‘After Akhenaten’ – links & further reading

UPDATE APRIL 2022: For anyone who missed the live performances of this talk online, a recorded version is now available on YouTube and here:

Thanks to everyone who attended my talk ‘After Akhenaten’. For anyone who would like to follow up the ideas discussed, here is a guide to some relevant material online and elsewhere.

What happened after Akhenaten’s death? Where was he buried? Who succeeded him? Could it have been Nefertiti? And who was Smenkhkare? Tantalising clues have been found at Amarna and in the Valley of Kings. But how to make sense of them?

If you’re interested in this subject you might also find my talks and the further reading on ‘People at Amarna’ and ‘Tutankhamun: In Life, Death and Eternal Afterlife‘ useful too.

The slides for ‘After Akhenaten’ are here and also below (at low resolution) so that you can go back through the presentation step by step if you wish to.

There are several excellent overviews of the period and the various theories about what happened after Akhenaten. The following are among the best:

Dodson, A, Amarna Sunset. Nefertiti, Tutankhamun, Ay, Horemheb and the Egyptian Counter-reformation (available here)
Reeves, Akhenaten. Egypt’s False Prophet (here, from the publisher, currently at 30% discount!)

The entire talk is based on the third chapter of my book Searching for the Lost Tombs of Egypt (30% off here) which covers the evidence for Pharaoh Ankhkheperure Neferneferuaten and who he/she might be, and where Akhenaten, Nefertiti / Neferneferuaten, Tiye, Kiya and the rest might buried.

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A very thorough treatment of the evidence for Tutankhamun’s life is Eaton-Krauss, M, The Unknown Tutankhamun (available here)

The ‘Restoration Inscription of Tut’ankhamūn’ was published by John Bennett in the Journal of Egyptian Archaeology (JEA) in 1939. The article is available online via JSTOR here (you will be required to register for an account but readers are able to access up to 100 article per month for free up to 30 June 2020 to support researchers during the lockdown).

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Smenkhkare and Meritaten in the tomb of Meryra (ii) at Amarna. 

I discuss the the tomb of Meryra (ii) in which the scene of Smenkhkare and Meritaten appears, here.

Further information about the North Tombs at Amarna and ‘Smenkhkare Hall’ in the Central City is available via the Amarna Project website, here.

Petrie’s report on his excavations at Amarna in 1891-2 in which the rings of Smenkhkare appear is available here. The rings are on pl. XV.

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The exquisite throne of Tutankhamun and his wife Ankhsenamun, discovered in KV 62

Carter’s notes on the so-called ‘box of Smenkhkare’, along with all the records relating to his discoveries in the tomb of Tutankhamun (KV 62) are available via the Griffith Institute here.

The best survey of the discovery and the objects is still Reeves, N, The Complete Tutankhamun (see here). But the more recent Hawass and Vannini, Tutankhamun. The Treasures of the Tomb is also excellent and very beautifully illustrated (30% discount here).

Reeves has been one of the leading scholars in advancing the idea that much of the burial equipment in the tomb was originally made for someone else (Ankhkheperure Neferneferuaten); the following articles are particularly relevant in this regard:

‘The Gold Mask of Ankhkheperure Neferneferuaten’ (go here)
‘Tutankhamun’s Mask Reconsidered’ (here)

On the identity of Ankhkheperure Neferneferuaten the above-mentioned Dodson, Amarna Sunset and Reeves, Akhenaten are, again, both excellent.

On Nefertiti in particular one could also add Joyce Tyldesley’s books Nefertiti: Egypt’s Sun Queen (available here), and, more recently, Nefertiti’s Face: The Creation of an Icon (here) in which she argues that pharaoh Ankhkheperure Neferneferuaten was not one and the same as Nefertiti.

Aidan Dodson will also be publishing a further book specifically on Nefertiti, Queen and Pharaoh of Egypt: Her Life and Afterlife later this year, see here.

On the royal tomb at Amarna see my book on Lost Tombs and also the dedicated section on the Amarna Project website (here). The latter currently features an incredible video flyover of the royal wadi, as follows:

You can also explore the area including the site of the ancient city in satellite images via Google maps here – try it, it’s loads of fun!


Joann Fletcher’s investigation of the mummy of the ‘Younger Lady’ discovered by victor Loret in KV 35 is recounted in her book In Search of Nefertiti.

The theory that there may be hidden chambers in the tomb of Tutankhamun, perhaps concealing the burial of Nefertiti, were revealed to the world by Nicholas Reeves in his paper ‘The Burial of Nefertiti?’ which is freely accessible here. His update on the theory, ‘The Decorated North Wall in the Tomb of Tutankhamun (KV 62) (The Burial of Nefertiti? II)’, which includes a more detailed analysis of the decoration on the north wall of the burial chamber (which he believes originally featured Nefertiti), is here.

The archaeologists I mentioned in the talk including Petrie, Loret, and Carter all feature in my new book Egyptologists’ Notebooks – for more info or to pre-order, see here.

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As I mentioned during the talk, I’ve had the opportunity to do these lectures thanks to the lockdown; I’ve really enjoyed doing them and it’s been very rewarding that so many people have joined the sessions and expressed an interest in reading more. I want to keep the lectures free for now but I probably won’t be able to do it indefinitely – if you’re interested to read more about this or to show your support for what I’m doing please visit this page. Thanks!