Amenhotep IV, also known as Akhenaten, was the 12th pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt and the son of Amenhotep III and Queen Tiye. He ruled from approximately 1353 to 1336 BCE and was one of the most controversial pharaohs of ancient Egypt.

During his reign, Amenhotep IV introduced a new religion and artistic style that would come to be famous as the Amarna Period. He abandoned traditional Egyptian polytheism and introduced monotheism, worshiping the sun disk Aten as the sole deity. This new religion had a profound impact on Egyptian society and art, as Aten became the central focus of religious and cultural life.

Amenhotep IV also commissioned several major building projects, including the construction of a new capital city called Akhetaten, located in the eastern desert. The city was designed to reflect the worship of Aten, with temples, palaces, and other buildings oriented towards the sun. He also commissioned the construction of several other important buildings and monuments throughout Egypt.

Statue of Akhenaten at the Egyptian Museum


Despite his achievements, Amenhotep IV’s reign is also famous for its controversy and instability. He had several wives and children, including the famous Nefertiti, and his policies were often seen as disruptive and divisive. He also faced several challenges to his authority, including rebellions in Nubia and the Levant.

After his death, Amenhotep IV’s reign came to an end and his son, Tutankhamun, took the throne. Amenhotep IV’s legacy as a pharaoh is one of both controversy and innovation. His introduction of monotheism and new artistic style marked a significant departure from traditional Egyptian religion. And culture, and his building projects left a lasting impact on the landscape of ancient Egypt.