King Akhenatens Physiognomy

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Akhenaten was a king who left an ever lasting impression in history; his revolutionary ideas in religion and art broke conventions of many years of Egyptian tradition. His devotion to the single god Aten is considered by many critics as the first evidence of monotheism in the ancient world. Akhenaten was a revolutionary and made many changes. One of the most visible changes was in Amarna in the manner in which the human form is depicted, particularly in the proportions and the extreme physical features of the king himself. In sculptures, paintings and reliefs, Akhenaten is shown as having a slender neck, a long face with a sharp chin, narrow, almond-shaped eyes, full lips, high cheek bones, projecting lower jaw, long arms and fingers, swollen stomach, feminine buttocks, wide hips, heavy thighs, enlarged breasts and spindly calves. Gone were the elegant portrayals of past kings, of the Tuthmosis nose and representation of a strong flawless pharaoh. Although archeologists and historians have done a good job of obtaining great amounts of information on the Amarna period, nowhere, including the Amarna Letters, has there been any mention as to why Akhenaten is portrayed so uniquely. Scholars seem to take one of two sides as to the reason for King Akhenaten’s portrayal. Some see his figure as a realistic one arguing for a medical disease, while others view Akhenaten as a religious symbol. Medics, art historians and Egyptologists have researched Akhenaten’s physiognomy in order to form arguments, but have failed to uncover much conclusive evidence. However, when all the research and analysis from scholars from different fields is compiled, by discounting possibilities that do not seem feasible, conclusions may be drawn. By process of elimination I believe that the representation of King Akhenaten was not a symbolic one, and rather a realistic representation suggesting that

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