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Were ancient Egyptians secretly monotheistic?

Were ancient Egyptians secretly monotheistic?

In The Cat of Bubastes, Victorian era author G. A. Henty asserts that all of the gods of the Egyptian Pantheon originally described individual attributes of a single god. Over time, common people came to worship these symbols as gods in their own right, but the high priesthood always maintained a belief in a single god who had all of the attributes represented by the various other "gods".

I realize that this book is historical fiction, but all of his other books (he was rather a prolific author) have been praised as well researched and historically accurate. According to his contemporary (and modern) critics, his descriptions of major events, cultural practices, behaviors, and beliefs are considered accurate.

Is there some basis for the belief that the high priesthood, at least, was monotheistic?


According to Conceptions of God in Ancient Egypt: The One and the Many* by Erik Hornung, this is a foreign idea that has been projected upon the ancient Egyptians, due to their frequent blending of gods:

[pp. 97-99, on the Egyptian ability to combine the names of deities, combine their attributes, and on mistaken notions that Egyptian religion originated with, or seemed to tend towards, monotheism:] Is the purpose of these combinations a clever priestly “equalization” of conflicting religious claims, as Bonnet, like his predecessors, assumed? Must gods be “equated” with one another until one finishes with a vague, solar-tinged pantheism? Such an interchange of attributes, which leads towards uniformity, is un-Egyptian; if anything it is Hellenistic. The Egyptians place the tensions and contradictions in the world beside one another and then live with them. Amon-Re is not the synthesis of Amun and Re but a new form that exists along with the older gods… .

It is clear that syncretism does not contain any “monotheistic tendency,” but rather forms a strong counter-current to monotheism-so long as it is kept within bounds. Syncretism softens henotheism, the concentration of worship on a single god, and stops it from turning into monotheism, for ultimately syncretism means that a single god is not isolated from the others: in Amun one apprehends and worships also Re, or in Harmachis other forms of the sun god. In this way the awareness is sharpened that the divine partner of humanity is not one but many… .

We shall find repeatedly that Egyptian deities do not present themselves to us with as clear and well defined a nature as that of the gods of Greece. The conception of god which we encounter here is fluid, unfinished, changeable. But we should not impute to the Egyptians confused conceptions of their gods… It is evidently unnatural for Egyptian gods to be strictly defined. Their being remains a fluid state to which we are not accustomed; it escapes every dogmatic, final definition and can always be extended or further differentiated. The combinations gods form with other gods are transitory in many respects and can be dissolved at any time. This fluidity leaves no room for monotheism, which bases itself on unambiguous definitions.

* The link is to a blog which quotes the book. The above quote comes from that blog: word and silence.


Monotheism in the Ancient World

A beautiful series of windows depicting the Genesis account of Creation in the church of Christ the King, Gordon Square in London. / Wikimedia Commons

In the ancient world, the concept of monotheism as we understand it today did not exist all ancient people were polytheists.

By Dr. Rebecca Denova
Senior Lecturer in Religious Studies
University of Pittsburgh


Contents

The book consists of three essays and is an extension of Freud's work on psychoanalytic theory as a means of generating hypotheses about historical events, in combination with his obsessive fascination with Egyptological scholarship, archaeology, and antiquities. [7] [8] Freud hypothesizes that Moses was not Hebrew, but actually born into Ancient Egyptian nobility and was probably a follower of Akhenaten, "the world's earliest recorded monotheist." [9]

The biblical account of Moses is reinterpreted by Freud in light of new findings at Tel-El-Amarna. Archaeological evidence of the Amarna Heresy, Akhenaten's monotheistic worship of the Ancient Egyptian solar god Aten, had only been discovered in 1887 and the interpretation of that evidence was still in an early phase. [10] Freud's monograph on the subject, for all the controversy that it ultimately provoked, was one of the first popular accounts of these findings. [7]

