Akhnaten: A MetOpera Interview

Interlude: An Interview with Akhnaten In 1983, Philip Glass debuted his opera Akhnaten, a bold musical exploration of the pharaoh, his reign and his legacy in ancient Egypt. Now, Akhnaten returns with The Metropolitan Opera, New York,  from November 8th to December 7th, 2019. It will be broadcast worldwide in cinemas. Find tickets to the live…

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…

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…

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…

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…