All  

Primary tabs

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...
A damaged relief from his palace-cum-mortuary temple at Medinet Habu shows King Ramesses III making offerings to the gods; design by Anand Balaji

Enduring Mystery of the Screaming Mummy: Abominable Crime and a Disgraced Prince—Part II

The devious plot of the secondary wife, Queen Tiye, to murder King Ramesses III came-a-cropper. In no time the conspirators, who included palace staff and her own son, were apprehended, interrogated...
Close-up view of the “Screaming Mummy” with its horrific expression. It was discovered by Émile Brugsch in the Deir el-Bahri (DB320) cache in 1881; design by Anand Balaji (Photo credit: G. Elliot Smith); Deriv.

Enduring Mystery of the Screaming Mummy: Mortal Wounds and Divine Justice—Part I

The hideously contorted facial features of ‘Unknown Man E’ - also called the ‘Screaming Mummy’ - are unlike any we have witnessed in an ancient Egyptian mummy. It bears mute testimony to the gruesome...
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...
Detail from a replica of the small golden shrine found in KV62 that shows Ankhesenamun and Tutankhamun; design by Anand Balaji

Inching Closer to Ankhesenamun: Is the Last Sun Queen Set to be Found? — Part II

The probable marriage of Ankhesenamun, the widow of Pharaoh Tutankhamun, to the aged vizier Aye before she vanished from the records paved the way for the old family retainer to ascend the throne of...
Detail of goddess Mut with likeness of Ankhesenamun; design by Anand Balaji

Inching Closer to Ankhesenamun: Unraveling the Radiant Child of Amarna—Part I

Ever since the discovery of KV62, the treasure-filled sepulcher of Tutankhamun, in 1922 – and even before that in 1907 when the mysterious Tomb 55 came to light – Amarna royals have always managed to...
Face of the coffin in which the mummy of Ramesses II was found. (Credit: Petra Lether, designed by Anand Balaji)

Living God in a Wooden Box: In Whose Coffin was Ramesses II Buried?

Usermaatre Setepenre Ramesses II, the third pharaoh of the Nineteenth Dynasty, was one of ancient Egypt’s longest-reigning monarchs. In an astonishing sixty-seven regnal years – the glory days of...
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...
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...
Ancient Egyptian relief. Design by Anand Balaji.

Amarna Era Chronological Conundrum: Dating Akhenaten’s Death and the Length of Horemheb’s Reign–Part I

When the Nineteenth Dynasty Pharaoh Menmaatre Seti I drew up the famed King List at his mortuary temple in the holy city of Abydos, he was confident that he had struck the final nail in the coffin of...

Pages