In Freud's retelling of the events, Moses led only his close followers into freedom (during an unstable period in Ancient Egyptian history after Akhenaten's death ca. 1350 BCE), that they subsequently killed the Egyptian Moses in rebellion, and still later joined with another monotheistic tribe in Midian who worshipped a volcano god called Yahweh. [4] [11] Freud supposed that the monotheistic solar god Aten of the Egyptian Moses was fused with Yahweh, the Midianite volcano god, and that the deeds of Moses were ascribed to a Midianite priest who also came to be called Moses. [12] Moses, in other words, is a composite figure, from whose biography the uprising and murder of the original Egyptian Amarna-cult priest has been excised. [4]

Freud explains that centuries after the murder of the Egyptian Moses, the rebels regretted their action, thus forming the concept of the Messiah as a hope for the return of Moses as the Saviour of the Israelites. Freud claimed that repressed (or censored) collective guilt stemming from the murder of Moses was passed down through the generations leading the Jews to neurotic expressions of legalistically religious sentiment to disperse or cope with their inheritance of trauma and guilt. In many respects, the book reiterates the theogony that Freud first argued in Totem and Taboo, [13] as Freud acknowledges in the text of Moses & Monotheism on several occasions. For example, he writes:

"[This] conviction I acquired when I wrote my book on Totem and Taboo (1912), and it has only become stronger since. From then on, I have never doubted that religious phenomena are to be understood only on the model of the neurotic symptoms of the individual, which are so familiar to us, as a return of long forgotten important happenings in the primeval history of the human family, that they owe their obsessive character to that very origin and therefore derive their effect on mankind from the historical truth that they contain." [4]

According to the historian of religion Kimberly B. Stratton, in Moses and Monotheism Freud "posits a primal act of murder as the origin of religion, and specifically ties the memory (and repression) of it to the exodus story and birth of biblical monotheism". [1] The mythologist Joseph Campbell wrote that Freud's suggestion that Moses was an Egyptian "delivered a shock to many of his admirers". According to Campbell, Freud's proposal was widely attacked, "both with learning and without." Campbell himself refrained from passing judgment on Freud's views about Moses, although he considered Freud's willingness to publish his work despite its potential offensiveness "noble". [14]

The philosopher Mikkel Borch-Jacobsen and the psychologist Sonu Shamdasani argued that in Moses and Monotheism Freud applied to history "the same method of interpretation that he used in the privacy of his office to 'reconstruct' his patients' forgotten and repressed memories." [15] The Anglican theologian Rowan Williams stated that Freud's accounts of the origins of Judaism are "painfully absurd", and that Freud's explanations are not scientific but rather "imaginative frameworks". [16]

Biblical archaeologist William Foxwell Albright dismissed Freud's book by stating that it "is totally devoid of serious historical method and deals with historical data even more cavalierly than with the data of instrospective and experimental psychology". [17] More recently, Israeli archaeologist Aren Maier was also critical toward Freud's work and called his analysis "simplistic and largely incorrect", while Egyptologist Brian Murray Fagan stated that it "had no basis in historical fact". [18] Egyptologist Donald Bruce Redford recently wrote:

Before much of the archaeological evidence from Thebes and from Tell el-Amarna became available, wishful thinking sometimes turned Akhenaten into a humane teacher of the true God, a mentor of Moses, a christlike figure, a philosopher before his time. But these imaginary creatures are now fading away as the historical reality gradually emerges. There is little or no evidence to support the notion that Akhenaten was a progenitor of the full-blown monotheism that we find in the Bible. The monotheism of the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament had its own separate development—one that began more than half a millennium after the pharaoh's death. [19]


Although many Egyptians continued worshipping the old gods, some in Akhenaten's court did publicly adopt the new religion, threatening the status of the traditionally powerful priestly caste. After Akhenaten’s death, many works of art and architecture from his controversial reign were damaged or destroyed, and some attempts were made to later write him out of Egyptian history.

