Journey Down the Nile – Day 6

Love this photo of me taken by another member of the group in the tomb of Ay


Today we went to visit Amarna. The city built by Pharaoh Akhenaten as a “New Beginning” because he wanted a temple, a palace and an entire city of his followers to worship at his feet as he took the Egyptians many different gods away (Hathor, Isis, Anubis, Horace etc…) and replaced them all with one god…the Sun God Ra (i.e. Akhenaten himself). 

Needless to say, under his egotism  (for example, he insisted that none of his subjects could look him in the eye…that they should in fact, double over at a 90 degree angle whenever he or his wife, Nefertiti passed by), his neglect and total lack of response when his own kings were being slaughtered by the Hebrews, upon his death not only did his city collapse and all the Egyptian gods return en masse, but the citizens under his reign chiseled away the images and names in every painting or carving of both Akhenaten and Nefertiti (except for one image in one man’s tomb (the tomb of Ay). I suppose they forgot that one.


If you want a little palace intrigue, Akhenaten’s mother, Queen Tiya (pronounced Tee-ya or Tee) had been the much younger wife of the Pharaoh Imotep. Upon his death, she moved to Amarna to live with her son Akhenaten and his wife Nefertiti, at which time all mention of Nefertiti stops…and all the images become those of Akhenaten and his mother, Queen Tiya. 

Just to add a little more fuel to the fire, Queen Tiya had a daughter during that time period. So Egyptologists try very hard NOT to ask the question…who’s child was this — that was pictured at the feet of Akhenaten and Queen Tiye in so many carvings and paintings? Not only is Akhenaten rumored to have fathered a child with his own mother, but also there is evidence to support that he also had sexual relationships with his sister and daughters. Ewwww…

Visiting Amarna is almost heartbreaking. You see such beautiful detailed images, but they are all of soldiers doubled over chasing Akhenaten’s chariot into battle, unable to look ahead due to the “reverence” they should hold for their Pharaoh. Not only captives are subservient in these images but EVERY normal Egyptian as well. 

Many Christians carry an image of Akhenaten as the Pharoah who tried to bring God into Egypt taking it from polytheism into monotheism. But remember, HE was the one he wanted them to worship as Ra…not the Christian God we know today.

In the city of Amarna, back at the end of the 1890s, about 350 clay tablets were found in the ruins of the administration office of the ancient city. They were in perfect condition, and gave a record of everything that was happening in the world at that time. It’s a treasure trove of detailed accounts of King Saul and the slaughter of the Egyptian kings under the reign of Akhenaten. Egyptologists dream of discoveries like that…It’s a miracle of a find.

Thanks to those tablets, scholars were able to synchronize world events. As a result, we now know exactly what kind of Pharaoh Akhenaten was.

Image isn’t everything. The truth always finds its way to the light.

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