Stelae of Zakkur

Boundary Stelae of Akhenaten

The Boundary Stelae of Akhenaten map out the boundaries of the Ancient Egyptian city of Akhetaten, the capital city of Pharaoh Akhenaten.

Many of the stelae are heavily eroded, but two of them have been protected and are easily visited. One is in the north of the city boundaries, by Tuna el-Gebel. The other is at the mouth of the Royal Wadi.

There were two phases of stelae, the four earliest (probably from Year 5 of Akhenaten's reign) were in the cliffs on the eastern bank of the Nile, to the north and south of the city of Akhetaten. These had copies of the same text in which the king told of how he planned the city, and was dedicating it to the Aten.

The later phase of stelae (from Year 6 of Akhenaten's reign) were used to properly define the area of land that were to be used by the city and surrounding farmlands. There are 11 of these stones and they all have the same text, but for some omissions and additions. They reaffirmed the dedication of the city and royal residences to the Aten.

Now as for the areas within these 4 landmarks, from the eastern mountain to the western mountain, it (is) Akhetaten itself. It belongs to my father Re–Horakhti–who–rejoices–in–lightland. In–his–name–Shu–who–is–Aten, who gives life forever; whether mountains or deserts or meadows or new lands or highlands or fresh lands or fields or water or settlements or shorelands or people or cattle or trees or all, anything, that the Aten, my father has made. I have made it for Aten, my father, forever and ever.

References

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