• Українська
  • English
ISSN 2415-8712 (Online)
   ISSN 1682-671X (Print)

Amarna Period Boundary Stelae Texts of the ‘Earlier Proclamation’

1Zapletniuk, O
1PhD (History) Kyiv National Taras Shevchenko University, Faculty of History, Department of Ancient and Medieval History 60, Volodymyrska Str., Kyiv, 01033, Ukraine olha_zapletniuk@knu.ua
Shodoznavstvo 2020, 85:69-104
Section: Sacred Texts of the Orient
Language: Ukrainian

The article is devoted to the study of the Boundary Stelae of the ‘Earlier Proclamation’ dating from the Amarna Period. The author summarizes the history of previous studies and for the first time presents a Ukrainian translation, accompanied by transliteration and supplied with comments. The Boundary Stelae of the ‘Earlier Proclamation’ were carved in Akhetaten, the new capital of Egypt during the reign of king Amenhotep IV (Akhenaten) (сa. 1349–1333 BC) and are dated by the 5th Regnal Year. These stelae were intended to set the new city boundaries, and their decrees explained the circumstances of the foundation of the new capital of Egypt. The texts of the Boundary Stelae are important for the Amarna Period study. According to the style of the texts it can be assumed that it was the official proclamation of the king’s new theological view, as well as an explanation of the role of Akhenaten in this new cult. The new titles of Amenhotep IV and Nefertiti are presented in the texts, as well as a new king’s personal name – Akhenaten, based on the name of his protector god, who also had his own titulary modelled on the royal one. The Sun-disk god Aten is shown in the texts as the god, who created himself, the one who gives life to all creatures in the world and who expresses his will on Akhenaten, his beloved son. Moreover, the king states in the texts that Aten leads him, talks to him. In accordance with the texts of the Boundary Stelae, the sun-disk god indicated to Akhenaten the place of his new city, where all buildings should be devoted to the Aten. In a certain sense, the city was the place of worship to Aten as well as the centre of political independence of Akhenaten, who based his power on a new cult without the influence of the Theban priesthood of Amun. As a result, judging from the inscription of the Boundary Stelae, the king has concentrated religious authority as the main and unique prophet of Aten and, therefore, strengthened his political power.

Keywords: Akhenaten, Amarna Period, ancient Egypt, Boundary Stelae

Full text (PDF)

