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Tutankamun Takes the Throne

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Pharaoh Tutanhamun, the "boy king"

The king Akhenaten died in his seventeenth year of reign. He had intended that his eldest daughter's husband Smenkhkare be his successor. It appears that he ruled for a short time. It is also possible that Nefertiti ruled for a short time. The period immediately following Akenhaten's death is unclear.

What is certain is that after a short time the boy king Tutankamun took the throne. He was most likely a son of Akhenaten by his lesser wife Kiya or another lesser wife. It is also possible that he was a younger son of Amenhotep III. It is certain that he was a "king's son."

He was married to Ankhesenpaaten, one of the daughters of Akhenaten and Nefertiti, and so possibly his half-sister. In year 3 of his reign left the city to rule from Thebes. He was about 11 years old at this time and would have been under the influence of his advisers. Akhenaten's ban on the worship of the traditional pantheon of dieties was lifted. The power and privileges of the priests were restored.

His name was originally Tutanhhaten, which meant "living Image of Aten." After the restoration of traditional Egyptian religion, he changed his name, changing the -aten ending to -amun, so that his name meant the livng image of Amun.

The cult of Aten, Akhenaten's religion, was abandoned, his images and those of his wife defaced. The priest class who Akhenaten had offended and angered regained their power and authority and the other gods in the Egyptian pantheon were returned to their former glory.

Akhenaten, Smenkhkare Tutankhamun and Ay (Tutankhamun's successor) were later removed from the official lists of Pharaohs, which reported that Horemheb immediately succeeded Amenhotep III. This is most likely an attempt by Horemheb to rewrite history to delete all reference to Atenism and those pharaohs who were associated with it. Akhenaten's name never appeared on any of the lists put together by later pharaohs.


Ancient Egypt

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Great Hymn to Aten - Primary Source

End of Monotheism in Egypt: The Cult of Akhenaten, a HistoryWiz exhibit

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