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 people
Relief representing Amenhotep IV before he changed his name to Akhenaten, Neues Museum, Berlin
Sandstone fragment from the temple of Amenhotep III showing a young prince, probably Akhenaten before he became a king. 18th Dynasty. From Thebes, Egypt. The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, London
Bronze plate with the titulary of Amenhotep IV before he changed his name to Akhenaten, British Museum.