The city of Amarna (or Tell el-Amarna; its ancient name Akhetaten) was founded by Pharaoh Akhenaten, in the first instance to be the place where his choice of pre-eminent god (the Aten, the sun’s disc or orb) could be served by temples on desert ground uncontaminated by previous usage. It also became the royal family’s main residence and thus the centre of government, requiring the population of a complete city. It lasted for no more than twenty years, after which time it was abandoned, remaining largely a ruin thinly covered by sand. It is the largest easily accessible urban site remaining from ancient Egypt. It was home to Akhenaten’s principal wife, Queen Nefertiti. The future king Tutankhamun was probably born here. The chapter uses Amarna – a classic example of urban self-organization – to illustrate the nature of urban life in ancient Egypt at all levels of society. An assessment is made of how people responded to Akhenaten’s changed ideas on the nature of god. By combining the archaeology of the city with contemporary pictures of royal life one can see how Akhenaten played out the role of charismatic ruler in a style that still resonates today. A unique aspect of the city has been the recovery of a large sample of skeletons from the cemeteries of people who were not of the court circle. Many show signs of poor diet and heavy labour. One group appears to have been of child labourers, a reminder of the varying quality of life in societies in which power is distributed on a massively unequal scale.