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.