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Akhenaten and the Origins of Monotheism$
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James K. Hoffmeier

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199792085

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199792085.001.0001

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The Domain of Aten

The Domain of Aten

The Temples of Aten at Karnak

(p.91) Chapter 4 The Domain of Aten
Akhenaten and the Origins of Monotheism

James K. Hoffmeier

Oxford University Press

This chapter deals with the temples that Amenhotep IV built to the Aten at Karnak. He used a unique block (called talatat) for the construction. After the Amarna period, the Aten temples were dismantled and the blocks were reused elsewhere, making the original location of the temples a mystery. Excavations in east Karnak in the 1970s revealed the location of the Gem-pa-Aten Temple, which was used to celebrate his Heb Sed Festival. In connection with this ceremony, the king’s name was changed to Akhenaten. The famous colossal statues of Akhenaten were originally from this temple. The Aten temples at Thebes provide important information about the early years of Akhenaten’s religion.

Keywords:   Aten temples, Karnak, Heb Sed Festival, Akhenaten, talatat blocks

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