Akhenaten: History, Fantasy and Ancient Egypt (Paperback)
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Short Description for Akhenaten In this biography of Akhenaten, Dr Montserrat makes the point that our view of Akhenaten has never been based purely on historical or archaeological knowledge, but is a cultural hallucination, influenced by Western desires about ancient Egypt and modern struggles for legitimation and authority.
- Published: 01 March 2003
- Format: Paperback 219 pages
- ISBN 13: 9780415301862 ISBN 10: 0415301866
- Sales rank: 322,708
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Full description for Akhenaten
The pharaoh Akhenaten, who ruled Egypt in the mid-14th century BCE, has been the subject of a great deal of speculation. Often called the originator of monotheism and the world's first recorded individual, he has fascinated and inspired both scholars of Egyptology and creative talents as diverse as Sigmund Freud and Philip Glass. This biography examines both the real Akhenaten and the myths that have been created around him. It scrutinizes the history of the pharaoh and his reign, which has been continually written in Eurocentric terms inapplicable to ancient Egypt, and the archaeology of Akhenaten's capital city, Amarna. It goes on to explore the pharaoh's extraordinary cultural afterlife and the way he has been invoked to validate ideas as diverse as psychoanalysis, racial equality and facism. Dr Montserrat makes the point that our view of Akhenaten has never been based purely on historical or archaeological knowledge, but is a cultural hallucination, influenced by Western desires about ancient Egypt and modern struggles for legitimation and authority. Combining up-to-date historical synthesis with extensive new archival research, this book assesses critically why the archaeology of ancient Egypt continues to fascinate.