1. Akhenaten – Akhenaten known before the fifth year of his reign as Amenhotep IV, was an Ancient Egyptian pharaoh of the 18th Dynasty who ruled for 17 years and died perhaps in 1336 BC or 1334 BC. An early inscription likens the Aten to the sun as compared to stars, Akhenaten tried to bring about a departure from traditional religion, yet in the end it would not be accepted. After his death, his monuments were dismantled and hidden, his statues were terminated and he was all but lost from history until the discovery during the 19th century of the site of Akhetaten, the city he built and designed for the worship of Aten, at Amarna. DNA analysis has determined that the man buried in KV55 is the father of King Tutankhamun, the future Akhenaten was a younger son of Amenhotep III and Chief Queen Tiye. The eldest son Crown Prince Thutmose was recognized as the heir of Amenhotep III but he died relatively young, there is much controversy around whether Amenhotep IV succeeded to the throne on the death of his father Amenhotep III or whether there was a coregency. Other literature by Donald Redford, William Murnane, Alan Gardiner, in February 2014, the Egyptian Ministry for Antiquities announced what it called conclusive evidence that Akhenaten shared power with his father for at least 8 years. The evidence came from the found in the Luxor tomb of Vizier Amenhotep-Huy. A team of Spanish archeologists have been working at this tomb, Amenhotep IV was crowned in Thebes and there he started a building program. He decorated the entrance to the precincts of the temple of Amun-Re with scenes of his worshiping Re-Harakhti. He soon decreed the construction of a dedicated to the Aten in Eastern Karnak. This Temple of Amenhotep IV was called the Gempaaten, the Gempaaten consisted of a series of buildings, including a palace and a structure called the Hwt Benben which was dedicated to Queen Nefertiti. Other Aten temples constructed at Karnak during this time include the Rud-menu, during this time he did not repress the worship of Amun, and the High Priest of Amun was still active in the fourth year of his reign. The king appears as Amenhotep IV in the tombs of some of the nobles in Thebes, Kheruef, Ramose, in the tomb of Ramose, Amenhotep IV appears on the west wall in the traditional style, seated on a throne with Ramose appearing before the king. On the other side of the doorway, Amenhotep IV and Nefertiti are shown in the window of appearance with the Aten depicted as the sun disc. In the Theban tomb of Parennefer, Amenhotep IV and Nefertiti are seated on a throne with the sun disk depicted over the king, among the latter-known documents referring to Amenhotep IV are two copies of a letter from the Steward Of Memphis Apy to the pharaoh. The documents were found in Gurob and are dated to regnal year 5, third month of the Growing Season, on day 13, Month 8, in the fifth year of his reign, the king arrived at the site of the new city Akhetaten. A month before that Amenhotep IV had officially changed his name to Akhenaten, Amenhotep IV changed most of his 5 fold titulary in year 5 of his reign. The only name he kept was his prenomen or throne name of Neferkheperure, some recent debate has focused on the extent to which Akhenaten forced his religious reforms on his peopleAkhenaten – Statue of Akhenaten in the early Amarna style.
