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A view of the Amaran site today
The City of Amarna


Did you know that Amarna is the best-preserved city from the whole of Ancient Egypt?


When pharaoh Akhenaten decided to build a new capital for Egypt, he chose a previously uninhabited place. The brand new city, called Akhetaten in the ancient Egyptian language, was the centre of a new religion that the pharaoh introduced. Abandoning the other ancient Egyptian gods that had been worshipped for centuries, Akhenaten focused on just one god, the Sun god known as the Aten.

Today, archaeologists come from all over the world to work with Egyptian archaeologists at the site and to get to know the modern communities of Amarna. Today, around 25,000 people live in the modern towns and villages near the archaeological site.

Amarna was briefly the capital of Ancient Egypt during the reign of the pharaoh Akhenaten in around 1346 to 1332 BC.

Download our What and Where is Amarna worksheet, our timeline of Egypt and Akhenaten's family tree to see how Akhenaten fits into the history of Ancient Egypt.

Watch our short feature film, Life Under the Sun, to see how Amarna looks today.


The city of Akhetaten was the home of pharaoh Akhenaten, his wife Queen Nefertiti and their children for less than 20 years. After the pharaoh died, the city was abandoned for the previous capital of Thebes. The Egyptian people, under the rule of the new pharaoh Tutankhamun (Akhenaten's son!), returned to worshipping the old gods.

This makes Amarna a unique time capsule from ancient Egypt. Archaeological evidence can tell us was life was like for everyone, from the poorest to the richest members of society.

Amarna is the perfect site to help us

find out more about ancient Egyptian daily life.

It is therefore the inspiration for many of our learning resources.

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