Tell el-Amarna.. the capital of monotheism – Dar Al-Hilal

Tell el-Amarna or “Sister of the Aten”, i.e. “Horizon of the Aten”, is the city founded by King Akhenaten “Amenhotep IV” in Central Egypt to be the new capital of the country during his reign be. Tell el-Amarna flourished during his reign and was a radiant center of civilization, art and architecture, but unfortunately it was abandoned. The city after the death of Akhenaten and demolished many of the important architectural aspects there.

The city, which Akhenaten ordered to define its borders with fourteen plates known as the plates of boundaries, included royal palaces, residential quarters, the royal cemetery and the tombs of the royal courtiers.

Tell el-Amarna is located on the east bank of the Nile, about 280 km south of Cairo, 35 km south of the city of Minya.

Most of the buildings in Tell el-Amarna were made of mud bricks, the walls of which were covered with a layer of paint containing the most beautiful colorful scenes, and the use of limestone was limited to the construction of door thresholds, bases of columns, and window frames, and most of the doors and columns were made of wood, and the construction of most of the buildings from mud bricks was the main reason In the buildings that have not remained in good condition until now.

Among the main reasons that made Tell el-Amarna an important site:

Akhenaten’s choice of the region to be the capital of Egypt and the seat of his new religion made Tell el-Amarna of special importance in ancient Egyptian history, approaching the importance of Thebes, Memphis and other ancient capitals.
Tell el-Amarna represented a revolution in all aspects of life politically, religiously, artistically and culturally, as it was the seat of the worship of the god Aten and the source of “Atonic art” or what was known as “Amarna -art”, which embodies realism in art. This is a new school that originated and flourished in Amarna. The bust of Queen Nefertiti, which is currently in the Berlin museum in Germany, in addition to the statues of Akhenaten and his daughters , which is currently on display in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.
Tell el-Amarna is considered one of the oldest civilized and urban cities in ancient Egypt, where many houses, palaces, harem palaces, workers’ houses, streets and stables remain, which gave us an idea of ​​the urban planning of the city in ancient Egypt .

The most important monuments of Tell el-Amarna:

1- The Southern Palace

It belongs to Akhenaten and is located near the Great Temple of Aten, which is built of mud bricks, with the exception of some architectural elements, such as entrances, columns and bathrooms. The walls and floors of this palace were covered with plaster decorated with beautiful scenes representing nature, including birds, trees, rivers and forests. The Egyptian Museum preserves parts of the floor of the palaces. The palace was discovered in 1891 -92 by Flands Petrie, and I found the so-called “Amarna”. Letters” in this palace, which are diplomatic and political letters that took place between Amenhotep III, Akhenaten and Queen T on the one hand, and some Asian rulers on the other, and the importance of these letters is due to the fact that they gave us a clear picture of the political situation The powers that Egypt enjoyed at the time, and these messages were recorded on clay tablets and written in cuneiform.

2- The Northern Palace

Opinions differed about this palace. Some opinions believed that this palace belonged to Queen Nefertiti, while some researchers saw that it belonged to one of Akhenaten’s daughters, perhaps Princess Merit Amon. The palace was also built of mud bricks and included a reception hall, a swimming pool, and a horse stable.

3- Aten temples

There was more than one temple of the god Aten, perhaps the most important of which is known as the Great Temple of Aten. The temple is built of mud bricks except for the temple gate, columns and a few other elements. The temple is similar. in its layout to the temples of the modern state, but it was taken into account, in accordance with the Aten doctrine, that all elements of the temple are exposed as an expression of communication. The temple was surrounded by a mud brick wall.

4- Residential neighborhoods

Tell el-Amarna includes more than one neighborhood in which the dwellings of the nobles mingled with the dwellings of workers and artisans, although they differed in size, quality and style of building the dwelling.adobe and sometimes covered with plaster.

5- The Royal Cemetery

It is located in a dirt road that separates the northern and southern series of individual tombs. The cemetery is similar in layout to the tombs of the kings in the Valley of the Kings in Thebes, and its walls enclose views of Akhenaten and his family. in. It is logical that this tomb was dedicated to Akhenaten and his relatives, but there is no evidence that he or any of his relatives were buried there.

6 – Graves of individuals

These are rock-cut tombs and there are 25 tombs, including 6 tombs in the northern group and 19 tombs in the southern group.

First: Northern Cemeteries:

These include six rock tombs located opposite the village of Tell el-Amarna for the most senior officials: Hoya, “overseer of Queen Ti’s property” (tomb 1); Meri-Re II, who was the overseer of Queen Nefertiti’s possessions (KT 2), Ahmose the “royal fan-bearer” (KT 3), Meri-Re I the high priest (KT 4), Bentu the “royal physician” (KT 5 ), and Panhesi “the chief servants of Aten” (Cemetery 6).

The tombs are similar in their architectural design to the tombs of individuals in Thebes, which also belong to the eighteenth dynasty. These tombs consist of an open courtyard, which is usually surrounded by a wall of mud bricks, then the main cabin, whose ceiling hangs from columns, then a corridor that leads us to a narrow room and a hut with a statue of the deceased. Most of these tombs were abandoned before their construction was completed, but they were distinguished by the beautiful scenery, which the characteristics of realistic Atonic art, which is represented in the freedom to depict the royal family.

Second: Southern Group:

This group is located south of the first group, an area known as the “Royal Valley” and southeast of the modern villages of Al-Hajj Qandil and Al-Houta. The group includes the tomb of the future Ay Al-. Malik (tomb 25), Maya “the bearer of the fan on the right hand of the king” (tomb 14), and Toto who He was responsible for the protocol (GV8).

The southern tombs are architecturally more elaborate than those in the northern group. Their plans include a small exterior facade, a short vestibule and usually a large interior chamber, which would have contained a dozen or more columns.

Despite the short period during which Amarna flourished as the political capital of Egypt, which lasted for almost seventeen years, and the state of destruction and tampering that afflicted most of the Amarna palaces, temples and tombs, and the counter-propaganda which was promoted by the priests. of Amun as a cursed and forbidden city, Amarna still retains its distinctive character in terms of planning, religious and artistic privacy.

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