The AMARNA PERIOD was an era of Egyptian history during the latter
half of the Eighteenth Dynasty when the royal residence of the pharaoh
and his queen was shifted to Akhetaten ('Horizon of the
* 5 Foreign relations
* 5.1 The Great Powers
* 5.2 Amarna Letters
* 5.2.1 The opening statement * 5.2.2 Brotherhood
* 6 Gallery * 7 See also
* 8 Notes
* 8.1 References
Akhenaten instigated the earliest verified expression of a form of
monotheism , although the origins of a pure monotheism are the subject
of continuing debate within the academic community. Some state that
Akhenaten restored monotheism while others point out that he merely
suppressed a dominant solar cult by the assertion of another, while
never completely abandoning several other traditional deities.
Scholars believe that Akhenaten's devotion to his deity,
The period saw many innovations in the name and service of religion. Egyptians of the time viewed religion and science as one and the same. Previously, the presence of many gods explained the natural phenomena, but during the Amarna period there was a rise in monotheism. With people beginning to think of the origins of the universe, Amun-Re was seen as the sole creator and Sun-god. The view of this god is seen through the poem entitled "Hymn to the Aten":
"When your movements disappear and you go to rest in the Akhet, the land is in darkness, in the manner of death... darkness a blanket, the land in stillness, with the one who makes them at rest in his Akhet. The land grows bright once you have appeared in the Akhet, shining in the sun disk by day. When you dispel darkness and give your rays, the Two Lands are in a festival of light."
From the poem, one can see that the nature of the god's daily activity revolves around recreating the earth on a daily basis. It also focuses on the present life rather than on eternity.
After the Amarna reign, these religious beliefs fell out of favor. It has been argued that this was in part because only the king and his family were allowed to worship Amun-Re directly, while others were permitted only to worship the king and his family.
The royal women of Amarna have more surviving text about them than any other women from ancient Egypt. It is clear that they played a large role in royal and religious functions. These women were frequently portrayed as powerful in their own right.
Queen Nefertiti was said to be the force behind the new monotheist religion. Nefertiti, whose name means "the beautiful one is here," bore six of Amenhotep's daughters.
Amarna art A relief of a royal couple in the
Amarna-period style; figures may be
Meritaten , or
During Akhenaten's reign, royal portraiture underwent dramatic change. Sculptures of Akhenaten deviate from conventional portrayal of royalty. Akhenaten is depicted in an androgynous and highly stylized manner, with large thighs, a slim torso, drooping belly, full lips, and a long neck and nose. Some believe that the break with convention was due to "the presence at Amarna of new people or groups of artists whose background and training were different from those of the Karnak sculptors."
The events following Akhenaten's death are unclear and the identity and policies of his co-regent and immediate successor are the matter of ongoing scholarly debate.
TUTANKHAMUN AND THE AMARNA SUCCESSION
Main article: Amarna succession
Tutankhamun , among the last of his dynasty and the Amarna kings, died before he was twenty years old, and the dynasty's final years clearly were shaky. The royal line of the dynasty died out with Tutankhamun. Two fetuses found buried in his tomb may have been his twin daughters who would have continued the royal lineage, according to a 2008 investigation.
An unidentified Egyptian queen
Dakhamunzu , widow of "King
Nibhururiya", is known from Hittite annals. She is often identified as
The last two members of the eighteenth dynasty – Ay and Horemheb – became rulers from the ranks of officials in the royal court, although Ay may have married the widow of Tutankhamun in order to obtain power and she did not live long afterward. Ay's reign was short. His successor was Horemheb, a general in the Egyptian army, who had been a diplomat in the administration of Tutankhamun and may have been intended as his successor by the childless Tutankhamun. Horemheb may have taken the throne away from Ay in a coup. He also died childless and appointed his successor, Paramessu, who under the name Ramesses I ascended the throne in 1292 BC and was the first pharaoh of the Nineteenth Dynasty .
Map of the ancient
Near East during the
Amarna period, showing
the great powers of the period: Egypt (green), Hatti (yellow), the
Amarna Letters feature correspondence among the rulers of several
empires, dubbed by modern historians The Club of Great Powers :
THE GREAT POWERS
The extent of the Babylonian Empire during the
The Babylonians were conquered by an outside group of people and were
referred to in the letters as
By the time of the Amarna letters, the Assyrians, who were originally a vassal state, had become an independent power. The two letters were from king Assur-uballit I . The first dealt with him introducing himself and sending a messenger to investigate Egypt: “He should see what you are like and what your country is like, and then leave for here.” (EA 15) The second letter dealt with him inquiring as to why Egypt was not sending enough gold to him and arguing about profit for the king: "Then let him (a messenger) stay out and let him die right there in the sun, but for (but) for the king himself there must be a profit."
Mittani EA 17–30
Once enemies, by the time of the Amarna letters, the Mittanni had become an ally of Egypt's. These letters were written by the King Tuiseratta and dealt with various topics, such as preserving and renewing marriage alliances, and sending in various gifts. For example, EA 22 and EA 25 in the Amarna letters are an inventory of the gifts from the Mittani king Tusratta to the pharaoh. Other correspondences of note dealt with a gold status that was addressed in EA 26 and EA 27. Akhenaten married a Mittani princess in order to create stronger ties between the two nations.
Hatti EA 41-44
Theirs was a kingdom in Eastern
Main article: Amarna letters
This section MAY STRAY FROM THE TOPIC OF THE ARTICLE. Please help improve this section or discuss this issue on the talk page . (October 2012)
The Opening Statement
The opening statement: — Say to Nibmuareya, the king of Egypt, my brother: Thus Tuiseratta, the King of Mittani, your brother. For me all goes well. For you may all go well. For Kelu-Heba may all go well. For your household, for your wives, for your sons, for your magnates, for your warriors, for your horses, for your chariots, and in your country, may all go very well.
