniversary exhibition at Memphis Brooks Museum of Art

Random International's Rain Room presented at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art

Gluckman Tang Architects to design Extreme Model Railroad Museum and Global Museum of Contemporary Art

Max Delany appointed Artistic Director of the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art

George Eastman Museum acquires world's largest collection of contemporary Indian cinema

Van Gogh Museum announces winning artwork from "When I Give, I Give Myself" open call

Joyce Pensato featured in FOCUS series organized by the Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth

Major exhibition of contemporary Asian and Pacific art on view in Brisbane

Dayanita Singh presents Conversation Chambers: Museum Bhavan​ ​at Kiran Nadar Museum of Art

Ten "life masks" transformed into art at the Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna

Heritage inaugural Hong Kong Asian Coins and Currency auctions bring $2.82+ million

Full Exposure: Paul and Damon McCarthy's Pirate Party on view at the Nasher Museum

"Sarah Emerson: The Unbearable Flatness of Being" on view at MOCA GA

Last chance to see: Exhibition of works by Richard Phillips at Mathew NYC

Most Popular Last Seven Days

1.- Holocaust 'masterpiece' causes uproar at Venice film festival

2.- To be unveiled at Sotheby's: One of the greatest collections of Orientalist paintings ever assembled

3.- Bender Gallery features paintings by up and coming Chicago artist Michael Hedges

4.- Lévy Gorvy exhibits new and historic works by French master in his centenary year

5.- Artificial Intelligence as good as Mahler? Austrian orchestra performs symphony with twist

6.- Fascinating new exhibition explores enduring artistic bond between Scotland and Italy

7.- Exhibition explores the process of Japanese-style woodblock production

8.- Robert Frank, photographer of America's underbelly, dead at 94

9.- The truth behind the legend of patriot Paul Revere revealed in a new exhibition at New-York Historical Society

10.- Hitler bust found in cellar of French Senate

Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .


Ignacio Villarreal
(1941 - 2019)
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez

Royalville Communications, Inc
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
to a Mexican poet.

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site
Tell a Friend
Dear User, please complete the form below in order to recommend the Artdaily newsletter to someone you know.
Please complete all fields marked *.
Sending Mail
Sending Successful