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Smenkhare (Ankhkheperure) was the eleventh pharaoh of the 18th dynasty. He reigned from 1336 till 1334 BC, but very little is known about the life of Smenkhare. Even his burial place is not currently confirmed, but some say that it's tomb KV55 in the Valley of the Kings on the west bank of Luxor. Also, it’s believed that if the mummy found inside this tomb actually belonged to the pharaoh, then he may have died at the age of 20-25.
Little of the tomb remains after all these years, but Egyptologists believe that the mummy found inside the tomb belonged to Smenkhare (Ankhkheperure). Further analysis of the mummy also revealed that the mummy's blood type and that of Tutankhamen are the same and that the skull dimensions are very similar, leading scholars to believe that not only is this Smenkhkare, but he also was a close relative to Tutankhamen.

Family background


Smenkhkare is believed to have been the older son or younger brother to Akhenaton, but Nefertiti is not believed to be his mother as she seems to have had only two daughters. He must have, therefore, probably been the son of some minor wife, perhaps even Kiya, who we also believed to be the mother of Tutankhamun. Egyptologists believe that if he succeeded Akhenaton, then he might have ruled for just a few months before being succeeded by Tutankhamun. The wife of Smenkhakre was Merytaten, who was his eldest sister as well. Smenkhkare and Merytaten are pictured in the tomb of Meryre II at Amarna and were once shown on a relief at Memphis.

Various names

The birth name of Smenkhkare was Smenkh-ka-re or Djeser-kheperu, or vigorous, and is the soul of Re, Holy of Manifestations. He was also named Smenkhkara. The throne name of the pharaoh was Ankh-khepery-re, which meant "Living are the Manifestations of Re."

The tomb and burial place

For his coronation, a huge brick hall was added to the Great Palace at Amarna, with no fewer than 544 square columns in its main room. The pharaoh seems to have had differences with the religious philosophies that Akhenaton gave from an early period. The funerary equipment built by him for a possible unfinished tomb at Amarna had almost no sign of the sun cult of Akhenaton. Yet he seems to have wavered, perhaps out of respect for his father or brother. Inscriptions that were found on the funerary remains during excavations also show that he changed his name to Neferneferuaten, the -Aten indicating an acceptance of Akhenaten's religious beliefs.

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