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Moses and Akhenaten
one and the same person By Ahmed Osman

A New City for Aten

The situation calmed down, following Akhenaten’s departure while Amenhotep ruled alone in Thebes. For building his new city at Amarna Akhenaten chose a land that belonged to no god or goddess. The building started in his Year 4 and ended in Year 8, however he and his family moved from Thebes to Amarna in Year 6. A fine city it was. At this point the cliffs of the high desert recede from the river, leaving a great semi-circle about eight miles long and three miles broad. The clean yellow sand slope gently down to the river. Here Akhenaten built his new capital, Akhetaten, the Horizon of Aten, where he and his followers could be free to worship their God. Huge boundary stelae, marking the limits of the city and recording the story of its foundation, were carved in the surrounding cliffs. Akhenaten was a capital city possessed of both dignity and architectural harmony. Its main streets ran parallel to the Nile with the most important of them, the King’s Way, connecting the city’s most prominent buildings, including the King’s House where Akhenaten and his family lived their private family life. To the south of the house was the king’s private Temple to Aten. The Great Temple of Aten, a huge building constructed on an east-west axis, lay less than a quarter of a mile to the north along the King’s Way. It was entered through a pylon from the highway and a second entrance gave access to a hypostyle hall called the House of Rejoice of Aten. The house of the high priest Pa-Nehesy lay outside the enclosure’s south-east corner.

Akhenaten gave tombs, gouged out of the face of the cliffs surrounding his city, to those officials who had rallied to him. In the reliefs which the nobles carved for themselves in these tombs – showing Akhenaten with his queen and family dispensing honours and largesse, worshipping in the temple, driving in his chariot, dining and drinking – Nefertiti is depicted as having equal stature with the king and her names are enclosed in a cartouche.

Aten was represented by a disc at the top of royal scenes extended its rays towards the king and queen, and the rays end in their hands, holding the Ankh, the Egyptian cross symbol of eternal life, to the noses of the king and queen, a privilege which only they enjoy. Akhenaten conceived of a single controlling intelligence, behind and above all beings including the gods. The king and queen were the major figures in the cult of Aten, whose festivals they celebrated with the local people with music, chanting, offering of fruits and flowers, and rituals in the open air.

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Ahmed Osman's Moses and Akhenaten

Join us in Febuary, in The Mysteries forum, as we examine Ahmed Osman's case for linking the Biblical Moses with the Egyptian Pharaoh, Akhenaten, popularly characterized as the "first montheist." Pick up a copy of Moses and Akhenaten today, and find out just how similar these two figures really are.

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