|About the Book|
During the 14th century, even as Egypt faced troubling challenges to her empire, the most basic structures of society suddenly came under attack from an unexpected quarter - the pharoah himself. Amenhotep IV (c. 1353-1336 B.C.), both god-king andMoreDuring the 14th century, even as Egypt faced troubling challenges to her empire, the most basic structures of society suddenly came under attack from an unexpected quarter - the pharoah 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 precendent by withdrawing his support from the orthodox religion. In place of Egypts many traditional divinities, he promoted an entirely new form of the Sun God embodied in the solar orb Aten, a hitherto minor figure in the pantheon. When the king decided to break with the past, he changed his name to Akhenaten and established for his god a new cult center on virgin ground in Middle Egypt. To define the site of Akhet-Aten (Horizon of Aten), the king commissioned a number of glorified frontier markers the boundary stelae. These were imposing monuments that 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 citys foundation. The 15 known boundary monuments of Akhenaten were discovered in the two decades that bridged the 19th and 20th 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 sites of 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.