Ancient Egyptian Cemetery Holds Proof of Hard Labor
Heretic Pharaoh Akhenaten's capital was no paradise for many adults and children.
But new research hints that life in Amarna was a combination of grinding toil and want—at least for the ordinary people who would have hauled the city's water, unloaded the boats on the Nile, and built Amarna's grand stone temples, which were erected in a rush on the orders of a ruler named Akhenaten, sometimes called the "Heretic Pharaoh."
Researchers examining skeletons in the commoners' cemetery in Amarna have discovered that many of the city's children were malnourished and stunted. Adults show signs of backbreaking work, including high levels of injuries associated with accidents.
"We have evidence of the most stressed and disease-ridden of the ancient skeletons of Egypt that have been reported to date," said University of Arkansas bioarchaeologist