King Akhenaten and his
wife queen Nefertiti make offerings to the god Aten.
Aten also spelt
The old cult of the sun took a bizarre turn for a period of about fifteen years during the 18th dynasty around 1340 BC. The eccentric king Amenhotep IV then took the name Akhenaten, built a new capital and declared that just a single deity should be worshipped - the sun disk Aten, depicted with rays like arms giving life, peace and equa- lity to all. It could also have wings like the old symbol of Re and was praised mainly by hymns, poems and offerings of fruit and flowers. Aton was earlier possibly as another form of Re-Horakhte, but had no human form. All other gods were ban- ned and their temples closed or their priests "converted" to Aten. After the king's death the cult collapsed, the capital was abandoned and all moved back to Thebes. Religious life and all acti- vities in the temples (especially the state cult of Amon) went back to normal again.      Main text