added by archaeologs The heretic pharaoh of Egypt's 18th Dynasty, who reigned with his queen Nefertiti towards the end of the New Kingdom. He was the son of Amenhotep III and Queen Tiy. During his reign, he attempted to replace Egypt's religions with worship of Amen-Ra, the sun disk, represented by the god Aten (or Aton). The art and literature of Egypt also was marked by rapid change during his reign. He set the tone for a new era by establishing a temple at Karnak dedicated to Aten and moved the capital from Thebes to modern Tell el-Amarna in Middle Egypt, calling the city Akhetaten. His religious reforms were fanatical and foreign affairs were neglected and his reign saw the collapse of the Egyptian Asiatic empire built by earlier rulers. His successor and probable brother, Tutankhamen, returned Egypt to the worship of Amen-Ra and the capital to Thebes. Later rulers attempted to remove all record of Akhenaten's heresy and name. Akhenaten has been controversial both in ancient and modern times.
added by archaeologs An Egyptian pharaoh of the 18th Dynasty, who reigned from cl379 to 1362 bc and is remembered principally for his proscription of the priesthood of Amun and the adoption of the worship of the sun-disc Aten as the state religion. To facilitate the change, Aten-worship having apparently become of major importance only during the preceding two reigns, the capital was moved from Thebes to a new site at the modem El-Amarna in Middle Egypt. Here, at the city of Akhetaten, the new religion was promoted to the neglect of foreign affairs. The art of this period shows a vivid naturalism which contrasts strangely with the stereotyped formality of earlier and later times. On Akhenaten’s death a return to the Thebes-based worship of Amun was rapidly accomplished.
The Macmillan dictionary of archaeology, Ruth D. Whitehouse, 1983