Kemet Klub

Amarna Controversies


Professor Aidan Dodson
Sunday 23rd and 30th June

Certificate of Completion


At the end of this course you will be able to download a personalised certificate of completion from the classroom. A great way to keep track of your learning and celebrate your Egyptological journey.

Amarna Controversies With Professor Aidan Dodson

4 lectures delivered over 2 afternoons. Sunday 23rd & 30th June 2024
2-5pm UK times.

We love to see you for the live lectures, but if you have to miss one, don't worry, you can of course catch up (or watch again) at your leisure via the recordings. You will have access to the recorded lectures for a whole month after the last live lecture. Recordings will be available until 30th July

Over two weekends, we will be exploring some of the (many!) controversies of the Amarna Period.

Akhenaten’s religious revolution, the Amarna Period (c.1352-1336 BCE) stands apart from 3000 years of Egyptian history as a unique time where many of the religious traditions were abandoned, and a greater emphasis was put upon the god the Aten and the royal family. Shunned by the ancient Egyptian’s themselves, Akhenaten’s controversial and fascinating experiment has been studied in great detail for some two centuries but there are still a host of unanswered questions and explanations that are fiercely debated.

Over a series of 4 lectures delivered in two afternoons, Professor Aidan Dodson will help us explore the evidence surrounding a number of issues, presenting the arguments for and against different interpretations of numerous matters of contention.  Some include questions of historical fact:

  • Was there a coregency between Amenhotep III and Akhenaten?
  • Who was/were Smenkhkare and Neferneferuaten?
  • Who were Tutankhamun’s parents?
  • Who was Kiya?
  • Whose mummy was found in KV55?

Other are more conceptual in nature:

  • Why did Akhenaten do what he did?
  • Was Atenism really monotheism?

We also consider how zombies stalk the popular understanding of the Amarna Period – ideas that were perfectly reasonable academic working hypotheses in the day, but have now been overtaken by new discoveries and analyses, yet remain among the ‘facts’.


Professor Aidan Dodson has published widely on this period. His publications relevant include: Amarna Sunset: Nefertiti, Tutankhamun, Ay, Horemheb and the Egyptian Counter-Reformation (2009, 2nd edition 2018); Amarna Sunrise: Egypt from Golden Age to Age of Heresy (2014); Nefertiti, Queen and Pharaoh of Egypt: her life and afterlife (2020); and, most recently, Tutankhaamun, King of Egypt: his life and afterlife (2022). All are published by the American University in Cairo Press.

Professor Aidan Dodson

Aidan Dodson has taught at Bristol University since 1996, and was appointed honorary Professor of Egyptology in 2018. A graduate of Liverpool & Cambridge Universities, and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London, Aidan was Simpson Professor of Egyptology at the American University in Cairo for spring 2013, and was Chair of Trustees of the Egypt Exploration Society from 2011 to 2016. He is the Chairman of the Egypt Society of Bristol and the author of more than 25 books and 400 articles and reviews on both Egyptology and modern naval history. His latest Egyptological book is Thutmose III & Hatshepsut, Pharaohs of Egypt: their lives and afterlives, due to be published by the American University in Cairo Press around the end of the year.

Booking instructions

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Session links will be available in the course Classroom. Room opens 30 minutes before the lecture begins. If you do not have the course link or have any other queries please get in touch

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