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Amarna Sunrise

Amarna Sunrise: Egypt from Golden Age to Age of Heresy

Aidan Dodson
Copyright Date: 2014
Pages: 288
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  • Book Info
    Amarna Sunrise
    Book Description:

    The latter part of the fifteenth century bc saw Egypt’s political power reach its zenith, with an empire that stretched from beyond the Euphrates in the north to much of what is now Sudan in the south. The wealth that flowed into Egypt allowed its kings to commission some of the most stupendous temples of all time, some of the greatest dedicated to Amun-Re, King of the Gods. Yet a century later these temples lay derelict, the god’s images, names, and titles all erased in an orgy of iconoclasm by Akhenaten, the devotee of a single sun-god. This book traces the history of Egypt from the death of the great warrior-king Thutmose III to the high point of Akhenaten’s reign, when the known world brought gifts to his newly-built capital city of Amarna, in particular looking at the way in which the cult of the sun became increasingly important to even ‘orthodox’ kings, culminating in the transformation of Akhenaten’s father, Amenhotep III, into a solar deity in his own right.

    eISBN: 978-1-61797-560-8
    Subjects: History, Religion

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Table of Contents
    (pp. vii-viii)
    (pp. ix-xii)
    (pp. xiii-xv)
  5. MAPS
    (pp. xvi-xxiv)
    (pp. 1-8)

    A round the beginning of the sixteenth century BC, Egypt found itself divided into two basic political elements. One was based on the city of Avaris (Tell el-Daba) in the northeast Nile Delta, and was under the rule of kings of Palestinian origin, generally known as the ‘Hyksos’ from a Greek rendition of the Egyptian term ḥqзw-ḫзѕwt, ‘rulers of foreign countries,’ classified by Manetho as his Fifteenth Dynasty. The other seems to have represented the rump of the regime that had once ruled the whole of Egypt from the Twelfth Dynasty residence city of Itjtawy, but had now been restricted...

    (pp. 9-40)

    Regardless of the reality or otherwise of the Thutmose III/ Amenhotep II co-regency, Amenhotep will still have been a young man when he became the sole ruler of Egypt.¹ As such, he threw himself into a new series of campaigns into Syria–Palestine, attested in Years 3,² 7, and 9.³

    Little is known of the first of these, except that it included the capture and execution of seven local rulers in the Takhsy region, generally placed to the east of the Orontes, southeast of Qadesh.⁴ Brought back to Egypt hanging upside-down from the bow of the king’s ship,⁵ six of...

  8. 2 GOLD IS AS DUST . . .
    (pp. 41-84)

    Amenhotep III’s age at his accession—probably in IIšmw¹ — remains a matter for debate. At one extreme there is a suggestion that he was old enough to have served as viceroy of Nubia;² at the other, it has been proposed that he was a very young child.³ Against the latter is a record that in Year 5 the king led a military operation into Upper Nubia (see p. 51) which—assuming that he really did participate—would suggest that he was at least a late-teenager by then. A mummy anciently labeled as that of Amenhotep III⁴ is of only...

    (pp. 85-110)

    Amenhotep IV’s accession fell somewhere between Iprt1 and Iprt8, to judge from the point at which the regnal year number changes within a set of texts from Years 5 and 6.¹ Perhaps his earliest records are depictions of the king in the portico of the tomb of Kheruef, where he makes offerings to Re-Horakhty and to his recently deceased father (figs. 69–70), the latter probably an explicit coda to the Third Jubilee depictions (see pp. 54–55) that may well have still been being worked on when Amenhotep III died.

    Even in these very earliest...

    (pp. 111-142)

    Following the foundation ceremonies of Year 5, work presumably began on the detailed laying out and construction of the city. Exactly a year after his original proclamation, Akhenaten delivered a further declaration from “the southeastern mountain of Akhet-Aten,” having departed from the “pavilion of matting” that currently represented the royal accommodation in the just-begun city. It essentially reconfirmed the provisions of what is now generally termed the “Earlier Proclamation” of the previous year, including a repetition of the statement that the city limits of Akhet-Aten were immutable¹ and a more detailed exposition of those limits. These were delineated by a...

    (pp. 143-154)

    By all appearances, the Year 12durbarwas intended to be a celebration of the triumph of the new order. But five years later, Akhenaten and many of his family were dead, and three years after that, we find Amun’s cult once again functioning, with the new pharaoh soon to issue a decree that provided for the wholesale restoration of everything laid waste by Akhenaten’s revolution.¹ Explanations for this collapse have been varied, but an intriguing suggestion makes thedurbaritself the source of the seeds of disaster by bringing into Egypt a plague whose victims included key members of...

  12. Appendix 1 Outline Chronology of Ancient Egypt
    (pp. 155-157)
  13. Appendix 2 Relative Chronology of Egyptian and Foreign Kings during the Fourteenth Century BC
    (pp. 158-159)
  14. Appendix 3 Royal Names of the Later Eighteenth Dynasty
    (pp. 160-161)
  15. Appendix 4 The Genealogy of the Eighteenth Dynasty
    (pp. 162-170)
    (pp. 171-172)
  17. NOTES
    (pp. 173-204)
    (pp. 205-242)
  19. INDEX
    (pp. 243-258)