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Amenhotep IV (Akhenaten)

Akhenaton, often called Amenhotep I, was a famous pharaoh. Repeatedly, many rulers tried time and again to remove him from the throne. When he started his reign, he was named as Amenhotep IV which means Amun is satisfied. He was the son of Amenhotep III who inherited a peaceful and prosperous nation. He began his reign normally, but early years of his reign showed that the pharaoh went against conventional rules. During his first year as a king, he constructed a temple dedicated to Aten at Karnak at the perimeters of the Temple of Amun. In the third year of his reign, he celebrated the Sed festival and took an unconventional step.

 

amenhotep IV

 

The eighteenth century was dominated by powerful women, but even then Akhenaton overruled the norms and emerged as a powerful leader, it’s believed that the king granted his chief wife, Nefertiti, powers. She is said to have ruled as a co-regent for a part of the king’s reign.

 

During the early years of his reign, Akhenaton built many structures at Karnak under the name Amenhotep IV. These temples included the Rud-menu and a palace complex named as Gempaaten. The palace is believed to be the place where the royal family lived during the winter season.

 

Change to Akhenaton

 

amenhotep IV

Amenhotep IV, during the fifth or sixth year of his rule, changed his name to Akhenaton and then built a new capital named as Akhetaten which now lies at modern Armarna. The area is not linked with any god. He then vowed never to leave the city’s boundaries and when he completed the nine years of reign he said that there was only one god and that was Aten and he was an intermediary between Aten and the people.

 

Reliefs

 

amenhotep IV

The reign of Akhenaton is said to have brought not just religious reforms, but artistic ones as well. Akhenaton was usually illustrated with long spindly arms and a feminine like a figure. It has been suggested that perhaps this is evidence of disease, or kind of like a caricature of the king's possibly slightly feminine appearance. In some paintings, he was also shown with a long face, heavy eyelids, and full lips. The daughters of the king were painted with elongated skulls and Egyptologists still debate whether this was a true-to-life depiction or if it was just a new artistic style. Later on, however, the rough exaggerated style gave way to a more realistic one, in which the famous bust of Nefertiti was fashioned.

 

The demise of the King

 

King Akhenaton is said to have died in his seventeenth year on the throne and his reforms did not last for much longer after this. His co-regent and successor was a nine or ten-year-old boy who too died after a short reign. The powers then passed to one of the few pharaohs more famous than Akhenaton, "King Tut" but when he assumed the throne, he was Tutankhamen.

 

 

 

 

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