Akhenaten decreed that any sculpture or painting of him and his family should be realistic, instead of the usual, idealized,...Read More >>Akhenaten decreed that any sculpture or painting of him and his family should be realistic, instead of the usual, idealized, muscular-looking likenesses of pharaohs made in the past. As a result, portraits of him show a much longer face than most people. He also has big hips and a drooping belly.
Akhenaten (c. 1353–1336 BC) was originally called Amenhotep IV. He decided to change the religion of Egypt, then based on the worship of many gods. He declared that Aten, the sun in the sky, was the only god and that no other god should be worshipped. He even changed his own name to Akhenaten in honour of this god. Ruling Egypt along with his wife Nefertiti, he moved from Thebes and established a new capital of Egypt further north at a place called Akhetaten, later known as Amarna. The worshipping of many gods was a centuries-old practice in Egypt and Akhenaten's changes were almost certainly deeply unpopular. Akhenaten was the father of Tutankhamun.
Male pharaohs usually had several wives, including one special or "chief" one, who was known as the Great Royal Wife. She was often—but not always—mother to the heir to the throne.
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