The decoration and identification of the site of Kom el-Nana at Akhetaten – Jacquelyn Williamson
These websites associated with the project http://www.amarnatrust.com/ and http://www.amarnaproject.com/
This site is in the southern suburb of Akhetaten, down from the main city and southern tombs. In 1980-90’s it was excavated by the EES and she was using a general plan produced by Barry Kemp.
It consists of an enclosure wall with four entrance pylons, two in the west, side by side, one in the east and one in the south. It is divided in half, west to east, by a central wall. In the s/e houses have been found, the south shrine is the most important. There are thousands of stone fragments, mainly limestone but some sandstone. These were left by the destroyers of the city, probably in situ. The site is not full excavated because of the difficulties of the site such as encroaching cultivation. The north enclosure is less understood as a consequence. In the north there is a large bakery and brewery working area with a large number of bread moulds. The north shrine aligns with the pylon in the west wall as does the southern shrine align with the other west pylon. They also found garden plots.
There were 4000 fragments found in situ from the shrines, she has looked at the contents of 3 excavation squares with 153 sandstone and 800 limestone fragments in 10 sq m.
She explained her methodology which is a little difficult to get across without the slides. Gay Robbins (really interesting art author) developed cannon of proportions of 24 squares for the Amarna period. Once a piece is positively identified, a task in itself, then using this cannon it is then possible to expand a small fragment into a large relief. So if you have a tiny piece with part of the kings back leg and kilt and you apply the Robbins cannon to it, you can work out the content and size of the entire piece. The same scaling up will indicted whether fragments belonged with each other, if the eventually figure is the same then the fragments match. Other clues like Aten cartouches indicate that these are royal figures. These always follow the way the body faces and the cross line is always at the bottom. From all this she identified 5 royal scenes.
She believes that this could be the Sunshade of Re dedicated to Nefertiti. The bread moulds indicate that this is a very important site as the only place where bread moulds are found are the Great and Small Aten temples. The structure follows the early line of the royal road. The early name of the Aton is used. A stele mentions 3 important sites of which the third is not identified. She believes she has identified glyphs that say sunshade.
The plans for the future are the complete analysing the excavation squares, so far she has done 3 out of 7. Then she wants to move to south shrine. There the walls are better understood. She believes it will take another 2-3 seasons. Also the stone is not all in the same place, some was moved into storage magazines.
There are also small pieces of statues, some of which are composite statues, both shrines had statues and these are mostly likely the king, queen and daughters.
El Monguna is another possible sunshade location but there is only one inscription and does not feel there is enough other evidence.
Next week it is Mathew Adams on Abydos