Echnaton Tutanchamun: Daten, Fakten, Literatur.

Author:Spalinger, Anthony
Position::Book review

Echnaton Tutanchamun: Daten, Fakten, Literatur, 5th edition. By Hermann Alexander Schlogl. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz Verlag, 2013. Pp. xiv + 137. 19 [euro] (paper).

This study does not purport to be a new analysis of Akhenaton and Tutanchamun. Rather, it is a series of short chapters, each followed by a detailed bibliography that covers what immediately precedes. However, this approach has resulted in a non-historical presentation, by which I mean that all and sundry is presented as providing supports to Schlogl's analyses and nothing is integrated. In many ways the work resembles the effective and successful completion of the late eighteenth century's historical writing in which details are abundant--and even some footnotes included--but whose works ended up being empirically descriptive rather than analytical.

For example, I see no reason to include Weigall's now antiquated publications as well as those of Fletcher. But if they are adduced, then one must present a careful evaluation of their importance before listing them. To take another case in point: Cyril Aldred's epoch-making Tiranti series of art works, three volumes in all, are now considerably dated. Surely, the newer works, more exacting in theme as well as in art historical analysis, should be stressed. If we incorporate almost all past works on this phase of the Amarna Period, then how large will the final result be and how uncritical will that mass of information be?

It is one thing to ponder the vexed issue of a possible coregency between Amunhotep II and his son Akhenaton in slightly over two pages of text followed by one and one half pages of detailed bibliography. Yet what are the results? The author essentially eschews a final resolution of the issue. This approach, in fact, is what Schlogl generally advances: the presentation of a topic within the confines of a few pages plus extensive bibliography. Is this really useful to the reader or researcher?

The section on the first four years of Akhenaton, on the other hand, is well presented, and this reviewer enjoyed Schlogl's overview of the officials dated to this time period. Yet many recent data were omitted, and I can signal the very important studies of Robert Vergnieux at this point. Similarly, turning to the king's move to Middle Egypt, at his new residence at Achetaten, Schlogl should have dug far more deeply into the massive first-rate research of Barry Kemp (cf. the multi-volumed Amarna Reports) and his students.


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