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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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Finding Aten and Founding Akhet-Aten

Finding Aten and Founding Akhet-Aten

Chapter:
(p.136) Chapter 5 Finding Aten and Founding Akhet-Aten
Source:
Akhenaten and the Origins of Monotheism
Author(s):

James K. Hoffmeier

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199792085.003.0005

This critical chapter examines the development of Atenism, seeking an explanation for what prompted this revolution. Taking a clue from the name of the temple, Gem-Pa-Aten (used of a temple at Amarna and in Nubia), and means something like “the Aten is found,” it is suggested that this name refers to an original theophany that motivated the religious changes that followed. Other texts hint that he experienced a theophany and by revelation was urged to build a new capital, which occurred at Tell el-Amarna and was named Akhet-Aten. The boundary stelae around Akhet-Aten suggest that Aten discovered this sacred spot for the king, just as previously Aten was discovered by the king.

Keywords:   Atenism, theophany, Tell el-Amarna, Akhet-Aten, boundary stelae

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