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THE GREAT ATEN

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Bianca
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« Reply #15 on: November 09, 2007, 04:08:48 pm »








The symmetrical plan of this tomb is very simple with a cruciform layout consisting of a deep, corridor-like hall connected to a broad hall and a shrine at the very rear of the tomb.

The doorway is surrounded by a simple frame containing texts of prayers and figures of Ahmose adoring cartouches, though these depictions are barely visible today.

Within the entrance to the outer hall (a short corridor), Ahmose stands in a pose of adoration. Here, the texts is an abbreviated version of the Hymn to the Aten. Ahmose is shown with the symbols of his office, a tall fan and an inverted axe, slung over his shoulder. Additionally, portions of the original painted designs on the ceiling have been preserved.

Within the outer, deep hall, the roof  is vaulted at the front but flattens out to a ceiling at the end.  As a way of improving on the poor quality of the native rock, the wall surfaces were given a fine coating of plaster.

The decoration of this hall was left unfinished. The right hand side of the hall was carved in relief and include figures of the King, Queen and the three princesses of the royal family beneath the Aten (near the entrance), but the left side has sections that were only partially drawn with the draughtsman's red outline only.

The upper register of the left side depicts a royal visit to the Great Temple to the Aten. Near the front of the tomb in this register is an abbreviated architectural drawing of the temple itself.
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« Reply #16 on: November 09, 2007, 04:12:01 pm »


Ahmose adoring the abbreviated Hymn to the Aten











In this depiction of the temple, we may note that statues of the King and Queen stand beside some of the columns and also the main altar in the middle of the large courtyard, which is otherwise occupied by smaller altars and side chapels with doors. Just in front of the temple are two short rows of seated male musicians. Below the temple is the animal slaughter court and to the right of it is a low platform supporting the sacred benben-stone with a rounded top. This is the ancient symbol of the sun.

                                     

To the right of this depiction the wall is damaged, but further into the left wall are four lines of soldiers in two groups, running in a stooped posture, and preceding the royal chariot. In the front of each line are Egyptian soldiers, followed by a few foreign soldiers. The foreign soldiers consists of Syrians with pointed bears, a Libyan with a feather in his hair and a Nubian with closely cropped hair and earrings. Some of the soldiers carry standards. Between and in front of the two groups of soldiers stands a trumpeter. An officer with a baton runs at the back of each line of soldiers. Towards the rear of the chamber in this register, their is a partially finished red outline of the King and Queen riding in a chariot.

In the lower register, only a partially finished area near the front of the left wall survives. Here, to the left, we find a representation of the King's House in Central City. It shows the King's bedroom in the top left hand corner, with a bed, mattress, headrest and steps carefully depicted. In the center of this group of scenes are a group of girls, some of whom are playing musical instruments. To the right are traces of a large depiction of the King (right) and Queen (left) seated and eating a meal. There is also shown one princess sitting on the Queen's lap, and another on a stool below her chair. 

From the deep hall, a short passage leads into the broad hall, which runs transversely to the axis of the tomb and is mostly undecorated. It has a burial shaft opening at either end, one finished and the other unfinished, surmounted by a door-shaped stela carved in the eastern and western walls.



The shrine opening from the very back of the broad hall on the center axis of the tomb was undecorated, though a seated statue of the tomb owner was cared at its back. However, this is now badly mutilated. A libation basin was cut into the floor in front of the statue. The roof of this chamber is vaulted. Note that there are pivot-holes carved into the floor of the shrine entrance, showing that the shrine was once sealed by wooden, pivoting doors. The doorway to the shrine has rows of uraei above the transom.

Many Greek graffiti are scratched on the walls of this tomb. A total of fifty-nine have been recorded. Most are thought to be of the Ptolemaic Period, and record the names of visitors, several of them being from Thrace, perhaps, mercenary soldiers. The most interesting occurs on the wall outside, just on the right of the doorway: "Having ascended here, Catullinus has engraved this in the doorway, marveling at the art of the holy quarries."


http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/ahmoset.htm


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« Reply #17 on: January 24, 2008, 07:08:41 pm »









                                                T H E   G R E A T   A T E N



                                               The God and Disk of the Sun





In connection with the Sun-gods of Egypt and with their various forms which were worshipped
in that country must be considered the meager facts which we possess concerning Aten,
who appears to have represented both the god or spirit of the sun, and the solar disk itself.

The origin of this god is wholly obscure, and nearly all that is known about him under the
Middle Empire is that he was a small provincial form of the Sun-god which was worshipped in
one little town in the neighborhood of Heliopolis, and it is possible that a temple was built in
his honor, in Heliopolis itself.

