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Author Topic: THE GREAT ATEN  (Read 14940 times)
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Posts: 41646

« Reply #45 on: February 26, 2008, 12:17:41 pm »

                                           The Aftermath of Akhenaten's Reign

Unlike many New Kingdom pharaohs, Akhenaten's body has never been found, nor even relics
from his burial. That opens the possibility his tomb was not raided in antiquity and still awaits

Indeed, in light of his novel outlook on religious matters, it's not implausible to suppose he was
buried in an unconventional way or place, not where other pharaohs' bodies were laid to rest.
That, of course, would decrease the likelihood of archaeologists stumbling across his grave,
since they tend to look in the usual places. Tutankhamun's tomb is a good example of how hard
it is to find pharaonic burials even when we know where to look.

By a fluke of fortune it was hidden from view for millennia, despite the fact that it's in the Valley
of the Kings, the most probable place to find an Egyptian king interred.

Of course, there's another possibility here. Akhenaten was never buried at all, especially if his
regime collapsed along with him. But apparently that was not the case, either, at least not en-

By all appearances, Akhenaten's death was due to natural causes.

The historical record contains not a single hint of foul play in his death, though he was far from
old age, which leaves us to guess its cause.

Monotheistic exhaustion?
Aten-tion deficit disorder?

Above all, what happened in downtown Akhetaten on that gloomy day when the reason the
sun-disk shines on the earth departed this world, and the next morning the sun still rose?
That must have been a disconcerting moment for the aten-faithful.

Archaeology has, however, made one thing very clear. Akhetaten was not abandoned imme-
diately upon Akhenaten's death.

Building continued, at least for a while.

How the government continued is less clear. Akhenaten's successor, for instance, is all but a
complete mystery. Named Smenkhare, which is close to all we know about him, this pharaoh
appears suddenly in the historical record two years before Akhenaten's death. A late relief de-
picting Smenkhare with Akhenaten is about all there is to track this most cryptic of Egyptian
pharaohs, along with a few documents showing that he married one of Akhenaten's daughters,
surely an attempt to secure his claim to the throne after Akhenaten's death.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2008, 12:23:03 pm by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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