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Painted limestone relief from the Memphite tomb of Horemheb shows him with the uraeus on his brow; it was added after he became pharaoh; design by Anand Balaji

The Rage of Horemheb: Traditionalism for the Greater Glory of the Egyptian State – Part II

Horemheb was no run-of-the-mill general, but a true nationalist at heart. The demise of King Aye was a watershed moment, insofar as getting the country back on track wholeheartedly was concerned...
Fragmentary scene, originally from the second courtyard of his Saqqaran tomb, shows Horemheb wearing the Gold of Honor given by Tutankhamun; design by Anand Balaji

The Rage of Horemheb: Hurried End of Akhenaten, Aye and Atenism – Part I

Barely four years after the death of Nebkheperure Tutankhamun in 1323 BC, the powerful ruling family was overthrown by Horemheb, a general and one-time non-royal crown prince; ending the Thutmosid...
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...
Collection of Egyptian Art, design by Anand Balaji

In the Shadow of Nakhtmin: The Unfortunate Crown Prince of Egypt

No other period in ancient Egyptian history had its share—almost a surfeit—of enigmatic and poorly understood characters as the Amarna era. Mysterious kings and queens apart, Nakhtmin, a...
his head of indurated limestone is a fragment from a group statue that represented Amun seated on a throne, and Tutankhamun standing or kneeling in front of him. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

The Hunt for Ankhesenamun: A Murderess, Vixen or Helpless Child in this Ancient Egyptian Soap Opera? Part II

Ankhesenamun, wife of the boy-king Tutankhamun, is portrayed in many ways; as a terrified and hapless youngster; a power-hungry murderess; or a loathsome vixen who will stop at nothing to achieve her...
 A painted relief of Ankhesenamun; design by Anand Balaji

The Hunt for Ankhesenamun: How Did a Young Woman Stop an Ancient Dynasty from Imploding? Part I

The names of Akhenaten, Nefertiti, and Tutankhamun—prominent players from the Eighteenth Dynasty of the New Kingdom period in ancient Egypt—have been in the spotlight for well over a century...
Collection of Egyptian Art, design by Anand Balaji (Photo credits: Heidi Kontkanen, Dave Rudin, and Dmitry Denisenkov); Deriv.

Was Tutankhamun’s Coronation Delayed? Making sense of the Ascendance of Pharaoh Aye

One of ancient Egypt’s best-kept secrets is the identity of the mysterious Amarna Period royal, Smenkhkare. Who, after all, was he or she? Scholars have offered a bouquet of possible candidates...
The Dakhamunzu Chronicles: Fate of Queen and Country —Part II

The Dakhamunzu Chronicles: Fate of Queen and Country —Part II

Despite the desperate attempts that were made by a queen of Egypt, with the best intentions at heart; the audacious move to invite a foreigner to marry her and take the throne spelled her doom. It...
: Portraits of Akhenaten and Nefertiti from the workshop of Thutmose, the royal sculptor. Tell el-Amarna. Neues Museum, Berlin. (Photo: Heidi Kontkanen)

The Dakhamunzu Chronicles: End Game of the Sun Kings—Part I

The history of the dying days of the Eighteenth Dynasty remains shrouded in mystery. The late Amarna succession and its aftermath remain an unsolved conundrum. Out of the mist of this perplexity...