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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...
Ancient Egyptian relief. Design by Anand Balaji. (Image credit: Julian Tuffs);Deriv.

Amarna Era Chronological Conundrum: Accession of Neferneferuaten and Tutankhamun’s Death–Part II

With only an Amarna wine jar label from Regnal Year 17 – purported to be the last dated inscription from his reign – that makes no mention of Akhenaten by name, and the generous 59 years’ rule...
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...
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...
A relief of Kiya, remade from Amarna limestone.

Kiya - The Most Mysterious Woman of Amarna

The only thing we really know for certain about Kiya is her name, written in the forms kiya, kiw, kia, kaia, and that she was a wife of Akhenaten titled The Great Beloved Wife . Much information...