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Content written by anand balaji

anand balaji's pictureAnand N. Balaji is an independent researcher who has studied various facets of ancient Egypt and is especially interested in the Amarna era. Read More...

Main: Temple of Aton in Amarna (CC by SA 3.0). Inset eclipse (public domain)

Eclipse over Amarna: Beginning of the End for Akhenaten in his City of Light?

The ancient Egyptian civilization was wedded to the Sun, and yet, extant records only ever mention the solar aspect as the giver and sustainer of life that shines brightly for all eternity. Sterling...
KV62 wall, tomb. Design by Anand Balaji

Final Pieces of the Jigsaw: Are Khufu, Nefertiti & Ankhesenamun Set to Yield Their Secrets?

Over the past two years, the world of Egyptology has been a hotbed of excitement. The thrill-a-minute roller-coaster ride of announcements from the Land of the Pharaohs became the focal point right...
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...
 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...
Collection of Egyptian Art, design by Anand Balaji (Photo credits: Heidi Kontkanen, Oliviero Piccinali, and Julian Tuffs); Deriv.

Akhenaten: Imperishable Art of an Iconoclast: Age of Extravagance in Amarna—Part II

The monuments Akhenaten constructed were no less impressive than those of his father, Amenhotep III. But all his buildings were dismantled and destroyed during the Amarna backlash—including the city...
Collection of Egyptian Art, design by Anand Balaji

Akhenaten: Imperishable Art of an Iconoclast: Creativity Blossoms in the Desert—Part I

Never before had a pharaoh ushered daring, almost bizarre and inconceivable transformations in religion and statecraft as Akhenaten did. Not only did he oust the pantheon of traditional gods and...
Collection of Egyptian Art, design by Anand Balaji (Photo credits: Richard Dick Sellicks, Dave Rudin, G. Elliot Smith/Wikimedia Commons); Deriv.

Puzzle of the Unidentified KV35 Mummy: Boy Kings and the Specter of Smenkhkare—Part II

The staggering number of royal mummies that Victor Loret found in the final resting place of the Eighteenth Dynasty pharaoh, Amenhotep II, consisted of some individuals who have not yet been...
Collection of Egyptian Art, design by Anand Balaji

Lasting Puzzle of the Unidentified KV35 Mummy: Is it Really Prince Webensenu Or Another?—Part I

A host of pharaohs who were removed to safety from their burial places in ancient times rested peacefully for millennia within the bowels of the magnificent tomb of Amenhotep II. Among the great...
Collection of Egyptian Art, design by Anand Balaji (Photo credits: Rijksmuseum van Oudheden/CC BY-SA 4.0, Leiden; Dr Chris Naunton, Heidi Kontkanen and A. K. Moyls); Deriv.

The Many Mysteries of Maya: Faith, Labor and Love for the Motherland–Part II

The sudden and unfortunate death of Tutankhamun created an unprecedented power vacuum that had to be filled swiftly, if order was to be maintained in the Egyptian state. It is probable that a tussle...
Collection of Egyptian Art, design by Anand Balaji

The Many Mysteries of Maya: On the Trail of Tutankhamun’s Valued Courtier–Part I

The Amarna Period brought to fore many interesting personages, especially from the ruling disposition. While éminence grise Aye and the generalissimo Horemheb became pharaohs after the death of...
Collection of Egyptian Art, design by Anand Balaji

Tutankhamun and the Age of Appropriation: Missing Skullcap of the Last Sun King–Part II

The oft-repeated phrase “the Amarna era is shrouded in mystery” could be a thing of the past if only closer scrutiny of key artifacts from Tutankhamun’s tomb are permitted by the authorities...
Collection of Egyptian Art, design by Anand Balaji

Tutankhamun and the Age of Appropriation: Priceless Secrets and Palimpsests Hidden in Plain Sight–Part I

Among the stupefying hoard of over five thousand objects that were recovered from the tomb of Tutankhamun (KV62), some sported distinct Atenist leanings. While the golden throne of the boy-king is...
Collection of Egyptian Art, design by Anand Balaji

Life after Life: Guidebook to Conquering Dangerous Demons and Dark Waters in Duat – Part II

One of the pivots for the successful implementation of ‘heka’, the ancient Egyptian term for magic, was words – both spoken and written – and the latter was considered the most powerful form. Scores...
Collection of Egyptian Art, design by Anand Balaji

Life after Life: In the Quest for Eternity, Death is Only the Beginning – Part I

The ancient Egyptians took great care to prepare for the Afterlife. In fact, they were so meticulous about getting every minute detail in order, that to us they come across as having been obsessed...

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