Carvings on the walls of the ancient Egyptian city of Amarna depict a world of plenty. Oxen are fattened in a cattle yard. Storehouses bulge with grain and fish. Musicians serenade the pharaoh as he feasts on meat at a banquet.
But new research hints that life in Amarna was a combination of grinding toil and want—at least for the ordinary people who would have hauled the city's water, unloaded the boats on the Nile, and built Amarna's grand stone temples, which were erected in a rush on the orders of a ruler named Akhenaten, sometimes called the "Heretic Pharaoh."
We know that until modern times child mortality was high worldwide, yet Armarna seems to have been afflicted with a curse about this. There is an unusually high number of burials of children and teens. About their bones showing signs of hard work should not surprise us at all, for until mid 19th century, at least in Europe/North America, childhood, as we recognise it, often ended at eight years, for the proletariat, and they were then working on farms, in factories and in mines, or at ten years could find themselves in the frontline of battle. So, we should not be surprised at evidence of this in AE. What is not clear from some of these Armarna burials is the context of when they were buried. For instance, do the majority of these burials date from the main construction phase, a more settled period, if such can ever be aplied to Armarna, or the demolition phase. I know it is generally thought that Armarna was abandoned after death of Akhenaten, or within about two or so years, but it was not fully abandoned for some time later, probably when Horemheb ordered it's dismantling. So these burials may not be "Armarna" period, but from some strange semi-ghost town existance that may have lasted for about twenty years. It is not impossible that when the court left Armarna, it was just the court, it's servants and the foreigners who left, the general population staying behind as it was all they had for a home. With so much about that period, we can make educated guesses, but will never know the full truth.
Edited by Atentutankh-pasheri, 15 March 2013 - 03:26 PM.
Я Бог, я держатель и владыка миров. Я Хора в славе, я владыка света,
я победным, я наследник бесконечного времени