Akhenaten: King of Egypt Essay

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Akhenaten: King of Egypt was written by Cyril Aldred and published in 1988 and gives insight on Akhenaten’s seventeen year reign over Egypt. The book describes how Akhenaten was discovered in the private tombs of Amarna to the lasting impression he’s made in Egyptology. He is famous for breaking tradition and worshipping one god, Aten. Aldred talks about the Eighteenth Dynasty and the reigns of Tuthmosis IV and Amenophis III. He also talks about Akhenaten’s mother, Tiye, and gives more insight on the chief wife Nefertiti. Aldred shows Akhenaten’s change of character from being praised as a good pharaoh to being considered a madman. Akhenaten was originally named Amenophis IV and was found south of Cairo on the west bank of the Nile in Amarna. The place had been in ruins; the tombs were in terrible condition due to the years of not being taken care of and evidence shows that people had defaced the figures and removed their names. In the beginning, Akhenaten’s sculpted body came off as feminine, and the thought of two queens created more interest as Aldred stated “This enigma, so far from discouraging visitors, only enhanced the appeal of the place” (18). In 1842, Richard Lespius began to research the tombs and discovered that Akhenaten was indeed a man and not only changed his name, but was also removed from the official king-lists. None of the tombs appear to be completely finished, although they are still very lavishing and are architecturally impressive. The Royal Tomb was hard to find at first because it was in a remote place in a valley in the eastern hills not with the private tombs and consisted of Akhenaten, Nefertiti, and their eldest daughter Meritaten. Some of the inscriptions from the private tombs and the tombs in the Royal Wadi still remain a mystery. There have also been many other discoveries that helped uncover more about Akhenaten. The

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