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Author Topic: AKHENATEN/TUTANKHAMUN  (Read 76484 times)
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« Reply #135 on: June 15, 2007, 07:05:40 am »



The realm of the dead, as Akhenaten and his intimates saw it, lay in the temple of the Aten at Akhetaten; for this reason Meryre, the overseer of the harem, called himself "justified in Akhetaten", while the general Ramose was styled "possessor of provisions (IMAKH) in Akhetaten".  One was no longer obliged to trust in a distant "Field of Reeds" or "Field of Offerings" to feel certain of provisioning after death. 

All the spells that had previously been needed for orientation, suppplies and protection in the fields of the hereafter became unnecessary - there was no Book of the Dead in the actual Amarna Period, just as the royal books of the netherworld were no longer used.

And we now understand why architecture played such a role in the decoration of the tombs of the officials at Amarna - temple and palace were indeed the new realm of the dead, one located in this world!

The question arises, "What sort of next-worldly destiny was conceivable outiside Akhetaten?"  In his tomb at Saqqara the vizier Aper-El was called "justified in the west of Memphis"; he thus counted
on a continued existence there, though in this case we are quite likely dealing with the early years
of Akhenaten.

In the provinces there are no tombs dating with certainty to his later years.  But we can imagine that the BA-soul, as a human component endowed with freedom of movement, visited the nearest Aten temple or, even better, the chief temple at Akhetaten, in order to participate in the regular offerings and the proximity of the king; Akhenaten was now in fact present only in his Residence.

By way of comparison, we may cite the older concept that all human BAS would probably accompany
the sun god in his barque, just as they all now made their way to the temple.  Thus, in its beliefs re-
garding the afterlife, the Aten religion embraced no universal outlook, but rather a narrowly bounded
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« Reply #136 on: June 15, 2007, 07:08:31 am »



Although the concept of life after death experienced a radical change, existing funerary customs and
forms, such as burial rites and the traditional grave goods, were preserved

But mourning and burial in the form of a mummy are represented in only one official's tomb at Amarna,
that of Huy, on the east wall!  Since only daytime existence, in the light of the Aten, counted now, a mummy was in fact unnecessary and regeneration of the body in the afterlife no longer played a role.  For this reason, the scarab beetle, the most important symbol of regeneration, disappeared from the output of the royal workshops; in its place, there was the neutral form of the finger ring. 

Scarabs bearing the name of Akhenaten are thus extremely rare.  On the other hand, many royal
SHAWABTIS - in an unmistakable Amarna style are preserved to us - mortuary figurines that served
as workers who were supposed to carry out burdensome labor that migh be required of the deceased in the afterlife.

Traditionally, they were inscribed with a spell from the Book of the Dead, which designated the deceased as an
"Osiris"; Akhenaten's figurines bore only the title and name of the king.  Of the relatively few private SHAWABTIS
from this period, some are inscribed in the traditional manner - even in the case of a "chantress of the Aten"!
while some bear an offering formula containing the name of the Aten.

We must assume that a royal tomb at Thebes had been planned for Akhenaten at the beginning of his reign, though until now it has not been located with certainty.  "Magical bricks" on which the king was still designated as "Osiris" were probably intended for this burial place.

In the royal tomb at Tell el-Amarna fragments of several coffins of pink granite were found; they bear prayers by
Akhenaten to the radiant Aten instead of the heretofore usual protective gods, the "Sons of Horus" and Anubis.
It is significant that the queen stood at all four corner of his sarcophagus: under Tutankhamun, she would be replaced by the protective goddesses Isis, Nephthys, Neith and Selkis.

Nefertititi was thus Akhenaten's protective goddess, who wished him pleasant breath for his mouth and nose.  On
the other hand, he employed the canopic shrine, for the traditional vulture was too loaded with associations with the old religion.  The smaller Aten temple at Akhetaten was presumably intended for his mortuary cult; like the mortuary temples at Thebes, it lay in the immediate vicinity of a palace and bore the designation HUWET.

