Egiptian Pharaoh Akhenaten and Nefertiti. Ancient Egypt

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    Aldred in his book Egyptian Art calls this "a brief moment in the lives of five beings as they are caught in an act of mutual affection". In actuality, the royal palace at Akhetaten had a window from which the royal couple could observe the city and address their subjects.

    It is accepted that Akhenaten and Nefertiti had six daughters. No son was ever shown in reliefs.

    The names of the daughters were; Meritaten (1349 BC) - Meketaten and Ankhenspaaten (1346 BC) - Neferneferuaten (1339 BC) - Neferneferure and Setepenre (1338).

    In 1337 BC the official family, with all six of Nefertiti's daughters was shown for the last time.

    In 1336 BC Meketaten died in childbirth.

    In 1335 Nefertiti seemed to vanish, assumed dead.

    This limestone relief found in the Royal Tomb at Amarna depicts Akhenaten, Nefertiti, and two of their daughters making an offering to the sun-disk Aten. Akhenaten and Nefertiti carry flowers to be laid on the table beneath the "life-giving" rays of the Aten. The figures are carved in the grotesque style, a characteristic of the early half of the Amarna period. Nefertiti, sporting the double plume headdress mentioned in the stela dedication, is the petite figure placed behind her larger scale husband. The compostion mirrors early artistic representations of the royal couple. To emphasize the strength and power of the pharaoh, Egyptian iconographical tradition required the female figure to be smaller in scale than the male.

    Akhenaten's minor wives includeD Merytaten, Kiya, Mekytaten, and Ankhesenpaaten.



    AKHENATEN'S VISION

    It was said that one day Akhenaten had a vision wherein he saw a sun disc between two mountains. He felt that God was guiding him to make change. He was shown the God, Aten, as the Sun Disk - the Light. He felt guided by Aten to build a city between the two mountains. In the sixth year of his reign Akhenaten rejected the Gods of Thebes. They were never part of his childhood anyway since he had been shunned as a child.

    Akhenaten had declared for the first time in recorded that there was only one God - the concept of monotheism. He turned 2,000 years of Egyptian religious upside down overnight!



    THE AMARNA PERIOD

    To make a complete break, the king and his queen, left Thebes behind and moved to a new capital in Middle Egypt, 180 miles north of Thebes half way between Memphis and Thebes.

    It was a virgin site, not previously dedicated to any other god or goddess, and he named it Akhetaten - The Horizon of the Aten.

    Today the site is known as El-Amarna.

    In essence he was an cult leader taking his following into the mountains and desert to build a new paradise.

    Akhenaten established his new religion by building an entire city dedicated to Aten complete with a necropolis and royal tomb.

    In 1346 BC work began on this new city built in middle Egypt, on a site thought to have been chosen as it was not tainted by the worship of the other gods.

    In 1344 BC the central section of Akhetaten was completed.

    Nefertiti's prominent role in Egyptian royal rule and religious worship reflects her influence in the public sphere. During the early years of her royal reign, Nefertiti as part of her religious conversion changed her name. Nefertiti which means "The-beautiful-one -is come" became Neferneferuaten-Nefertiti or "The-Aten-is -radiant-of-radiance [because] the-beautiful-one-is come". A different interpretation of the name change, translated Neferneferuaten to mean--"Perfect One of the Aten's Perfection".

    Following his wife's lead, Amenhotep IV changed his name in the fifth year of his reign to Akhenaten.

    In 1342 BC the seat of government was transferred to Akhetaten.



    ART

    Akhenaten changed thousands of years of art in Egypt.

    Gone were the images of Amun and the other gods of Egypt, now replaced by Aten, the solar disc.

    When Akhenaten built his monuments with images of the Pharaoh, he moved away from the traditions of a strong, handsome muscular Pharaoh. Images of Pharaohs with idealized bodies were gone.

    The Pharaoh was shown as misshapen as was his wife Nefertiti. It became fashionable to show images of the entire royal family with elongated heads, faces, fingers, toes, wide hips, This gave the artists of Amarna new freedom to show scenes of the real life of the Pharaoh, something that had never been done before.

    The temple was covered with scenes of the Aten, the sun disc with its rays shining down, ending in hands holding ankhs, the hieroglyph for life.

    The people wondered why the images of the other Gods where not represented.

    Akhenaten was the first Pharaoh to have images and paintings

    made of himself and his family, as they actually looked.


    Akhenaten as the Sphinx worshipping Aten



    RELIGION

    The priests worried about the God Amun and the fact that the 'Rebel Pharaoh' had declared their god extinct and deserted the religious capitol of Egypt. Gone were the royal offerings. The resources of Egypt were flowing out of the established cities of Egypt and into the desert. People who earned their livings based on the old religions - wood carvers, scarab makers, and others were out of business. The people worried about their afterlife and what would happen now that they were not worshipping the traditional Gods. All of the old belief systems into the next world were discarded.





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    Comments:
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    howsitgoing, 30/11:
    this site FREAKIN ROCKS.

    hue jabutt, 21/11:
    this is the same imfo an cryatal links

    Nicci, 22/03:
    just like what wadup said you need to stay on topic about queen nefertiti if i go on google.com i expect when i type nefertiti and click on a site its going to be ALL about queen nefertiti not her family not her husband not other pharaohs JUST ALL Queen neffertiti thanks i found some stuff.

    wadddup, 19/03:
    For this site to be any help you need to include a bibliography so for kids doing projects they can cite the information.

    Holmes Fart-a-lot, 04/02:
    I thought this was about Nefertiti? You went on and on about Akhenaton! Oh well you have at least 3 good facts!:( Thats a good/bad start!!!!

    fil13, 24/10:
    it ok but put more dates

    shining star, 11/12:
    I love how you give so mutch information on Neertiti and her family but mabey you could put more about her children

    jessica, 03/11:
    hi i love your web site its great but i think that you should put how their fashion changed since akhenaten ruled how was the fashion before and after .it will really help me out since i'm doing a project on them .but the rest was awsomme

    tantan, 25/10:
    this site is ok but it needs a little more on the acomplishments of the gods and stuff. thanks! tantan the cheerleading man!haha

    foxyone1, 30/06:
    i love this site so much. Samantha Ann Morris loves William Howard Dolak for life!!! . whats up everybody!!!

    bubbles and chupas, 28/04:
    i love bubbles and chupas.

    poo, 06/04:
    when da hew did he die?! im angry.. wah!

    Sally, 26/09:
    Your sight was pretty good but i am doing a project on tombs and maybe you could include a bit more on the tomb, what was in it, what types of spells and pictures were on the wall, and how it compares to other tombs at that time. Also at the bottom you should have some links because your website isn't very detailed. Sally

    A girl, 23/08:
    What are some other good sites on ancient egypt? Preferably something with recipes.

    michelle, 08/06:
    what kind of mediums did they used in those days?
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