What was the Aten, the sun disk of Pharaoh Akhenaten?


One of the figures who has gathered more attention from ancient astronaut theorists than just about anyone else is the Pharaoh Akhenaten. The Heretic King, as he would later be known to some, had an immediately alien-looking appearance in carvings and statues. His wife, Queen Nefertiti, their daughter Meritaten, and his son by another wife, Tutankhamun, shared elongated heads and gangly limbs.

Alien beings?

 

Meritaten via YouTube

 

Ironically, Akhenaten and Nefertiti are now among the most famous of Egypt’s royalty today. Why? Because those who came after him, including the famous Tutankhamun, tried to erase his story. It was only discovered again with the discovery of the city of Amarna in the 19th century CE.

In fact, King Tut’s name was Tutankhaten, but he renounced reference to his father’s name when he ascended to the throne. The rejection was likely due to his father’s shocking religious revolution, which destroyed the cult of Amun. The Priests of Amun had gained wealth and political influence to the point they had a power that began to rival the pharoahs.

The Pharoah Akhenaten led the Amarna revolution, moving the capital from Thebes to a city named Akhetaten, later known as Amarna. He and Nefertiti attempted to convert all of Egypt to the worship of one deity, the Aten or Aton, a sun disk. It was one of the earliest forms of monotheism in a world where a plurality of gods had always been the norm. His very name Akhenaten means “beneficial to Aten.”

The revolution applied to all artwork. Although royalty had always been depicted in an unrealistic glorified form before, depictions of the royal family during this time were intimate and strangely realistic.

From Encyclopaedia Britannica:

“The royal family was depicted with features that, by comparison with standard conventions of Egyptian art, appear noticeably exaggerated: a prognathous jaw, a thin neck, sloped shoulders, a pronounced paunch, large hips and thighs, and spindly legs. Facial features were characterized by angular, slitted eyes, fleshy lips, nasolabial wrinkles, and holes for ear plugs, while the princesses are often each depicted with an inflated, egg-shaped cranium.”

 

Even stranger, in some cases, it’s impossible to know if the figures are male or female. It’s as if they are, in fact, interchangeable.

“The Karnak colossi in particular show these new characteristics in notably exaggerated form, including one that apparently depicts the king without male genitalia. Whether such statues were intended to represent the male and female element combined in the person of the divine king or whether they are simply statues of Nefertiti has not been satisfactorily settled.”

Nefertiti and Akhenaten via YouTube
Jean-Pierre Dalbéra from Paris, France – la salle d’Akhenaton (1356-1340 av J.C.) (Musée du Caire) via Wikimedia Commons CC BY 2.0

The appearance is so strange that some scholars suggested the family suffered from a genetic disorder called Marfan’s syndrome. On the other hand, ancient astronaut theorists believe these were signs of extraterrestrial origin. So far, the mummies remain missing, so we can’t know for sure, although some testing was carried out on King Tut. Those tests are widely considered false and suggested that Tutankhamun was the product of incest with a wide range of health problems.

See more about the search for Nefertiti and Akhenaten’s mummies below:

 

What is the Aten?

As the only mediators between the Aten and people, Akhenaten and the royal family became far more important than the Priests of Amun. Only they would speak for Aten, the only true god. Did the pharaoh really receive messages from the Aten, or was this merely symbolic? Whatever the case, the pharaoh ordered the temples closed and the old ways outlawed and destroyed.

The surviving text, called the Aten Hymn, described the Aten as an omnipresent creator of all nature, taking on millions of forms, not merely the familiar Sun.

“Men had slept like the dead; now they lift their arms in praise, birds fly, fish leap, plants bloom, and work begins. Aten creates the son in the mother’s womb, the seed in men, and has generated all life. He has distinguished the races, their natures, tongues, and skins, and fulfills the needs of all. Aten made the Nile in Egypt and rain, like a heavenly Nile, in foreign countries. He has a million forms according to the time of day and from where he is seen; yet he is always the same.”

What is the pharaoh doing here? Akhenaten and Nefertiti beneath the Aten via YouTube

Moses and the Aten

The hymn begins to sound quite similar to the story of Jesus, but from the middle of the 14th century BC.

“Every leg is on the move since you founded the earth.

You rouse them for your son who came from your body.”

The similarity to biblical texts was noted by the famous Sigmund Freud, in his 1939 CE work Moses and Monotheism. Freud believed that Moses, which translates to “child” in Egyptian, may have been an Egyptian who followed the cult of Aten. In fact, he may have been Thutmose, who disappeared from the historical records, reappearing as the biblical Moses.

After Akhenaten’s death, he suggests Moses was driven away. Then, as we know, a new religion based on one true God would change the world.

Before Akhenaten, the world was accustomed to polytheistic religion. Some ancient astronaut theorists think that Akhenaten may have tried to erase former religious beliefs as a means to conceal the true origins of the human species – A species created through genetic manipulation by alien beings. A more ordinary explanation is that the pharaoh was trying to take power back from the Cult of Amun, which had grown too powerful and corrupt.

Did Akhenaten want to lead his followers away from the truth or toward it through connecting to higher consciousness?

Related: Legends of the Inca and the mysterious Sun Disk that disappeared after opening a Stargate

 

More about Moses and his possible connection to a secret brother, Akhenaten and his son King Tut:

 

Wisdom from the Sky

In the depictions of the Aten, the disk shone down with sun-like rays, enlightening and blessing the royal family with god-like status and apparent wisdom. Mainstream scholars say the Aten was merely the Sun but was the Aten much more than that?

According to ancient astronaut theorist, Giorgio A. Tsoukalos, the description of Aten indicates it wasn’t the celestial body of the Sun at all.

“The Aten was described as this flying sun disk. Egyptologists are merely saying that this was nothing else but the Sun, but the question is, can the Sun instruct you in different disciplines? And the answer is no,” explains Tsoukalos.

“So we have to see whether or not our ancestors encountered technology and misinterpreted it as something in nature,” he continued.

More about “Ancient Egypt’s Alien-Hybrid Ruler” from the History Channel:


Featured image: Screenshot via YouTube


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Corbin Black

Corbin has written hundreds of articles on a wide variety of topics, with a background in biology, art, and design. He maintains a healthy dose of skepticism while keeping an open mind on topics like extraterrestrials and unknown phenomenon. Every day, there is more fascinating news to ponder. He hopes to inspire that sense of wonder and imagination in our readers.