Ay: Difference between revisions

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removed 'family' section. combined it into 'origins'. Added sources.
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(removed 'family' section. combined it into 'origins'. Added sources.)
|NebtyHiero = <hiero>sxm-F9:F9-d:r:D40-S22:t*t:N25</hiero>
|Reign = 1323&ndash;1319&nbsp;BC or 1327&ndash;1323&nbsp;BC
|Predecessor = [[Tutankhamun]] (Grandnephew & Grandsongrandson-in-law?)
|Successor = [[Horemheb]] (Possible Son-in-law)
|Spouse = [[Tey]] and [[Ankhesenamun]] (Ankhesenamun: Granddaughter & Grandniecegrandniece-in-law?)
|Children = [[Nakhtmin]]?, [[Nefertiti]]?, [[Mutnedjmet]]?
|Dynasty = [[Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt|18th&nbsp;Dynasty]]
|Died = 1319 or 1323 BC
'''Ay''' was the penultimate [[Pharaohpharaoh]] of [[Ancient Egypt]]'s [[Eighteenth dynasty of Egypt|18th dynasty]]. He held the throne of Egypt for a brief four-year period (probably 1323–1319 BC<ref>Erik Hornung, Rolf Krauss & David Warburton (editors), Ancient Egyptian Chronology (Handbook of Oriental Studies), Brill: 2006, p. 493</ref> or 1327–1323 BC, depending on which chronology is followed), although he was a close advisor to two and perhaps three of the pharaohs who ruled before him and is thought to have been the [[power behind the throne]] during [[Tutankhamun]]'s reign. Ay's ''[[Prenomen (Ancient Egypt)| prenomen]]'' or royal name&mdash;Kheperkheperure&mdash;means "Everlasting are the Manifestations of Ra" while his birth''[[nomen name(Ancient Egypt)| nomen]]'' ''Ay it-netjer'' reads as "Ay, Father of the God".<ref>Peter Clayton, Chronicle of the Pharaohs, Thames & Hudson Ltd, 1994. p136</ref> Records and monuments that can be clearly attributed to Ay are rare, not only due to his short length of reign, but also because his successor, [[Horemheb]], instigated a campaign of ''[[damnatio memoriae]]'' against him and other pharaohs associated with the unpopular [[Amarna Period]].
==Origins and family==
Ay is usually believed to be a native Egyptian from [[Akhmim]]. During his short reign, he built a rock cut chapel in Akhmim and dedicated it to the local deity there: [[Min (god)|Min]]. He may have been the son of [[Yuya]], who served as a member of the priesthood of Min at Akhmim as well as superintendent of herds in this city, and his wife [[Tjuyu]].<ref>[http://www.lind.org.zw/history/egyptiansite/Yuyu.htm Egyptname="Aldred during the reign of Akhenaten]</ref1957">{{cite Ifjournal so,|last1=Aldred Ay|first1=Cyril could|title=The have beenEnd of partialthe nonEl-Egyptian,'Amarna perhapsPeriod Syrian,|journal=The bloodJournal sinceof theEgyptian nameArchaeology Yuya|date=December was1957 uncommon|volume=43 in|page=33 Egypt and is suggestive of a foreign background|doi=10.2307/3855276}}</ref>Yuya's nameThis wasconnection analysedis bybased G.on Masperothe infact "Thethat Tombboth of IouiyaYuya and Austin"Ay bycame Theodorefrom M.Akhmim Davis,and Archibaldheld Constablethe andtitles Co.'God's Ltd,Father' 1907,and pp'Master of Horses'. xiii–xiv</ref>It Yuyahas wasbeen anspeculated influentialthat noblemanwhile atYuya held the royaltitle court'King's Lieutenant of [[AmenhotepChariotry', III]]Ay who was givenheld the raretitle privilege'Troop ofCaptain', havingwhich amay tombhave builtbeen forthe hisequivalent usetitle in the royalinfantry. ValleyA ofstrong thephysical Kingsresemblance presumablyhas becausebeen henoted wasbetween the fathermummy of [[Tiye]],Yuya Amenhotep'sand chiefsurviving Queen.statuary Theredepictions areof alsoAy.<ref notedname="Aldred similarities1957"/> inThe the physical likenessesmummy of monumentsAy attributedhas tonot Aybeen andlocated, thosealthough offragmentary theskeletal mummyremains ofrecovered Yuya,from andhis bothtomb heldmay similarrepresent names and titles.it,<ref name="Aldred 1957">{{cite journal |last1=AldredSchaden |first1=CyrilOtto J. |title=The EndClearance of the ElTomb of King Ay (WV-'Amarna Period23) |journal=The Journal of Egyptianthe ArchaeologyAmerican Research Center in Egypt |date=December 19571984 |volume=4321 |pagespage=3058 |doi=10.2307/385527640000956}}</ref> so a more thorough comparison with Yuya cannot be made. Therefore, the theory that he was the son of Yuya rests entirely on circumstantial evidence.
