Unfortunately, Akhenaten's changes were short-lived, and
the capital was moved back to Thebes within two decades.
The end of his reign is shrouded in mystery: his wife
left him or died, he shared the throne momentarily with Smenkhkare,
of which little is known, and after his death, Tutankhaten,
at the age of about ten years, returned his country to the
old ways, probably under the direction of other political
forces. Soon after, Horemheb restored Egypt with vigour, removing
references to Akhenaten from monuments, and effectively erasing
him from Egyptian history.
The archaeologically verified details are few. Akhenaten
is now a figure of mythic proportion; theory and speculation
pile upon speculation and theory. His charisma, even
after so many millenia, has led him to be adopted by numerous
religions and cults as founder
or member. He has been 'discovered' as the true
identity of Moses, and of Oedipus. He has been touted
as one half of history's first gay couple
(the other half being Smenkhkare). Nefertiti, for her
part, is no less controversial and mysterious. Did she share
the throne as a full Pharaoh, as Hatshepsut
had done before her, rather than disappearing as we originally
thought? And was Smenkhkare simply another name for the Pharaoh
Nefertiti? What happened to Tutankhamun at so young an age?
Dare we speak of murder? These questions and theories have
carried us far on so little primary data, and the study of
the study of the Amarna period is interesting in itself!
Please explore the mysteries by choosing a topic at the