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Akhenaten's new capitals position

 
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Chrismackint
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 5:37 am    Post subject: Akhenaten's new capitals position Reply with quote

I head somewhere on this forum that what Akhenaten said about his new capital being on a site belonging to no king ,queen, god or goddess is not actually true and that there is a site decicated to lunar dieties just opposite and is where most of the talat were resused as infill for pylons and other temple structures.
Perhaps his new capital had to be balanced so to have a solar site opposite a lunar one makes sense. Also in the scene of Nefertiti and Akhenaten wearing triple atef crowns they also wear the khat which is a lunar symbol-kind of a blance i guess. Does anyone knoe anything about this?
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VBadJuJu
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 6:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've never heard anything about the lunar deities angle, but for certain it was far from Amun which seemed to be his main concern. I think there was some degree of practicality in his choice being halfway between Memphis and Thebes. But rather than make it easy to get there from anywhere, it put it smack dab in the middle of nowhere.

He almost certainly took some heat when he built the Aten temple in Thebes early in his reign, and maybe overreacted in moving to Atenville. But ultimately that might have worked against him - it left Amunists, the priests and even the majority of the administration to do almost as they pleased. Sort of the opposite of 'keep your enemies close', it doomed Atenism to be just a cult.
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Chrismackint
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 22, 2006 6:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It seems too much to just be coinceidence though to locate amarna opposite that lunar site. Symbolism meant everything to the AE.

I think tefnut had a lunar/solar aspect so perhaps he didn't mind lunar or saw it as something to do with the aten?Opposite sides of the same coin?
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Chrismackint
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PostPosted: Sat Dec 23, 2006 4:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/tefnut.htm


Quote:
Tefnut was both the Left (moon) and the Right (sun) Eyes of Ra, representing both heavenly sources of light that the ancient Egyptians saw, and thus she was a goddess of both the sun and dryness, and the moon and moisture


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equated her with the goddess Ma'at.


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Tefnut was thought to have been the upset goddess who fled into Nubia, taking all of her water and moisture with her. Egypt soon dried, and the land was in chaos


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This story also explains how the goddess of moisture could also be the goddess of dryness, heat and the negative aspects of the sun. The people believed that without her water, Egypt could dry and burn in the sun.


This article is one of my favourates-it is so packed with interesting and complex information-it sheds a lot of light on why, in my opinion, Akhenaten located his "solar" captial opposite a "lunar" one. It was to keep the balance between dryness and moisture,otherwise without moisture Egypt would bake in the sun and dry out. So although he put a lot of emphasis on the sun and dryness he was not forgetting to keep the balance and so by locating his captial opposite the lunar one kept that balance!He was keeping a balance which also symbolically tied in with his and his wifes roles as living gods associated with Tefnut and Shu. Like the way Tefnut is equated with Maat and divine order and balance. This is brilliant on Akhneaten's part! How did he think of all this! Amazingly cultured people!

Also it explains, in my view, that although abandoning the taditional gods he was not allowing the balance to erode by neglecting divine order-he kept the order in his new religion by locating his new capital in the spot he did and associating himself with the god Shu!I can't believe i missed all this symbolisim before! Isn't it exciting!



Quote:
Yet in the cities of Iunu (On, Heliopolis) and Waset (Thebes) she was more of a female form of her husband-brother Shu, whose main task was to start the sexual, creative cycle and give birth to Shu's children.


This quote seems to say it all. As Akhenaten associated himself with Shu and Nefertiti herself with Tefnut then Amarnas location takes on a new significance-right opposite the "lunar" Heliopolis on the "solar"side from where Akhenaten began his new family and thus depictions of himself with his children and family could take on a new meaning.Maybe by showing his wife and children he was showing to the Aten that he and his wife were enacting the same roles as Shu and Tefnut?And by being opposite the lunar site where Tefnut and Shu were seen as starting the creative cycle and giving birth to their children , he was doing so but under his new solar religion!

Kemp also states there are many other sites like amarna around that cliff range and most of them have the silouette for horizon as well so why did Akhneaten not choose one of those sites but the one he did?

http://www.archaeology.org/online/interviews/kemp.html

Quote:
What evidence do we have for why Akhenaten chose this place for his new capital? And because it was created from scratch, how does Amarna compare to other Ancient Egyptian cities such as Karnak, Thebes, and Memphis?

A series of large tablets or stelae carved in the face of the cliffs behind Amarna (and across the other side of the river) record the foundation of Amarna in Akhenaten's own words. He was simply led there by his god, the Aten. That is not a good enough reason for us; we want a more rational explanation (perhaps misguidedly). He called the place "Horizon of the Aten" and it has become fashionable to see the silhouette of the cliffs behind Amarna, cut in the middle by more than one deep valley, as a natural representation of the Egyptian hieroglyph for "horizon," but this may be modern fancy. You can find similar silhouettes at other places. He wanted his city to be on ground that had not belonged to any person or god beforehand. Amarna does seem to have met this criterion. It was also important that it was in the east, the place of sunrise. It happens to be roughly halfway between Memphis and Thebes, but we cannot know if this convenience factor contributed to his choice.


http://www.osirisnet.net/tombes/amarna/meryra/e_meryra_01_bis.htm


This article is interesting and ties in Akhenaten's worship of visible light equating it also to a lunar phenomena represented by that halo which can occur during the day or night! It mentions this in the first paragraph under the red writing about studies that have been published on halos.....

Please give me your feedback on what you think of my theory on why Akhenaten decided to situate amarna where he did....i would greatly appreciate it. I haven't been able to get my thoughts down on paper and worded them the way i would have liked to but i think you will understand what i am saying.
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