Sep 102010

The news story that is the subject of this blog entry reports on a scientific analysis that found the Egyptian Pharoah Akenaten had a feminine physique. The scientists performing the analysis believes that hormones are the reason behind the look of Akenaten’s feminine look. There is also some speculation his appearance was due to various genetic disorders.

While hormones or genetics may play some trivial part in Akenaten’s feminine appearance, according to the author of this blog, the majority influence giving a feminine look to Akenaten is the development of the Yin part of his body.

It is a known fact accepted by people who comprehend Yin Yang Theory that development of the Yin part of the body will give that human body feminine characteristics. The feminine look of Akenaten supports the claim by this author that the ancient Egyptians knew all about what the Chinese call Yin Yang Theory, and based their entire culture on it.


Akhenaten wasn’t the most manly pharaoh, even though he fathered at least a half-dozen children. In fact, his form was quite feminine, which has puzzled experts for years. And he was a bit of an egghead.

Dr. Irwin Braverman, a Yale University physician who analyzed images of Akhenaten, has a new theory on why. He’ll be presenting his findings at an annual conference Friday at the University of Maryland School of Medicine on the ailments and deaths of historic figures.

The female form was due to a genetic mutation that caused the pharaoh’s body to convert more male hormones to female hormones than needed, Braverman believes. And Akhenaten’s head was misshapen because of a condition in which skull bones fuse at an early age.

The pharaoh had “an androgynous appearance. He had a female physique with wide hips and breasts, but he was male and he was fertile and he had six daughters,” Braverman said. “But nevertheless, he looked like he had a female physique.”

Braverman, who sizes up the health of individuals based on portraits, teaches a class at Yale’s medical school that uses paintings from the university’s Center for British Art to teach observation skills to first-year students. For his study of Akhenaten, he used statues and carvings.

Akhenaten (ah-keh-NAH-ten), best known for introducing a revolutionary form of monotheism to ancient Egypt, reigned in the mid-1300s B.C. He was married to Nefertiti, and Tutankhamun, also known as King Tut, may have been his son or half brother.

Egyptologist and archaeologist Donald B. Redford was interested in Braverman’s findings and looked forward to the conference but said he currently supports an older theory. He believes that Akhenaten had Marfan syndrome, a genetic disorder marked by lengthened features, including fingers and the face.

Visiting clinics that treat those with the condition has strengthened that conviction, “but this is very subjective, I must admit,” said Redford, a professor of classic and ancient Mediterranean studies at Penn State University.

Others have theorized Akhenaten and his lineage had Froehlich’s syndrome, which causes feminine fat distribution but also sterility. That doesn’t fit Akhenaten, who had at least six daughters, Braverman said.

Klinefelter syndrome, a genetic condition that can also cause gynecomastia, or male breast enlargement, has also been suggested, but Braverman said he suspects familial gynecomastia, a hereditary condition that leads to the overproduction of estrogen.

The Yale doctor said determining whether he is right can easily be done if Egyptologists can confirm which mummy is Akhenaten’s and if Egyptian government officials agree to DNA analysis.

Braverman hopes his theory will lead them to do just that.

“I’m hoping that after we have this conference and I bring this up, maybe the Egyptologists who work on these things all the time, maybe they will be stimulated to look,” he said.

Previous conferences have examined the deaths of Edgar Allan Poe, Alexander the Great, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Florence Nightingale and others.

(This version corrects that Braverman does not believe pharaoh had Marfan syndrome and clarifies that Akhenaten’s appearance has been well known.)

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