Update: A head of Akhenaten from the Great Aten Temple

Update: A head of Akhenaten from the Great Aten Temple
While we often get bombarded with 'discovery announcements' the media usually show no further interest in what comes out of the ground in Egypt (or anywhere else). But this is not the end of the story! This article is a great example of what Egyptologists do 'next'. Click the image to view more pictures, analysis, object information, context, and even view it in 3D (Thomas Sagory/Benoit Touchard) at the official site of the Amarna Project.
This is a follow up to my post regarding the discovery of the object:
Understanding the news: another tiny treasure from Amarna, New Kingdom, October 1, 2017
https://plus.google.com/u/0/115474587731688985845/posts/EhxKk278pRB [link to G+ post]
With thanks to Anna Stevens.


  1. Lennie A few things to bear in mind: Akhenaton's 'religion' bore little resemblance to other monotheistic religions (apart from a single deity), and ancient Egyptian Temples were not like churches. (Bear with me, this is relevant to the discussion).

    Temples were considered the 'houses' of gods and were administrative and economic organisations that brought in 'taxes' (various goods/labour) and gifts (from the king). These resources were then given back to the community/staff in the form of 'wages' for services (The Egyptians didn't use 'money' until the Greek Period).

    By the New Kingdom, Temples were served by permanent and rotating staff of priests (around 300) but many people don't realise that those individuals were only a small component of the overall staff of a temple which usually had estates: beekeepers, carpenters, bakers, brewers, butchers, weavers, scribes, clerks, artists, sculptors, metalsmiths, musicians, singers, dancers and more, all worked for and were paid by Temples. Under Ramesses III the 'Domain' of Amun at Karnak had over 80,000 male personnel.

    So, when Akhenaton shut temples down and went off into the desert with his own personal cult and followers, not only did ordinary Egyptians lose their freedom to worship whichever gods were meaningful to them personally, but the very livelihoods of a significant number of people were adversely affected as well. Regardless of what Egyptians thought of the Aten, (there is no evidence there was any friction between the followers of different gods), this second aspect would, I suspect, be a more significant factor in the backlash against Akhenaton's rule.

  2. Thank you for all those beautiful things. Happy New Year my dear.


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