Amarna’s North Palace

For this blog post I decided to further investigate the North Palace in Amarna to get a better understand how palaces were designed during this time period.

The North palace is geographically sandwiched between the North City and the North suburb. The palace itself is rectangular in shape and is symmetric around a central axis. The main sections and motifs of the palace include:

Figure1: Annotated Image of the North Palace (original image taken from, 2019). The numbers correspond to each bullet point below.

1) The North side of the outer court contained three “stepped platforms” surrounded on the east and west by parallel rooms. The South side of the court contained narrower rooms that were probably storage units.

2) The main inner court contained a monumental entrance and two narrower entrances at each end of the main entrance. The foundations of these entrances were made of Gypsum. A possible interpretation of the central stone structures is that they serve a “Window of Appearance” that was directed waterward (a “Window of Appearance” was used in the Amarna period to allow pharaohs to perform ceremonies and make appearances to their subjects while keeping a fair distance between them. These structures were usually incorporated into the façade of palaces (, 2019)).

3) The North side of the inner court also contained three building units which used a combination of roofed areas and open space. Some of the walls in this building unit contained carvings of oxen. As a result, it is believed that the building unit was intended for housing animals.

4) The south side of the palace contained possibly service houses: living quarters, a bakery and kilns where jewelry could have been produced.

5) The central rear part of the building was the main part of the building. A throne room aligned along the central axis of the palace resides at the rearmost part of the section. Separating the throne room from the entrance to this part of the palace was a hall with many columns. South of the hall was the palace owner’s bedroom and bathroom as well as rooms for the attendants. North of the hall was a stone terrace.

-Ian Ho

Work Cited (all information)

[1] (2019). Amarna The Place – Amarna Project. [online] Available at: [Accessed 06 April. 2019].

[2] (2019). Architectural elements used by ancient Egyptian builders. [online] Available at: [Accessed 7 Apr. 2019].