The Magic, Mystery and Madness of Tomb 55: Seeking the Amarna Dead–Part I | Ancient Origins Members Site


The Magic, Mystery and Madness of Tomb 55: Seeking the Amarna Dead–Part I

The Magic, Mystery and Madness of Tomb 55: Seeking the Amarna Dead–Part I

When Pharaoh Akhenaten abandoned the traditional capital Thebes (Waset) and headed to his dream city Akhetaten – built to glorify the solar deity, the Aten – he swore never to return. But, such proclamations failed miserably a little over a dozen years later when order was restored and the mortal remains of the Amarna royals were transported for reburial in the famed necropolis. Despite the passage of more than a century since its discovery, the enigmatic Tomb 55 refuses to yield its secrets.

EXPLORATIONS IN THE GREAT FIELD

Undoubtedly the most famous burial ground in the world, the Valley of the Kings (Arabic: Wādī al Mulūk) in the Theban Hills in Egypt, served as the royal cemetery of the mighty pharaohs of the New Kingdom for half a millennium—from approximately 1539 BC to 1075 BC (Eighteenth to Twentieth Dynasties). In ancient times, the area was officially called ‘The Great and Majestic Necropolis of the Millions of Years of the Pharaoh - Life, Strength, Health in The West of Thebes’, or Ta-sekhet-ma'at (the Great Field). The wadi consists of two valleys: East Valley (where the vast majority of the royal tombs are situated) and West Valley.

A stereograph shows three men outside the tombs in the Valley of the Kings, 1904. (Underwood & Underwood/CC BY-SA 2.5)


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