The Cartouche of King Tut

Cartouche of King Tut
Originally uploaded by reneodeay
The cartouche of Nebkheperure, Lord of the Many Manifestations of Re, coronation name of King Tutankhamen

This is the symbol we most often associate with King Tut.

The young Prince Tutankhaten took the throne name of Neb-Kheper-U-Re, which can be translated as "Lord of the Many Manifestations of Re". A name similar to his mother and father's name: Neb-Ma'et-Re.
Not many know this, but Sitamen used the name of her father and husband during part of the reign of her brother, Akhetaten, undoubtedly after he ordered all mention of Amen erased from temples, homes and tombs, and from everyone's names, including his own father's.

On an old webpage I broke down the symbols of Tut's coronation name.

The cartouche of Tutankhamen

To see them side-by-side

I think by taking a throne name associated with the Sun God Re rather than the aspect: Aten, that Tutankhaten managed to reassure his people that things were going to change, that true 'Ma'at' would be restored. There were obviously also political reasons behind this.

This whole 'Aten' movement began as a power struggle between the Kings of Egypt and the priests of Amen-Re, who controlled by grant of various pharaohs possessions rivaling their kings, as well as the Treasury of the King, though the Queen traditionally had control of that Treasury. These priests of Amen-Re had demanded that Amen-Re be named King of the Gods, but this prerogative belonged to the King, the Pharaoh, the Living God, the Good God. All priests of the Two Lands were only surrogates of the King, his representatives.

Tutankhaten, his Queen, Ankhesenpaaten, and their advisors were not going to just hand back power to these upstart priests. So Memphis, Re and Ptah, were given preference.



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