objects in the NMS
The Amarna period is one of the most fascinating eras
in Egyptian History. As well as sweeping religious changes the
Heretic Pharaoh Akhenaten also introduced changes
to the style of Egyptian art.
The N.M.S. is fortunate to have a selection of Amarna items unequaled
in the UK. Many of these were excavated by Flinders Petrie in
the city of Akhetaten, and also at the royal tomb there.
Master image of Akhenaten
Akhenaten had himself portrayed in a different style to the
traditional images of the Pharaoh. As the style developed his
features became more exaggerated and distorted. Several theories
have been put forward concerning this. It may have been a way
of setting the Pharaoh apart from his 'mortal' subjects.
This small sandstone relief was used as an artists master. It
would have been carved as a template for official paintings and
Shabti figure of Akhenaten
This red quartzite Shabti head was found in the Royal
tomb at Akhetaten. It is one of many smashed Shabti figures
found at the site, possibly destroyed in the later attempts to
remove all traces of the Atenist 'heresy'.
Gold ear plug
One of the most exciting discoveries ever made at Akhetaten
was when a small cache of Jewelry was found buried outside the
royal tomb. This intricate ear plug was one of the objects found.
Note how the edge is trimmed with fine gold granules, complimenting
the detail in the middle.
Ring bearing the royal cartouche
This ring was also in the cache of Jewelry found. It is possible
that the jewelry was dropped by tomb robbers, or when the tomb
was officially opened (by Tutankhamun ?) to move the burial to
Thebes after Akhetaten was abandoned.
All objects photographed
here are from the collection of the National
Museums of Scotland.
Thanks to the N.M.S. Department of History and Applied Art for
information concerning the objects.