The king's precedent of replacing the protective deities with the queen on his coffin was immediately imitated. The
coffin of Taat from Deir el-Medina is an important, although thus far unique, attestation of this; here as well, the
protective deities are replaced by members of the deceased's family.
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« Reply #137 on: June 15, 2007, 07:50:10 am »



 Since the afterlife no longer entailed a realm of the dead, the concepts of a general judgment of the Dead as vindication in the afterlife were no longer suited to the times.  The ethical basis for a blessed afterlife was now the grace and mercy of the king, who "lived on Maat' and thus embodied for his officials, the plumb line of her scale of justice. 

In the next life, as in this one, provisions could be received only from the king.  Whoever was loyally devoted to him would survive death as a MAATY: one who was an adherent of Maat and thus vindi-
cated.  Without this loyalty, there was no life after death, for Akhenaten was the "god of fate (Shai),
who grants every lifetime and a burial (after) old age in his favour", as stated by the general Ramose in an inscription from his home at Akhetaten. 

In their tombs, officials were still always designated as "vindicated" (MAA-KHERU).  Immediately after the Amarna Period, pictorial representations of the Judgment of the dead would receive an important new element in the form of "Swallower-of-the-Dead", a female monster composed of a crocodile, a
lion and a hippopotamus; she embodied the very jaws of hell that devoured the "enemies".

Beliefs regarding the afterlife at Amarna can thus be summarized quite simply: the dead slept at night and in the daytime they accompanied the Aten and the royal family to the Great Temple, where all were provisioned. 

There was thus still life after death,but the king was responsible for it as lord of provisions both in this life and the next; the Aten tended personally only to the continued existence of the king.  The temple
and the palace, with all their painted architectural detail, ruled the new tomb decoration, for they mirrored the new, thoroughly earthly afterlife of the deceased; the departure of the royal family from the palace and the daily offerings made by the king in the temple were also popular themes. 
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« Reply #138 on: June 15, 2007, 08:39:52 am »


BELIEF IN AN AFTERLIFE WITHOUT A HEREAFTER                                              continued

Instead of the usual pillars, columns were now employed in the tombs - Aya had an actual columned hall in his-and in this way, too, the realm of the dead took on architectonic form as something belong-
ing to this world, though this particular usage was a continuation of developments under
Amenophis III.

In a somewhat murky formulation in the Great Hymn,we learn that even when the Aten has "gone
away he, nevertheless, remains in the heart of the king.  That was his enduring place and the community, together with his prophet, mitigated the solitude that surrounded him in his daily course acress the sky.

The afterlife of traditional belief, which the sun now no longer touched and illuminated, lost much of its luster.  In the tomb of an artisan whose name Paatenemheb points to the Amarna Period, there is the earliest copy of the "Inyotef Song", which was once dated to the Middle Kingdom because of its ficti-
tuous ascription to a king named Inyotef.

Its skeptical stance 'vis-a`-vis the afterlife, which characterizes the entire new genre of harpers' songs as well as the new laments over the dead, is a product of Akhenaten's religion of light and the deep shadows it cast.



I have heard the words of Imhotep and Hardedef
whose maxims are cited everywhere.
Where are their places?  Their walls have collapsed,
their places do not exist, as though they had
    never been made.
No one comes from there to describe their condition
and give tidings of their needs
and calm our hearts
until we, too, arrive where they have gone.

So let your heart rejoice, so as to forget all that -
it is good for you to follow your heart as long as you live.
Place myrrh on your head, clothe yourself in finest linen,
anoint yourself with genuine oil of the god's property.
Increase your well-being andl let your will not grow slack!
Follow your heart together with your beloved,
do your work on earth and let your heart grieve not,
until that day of mourning comes to you.
But the "Weary of Heart" (Osiris) does not hear their cries,
and their laments save no human heart from
   the netherworld.
Again: Spend a happy day, do not weary of it!
Remember: no one can take his goods with him.
Remember: no one who has passed away returns!


The entire text is preserved on Papyrus Harris 500 (=Brithis Museum 10060) from Dynasty 19.
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« Reply #139 on: June 16, 2007, 06:00:36 am »




Erik Hornung

Translated by David Lorton

                                                        D A R K   Y E A R S


With the persecution of the old deities, the new religion reached its acme and, at the same time, went
too far.  Thus began a final phase, which Donald B. Redford has characterized as a "sunset".

The last two official monuments of the king stem from his twelfth year and both have to do with his foreign
policy.  One is a victory stela, several copies of which were probably set up in Nubia; some fragments of one such copy, later reused at the temple of Buhen, were partially published only in 1976, while another
was located at Amada. 

