The remains of the city lie 12 kilometer (7.5 miles) south
of Mallawi. The city's former name is Akhetaten or the "horizon
of the sun disc."
The city was built by Akhenaten
when he left the city of Thebes and built this isolated city.
He advocated a new religion based on the worship of the sun
The cult was the first monotheist belief in ancient Egypt.
The move angered Amun
priests at Thebes
(Luxor) especially when they realized their power was
The city flourished and remained as center for the new worship
for 15 years. When Akhenaten died, the Amun priests regained
their power and the king's successors were convinced to return
back to polytheism. The city was abandoned and destroyed,
and its stones were reused in the building of the nearby Hermopolis
El-Amarna has remains of temples, palaces, houses and tombs.
Six tombs are located at the north side and the other nineteen
of them are located at the south side making the 25 tombs
excavated in the city. Most of the accessible tombs are among
the northern group.
Tomb of Ahmose (Amosis in Greek):
Ahmose was the fan-bearer of King Akhenaten. His tomb is unfinished.
He is depicted worshipping the names of the sun. The hymns
composed to the sun are inscribed on the entranceway.
Tomb of Meryre I:
Meryre was a senior priest of Aten. His tomb is also unfinished
but has interesting scenes of the priest. Akhenaten is also
depicted in some scenes (See Image 3, 4, 5).
Tomb of Panehsy:
Panehsy is the chief servitor of the Aten cult. The outer
façade of the tomb is still preserved. Most of the
scenes show the royal family worshiping the sun. Panehsy appears
in one scene as an old man with his daughter also worshipping
the sun (See Image 6, 7).
Tomb of Huya:
Huya was the superintendent and steward to mother queen Tiye.
Like other tombs, this one has also depictions of the royal
family especially those which describe Huya's career. The
tomb has unfinished statue for Huya.
Tomb of Meryre II:
Meryre II was the superintendent of Queen Nefertiti's palace.
The royal family is shown this time with foreigners dressed
in their native dresses.
Tomb of Pentu:
The tomb of Pentu who was a royal scribe is weary but the
remaining reliefs still show Pentu and the royal couples (See
Image 8, 9).
Tomb of Ay:
This is the finest tomb in the city. Ay is shown with his
wife receiving golden collars from the king and the queen.