If There Is Much In The Window There Should Be More In The Room

Friday, August 28, 2015

Holding Each Other’s Hand for 3,500 Years


Akhenaton and Nefertiti, side by side, holding hands, and looking straight ahead

Holding Each Other’s Hand for 3,500 Years

Ancient Egyptian life was all about the family. The unit of mother, father and children was the solid basis of a strong society. Man paintings and inscriptions on tomb walls show the loving relationship that existed between husbands and wives as well as between parents and children.

Many paintings show affectionate couples embracing or seated close together holding hands. Romantic love was a frequent subject in poems, songs and other writings. All of these works are dated from the New Kingdom. One such poem includes:

“Your hand is in my hand, 

my body trembles with joy, 

my heart is exalted 

because we walk together.”

All that remains from a statue of Akhenaten and Nefertiti are these hands, clasped forever.

Amarna, quartzite clasped hands from Akhenaten and Nefertiti group, c.1345-1335 BC 18th dynasty, at Neues Museum or New Museum on Museumsinsel or Museum Island in Berlin/ Sandra Steiß; CC NC-BY-SA

It was found in the ruins of Akhenaten’s custom-built city, Akhetaten (modern day Amarna) and is generally considered to show Nefertiti (left) gently holding the hand of her husband, Akhenaten (right).
Akhetaten on the Nile



Akhenaten was driven by two burning passions: his adoration of the Aten, the sun-disc, and his beautiful bride, Nefertiti.

Decorated Balustrade Fragment from the Great Palace at Amarna
Dynasty 18, Reign of Akhenaten, 1353-1336 BC, crystalline limestone
Along with his dramatic religious reform, the king also introduced a new art form; more dynamic and sensual than the traditional rigid style.






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