It is idle to attempt to describe the attributes which were orginally ascribed to him under the
Middle or Early Empire, because the texts which were written before the XXIIIrd Dynasty give
us no information on the subject.

Under the XVIIIth Dynasty, and especially during the reigns of Amen-Ra-Heru-khuti, Horus, etc.,
but it does not follow that they orginally belonged to him. In the Theban Recesion of the Book
of the Dead, which is based upon Heliopolitan, we find Aten mentioned by the deceased thus :---


 "Thou, O Ra, shinest from the horizon of heaven, and Aten is adored when he resteth {or setteth} upon this mountain to give life to the two lands. Hunefer says Ra, Hail, Aten, thou the lord of beams of light, {when} thou shinest all faces {i.e., everybody} lives. Nekht says Ra, O thou beautiful being, thou doest renew thyself and make thyself young again under the form of Aten; Ani says Ra, Thou turnest thy face towards the Underworld, and thou makest the earth to shine like fine copper. The dead rise up to thee, they breath the air and they look upon thy face when Aten shineth in the horizon;------I have come before thee that I may be with thee to behold thy Aten daily: O thou who art in thine Egg, who shinest from thy Aten," etc.
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« Reply #18 on: January 24, 2008, 07:12:37 pm »

                         









These passages show that Aten, at the time when the hymns from which they are taken were composed, was regarded as the material body of the sun wherein dwelt the god Ra, and that he represented merely the solar disk and was visible emblem of the great Sun-god.

In later times, coming to protection afforded to him by Amen-hetep III, the great warrior and hunter
of the XVIIIth Dynasty, other views were promulgated concerning Aten, and he became the cause of one the greatest religious and social revolutions which ever convulsed Egypt.

After the expulsion of Hyksos, Amen, the local god of Thebes, as the god of the victorious princess
of that city, became the head of the company of the gods of Egypt, and the early kings of the
XVIIIth Dynasty endowed his shrine with possessions, and gave gifts to his priesthood with a lavish hand.

In spite of this however, some of these kings maintained an affection for the forms of the Sun-god which were worshipped at Heliopolis, and Thothmes IV, it will be remembered, dug out the Sphinx
from the sand which had buried him and his temple, and restored the worship of Ra-Harmachis.

He was not the only monarch who viewed with disamy the great and growing power of the priests of Amen-Ra, the "king of the gods" at Thebes.
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« Reply #19 on: January 24, 2008, 07:16:35 pm »

                                 









Amen-hetep III, the son of Thothmes IV, held the same views as his father in this respect, and
he was, apparently, urged to give effect to them by his wife Thi, the daughter of Iuaa and Thuau,
who was a foreigner and who was in no way connected with the royal house of Egypt.

Having married this lady, he gave her as dowry the frontier city of Tcharu, and her natural ability, coupled with the favor of her husband, made her chief of all the royal wives, and a great power in
the affairs of the government of the country. It has been thought by some that she was a native
of the country near Heliopolis, and it is possible that she herself was a votary of Aten, but be that
as it may, she appears to have supported the king in his determation to encourage the worship of
the god.

At an early period in his reign he built one at Thebes, quite close to the great sanctuary of Amen-
Ra, the priests of whom were, of course, powerless to resist the will of such an active and able king. Soon after his marriage with Thi, Amen-hetep III, dug, in his wife's city of Tcharu, a lake, which was about 6000 feet long by 1000 feet broad. On the day of the festival when the water was allowed to flow into it, he sailed over it in a boat called "Aten-neferu, i.e., the "Beauties of Aten ;" the name of the boat is a clear proof of his devotion to the god Aten.

Amen-hetep IV, the son of Amen-hetep III. by the foreign lady Thi, not only held the religious views
of his father, but held them very strongly. His life shows that he must have been from his youth of
an adherent of the worship of Aten; it is supposed, and with much probability, that the intensity of
his love for Aten and his hatred for Amen-Ra were due to his mother's influence.
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« Reply #20 on: January 24, 2008, 07:24:03 pm »

               










Amen-hetep IV succeeded his father without difficulty, even though his mother was not a member
of the royal family of Egypt, and for the first few years of his reign he followed the example of the earlier kings of his dynasty, and lived at Thebes, where he no doubt ruled according to his mothers wishes. He offered up sacrifices to Amen-Ra at the appointed seasons, an was, outwardly at least,
a loyal servent of this god, whose name formed a part of his name as "son of the Sun."