2. Atenism – Atenism, or the Amarna heresy, refers to the religious changes associated with the eighteenth dynasty Pharaoh Amenhotep IV, better known under his adopted name, Akhenaten. Aten, the god of Atenism, first appears in texts dating to the 12th dynasty, during the Middle Kingdom, Aten as the sun disk. was merely one aspect of the sun god Re. It was a relatively obscure sun god, without the Atenist period, during the reign of Thutmosis IV, it was identified as a distinct solar god, and his son Amenhotep III established and promoted a separate cult for the Aten. There is no evidence that Amenhotep III neglected the other gods or attempted to promote the Aten as an exclusive deity. Amenhotep initially introduced Atenism in the year of his reign, raising Aten to the status of supreme god. To emphasise the change, Atens name was written in the form normally reserved for Pharaohs. The religious reformation appears to coincide with the proclamation of a Sed festival, traditionally held in the thirtieth year of the Pharaohs reign, it possibly was a festival in honour of Amenhotep III. Some Egyptologists think that he had a coregency with Amenhotep IV of 2-12 years, the fifth year is believed to mark the beginning of Amenhotep IVs construction of a new capital, Akhetaten, at the site known today as Amarna. Evidence appears on three of the boundary stelae used to mark the boundaries of new capital. Then, Amenhotep IV officially changed his name to Akhenaten as evidence of his new worship, the date given for the event has been estimated to fall around January 2 of that year. In the seventh year of his reign, the capital was moved from Thebes to Akhetaten, in shifting his court from the traditional ceremonial centres, he was signalling a dramatic transformation in the focus of religious and political power. The move separated the Pharaoh and his court from the influence of the priesthood and from the centres of worship. Taken in conjunction with his change, it is possible that the move to Amarna was also meant as a signal of Akhenatens symbolic death and rebirth. It may also have coincided with the death of his father, key features of Atenism included a ban on idols and other images of the Aten, with the exception of a rayed solar disc in which the rays appear to represent the unseen spirit of Aten. Aten was addressed by Akhenaten in prayers, such as the Great Hymn to the Aten, Atens name is also written differently after the ninth year of the Pharaohs rule to emphasise the radicalism of the new regime. Aten, instead of being written with the symbol of a solar disc. The details of Atenist theology are still unclear and he simply refrained from worshiping any but Aten. It is known that Atenism did not attribute divinity only to Aten, Akhenaten continued the cult of the Pharaoh, proclaiming himself the son of Aten and encouraging the Egyptian people to worship himAtenism – Pharaoh Akhenaten and his family adoring the Aten
3. Hatshepsut – Hatshepsut was the fifth pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt. She was the second historically confirmed female pharaoh, the first being Sobekneferu, Hatshepsut came to the throne of Egypt in 1478 BC. Officially, she ruled jointly with Thutmose III, who had ascended to the throne the year as a child of about two years old. Hatshepsut was the wife of Thutmose II, Thutmose III’s father. She is generally regarded by Egyptologists as one of the most successful pharaohs, according to Egyptologist James Henry Breasted she is also known as the first great woman in history of whom we are informed. Hatshepsut was the daughter and only child of Thutmose I and his primary wife Ahmose and her husband Thutmose II was the son of Thutmose I and a secondary wife named Mutnofret, who carried the title Kings daughter and was probably a child of Ahmose I. Hatshepsut and Thutmose II had a daughter named Neferure, Thutmose II fathered Thutmose III with Iset, a secondary wife. Today Egyptologists generally agree that Hatshepsut assumed the position of pharaoh, Hatshepsut was described as having a reign of about 22 years by ancient authors. Josephus and Julius Africanus both quote Manethos king list, mentioning a woman called Amessis or Amensis who has identified as Hatshepsut. In Josephus work, her reign is described as lasting 21 years and nine months, dating the beginning of her reign is more difficult, however. Her fathers reign began in either 1526 or 1506 BC according to the high and low estimates of her reign, the length of the reigns of Tuthmosis I and Tuthmosis II, however, cannot be determined