Aten, Egyptian God of the Sun

Aten, Egyptian God of the Sun

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Credit: Los Angeles County Museum/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY


Caption: Terracotta mold with Cartouche of the God Aten, Egypt, New Kingdom, 18th Dynasty, reign of Akhenaten (1372-1355 BC). Aten was a being who represented the god or spirit of the sun, and the actual solar disk. He also signified the influence of the god Ra. He was depicted as a disk with rays reaching to the earth. At the end of the rays were human hands which often extended the ankh to the pharaoh. The deified Aten is the focus of the monolatristic, henotheistic, or monotheistic religion of Atenism established by Amenhotep IV, who later took the name Akhenaten in worship and recognition of Aten. In Egyptian hieroglyphs, a cartouche is an oval with a horizontal line erected at one end, indicating that the text enclosed is a royal name.

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