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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
https://doi.org/10.15407/skhodoznavstvo2020.85.069
Section: Sacred Texts of the Orient
Language: Ukrainian
Abstract: 

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

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