Akhenaten Biography

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Akhenaten, first known as Amenhotep IV, ruled Egypt between 1353 BC-1336 BC or 1351 BC-1334 BC (subject to debate). He was not the first choice for Pharaoh. Akhenaten only became successor to due the early death of his brother, Thutmose V. The source of his death is unknown. Akhenaten was the son of Amenhotep III and Queen Tiy. It is suggested that Akhenaten and his father ruled together for a brief time, but that is up for debate. After his father died, Akhenaten took over, as was his mother's wishes. Akhenaten's most famous wife was Nefertiti, who was made famous after a sculpture of her bust was found and put on display at the Berlin Museum. It is suggested, but not widely accepted, that his mother, Tiy, and Akhenaten acted as consorts to each other until she passed.

Following in the footsteps of his father, Akhenaten started his reign with a large sandstone quarrying project. Akhenaten was a religious revolutionary, as such; he decided to celebrate a Sed Festival in his third year. This was unheard of since the Sed Festival was always held in the thirtieth year for past Pharaohs. In his fourth year of his reign he introduced Atenism, which brought the God Aten to the position of supreme deity. This brought about the belief in only one deity or God, also called monotheism. In his fifth year, Akhenaten decided to abandon his home city of Thebes and create a new capital, known today as Amarna. He also oversaw the construction of some of the most massive temples in Egypt in honor of Aten, including the one at Karnak.

Akhenaten was most famous for his religious reform but he also changed Egyptian art forever. Some of the most famous and most beautiful art didn't come until Akhenaten reigned. Akhenaten's reign over Egypt lasted 16 years and the cause of his death is unknown. It is believed that he died of natural causes. His successor, Tutankhaten, who later changed his name to Tutankhamen, stayed in the city of Akhenaten for a brief...
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