The topic of their inscription is a military expedition against the Nubian land of Ikaita, which Akhenaten entrusted to his viceroy Tuthmosis.  The text follows a long-standing mode, according to which the "re-
bellion" of this land is reported to the king, affording him the pretext for a military intervention.  This assu-
med a scale of a relatively modest punitive expedition, as shown by the list of spoils at the end of the in-
scription: 145 enemies were captured and eighty were killed, some of them in battle and some "on the stake", that is execution.

This is the only expedition attested to date for Akhenaten and he surely did not lead it himself; he thus
evaded the established model according to which every pharaoh lead an expedition, often only a symbolic
one, at the beginning of his reign, so as to fulfill his role as a victorious monarch.  In other ways, as well, he avoided warlike attributes, such as we still find in the reign of his father Amenophis III and the representation of the triumphal scene of "smiting the enemies" seems to have been absent from the pylon
towers of the temple at Amarna.

In the correspondece from the Amarna archive, his loyal vassals constantly implore him, in vain, to inter-
vene militarily in western Asia; this is the origin of the cliche` of the "pacifistic" king who remained inactive
abroad while wrapped up in his fantasy world at Akhetaten.  But toward the end of his reign, we encounter
lively foreign policy activity in connection with the visit of the prince Aziru of Amurru to Akhetaten.

The other monument of year 12 is the "tribute of the foreign lands", which is represented in the tombs of two officials of the new Residence.  Previously, the "tribute" (actually trade goods) of foreign peoples had
been depicted in the tombs of viziers; nominally the highest civil officials, they also had oversight of
foreign trade.  Nothing of the sort is found in the tombs of Akhenaten's viziers, Ramose and Aper-El.

This stress on foreign policy was probably important to the king, because of increasing difficulties on the domestic front, the intensification of his religious policy doubtless incurred reactions and, along with those,
there were family problems as well.
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« Reply #140 on: June 16, 2007, 06:49:43 am »



The royal family idyll we find so compelling in the "intimate" scenes from Amarna art has for some time had it Achilles' heel - ever since we learned of Kiya, the king's favourite.


She was mentioned briefly in the scholarly literature for the first time in 1959 and 1961 and, in the
meanwhile, we have learned more about her through the work of Yuri Y. Perepelkin Reiner Hanke, Wolf-
gang Helck and Rolf Krauss. 

Her name is a shortened form, behind which lies a different name, perhaps a foreign one.  Kiya might have come from the kingdom of Mitanni, for we know of an "administrator of the woman from Naharin"
from a funerary cone of the period, though the woman is not identified by name; Kiya is often called simply "the lady" (TA SHEPSET) which has led to the suggestion that there is a recollection of her in the anonymous "lady" of the "Tale of Two Brothers" from the Ramesside Period. 


Even if she was a Mitannian, she cannot have been identical to the princess Tadukhepa, whom Akhan-
aten inherited from the harem of his father, though she might have been a dsitinguised and beautiful
Asiatic in her retinue; from the text on the commemorative scarab that Amenophis III had issued on the occasion of his marriage to Gilukhepa, we learn this Mitannian princess was accompanied to Egypt
by 317 ladies in waiting.
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« Reply #141 on: June 16, 2007, 07:08:06 am »


In any event, Kiya is attested side by side with Nefertiti for several years, though the two women are
carefully distinguished by their official titles.

In the royal harem, there had always been only one "great royal wife" and, in the case of Akhenaten,
this was Nefertiti.

Kiya, on the other hand, bore the highly unusual official title "great beloved wife of the King", which elevated her above all the other women of the harem, but without assigning her any religious significance, such as Nefertitit had.

Kiya is also carefully distinguished from Nefertiti in the repressentations.  She never appears wearing a crown or the royal uraeus-serpent and her name is not enclosed in a cartouche.  Additionally, there is never more than one daughter behind her, in contrast to the usually larger number who appear behing
Akhenaten and Nefertiti.
Whether or not we must reckon with a "disappearance" of Nefertiti from the scene, and however that
would have to be explained, Kiya stood out for a time as the predominant wife at the royal court.  In
a representation preserved only in fragmentary form, she appears, along with her own daughter, be-
hind Akhenaten under the radiant Aten, while at the same time, Nefertiti's daughters Merytaten and
Anhesenpaaten are lying on the ground in proskynesis and are thus clearly relegated to second rank.

