2010 Student Research Conference:
23rd Annual Student Research Conference

Akhenaten: Portraits of Visual Accuracy in Amarna Period Egypt
Natalie T. Hall
Dr. Sara Orel, Dr. Julia DeLancey, and Dr. Aidan M. Dodson (University of Bristol), Faculty Mentors

Akhenaten, pharaoh during the Eighteenth Dynasty of the New Kingdom, transformed traditional aspects of Egyptian culture. Under Akhenatens control, the importance of customary polytheistic deities lessened when the pharaoh began promoting his religious cult dedicated to the sun god Aten. Following Atens heightened esteem by the pharaoh, the capital city moved from Thebes to Akhetaten (modern Amarna) and became dedicated to the sun god. In addition to the religious and political changes mentioned, artistic representation of the human body changed during Akhenatens reign. Images of the king portray him in an exaggerated manner, with an elongated head, thin arms, rounded shoulders, defined breasts, wide-set hips, and a protruding stomach. This paper explores stylistic changes of human representation in the royal art of the Amarna Period, discussing the possibility that the unusual painting, sculpture, and reliefs depicting Akhenaten were actual portrayals of the pharaohs physical appearance due to a genetic disorder.

Keywords: Egypt, Akhenaten, New Kingdom, Aten, art, genetic disorder

Topic(s):Art History

Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 21-4
Location: VH 1324
Time: 10:15

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