Ay's [[Great Royal Wife]] was [[Tey]], who was known to be the wet nurse to [[Nefertiti]]. It is often theorised that Ay was the father of Nefertiti as a way to explain his title 'God's Father'. However, nowhere are Ay and Tey referred to as the parents of Nefertiti. <ref name="Dijk 1996 31-32">{{cite journal |last1=van Dijk |first1=J. |title=Horemheb and the Struggle for the Throne of Tutankhamun |journal=Bulletin of the Australian Centre for Egyptology |date=1996 |pages=31-32 |url=http://www.jacobusvandijk.nl/docs/BACE_7.pdf |accessdate=15 September 2019}}</ref>
[[Nakhtmin]], Ay's chosen successor, was likely his son or grandson. His mother's name was Iuy, a priestess of Min and Isis in Akhmim.<ref name="Dijk 1996 33">{{cite journal |last1=van Dijk |first1=J. |title=Horemheb and the Struggle for the Throne of Tutankhamun |journal=Bulletin of the Australian Centre for Egyptology |date=1996 |page=33 |url=http://www.jacobusvandijk.nl/docs/BACE_7.pdf |accessdate=15 September 2019}}</ref> She may have been Ay's first wife.
==Amarna Period==
All that is known for certain was that by the time he was permitted to build a tomb for himself ([[Southern Tomb 25]]) at [[Amarna]] during the reign of [[Akhenaten]], he had achieved the title of "Overseer of All the Horses of His Majesty", the highest rank in the elite charioteering division of the army, which was just below the rank of [[General Officer|General]].<ref>Hindley, Marshall. ''Featured Pharaoh: The God's Father Ay'', <cite>Ancient Egypt</cite>, April/May 2006. p. 27–28.</ref> Prior to this promotion he appears to have been first a Troop Commander and then a "regular" Overseer of Horses, titles which were found on a box thought to have been part of the original furnishings for his tomb.<ref name="Sunset 95">Dodson, Aidan. <cite>Amarna Sunset: Nefertiti, Tutankhamun, Ay, Horemheb, and the Egyptian Counter-Reformation</cite>. p. 95 The American University in Cairo Press. 2009, {{ISBN|978-977-416-304-3}}</ref> Other titles listed in this tomb include ''[[Fan-bearer on the Right Side of the King]]'', ''Acting Scribe of the King, beloved by him'', and ''God's Father''. The 'Fan-bearer on the Right Side of the King' was a very important position, and is viewed as showing that the bearer had the 'ear' of the ruler. The final ''God's Father'' title is the one most associated with Ay, and was later incorporated into his royal name when he became pharaoh.<ref name="Sunset 95"/>
This title could mean that he was the father-in-law of the pharaoh, suggesting that he was the son of [[Yuya]] and [[Tjuyu]], thus being a brother or half-brother of [[Tiye]], brother-in-law to [[Amenhotep III]] and the maternal uncle of Akhenaten. Instead, the title may indicate that Ay was the tutor of Tutankhamun. <ref name="Dijk 1996 31-32">{{cite journal |last1=van Dijk |first1=J. |title=Horemheb and the Struggle for the Throne of Tutankhamun |journal=Bulletin of the Australian Centre for Egyptology |date=1996 |pages=31-32 |url=http://www.jacobusvandijk.nl/docs/BACE_7.pdf |accessdate=15 September 2019}}</ref> If Ay was the son of Yuya, who was a senior military officer during the reign of Amenhotep III, then he likely followed in his father's footsteps, finally inheriting his father's military functions upon his death. Alternatively, it could also mean that he may have had a daughter that married the pharaoh Akhenaten, possibly being the father of Akhenaten's chief wife [[Nefertiti]]. Ultimately there is no evidence to definitively prove either hypothesis.<ref name="Sunset 96">Dodson, Aidan. <cite>Amarna Sunset: Nefertiti, Tutankhamun, Ay, Horemheb, and the Egyptian Counter-Reformation</cite>. p96 The American University in Cairo Press. 2009, {{ISBN|978-977-416-304-3}}</ref> The two theories are not mutually exclusive, but either relationship would explain the exalted status to which Ay rose during Akhenaten's [[Amarna period|Amarna interlude]], when the royal family turned their backs on Egypt's traditional gods and experimented, for a dozen years or so, with an early form of [[monotheism]]; an experiment that, whether out of conviction or convenience, Ay appears to have followed under the reign of Akhenaten.