Akhenaten apparently had another, seventh daughter by Kiya and it can be imagined that the latter
established her own daughter as heir to the throne instead of Merytaten.  But it can only be left to
speculation whether we must reckon with a formal power struggle between Kiya and Merytaten (who,
in the end, bore the title of a queen) in the later years of Akhenaten.  It seems certain only that in many instances the name if Kiya replaced by that of (Princess, not Queen) Merytaten and that part of the burial equipment in the "ominous" tomb 55 was originally intended for Kiya.
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« Reply #142 on: June 16, 2007, 07:25:43 am »



On the other hand,it is unlikely that Kiya wrote the highly political letter to Suppiluliumas in which a widowed Egyptian queen requested a Hittite prince to be her consort. The Hittite sources speak of an actual queen regnant, a "female king of Egypt", which Kiya certainly was not.
This letter is preserved only in Hittite sources and identifies the Egyptian queen only by her title,
"Dakhamanzu", not by name.  She wrote to Suppiluliumas that her royal husband had died without leaving a son.  This excludes Merytaten, who did not outlive Smenkhare, leaving only Nefertiti, Akhen-
aten's widow, or Ankhesenamun, the widow of Tutankhamun, as the potential author of the letter.

The request for a Hittite prince initially succeeded, but the murder of Prince Zananza while he was en
route to Egypt prevented a diplomatic marriage and an alliance of the two great powers at this early date; this was not to be accomplished until nearly a century later under Ramesses II.

Now, however, the assassination of the prince triggered a retaliatory attack on the part of the Hittites,
its unforturnate result was an outbreak of pestilence, to which the great Hittite king Suppiluliumas
succumbed and it has been suspected that this plague was the cause of the early deaths of several other leading figures of the Amarna Period.

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« Reply #143 on: June 16, 2007, 07:47:38 am »



The later years of Akhenaten are filled with puzzles and problems and none of the proposed recon-
structions of this period is entirely workable.

The supposed disappearance of Nefertitti, which has now again been called into question; the position
of Kiya, Akhenaten's favourite; his "marriages" to his older daughters, which served to elevate their status; the problem of a coregency with a female partner or with his son-in-law Smnkhakare; the
alleged brief sole rule of Merytaten after the death of her father; and the authorship of the above-
mentioned letter to Suppiluliumas - new reconstructions keep surfacing for these eventful, but poorly documented, years.  The lack of sources has proven favourable to a luxuriant overgrowth of specula-

To note some highlights from these later years, we can draw on inscriptions on the vessels found in
great abundance at Tell el-Amarna.  They give the exact year and, more rarely, the month, when they
were created and filled with perishable products such as wine, oil and honey.

Their distribution over the individual regnal years if quite uneven and indicates what are clearly high
points: year 9-10 (new titulary of the god and further changes?), year 12 (tribute of the foreign lands)
and year 14 (arrangements for the succession?). The origin of these deliveries is noted, but not their
purposes, so that it remains unclear what occasioned them.

Consumption of large quantities of products usually points to divine festivals, but there can have been no question of these at Amarna.

Jan Assmann has pointed to the impoverishment of social and religious life which this discontinuance of festivals entailed.  Previously, festivals continually afforded fresh opportunities to approach the divine
and beseech care and salvation from all sorts of afflictions.

Public rewards - the awarding of gold to meritorious officials - could be no substitute for this and
Akhenaten's expectations in this regard would prove to be of no avail: the worship of the traditional
deities would flower again in his immediate vicinity and even satire of the king and his "holy family"
would flourish.
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« Reply #144 on: June 17, 2007, 06:57:15 am »



The two dozen limestone figurines of monkeys found at Akhetaten might point in this direction.
Scenes of chariotry and kissing recall popular motifs in the representationso of the royal family; in the
Ramesside Period the satiric, theriomorphic distancing of Pharaoh would become quite familiar. 
Akhenaten's officials might thus have found an outlet, in these groups of monkeys, for expressing their inner distance from the "heretic King". 

