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Akhenaten and Nefertiti

The Rising of Akhenaten to the throne marked the starting of the most intriguing and controversial geological era of Egyptian history. Akhenaten had been crowned as co-regent pharaoh leastways eight years before his fathers death, but at the starting of his reign he rapidly set about applying his radical religious views. Akhenaten's grandfather (Thutmosis IV), had already hinted at a new emphasis on the adoration of the sun disc Aten, and his father had nurtured this by working the cult of the sun. Akhenaten came right out into the open and stated his fidelity to Aten in orientation to all other Egyptian deities, though he did not instantly condemn the revere of Amun.

The reigns of Akhenaten and Nefertiti swept only 17 years from 1352 to 1336 B.C.E. Even Akhenatens artists raised the palace, tombs, and temples with many prospects of music making. This brief period seen a dramatic change in Egyptian religion. Akhenaten collapsed the worship of Amun, the King of the Gods, and replaced the god Aten, the physical disk of the sun. He involved Amuns temples and moved the royal court from homes in Thebes and Memphis to a new metropolis at the site of Tell El-Amarna. Thus this period is named the Amarna Period and takes the reign of Tutankhamun, who reinstated the religion of Amun and taken back the royal court to Thebes. The richness and variety of the scenes of music-making establish some key styles in music in this time. Many prospects show Akhenatens six daughters taking on the sistrum and menattwo sacred rattles used in worship proposing that the royal daughters had a marked role in the musical life of Atens cult. Likewise, the presence of foreign musicians at court in draughts demonstrates the wide nature of Akhenatens reign. The outside musicians may have attended foreign wives to court, though the demonstrate that Nefertiti, his primary wife, was a foreigner is not determinate.

During the Amarna Time Period the royal daughters and the queen played the sistrum for the Aten instead than Hathor. Though Hathor had been the essential deity assorted with sistrum playing in conventional Egyptian religion, her worship was not applied during the Amarna Period. Thus the two sistra determined in the tomb of Tutankhamun and the sistrum described on a block from an Amarna constructing miss the normal decoration with Hathors head. Rather than the sistra from this period have easy handles shaped like papyrus plants. The rattle disks themselves are housed on snake-shaped poles. Perhaps the sound of the sistrum was connected with the cobra who protects the royal family.

Akhenaten Tomb (KV55)

Of all the royal mummies always discovered none has ever stimulated more controversy then the one found in tomb (KV55) of the Valley of the Kings.

At the starting of the 20th Century, Theodore Davis, a wealthy American digging in Egypt, discovered a tomb in which a burial from the Amarna time period had been reinterred. This tomb was distinctly incomplete, and the burial a quick one. Gilded wooden inlay panels on the floor and against the wall. They endured the damaged image of Akhenaten idolizing the sun disc and the name of Queen Tiy.

In a niche were four pretty alabaster jars that taken the internal organs of the mummies. Dwelling on the floor was a badly weakened but beautiful coffin made with thousands of spread in-lays and semi-precious rocks in the shape of particular wings. The cartouches containing the residents name had been chopped out.

When they opened the coffin they discovered a mummy covered in gold-leaf. But as they referred the mummy it collapsed to dust leaving the shovels with a pile of disjointed bones at the bottom of the coffin. But below the skeleton, the last plane of gold, appeared to have the riddled named of Akhenaten written on it. The hip was wide alike a female's. The head was extended.

What actually became of Akhenaten's mummy still stays a mystery. Fragments of sculpture and cutting from the royal tomb at Akhetaten presents that his body was primitively put there, but no mark of the mummy remains. It is potential that followers of the Aten dreaded for it's destruction, which would refuse him extended life, and moved the body to a place of refuge.

Akhenaten is maybe unfairly not accredited with being a particularly prosperous Pharaoh. Records seem to show that he allowed Egyptian determine wane but this may not be right. These ideas are placed on the famous Amarna Tabletsfound in Akhetaten in some of which Egyptian liege cities plead for assistance, but no replies|responses are preserved.

As there is no living record of Egyptian territory being lost at this period it is possible that Akhenaten was merely skilfully playing one city against the other to accomplish through diplomacy what would otherwise demand military force.

