Anatolia, in geography known as Asia Minor, Asian Turkey, Anatolian peninsula, or Anatolian plateau, is the westernmost protrusion of Asia, which makes up the majority of modern-day Turkey. The region is bounded by the Black Sea to the north, the Mediterranean Sea to the south, the Sea of Marmara forms a connection between the Black and Aegean Seas through the Bosphorus and Dardanelles straits and separates Anatolia from Thrace on the European mainland. Traditionally, Anatolia is considered to extend in the east to a line between the Gulf of Alexandretta and the Black Sea to the Armenian Highlands, traditionally Anatolia is the territory that comprises approximately the western two-thirds of the Asian part of Turkey. The Turkification of Anatolia began under the Seljuk Empire in the late 11th century, various non-Turkic languages continue to be spoken by minorities in Anatolia today, including Kurdish, Armenian, Laz and Greek. Traditionally, Anatolia is considered to extend in the east to a line running from the Gulf of Alexandretta to the Black Sea.
This traditional geographical definition is used, for example, in the latest edition of Merriam-Websters Geographical Dictionary, under this definition, Anatolia is bounded to the east by the Armenian Highlands, and the Euphrates before that river bends to the southeast to enter Mesopotamia. To the southeast, it is bounded by the ranges that separate it from the Orontes valley in Syria, the first name the Greeks used for the Anatolian peninsula was Ἀσία, presumably after the name of the Assuwa league in western Anatolia. As the name of Asia came to be extended to areas east of the Mediterranean. The name Anatolia derives from the Greek ἀνατολή meaning “the East” or more literally “sunrise”, the precise reference of this term has varied over time, perhaps originally referring to the Aeolian and Dorian colonies on the west coast of Asia Minor. In the Byzantine Empire, the Anatolic Theme was a theme covering the western, the modern Turkish form of Anatolia is Anadolu, which again derives from the Greek name Aνατολή.
The Russian male name Anatoly and the French Anatole share the same linguistic origin, in English the name of Turkey for ancient Anatolia first appeared c. It is derived from the Medieval Latin Turchia, which was used by the Europeans to define the Seljuk controlled parts of Anatolia after the Battle of Manzikert. Human habitation in Anatolia dates back to the Paleolithic, neolithic Anatolia has been proposed as the homeland of the Indo-European language family, although linguists tend to favour a origin in the steppes north of the Black Sea. However, it is clear that the Anatolian languages, the oldest branch of Indo-European, have spoken in Anatolia since at least the 19th century BC. The earliest historical records of Anatolia stem from the southeast of the region and are from the Mesopotamian-based Akkadian Empire during the reign of Sargon of Akkad in the 24th century BC, scholars generally believe the earliest indigenous populations of Anatolia were the Hattians and Hurrians. The region was famous for exporting raw materials, and areas of Hattian-, one of the numerous cuneiform records dated circa 20th century BC, found in Anatolia at the Assyrian colony of Kanesh, uses an advanced system of trading computations and credit lines.
They were speakers of an Indo-European language, the Hittite language, originating from Nesa, they conquered Hattusa in the 18th century BC, imposing themselves over Hattian- and Hurrian-speaking populations. According to the most widely accepted Kurgan theory on the Proto-Indo-European homeland, the Hittites adopted the cuneiform script, invented in Mesopotamia
Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt
The eighteenth dynasty of ancient Egypt is the best known ancient Egyptian dynasty. It boasts several of Egypts most famous pharaohs, including Tutankhamun, the dynasty is known as the Thutmosid Dynasty for the four pharaohs named Thutmosis. Famous pharaohs of Dynasty XVIII include Hatshepsut, longest-reigning woman-pharaoh of a dynasty, and Akhenaten. Dynasty XVIII is the first of the three dynasties of the Egyptian New Kingdom, the period in which ancient Egypt reached the peak of its power, radiocarbon dating suggests that Dynasty XVIII may have started a few years earlier than the conventional date of 1550 BC. The radiocarbon date range for its beginning is 1570–1544 BC, the point of which is 1557 BC. The pharaohs of Dynasty XVIII ruled for two hundred and fifty years. The dates and names in the table are taken from Dodson and Hilton, many of the pharaohs were buried in the Valley of the Kings in Thebes. More information can be found on the Theban Mapping Project website, several diplomatic marriages are known for the New Kingdom.
