Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Amarna Boundary Stelae

When the Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenaten of the Eighteenth Dynasty established the new city of Akhetaten (the modern name of which is Tell-el-Amarna) he set up a number of boundary stelae to delimit the city's borders. One of these stelae is pictured here. I believe that this is the one designated as stela A by Norman de G. Davies (The Rock Tombs of El Amarna, Part V. - Smaller Tombs and Boundary Stelae, London: The Egypt Exploration Society, 1908). It is one of the three stelae on the Western bank of the Nile and lies about three miles from Tuna-el-Gebel.
In front of the King is an offering table while behind him are his wife, Nefertiti and their two eldest daughters, Merytaten and Meketaten. Above Akhenaten is the god Aten, represented as a solar disk with rays of sunlight ending in hands. The King wears the Kheperesh headress and is shown with the huge hips and large belly that is so typical of Amarna art. Nefertiti is shown wearing a crown with two feathers and a horned disk.
The stela is 14 feet high and 7 feet 6 inches wide and has eight columns of text to the left of the King and Queen. Below the royal family are twenty-five horizontal lines of text.

No comments:

Post a Comment