Tania Collins, courtesy San Diego Museum of Man

A lush background of vegetation sets off a scene of birds and animals in a wall painting at Akhetaten (modern Tell el-Amarna). The royal city was built by the pharaoh Akhenaten and dedicated to the god Aten, represented by the sun disk. The marshy land along the Nile must have been the source of many scenes such as those in the wall painting from the palace’s Green Room (shown here in a watercolor restoration), the bullock among papyrus plants (see cover) and the floor painting with flowers (see detail photograph). Everywhere Akhenaten lived and worshiped, he was reminded of the power of the sun god to create and sustain abundant life.