The next pharaoh after Akhenaten was King Tutankhamun, the same “King Tut” now famous for his well-preserved burial chamber, which was rediscovered in 1922. Tutankhamun was Akhenaten’s son, but he departed sharply from his predecessor’s religious policies. Tutankhamun reinstated the temples of the old gods early in his reign. Worship of Aten did continue, but as part of the traditional polytheistic system.


Ancient Egyptians more closely related to Europeans than modern Egyptians, scientists claim

However Egyptologist says he is 'particularly suspicious of any statement that may have the unintended consequences of asserting – yet again from a northern European or North American perspective – that there’s a discontinuity' between ancient and modern populations

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Scientists who managed to obtain full genome sequences of Ancient Egyptians for the first time have concluded the people of the pharaohs were more closely related to modern Europeans and inhabitants of the Near East rather than present-day Egyptians.

But the claims sparked suspicion from one leading Egyptologist, who questioned whether genetic analysis could justify such a sweeping statement and pointed to a long history of spurious attempts to separate ancient Egyptians from the modern-day population.

The mummies were taken from a single archaeological site on the River Nile, Abusir el-Meleq, which was inhabited from 3,250BC to 700AD and was home to a cult of Osiris, the god of the dead, making it a good place to be buried.

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A complete genome sequence was obtained for three mummies and mitochondrial DNA, which is passed through the female line, was obtained from 90 individuals. They were dated to between about 1,400BC and 400AD.

The researchers, writing in the journal Nature Communications, admitted their sample “may not be representative for all of ancient Egypt”.

Nevertheless, they concluded the mummified people were “distinct from modern Egyptians, and closer towards Near Eastern and European samples”.

“Our analyses reveal that ancient Egyptians shared more ancestry with Near Easterners than present-day Egyptians,” they wrote.

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And they added: “We find that ancient Egyptians are most closely related to Neolithic and Bronze Age samples in the Levant, as well as to Neolithic Anatolian and European populations.

“When comparing this pattern with modern Egyptians, we find that the ancient Egyptians are more closely related to all modern and ancient European populations that we tested, likely due to the additional African component in the modern population.”

In contrast to the changes between the ancient and modern period, the researchers, from Cambridge University and institutions in Germany, Poland and Australia, found the genetic make-up of the mummies was remarkably constant despite the arrival of the Romans and other foreign powers.

Dr Wolfgang Haak, group leader at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History, said: “The genetics of the Abusir el-Meleq community did not undergo any major shifts during the 1,300-year timespan we studied, suggesting that the population remained genetically relatively unaffected by foreign conquest and rule.”


Could Akhenaton be Moses?

Akhenaten certainly seemed like a religious zealot devoted to a single god. Perhaps his passions were divinely inspired or maybe they centered on a more worldly aim of absolute power and control free of the priesthood’s influence. One man seems to imply that Akhenaten’s motives stemmed from the fact that he was Moses himself – the man depicted in the old testament of the Bible. Ahmed Osman - author of Moses and Akhenaton: The Secret History of Egypt at the Time of the Exodus - is convinced that archaeological and Biblical evidence prove that Akhenaten and Moses were the same man.

Moses with the Tables of the Law, Guido Rene ( Public Domain )

Ahmed Osman - author of Moses and Akhenaton: The Secret History of Egypt at the Time of the Exodus


Ancient Egypt was undoubtedly black

Well, ancient Egypt was riddled with images and sculptures of black-skinned people with wooly hair.

Members of the royal family of Egypt, called Pharaohs, along with the common folk of Egypt were black people who were indistinguishable from the modern day negro/Bantu.

Egypt is thus as important to black history as Greece is to white history. Even more so, Egypt is the cradle of all mankind because its civilisation predates most others. Humans began as hunter/gatherers in Africa and only used stone tools.

Writing, monotheism, circumcision, higher education, livestock rearing and most early inventions to do with agriculture, architecture and so on originated in Egypt.

It was akin to the civilisation in Mesopotamia but superseded it because of the land’s geographical advantages.

