How Egypt continued
Amenhotep III was followed by his son, who should have been Amenhotep IV, but who called himself Akhenaten. He became the controversial heretic pharaoh who renounced the worship of the old gods in favour of the worship of a single God, the Aten or the sun god, and who moved the capital 200 miles to the north to a new site at Amarna. He is the most controversial of all the kings and after his death the site was moved back to Thebes, and the former pantheon was re-established.
However his establishment and then abandonment of the new town has meant that Amarna is the Pompeii of Egypt and the best example of what an Egyptian town looked like, so we shall spend some time examining it as a prime example of an Egyptian town. He was succeeded by one of the most insignificant Kings of all called Tutankhamen, who was so insignificant that the very site of his tomb was lost only to be rediscovered in 1923, so that he has now become the best known of all the Egyptian pharaohs.
And then 100 years later, came perhaps the most omnipresent of all the Egyptian pharaohs, Ramesses II, who ruled for 60 years and whose temples and statues have become the most numerous of all. But soon after, the New Kingdom collapsed: the ‘sea raiders’ broke up the unity of Egypt, and Egypt, like much of the rest of the Mediterranean, fell into a dark age.
We look first at Akhenaten, and the new town he established at Amarna, and we then take a brief look at the Workmen’s village in the desert where records have been found which offer a fascinating insight into how the Egyptian economy actually worked.
On to Towns: Egyptian towns v Roman towns