This passage discusses an important pharoah in ancient Egypt, Akhenaten.

Lexile Level: 640L

Categories: History People & Places

Akhenaten was a pharaoh in ancient Egypt. He ruled Egypt in the thirteenth century B.C. Like most pharaohs, he had many wives. Chief among them was Nefertiti. A famous limestone bust of Nefertiti has survived to this day, showing her to be a beautiful woman. Akhenaten was first known as Amenhotep IV. He changed his name to honor the sun god, Aton. That is why he is remembered; he worshipped one god, Aton. Previously, Egyptians had believed in many gods. This is called polytheism. Akhenaten tried to remake all of society to reflect his idea that the sun god, Aton, was the only god. He changed his name and changed the name of the capital. He had monuments to other gods defaced. This led to his downfall. After Akhenaten died, his mummy was destroyed. Just as he had defaced monuments, most references to him were erased from structures. Also, because he had spent his reign obsessed with religion rather than politics, the size of the Egyptian empire shrank considerably after him.

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