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Amenhotep IV
1352 - 1336 BC
18th Dynasty

menhotep, the son of Amenhotep III and Queen Tiy, reigned from 1352 BC to 1336 BC. He is of particular interest because during that time he began to bring one god, Aten, into prominence. Eventually he ordered that Aten be accepted as the chief deity of Egypt and changed his name to Akhenaten - 'Glory to Aten'.

In the 6th year of his reign he moved to a beautiful new city called Akhetaten with his queen, Nefertiti, and their daughters. He gave orders that the temples of all other gods should be desecrated and this may be one of the reasons that Akhenaten fell from power.

It seems that Akhenaten spent his time worshipping his god (he composed a 'Hymn to Aten') and sitting for portraits. His move to one god was not popular with the people. They preferred the traditional and local gods.

He made his eldest son, Smenkhkare, co-regent in the 15th year of his reign and Smenkhkare moved to Memphis with his bride Meritaten. Within three years Akhenaten had disappeared, Smenkhkare was dead and a new pharaoh, Tutankhaten, had come to the throne.

The tomb of Akhenaten has been found but there is no evidence to indicate that he was ever buried there. His end remains a mystery. Slowly the worship of many gods returned and Akhenaten was proclaimed a heretic and his city was systematically destroyed and his monuments defaced.


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