The [[Great Hymn to the Aten]] is also found in his Amarna tomb which was built during his service under Akhenaten. His wife [[Tey]] was born a commoner but was given the title ''Nurse of the Pharaoh's Great Wife''.<ref name="Sunset 96"/> If she were the mother of [[Nefertiti]] she would be expected to have the royal title ''Mother of the Pharaoh's Great Wife'' instead; had Ay been the father of Nefertiti, then Tey would have been her stepmother.<ref name="Sunset 96"/> In several Amarna tomb chapels there is a woman whose name begins with "Mut" who had the title ''Sister of the Pharaoh's Great Wife''. This could also be a daughter of Ay's by his wife Tey, and it is known that his successor Horemheb married a woman with the name Mutnodjimet.<ref name="Sunset 98">Dodson, Aidan.<cite>Amarna Sunset: Nefertiti, Tutankhamun, Ay, Horemheb, and the Egyptian Counter-Reformation</cite>. p. 98 The American University in Cairo Press. 2009, {{ISBN|978-977-416-304-3}}</ref>
Ay's reign was preceded by that of [[Tutankhamun]], who ascended to the throne at the age of eight or nine, at a time of great tension between the new monotheism and the old polytheism. He was assisted in his kingly duties by his predecessor's two closest advisors: [[Vizier (Ancient Egypt)|Grand Vizier]] Ay and General of the Armies [[Horemheb]]. Tutankhamun's nine-year reign, largely under Ay's direction, saw the return of the old gods &ndash; and, with that, the restoration of the power of the Amun priesthood, who had lost their influence over Egypt under Akhenaten.
Egyptologist [[Bob Brier]] suggested that Ay murdered Tutankhamun in order to usurp the throne, a claim which was based on X-ray examinations of the body done in 1968. He also alleged that [[Ankhesenamun]] and the Hittite prince she was about to marry were also murdered at his orders.<ref name="Brier 1998">{{cite book |last1=Brier |first1=Bob |title=The murder of Tutankhamen : a true story |date=1998 |publisher=Putnam |isbn=/ISBN 0-399-14383-10399143831 |edition=Hardcover}}</ref> This murder theory was not accepted by all scholars, and further analysis of the x-rays, along with [[CT scan]]s taken in 2005, found no evidence to suggest that Tutankhamun died from a blow to the head as Brier had theorized.<ref name="Boyer et al skull spine">{{cite journal |last1=Boyer |first1=RS |last2=Rodin |first2=EA |last3=Grey |first3=TC |last4=Connolly |first4=RC |title=The skull and cervical spine radiographs of Tutankhamen: a critical appraisal. |journal=AJNR. American journal of neuroradiology |date=2003 |volume=24 |issue=6 |pages=1142-7 |pmid=12812942 |url=http://www.ajnr.org/content/ajnr/24/6/1142.full.pdf |accessdate=15 September 2019}}</ref><ref>{{cite book |last1=Hawass |first1=Zahi |last2=Saleem |first2=Sahar N. |title=Scanning the Pharaohs : CT Imaging of the New Kingdom Royal Mummies |date=2016 |publisher=The American University in Cairo |isbn=978-977-416-673-0 |pages=101–102}}</ref>
In 2010, a team led by [[Zahi Hawass]] reported that the young king had died from a combination of a broken leg, [[malaria]] and [[Köhler disease]]<ref name="Hawass et al 2010 646">{{cite journal |last1=Hawass |first1=Zahi |title=Ancestry and Pathology in King Tutankhamun's Family |journal=JAMA |date=17 February 2010 |volume=303 |issue=7 |pages=638–47 |doi=10.1001/jama.2010.121 |pmid=20159872 |url=http://www.leben-in-luxor.de/docs/Hawass_Ancestry_and_Pathology_joc05008_638_647.pdf |accessdate=27 August 2019}}</ref> but another team from the [[Bernhard Nocht Institute for Tropical Medicine]] in [[Hamburg]] believes his death was caused by [[sickle cell disease]].<ref name="Timmann Meyer 2010">{{cite journal |last1=Timmann |first1=Christian |title=King Tutankhamun’s Family and Demise |journal=JAMA |date=23 June 2010 |volume=303 |issue=24 |pages=2471 |doi=10.1001/jama.2010.822}}</ref>
Ay was buried in the tomb intended for Tutankhamun in the West Valley of the Kings ([[WV23]]), and Tutankhamun was interred in Ay's intended tomb in the East Valley of the Kings ([[KV62]]).
