Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Protecting Akhenaten's boundary stela

El Ahram Weekly (Nevine El-Aref)

With a good summary of the role and importance of the boundary stelae

In 1906, one of these stelae was blown up and in 1989 it was rumoured that another of the stelae had deteriorated. However, as Mohamed Abdel-Fattah, director of the ancient Egyptian antiquities section at the Ministry of State for Antiquities, told Al-Ahram Weekly, in 1989 part of the cliff collapsed while a mining procedure was being carried out nearby, but this did not harm the stela. "The stela is safe and sound," Abdel-Fattah said.

Consolidation and restoration work had been carried out to maintain those stelae that had been damaged. This damage occurred not only in modern times, due to natural causes, but also in antiquity when the city of Akhetaten fell into ruin following the death of Pharaoh Akhenaten. This was a time when the priests of Amun regained their power and returned to worshipping their god, Amun, moving back to the old capital at Thebes.

A month ago it was reported that another stela had deteriorated as a result of mining in the area. Zahi Hawass, minister of state for antiquities, sent an archaeological committee to investigate.

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