Book Review: Royal Women of Amarna

Royal Women Of Amarna

Although the Royal Women of Amarna is usually credited to Dorothea Arnold, it was in fact written by a panel of authors who each contributed a section:

  • James P Allen’s contribution is a very short chapter on Atenism, The Religion of Amarna
  • L Green wrote a somewhat longer  Who’s Who? of the Amarna period
  • Dorothy Arnold was responsible for the main body, the photographs and descriptions of the objects in a number of chapters

The Royal Amarna Women is essential as a reference book to many of the important depictions of the royal women of the Amarna period in reliefs and as busts or statues.  It was published  as an exhibition catalogue for an exhibition at the Met  from October 1996 to February 1997.  This explains the one real weakness: it is not complete.  There are busts of Armanan princesses which are not depicted and the descriptions of some are minimal.   However, this is a minor carp as many of the  artifacts are beautifully presented in full colour photographs which have been printed to a very high standard. Even the black and white photographs are of the high sort of quality you would expect from a printed photograph.

The book is now hard to find and generally only available second hand and retails at a considerable premium to the cover price.  It is, however, thoroughly recommended for the quality of the images, but also for the general standard of the text.  The back also contains a very extensive bibliography for any student wishing to take their studies further.


I have previously published a more detailed review of the Royal Women of Amarna, explaining the composition of the sections.