with absolute certainty. With short reigns, Hatshepsut would have ascended the throne 14 years after the coronation of Tuthmosis I, longer reigns would put her ascension 25 years after Tuthmosis Is coronation. Thus, Hatshepsut could have assumed power as early as 1512 BC, or, Hatshepsut established the trade networks that had been disrupted during the Hyksos occupation of Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period, thereby building the wealth of the eighteenth dynasty. She oversaw the preparations and funding for a mission to the Land of Punt and this trading expedition to Punt was roughly during Hatshepsuts ninth year of reign. It set out in her name with five ships, each measuring 70 feet long bearing several sails, many trade goods were bought in Punt, notably frankincense and myrrh. Hatshepsuts delegation returned from Punt bearing 31 live myrrh trees, the roots of which were kept in baskets for the duration of the voyage. This was the first recorded attempt to transplant foreign trees and it is reported that Hatshepsut had these trees planted in the courts of her mortuary temple complex. Egyptians also returned with a number of gifts from PuntHatshepsut – Statue of Hatshepsut on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
4. Neferneferuaten – For other individuals named Neferneferuaten, see Neferneferuaten. Ankhkheperure-mery-Neferkheperure/ -mery-Waenre/ -mery-Aten Neferneferuaten was a used to refer to either Queen Meritaten or more likely Queen Nefertiti. The archaeological evidence relates to a woman who reigned as pharaoh toward the end of the Amarna Period during the Eighteenth Dynasty and her gender is confirmed by feminine traces occasionally found in the name and by the epithet Akhet-en-hyes, incorporated into one version of her second cartouche. She is to be distinguished from the king who used the name Ankhkheperure Smenkhkare-Djeser Kheperu, with little dated evidence to fix their reigns with any certainty, the order depends on how the evidence is interpreted. Many encyclopedic sources and atlases will show Smenkhkare succeeding Akhenaten on the basis of dating back to 1845. The period from the 13th year of Akhenatens reign to the ascension of Tutankhaten is very murky, the reigns of Smenkhkare and Neferneferuaten were very brief and left little monumental or inscriptional evidence to draw a clear picture of political events. Adding to this, Neferneferuaten shares her prenomen, or throne name, with Smenkhkare, the Egyptians themselves tried to hide the evidence of the Amarna kings reigns from us. The result is that 3300 years later, scholars would have to piece together events, with the evidence so murky and equivocal, at one time or another, the name, gender, identity and even the existence of Neferneferuaten has been a matter of debate among Egyptologists. Manetho was a priest in the time of the Ptolemies in the Third Century B. C. E and his Egyptian History divided the rulers into dynasties which forms the basis of the modern system of dating Ancient Egypt. His work has been lost and is only in fragmentary form from later writers quoting his work. As a result of the suppression of the Amarna kings, Manetho is the ancient record available. Manethos Epitome, a summary of his work, describes the late 18th Dynasty succession as Amenophis for 30 years 10 months, who seems likely to be Amenhotep III. Then his son Orus for 36 years 5 months, this is seen as a corruption of the name Horemheb with the entire Amarna period attributed to him. Next comes his daughter Acencheres for 12 years 1 month then her brother Rathotis for 9 years, Acencheres is Ankhkheperure according to Gabolde, with a transcription error assumed which converted 2 years,1 month into the 12 years,1 month reported by the addition of 10 years. Most agree that Rathotis refers to Tutankhamun, therefore, the order also supports Acencheres as Ankhkheperure. Rathotis is followed by his son Acencheres for 12 years 5 months, his son Acencheres II for 12 years 3 months which are inexplicable, there are several items central to the slow unveiling regarding the existence, gender and identity of Neferneferuaten. These continue to be key elements to various theories today, the name of King Ankheprure Smenkhkare-Djeserkheperu was known as far back as 1845 from the tomb of Meryre II. There, he and Meritaten, bearing the title Great Royal Wife, are shown rewarding the tombs owner, the names of the king have since been cut out but had been recorded by Lepsius ca 1850Neferneferuaten – Inscription from Carter 001k, a box from Tutankhamun's tomb.
