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Art Diary

Amarna: City of the Sun God

26 January 2023

When the pharaoh Akhenaten came to power in 1365 BC, he quickly abolished the ancient animal deities and established a new religion in worship of the sun god, Aten. A new city called Amarna, built according to the pharaoh’s vision, became the home of the cult. The short and turbulent life of this city, which was abandoned shortly after the pharaoh’s death, is the focus of this exhibition at the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek in Copenhagen (until 18 June), which considers rarely displayed artefacts from the museum’s collection in light of recent research. Among the highlights are everyday objects, including a striking piece of blue earthenware that portrays Akhenaten alongside the sun. The exhibition also includes a series of 3D videos depicting of the city as it might have appeared to Akhenaten’s son, Tutankhamun, during his childhood. Find out more on the Glyptotek’s website.

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Earthenware, depicting a sphere and the pharaoh Akhenaten (dates unknown). Photo: Ole Haupt; © Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek

Head of Akhenaten (dates unknown). Photo: Ole Haupt; © Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek

A digital 3D representation of the city of Amarna by Paul Docherty. Courtesy Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek

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