Akhenaten Family

Queen Nefertiti is frequently mentioned to in history as "The Most Pretty Woman in the World." The Berlin bust seen from two dissimilar angles, is indeed, the most identified depiction of Queen Nefertiti. Assured in the workshop of the notable sculptor Thutmose, the bust is thought to be a sculptor's model. The technique which starts with a carved part of limestone, claims the stone core to be first plastered and then richly substitute. Flesh steps on the front give the bust life.

Her full lips are raised by a bold red. Although the crystal inlay is wasted from her left eye, both eyelids and brows are sharp in black. Her graceful extended neck balances the tall, flat-top crown which clothes her sleek head. The bright colors of the her necklace and crown demarcation the yellow-brown of her easy skin. While everything is etched to perfection, the one fault of the part is a broken left ear. Because this important sculpture is still in creation, it is no wonder why Nefertiti stays "The Most Pretty Woman in the World."

Nefertiti's roots are confusing. It has been proposed to me that Tiy was as well her mother. Another proposition is that Nefertiti was Akhenaten's cousin. Her strong nurse was the wife of the vizier Ay, who could have been Tiy's brother. Ay sometimes called himself "the God's father," suggesting that he might have been Akhenaten's father-in-law. Yet Ay never specifically mentions to himself as the father of Nefertiti, although there are mentions that Nefertiti's sister, Mutnojme, is marked prominently in the ornamentations of the tomb of Ay. We will never acknowledge the truth of this bloodline. Maybe they didn't know either.

This enshrine stela also from the early section of the Amarna period depicts Akhenaten, Nefertiti, and Princesses Meretaten, Mekeaten, and Ankhesenpaaten revering the Aten as a family. Dorothea Arnold in her article "Prospects of the Royal Female Image during the Amarna Time Period" discusses the superfluity of reliefs showing intimate family moments. While Akhenaten tips forward to give Meretaten a kiss, Mekeaten works on her mother's lap and regards up lovingly.

At the very time Ankhesenpaaten, the lowest, sits on Nefertiti's shoulder and plays with her earring. Arnold takes that the shrine stela "concerns to the Aten religion's concept of conception" in which the King and Queen are seen as "a earlier 'first pair." At the top of the piece, the sun-god, Aten, described by a advanced circle, extends his life-giving rays to the Royal Family. The relief uses the concept of the "window of appearances" or a shot of life. The forms are framed by a base structure which proposes the form of a square window. Aldred in his book Egyptian Art names this "a brief moment in the lives of five beings as they are caught in an act of mutual affection". In actuality, the crowned palace at Akhetaten had a window from which the royal pair could determine the city and address their matters.

It is recognized that Akhenaten and Nefertiti had 6 daughters. No son was ever presented in rests.

The names of the daughters were:

- Meritaten (about 1349 BC)
- Neferneferure and Setepenre (about1338).
- Neferneferuaten (about 1339 BC)
- Meketaten and Ankhenspaaten (about 1346 BC)

In 1337 BC the recognized family, with all Nefertiti's daughters was presented for the close time.

In 1336 BC Meketaten died in accouchement.

In 1335 Nefertiti appeared to vanish, taken dead.

This limestone rest found in the Royal Tomb at Amarna pictures Akhenaten, Nefertiti, and 2 of their daughters making an proposing to the sun-disk Aten. Akhenaten and Nefertiti hold flowers to be laid on the table below the "life-giving" beams of the Aten. The figures are etched in the other style, a feature of the early half of the Amarna period. Nefertiti, sporting the double hook headdress mentioned in the stela loyalty, is the small figure placed behind her larger plate husband. The compostion mirrors early cosmetic agencies of the royal couple. To emphasize the posture and power of the pharaoh, Egyptian iconographical custom required the female realize to be smaller in plate than the male.

Akhenaten Capital

To make a full break, the king and his queen, departed Thebes behind and went to a new capital in Middle Egypt, about 180 miles northern of Thebes half way between Thebes and Memphis.

It was a new site, not previously gave to any other god or goddess, and he called it Akhetaten (The Horizon of the Aten).

Nowadays the site is known as (Elamarna).

In Principle he was an cult leader taking his pursuing into the mountains and desert to construct a new paradise.

