Akhenaten was known before the fifth year of his reign as Amenhotep IV. He was a Pharaoh of the Eighteenth dynasty of Egypt who ruled for 17 years, and was the father of Tutankhamun. He is especially noted for abandoning traditional Egyptian polytheism and introducing worship centered on the Aten.
The Aten, the sun-disk, is first referred to as a deity in The Story of Sinuhe from the 12th dynasty, in which the deceased king is described as rising as god to the heavens and uniting with the sun-disk, the divine body merging with its maker. By analogy, the term “silver Aten” was sometimes used to refer to the moon. The solar Aten was extensively worshiped as a god in the reign of Amenhotep III, when it was depicted as a falcon-headed man much like Ra.
Akhenaten claimed, “There is only one god, my father. I can approach him by day, by night.” This was a very, very strange statement for the time. Akhenaten could have been the first monotheist in all of history, a precursor to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Muhammad as prophets who worshiped one god.
In the reign of Amenhotep III’s successor, Amenhotep IV or Akhenaten, the Aten became the central god of Egyptian state religion, Amenhotep IV changed his name to Akhenaten to reflect his close link with the new supreme deity.
Akhenaten was one of the most controversial Pharaohs to rule Egypt. According to Egyptian Mythology he descended from the gods who arrived on Earth at the time of Tep Zepi and until today, people still believe that this Pharaoh did in fact come from the Stars. But was Akhenaten the alien Pharaoh?
In 1352 BC, Akhenaten ascended to the throne as the tenth pharaoh of the 18th dynasty. Almost immediately, he instituted a series of radical religious changes, including a ban on references to multiple gods. He abandoned traditional Egyptian polytheism and introduced the worship of the Aten.
An early inscription likens him to the sun as compared to the stars. Akhenaten, upon becoming Pharaoh ordered all the, the iconography of previous gods to be removed. He only allowed one emblem, which was a sun emblem, literally a sun disk with curious arms or rays pointing down.