We may note in passing, that he adopted on his accession to the throne the title "High-priest of
Ra-Heru-khuti, the exalted one of the horizon, in his "name of Shu who is in Aten," which is clear
proof that he was not only a worshiper of Ra-Harmachis, another of the forms of the Sun-god Heliopolis, but also that he endorsed the views and held the opions of the old College of Priests
at Heliopolis, which assigned the disk {Aten} to him for a dwelling-place.

Amen-hetep's titles as lord of the shrines of the cities of Nekhebet and Uatchet, and as the Horus of gold also prove his devotion to a Sun-god of Heliopolis. During the early years of his reign at Thebes
he built a massive Benhen, in honor of Ra-Harmachis at Thebes, and it is probable that he took the opportunity of restoring or enlarging the temple of Aten which had been built by his father. At the
same time we find that he worshipped both Amen and Aten, the former in his official position as king, and the latter in his private capacity.

It was, however, impossible for the priests of Amen -Ra to tolerate the presence of the new god
Aten and his worship in Thebes, and the relations between the king and that powerful body soon became strained. On the one hand the king asserted the superiority of Aten over every god, and
on the other the priests declared that Amen-Ra was the king of the gods.

As, however, Amen-Ra was the center of the social life of Thebes, and his priests and their relatives included in their number the best and greatest families of the capitol city, it came to pass that the
king found himself at the worship of Aten wholly supported by the great mass of its population,
whose sympathies were with the old religion of Thebes, and by those who gained their living in connection with the worship of Amen-Ra.

The king soon realized that residence in Thebes was becoming impossible , and the fifth year of
his reign he began to build a new capitol on the east bank of the Nile, near a place which is marked
to-day by the Arab villages of Haggi Kandil and Tell el-Amarna ; he planned that it should include a great temple to Aten, a palace for the king, and houses for those who were attached to the worship
of Aten and were prepared to follow their king there.
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« Reply #21 on: January 24, 2008, 07:27:06 pm »

                 







While the new capitol was in the process of building the dispute between the king and the priests
of Amen-Ra became more severe, and matters were much aggravated by Amenhetep IV.

At length the king left Thebes and took up his abode in his new capitol, which he called "Khut-Aten," i.e., "Horizon of Aten," and as a sign of the entire severance of his connection with traditions of
his house in respect of Amen-Ra he discarded his name "Amen-hetep" and called himself Khut-Aten i.e., "Glory of Aten," or, "Spirit of Aten." At the time he changed his Horus name of "Exalted One of
the double plumes" to "Mighty Bull, beloved of Aten" {or, lover of Aten}, and he adopted as lord of
the shrines of Nekhebet and Uatchet the title of "Mighty one of sovereignity in Khut-Aten," and as
the Horus of gold he styled himself, "Exalter of the name Aten."


http://www.touregypt.net/aten.htm




FOR THE FULL STORY OF ATENISM,  PLEASE GO TO:


AKHENATEN/TUTANKHAMEN

http://atlantisonline.smfforfree2.com/index.php/topic,706.0.html 
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« Reply #22 on: January 31, 2008, 06:34:30 pm »



High-resolution DigitalGlobe satellite imagery shows the Great Aten Temple at Tell el-Amarna, Middle Egypt. Even though the northern enclosure wall of the temple is buried beneath a modern cemetery, it is still possible to see the buried wall.
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« Reply #23 on: January 31, 2008, 06:39:42 pm »









                                            Tell el Amarna, Capital of the Disk


                                                           AKHETATEN





.......An entire city thus emerged from under the arid soil of Tell el Amarna.

Given the sad state of the vestiges excavated by successive waves of English and German
research teams, the city's original glory is hard to imagine.

Despite being subjected to destructive attacks early in the century, the Boundary Stelae the
King had set up to demarcate his territory - and they alone - continue to speak out of times
past:

Akhenaton's kingdom covered a territory the size of "six iteru, three-quarters of a khe and four
cubits the side," - from the north stela to the south stela - or about thirteen thousand meters.

They also proclaim that "His majesty mounted a great chariot of electrum and, on the favorable
day, marked out the limits of the site he had named The Horizon of the Aten; then, as men,
women and all things rejoiced, he had set up an altar and made an unprecedented oblation to
the Aten.

Then, all those near to the King, the high-placed officials, the army chiefs, were brought before
him and bowed low to him although he asserted that it was the Aten Himself who had designat-
ed this site (...), to which the court replied that Aten would unveil his plans to no one but him
alone and soon all the nations of the world would come here to bring Aten, giver of life, the
tribute they owed to him.

