So I got something to show the Kemetic community :0
My parents have had this tapestry for years. I know it is a copy but it is still nice. If I remember correctly, I think it is suppose to be of King Tut but I am probably wrong.
My parents mostly have this because of what Aten/Aton represents; the belief that the sun means one god. If I understand correctly, the solar disk represents Ra or is like an aspect of Ra. However, when Amenhotep IV came along, he turned Aten into a monotheistic icon or so to speak. Then Horemheb came along and said knock that shit off (or at least that is what I understand from reading the wikipedia page, so please don’t site me on this xD). So my parents aren’t exactly wrong in how they view the solar disk but I always think Ra when I see the sun.
Yes, this is a reproduction copy of an image of King Tut and his wife, Ankhesenanum. This is lifted, iirc, from the back of his throne, which is interesting in an of itself. It was allegedly upon King Tut’s coronation that he made the Proclamation Stela, pretty much going on about how he had returned the whole land back to the ancient gods. And yet, he was willingly buried with Aten imagery within his sepulcher. Of course, he was nine years old when he took over the throne so probably didn’t do anything but what he was told, so the proclamation was probably done at the behest of either Ay or Horemheb or both. The really interesting bit is that they didn’t really seem to actually destroy imagery of the Aten until Horemheb hit the scene…
Anyway, moving on.
The solar disk wasn’t even really mentioned until the Middle Kingdom. The mentions are few and far between, but mostly they are discussing the actual disc of the sun as opposed to any deity specific to it. The Aten, as a deity, has like a single mention in the reign of either Thutmose III or IV (can’t remember). And then it has mentions in Amenhotep III’s reign in at least two or three places, which is interesting in an of itself but of course tells us a boatload of nothing about this mysterious interloper.
The belief that the Aten and the sun imagery hearkens back to monotheism is a misnomer. This is common among people who haven’t looked to the history. Atenism began its life as henotheistic. The name of the Aten was originally written in long form which utilized the names of Re-Horakhty and Shu within its nomenclature. It wasn’t until relatively late in Akhenaten’s reign that the anti-netjeru uprising began. That was when he started destroying the gods’ names, when his closest advisors changed their names to include the Aten, and when even the plural of netjer was hacked down.
In my opinion, and in many other Egyptologists’ opinions who study this particular time period, something set Akhenaten off about all the other netjeru. Some people think he lost his mind because the plague was running rampant at the time and it’s not long after these uprisings against the netjeru that key members of the family go missing. Others just think he was a megalomaniac who wanted to ruin the Amun priesthood. But if that was the case (personal opinion and rambles here), then he would have probably only focused on hacking out the names of Amun and the Theban triad. Instead, he focused on like a plethora of gods, including Hetheru, and even the word netjeru. So, you know.
As far as the anti-Atenist uprising, yes. It was because of Horemheb. As I mentioned above, Tut talked about how he brought the country back to the fore, so to speak, but he didn’t do a damn thing. The shadowy figure of Smenkhkare had actually already begun the “return to the netjeru" process when he disappears from history (I don’t hold with the theory that this is Nefertiti though I believe he may have been related). Then Tut comes in and “does the thing” when really, it was probably Ay and Horemheb.
I was reading recently about how it was thought that Horemheb was shoring his bets that Tut would die (he was pretty sickly) and was gearing up to take over. And then Tut died while he was away, fighting, so he couldn’t take over the ruling of the kingdom and Ay did instead. And this is probably why Horemheb was particularly vicious when hacking out Ay’s memory. Also, hilarious double standard since there is a theory that they found his tomb in Amarna with his name all Aten-ified.
Thus ends my rambles.