Egypt did not receive much rainfall since ancient times, but the river of Cush, which is known as the Nile, receives water from Uganda and Ethiopia were the river begins.

The river disgorges on the valley of the Nile and finally into the Mediterranean ocean. These deposits of animal matter, human cargo and plant matter made the Nile Valley very fertile.

Cultivation increased and improved, prompting humans to live closer to the Nile Valley.

Bigger populations began living together and social and economic systems had to be developed to cope with them.

Irrigation systems such as flooding with the use of the shaduf and canals were innovated and metalwork to improve tools and weapons thrived.

Hairstyling, jewelry, embalming and other tertiary developments were largely pioneered in Egypt and many of their traits of civilisation would spread to the rest of the world through the travailing of Egyptians or foreigners who visited Egypt.

Greece, for example, owes many things to the ancient Egyptians. Their arrival and annexation of Egypt led them into a renaissance in almost every aspect of life.

They got their knowledge of mathematics, science and spirituality from Egypt. Some of their most revered scholars attended mystery schools in Egypt and even they portrayed the Egyptians as ethiops or burnt-face people.

Alexander, the so-called great, who led the Greeks to world dominion was paternally Egyptian and was crowned king of Egypt.

He was called the bearer of two horns because he had assumed his step-father King Phillip of Macedonia’s power upon his death.

Alexander admired his Afro-Asiatic roots so much that he instituted miscegenation between Greeks and Asians to form a Eurasian race as a measure to strengthen the Greek race.

This reverence of Egyptians preceded Alexander and Greek gods, such as Zeus.

The earliest ancestors of Greeks and Romans were Amalekites (Agagites) and Idumeans (Lacedeminians) who were both Edomites or descendants of Esau. He was a child of Afro-Asiatic black people who originally inhabited western Asia, yet Esau came out with a peculiar red and hairy phenotype.

This shows that these Westerners, namely the Greeks and Romans, did not only inherit their civilisation from Afro-Asiatic blacks but also their ancestry.

But in the media, in school and so fourth, we find the ancient Egyptians being portrayed as non-blacks, even whites or this red Edomite race.

This is far from the truth. The Egyptians were black, and Afro-Asiatic groups like the Hebrew people used to run to their land to hide from oppressive groups of the north, including the Assyrians, Babylonians and later Greeks and Romans.

This was done to blend in with Egypt’s black populace and individuals like Joseph, Moses, Zipporah (Ishmaelite) and Paul were mistaken for Egyptians in the Bible.

Ancient Egyptian kings like Tutankhamun had wooly hair and the colour of their skin resembled bronze and copper the colour of reddish brown soil. This is the shade of black found among many Africans in sub-Saharan Africa.

Afro Asiatic races of the north, particularly Hittites and Hebrew people were of the same complexion but kept beards and dressed differently from Egyptians.

Hittites were Canaanites, brothers to Cush and Mesrium, the pilgrim fathers of Ethiopia and Egypt respectively. Though these Hittites eventually succumbed to a skin depigmentation disease called vitiligo or leprosy, they were originally indistinguishable from their Egyptian brethren as depicted in Egyptian artefacts such as Tutankhamun’s chariot and treasure chest.

Nubians were fellow Africans who were south of Egypt. Their distinction from Egyptians was in their complexion which was darker and bordered on the shade of brownish black. They, too, were carved onto the chariot and treasure chest of Tutankhamun.

The descendants of the Nubians can be found around Chad and Sudan, still bearing a darker complexion than most Southern African Bantu groups.

Thankfully, the ancient Egyptians had a global worldview and depicted not only themselves in their art, but also groups that lived around them.

According to their art, the only non-black group known to the ancient Egyptians were the red skinned Edomites who initially inhabited neighbouring Mount Seir and Arabah.

Ramses III’s paternal ancestry along with those of other mummified bodies were found to be identical to that of the modern day sub-Saharan Africans, namely E1b1a.

Meaning that the descendants of the ancient Egyptians relocated to southern and western Africa owing to the drying of the Sahara region.