William Moran discussed how the first line in these documents followed a consistent formula of “Say to PN. Thus PN.” There are variations of this but was found common among all the tablets. The other is a salutation which is one a report of the monarch's well being and then the second which is a series of good wishes toward the monarch. Indeed, this seems to be part of the style of Akkadian style of writing which helped facilitate foreign correspondence for the long term. As scholars argued, this aided in filtering out the chauvinistic domestic ideology at home to the other monarch. This allowed diplomacy to flourish which aided to the relative peace of the time.
Despite the great distances between the rulers, the concept of a global village reigned.
As is seen in EA 7: — From the time the messenger of my brother arrived here, I have not been well, and so on no occasion has his messenger eaten food and drunk spirits in my company. If you ask... your messenger, he will tell you that I have not been well and that, as far as my recovery is concerned, I am still by no means restored to health.... I for my part became angry with my brother, saying, has my brother not heard that I am ill? Why has he shown me no concern? Why has he sent no messenger here and visited me?
The importance of this in EA 7 is that it demonstrates the mindset of the rulers in the Near East world at the time. The "enlarged village" which scholars like to term permeated their thoughts where they took the idea of brotherhood. They were related through the political marriages but is an idea of a village of clans which gives reason to the good wishes and update on the health of the monarchs themselves. The monarchs seem to have very little concept of the time of travel between each other and at most likely saw that the village worldview they lived in was applicable for the long distant correspondence of the Amarna letters. Indeed, there is a constant demonstration of love as seen in these letters. Scholars pointed out that to demonstrate good friendship it had to be on the practical level of constant stream of gift giving. This request for gifts is constant with the various correspondence with the Great Kings.
Queen Nefertiti , the daughter of Ay, married Akhenaten. Her role in daily life at the court soon extended from Great Royal Wife to that of a co-regent. It is also possible that she may have ruled Egypt in her own right as pharaoh, Neferneferuaten. *
Smenkhkare, was a co-regent of Akhenaten who ruled after his death. It was believed that Smenkhkare was a male guise of Nefertiti. However, it is accepted that Smenkhkare was a male. He took Meritaten, Queen Nefertiti's daughter as his wife. *
Queen Meritaten, was the oldest daughter of Akhenaten and Nefertiti. She was the wife of Smenkhkare. She also may have ruled Egypt in her own right as pharaoh and is one the possible candidates of being the pharaoh, Neferneferuaten. *
Neferneferure and Neferneferuaten Tasherit. Shown here as children, they were two of six daughters born to Akhenaten and Nefertiti. It is possible that Neferneferuaten Tasherit was the one who may have been her father's co-regent and may have ruled as the female pharaoh, Neferneferuaten. *
The Younger Lady mummy of KV35 was by DNA matching Tutankhamun's mother. Originally thought to be Nefertiti, DNA showed that she was the sister of Akhenaten. Princess Nebetah or Beketaten are considered candidates. *
Maia was the wet nurse of the Crown Prince, Tutankhamun. Having lost his mother at a young age, she helped rear the young prince. Maia was later allowed to have a grand tomb at Saqarra. Here the young prince holds her hand. *
Tutankhamun, formerly Tutankhaten, was Akhenaten's son through an incestuous relationship with his sister. As pharaoh, he instigated policies to restore Egypt to its old religion and moved the capital back to Memphis. *
Ankhesenamun, born Ankhesenpaaten, was the wife of Tutankhamun, and daughter of Akhenaten. After her husband's death, she was married to her maternal grandfather Ay. *
Ay served as vizier to Akhenaten, and Tutankhamun. He was the father of Nefertiti. After the death of Tutankhamun, Ay lay a claim to the throne by burying him and by marrying his granddaughter Ankhesenamun. *
After the death of Ay, Horemheb assumed the throne. A commoner, he had served as vizier to both Tutankhamun and Ay. Horemheb instigated a policy of damnatio memoriae, against everyone associated with the Amarna period. He was married to Nefertiti's sister, Mutnodjmet, who died in child birth. With no heir, he appointed his own vizier, Paramessu as his successor. *
The ruins of Akhetaten. Now commonly called Amarna, Akhenaten's capital city was abandoned by Tutankhamun. It survived several years before being torn apart by Horemheb's orders.
* ^ A B C Arnold, Dorothea, James P. Allen, and L. Green. The Royal Women of Amarna: Images of Beauty from Ancient Egypt. New York: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1996. Print. * ^ Cothren, Michael and Stokstad, Marilyn: Art History. Prentice Hall, 2011. * ^ Khanna, Aditi (2008-09-01). "Bodies found in the tomb of \'boy king\' Tutankhamun\'s tomb are twin daughters". Times Online. London. Retrieved 2008-09-01. * ^ A B Liverani, Mario, "The Great Powers' Club," in Cohen & Westbrook (2000) , pp. 18–19 * ^ Moran (1992) , p. 7 * ^ Moran (1992) , pp. 1–3 * ^ Moran. Amarna Diplomacy. 21 * ^ Moran (1992) , pp. 41–42 * ^ Cohen & Westbrook (2000) , p. 6 * ^ Moran. Amarna Diplomacy. 116 * ^ Moran (1992) , p. xxii–xxiii * ^ Cohen & Westbrook (2000) , pp. 235–236 * ^ Zaccagnini, Carlos, "The Interdependence of the Great Powers," in Cohen Westbrook, Raymond (2000). Amarna Diplomacy: the Beginnings of International Relations. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press . ISBN 0-8018-6199-3 . * Moran, William L. (1992). The Amarna Letters. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press . ISBN 0-8018-4251-4 .
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