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Amarna SunriseEgypt from Golden Age to Age of Heresy$
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Aidan Dodson

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9789774166334

Published to Cairo Scholarship Online: September 2015

DOI: 10.5743/cairo/9789774166334.001.0001

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The Horizon of the Aten

The Horizon of the Aten

(p.111) 4 The Horizon of the Aten
Amarna Sunrise

Aidan Dodson

American University in Cairo Press

This chapter describes and discusses the middle part of the reign of Akhenaten, from the move to Amarna to the international celebration (‘durbar’) held in Year 12. In doing so, it considers the layout of the city and how this related to its conception and employment, as well as the necropoleis that formed a fundamental part of it. It also discusses the further evolution of the Aten-cult, quoting the Great Hymn to the Aten and considering the relationship of the Aten to other deities. In particular, it is argued that the iconoclastic antipathy shown towards Amun was not so much a manifestation of a generalised hatred for other gods (most deities’ names and images remained untouched), but for Amun's claim to dominion as ‘King of the Gods’ – a universal dominion that was now reserved for the Aten. The king's family and officials are also discussed, together with his wider building projects and foreign policy, again based on the evidence of the Amarna Letters. There is also a consideration of the further evolution of the period's artistic style.

Keywords:   Akhenaten, Akhet-Aten, Amarna, Amarna Letters, Amun, Aten, Kiya, Nefertiti

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