Item description for Akhenaten and Tutankhamun: Revolution and Restoration by David P. Silverman, Josef W. Wegner & Jennifer Houser Wegner...
Egypt's eighteenth dynasty, a period of empire building, was also for a short time the focus of a religious revolution. Now called the Amarna Period (1353-1322 BCE), after the site of an innovative capital city that was the center of the new religion, it included the reigns of the heretic Pharaoh Akhenaten and his presumed son, the boy king Tutankhamun.
Three Penn Egyptologists examine the concept of royal power and demonstrate how Akhenaten established, projected, and maintained his vision of it. They investigate how and why this unique pharaoh made fundamental changes in the social contract between himself and his subjects on one side, and between his new solar god, the Aten, and himself on the other. The authors also look at the radical religion, politics, and art, he introduced to Egypt as well as at the consequences of his actions after his death, including how his successors, most notably, Tutankhamun, Egypt's most famous pharaoh, dealt with the restoration of traditional ways. Why did this reversal take place? Could a youth effect such changes without significant help?
In concise and readable form, this generously illustrated volume takes a fresh approach to a most fascinating period in Egyptian history. It deals with such topics as the evolution of Akhenaten's ideology and the concepts surrounding the foundation, construction, and use of his innovative city and its unique palaces, temples, and houses. Egypt's empire, the role of its women, its relations with other nations of the ancient world, and the remarkable place both Akhenaten and Tutankhmun hold in history are also among other issues discussed. An epilogue recaps how Amarna's modern discovery helped solve the mysteries surrounding this city, its unique founder, and the aftermath of his revolution.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 0.75" Width: 7" Height: 10" Weight: 1.75 lbs.
Publisher University of Pennsylvania Museum Publication
ISBN 1931707901 ISBN13 9781931707909
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More About David P. Silverman, Josef W. Wegner & Jennifer Houser Wegner
David P. Silverman is currently Curator-in-Charge of the Egyptian Section of the University of Pennsylvania Museum and Chairman of the university's Department of Asian and Middle Eastern Studies. His many previous books include Language and Writing in Ancient Egypt, Religion in Ancient Egypt, Ancient Egyptian Kingship, and Masterpieces of Tutankhamun. His fieldwork includes the co-directorship of the University of Pennsylvania/Boston Museum of Fine Arts expedition to record the tombs of the Old and Middle Kingdoms (ca. 2625-1530 BCE).
David P. Silverman has an academic affiliation as follows - University of Pennsylvania.
Reviews - What do customers think about Akhenaten and Tutankhamun: Revolution and Restoration?
Great book Apr 20, 2008
The book is 188 pages long--about half of those pages are taken up by image, and half by text. Thus, in about 90-100 pages you can get an excellent introduction to history's first monotheist--or at least proto-monotheist--accompanied by relevant photographs and maps.
Akhenaten's story is quite compelling, and the text tells his story in a fluid, academically measured, and intelligent manner. I loved the way the writers walk you through the archeological evidence. I found myself thoroughly immersed in the text, and was able to finish it in half-a-day. Because Akhenaten built a city to his god Aten, and on the Pharoah's death, the city was abandoned, there is a tidiness to the story, where you can enter into Akhenaten's city and his life, as if entering another world for awhile.
Though the title of this book might suggest that an equal amount of time is given to Tutankhamun, in actuality this book is mostly about his father. Tutankhamun is only given one chapter out of nine--the last one.
The only weakness that I detected in the text is this: I would have liked to have seen a more thorough discussion of the aesthetics of Akhenaten's representations in art and why they were so feminine--such as his rounded belly and mother-like hips--and what was being communicated by these gestures (perhaps he and his wife Nefertiti were sharing a co-regency?). In any case, the authors briefly touched on these things, but I left the book without clarity on them.
Dispassionate summary of the period Nov 27, 2007
The book is structured into chapters which each deal with a different topic relating to the period, including; Akhenaten himself, Atenism, the palaces, rituals and daily life of the city of Akhetaten, the role of royal women, the fate of Egypt's empire during the Amarna years and the return to more traditional beliefs under Tutankhamun. The epilogue provides a succinct overview of how scholarly writings on the period have often been an artifact of the ethos of the writer and the period of writing as well as how opinions about the Amarna period have changed over time.
As a recent publication the book contains some important new evidence, such as the 2005 CT scan of the mummy of Tutankhamun, which showed that a head injury that had previously been considered a possible cause of death had in fact been a consequence of the mummification process.
In contrast to many of the books about this period of Egyptian history, this book does not attempt to argue for a particular portrayal of Akhenaten. Rather it provides a fairly concise survey of what is known about the Amarna age and of the various conjectures about the period scholars have made over the years. Readers who are looking for a cohesive argument which attempts to explain the events of the period will therefore be disappointed, but those looking for a dispassionate summary of events and evidence will find details included which are often omitted from other studies because they are not relevant to the author's argument.
The City of Akhet-aten Dominates This Fine Work Feb 2, 2007
The title of this book is a bit deceptive in that the authors, all professors at the University of Pennsylvania, are more concerned with instilling in their readers an excellent mental image of the city of Akhet-Aten than anything else. The greater portion of the text offers logical reasons for the layout/design of that city and the location of the various palaces, temples, etc. therein, which is, admittedly very interesting and informative; this leaves the reader with a much better idea of what the city was actually like. Beyond speculating about various aspects of that city, the book provides a basic overall view of Akhenaten, his religion and reign; nothing particularly new. As very little is actually known about the life and reign of Tutankhamun beyond what has been learned from the contents of his tomb, very little of the book directly concerns him, apart from some interesting speculation about the large number of statues that Tut commissioned only to have Horemheb later claim as his own. The photos, although somewhat dark at times, add to the book in that a number of them show items from the Univ. of Pennsylvania's collection that are not widely published in other books on this subject. Another plus is the admirable way in which the authors refrained from promoting their own opinions or personal agenda regarding this controversial period. As they so rightly state, "Modern interpretations of Akhenaten tend to reflect to a significant extent the surrounding ethos of the commentators themselves." The authors have avoided making that mistake here.