The latter part of the fifteenth century B C saw Egypt's political power reach its zenith, with an empire that stretched from beyond the Euphrates in the north to much of what is now Sudan in the south. The wealth that flowed into Egypt allowed its kings to commission some of the most stupendous temples of all time, some of the greatest dedicated to Amun-Re, King of the Gods. Yet a century later these temples lay derelict, the god's images, names, and titles all erased in an orgy of iconoclasm by Akhenaten, the devotee of a single sun-god. This book traces the history of Egypt from the death of the great warrior-king Thutmose III to the high point of Akhenaten's reign, when the known world brought gifts to his newly-built capital city of Amarna, in particular looking at the way in which the cult of the sun became increasingly important to even 'orthodox' kings, culminating in the transformation of Akhenaten's father, Amenhotep III, into a solar deity in his own right.
Aidan Dodson was born in London and brought up in Slough, Berkshire. He studied Egyptology at Durham, Liverpool and Cambridge Universities, obtaining his BA in 1985, his MPhil in 1986 and his PhD in 1995; he was elected a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London in 2003. He has taught in the Department of Archaeology & Anthropology at Bristol University, where he is now a Senior Research Fellow, since 1996.
During the Spring semester of 2013 he was William K. and Marilyn M. Simpson Professor of Egyptology at the American University in Cairo.
Over the years he has given invited public lectures in the UK, the USA, Canada, Egypt, Denmark, Italy and Spain, and regularly accompanies tours to Egypt and the Sudan. Having joined the London-based Egypt Exploration Society at the age of 15, he was elected its Chairman of Trustees in December 2011. Dr Dodson met his wife while teaching her Egyptology at an adult education class and proposed to her in the burial chamber of an ancient vizier; they live in Bristol.