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Strange identifications of historical and religious figures

The mummy of Yuya

The mummy of Yuya, father-in-law of pharaoh Amenhotep III

Ahmed Osman is a Muslim Egyptian writer living in London, who published a series of books since the late 1980s and early 1990s in which he argues that Yuya, the father-in-law of pharaoh Amenhotep III and grandfather of Akhnaton, who was the only commoner buried in the Valley of the Kings, was actually the Biblical patriarch Joseph. From this basis, he proceeds to identify Akhnaton with Moses (largely because no texts record his fate and his mummy has not been found) and his son and successor, Tut‘ankhamun, with Joshua ben Nun and with Jesus of Nazareth for reasons that are not at all clear.

Like so many Bad Archaeologists, his primary source material is textual: the Hebrew and Christian Bibles, the Qur‘an and ancient texts. He appears to be driven by a desire to demonstrate that the true religion of Ancient Egypt from the time Amenhotep III onwards was the monotheistic source of modern Judaism, Christianity and (most importantly for Osman, one supsects) Islam. He contends that the Hebrew Bible does not record the history of the Jewish peoples of Judaea but is instead a distorted version of Egyptian history. The monotheistic religion of Akhnaton was kept alive by Essenes – whom he recasts as the original Christians – who secretly followed the teachings of Joshua/Jesus after his murder. They were forced into public view after their prophet John the Baptist was executed in the first century CE.

Needless to say, this form of analysing the past – assuming that one historical character is recorded in different sources under another name – opens up all sorts of strange hypotheses. While Osman’s starting point, the evidently foreign origins of Yuya, is valid enough, considerable straining of sources is necessary to encompass the remainder of his hypothesis.

5 Responses to Ahmed Osman

  • Lord Buxworth says:

    If his (and Immanuel Velikovsky’s) account is almost entirely based on textual evidence, they are both bad historians and not bad archaeologists.
    Apart from that: I’m really enjoying your website, keep up the good work

    a History student

  • Andrew P Kerr says:

    I have found the writings of Ahmed Osman brilliant. I have not yet found an explanation of ‘Monotheism’. There are many religions expressing different versions. Was the Aten the Light of Trismegistus Hermes? That would perhaps fit with the date of Akhenaten. As Jesus came later being the ‘Light of the World’ and the Enlightenment of the Buddha.

    With respect,
    Andrew Kerr

  • When Ahmed Osman says that Akhenaten and Moses were “one and the same person” he’s saying that a real human being, Akhenaten, is one and the same person as a fictitious allegorical character, Moses. What he is implying is that Akhenaten was discovered in a basket in the Nile, later sojourned in Midian before returning to the Egyptian Delta where he organized a revolt of over half a million Hebrew (not Israelite) slaves and led them, ever so slowly across the Sinai peninsula (it took Moses 40 years to go just 700 miles), and then go up into Canaan before turning over the leadership to Joshua ben Nun. Just how Akhenaten would have been able to take time out of his busy schedule at Akhetaten and do this is not explained. Neither does he explain how Moses–in addition to all the above–was crowned as Pharaoh, marry Nefertiti, have six daughters, build a new capital for Egypt, and handle all the international correspondence known as the Amarna Letters.

    Now it is perfectly true that no one knows where Akhenaten’s body is and it is also perfectly true that no one knows where Moses is buried. In the first instance, Akhenaten’s body may have been destroyed by the vandals that wrecked Akhetaten, Akhenaten’s new capital city and in the second instance, Moses body probably will never be found because he never existed. But, one might ask, just what does that prove, if anything?

  • Ivan says:

    Akhnaten’s body was never found? Hasn’t DNA testing on Tutankhamun found that the mummy of his father had been cached in the tomb of Amenhotep III, and this mummy is assumed to be Akhnaten?

    I’m drawing my knowledge on this from a Discovery channel documentary that featured Zahi Hawas ( :)) so it may be unconfirmed though…

    • Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews says:

      Yes, the mummy in KV 54 is the father of Tut‘ankhamun; it is only an hypothesis that makes this Akhnaten, though. It might equally be the problematical Smenkhkare‘ or an otherwise unknown son of Amenhotep III.

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