These daughters of kings are often only mentioned in cuneiform texts and are not known from other sources. The marriages were likely a way to confirm good relations between these states, Dynasty XVIII was founded by Ahmose I, the brother or son of Kamose, the last ruler of the Dynasty XVII. Ahmose finished the campaign to expel the Hyksos rulers and his reign is seen as the end of the Second Intermediate Period and the start of the New Kingdom. Ahmose was succeeded by his son, Amenhotep I, whose reign was relatively uneventful, Amenhotep I probably left no male heir and the next pharaoh, Thutmose I, seems to have been related to the royal family through marriage. During his reign the borders of Egypts empire reached their greatest expanse, extending in the north to Carchemish on the Euphrates, Thutmose I was succeeded by Thutmose II and his queen, Hatshepsut. Thutmose III who became known as the greatest military pharaoh ever and he had a second co-regency in his old age with his son Amenhotep II.
Amenhotep II was succeeded by Thutmose IV, who in his turn was followed by his son Amenhotep III, the reign of Amenhotep III is seen as a high point in this dynasty. Amenhotep III undertook large scale building programmes, the extent of which can only be compared with those of the much longer reign of Ramesses II during Dynasty XIX. Amenhotep III may have shared the throne for up to twelve years with his son Amenhotep IV, there is much debate about this proposed co-regency. Some experts believe there was a lengthy co-regency, while others prefer to see a short one, there are many experts who believe no such co-regency existed at all
The Near East is a geographical term that roughly encompasses Western Asia. Despite having varying definitions within different academic circles, the term was applied to the maximum extent of the Ottoman Empire. The term has fallen into disuse in English and has replaced by the terms Middle East. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations defines the region similarly, but includes Afghanistan while excluding the countries of North Africa and the Palestinian territories. Up until 1912 the Ottomans retained a band of territory including Albania and Southern Thrace, the Ottoman Empire, believed to be about to collapse, was portrayed in the press as the sick man of Europe. The Balkan states, with the exception of Bosnia and Albania, were primarily Christian. Starting in 1894 the Ottomans struck at the Armenians on the grounds that they were a non-Muslim people. The Hamidian Massacres aroused the indignation of the entire Christian world, in the United States the now aging Julia Ward Howe, author of the Battle Hymn of the Republic, leaped into the war of words and joined the Red Cross.
Relations of minorities within the Ottoman Empire and the disposition of former Ottoman lands became known as the Eastern Question and it now became relevant to define the east of the eastern question. In about the middle of the 19th century Near East came into use to describe part of the east closest to Europe. The term Far East appeared contemporaneously meaning Japan, Korea, near East applied to what had been mainly known as the Levant, which was in the jurisdiction of the Ottoman Porte, or government. Those who used the term had little choice about its meaning and they could not set foot on most of the shores of the southern and central Mediterranean from the Gulf of Sidra to Albania without permits from the Ottoman Empire. Some regions beyond the Ottoman Porte were included, one was North Africa west of Egypt. It was occupied by piratical kingdoms of the Barbary Coast, de facto independent since the 18th century, formerly part of the empire at its apogee. Iran was included because it could not easily be reached except through the Ottoman Empire or neighboring Russia, in the 1890s the term tended to focus on the conflicts in the Balkan states and Armenia.