  1. Bolshakov A. O. (2001), Chelovek i ego Dvoynik. Izobrazitel’nost’ i mirovozzreniye v Egipte Starogo tsarstva, Aleteya, Sankt-Petersburg. (In Russian).
  2. Zapletnyuk O. A. (2014), “Malyy Himn Atonu”, Shodoznavstvo, No. 67, pp. 39–46. (In Ukrainian).
  3. Perepelkin Yu. Ya. (1967), Perevorot Amen-Khotpa IV, Ch. I, Nauka, Moscow. (In Russian).
  4. Perepelkin Yu. Ya. (1979), Keye i Semnekh-ke-re. K iskhodu solntsepoklonnicheskogo perevorota v Egipte, Izdatel’skaya firma “Vostochnaya literatura” RAN, Moscow. (In Russian).
  5. Perepelkin Yu. Ya. (1984), Perevorot Amen-Khotpa IV, Ch. II, Nauka, Moscow. (In Russian).
  6. Tarasenko N. A. (2005), “Bdšt v 17-oy glave Knigi Mertvykh: k voprosu o magii imeni v Drevnem Egipte”, in S. V. Pakhomov (ed.), Asiatica. Trudy po filosofii i kul’turam Vostoka. Vyp. I: K 50-letiyu so dnya rozhdeniya professora E. A. Torchinova, Izdatel’stvo SPGU, pp. 104–25. (In Russian).
  7. Khrestomatiya (1936) – Struve V. V. (ed.) (1936), Khrestomatiya po drevney istorii, T. I, AN SSSR, Moscow. (In Russian).
  8. Badawy A. M. (1973), “Aberrations about Akhenaten”, Zeitschrift fur ägyptische Sprache und Altertumskunde, Bd. 99, pp. 65–73.
  9. Badawy A. M. (1962), “The symbolism of the temples at Amarna”, Zeitschrift fur ägyptische Sprache und Altertumskunde, Bd. 87, pp. 79–85. https://doi.org/10.1524/zaes.1962.87.1.89
  10. Baker D. D. (2008), Encyclopedia of the Pharaohs. Vol. 1: Predynastic to the Twentieth Dynasty 33001069 BC, Bannerstone Press, Cairo.
  11. Beckerath von, J. (1999), Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen, Philipp von Zabern, Mainz am Rhein.
  12. Daressy G. (1893), “Tombeaux et steles-limites de Hagi-Qandil”, Recueil de Travaux relatifs a la philologie et a l’archeologie egyptiennes et assyriennes, T. 15, pp. 36–62.
  13. Davies N. de G. (1908), The Rock Tombs of El-Amarna. Vol. V: Smaller tombs and boundary stelae, Egypt Exploration Fund, London.
  14. Dodson A. (2009), Amarna Sunset: Nefertiti, Tutankhamun, Ay, Horemheb and the Egyptian Counter-Reformation, AUC Press, Cairo. https://doi.org/10.5743/cairo/9789774163043.001.0001
  15. Dodson A. and Hilton D. (2010), The Complete Royal Families of Ancient Egypt: A Genealogical Sourcebook of the Pharaohs, AUC Press, Cairo.
  16. Erman A. and Grapow H. (1971), Wörterbuch der Aegyptischen Sprache, Bd. I–V, Akademie Verlag, Berlin.
  17. Ertman E. L. (2009), “Images of Amenhotep IV and Nefertiti in the Style of the Previous Reign”, in P. Brand and L. Cooper (eds), Causing His Name to Live: Studies in Egyptian Epigraphy and History in Memory of William J. Murnane, Culture and History of the Ancient Near East, Vol. 37, Brill, Leiden and Boston, pp. 89–94. https://doi.org/10.1163/ej.9789004176447.i-240.32
  18. Faulkner R. (1991), A Concise Dictionary of Middle Egyptian, Griffith Institute Publications, Oxford.
  19. Gohary J. (1992), Akhenaten’s Sed-Festival at Karnak, Kegan Paul, London and New York.
  20. Goldwasser O. (2010), “The Aten is the ‘Energy of Light’: New evidence from the script”, Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt, Vol. 46, pp. 159–65.
  21. Gunn B. (1923), “Notes on the Aten and his Names”, The Journal of Egyptian Archaeology, Vol. 9, pp. 168–76. https://doi.org/10.1177/030751332300900130
  22. Hanning R. (2003), Ägyptisches Wörterbuch I. Altes Reich und Erste Zwischenzeit, Kulturgeschichte der Antiken Welt, Bd. 98, Philipp von Zabern, Mainz am Rhein.
  23. Hoffmeier J. K. (2015), Akhenaten and the Origins of Monotheism, Oxford University Press, London. https://doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199792085.001.0001
  24. Hornung E. (1957), “Zur geschichtlichen Rolle des Königs in der 18 Dynastie”, Mitteilungen des Deutschen Instituts fur Ägyptische Altertumskunde in Kairo, Bd. 15, pp. 120–33.
  25. Kemp B. J. (2012), The City of Akhenaten and Nefertiti: Amarna and its People, Thames & Hudson, London.
  26. Lesko L. H. (1982), A Dictionary of Late Egyptian; 2nd Ed. Vol. I–II. B.C. Scribe Publications, Berkeley, CA.
  27. Lichtheim M. (1976), Ancient Egyptian Literature. Volume II: The New Kingdom, University of California Press, Berkeley, CA.
  28. Murnane W. J. (1995), Texts from the Amarna Period in Egypt, Writings from the Ancient World, Book 5, Society of Biblical Literature, Atlanta, GA.
  29. Murnane W. J. and Van Siclen C. C. (1993), The Boundary Stelae of Akhenaten, Kegan Paul International, London.
  30. Newberry P. (1893), Beni Hasan, Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner & Co., Ltd, London.
  31. Petrie F. W. M. (1894), Tell El Amarna, Methuen & Co, London.
  32. Redford D. and Winfield R. S. (1976), The Akhenaten Temple Project, Aris & Phillips, Warminster.
  33. Redford D. (1987), Akhenaten. The Heretic King, Princeton University Press, Princeton and New Jersey.
  34. Sandman M. (1938), Texts from the Time of Akhenaten, Bibliotheca Aegyptiaca, No. 8, Édition de la Fondation égyptologique Reine Élisabeth, Bruxelles.
  35. Steindorff G. (1904), Durch die libysche Wüste zur Amonsoase. Land and Leute, Velhagen & Klasing, Bielefeld and Leipzig. https://doi.org/10.2307/198498