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akhenaten

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...
 "Israel in Egypt" by Edward Poynter, 1867

Pharaoh Ramses’ Anti-Israelite Policy Now Explained

Why were the Jews enslaved in Egypt? New evidence from a French Egyptologist, Alain Zivie, now points to an Egyptian suspect: Pharaoh’s vizier ‘Abdiel, whose Semitic name means ‘a servant of [the god...
Colossal statue of Amenhotep III in the British Museum. (Public Domain) Background: Detail of Amarna letter: Royal Letter from Abi-milku of Tyre to the king of Egypt. (CC0)

To the King, My Sun, My God, the Breath of My Life… Amarna Letters Paint Remarkable Picture of Ancient Egyptian Rulership

“Your city weeps, and her tears are running, and there is no help for us. For 20 years we have been sending to our lord, the king, the king of Egypt, but there has not come to us a word from our lord...
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...
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...
Foreigners accompany a triumphal procession of the King; design by Anand Balaji (Photo credit: Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York); Deriv.

Echoes of Eternal Egyptian Art: Effulgence and Beyond at Amarna—Part II

Egypt witnessed religious and cultural upheaval on an unimaginable scale when Pharaoh Akhenaten assumed the reins of power and declared the Aten as the supreme god. One of the noteworthy...
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

Religion and Magic in Amarna: A World of Confusion in Akhetaten—Part II

The population that inhabited Akhenaten’s brand new city, Akhetaten, in Middle Egypt was ill at ease with the massive religious uncertainty their monarch had unleashed. A question mark hung over not...
As an amulet, the popular Wedjat eye symbolized health and protection; design by Anand Balaji

Religion and Magic in Amarna: Battling Forces from Different Realms—Part I

The ancient Egyptians held magical practices in high esteem and used it for a variety of purposes in almost every sphere of life. Their worldview was not restricted to that which occurred on earth,...
Thousands of talatat blocks from Akhenaten's dismantled Aten temples lie in the precincts of Karnak complex; design by Anand Balaji

Akhenaten, the Savior of Karnak: Breaking Ties with “tainted” Amun - Part II

(Read Part I) Trouble brewed on the horizon when Amenhotep IV changed his name to Akhenaten in Regnal Year 5 in honor of his “father” the Aten, and abandoned Thebes (Waset) to occupy a desolate...
Enormous columns in the Great Hypostyle Hall at Karnak Temple complex, modern-day Luxor; design by Anand Balaji

Akhenaten, the Savior of Karnak: Sun God Vs the Hidden One - Part I

The fifth year of Pharaoh Akhenaten’s reign was to prove a watershed moment in ancient Egyptian history. In a bid to break free from the shackles of the influential Amun-Ra priesthood, the ruler...
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...
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...
Bust of Nefertiti (ca. 1370 BC – ca. 1330 BC), the Great Royal Wife (chief consort) of the Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenaten.

Lady of Interest: Nefertiti Was no Pharaoh, Says Renowned Egyptologist

The bust of Nefertiti is one of the most iconic artifacts from ancient Egypt and the lady herself probably ranks second only to Cleopatra among the most famous queens of the Nile. As such she is...
Bust of Akhenaten

The Silence of Akhenaten: Was the Pharaoh Mute, Blind or Cultic?

The enigma of Pharaoh Akhenaten has captured the imagination of the world ever since Napoleon’s savants brought him to light. Today, every scholar holds steadfast to his or her theory about the...

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