Then the Pharoah had raised his hand towards the Disk at its zenith and had vowed he would
build Akhetaten there for Aten his father, at this precise site and nowhere else; that he would
listen to no one, not even the queen, should one try to persuade him to build Akhetaten else-
where.

Then he had listed all the grand and beautiful monuments he planned to set up, the House of
the Aten, the Mansion of the Aten, the Pavilion for the Queen, the House of Rejoicing for the
Aten in the Island "Exalted in Jubilees", and all the other buildings and works necessary to
celebrate the Aten, the Apartments of the Pharoah and the Apartments of the Queen."

The foundations for most of the buildings listed in the royal text have been identified, in parti-
cular the Great Temple (House of the Aten) and the Smaller Temple (Mansion of the Aten) of
the Aten, the vast palace onto the back of which were built the administrative buildings,
the House of the King or Little Palace, the Apartment of the Queen.

Above all, an eight hundred meter stretch of the royal street that ran through the center of
the city has been cleared. Beyond this stretched the leisure quarters, the homes of the high-
ranking officials, and further to the north, the suburbs, a complex mosaic of tightly grouped,
small houses.
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« Reply #24 on: January 31, 2008, 07:08:26 pm »






The city of Akhetaten



North Palace, called the Palace of Nefertiti

Great Temple of the Aten

Royal Palace

Central Quarter
 
South Suburb

North Tombs

South Tombs
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« Reply #25 on: January 31, 2008, 07:23:52 pm »








                                                  The Cult of the Disk





For a very long period of time, the worship of the Aten (also spelled Aton) was held to be a heretical doctrine invented by Akhenaten, source of such upheavals that religious tradition in Egypt never fully recovered. A few comments on certain aspects of the problem will suffice to set the picture straight.



                     

                      Dynasty XVIII Nefertiti making an offering to the Aten

                      Low relief from the antechamber
                      Tell el Amarna, civilian necropolis, the tomb of Mahu



In the first place, Akhenaten did not invent the Aten.

His name appears as early as in the Old Empire Pyramid Texts, where it is listed under the Litanies as one
of the avatars of Re, manifested in the form of a Disk. Moreover, it is a fact that worship of the Disk took
root in Thebes well before Akhenaten's arrival on the scene.

It seems that Tuthmosis IV already embraced this old Heliopolitan doctrine with great fervor. Although one
cannot go so far as to say he abandoned the official cult of Amon (also spelled Amun), it is interesting to
note that he was one of the first pharoahs of the New Empire to recognize the authority of Re, thus link-
ing up with an already millenary theological system.

By having the famous "Dream Stela" carved between the paws of the Giza Sphinx, he asserted that he
owed his throne to Re-Harakhty, Re of the Two Horizons:


"I shall give you," the god says, "royalty on earth at the head of the living, you will wear the White Crown

and the Red Crown."


Thus, at a time when orthodoxy still held a firm grip, Amon was deprived of his basic right of deciding
for himself who was worthy of manifesting him on earth, who was his son the sovereign.

After Thutmose IV, Amenophis III went even a step further, as testified by a block found in the founda-
tions of the tenth pylon at Karnak. Here the king is shown in the company of the same Re-Harakhty,
designated as the "Jubilant in the Horizon in his name of Shu which is the Aten."
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« Reply #26 on: January 31, 2008, 07:36:32 pm »









Why, one wonders, did this return to the doctrines of Heliopolis occur?

Most certainly it was an attempt by the kings to escape the Amon clergy, whose members
were becoming more insolent by the day and were gradually taking over everything. But,
beyond this, it was above all out of a need for authenticity, as experienced in the learned
circles of the capital towards the end of Dynasty 18.

Under the influence of Amenophis-son-of-Hapu (who, in turn, belonged to the Heliopolitan
colleges), the ancient writings were re-studied, the old rituals re-honored. We know,
for instance, that the celebration of Amenophis III's first jubilee instigated an enormous
compilation one month prior to the event, in order to ensure that everything would take
place in the right tone.

There is much reason to believe that all the painstaking research involved allowed theo-
logians to rediscover the pure source of early sun worship, long since eclipsed by the
cult of Amon.

This could only lead to the reassertion of the primordial deities Re-Harakhty and the Aten.



If in effect, then, Akhenaten did not invent the Aten, but merely adopted the ideas of
his forefathers, where does the heresy lie? It lies with the fact that he claimed it as
absolute, devoting himself exclusively to celebrating the Aten and proclaiming himself
prophet thereof by adopting the epithet 'ur mau', from Chief Prophet, as borne tradi-
tionally by the highest pontiffs of Heliopolis.