The discovery of figurines of traditional deities in the houses at Amarna is significant.  They must stem from a time when these deities were officially persecuted, thus testifying to their continuing, albeit
secret, worship; at the same time, they touch on the area of magic, which was totally excluded from
official religion in the Amarna period. 


Predominant are figurines of the popular tutelary deities Bes and Taweret, while other deities are
attested less often or in only one instance; Sobek, Isis, Thoth, Ptah, Mut and even the hated Amun,
as well as Osiris.  Along with the amulets (including the especially popular UDJAT -eye), representations of Bes, Taweret and Amun were also present in the houses; by way of texts, "laments" are attested, in particualr a graffito left behind in a relatively obscure spot in Theban Tomb 139 by Pawah, the "scribe of the divine offerings of Amun" in the mortuary temple of Smenkhakare.  In it, he praises his god Amun in terms that in part are reminiscent of the poems of the "Dialogue of a Man Weary of Life with His Soul" and their praise of death - the works of the "critical literature" of the Middle Kingdom were now being circulated anew and are mostly attested to us in copies of the late New Kingdom, such as our only copy of the "Admonitions of Ipuwer" with its impressive depiction of widespread change and even revolution.
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« Reply #145 on: June 17, 2007, 07:01:00 am »


After this period of suppression, laments were now transformed into praises of the god who had triumphantly survived all his persecution:

"You give satisfaction without eating, you give drunkenness without drinking....
oh Amun, champion of the poor!
You are father to the motherless,
husband to the widow.
How lovely it is to speak your name,
it is like the taste of life,
it is like the taste of bread for a child,
like a garment for the naked,
like the scent of a flowering twig at
the time of summer's heat.

Turn to us, oh lord of eternity!
You were here when nothing had yet come into being,
and you will be here when it is at an end.
You make me see the darkness that you give -
give me light, that I may see you!"
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« Reply #146 on: June 17, 2007, 07:24:33 am »


From the fact that Smenkhkare had a mortuary temple with an Amun cult at Thebes, and that Amun was once again mentioned next to the Aten in two late tomb chapels at Tell el-Amarna, it has been concluded that Akhenaten relented and partially mitigated his reform, while he was still alive.  Since
his coregency with Smenkhkare is once again the subject of debate, this supposition now rests on a shaky foundation.  It is possible that Aten's renewed coexistence with the traditional deities began only after the death of Akhenaten and ended some years later, when Tutankhaten changed his name.

In any case, there is no indication of a fall from power or a violent end to the "Heretic King", so his
accomplishments did not come to a halt immediately upon his death. 

During a transition period that lasted for some years, there was a cautious attempt to carry on his work; it was only then that the pressure of opposing forces proved too strong, leading to the abandoning of the Aten and his sacred precinct of Akhetaten.  But what was given up immediately
was the sole worship of the Aten (along with the ban on the remainder of the pantheon) and the
denial of an afterlife in the netherworld.

Everything else could wait, and what was decisive was probably a feeling of relief from a heavy
burden, a breath of fresh air, after the death of the "Heretic King".


                 AMUN - XVIII DYNASTY
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« Reply #147 on: June 18, 2007, 06:52:34 am »




Erik Hornung
Translated by David Lorton

                                                 T H E   S U C C E S S O R S


The "long lifetime" that Akhenaten reguarly bore as an epithet was not granted him:

the king died in the prime of life probably in July 1336 BCE.  Above all, he died withoutleaving behind a son who xould fill his political and religious role.

Nefertiti and Kiya had borne him only daughters; of his siblings, only a sister, Baketamun (later
Baketaten) had lived to see his coronation; and Nefertiti seems also to have had only one sister.
There was thus a large selection of royal women, but no unequivocal male heir to the throne.

The succession problem was especially tricky on this occasion, because not just a new pharaoh was
needed, but rather a prophet to preserve and to promulgate the pure teaching of the god of light.

It is difficult to imagine how the "crown princess" Merytaten, for instance, could have played such
a role, one that even the king's two young relatives, Smenkhkare and Tutankhaten (still a child), were
obliged to grow into.  The "king makers" elevated each of these two young men in turn to the throne,
demonstrating in the process that they were seeking no radical break with the ruling dynasty.