Akhenaten constituted his new religion by constructing an entire city given to Aten full with a necropolis and royal tomb.

Around 1346 BC work started on this new city constructed in middle Egypt, on a site believed to have been selected as it was not tainted by the worship of the other deities.

About 1344 BC the central division of Akhetaten was accomplished.

Nefertiti's marked role in Egyptian royal rule and religious worship ponders her influence in the public area. During the early years of her royal rule, Nefertiti as part of her religious changeover changed her name. Nefertiti which intends (The beautiful one is come) became Neferneferuaten-Nefertiti or (The Aten is radiant of radiance because the beautiful one is come". A dissimilar interpretation of the name exchange, translated Neferneferuaten to mean--"Perfect One of the Aten's Idol".

Pursuing his wife's lead, Amenhotep IV converted his name in the fifth year of his reign to Akhenaten.

During 1342 BC the seat of government was transmitted to Akhetaten.

The Armana:

Around El-Amarna

In its completed state Armana provided a theatrical setting for keeping Akhenaten's kingship. The city straggled for miles over the plain. There were smooth palaces, statues of the King, good housing throughout the city, a royal route that ran through the middle of town, likely the biggest street in the ancient world. It was designed for chariot advances, with Akhenaten taking the way.

Crossing the road, a bridge joined the palace with the temple field. Akhnaton and Nefertiti seemed before the people on the balcony notable as the "window of appearing", tossing downgold graces and other gifts.

Previous Posts:

* Why Akhenaten Moved The Capital
* Tutankhamun Tomb (KV62)
* Tutankhamun Mummy
* Khufu Facts
Thutmose III Facts
Tutankhamun Facts

Why Akhenaten Moved The Capital

At the storm of the Egyptians, Akhenaten collapsed the Egyptian god Amun in favor of another god, the Aten or (sun disk). Akhenaten and his religious reforms thought the sun deserved its own complete blown cult. His conclusion shocked the influential army of Amun revering priests. They anticipated their pharaoh to worship Amun, god of fertility and creation higher up all other gods.

Five years into his rule, pharaoh Akhenaten loosed another shockwave. Thebes, he declared, was too closely connected to Amun and unsuitable for the Aten. The sun disk required its own holy city. After scrubbing the length of the Nile, he came upon a place in the middle of Egypt. This location was precisely half way between Thebes and Memphis, around 170 miles from each of the two cities.

The shores where Akhenaten downed were in a part now called Amarna. It was waste and further, but it was still where King Akhenaten determined to establish his new capital. The king gave his reasons in writing, and they can still be read today on top of the cliffs overlooking the city. A symbol of the Aten has been etched into the rock as a limit maker.

In Egyptian notion, the horizon where the sun raised was called the Aket and was symbolized by two mountain tips with the sun disk rising between them. The hills that border the Amarna plane are suddenly disturbed by a break in the cliffs, a sight to behold particularly at dawn. The king must have believed hed found the sacred birth position of the sun god. He called his city Aketaten, horizon of the sun disk. Akhenaten challenging Thutmosis his greatest artist and favorite carver, with the job of turning his dream into realism.


Akhenaten traveled the capital away from Thebes, and a new city was constructed as the new capital of the Pharaoh Akhenaten, consecrated to his new religion of worship to the Aten. Aten or Aton was the disk of the sun in ancient Egypt mythology, and primitively an aspect of god Ra. This religious reformation seems to have started with his decision to observe a Sed festival in his third regnal year a highly different step, since a Sed-festival, a kind of royal jubilee involved to reinforce the Pharaoh's divine powers of kingship, was traditionally contained the thirtieth year of Akhenaten's reign.

Year eight determined the beginning of building on his new capital, Akhetaten ("Horizon of Aten"), at the situation known today as Amarna. In the very year, Amenhotep IV officially converted his name to Akhenaten (Capable Spirit of Aten) as prove of his shifting religious view. Very shortly afterward he centralized Egyptian religious patterns in Akhetaten, though construction of the city appears to have continued for some more years.

Previous Posts:

* Akhenaten (Amenhotep IV)
Queen Nefertiti
Tutankhamun Facts
Turin Kings List
Tutankhamun (1334-1325 B.C.)

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