The Amarna:3D Project

An overview of the Amarna3D Project from its early beginnings in 2000 through to the present.

The ancient Egyptian city of Akhetaten – meaning ‘the Horizon of the Sun Disc’ – (modern name Amarna) is situated approximately 300km south of Cairo in the province of el-Minia, Egypt. During ancient times this placed Akhetaten halfway between Memphis (Cairo) and Thebes (Luxor).

The Eighteenth Dynasty Pharaoh Akhenaten (c. 1351-1334 BC) created the city on an area of clear ground to serve as the new capital of Egypt and religious centre for the monotheist worship of the sun god Aten.

The city had a very short life being created in the 6th year of Akhenatens’ reign and abandoned by its inhabitants a few years after his death in the 17th year of his reign.

Its major building structures were dismantled, most probably by the later Pharaoh Horemheb (reigned 1320-1292 BC), and the remainder allowed to decay into the desert over time.

Fortunately, except for nearby villages, the city landscape was never redeveloped giving archaeologists and Egyptologists a unique opportunity to investigate a snapshot of ancient Egyptian life.

The Amarna:3D Project website is a platform for sharing the digital 3D reconstruction of the ancient city as it may have appeared. The project was first created in 2000 with the development of the Central City complex which has been used in several documentaries and written publications.

The present project goal is to undertake a more detailed reconstruction of the city using up-to-date survey material in an attempt to provide a more realistic interpretation of the character of the city.

Of course, it is impossible to know exactly how Amarna looked back in its day, and this project will evolve as new information emerges from the ongoing research into the city.

The Amarna Period

A quick look at the events surrounding the formation of the city of Akhetaten

Timeline of Rediscovery

After the Amarna Period ended its very existence was wiped from history by the subsequent Pharaoh’s. Its rediscovery spans hundreds of years

3D Reconstruction

Reconstructing the city of Akhetaten is a mammoth task and one which is under continuous development. With new models being constructed and new technologies being embraced see what challenges need to be overcome and what the current state of reconstruction is.

Digital Archaeology

In addition to 3D reconstruction of the city efforts to document the existing remains at Amarna have begun. Digital Archaeology allows the 3D capture and subsequent analysis of structures and artefacts to help inform the 3D reconstruction process.

Postcards from Amarna

A selection of CG images from the project for viewing.


A showcase of projects and publications which have featured Amarna3D material.


A list of resources used during the research and construction of the 3D models and website