Virtual Guide

Excavations at Tel-el-Amarna

The Tel-el-Amarna was once Akhenaten's new and glorious capital, palace and tribute to the Aten, but for three thousand years it lay abandoned, buried in the sands of the desert until scientists and explorers uncovered it:

French Jesuit priest Claude Sicard describes the first known boundary stela.

Napoleon's scholars make the first map of Amarna.

Sir John Gardiner Wilkinson explores and maps the city.

A Prussian mission under the leadership of Richard Lepsius records monuments and topography.

An Amarna woman discovers the cache of nearly four hundred clay tablets inscribed in cuneiform--diplomatic correspondence from the fourteenth century B.C.

The Egypt Exploration Fund of London undertakes the first scientific excavation of Amarna, under the directorship of Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie. Petrie's work is primarily in the Central City.

Norman de Garis Davies publishes descriptions of Amarna's private tombs and boundary stelae, with drawings and photographs.

The Deutsche Orient-Gesellschaft, under the leadership of Ludwig Borchardt, excavates the North and South suburbs, including the workshop of the sculptor Thutmose, where they find the Nefertiti bust now at the Aegyptisches Museum, Berlin.

T.E.Peet, Sir Leonard Woolley, Henri Frankfort, and J.D.S. Pendlebury, working for the Egypt Exploration Society, focus on religious and royal structures.

The Egyptian Antiquities Organization, now Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, excavates at Amarna.

The Egypt Exploration Society resumes work at Amarna under the leadership of Barry Kemp. In 1980, a second mission, led by Geoffrey Martin, describes and copies reliefs from the Royal Tomb, subsequently publishing its findings along with descriptions of objects believed to have come from the tomb.

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