Monday, January 21, 2008
Akhenaton was the great enigma of the eighteenth dynasty. He ruled Egypt for about 25 years in the middle of the 13th century BC and for a great part of that time had with him his consort the beautiful Nefertiti.
What was the enigma of Akhenaton? Why did his reign cause such disruption in the history of Egypt? His reign and the period immediately after it is referred to as the Armana Period. The King’s Court and center of religion was removed from Karnak to Armana a place equidistant between that great city of Amon, the Lord and Giver of Life and Heliopolis, near Cairo the even more ancient center of the worship of Ra.
The King’s new religion, the worship of the Aton, was more akin to the solar cult of Ra but it was in many ways different. The king ultimately forbade the worship of God in any other form and closed down the other temples in Egypt that were not dedicated to the Aton.
What exactly was the Aton? And what made the King so dramatically change the religion of his empire as a result of him ‘seeing the light’ is open to conjecture and is one of the greatest mysteries of Egypt’s history? It was not quite the same thing as Henry VIII wanting an annulment of his marriage to Catherine of Aragon and forming his own Church in order to achieve his end.
Akhenaton's spiritual metamorphosis from Amenophis IV, as he was known upon ascending the divine throne of Horus to Akhenaton, was a process of religious and spiritual upheaval within himself. It was as if he, like St. Paul, had seen a blinding vision, which changed his life and caused him to impose the true religion of the worship of the Aton upon his people.
The King spent the rest of his life in his pleasure palace and worshipping at the great temple of the Aton at Armana. He ordered all the court artists to depict everything in a more realistic form. It is this one thing that has led to so much speculation about the form of the king for he is depicted as having female hips and breasts. However, he was certainly all male for he sired no fewer than six daughters and it is not beyond the realms of possibility that Tutankhamon was his son! Another explanation was that he had himself so depicted as the living image of the Aton, which was both male and female.
What was the Aton? It was the life giving force behind the solar disc. It was represented by rays emanating from the solar disc, terminating in benevolent hands holding an ankh, the sandal strap which is the hieroglyph for life. Even today, the Coptic Church uses this as a form of the cross, which in real terms is a statement that Christ, through His death on the cross, has given us life eternal.
Who was Akhenaton? This is the ultimate question, for his depiction with female hips and breasts is accompanied by another very strange feature. He and his children, all have a very much-elongated skull and a very strangely shaped face with slanting, almost slit eyes and thick lips. So many first hand encounters with alien crafts report the beings as having many of the features of Akhenaton. Could he have been a genetic throw back to the race of Osiris?
Unfortunately, the mummy of Akhenaton does not exist. If it did, then we would be able to examine his skull and also his genetic composition. The skull of Tutankhamon is in the Cairo Museum, and its protrusion at the back is somewhat large