The demise of the man of Europe left considerable confusion as to what was to be meant by Near East. It is now used only in historical contexts, to describe the countries of Western Asia from the Mediterranean to Iran. There is, in short, no universally understood fixed inventory of nations and they appear together in the journals of the mid-19th century
Menpehtyre Ramesses I was the founding pharaoh of ancient Egypts 19th dynasty. The dates for his reign are not completely known but the time-line of late 1292–1290 BC is frequently cited as well as 1295–1294 BC. Originally called Pa-ra-mes-su, Ramesses I was of non-royal birth, being born into a military family from the Nile delta region. He was a son of a commander called Seti. His uncle Khaemwaset, an officer, married Tamwadjesy, the matron of the Harem of Amun, who was a relative of Huy, the viceroy of Kush. This shows the status of Ramesses family. Ramesses I found favor with Horemheb, the last pharaoh of the tumultuous Eighteenth dynasty, upon his accession, Ramesses assumed a prenomen, or royal name, which is written in Egyptian hieroglyphs to the right. When transliterated, the name is mn-pḥty-r‘, which is interpreted as Menpehtyre. However, he is known by his nomen, or personal name. This is transliterated as r‘-ms-sw, and is realised as Ramessu or Ramesses. Already an old man when he was crowned, Ramesses appointed his son, Seti was charged with undertaking several military operations during this time– in particular, an attempt to recoup some of Egypts lost possessions in Syria.
Ramesses appears to have charge of domestic matters, most memorably, he completed the second pylon at Karnak Temple. Jürgen von Beckerath observes that Ramesses I died just 5 months later—in June 1290 BC—since his son Seti I succeeded to power on III Shemu day 24. Ramesses Is only known action was to order the provision of endowments for the aforementioned Nubian temple at Buhen and the construction of a chapel, the aged Ramesses was buried in the Valley of the Kings. His tomb, discovered by Giovanni Belzoni in 1817 and designated KV16, is small in size, the red granite sarcophagus too was painted rather than carved with inscriptions which, due to their hasty preparation, included a number of unfortunate errors. Seti I, his son and successor, built a chapel with fine reliefs in memory of his deceased father Ramesses I at Abydos. In 1911, John Pierpont Morgan donated several exquisite reliefs from this chapel to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, a mummy currently believed to be that of Ramesses I was stolen from Egypt and displayed in a Canadian museum for many years before being repatriated.
Moreover, the arms were found crossed high across his chest which was a position reserved solely for Egyptian royalty until 600 BC
Egyptian Museum of Berlin
The Egyptian Museum of Berlin is home to one of the worlds most important collections of Ancient Egyptian artifacts, including the iconic Nefertiti Bust. Since October 2009, the collection is part of the reopened Neues Museum on Berlins Museum Island, the museum originated in the 18th century from the royal art collection of the Hohenzollern kings of Prussia. Alexander von Humboldt had recommended that an Egyptian section be created, initially housed in Monbijou Palace, the department was headed by the Trieste merchant Giuseppe Passalacqua, whose extensive collections formed the basis. A Prussian expedition to Egypt and Nubia led by Karl Richard Lepsius in 1842–45 brought additional pieces to Berlin, in 1850, the collections moved to its present-day home in the Neues Museum, built according to plans designed by Friedrich August Stüler. The Nefertiti Bust, discovered during the excavations by Ludwig Borchardt in Amarna, was donated to the museum by the entrepreneur Henri James Simon in 1920, it quickly became its best-known exhibit.
