Wednesday, January 13, 2010

In the field: Interview with Barry Kemp re Amarna

Heritage Key (Malcolm Jack)

“There is no other site like it,” states the introductory paragraph on the website of the Amarna Project – the body which, since 2005, has been responsible for excavations and research at Tell el-Amarna, the short-lived capital city of the “heretic pharaoh” Akhenaten (King Tut's dad) in the 14th century BC. As a living site, Tell el-Amarna is perhaps unparalleled in all of Egypt in terms of scale, ready accessibility and quality of preservation.

Professor Barry Kemp – of the University of Cambridge – is the director of the Amarna Project, and also the chairman of the Amarna Trust, a UK registered charity which provides most of the funding for the project. Kemp has directed excavation and archaeological survey at Amarna for the Egypt Exploration Society since 1977, and is one of the world’s leading authorities on the ill-fated ancient Egyptian city.

It in a wide-ranging interview with Heritage Key, Kemp explains what makes Amarna so important, and details the history of excavations there. He also reveals the latest news on the construction of a brand new visitor centre at Amarna, and gives us a heads-up on plans for future investigations and study at the site.

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