ancient egypt: history and culture
Ancient Egyptian deities: Aten
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Also Aton

Aten touching Akhenaten and Nefertiti     During the Old Kingdom the Aten, the Sun Disk, is a heavenly body, which later is identified as an embodiment of Re: His body is Aten. During the New Kingdom the Aten became the Sungod himself.
    He was worshipped by the seemingly monotheistically minded Akhenaten in a new type of roofless temple at Akhetaten (El-Amarna, 300 km south of Cairo). Some prefer to speak in this context of monolatry (worship of one single god) rather than monotheism (belief in one single god).
    In the beginning of his reign Aten was still depicted as a falcon-headed man, identical with the Heliopolitan Re-Harakhte. Later he appears only as the sun disk, spending life by touching his followers.

Cf. Iah, the moon disk

© November 2001
Latest update: February 2005


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