After World War II, during which the Neues Museum was heavily damaged by strategic bombing, the main part remained in East Berlin and was displayed at the Bode Museum, while those artifacts evacuated to West Germany, including the Nefetiti Bust, returned to West Berlin. From 1967 to 2005, these items were housed vis-à-vis Charlottenburg Palace, the whole collection was reunited again after the Reunification of Germany, when it returned to Museum Island. The collection contains artefacts dating from between 4000BC to the period of Roman rule, though most date from the rule of Akhenaten, the most famous piece on display is the exceptionally well preserved and vividly coloured bust of Queen Nefertiti. The collection was moved from Charlottenburg to the Altes Museum in 2005 and was rehoused within the newly reconstructed Neues Museum on Berlins Museum Island in October 2009
History of Syria
The history of Syria covers the developments in the region of Syria and modern Syrian Arab Republic. Syria most likely derives from the name of the Neo-Assyrian Empire established in the 10th century BCE, modern Syria became independent in 1946 following a period of French occupation and Mandate. In 1958, the Republic of Syria became briefly part of the United Arab Republic, from 1963, the Syrian Arab Republic has been ruled by the Baath with the Assad family exclusively from 1970. Currently Syria is fractured between rival forces on the course of the Syrian Civil War, on 23 August 1993 a joint Japan-Syria excavation team discovered fossilized Paleolithic human remains at the Dederiyeh Cave some 400 km north of Damascus. The bones found in this cave were those of a Neanderthal child. Although many Neanderthal bones had been discovered already, this was practically the first time that an almost complete skeleton had been found in its original burial state. Archaeologists have demonstrated that civilization in Syria was one of the most ancient on earth, the Neolithic period is represented by rectangular houses of the Mureybet culture.
In the early Neolithic period, people used vessels made of stone, finds of obsidian tools from Anatolia are evidence of early trade relations. The cities of Hamoukar and Emar flourished during the late Neolithic, the ruins of Ebla, near Idlib in northern Syria, were discovered and excavated in 1975. Ebla appears to have been an East Semitic speaking city-state founded around 3000 BCE, at its zenith, from about 2500 to 2400 BCE, it may have controlled an empire reaching north to Anatolia, east to Mesopotamia and south to Damascus. Ebla traded with the Mesopotamian states of Sumer and Assyria, gifts from Pharaohs, found during excavations, confirm Eblas contact with Egypt. Scholars believe the language of Ebla was closely related to the fellow East Semitic Akkadian language of Mesopotamia and to be among the oldest known written languages. From the third millennium BCE, Syria was occupied and fought over successively by Sumerians, Akkadians, Egyptians, Hurrians, Amorites, Ebla was probably conquered into the Mesopotamian Akkadian Empire by Sargon of Akkad around 2330 BCE.
The Sumerians and Assyrians of Mesopotamia referred to the region as Mar. Tu or The land of the Amurru from as early as the 24th century BCE. Parts of Syria were controlled by the Neo-Sumerian Empire, Old Assyrian Empire, during this period the bulk of Syria became known as Eber Nari and Aramea. After this empire collapsed, Mesopotamian dominance continued for a time with the short lived Neo-Babylonian Empire. Eventually, in 539 BCE, the Persians took Syria as part of their empire and this dominion ended with the conquests of the Macedonian Greek king, Alexander the Great in 333-332 BCE. Syria was incorporated into the Seleucid Empire, the capital of this Empire was situated at Antioch, a part of historical Syria, but just inside the Turkish border today
Neferneferuaten Nefertiti was an Egyptian queen and the Great Royal Wife of Akhenaten, an Egyptian Pharaoh. Nefertiti and her husband were known for a revolution, in which they worshiped one god only, Aten. Together Akhenaten and Nefertiti were responsible for the creation of a new monotheistic religion which changed the ways of religion within Egypt. With her husband, she reigned at what was arguably the wealthiest period of Ancient Egyptian history, some scholars believe that Nefertiti ruled briefly as Neferneferuaten after her husbands death and before the accession of Tutankhamun, although this identification is a matter of ongoing debate. She was made famous by her bust, now in Berlins Neues Museum, the bust is one of the most copied works of ancient Egypt. It was attributed to the sculptor Thutmose, and it was found in his workshop, the bust is notable for exemplifying the understanding Ancient Egyptians had regarding realistic facial proportions. Nefertiti, Egyptian Nfr. t-jy. tj, original pronunciation approximately Nafteta, Nefertitis parentage is not known with certainty, but one often cited theory is that she was the daughter of Ay, to be pharaoh.
