Akhenaten Phase 1 (Summary)

The Story So Far… We’ve covered a lot since Amunhotep IV / Akhenaten appeared on the throne of Egypt. Today, we take a breather to sort it all out and summarise what we’ve seen so far. This will put us on a good footing for even more drama in the years to come… Date: c.1357…

Building Quickly (Episode 115b)

Amarna (Part 4): Raising a City in Haste. When Akhenaten demanded a new royal residence (Akhet-Aten), it fell to countless labourers, overseers and donkeys to gather the material needed for the city. Archaeologists scouring the landscape of Akhet-Aten and its neighbourhood have found a great deal of evidence for stone quarrying, ancient road networks, and…

Hatiay’s House (Episode 115)

Amarna (Part 3): Elite Houses. The Overseer of Works, Hatiay, was one of Akhenaten’s most prominent and useful servants. He helped build pharaoh’s new city, bringing the vision to life, by organising work teams and resources for the massive construction projects. Along the way, Hatiay received many perks, including one of the nicest houses discovered…

Defining the Horizons (Episode 114b)

Amarna (Part 2): Akhenaten’s Priorities and Mindset   A short side episode, concerning Akhenaten’s mind-set around the time he moved to Amarna. Did the King always plan this city? Did he want to live here forever and never leave? And how did he think about the community he was developing? We explore these questions… Date:…

Seeds of a City (Episode 114)

Amarna (Part 1): Establishing Akhet-Aten. In regnal year 5, Akhenaten decreed the foundations of his new city devoted to the sun god. One year later, the King returned to perform ceremonies and to review what had been completed… Date: c.1357 BCE (regnal year 6) King: Akhenaten (Nefer-kheperu-Re Wa-en-Re) Queen: Nefertiti (Nefer-neferu-Aten) Cities: Amarna (Akhet-Aten) Bookings…

Akh-en-Aten (Episode 113)

Akhenaten (Part 6): New Name, Who Dis? In regnal year 5, Amunhotep IV reached the conclusion of his early ideological development. His views had crystallized and he was ready to express them more explicitly than before. Soon, pharaoh issued a public declaration; he would now be called Akh-en-Aten… Time Period: c.1358 BCE (regnal year 5)…

Artistic Revolution (Episode 112)

Akhenaten (Part 5): Amarna Art, An Introduction. By the time of his Sed-Festival, Amunhotep IV’s reforms had begun to gather serious momentum. The King was even introducing new forms of representation, reshaping the human body and altering conventions at a fundamental level. In these early phases of Amarna Art, the pharaoh’s vision manifested in some bizarre and…

A Tour to Egypt (January 2020)

Announcement Hello everyone!  I am pleased to report that the second History of Egypt Podcast Tour to Egypt is now in preparation! The tour will take begin January 19, 2020 and run for 14 days. In that time, we will explore Egypt from Cairo to Aswan, seeing all the major sites and many which the average…

The Royal Gods (Episode 111)

Akhenaten (Part 4): Aten Above All. In 1360 BCE, regnal year 3, King Nefer-kheperu-Re Amunhotep IV made some of his most startling decisions yet. Promoting the sun disc, Aten, even further, Amunhotep began to give the god royal accessories (cartouches, uraei etc) and present it as a being tied intimately with the pharaoh. This culminated…

The Aten Appears (Episode 110)

Akhenaten (Part 3): Revelation of a Religion. Soon after he came to power, Amunhotep IV (later Akhenaten) began to reveal his unique vision of god and the world. A remarkable amount of evidence survives for this crucial period: from a royal speech, magnificent temples at Karnak and a massive artistic shift, the King revealed his…