As master of the rituals, he asserted himself as the living aspect of the Aten, identify-
ing with that god to the point of having himself represented, in the upper part of the
civil stelae, as the unique vehicle of popular piety.

Nefertiti and the royal daughters were subsequently linked to this myth: the familiar
scenes uniting the king, the queen and the princesses in the intimacy of their apart-
ments are not in the least anecdotal: their figuration was intended as a reminder that,
beyond his basic unity, the Aten is at once father, mother and child - that is, the
principal creator and creature.
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« Reply #27 on: January 31, 2008, 07:38:05 pm »



Hand of Akhenaten making an offering to the Aten


Sandstone - H 0.235
From Ashmunein
New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art









As a child of the Aten, Akhenaten assumed the prerogatives which, until that time, had
been reserved for the prophets and grand priests.

And, truly, a first in Egyptian history, he even claimed to guide his people along the way
to revelation. Many a courtier from Tell el Amarna had the stelae at the entrance to their
tombs carved with the boast of "having been taught the doctrine by the King himself" or
"having listened to the doctrine day by day from the lips of the King himself."
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« Reply #28 on: January 31, 2008, 07:49:58 pm »










Divested of their basic powers, the traditional clergy openly challenged the King, transforming
what might have been but a positive cleansing of the dogma into a fierce battle for prestige
between partisans of the Heliopolitan tradition and the upholders of Theban orthodox doctrine.

The struggle gradually grew into a conflict between Re in his aspect of the Aten and Amon,
and, finally, between the King and the priests.

It was at this point that matters became dramatic, since Akhenaten, forced into a defensive
position by the events, had to adopt a policy that was certainly more intransigent than he
would have desired: in his fourth regnal year, he changed his name from Amenophis,
Satisfaction of the Aten, to Akhenaten, Acting Spirit (that is, incarnation) of the Aten.

Less than two years later, he left Thebes to found, "at a site belonging to no god or goddess,
to no sovereign, to which no one had any rights," a new capital, a new epicenter of his authority, Akhetaten, Horizon of the Aten.





Aak -en-Aten


The period during which the King set up his court at Tell el Amarna coincided with extremely
serious troubles in Thebes: the holy city's temples were shut down, its priests banned from
office.

All images of Amon were desecrated, and his name and epithets hammered out; his wife Mut
was subject to the same fate.

Indeed, fanatics beyond all limits, the partisans went so far as to break into the necropolises
to erase, at the very bottom of the tombs, all mention of that contemptible god. Still others
heaved themselves up to the top of the obelisks to attack the sun symbols.

Evidence was even found of a scribe who had gathered together all the archival documents
under his responsibility in order to wrathfully cross off all the words in any way analogous to
the names Amon and Mut; not even the word mut, mother, was spared! Akhenaton could do
nothing to avoid having his own father Amenophis's cartouches defiled.

The cult of the Aten was hardly the love doctrine it purported to be!


http://www.bergerfoundation.ch/


FOR THE FULL STORY OF ATENISM,  PLEASE GO TO:


AKHENATEN/TUTANKHAMEN

http://atlantisonline.smfforfree2.com/index.php/topic,706.0.html   
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« Reply #29 on: February 17, 2008, 06:31:06 pm »








                                                    T H E   S U N   G O D




From earliest times the great cosmopolitan center of Anu (or Annu) the On of the Bible
and the Heliopolis of the Greeks -- the City of the Sun -- was the seat of the worship
of Tem.

Another form of the solar-god, according to Budge, was worshipped in Lower Egypt,
known as Ra, whose name does not seem to be Egyptian and whose origin is unknown --
it may be Asiatic. (!!)

In Anu was the famous Well of the Sun, from which tradition declares that the Virgin
Mary drew water when the Holy Family halted in the city. Fortunately for the story this
well had its source in the inexhaustible waters of Nu, otherwise it might have dried up
during the thirty odd centuries before the Christian era and we might have considered it
a well of wisdom of which the youthful Jesus partook.

This well was the property of the priests of Ra, who became so rich and powerful from
the tribute received from grateful travellers for the watering of their beasts, that they
were able by the VIth dynasty to elevate Ra to the position of over-lord of all the other
gods and from that time Tem, Khepera, Horus became Ra-Tem, Ra-Khepera, Ra-Herakhuti
(Horus of the two horizons) and so on.

Maspero claims that the complex beings (?) resulting from these combinations never
attained to any pronounced individuality, the distinctions referring merely to details of
their functions and attributes.
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