Akhenaten - Wikipedia
The Amarna Period of ancient Egypt was the era of the reign of Akhenaten saw beyond the confines of his religion and recognized the true nature of God; The Great Hymn to the Aten, written by the king, describes a god so great avenues down which Akhenaten and Nefertiti could ride in their chariot in the mornings. Akhenaten upended the religion, art, and politics of ancient Egypt, and In Egyptologist James Henry Breasted described the king as “the first . to portray Akhenaten and his queen, Nefertiti, in unusually natural and intimate poses. . The connection reveals a surprising scene: Akhenaten performs a. Discuss the nature of Akhenaten's relationship with Nefertiti. No description. by. Heather Grosvenor. on 19 July Comments (0). Please log in to add your.
Colossi and wall-reliefs from the Karnak Aten Temple are highly exaggerated and almost grotesque when viewed in the context of the formality and restraint which had characterised Egyptian royal and elite art for the millennium preceding Akhenaten's birth.
Although these seem striking and strangely beautiful today, it is hard for us to appreciate the profoundly shocking effect that such representations must have had on the senses of those who first viewed them and who would never have been exposed to anything other than traditional Egyptian art.
The royal family are shown with elongated skulls and pear-shaped bodies With the move to Amarna the art becomes less exaggerated, but while it is often described as 'naturalistic' it remains highly stylised in its portrayal of the human figure. The royal family are shown with elongated skulls and pear-shaped bodies with skinny torsos and arms but fuller hips, stomachs and thighs.
The subject matter of royal art also changes. Although formal scenes of the king worshipping remain important there is an increasing emphasis on ordinary, day-to-day activities which include intimate portrayals of Akhenaten and Nefertiti playing with their daughters beneath the rays of the Aten. Animals and birds are shown frolicking beneath the rays of the rising sun in the decoration of the royal tomb.
While traditional Egyptian art tends to emphasise the eternal, Amarna art focuses on the minutiae of life which only occur because of the light - and life-giving power of the sun. Even official inscriptions changed, moving away from the old-fashioned language traditional to monumental texts to reflect the spoken language of the time. Horizon of the Aten In the cliffs around the boundaries of the city the king left a series of monumental inscriptions Akhenaten decided that the worship of the Aten required a location uncontaminated by the cults of traditional gods and to this end chose a site in Middle Egypt for a new capital city which he called Akhetaten, 'Horizon of the Aten'.
It is a desert site surrounded on three sides by cliffs and to the west by the Nile and is known today as el-Amarna. In the cliffs around the boundaries of the city the king left a series of monumental inscriptions in which he outlined his reasons for the move and his architectural intentions for the city in the form of lists of buildings.
Akhenaten and the Amarna Period
To the east of the city is a valley leading into the desert in which the king began excavating tombs for the royal family. On the plain near the river massive temples to the Aten were constructed: Other sites of religious importance are located on the edges of the desert plain. There were also at least four palaces in the city which vary considerably in form, plus all the administrative facilities, storage and workshops necessary to support the royal family, court and the temple cults.
However, while temple and palace areas of the city are clearly planned, there is actually no evidence that Akhenaten showed any interest in the living arrangements of his people and residential areas suggest organic urban development. The wealthy seem to have enclosed an area of land with a high wall and built their spacious houses and ancillary structures within, while the houses and shacks of those that followed the court are crammed in between these luxurious walled estates.
The Art of Amarna: Akhenaten and his life under the Sun
The city was probably less dense than other urban centres of the day but this was only because it was inhabited for such a short time and processes of infilling were in their infancy. Amarna is one of the few sites where we have a significant amount of archaeological information about how people actually lived in ancient Egypt.
Top The aftermath Akhenaten died in his seventeenth year on the throne and his reforms did not survive for long in his absence.
His co-regent Smenkhkare, about whom we know virtually nothing, appears not to have remained in power for long after Akhenaten's death.
The throne passed to a child, Tutankhamun originally Tutankhaten who was probably the son of Akhenaten and Kiya. The regents administering the country on behalf of the child soon abandoned the city of Akhetaten and the worship of the Aten and returned to Egypt's traditional gods and religious centres.
The temples and cults of the gods were restored and people shut up their houses and returned to the old capitals at Thebes and Memphis. His image and names were removed from monuments. Over time, the process of restoration of traditional cults turned to whole-scale obliteration of all things associated with Akhenaten.
This correspondence comprises a priceless collection of incoming messages on clay tablets sent to Akhetaten from various subject rulers through Egyptian military outposts and from the foreign rulers recognized as "Great Kings" of the kingdom of Mitanniof Babylon, of Assyria, and of Hatti.
The governors and kings of Egypt's subject domains also wrote frequently to plead for gold from the pharaoh, and also complained that he had snubbed and cheated them.
Early in his reign, Akhenaten had conflicts with Tushrattathe king of Mitanni, who had courted favor with his father against the Hittites. Tushratta complains in numerous letters that Akhenaten had sent him gold-plated statues rather than statues made of solid gold; the statues formed part of the bride-price which Tushratta received for letting his daughter Tadukhepa marry Amenhotep III and then later marry Akhenaten.
Amarna letter EA 27 preserves a complaint by Tushratta to Akhenaten about the situation: I will give you ones made also of lapis lazuli. I will give you too, along with the statues, much additional gold and [other] goods beyond measure. Your father himself recast the statues [i]n the presence of my messengers, and he made them entirely of pure gold He showed much additional gold, which was beyond measure and which he was sending to me. He said to my messengers, 'See with your own eyes, here the statues, there much gold and goods beyond measure, which I am sending to my brother.
But my brother [i. You have sent plated ones of wood. Nor have you sent me the goods that your father was going to send me, but you have reduced [them] greatly. Yet there is nothing I know of in which I have failed my brother. Any day that I hear the greetings of my brother, that day I make a festive occasion May my brother send me much gold.
In my brother's country gold is as plentiful as dust.
Akhenaten and Nefertiti: The Controversy and the Evidence | Mohamed Hawass - cypenv.info
May my brother cause me no distress. May he send me much gold in order that my brother [with the gold and m]any [good]s may honor me. While Akhenaten was certainly not a close friend of Tushratta, he was evidently concerned at the expanding power of the Hittite Empire under its powerful ruler Suppiluliuma I.
A successful Hittite attack on Mitanni and its ruler Tushratta would have disrupted the entire international balance of power in the Ancient Middle East at a time when Egypt had made peace with Mitanni; this would cause some of Egypt's vassals to switch their allegiances to the Hittites, as time would prove.
A group of Egypt's allies who attempted to rebel against the Hittites were captured, and wrote letters begging Akhenaten for troops, but he did not respond to most of their pleas.