Monday, November 20, 2006

Exhibition: More re Amarna at UPenn

A comprehensive summary of the Amarna exhibition currently showing at UPenn: "The exhibition timeline starts before Tut's birth, and before Amarna was built, with excavated busts of the pharaohs from whom he was descended and of the many gods they worshipped. Its focus, though, is on Egypt's brief Amarna Period, circa 1353 to 1336 BCE, when Tut's presumed father, the pharaoh Akhenaten, tried to refashion Egyptian society after his vision. Seeking a place where no other gods were held sacred, Akhenaten moved the capital of the Egyptian kingdom from its traditional seat at Thebes to a spot on the eastern bank of the Nile River. There, he built the city now known as Amarna - and moved 20,000 people there - in about 12 years. Stone statues and reliefs at the heart of the exhibit reflect the changes Akhenaten imposed on Egyptian society. Trumpeting a religion that for the first time in recorded history relied on the belief in a single god, Akhenaten strove to turn his monotheistic subjects to the worship of the Aten - the sun disc. . . . The Penn Museum, which holds the world's third-largest collection of Egyptian artifacts, will host a series of lectures, tours and films during the exhibit's run. Also the curator of the national Tut exhibit, Silverman said he enjoyed putting together the Penn show because it allowed him to tell another detail of the story that didn't fit into the blockbuster, by bringing out pieces that Penn had been holding in storage. Some of the artifacts on display have never been viewed by the public before. Silverman said he thought visitors would appreciate the items - a comb, paintbrush, wine jug and basketry - that give a feeling of everyday life in Amarna."
See the above page for the full story.

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