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Author Topic: THE GREAT ATEN  (Read 11130 times)
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Posts: 41646

« Reply #60 on: March 08, 2008, 03:27:55 pm »

                                                            Decline of Atenism

Crucial evidence about the latter stages of Akhenaten's reign was furnished by discovery
of the so-called Amarna Letters.

Believed to have been thrown away by scribes after being transferred to papyrus, the letters
comprise a priceless cache of incoming clay message tablets sent from imperialoutposts and
foreign allies. The letters suggest that Akhenaten was obsessed with his new religion, and
that his neglect of matters of state was causing disorder across the massive Egyptian empire.

The governors and kings of subject domains wrote to beg for gold, and also complained of
being snubbed and cheated.

Also discovered were reports that a major plague pandemic was spreading across the ancient
Near East. This pandemic appears to have claimed the life of Akhenaten's main wife (Nefertiti)
and several of his six daughters, which may have contributed to a declining interest on the
part of Akhenaten in governing effectively.

With Akhenaten's death, the Aten cult he had founded almost immediately fell out of favor
due to pressures from the Priesthood of Amun. Tutankhaten, who succeeded him at age 8
(with Akhenaten's old vizier, Ay, as regent) changed his name to Tutankhamun in year 3 of
his reign (1348 BC or 1331 BC) and abandoned Akhetaten, the city falling into ruin. Tutankh-
aten became the puppet king of the priests, thus the reason for his change of name. The
priests threatened the unstable rulership of the child king and forced him to take various
drastic actions which corrupted the written record of Egyptian succession and history, delet-
ing the Amarna Revolution and Atenism.

Temples Akhenaten had built, including the temple at Thebes, were disassembled, reused as
a source of building materials and decorations for their own temples, and inscriptions to Aten

Finally, Akhenaten, Smenkhkare, Tutankhamun, and Ay were removed from the official lists of
Pharaohs, which instead reported that Amenhotep III was immediately succeeded by Horemheb.
« Last Edit: March 09, 2008, 09:33:33 am by Bianca » Report Spam   Logged

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