Kiya - Disgrace or Death?

Disgrace or Death?

Kiya disappears from history during the last third of Akhenaten's reign. Her name and images were erased from monuments and replaced by those of Akhenaten's daughters. The exact year of her disappearance is unknown, with recent authorities suggesting dates that range from Year 11 or 12 to Year 16 of Akhenaten. One of the last datable instances of her name is a wine docket from Amarna that mentions Akhenaten's Year 11, indicating that Kiya's estate produced a vintage in that year. Whether she died, was exiled, or suffered some other misfortune, Egyptologists have often interpreted the erasure of her name as a sign of disgrace.

Various scenarios have been advanced to explain Kiya's disappearance. Having suggested that Kiya was the mother of Tutankhamun, Nicholas Reeves writes that "it is not beyond the realm of possibility that she fell from grace in a coup engineered by the jealous Nefertiti herself." Having argued that Kiya was Tadukhipa, daughter of the King of Mitanni, Marc Gabolde suggests that she "paid the price" for a deterioration in the alliance between Egypt and Mitanni and was sent back home.

It is uncertain whether Kiya ever used the rich funerary equipment that was prepared against her death. If her disappearance resulted from disgrace or exile, the answer would be no. On the other hand, if she died in good standing with Akhenaten, she probably would have received a lavish burial appropriate to her station. In the latter case, a likely site for her interment would be the Amarna Royal Tomb, which includes a suite of three chambers evidently used to house female members of Akhenaten's family. At least two and possibly as many as three different individuals were interred in this suite, including Akhenaten's daughter Meketaten, the only one whose name survives. Two of the chambers originally included painted plaster reliefs depicting Akhenaten, Nefertiti, certain of their daughters, and other mourners lamenting the deceased. Some Egyptologists have suggested that one of these scenes of mourning refers to Kiya, although no specific evidence supports this claim.

Further, the conventional interpretation of the mourning scenes is that they represent the death in childbirth of the deceased (although this view has recently been challenged). The conventional interpretation has encouraged speculation that Kiya died bearing Akhenaten a child, but again, no clear-cut evidence is available.

Read more about this topic:  Kiya

Famous quotes containing the word disgrace:

    They who have considered our nature, affirm that shame and disgrace are two of the most insupportable evils of human life: the courage and spirits of many have master’d other misfortunes and borne themselves up against them; but the wisest and best of souls have not been a match for these.
    Laurence Sterne (1713–1768)