Washington D.C.: Nefertiti and the Mortuary Landscape at Tell el-Amarna

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Presented by: Dr. Jacquelyn Williamson; Associate Professor at George Mason University

  • 1:00 PM ETWashington, D.C.
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Lecture Information

The sacred mortuary landscape at the site of Tell el-Amarna, the capital city of the so-called ‘heretic’ Pharaoh Akhenaten and Queen Nefertiti, is not well understood. The main cult center of Akhenaten’s new religion centered on a sun god called the Aten, but little information survives to illuminate the mortuary beliefs of Atenism. 

New discoveries at the city answer questions about how the tombs and temples interacted, and reveal what the non-royal dead could expect for their eternal reward. Of even greater interest is that these discoveries reveal that Amarna religion was more like traditional Egyptian practices than we previously thought.

Speaker Bio

Dr. Jacquelyn Williamson, an Associate Professor at George Mason University in Virginia, is an Egyptologist with a special focus on gender and religious power. Her book, Nefertiti’s Sun Temple: A New Cult Complex at Tell el-Amarna, part of Brill’s Harvard Egyptology Series, was published in September 2016. 

Dr. Williamson is involved in the ongoing investigation of Kom el-Nana at Tell el-Amarna in Egypt, the site of a sun temple associated with Queen Nefertiti, which is the subject of her first book. She has been a member of several archaeological missions in Egypt and has worked in many museums including the Egyptian Museum in Cairo and the Harvard Semitic Museum, and has held teaching and research positions at UC Berkeley, Harvard University, and Brandeis University.