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Tell el-Amarna - TA26
tomb of Akhenaten - XVIIIth Dynasty


A, C - steps with ramp
B - corridor
D
- well shaft
E- burial chamber
F - unfinished pit
G, H, I - part of a tomb intended for princess Maketaten
J, K, M, N - unfinished part of a tomb intended for queen Nefertiti or Tiji
L - shelves

fragments of relief from chamber (G)

Akhenaten intended his own burial place to be in the cliffs of Amarna, as he decreed on his early boundary stelae. He began cutting his tomb seven or eight miles east of the city. Though it was unfinished when he died, he was most likely buried there. The plan of the tomb was innovative, featuring a passage (B) leading to a well shaft (D), with a pillared burial chamber (E) beyond it - all placed on the central axis. The two staircases in the tomb feature a central ramp (A) flanked by steps, which would have made it easier to lower the sarcophagus. Because the native rock was of poor quality, the walls were plastered and the decoration then chisled into the plaster. The well room features scenes of the royal family worshiping the Aten. The back wall of the burial chamber (E) continues this theme. The tomb is also noteworthy in having two additional suites of rooms off the main axis, probably intended for family members. A series of six rooms (M,N) opening off corridor (J) is unfinished and undecorated, and may have been intended for Nefertiti or Tiji. The other suite (G, H, I) accomodated the burial of princess Maketaton. Room (G) was decorated with scenes of the worship of the rising and setting sun, with wonderful details, are a visual rendering of "The Great Hymn to Aten". Maarten Raven and Edwin C. Brock have identified fragments of sarcophagus for queen Tiji, suggesting that she was buried here as well. In the tomb were founded many ushebti figures, fragments of king canopic chest and faience throw stick, glass beads and rods, alabaster bowls and jars, and stone bowls bearing the names og kings Tuthmosis III and Khafre (!).

Copyright 2000-2013 Dariusz Sitek, Czestochowa - Chicago - Ann Arbor