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Stela of Akhenaten and His Family

This limestone stela shows King Akhenaten and his family as a "Holy Family." It is considered to be an icon and was intended to be kept in a private chapel of an Amarna house. The stela, topped by the cavetto cornice, is decorated with a scene of an intimate moment from the daily life of the royal family under the protection of Aten. A cavetto is a concave molding with a cross section that approximates a quarter circle.  
Facing each other, the royal couple is seated on stools covered with cushions. Between them stands their eldest daughter Meritaten, while the younger daughters are seen on their mother's lap. Akhenaten is portrayed with his characteristic features. He is depicted wearing the Blue Crown and a pleated kilt. Queen Nefertiti is shown wearing her characteristic high crown and a traditional long robe that is held in place with a belt.
Stela of Akhenaten and His Family
Stela of Akhenaten and His Family




Here we see a traditional scene of adoration of the god Aten by the royal family. King Akhenaten is represented with his physical deformities, offering two bouquets of lotus flowers to the Aten who is represented as a sun disk with rays dominating the scene. The rays terminate in hands holding the ankh sign, symbol of life, in front of the nostrils of the king and the queen. 
Akhenaten is followed by his wife Queen Nefertiti who performs the same act of adoration and offering to Aten. Their eldest daughters are shown behind Meritaten and Mekitaten, who died young, as is touchingly shown on the reliefs that are still visible in the tomb of the royal family from which this slab was taken.