216 Route 16. TELL EL-'AMARNA. From Cairo
Farther on, on the E. bank, at the foot of the hill of the same
name, lies Sheikh Sa'îd, with tombs of the Ancient Empire, belong¬
ing to princes and high officiais of the 'hare-nome' (p. 213).
We next reach (on the E. bank) the ruins of Tell el-'Amarna.
The steamer-landing is at Hagg-Kandîl.
The Tourist Steamers hait hère on the return-voyage for a few hours,
to permit passengers to visit the Stucco Pavements in the Palace of Amen¬
ophis IV. — Adéquate time to visit the Tombs can be secured only by
using the Railway, which should be quitted at the station of Deir Mawâs
(p. 203) or at Deirût (p. 203). — Accommodation may be obtained if re¬
quired at Hagg-Kandîl from the 'Omdeh (comp. p. 197).
The keeper of the palace and the N. tombs lives at Et-Tell, the
keeper of the S. tombs and the king's tomb at Hagg-Kandîl.
Tell el-'Amarna (or, better, El-'Amama), a name derived from
the Béni 'Amrân or El-'Amarna Beduins, is the name now given to
the extensive ruins and rock-tombs which lie near the villages of
Hagg-Kandîl on the S. and Et-Tell on the N., and form the last
relies ofthe ancient royal city Ekhut-Aton, 'the horizon of the sun'.
When Amenophis IV. (p. lxxx)' became converted to the ex¬
clusive worship ofthe sun andabjured the ancient gods, he quitted
Thebes, the capital until that time, and withdrew with his court to
a new sacred spot. This was situated in the Hermopolitan nome in
Upper Egypt, on both banks of the Nile, and its boundaries may be
traced to this day by 14 inscriptions chiselled on the rocks near
El-Hawata (p. 223), at the N. and S. groups of tombs, at Sheikh
Sa'îd (ail thèse on the right bank), and near Tunéh el-Gebel (p. 214),
Derweh, and Gildeh (W. bank). The new royal residence-town was
founded on the E. bank and speedilyprospered. Temples and palaces
sprang up, beside the imposing royal abode arose the dwellings of
the nobles, and lordly tombs were prepared for the king and his
favourites in the hills to the east. But after the death of Amenophis
the ancient religion once more obtained the upper hand, the court
retumed to Thebes, and the new town rapidly decayed. Its life
had not lasted for more than 50 years, and the site upon which it
stood was never again occupied. Owing to this circumstance the
ancient streets and ground-plans hâve remained to this day and
may be traced with little trouble. The religious révolution under
Amenophis IV. was accompanied by a révolution in art. The artists
who worked in his reign, probably feeling themselves more in¬
dependent of ancient traditions, attempted to lend their créations
a more natural expression. In many cases, however, they fell into
exaggeration, as, for example, in the représentations of the lean
form of the king. The *Tombs of El-'Amama contain the best
examples of this realistic tendency and are, therefore, of great im¬
portance in the history of art.