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THE GREAT ATEN

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Author Topic: THE GREAT ATEN  (Read 10890 times)
Bianca
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« Reply #165 on: August 09, 2008, 05:26:03 pm »











After Aten ascended to the top of the pantheon, most of the old gods retained their positions at
first, though that would soon change as well. Gods of the dead such as Osiris and Soker were several
of the first to vanish from the Egyptian religious front.

In fact, step by step, Amenhotep IV perused his new found religious reformation in what Egyptologists have more and more seen as a rational plan.

In year six of his reign, Amenhotep IV became weary of Thebes and the old powerful Amun priesthood, and thus founded a new capital city in the desert valley area we now call el-Amarna (ancient Akhetaten) somewhat north of the old capital in Middle Egypt.

Amenhotep IV mentions on two stelae that the priests were saying more evil things about him than
they did about his father and grandfather, so from this we learn that there must have been a conflict that dated back at least to the reign of Tuthmosis IV. Luckily for the king, however, the priesthood
was apparently not strong enough to curb a pharaoh's inclinations at this point in time.



There, in his new capital of Akhetaten ('horizon of Aten'), Aten could be worshipped without any consideration of other deities.

Thus he built both a Great Aten temple in the city as well as a smaller royal temple that could have likely also been his mortuary temple.

Both were unique, having a novel architectural plan emphasizing open access to the sun rather than
the traditional darkness of Egyptian shrines.

Outside of Akhetaten, there appears to have also been temples dedicated to Aten at Memphis, at Sesebi in Nubia, and perhaps elsewhere during at least part of Akhenaten's reign.
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