Tell El-Amarna

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Tell El-Amarna


a settlement 287 km south of Cairo, on the eastern bank of the Nile, near which are the ruins of the city of Akhetaton (Horizon of Aton), the capital of ancient Egypt in the late 15th century B.C., under Amenhotep IV (Ikhnaton), who had moved the capital to Akhetaton from Thebes.

Excavations were begun in 1891 under the direction of W. M. F. Petrie, who identified the ruins as Akhetaton, and were continued by H. Frankfort, C. L. Woolley, and others. A large mud-brick palace was located in the center of the city, and villas, made of mud brick, were located on the outskirts; in the north stood the palace of Queen Nefertiti, also made of mud brick. There was an office for official correspondence in the central part of the city that contained numerous cuneiform tablets, which have been preserved (seeTELL EL-AMARNA TABLETS). In the western part of the city were the quarters for the police, an arsenal, and a parade ground. In the southern part of the city were the dwellings of the nobility, as well as the sculptors’ section; the workshop of the chief sculptor, Thutmose, yielded the famous sculptures of Amenhotep and Nefertiti. To the north were the dwellings of the officials and merchants. Farm buildings lined the river embankment, and there was a royal necropolis in the hilly part of the city. The necropolis workers lived in a separate section of the city, which was surrounded by a high wall with one gate and which had narrow streets and small houses.

Akhetaton existed for about 15 years. After Amenhotep’s death and repeal of his religious reforms, it was abandoned.


Davies, N. de Garis. The Rock Tombs of El Amarna, parts 1–6. London, 1903–08. (Archaeological Survey of Egypt, memoirs nos. 13–18.)
Peet, T. E., C. L. Woolley, and J. D. S. Pendlebury. The City of Akhenaten, parts 1–3. London, 1923–51.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Chapter 2 traces the rescue of the "heretical" pharaoh Akhenaten and Queen Nefertiti from oblivion, beginning with the discovery of cuneiform tablets in Akkadian at Tell El-Amarna in 1887.
Antiquities Minister Khaled Anani and Tourism Minister Rania el Mashat inspected on Friday the archaeological site of Tell el-Amarna- Egypt Today/Hassan Abdelghafar MINYA, Egypt - 1 February 2019: Antiquities Minister Khaled Anani and Tourism Minister Rania el Mashat inspected on Friday the archaeological site of Tell el-Amarna, Dayr Mawas, in the Upper Egyptian governorate of Minya.
In addition to these donations, 17 sets were sent to the Ministry of Antiquities for their libraries and for the use of staff and inspectors, one set was sent to the library of the Theban Mapping Project in Luxor and one set was sent to the Amarna Project library in Tell el-Amarna.
Nefertiti's Sun Temple: A New Cult Complex at Tell el-Amarna; 2 volume set
The book is illustrated throughout its pages with black-and-white photographs and line drawings including several charts that draw on the author's work at Tell el-Amarna.
Where Velikovsky goes into fascinating surmise, Kemp stays with the tightly factual, (excellent satellite pictures of sub-terrestrial urban street patterns at Tell el-Amarna) which you might expect from him after many years digging in Egypt.
Instead, they resemble the finds from an archaeological dig at Tell el-Amarna.
John Pendlebury was a Cambridge-educated archaeologist who directed the dig at Tell el-Amarna. As an archaeologist he is mainly remembered for his work in Crete where he was the curator at Knossos after Sir Arthur Evans.
Pendlebury served as curator at Knossos, Crete, and was the director of the excavations at Tell el-Amarna in Egypt.