AKHENATEN: Beautiful Child of the Sun
The seventeen year reign of Pharaoh
Akhenaten was arguably the most extraordinary in Egyptian
history. Rejecting religious traditions and the hundreds
of gods and goddesses the ancient Egyptians worshipped,
Akhenaten adored one deity the Aten (sun disc). His religious
revolution, which shook Egyptian society to its core, was
accompanied by a revolution in the arts. On the deaths of
Akhenaten and his ephemeral successor Smenkhkare, the 'boy-king'
Tutankhamun took the throne of a land in chaos and set in
motion the re-establishment of traditional practices. This
work was completed by his successors, Ay and Horemheb.
The story of Akhenaten and his successors
is one of the most fascinating in Egypt's long history -
made all the more so for us today by the supposed monotheistic
nature of the religion Akhenaten triumphed and the discovery
of Tutankhamun's wondrous tomb.
|A plethora of modern
theories have been proposed to explain the extraordinary
events and personalities involved: was Atenism monotheistic
or polytheiestic in nature?; was Akhenaten related to
Moses?; was Smenkhkare Akhenaten's homosexual lover?;
was Akhenaten's great queen, Neferititi made king?;
was Tutankhamun murdered by Ay?; was Tutankhamun's widow,
Ankhesenamun, the greatest traitor in Egyptian history?;
is the body found in tomb KV55 in the Valley of the
Kings that of Smenkhkare, Akhenaten, or Akhenaten's
mother, Queen Tye? The School will examine these and
other questions within the light of current research
and discoveries. The School consists of a series of
PowerPoint illustrated lectures, discussion groups and
activities. Participants receive an extensive information
kit containing: maps; glossary; suggested reading; summaries
of each session; free copies of various articles related
to specific topics; and an illustrated Royal Family
School Day 1: Sunrise
was Akhenaten? A 'heretic' or 'the first individual in history'?
Akhenaten's successors labelled him 'the damned one'. Some
modern scholars call him 'the first individual in history'
and 'the first monotheist'. Some gay activists say he was
the first ruler to 'come out', other groups claim he was
the precursor of Moses or the grandson of Joseph. What is
so special about this pharaoh? Why does he evoke such differing
views and such powerful feelings?
Birth of the Egyptian Empire - a survey of Egyptian history
and religious thought from the expulsion of the Hyksos to
the reign of Amenhotep III.
III and Tiye -a detailed examination of the life and times
of Akhenaten's parents: Pharaoh Amenhotep III; and the Chief
Royal Wife Tiye.
Aten Rises what was the nature of the Aten? How was this
solar deity worshipped? What were the Sun Disc's attributes
and what theology surrounded its worship? Was Akhenaten
a monotheist or an atheist? To what extent was the new religious
order embraced? Click here to return to the Menu for this
School Day 2: The Servant of the
the Horizon of the Sun Disc - a new capital of the Two Lands
was built by Akhenaten in Middle Egypt from where he ruled
the Two Lands. What was his reign like for Egypt and her
Art of Amarna - an examination of the art of Amarna Period,
its place in the history of Egyptian artistic expression,
and an exploration of the issue of its interpretation.
Deformities: A Genetic and Psychological Profile of Akhenaten
- was Akhenaten the victim of a genetic disorder? Does incest
within the royal family help to explain his extraordinary
appearance and behaviour? What sort of man was he? Why are
we of the 21st Century so attracted by this man of the 14th
Century BCE and his dreams?Ę
and the Women of Amarna - an examination of the roles and
lives of the women of the royal court: Chief Royal Wife
Nefertiti; Queen Kiya and other minor queens; the royal
daughters; and the Queen Mother, Tiye.
School Day 3: The Eclipse of the
- Akhenaten's ephemeral successor and the mysteries of Tomb
KV 55 will be examined. Was Smenkhkare Nefertiti under a
different name? Was he Akhenaten's male lover? Whose mummy
lay in KV55 - Tiye's? Kiya's? Smenkhkare's? or that of Akhenaten
the most talked about pharaoh of Egypt, but what do we really
know about this ruler and his brief reign?
Horemheb and their successors in ancient Egypt returned
to her ancient religion and traditions. The 'heretic', his
reign and all things associated with him were 'deleted'
from history. Why and how was this done?
