‘Profound’ was the word that came to mind when Akhenaten’s religious upheaval was revealed.
After Akhenaten, Tutankhamun’s father, introduced a new religious order to the kingdom, ancient Egypt was “profoundly affected.”
A number of factors have attracted people to Akhenaten.
Whether it was because of his beliefs, the unusual art he promoted, or the policies he enacted unlike any other pharaoh before him.
Many people refer to him as the “first individual in human history” because of the drastic changes he brought to Ancient Egyptian society.
It all started when he started the Amarna Revolution during the 18th dynasty, over 3,000 years ago.
A new religious order based on the worship of Aten, the sun’s disk, which Akhenaten elevated above all others in the Egyptian pantheon, appeared as if by magic.
This one-of-a-kind action has sparked endless speculation about his background and motivation.
‘Secrets: Nefertiti,’ the name of Akhenaten’s wife with whom he had six daughters, was explored in the Smithsonian Channel documentary ‘Secrets: Nefertiti.’
Up until Akhenaten’s reign, Egyptian religion was strongly polytheistic, with many different gods worshipped.
“Akhenaten seems to have had a moment of truth of seeing that all of these other forms of divinity that people so liked really had no substance: there’s nothing you can see except what is man made, the only form of power that you can’t really understand is the Sun, and it’s there, you can see it, and that’s all that matters,” said Professor Barry Kemp, an Egyptologist at Cambridge University.
As a result, while king of Egypt, Akhenaten was also a revolutionary, and his religious reforms sent shockwaves throughout Egypt, upending centuries-old traditions.
“To ancient Egyptians, simply saying that there was one god and none of the others existed would have profoundly affected their understanding of their entire environment and cosmos,” said Dr Kate Spence, an archaeologist at Cambridge University.
After an engraving of her and Akhenaten riding in a chariot was discovered in a tomb carved into one of the cliffs outside Armana, it was confirmed that Nefertiti played a central role during the radial period.
An Egyptologist at Harvard University, Dr. Jacquelyn Williamson, noted how the depiction showed the couple receiving the blessing of Aten, the newly promoted god.
“Traditional Egyptian religion,” she explained.
“Brinkwire News Summary.”