The ancient city of Amarna experienced a rise and fall in a short historical period, and archaeologists do not cease to intrigue.

Pharaoh Ehnaton, formerly called Amenhotep IV

The latest research throws a new light on this once magnificent city. Amarna was the capital of Egypt during the reign of Pharaoh Ehnaton, writes “Guardian” .

 It is built on the eastern coast of Nile and in less than 15 years it is completely abandoned. Ehnaton and his queen Nefertiti remained remembered in history after the religious reform of Egypt. Pharaoh had raised one god above all others – the solar goddess of Aton, thus enveloping some kind of foreboding monotheism. When Ehnaton died in 1332 BC, his successor Tutankhamun returned the old religion, the city was abandoned and forgotten, most of the statues and inscriptions with the name of Ehnaton were destroyed.
Found skeletons reveal the dark secrets of building Amarne

In the 19th century, the remains of the Amaranth were discovered and the world learned of this strange “Jerryan” pharaoh.

During recent excavations, archaeologists and Egyptologists focused not on the tombs of the royal family, but on simple graves in the desert where ordinary people who lived and worked in the city were buried.

They found about 400 human remains in the so-called southern cemetery, suggesting that these people were doing hard work, having poor nutrition, bad health, full injuries and relatively early deaths.


Two years ago, they discovered another one – a northern cemetery where people were buried without almost any objects with which people were otherwise buried, and the bodies were only roughly wrapped in a simple canvas. 105 bodies were found there, and more than 90 percent were children and teenagers. This was confused by archaeologists – this was mainly about people aged seven to 25 years. They found injuries that they should not exist during this lifetime and many of them have already suffered from osteoarthritis.

More bodies were buried in one grave

Even those younger than 15 years of age have been found to have spinal injuries and other abnormalities that are mainly associated with severe physical activity. The fact that they were buried without any customary rituals and no items placed in graves with the dead to use them “in the world” indicates that these children were not buried by their relatives.

In several cases, several bodies were found in one grave. All this suggests that children have died away from their families and are probably taken from them and forced to work hard.


The simplest explanation for this is that in this cemetery, children and young people who worked on the Amarna buildings were buried.

Archaeologists assume that they are slaves or slaves who are captured just to build Amarna. Scientists are trying to find out whether the children were Egyptians or members of some of the captured peoples.

Digging graves in Amarna

For Amarna archeologists, there is a blessing and a curse for understanding life in the period of the New Egyptian kingdom. It is a city built very quickly during the reign of an eccentric king, so it is difficult to talk about how representative it is. If the construction of Amarna included child labor, was this practice widespread and the construction of other cities before and after Amarna? For now, there is not enough evidence to prove this.

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