Aten

Ancient Egyptian relief. Design by Anand Balaji.

Understanding the Monotheism of Akhenaten: Solar Disc Thrust into Eternal Darkness–Part II

At first glance it appears as though Pharaoh Akhenaten is someone whom one would describe as a textbook monotheist, but are we missing the plot? Apart from Amun (and later, Osiris) the king doesn’t...
Collage of Egyptian art, design by Anand Balaji.

Amarna in 3 Acts: Defining Vignettes from an Incomparable Era

Three important aspects, in many ways, defined and shaped the Akhetaten years and the post-Amarna period. His detractors in the new disposition erased Pharaoh Akhenaten’s memory in great haste—an...
Dark forces conspired in Ancient Egypt. Egyptian relief, design by Anand Balaji.

Dark Forces Conspire to Destroy the Radiant One: The Assassination of Akhenaten—Part II

Akhenaten’s religious experiment, which was launched in the imperial capital Thebes and later nurtured in the new city Akhetaten, resulted in dramatic changes. Not only did the king oust the panoply...
Was there a sinister plot to eliminate the Sun King? Egyptian relief, design by Anand Balaji.

A Sinister Plot to Eliminate the Sun King: The Assassination of Akhenaten—Part I

The Pharaoh clearly had enough of life at Thebes (Waset). His determined attempts to introduce Atenism—a syncretism of the Memphis-Heliopolis solar philosophy, with a deification of kingship dating...
Main: Temple of Aton in Amarna (CC by SA 3.0). Inset eclipse (public domain)

Eclipse over Amarna: Beginning of the End for Akhenaten in his City of Light?

The ancient Egyptian civilization was wedded to the Sun, and yet, extant records only ever mention the solar aspect as the giver and sustainer of life that shines brightly for all eternity. Sterling...
Collection of Egyptian Art, design by Anand Balaji

Akhenaten: Imperishable Art of an Iconoclast: Creativity Blossoms in the Desert—Part I

Never before had a pharaoh ushered daring, almost bizarre and inconceivable transformations in religion and statecraft as Akhenaten did. Not only did he oust the pantheon of traditional gods and...
Was the Heretic Pharaoh Akhenaton in Fact the Father of Modern Monotheism?

Was the Heretic Pharaoh Akhenaton in Fact the Father of Modern Monotheism?

How plentiful it is, what you have made, Although they are hidden from view, Sole god, without another beside you; You created the earth as you wished, When you were by yourself, Mankind, all cattle...
Collection of Egyptian Art, design by Anand Balaji

Tutankhamun and the Age of Appropriation: Missing Skullcap of the Last Sun King–Part II

The oft-repeated phrase “the Amarna era is shrouded in mystery” could be a thing of the past if only closer scrutiny of key artifacts from Tutankhamun’s tomb are permitted by the authorities...
Collection of Egyptian Art, design by Anand Balaji

Tutankhamun and the Age of Appropriation: Priceless Secrets and Palimpsests Hidden in Plain Sight–Part I

Among the stupefying hoard of over five thousand objects that were recovered from the tomb of Tutankhamun (KV62), some sported distinct Atenist leanings. While the golden throne of the boy-king is...
Collection of Egyptian Art, design by Anand Balaji

The Magic, Mystery and Madness of Tomb 55: Shadowy Sovereigns and Risky Reburials–Part IV

The German Egyptologist Walther Wolf was unsparing in his description of Akhenaten, calling him a man who epitomized “sick ugliness and nervous decadence”. The greatest irony of the entire Amarna...
Collection of Egyptian Art, design by Anand Balaji; Deriv.

The Magic, Mystery and Madness of Tomb 55: Resurrecting the Rebel Ruler–Part III

Akhenaten’s short-lived capital, Amarna, was the epicenter of the unpalatable religious changes that pharaoh had unleashed on his country. The ensuing tumult which pervaded Egypt during this dark...
Collage of Egyptian Art, design by Anand Balaji; Deriv.

The Magic, Mystery and Madness of Tomb 55: Saga of a Botched Excavation–Part II

The entire Amarna epoch and those who strutted upon its stage have always presented a conundrum for Egyptologists. In early 1907, one of the most valuable finds – Tomb 55 – promised to finally lift...
Collage designed by Anand Balaji (photo credits: Dave Rudin, Heidi Kontkanen,);Deriv.

The Magic, Mystery and Madness of Tomb 55: Seeking the Amarna Dead–Part I

When Pharaoh Akhenaten abandoned the traditional capital Thebes (Waset) and headed to his dream city Akhetaten – built to glorify the solar deity, the Aten – he swore never to return. But, such...
Akhenaten, relief of the pylons of the house of Panehsy, Chief Servitor of the Aten. It depicts Akhenaten making offerings to the Aten.

Pharaoh Akhenaten: A Different View of the Heretic King

Amenhotep IV, also known as the Pharaoh Akhenaten, was destined to be remembered for his attempt at a religious conversion of ancient Egypt; one that saw the old gods put aside and replaced by a...
An undisturbed skeleton of a man in the extended, supine posture typical at the cemetery; and the burial of a man with a common pattern of disturbance in which the upper torso has been jumbled by robbers and the skull removed.

Builders under Pharaoh Akhenaten worked so hard they broke their backs

When ancient Eygptian pharaoh Akhenaten ordered the construction of the new city of Amarna dedicated to the sun god Aten, more than 20,000 people moved there to do the back-breaking work. The work...
Depiction of punishment in ancient Egypt

Analysis of Skeletons Reveals Harsh Punishment in Ancient Egypt

Egyptian kings and pharaohs conquered entire nations, but if a person stole so much as an animal hide he could be whipped with 100 lashes and stabbed five times in the back… and then be sent back to...

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Healing Temple of Aesculapius (Asklepios) by Robert Thom
In the ancient world, many cultures built elaborate temple complexes dedicated to their healer gods - Imhotep in Egypt and Asklepios in Greece for example. These gods were recognized as having the power to cure supplicants from a variety of ailments within sleep and sacred dreams. Those who desired healing might travel many hundreds of miles to reach such a temple

Ancient Technology

The four-handled tureen adorned with dragons, birds and spikes
Chinese archaeologists have discovered ritual tureen and “soup bowls” next to a badly decomposed body in a Zhou dynasty-era tomb. Among the remains there were also uncovered two wine vessels, which experts suggest were probably used as part of the funerary rituals.

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Healing Temple of Aesculapius (Asklepios) by Robert Thom
In the ancient world, many cultures built elaborate temple complexes dedicated to their healer gods - Imhotep in Egypt and Asklepios in Greece for example. These gods were recognized as having the power to cure supplicants from a variety of ailments within sleep and sacred dreams. Those who desired healing might travel many hundreds of miles to reach such a temple

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