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ALL ONE WORLD EGYPTOLOGISTS TOUR
TOMBS OF THE ATON NOBLES
— SATURDAY 12 JANUARY 2008 — AMARNA, EGYPT — 18TH DYN. NEW KINGDOM —

It is very rare to find a tour that visits this remote, yet so very important, collection of sites.

Akhetaton was the capital city of the 18th Dynasty king, Akhenaton, called by some 'the heretic king'. He was the son of one of the greatest peacetime pharaohs in all of the long history of ancient Egypt, Amunhotep III, the Sun King.

Akhenaton, formerly Amunhotep IV, built his city in a bay of cliffs on the east bank of the Nile as a center for the worship of his 'new' religion, Atonism.

It was during his 5th year of reign that Amunhotep IV changed his names and titulature, becoming the king we now know as Akhenaton.

The cult of the Aton became so uncompromising that there was a complete break with the state neter Amun and his temple at Karnak was formerly closed, followed by a thorough defacement of the shrines of most of the major gods.

A collection of wonderfully decorated tombs for the nobles that faithfully served the Aton and its pharaoh are clustered to the north of the Royal Wadi (the natural valley running deep into the eastern desert and bisecting the circle of cliffs that border the city plain).


artwork by Amarna Project

Some feel that this innovator was combining the deification of his god-king father and smashing the stranglehold that the Amunian priestcraft had on the society for the last 220 years since breaking free from the Hyksos.

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All the lands and wealth of the empire was directed to building this new shining city.

from Akhenaton’s own words:
“Let the tombs of the Chief of Seers, of the God's Fathers of the Aton... be made in the eastern mountain of Akhetaton, that they may be buried in it. Let the tombs of the priests of the Aton be made in the eastern mountain of Akhetaton that they may be buried in it.”

The entire city was plundered and razed within a generation after Akhenaton’s murder.

     
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