Offering to the Aten

Offering to the Aten

Inside a dark chapel with only a narrow aperture to let in the sunlight, the Egyptian Queen Nefertiti makes an offering to the sun god Aten.

Although the main Egyptian solar deity was Ra, another variation on the same theme was an entity known as the Aten which rose to prominence during the reign of the Pharaoh Akhenaten (Nefertiti’s hubby). Akhenaten even went as far as abolishing the traditional Egyptian religion in favor of an almost monotheistic fixation on the Aten. Not only did this not sit well with the “orthodox” Egyptian priesthood, but Akhenaten was a horrible ruler who let his people suffer and whose reign weakened Egypt’s once mighty 18th Dynasty. Nonetheless, some scholars have speculated that Akhenaten’s concept of the Aten might have inspired the modern monotheism of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam (although this is not certain).

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