Tal El Amarna

Tal El Amarna: A Journey Through Time

Discovering Tal El Amarna

Hey there! Nestled among rugged cliffs, Tal El Amarna is a true gem of Egypt’s rich history. This ancient city, once known as Akhetaten, was the brainchild of Pharaoh Akhenaten. If you’re a history buff or just love amazing stories, you’ll be fascinated by the rock-cut tombs of Akhenaten’s favored court officials, adorned with scenes of the royal family and that unique Amarna art.


  • Location: The ancient city of Akhetaten, now Tal El Amarna.
  • Significance: Famous for its distinctive art and tombs.
  • Tombs: The resting places of Akhenaten’s closest officials, showcasing their lives and the royal family.

Exploring the Royal Wadi

The Heart of History:
In the middle of Tal El Amarna, you’ll find the Royal Wadi (Wadi Abu Hasa el-Bahri), a natural corridor leading to Pharaoh Akhenaten’s tomb. The entrance to this wadi is shaped like the hieroglyph ‘akhet’, which means horizon, adding a divine touch to the journey.


  • Symbolism: The entrance looks like the hieroglyph ‘akhet’, symbolizing the horizon.
  • Inspiration: This natural formation inspired Akhenaten to establish his city here.
  • Accessibility: A modern road built in 2004 makes it easier for us to explore these ancient wonders.

Akhenaten’s Tomb: A Glimpse into the Past

Tomb Talk:
Akhenaten’s tomb, tucked away in a side valley, is like a portal to the past. Although its intricate decorations have faded, the tomb still exudes mystery and awe.


  • Location: A side valley within the Royal Wadi.
  • Design: Initially mirrored the tombs in the Valley of the Kings, later expanded.
  • Burials: It was also meant for royal family members, including Akhenaten’s daughter, Meketaten.

The Mystery of Akhenaten’s Final Resting Place

Enigmatic Endings:
One of the biggest mysteries of Tal El Amarna is where Akhenaten was finally laid to rest. Pieces of his sarcophagus and many shabti figures suggest he was buried here, likely in the 17th year of his reign. But when the tomb was first discovered in the 1880s, it showed signs of plunder and the ravages of time.


  • Discoveries: Sarcophagus fragments and shabti figures found here.
  • Initial Discovery: Tomb found in the 1880s, showing signs of plunder.
  • Timeline: Likely interred in the 17th year of his reign.

Architectural Marvels and Faded Grandeur

Design and Decor:
The tomb’s design and the faint traces of its original decorations tell us so much about its former splendor. The entrance faces east to catch the morning sun, adding to the tomb’s mystical atmosphere.


  • Entrance: Faces east to capture the morning sun’s rays.
  • Stone Staircase: Features a central ramp for the sarcophagus.
  • Large Chamber: Believed to house Tiye’s sarcophagus, with two pillars still standing.

Princess Meketaten’s Final Resting Place

A Royal Goodbye:
Beyond the main chamber, a series of rooms called alpha, beta, and gamma, are thought to be where Princess Meketaten was buried. These rooms show scenes of royal mourning and offerings to the Aten, giving us a glimpse into the royal family’s personal losses.


  • Chambers: Alpha, beta, and gamma.
  • Scenes: Depict royal mourning and offerings.
  • Significance: Insight into the lives and losses of the royal family.

Ongoing Discoveries and Mysteries

The Ever-Unfolding Story:
The area around the Royal Tomb is still giving up its secrets, with new artifacts coming to light all the time. These discoveries keep adding layers to the fascinating story of Tal El Amarna and the Amarna period.


  • Artifacts: Continuous discoveries add to the historical narrative.
  • Theories: Ongoing research and exploration fuel new ideas.
  • Mysteries: Unfinished tombs and unanswered questions keep us intrigued.

Conclusion: A Journey Through Time

Step Back in Time:
Tal El Amarna is like a time machine, inviting us to step back and unravel the mysteries of Egypt’s captivating history. Each stone and corridor tells a story, making it an unforgettable experience for any traveler.


  • Invitation: Explore and discover the historical significance.
  • Experience: Unique and enriching travel experience.
  • Historical Insight: A deeper understanding of Egypt’s captivating history.

So, if you’re ready for an adventure that combines history, mystery, and a touch of the divine, Tal El Amarna is calling your name!

Created On April 20, 2020

Updated On May 13, 2024

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