3 questions about Wonderful Al Minya –Tell Al-Amarna

Explore with Explore Egypt Tours one of the ancient Egyptian capitals. Tell Al-Amarna is the remains of King Akhenaton capital. It is situated on the east bank of the Nile River in Al Minya Governorate.

What is the origin of the name of Tell Al-Amarna?

Tell el-Amarna, located 44 miles (71 km) north of modern Asyūṭ, houses the ruins and tombs of Akhetaton (“Horizon of the Aton”), a city in Upper Egypt. Akhenaten (Amenhotep IV) built the city on a virgin site on the east bank of the Nile River as the new capital of his kingdom around 1348 BCE, after abandoning Amon worship in favor of Aton worship. About four years after Akhenaten’s death (around 1332), the court returned to Thebes, and the city was abandoned.Despite its brief existence, Akhetaton is one of the few ancient Egyptian cities that has been thoroughly excavated. Because Akhenaten chose a new, unused site for his capital, as well as the relatively short duration of its occupancy, excavators were able to reconstruct an unusually accurate picture of the city layout.

The ancient Egyptians knew this city with name Akhetaten meaning the Horizon of the god Aten, but now we are calling it Tell Al-Amarna due to the Beni Amran tribe who was living in this place.The principal buildings of Akhetaton lay on either side of the Royal Road, the largest of them being the Great Temple of the Aton, primarily a series of walled courts leading to the completely open-air main sanctuary.

What is the history of Tell Al-Amarna city?

Tell Al-Amarna started with the Amenhotep IV or Akhenaton period in the 18th dynasty, New Kingdom. After Amenhotep IV ruled Egypt, he decided to:

  • He founded Akhetaten city where there was no god worshiped before and transferred the capital from Thebes to Akhetaten (Tell Al-Amarna today).
  • He changed his name from Amenhotep IV to be Akhenaton meaning effective for the god Aten.
  • He called for worshiping one god (Aten the sun god) and closed the other temples.

What are monuments worth visiting in Tell Al-Amarna city?

Tell Al-Amarna city houses several monuments dating back to Akhenaton period as the royal palaces and tombs that presenting a new type of ancient Egyptian art as they are depicted king Akhenaton, his wife Nefertiti, and their daughters worshipping the sun disk (Aten).Tell Al-Amarna is home to several monuments dating back to the Akhenaton period, including royal palaces and tombs that depict king Akhenaton, his wife Nefertiti, and their daughters worshipping the sun disk (Aten).

  • The royal tomb

    This tomb was intended for burying members of the royal family of Akhenaten.
  • The tomb of Hoya:

    Hoya was the watcher of the harem or ladies section during King Akhenaton period. This tomb depicted the royal family in new and unique scenes as king ‎Akhenaton dining with his mother and several reliefs between the king and his wife, the queen Nefertiti.  
  • The tomb of Ahmos: From his tomb reliefs, it is can be noticed that Ahmos was the servant who carried the fan of the king during King Akhenaton period.

  • The tomb of Meriri

     Meriri was the grand priest of the god Aten. This tomb distinguishes with its wonderful and preserved colors as there is a unique relief in this tomb depicting King Akhenaton presenting a golden collar to Meriri as a reward for his achievements.

  • The Tomb of Maho

     Maho was the leader of the police during Akhenaton period. His tomb is one of the best-preserved tombs in Tell Al-Amarna city. As other tombs, this tomb displays Tell Al-Amarna art as it houses a scene for Akhenaton and Nefertiti driving in their chariot in the city with a police escort.

Enjoy Exploring this ancient capital with Explore Egypt Tours. You will spend an enjoyable time in different places through its day tour for Tell Al-Amarna city and Beni Hassan and another day tour for Tell Al-Amarna city and Tuna El-Gebel.

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