Boundary Stelae of Akhenaten

Overview

During the fourteenth century B.C., even as Egypt faced troubling challenges to her empire, the most basic structures of society suddenly came under attack from an unexpected quarter - the pharaoh himself. Amenhotep IV (c. 1353-1336 B.C), both god-king and high priest of all the gods in the Nile Valley, acted against all precedent by withdrawing his support from the orthodox religion. In place of Egypt's many traditional divinities he promoted an entirely new form of the sun god. Embodied in a hitherto minor ...
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Boundary Stelae Of Akhentaten

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Overview

During the fourteenth century B.C., even as Egypt faced troubling challenges to her empire, the most basic structures of society suddenly came under attack from an unexpected quarter - the pharaoh himself. Amenhotep IV (c. 1353-1336 B.C), both god-king and high priest of all the gods in the Nile Valley, acted against all precedent by withdrawing his support from the orthodox religion. In place of Egypt's many traditional divinities he promoted an entirely new form of the sun god. Embodied in a hitherto minor figure in the pantheon, the solar orb ('Aten'), this being was not only worshipped as the life force of all creation, but was regarded as the celestial alter ego of the king, who reigned on earth as the Aten ruled in heaven. When the king decided to break with the past, he changed his name to Akhenaten and established for his god a new cult centre on virgin ground in Middle Egypt. To define the site of Akhet-Aten - 'Horizon of the Aten' - the king commissioned a number of stelae along the city's boundaries. These glorified frontier markers symbolically established the royal presence by means of statues and reliefs depicting the royal family, and preserved for posterity the decrees which had initiated the city's foundation. The fifteen known boundary monuments of Akhenaten were discovered in the two decades that bridged the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, but they were incompletely served by the pioneering publications that first made them known. The authors, both well known Egyptologists, worked at El Amarna from 1983 to 1989, making fresh copies of the inscriptions and studying the stelae themselves. The results of their investigations, which are published here, include a definitive new edition of the texts, with modern translations, together with a wide-ranging analysis of the history which inspired and is reflected in these monuments.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780710304643
  • Publisher: Taylor & Francis, Inc.
  • Publication date: 9/28/1993
  • Series: Studies in Egyptology
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 7.60 (w) x 9.70 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Plates
Preface
Ch. 1 Discovery and Previous Study of the Boundary Stelae 1
Ch. 2 The Earlier Proclamation 11
Ch. 3 The Later Proclamation 69
Ch. 4 Architectural Features of the Boundary Stelae 111
Ch. 5 The Boundary Stelae as Official and Historical Documents 147
Appendix One. Fragments of the Boundary Stelae no longer in situ 183
Appendix Two. Stelae L 193
Appendix Three. Principal Topics of the Inscriptions on the Boundary Stelae 195
Endnotes 197
Index of Egyptian Words and Phrases 225
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