A.—ARCHAEOLOGY, HIEROGLYPHIC STUDIES, ETC.
The discovery in Mr. Theodore Davis' excavations at the Tombs of the
Kings of a coffin and furniture naming King Akhenaton is one of the
most notable events in Egyptology in the past year. It was at first
assumed that the mummy was that of Queen Taia, as the Canopic vases
represented that queen, and the coffin was dedicated to her by her son
Akhenaton. But Dr. Elliot Smith has found that the bones are those of a
young man not more than 26 years old, and Mr. Wbigall, who knows the
facts of the discovery, is convinced that they are those of Akhenaton himself.
If so, since Akhenaton reached the seventeenth year of his reign, he cannot
have been more than ten years old when he began to reign. In his fourth
year he already had one daughter: the Aton heresy was then in full
vigour, El Amarna was being built, and Thebes was probably abandoned
by vie Court. That such religious and political changes originated with
and were carried out by a boy of thirteen or fourteen is hardly conceivable.
If Akhenaton was really so young, some stronger will must have ruled
the country in his name and moulded his thought.
Nubia is evidently destined to play a larger part in Egyptology than
was assigned to it a few years ago. Exploration is now active there : an
early form of the Nubian language, untainted by Arabic, has been
discovered in Christian documents by Schafer and Schmidt, and the key
to the Meroitic inscriptions of the Eoman age cannot be withheld from us
much longer, for it is almost certain that they were written in Nubian,
which was evidently the language spoken as far south as the Sudan in
classical times. As Prof. Schafer points out, if these can be deciphered
philologists will for the first time have at command for historical study a