Nefertitis Scenes in the tombs of the nobles in Amarna mention the queens sister who is named Mutbenret, another theory that gained some support identified Nefertiti with the Mitanni princess Tadukhipa. The exact dates when Nefertiti married Akhenaten and became the great royal wife of Egypt are uncertain. Their six known daughters were, Meritaten, No than year 1, known as Ankhesenamen, queen of Tutankhamun Neferneferuaten Tasherit, Year 8, possibly became Pharaoh Neferneferuaten. Nefertiti first appears in scenes in Thebes, in the damaged tomb of the royal butler Parennefer, the new king Amenhotep IV is accompanied by a royal woman, and this lady is thought to be an early depiction of Nefertiti. The king and queen are shown worshiping the Aten, in the tomb of the vizier Ramose, Nefertiti is shown standing behind Amenhotep IV in the Window of Appearance during the reward ceremony for the vizier. During the early years in Thebes, Akhenaten had several temples erected at Karnak, one of the structures, the Mansion of the Benben, was dedicated to Nefertiti.
She is depicted with her daughter Meritaten and in some scenes the princess Meketaten participates as well, in scenes found on the talatat, Nefertiti appears almost twice as often as her husband. She is shown smiting the enemy, and captive enemies decorate her throne, in the fourth year of his reign, Amenhotep IV decided to move the capital to Akhetaten. In his fifth year, Amenhotep IV officially changed his name to Akhenaten, the name change was a sign of the ever-increasing importance of the cult of the Aten. It changed Egypts religion from a religion to a religion which may have been better described as a monolatry or henotheism. The boundary stelae of years 4 and 5 mark the boundaries of the new city, the new city contained several large open-air temples dedicated to the Aten
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 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 lost
Amarna art, or the Amarna style, is a style which was adopted in the Amarna Period, that is to say during and just after the reign of Akhenaten in the late Eighteenth Dynasty in the New Kingdom. It is characterized by a sense of movement and activity in images, with figures having raised heads, many figures overlapping and many scenes busy, the human body is portrayed differently, always shown in profile on reliefs, are slender, with exaggerated extremities. In particular depictions of Akhenatens body give him distinctly feminine qualities such as hips, prominent breasts. Other pieces, such as the most famous of all Amarna works, Amenhotep IV was one of the first to practice monotheism, the belief in just one god. Shortly after claiming the throne, he declared the god Aten, to pay homage to his chosen god, Amenhotep IV changed his name to Akenaten. Throughout his rule, Akenaten tried to change aspects of Egyptian culture to celebrate or praise his god, especially the style. The illustration of figures hands and feet are apparently important and toes are depicted as long and slender and are carefully detailed to show nails.
Artists showed subjects with elongated facial structures accompanied by folds within the skin as well as lowered eyelids, the figure was illustrated with a more elongated body than the previous representation. In the new form, the subject had more fat in the stomach and breast region, while the torso, arm. The skin color of male and female is generally dark brown. This could merely be convention, or it may depict the ‘life’ blood, figures in this style are shown with both a left and a right foot, contrasting the traditional style of being shown with either two left or two right feet. Akenaten moved the capital to the city now known as Amarna. After his death, conservative forces led by the temple priests reimposed the old religion, the new capital was abandoned, and traces of his monuments elsewhere defaced. These were only rediscovered in recent decades and it is now thought that several of the objects in the tomb of Akenatens son Tutankhamun were originally made for his father, for example, the relief on his throne.
