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Tall El-Amarna Tall El-Amarna
Photo by Raymon Kondos © 2009 Your Egypt
The northern palace of Akhetaten

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."

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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 disc, AtenWho is this deity?. The cult was the first monotheist belief in ancient Egypt. The move angered AmunWho is this deity? priests at Thebes (Luxor) especially when they realized their power was declining.

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 City.

TellWhat does it mean? El-Amarna has remains of temples, palaces, houses and tombs.

The 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.

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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.

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