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Author Topic: THE GREAT ATEN  (Read 13830 times)
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Posts: 41646

« Reply #45 on: February 26, 2008, 12:38:27 pm »

Whatever the what-really-happened, Amarna culture left behind one of the most famous
kings in history today

—and one of the least famous kings in his own time—Tutankhamun, popularly known today as

"King Tut."

Originally Tutankhuaten (1336-1325 BCE), the boy-king succeeded Smenkhare to the throne.
Fairly early in his reign, he was persuaded to change his name and, contrary to Akhenaten's
policy, take the aten out and put "Amun" in. With that alone, the resurgence of the Amun
cult is all too apparent. At some point during his reign, the royal court left Akhetaten and
returned to Thebes, no doubt, into the warm embrace of the reigning priesthood much re-
lieved to have their livelihood back on line.

Their gratitude, in fact, would help explain the grandeur of Tutankhamun's burial perhaps,
even to some extent, the preservation of his tomb.

Though the body is badly decayed—the burial process did severe damage to Tutankhamun's
body, so forget everything in "Mummy" movies about the dead coming to life through mummi-
fication, which does more damage than good to corpses—but even in spite of its poor preser-
vation, Tutankhamun doesn't seem to have been murdered.

In fact, recent analysis of his body has confirmed that he died from complications following
a severe fracture of his femur. Conspiracy theorists will have to find new turf.

Tutankhamun's failure to survive and leave behind a male successor, which is hardly surpris-
ing for a nineteen-year-old, paved the way for a new dynasty and a world view far different
from Akhenaten's.

So, the Amarna Period ended essentially with this boy-king, only to be reborn in the modern
excavation of El-Amarna and Thebes, and especially in the American archaeologist Howard
Carter's famous discovery in 1922 of Tutankhamun's tomb and the splendors of his burial.

Tthe sheer magnificence of this tomb in and of itself is astounding and leaves one agog at
what a real royal burial, like Ramses II's, must have entailed.

All in all,Tutankhamun's death and funeral is the epilogue of the Amarna Period in antiquity.
There is little in the rest of ancient Egypt's history that recalls or even reflects this brilliant,
odd moment in the evolution of their religion.

Outside of Egypt, that's another matter.
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