House of Aten (Episode 118)

The Great and Small Temples of Aten Amarna (Part 5). Akhenaten changed many features of ancient Egyptian religion. But although his god was distant and universal, He still needed a home. Today, we explore how Akhenaten made special provision for his god’s house. Two great temples, dedicated to the solar disc, rose on the east bank…

Adoring Ra (Episode 117)

Akhenaten (Part 8) Precursors to Atenism Prior to Akhenaten’s reign, the worship of Ra had been developing in fascinating ways. From Thebes, a variety of tomb texts show us hints of pharaoh’s beliefs, explored by other people before his reign ever began. Ancient Egyptian theology was complex, but certain trends and deities are relatively simple…

Adoring Aten (Episode 116)

Akhenaten (Part 7) The Great Hymn to Aten By 1356 BCE, Akhenaten was well-ensconced in his new royal residence of Akhet-Aten (Amarna). As regnal year 7 began, the King was probably living full-time in his new city and the population expanded rapidly as settlers (particularly officials and their servants) moved to this area, following their…

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…

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…

The Sun King (Episode 105)

Amunhotep III (Part 12): Pharaoh as a God. By the time of his second Sed-Festival (in year 34), Amunhotep III had reached the pinnacle of his earthly influence and power. Some of this grandiosity manifested in a strange trend: from various sources, we get a sense of the King styling himself as a god. In…

Egyptian Religion with Dr. Campbell Price (Episode 101b)

Amunhotep Hapu, Private Worship, and Immortality. My guest today is Dr. Campbell Price, who generously sat down to talk about non-royal statues and the immortality of Amunhotep son of Hapu. How did an ordinary Egyptian earn the right to display themselves in stone statues? What purpose did these fulfil? And what does Amunhotep have to…

Mini Episodes: Music in Ancient Egypt

Two mini episodes about music! Music was everywhere in ancient Egypt: in the fields, in the temple, on the parade ground, and in the home. Songs and compositions were a part of daily life, and abundant evidence survives for the art of musicianship in the ancient world. In two mini episodes we explore some of…

Episode 100: Celebration

Amunhotep III (Part 10): The Sed Festival, As Told by Kheruef Who Witnessed It. In regnal year 30, Amunhotep III celebrated the first of his sed-festivals. This was a spectacular event, with a number of rituals and performances celebrating the King’s reign, and renewing his authority on earth. Some of these rites were truly arcane,…

Episode 98: Young Bull Appearing In Memphis

Interlude: Royal Children on the Rise. From 1385 to 1380, the prince of Egypt Thutmose was climbing up the ranks. From a lowly sem-priest to the chief of a great temple, Thutmose was a quickly rising star. His sister, Sit-Amun, also leaves a tantalizing trace of her life. We explore a non-royal funeral, the cult…