Who Was Akhenaten

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------------------------------------------------- Year 11 Ancient History ------------------------------------------------- Historical Investigation 2011 Chris Nelson – Mr Skinners Ancient History class Historical Question: What were the impacts or changes to Egyptian life, culture, art and architecture during King Akhenaten’s Reign in the Amarna Period? Introduction – Who was Akhenaten The Amarna period was a time in which one individual changed Egyptian culture, art, life and architecture. This individual was the Pharaoh named Akhenaten. Akhenaten was an Ancient Egyptian Pharaoh who ruled Egypt for over 17 years during the 18th dynasty of Egypt, from 1351–1334 BC. He is one of the most remembered and controversial Egyptian Pharaohs in recorded history. He led his people in such a way that he would later be known as ‘The Heretic Pharaoh.” During his reign as King, he introduced many new ideas and changes to Egypt, particularly in regard to religion and art. With this, he is regarded as one of the most controversial figures in Egyptian history. Religion of the Amarna Period Religion was one of the biggest changes during the Amarna period. Before this time, Egyptians worshipped many different gods but the primary god was Amun-Ra. During his reign, Akhenaten altered traditional Egyptian religion in one of his most controversial decisions as Pharaoh. Akhenaten changed the focus of Egyptian religion to one sole god, Aten. This is why Akhentan changed his name from Amenhotep IV to Akhenaten, as he took on the name of the god. As Angela P Thomas noted in her book Akhenaten’s Egypt, “Aten was given a titulary like the king and the god’s name was written in double cartouches. By this process the god became king of gods and the king was god, both sharing similar qualities and being described with the same epithets.” (Thomas 1988: 45). Before the

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