Legacy of Akhenaten: what was the impact of the Amarnan
Period on Ancient Egypt and why is it so important in the
Feed-back from Some Participants
of this School:
"The content knowledge of the topic
from both Mike & Patricia was first class."
"The style was very appealing."
"Mike has so much knowledge and information."
"I loved the lecture and how it was
set out. It was very interesting and had my attention all
"Wonderful organisation, hugely impressive
scholarship, excellent information."
"I had a great time."
"I enjoyed the lectures immensely."
Aldred C. Akhenaten: King of
Egypt (Thames & Hudson Ltd., London, 1988)
Arnold D. The Royal Women of Amarna:
Images of Beauty from Ancient Egypt (The Metropolitan
Museum of Art, New York, 1996)
Atrens D.M. & Curthoys I.S. The
Neurosciences and Behavior: An Introduction (Science
Press, Sydney, 1978)
Bauval R. & Gilbert A. The Orion
Mystery (BCA, London, 1994)
Brier B The Murder of Tutankhamen:
A 3000-Year-Old Murder Mystery (Weidenfeld & Nicolson,
Budge E.A.W. Tutankamen: Amenism,
Atenism and Egyptian Monotheism (Martin Hopkinson, London,
Christie A. AKHENATON: A Play
in Three Acts (Collins, London, 1973)
Clayton P.A. Chronicle of the
Pharaohs (BCA, London, 1994)
Dodson A. Monarchs of the Nile
(Rubicon Press, London, 1995)
Edwards I.E.S. Tutankhamun: His
Tomb and its Treasures (Victor Gollancz Ltd., Italy,
Fletcher J. Egypt's Sun King:
Amenhotep III an Intimate Chronicle of Ancient Egypt's Most
Glorious Pharaoh (Duncan Baird Publisher, London, 2000)
Freed R.E, Markowitz Y.J & D'Auria
S. H Pharaohs of the Sun: Akhenaten; Nefertiti; Tutankhamen
(Thames & Hudson, London, 1999)
Harrison R.G. An Anatomical Examination
of the Pharaonic Remains Purported to be Akhenaten (JEA
Vol. 53 1966), pp.95f..
Holland T. The Sleeper in the
Sands (Little, Brown & Co., U.K, 1998)
Hornung E. Akhenaten and the Religion
of the Light (Cornell Uni. Press, Ithaca, 1999)
Khrauss R. Akhenaten: Monotheist?
Polytheist? (BACE Vol. 11 (2000)), pp. 93f.
el Mahdy C. Tutankhamen: The life
and Death of a Boy King (Headline, London, 1999)
Manley B. The Penguin Historical
Atlas of Ancient Egypt (Penguin Books, Harmondsworth,
Montserrat D. Akhenaten: History,
fantasy and ancient Egypt (Routledge, London, 2000)
Moran W.L. The Amarna Letters
(John Hopkins Uni. Press, Baltimore, 1992)
Osman A. Stranger in the Valley
of the Kings: Solving the Mystery of an Ancient Egyptian
Mummy (Harper & Row, San Francisco, 1987)
Porter D. Akehnaten (Uni.
Of Queensland Press, St. Lucia, 1992)
Redford D.B. Akhenaten: The Heretic
King (Princeton University Press, New Jersey, 1984)
Reeves N. & Wilkinson R.H. The
Complete Valley of the Kings (BCA, London, 1996)
Samson J. Nefertiti and Cleopatra:
Queen Monarchs of Ancient Egypt (Rubicon Press, London,
Schulz R & Seidel M. Egypt: The
World of the Pharaohs (Kšnemann, Germany, 1998)
Shaw I. & Nicholson P. British
Museum Dictionary of Ancient Egypt (BCA, Spain, 1995)
Siliotti A. Egypt: Splendours
of an Ancient Civilization (Thames & Hudson, London,
Sobhy G.P.G. Miscellenae (The
Persistence of Ancient Facial Types Amongst Modern Egyptians)
(JEA, Vol.XVI, 1930), pp.3f..
Tyldesley J. Nefertiti: Egypt's
Sun Queen (Viking, London, 1998)
Weigall A. The Mummy of Akhenaton
(JEA Vol. VIII, 1922), pp.193f..
Wilkinson R.H. Reading Egyptian
Art (Thames & Hudson, London, 1992)