The decoration of the tombs of non-royals is quite different from previous eras and these tombs do not feature any funerary or agricultural scenes, nor do they include the tomb occupant unless he or she is depicted with a member of the royal family. There is an absence of gods and goddesses, apart from the Aten, the Aten does not shine its rays on the tomb owner, only on members of the royal family. There is neither a mention of Osiris nor other funerary figures, there is no mention of a journey through the underworld. Instead, excerpts from the Hymn to the Aten are generally present, sculptures from the Amarna period are set apart from other periods of Egyptian art
Ay was the penultimate Pharaoh of Ancient Egypts 18th dynasty. Ays prenomen or royal name—Kheperkheperure—means Everlasting are the Manifestations of Ra while his birth name Ay it-netjer reads as Ay, Ay is usually believed to be a native Egyptian from Akhmim. During his short reign, he built a rock cut chapel in Akhmim and dedicated it to the deity there. He may have been the son of Yuya, who served as a member of the priesthood of Min at Akhmim as well as superintendent of herds in this city, and wife Tjuyu. If so, Ay could have been of partial non-Egyptian, perhaps Syrian, there are noted similarities in the physical likenesses of monuments attributed to Ay and those of the mummy of Yuya, and both held similar names and titles. Other titles listed in this tomb include Fan-bearer on the Right Side of the King, Acting Scribe of the King, beloved by him, and Gods Father. The Fan-bearer on the Right Side of the King was an important position. The final Gods Father title is the one most associated with Ay, alternatively, it could mean that he may have had a daughter that married the pharaoh Akhenaten, possibly being the father of Akhenatens chief wife Nefertiti.
Ultimately there is no evidence to prove either hypothesis. The Great Hymn to the Aten is found in his Amarna tomb which was built during his service under Akhenaten and it is likely that this was required by Akhenaten, though not evidence that Ay agreed with Akhenatens decision to promote the Aten above all other gods. It suggests that he did believe in Akhenatens religious revolution and his wife Tey was born a commoner but was given the title Nurse of the Pharaohs Great Wife. In several Amarna tomb chapels there is a woman whose name begins with Mut who had the title Sister of the Pharaohs Great Wife. This could be a daughter of Ays by his wife Tey, Ays reign was preceded by that of King Tutankhamun, who ascended to the throne at the age of eight or nine, at a time of great tension between the new monotheism and the old polytheism. He was assisted in his duties by his predecessors two closest advisors, Grand Vizier Ay and General of the Armies Horemheb. Egyptologist Bob Brier suggested that Ay murdered Tutankhamun in order to usurp the throne and he alleged that Ankhesenamun and the Hittite Prince she was about to marry were murdered at his orders.
However, Brier has stated that the fragment in the skull is not relevant to the issue of whether Tutankhamun was murdered. The evidence Brier presents for the murder is a spot on the base of the skull. Dr. Gerald Irwin agrees with Brier on this point, Tutankhamun could very well have died from this, combined with the infection in his knee
Ancient Egyptian religion
Ancient Egyptian religion was a complex system of polytheistic beliefs and rituals which were an integral part of ancient Egyptian society. It centered on the Egyptians interaction with many deities who were believed to be present in, and in control of, rituals such as prayers and offerings were efforts to provide for the gods and gain their favor. Formal religious practice centered on the pharaoh, the king of Egypt and he acted as the intermediary between his people and the gods and was obligated to sustain the gods through rituals and offerings so that they could maintain order in the universe. The state dedicated enormous resources to Egyptian rituals and to the construction of the temples, individuals could interact with the gods for their own purposes, appealing for their help through prayer or compelling them to act through magic. These practices were distinct from, but closely linked with, the formal rituals, the popular religious tradition grew more prominent in the course of Egyptian history as the status of the Pharaoh declined.
