Central City

Northern Nile Valley

The centre of Akhetaten contained the temple complex, the Great Palace and the King's House. The temple complex contained two main buildings, a sanctuary and the Long Temple, 190m in length and divided into six courts. Along the south wall of the Long Table, archaeologists found the remains of 920 offering tables. This was separated from the King's House by storerooms. The palace was built of stone and decorated with great care, with faience mouldings and tiles, and alabaster balustrades.

Archaeologists value the site because, unlike most places in Egypt, it was occupied for just one reign. Also, it has proved to be one of the most useful sites for understanding how people lived in this early period.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Northern Nile Valley attractions

1. North Palace


An isolated building on the north of the city and once entered through a monumental gate, this domestic complex contained a central courtyard with rooms…

2. Tomb of Panehsy (No 6)

1.82 MILES

The tomb of Panehsy, chief servant of the Aten in Akhetaten, retains the decorated facade most others have lost. Inside, scenes of the royal family,…

3. Tomb of Meryre II (No 2)

1.82 MILES

Meryre II was scribe, steward and 'Overseer of the Royal Harem of Nefertiti'. To the left of the entrance, you will find a scene that shows Nefertiti…

4. Tomb of Meryre I (No 4)

1.83 MILES

High priest of the Aten, Meryre is shown, on the left wall of the columned chamber, being carried by his friends to receive rewards from the royal couple…

5. Tomb of Ahmose (No 3)

1.83 MILES

Ahmose, whose title was ‘True Scribe of the King, Fan-Bearer on the King’s Right Hand’, was buried in the northern cemetery. Much of his tomb decoration…

6. Tomb of Penthu (No 5)

1.83 MILES

Penthu, the royal physician and 'First under the King', was buried in a simple tomb. The left-hand wall of the corridor is decorated with images of the…

7. Tomb of Huya (No 1)

1.84 MILES

Huya was the steward of Akhenaten’s mother, Queen Tiye, and relief scenes to the right and left of the entrance to his tomb show Tiye dining with her son…

8. Tell Al Amarna

2.54 MILES

You will see the ruins of Akhetaten – temples and private or administrative buildings – scattered across the plain of Tell Al Amarna, but the main sights…