The Period Of Ancient Egypt Essay

The Period Of Ancient Egypt Essay

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The Amarna period, which lasted about thirty years at the end of the 18th dynasty in ancient Egypt brought many historical changes to ancient Egypt. These drastic changes are represented in the art of the period. A new pharaoh came to power and declared a new religion for all of Egypt. Although this new religion was far from supported by the citizens, the pharaoh, Akhenaten enforced the changes. Temples worshipping other gods were torn down, names were changed, even language experienced a shift. The most notable change of this period was the art style. The typical style of canon proportion, which Egypt had utilized since the third dynasty was ignored. No longer did human figures fit the calculated outlines they always had. Now under the pharaoh Akhenaten, figures seemed deformed. While earlier figures seemed more formal and stiff, the new figures had an extra stylized essence. Bodies were now more human and also more deformed looking at the same time. The figures, and especially representations of Akhenaten had skinny necks, elongated skulls and fat bellies with skinny waists. Some believe that the reason figures in the whole period were depicted differently was because Akhenaten himself was deformed. Other theories say that he drove away from traditional figures out of respect of the Aten, to either make humans look more like him or less like him. However, the theory with the most weight is one that Akhenaten wanted the change in religion to be noted and drastic and so he changed all of Egypt’s art to the type that he wanted. Because of this, his new religion could not be ignored. His style also changed so that he shied away from old traditional standards used when all Egyptian gods were worshipped.
Not only the style of the i...


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...e in bright sunlight. Akhenaten may have decided to utilize this style in more places to farther honor the Aten and its life-giving light.
After the death of Akhenaten and a couple of his following pharaohs, Atenism and the Amarna art style was no longer relevant in the lives of Egyptians. That is why I think this artifact best embodies this period. In Egypt’s 19th dynasty, the carved quartzite stone was reused as a plinth for a sphinx under the rein of Merenptah. Inscriptions on the side of the stone left from that time read “beloved of Ra-Horakhty in Heliopolis”. This stele was also reused a second time as part of a door in medieval Cairo where is was later found by archaeologists. As this stone’s history in the Amarna period has been written over by its re-use it embodies the history of this period and how it was short lived and quickly removed from common life.

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