There are two groups of rock-cut tombs at el-Amarna situated at the north and the south ends of the cliffs encircling the city of Akhetaten. These are the tombs of favoured officials of the court of Akhenaten, containing many scenes depicting the royal family in the distinctive style of Amarna art. Between the north and south tombs lies the entrance to the Royal Wadi (Wadi Abu Hasa el-Bahri) in which the king’s own tomb was constructed.
The entrance to the Royal Wadi is often said to take the form of the hieroglyphic symbol of the horizon, the akhet in the centre of which the sun rises each morning. It was perhaps this natural shape which determined Akhenaten to site his new city here on the wide sandy plain on the east bank of the Nile. Until recently the wadi has been a fairly inaccessible place with a narrow boulder-strewn track…
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