A Belgian Egyptologist unravels the mystery of a town built by the Pharaoh Akhenaton
Wednesday, 18 March 2015
A former industrial site near the Egyptian town of Amarna was discovered by a group of researchers, under the direction of the Egyptologist Harco Willems from Louvain University (KUL – Katholiek Universteit). Made up of around hundred quarries, the site goes some way to clearing up the mystery of how a town several kilometres squared was built in less than 15 years, 14 centuries ago. This success was attributed to Pharaoh Akhenaton.
The researchers had already found traces of industrial outskirts near Amarna last year. It would seem that this site continues up to 12 kilometres north of the town. Blocks called “talatats” were made in these quarries, construction blocks only used in this particular period. The quarries are so big that the Egyptians probably made millions of blocks. An innumerable amount of texts and dates have also been found in the quarries by the researchers.
These must have been left by the workers, like graffiti. Some of them show the Sun God.
The industrial site is divided up by dozens of roads and paths. Thanks to satellite photos, the researchers were able to make a map of the network. Most of it leads to the Nile, were several small ports were spread over a dozen kilometres. The blocks were sent by river to Amarna via these ports.