Another important aspect was the belief in the afterlife and funerary practices, the Egyptians made great efforts to ensure the survival of their souls after death, providing tombs, grave goods, and offerings to preserve the bodies and spirits of the deceased. The religion had its roots in Egypts prehistory and lasted for more than 3,000 years, the details of religious belief changed over time as the importance of particular gods rose and declined, and their intricate relationships shifted. At various times, certain gods became preeminent over the others, including the sun god Ra, the creator god Amun, for a brief period, in the theology promulgated by the Pharaoh Akhenaten, a single god, the Aten, replaced the traditional pantheon. Ancient Egyptian religion and mythology left behind many writings and monuments, along with significant influences on ancient, the beliefs and rituals now referred to as ancient Egyptian religion were integral within every aspect of Egyptian culture. Their language possessed no single term corresponding to the modern European concept of religion, the characteristics of the gods who populated the divine realm were inextricably linked to the Egyptians understanding of the properties of the world in which they lived.
The Egyptians believed that the phenomena of nature were divine forces in and these deified forces included the elements, animal characteristics, or abstract forces. The Egyptians believed in a pantheon of gods, which were involved in all aspects of nature and their religious practices were efforts to sustain and placate these phenomena and turn them to human advantage. This polytheistic system was complex, as some deities were believed to exist in many different manifestations. Conversely, many forces, such as the sun, were associated with multiple deities. The diverse pantheon ranged from gods with vital roles in the universe to minor deities or demons with very limited or localized functions. It could include gods adopted from foreign cultures, and sometimes humans, deceased Pharaohs were believed to be divine, and occasionally, distinguished commoners such as Imhotep became deified. The depictions of the gods in art were not meant as representations of how the gods might appear if they were visible.
Instead, these depictions gave recognizable forms to the deities by using symbolic imagery to indicate each gods role in nature
Ankhesenamun was a queen of the Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt. Born as Ankhesenpaaten, she was the third of six daughters of the Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenaten and his Great Royal Wife Nefertiti. The change in her name reflects the changes in Ancient Egyptian religion during her lifetime after her fathers death and her youth is well documented in the ancient reliefs and paintings of the reign of her parents. Tutankhamun and Ankhesenamun shared the same father but Tutankhamuns mother has recently established by genetic evidence as one of Akhenatens sisters. She was most likely born in year 4 of Akhenatens reign and he possibly made his wife his co-regent and had his family portrayed in a realistic style in all official artwork. Ankhesenamun was definitely married to one king, she was the Great Royal Wife of Pharaoh Tutankhamun and it is possible that she was briefly married to Tutankhamuns successor, Ay, believed by some to be her maternal grandfather. It has been posited that she may have been the Great Royal Wife of her father, after the death of her mother.
Recent DNA tests released in February 2010 have speculated that one of two late 18th dynasty queens buried in KV21 could be her mummy, both mummies are thought, because of DNA, to be members of the ruling house. Ankhesenpaaten was born in a time when Egypt was in the midst of a religious revolution. Her father had abandoned the old deities of Egypt in favor of the Aten, hitherto a minor aspect of the sun-god and she is believed to have been born in Waset, but probably grew up in her fathers new capital city of Akhetaten. The three eldest daughters – Meritaten and Ankhesenpaaten – became the Senior Princesses and participated in many functions of the government and she is believed to have been married first to her own father. This was not unusual for Egyptian royal families and she is thought to have been the mother of the princess Ankhesenpaaten Tasherit when she was twelve, although the parentage is unclear. After her fathers death and the reigns of Smenkhkare and Neferneferuaten. Following their marriage, the couple honored the deities of the religion by changing their names to Tutankhamun and Ankhesenamun.
The couple appear to have had two stillborn daughters, as Tutankhamuns only known wife was Ankhesenamun, it is highly likely the fetuses found in Tutankhamuns tomb are her daughters. Some time in the year of his reign, at about the age of eighteen, Tutankhamun died suddenly. A ring discovered is thought to show that Ankhesenamun married Ay shortly before she disappeared from history, on the walls of Ays tomb it is Tey, not Ankhesenamun, who appears as queen. She probably died during or shortly after his reign and no burial has been found for her yet, a document was found in the ancient Hittite capital of Hattusa which dates to the Amarna period, the so-called Deeds of Suppiluliuma I