5. Smenkhkare – Ankhkheperure Smenkhkare Djeser Kheperu was a short-lived pharaoh in the late 18th dynasty. His names translate as Living are the Forms of Re and Vigorous is the Soul of Re – Holy of Forms and his reign was during the Amarna Period, a time when Akhenaten sought to impose new religious views. He is to be distinguished from his predecessor, the female ruler Ankhkheperure Neferneferuaten. Unlike Neferneferuaten, Smenkhkare did not use epithets in his name or cartouche. Very little is known of Smenkhkare for certain because later kings, beginning with Horemheb, for the complete historiography regarding the names, see Neferneferuaten Smenkhkare was known as far back as 1845 from the tomb of Meryre II. There he and Meritaten, bearing the title Great Royal Wife, are shown rewarding the tombs owner, the names of the king have since been cut out but had been recorded by Lepsius circa 1850. Later, a different set of names emerged using the throne name. This led to a deal of confusion since throne names tended to be unique. For the better part of a century, the repetition of names was taken to mean that Smenkhare changed his name to Neferneferuaten at some point. Indeed, Petrie makes exactly that distinction in his notes of 1894. By the 1970s, feminine traces in some versions of the name, among them, that Nefertiti was masquerading as Smenkhkare before changing her name again to Neferneferuaten. When considered with various stela depicting Akhenaten with another king in familiar, if not intimate poses, in 1978, it was proposed that there were 2 individuals using the same name, a male king Smenkhkare and a female Neferneferuaten. Ten years later, James Allen pointed out the name Ankhkheperure nearly always included an epithet referring to Akhenaten such as desired of Wa en Re when coupled with Neferneferuaten. Smenkhkare, as son in law, might be desired of Akhenaten, by the start of the 21st Century, a fair degree of consensus emerged that Neferneferuaten was a female king and Smenkhkare a separate male king, particularly among specialists of the period. Almost as important, when presented with just the name Ankhkheperure, aside from the Meryre tomb depiction already mentioned there are several pieces of evidence which establish Smenkhkare as king. A calcite globular vase from the tomb of Tutankhamun bears the double cartouche of Akhenaten alongside the full double cartouche of Smenkhkare. This is the object to carry both names side by side. A single wine docket, Year 1, wine of the house of Smenkhkare, line drawings of a block depicting the nearly complete names of King Smenkhkare and Meritaten as Great Royal Wife were recorded before the block was lostSmenkhkare – Line drawing from Meryre II. The lost names had been recorded previously (inset) as Smenkhkare and Meritaten.
6. Tutankhamun – Tutankhamun was an Egyptian pharaoh of the 18th dynasty, during the period of Egyptian history known as the New Kingdom or sometimes the New Empire Period. He has, since his discovery, been referred to as King Tut. His original name, Tutankhaten, means Living Image of Aten, in hieroglyphs, the name Tutankhamun was typically written Amen-tut-ankh, because of a scribal custom that placed a divine name at the beginning of a phrase to show appropriate reverence. The 1922 discovery by Howard Carter and Lord Carnarvon of Tutankhamuns nearly intact tomb received worldwide press coverage and it sparked a renewed public interest in ancient Egypt, for which Tutankhamuns mask, now in the Egyptian Museum, remains the popular symbol. Exhibits of artifacts from his tomb have toured the world, in February 2010, the results of DNA tests confirmed that he was the son of Akhenaten. His mother was Akhenatens sister and wife, whose name is unknown, the mysterious deaths of a few of those who excavated Tutankhamuns tomb has been popularly attributed to the curse of the pharaohs. Tutankhamun was the son of Akhenaten and one of Akhenatens sisters, as a prince, he was known as Tutankhaten. He ascended to the throne in 1333 BC, at the age of nine or ten and his wet nurse was a woman called Maia, known from her tomb at Saqqara. His teacher was most likely Sennedjem, when he became king, he married his half-sister, Ankhesenpaaten, who later changed her name to Ankhesenamun. They had two daughters, both stillborn, computed tomography studies released in 2011 revealed that one daughter died at 5–6 months of pregnancy and the other at 9 months of pregnancy. No evidence was found in either mummy of congenital anomalies or an apparent cause of death, given his age, the king probably had very powerful advisers, presumably including General Horemheb and Grand Vizier Ay. Horemheb records that the king appointed him lord of the land as hereditary prince to maintain law and he also noted his ability to calm the young king when his temper flared. In his third year, under the influence of his advisors. He ended the worship of the god Aten and restored the god Amun to supremacy, the ban on the cult of Amun was lifted and traditional privileges were restored to its priesthood. The capital was moved back to Thebes and the city of Akhetaten abandoned and this is when he changed his name to Tutankhamun, Living image of Amun, reinforcing the restoration of Amun. As part of his restoration, the king initiated building projects, in particular at Karnak in Thebes, many monuments were erected, and an inscription on his tomb door declares the king had spent his life in fashioning the images of the gods. The traditional festivals were now celebrated again, including those related to the Apis Bull, Horemakhet and his restoration stela says, The temples of the gods and goddesses. Their shrines were deserted and overgrown and their sanctuaries were as non-existent and their courts were used as roadsTutankhamun – Mask of Tutankhamun's mummy, the popular icon for ancient Egypt at The Egyptian Museum.