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"Royal Women of Amarna" portrays not only some of the most beautiful pieces created by any craftsmen of the ancient world with both text and fabulous plates, but also the personalities of the women who inspired such timeless masterpieces. This work is more than a mere collection of museum pieces; it tells the tale of every known Queen and princess of the period, spanning from the reign of Amenhotep III to that of his son Akhenaten, even those princesses who are attested by name only in the historical record. The possible reasons for the prominence of females during this period are examined, as well as the symbolism embedded in the art: a personal fascination for me was the theory that the shape of Nefertiti's blue crown is based on the hairstyle worn by women about to give birth, stressing both her fertility and her link to Tefnut. Whilst examining the women who made up a great part of his life, the book also gives some insight and wonderful, suggestive hints towards the personality of Akhenaten, himself. Again, the plates are the best one could ever hope for, making each piece seem tangible to those who have never seen them first hand(including myself) but plan to (including myself:), and the book would be worth purchasing for them alone if the text were not just as compelling. "The Royal Women of Amarna" is a must for any Amarna bookshelf and works of the late, great Cyril Aldred should find no shame in sharing company with them.
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