Aton Temple

Aton Temple
Aton Temple

This temple located in the Egyptian city of Tell El Amarna represents a historical moment that in some way is like a parenthesis in the political and religious development of Ancient Egypt.

The temple was conceived and promoted by Pharaoh Amenhotep IV, who actually called himself Akhenaten, since promulgated that Aton would pass the main and only god of Egyptian beliefs. This ruler of the XVIII Dynasty, whose reign lasted between 1353 and 1334 BC, wanted to establish a monotheistic religion with this god alone, something that contrasts enormously with the immense pantheon of Egyptian gods of the previous pharaohs. And the truth is that his attempt was unsuccessful because after his death, he returned to the most ancient rites and beliefs.

Temple of the Aten today

Temple of the Aten today

This temple was to become the main temple of this deity, placing it in the capital of his empire,Amarna, and where the pharaoh himself had himself buried.

Aten is the sun disk. Before that the sun was considered to be the seat of the god. But now it becomes tangible, somehow closer to human knowledge. And the truth is that it will appear in most artistic representations of the time, as is the case of the famous Relief of Akhenaten and Nefertiti, also found in Amarna.

The Pharaoh Akhenatenpromotes a kind of equality with the deity, conceiving a more direct relationship with the god, more colloquial and human, and without so many intermediaries, as were necessary in established religious cults. The truth is that this implied serious damage to the social classes related to the temples and the priests, and his attempt was not successful, and at his death, he radically returned to the previous formulas, hence at the beginning we said that his reign it was kind of a parenthesis in the history of Ancient Egypt.

And as for his architectural achievements, they did not leave a special mark either, and in essence it is based on the traditions of the previous temples.

Reconstruction of the temple of the Aten

Reconstruction of the Temple of the Aten

The study of the archaeological remains that have survived to this day allows us to ensure that it was a complex made up of six successive spaces. In each of them there were tables for offerings. In fact, you can see the remains of many offering tables, since they wanted everyone to be able to make them, and there were even outside the temple, all around it.

And the last two rooms were the sanctuary of the temple proper. This is where the pharaoh officiated, who in addition to the ruler of the kingdom was the High Priest of his people.

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