==Rule as the pharaoh==
[[File:Kheperkheperure Ay.jpg|left|thumb|x230px|Faience plate with the complete royal titulary of Ay, [[Egyptian Museum]].]]
[[File:ReliefWithNameOfAy-PetrieMuseum-August21-08.jpg|thumb|150px|Fragment of a cartouche of Ay in the [[Petrie Museum]].]]
It appears that one of Horemheb's undertakings as Pharaoh was to eliminate all references to the monotheistic experiment, a process that included expunging the name of his immediate predecessors, especially Ay, from the historical record. Horemheb desecrated Ay's burial and had most of Ay's royal cartouches in his [[WV23]] tomb erased while his sarcophagus was smashed into numerous fragments.<ref>[[Bertha Porter]], Topographical Bibliography of Ancient Egyptian Hieroglyph Texts, Vol 1, Part 2, Oxford Clarendon Press, (1960), Tomb 23, pp. 550–551</ref> However, the intact sarcophagus lid was discovered in 1972 by [[Otto Schaden]]. The lid had been buried under debris in this king's tomb and still preserved Ay's cartouche.<ref>Otto Schaden, Clearance of the Tomb of King Ay (WV 23), JARCE 21(1984) pp.39–64</ref> Horemheb also usurped Ay's mortuary temple at [[Medinet Habu (temple)|Medinet Habu]] for his own use. Uvo Hölscher (1878–1963) who excavated the temple in the early 1930s provides these interesting details concerning the state of Ay-Horemheb's mortuary temple:
{{quote|Wherever a cartouche has been preserved, the name of Eye [i.e., Ay] has been erased and replaced by that of his successor Harmhab. In all but a single instance had it been overlooked and no change made. Thus the temple, which Eye had begun and finished, at least in the rear rooms with their fine paintings, was usurped by his successor and was thenceforth known as the temple of Harmhab. Seals on stoppers of wine jars from the temple magazines read: "Wine from the temple of Harmhab".<ref>Uvo Hölscher, Excavations at Ancient Thebes 1930/31, pp. 50–51</ref>}}
== Family ==
{{More citations needed section|date=August 2019}}
Ay is believed to be the son of [[Yuya]] and [[Tjuyu]], and therefore a brother of Queen [[Tiye]], wife of [[Amenhotep III]], and the [[Second Prophet of Amun]], [[Anen]].<ref name="Aldred 1957">{{cite journal |last1=Aldred |first1=Cyril |title=The End of the El-'Amarna Period |journal=The Journal of Egyptian Archaeology |date=December 1957 |volume=43 |pages=30 |doi=10.2307/3855276}}</ref> Hence, he would be the uncle of [[Akhenaten]]. Ay's [[Great Royal Wife]] was [[Tey]], wet nurse to [[Nefertiti]]. It has been theorized that Nakhtmin, Ay's chosen successor, is Ay's son or adopted son, though their exact relationship is still up for debate. While we know the identity of Nakhtmin's mother, Iuy, there is no further evidence to support that she was one of Ay's wives.<ref>Jacobus Van Dijk, [http://www.jacobusvandijk.nl/docs/BACE_7.pdf Horemheb and the Struggle for the Throne of Tutankhamun] {{webarchive|url=https://web.archive.org/web/20160304092253/http://www.jacobusvandijk.nl/docs/BACE_7.pdf |date=2016-03-04 }}, BACE 7 (1996), p.33.</ref>
There is an often cited theory that Ay is the father of Nefertiti, wife of Akhenaten, and her sister [[Mutbenret]]. However, this hypothesis is likely wrong; nowhere are Ay and his Great Royal Wife Tey called the father and mother of Nefertiti, and Tey's only connection was that she was the "nurse of the Great Queen" Nefertiti.<ref>Van Dijk 1996, p.32-33.</ref>
==In fiction==