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Fun fact #1: Did Ancient Egyptians recycle?
Recycling was a time-honored tradition in ancient Egypt. The largest artifact in Penn Museum’s new Amarna exhibition was actually preserved due to the ancient Egyptian’s proclivity for recycling. When the royal city of Amarna was dismantled and images of Akhenaten were destroyed, this elegant stone relief depicting the Aten and the royal family was moved to another city and turned over to be used as a base for another monument for a later king, Merneptah. It wasn’t until modern times that its original use was discovered. In fact, it wasn’t until this object was moved into the Amarna gallery this fall that we realized that the base of it is also inscribed. New discoveries are made all the time!
Image Caption: Monumental wall relief of the royal family worshipping Aten, possibly from Amarna, Dynasty 18, reign of Akhenaten (1353-1336 BCE), quartzite