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Tutankhamun

A stele from Heliopolis shows Akhenaten worshipping the Aten; design by Anand Balaji

Horemheb the Usurper: Monumental Oversight in a Project of Utter Destruction —Part II

(Read Part 1) By all counts, Horemheb was not only forced to remain subservient until the death of his immediate predecessor, Pharaoh Aye – a vizier-turned-ruler – but had faced a challenger in...
A limestone sculpture from the Temple of Amun in Thebes depicts Horemheb standing beside the state god; design by Anand Balaji

Horemheb the Usurper: Magical Potency and the Rough Road to the Throne—Part I

Usurpation of monuments and funerary goods occurred over much of ancient Egyptian history. Quite a few Pharaohs and nobles indulged in this practice—and far from our modern notion of greedy monarchs...
Sarcophagus of Tutankhamun double image

Egyptian Ministry of Antiquities Announces there are NO Hidden Chambers in Tut’s Tomb

The Egyptian antiquities ministry have announced the results of a new survey on the tomb of Tutankhamun. They have apparently discredited a theory, that suggest there was a second chamber in the...
Gilded leopard head found in the Tomb of Tutankhamun (KV62); design by Anand Balaji

The Felines of Tutankhamun: Leopards, a Symbol of Royalty and Divinity—Part II

Beginning with one of the earliest feline deities, Mafdet, the ancient Egyptian pantheon grew steadily as the years passed to include a wide range of creatures, both big and small – furry and...
Resin-stained wooden leopard found in the tomb of King Amenhotep II (KV35); design by Anand Balaji

The Felines of Tutankhamun: Leopard Changes its Spots to turn Black Panther?—Part I

The modest sepulcher of Pharaoh Tutankhamun was crammed to the brim with all manner of treasures produced in different shapes, sizes and materials. These objects can be clearly divided into two...
Detail from the outermost shrine of Tutankhamun showing a seated deity; design by Anand Balaji

KV62, Designed to Confound: Wealth of Mysteries in the Curious Tomb of Tutankhamun—Part II

Egyptological scholars are divided over whether a right-hand turn to the burial chamber in an Eighteenth Dynasty tomb signifies that it belonged to a female pharaoh. With this feature present in the...
The entrance to KV62, the tomb of Tutankhamun, in the Valley of the Kings; design by Anand Balaji

KV62, Designed to Confound: Was Tutankhamun’s Tomb built for a Female Pharaoh?—Part I

One of the greatest enigmas in all of Egyptology is the location of the final resting place of Queen Nefertiti, a powerful royal personage of the late Eighteenth Dynasty. Barring pieces of a votive...
This painted limestone relief originally depicted Kiya, but was later recarved to portray Meritaten; design by Anand Balaji (Photo credit: Merja Attia, Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, Copenhagen); Deriv.

Quest for the Greatly Beloved Kiya: Eternal ‘Goodly Child of the Living Aten’—Part II

Not only does Akhenaten, the man and ruler, pose a conundrum to Egyptologists; but his entire family is shrouded in mystery too. Prime among them is Kiya, his obscure wife, who seems to have...
One of the four elegant canopic jar stoppers made of Egyptian alabaster that was discovered in a niche in Tomb 55; design by Anand Balaji

Quest for the Greatly Beloved Kiya: Her Mysterious Origins and Role in Court—Part I

Kiya, a secondary wife of Pharaoh Akhenaten is one of the most shadowy royals of the Amarna Period. Virtually nothing is known about her origin or the reasons for her disappearance. All that is...
An overall view of the central Valley of the Kings.

Pharaohs and Flash Floods: Was Tutankhamun’s Tomb Saved by an Act of Nature?

The death of Pharaoh Akhenaten in Regnal Year 17 was a powerful body-blow to the promotion of his fledgling religion, Atenism. Evacuated from their original communal crypt at Amarna, the royal dead...
Detail of the Berlin bust of Nefertiti; and the latest 3D sculpture of the queen based on the mummy of the Younger Lady; design by Anand Balaji

Bust of Contention: Nefertiti’s sculpture raises issues of Race and Color—Part II

The recent attempt at reconstructing the face of the iconic beauty, Nefertiti, by basing her looks on the mummy of the Younger Lady found in KV35 has caused an enormous uproar among Egyptophiles all...
Limestone trial piece showing the head of Nefertiti; and detail of the mummy of the Younger Lady; design by Anand Balaji (Photo credit: Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin and G. Elliot Smith); Deriv.

Bust of Contention: Controversy erupts as the Younger Lady is dubbed Nefertiti—Part I

Few ancient Egyptian royals are capable of garnering as much attention, generating frenzy, and stoking controversy globally as the legendary beauty Queen Nefertiti can. Despite having been a powerful...
Detail from one of the three surviving planks of Queen Tiye's wooden shrine from KV55; made of wood, gesso and gold leaf. Egyptian Museum, Cairo.

The Golden Shrine of Queen Tiye: Reburial of a Rebel Ruler and His Mother - Part II

When he came to the throne, Pharaoh Tutankhamun set about transporting the royal remains of his immediate ancestors from Amarna to Thebes. The inhabitants of the Sun City had also begun to slowly...
Scene from the decorated upper portion of the East wall in KV62 shows the mummified Tutankhamun lying supine within a tall, garland-bedecked shrine; design by Anand Balaji (Photo credit: Meretseger Books); Deriv.

Nefertiti and a Rush of Scans: Will the Beautiful One Arise in the King’s Valley? — Part II

After nearly a year of silence, the tomb of Tutankhamun in the Valley of the Kings is once again back in focus thanks to the Ministry of Antiquities granting permission to a team of Italian experts...
Superimposed photo of Nefertiti’s bust on Tutankhamun’s mask; and artist’s rendering of the proposed rooms behind the KV62 burial chamber; design by Anand Balaji (Photo credit: Roy Lester Pond and Anand Balaji/Deposit Photos); Deriv.

Nefertiti and a Rush of Scans: Race to find Double Burial Gathers Steam—Part I

The world famous tomb of Tutankhamun was thrust into the spotlight like never before, ever since Dr Nicholas Reeves published a paper titled The Burial of Nefertiti? in August 2015. Based on ultra-...
A relief originally from the tomb of Userhat (TT47) at Thebes depicts Queen Tiye. Brussels Royal Museum.

The Golden Shrine of Queen Tiye: When and How Did It Reach the Theban Necropolis? -Part I

Among the hundreds of ancient rock-cut royal sepulchers that have been discovered in Egypt one in particular, KV55, stands out for its infinite intrigue. At some point in time, this Eighteenth...

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