In the case of Smenkhkare, it remains unclear wheter he had already been appointed coregent by
Akhenaten or whether his rule of about three years began only after the death of the "heretic king".
A few monuments heretofore cited in favor of a coregency can be interpreted otherwise.  On the
stela Berlin 1783, for instance, two kings appear together in full regalia, but they have only three
courtouches, as the royal couple Akhenaten and Nefertiti do, so that the "coregent" (wearing the
Double Crown!) might rather be the "great royal wife"; on another stela in Berlin (20716) she wears
the Brue crown and is handing Akhenaten a cup of wine. 

Thus, there is only a single official representation depicting Smenkhakare, with Merytaten as his
wife, rewarding Meryre in his tomb.  It is possible that the official inserted them immediately after
Akhenaten's death, when the abandonment of Akhetaten and its tombs had not yet been decided
on, so that even this representation does not afford proof of a coregency.

A very fragmentary stela in University College, London, does indeed display four cartouches, thus
indicating a coregencey, but even here the identity of Akhenaten's partner is debatable.  The
epithet "beloved of Neferkheprure" or "beloved of Waenre" (both names refer to Akhenaten) is no more than circumstantial evidence that one might choose to connect with a still living "heretic king" and
thus with a coregency, as opposed to a posthumous worship of Akhenaten.
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« Reply #148 on: June 18, 2007, 07:00:31 am »



We are not on firm ground until the reign of Tutankhaten, though his origin remains uncertain.

His designation "beloved king's son" on a block from Hermopolis has often been taken as a justification for viewing him as the son of Amenophis III or Akhenaten, but this Egyptian princely title is too vague to allow any conclusions.  Several years ago, near the Red Monastery at Sohag, the tomb of a "god's father", Sennedjem, to whom the upbringing of the young Tutankhaten was evidently entrusted, was discovered; are we to conclude from this that the prince spent his early childhood in the region of Akhmim,the home of that prominent family from which Teye, Yuya and Aya stemmed?

On the back of his throne, the new royal couple is represented beneath the radiant Aten, thus continuing
the idea of a divine triad which had been realized by Akhenaten, Nefertiti and the Aten.  But this attempt to maintain basic elements of Akhenaten's religion lasted only a short time, for a direct continuation of his reform proved impossible.  A first sign of this was the abandonment of the icon of the sun disk with its rays.
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« Reply #149 on: June 18, 2007, 07:37:12 am »



The new king's name was evidently changed to Tutankhamun in his third regnal year, and immediately thereafter, Akhenaten's "Horizon of Aten" was abandoned.  The court was moved to Memphis, whence the text of the "Reformation Stela" proclaimed the end of the reform and the renewal of the old cults that had been "forgotten" for so long that gods and goddesses no longer drew nigh when called upon.

At the very beginning of the inscription, the young king is designated as "beloved" of Amun-Re, Atum of Heliopolis, Re-Harakhty, Ptah and Thoth - an unusual assemblage intended to do justice to all the important cults.  There was a prevailing sense that the land had undergone an illness and was finally healed.  But there was also the matter of restoring Maat in the wake of that very king who had constantly maintained that "he lived in Maat".

The course of religious developments immediately after Akhenaten can perhaps best be seen in hymns employed by Haremhab during the reign of Tutankhamun, in particular on his stela 551 in the BritishMuseum.  There, the regent prays to Atum-Harakhty, commencing with turns of expression that could have come directly from a hymn to the Aten:

"You have appeared on the horizon of the sky
perfect and youthful as Aten......."

Here, "Aten" is written with a divine determinative, as though Akhenaten's teaching were still in force, though the sentence continues with

"in the embrace of your mother Hathor"

thus returning, with this mythic reference,to the traditional embedding of the sun god in "constellations"
of deities.

Akhenaten's Aten had no mother, while Haremhab's hymn mentions both Hathor and the sky goddess Nut as the mother of the god.

A few verses later, the god is extolled as "king of sky and earth" - which the Aten had also been! - but also as "ruler of the netherworld (DUAT) and chief of the desert, the realm of the dead" and thus, once again, as lord of the hereafter and as the "one who raised himself from the Primeval water (NUN)".


« Last Edit: June 23, 2007, 09:32:32 pm by Bianca2001 » Report Spam   Logged

Your mind understands what you have been taught; your heart what is true.
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