Akhenaten: Egypt's False Prophet

Akhenaten: Egypt's False Prophet


By (author) Nicholas Reeves

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  • Publisher: Thames & Hudson Ltd
  • Format: Paperback | 208 pages
  • Dimensions: 168mm x 239mm x 20mm | 635g
  • Publication date: 1 May 2005
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0500285527
  • ISBN 13: 9780500285527
  • Illustrations note: 141 illustrations, 23 in colour
  • Sales rank: 229,450

Product description

One of the most compelling and controversial figures in history, Akhenaten has captured the imagination like no other Egyptian pharaoh. Much has been written about this strange, persecuted figure, whose freakishly elongated and effeminate appearance is totally at odds with that of the traditional Egyptian ruler-hero. Known today as a heretic, Akhenaten sought to impose upon Egypt and its people the worship of a single god the sun and in so doing changed the country in every way. In this immensely readable re-evaluation, Nicholas Reeves takes issue with the existing view of Akhenaten, presenting an entirely new perspective on the turbulent events of his seventeen-year reign. Reeves argues that, far from being the idealistic founder of a new faith, Akhenaten cynically used religion for purely political ends in a calculated attempt to reassert the authority of the king to concentrate all power in his own hands. Backed up by abundant archaeological and documentary evidence, Reeves' closely written narrative also provides many new insights into questions that have baffled scholars for generations the puzzle of the body in Tomb 55 in the Valley of the Kings; the fate of Nefertiti, Akhenaten's beautiful wife, and the identity of the mysterious successor, Smenkhkare; and the theory that Tutankhamun, Akhenaten's son and true heir, was murdered.

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Author information

Nicholas Reeves is Director of the Amarna Royal Tombs Project, Valley of the Kings, and Curator of Egptian and Classical Art at Eton College.

Review quote

"'Akhenaten presents ingenious archaeology as a racy, irresistible detective story full of hidden clues (and bodies), magic geometry and ruthlessness masked as mysticism' - The New York Times Book Review 'Reeves leads the reader adeptly through archaeological finds and the latest research on the Amarna period... an entertaining and informative volume' - THES 'A tremendous read... brings factional division in ancient Egypt vividly to life' - Birmingham Post 'Substantial and comprehensive... written approachably and with an eye for human interest' - Antiquity"