The migration of Egyptians and Nubians to south and west Africa led to the introduction of livestock rearing, stone sculpturing, cultivation, mining, smelting, the use of animal symbols, totems and crops like millet to those regions.

Blacks are still the indigenous people of Egypt.

The light-skinned groups came from the Persians who conquered Egypt before 400 BCE the Greeks who followed around 380 BCE the Romans who followed after 68 BCE the Arabs after 700 CE who began black but were taken to inter-marrying with fair- skinned Europeans, particularly Slavic blonde hair and blue-eyed women.

And, finally, the Turks who were present in Egypt from the time of the Ottomans in the 1500s CE up until the late 19 th Century of our current era.

These never returned to their homelands but are still in Egypt. It is thus a great misconception to identify the race of these latter groups with the ancient Egyptians whom we find carved in numerous statues, and carved on numerous artefacts in that land.

The ancient Egyptians and Hebrew people walked shirtless in the high heat and if any of these light-skinned migrants tried to do likewise, they would succumb to sunburn and skin diseases. That is why they wrap themselves in sheets to fend off direct contact with the sun.

Greek scholars like Hypocrites, Plato and Aristotle all recognised the Egyptians as black people. Western scholars also encountered this evidence which debunked their theory of blacks being uncivilised and thus incapable of founding a civilisation.

Eventually a British scientist named Seligman came up with a theory that claimed there were two types of Egyptians brown whites from the north and blacks from the south.

He called this the Hamitic theory and attributed the Egyptian civilisation to the brown whites who he claims are ancestors and kinsmen of the Caucasian race.

This subjective theory, based not on fact or evidence but sophistry (lies) meant to tarnish black historical greatness and promote white supremacy, is the only connection whites claim to have to Egypt.


Ancient Egyptians were closer to Armenians than to Africans a new genetics study reveals

A team of international scientists from the University of Tuebingen and the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Germany analyzed the DNA of 93 Egyptian mummies dating from approximately 1400 BCE to 400 CE. The evidence from their study reveals a surprising close relation to ancient people of the Near East such as Armenians.

Our analyses reveal that ancient Egyptians shared more ancestry with Near Easterners than present-day Egyptians, who received additional sub-Saharan admixture in more recent times.

We find that ancient Egyptians are most closely related to Neolithic and Bronze Age samples in the Levant, as well as to Neolithic Anatolian and European populations.

Furthermore, the researchers found that over the 1,300-year period that the mummies represented, the population genetics of the ancient Egypt stayed surprising stable, despite foreign invasions.

The genetics of the Abusir el-Meleq community did not undergo any major shifts during the 1,300-year timespan we studied, suggesting that the population remained, genetically, relatively unaffected by foreign conquest and rule.

said Wolfgang Haak, from the Max Planck Institutes.

Map of Egypt depicting the location of the archaeological site Abusir-el Meleq (orange X) and the location of the modern Egyptian samples (orange circles)

The sub-Saharan African genetic influx seems to have only started after the Roman period, which coincides with the advent of monotheism in particularly Islam. Hence why modern Egyptians are more genetically shifted towards African people than the ancient Egyptians.

We found the ancient Egyptian samples falling distinct from modern Egyptians, and closer towards Near Eastern and European samples. In contrast, modern Egyptians are shifted towards sub-Saharan African populations.

So it turns out that modern Egyptians share more genetic ancestry with Sub-Saharan Africans than ancient Egyptians did, while the ancient Egyptians show a closer genetic affinity with ancient people from the Near East and the Levant like Armenians.

Egyptian mummy portraits, 1st c. B.C.E. – 1st c. C.E.

Tutankhamun’s paternal lineage

Something similar was revealed a few years ago when a controversy erupted surrounding Tutankhamun’s paternal lineage. Egyptian scholars have tested the autosomal and Y-DNA markers of three Pharaohs of the 18th dynasty : Amenhotep III, his son Akhenaten and grandson Tutankhamun. The aim was to determine the cause of death of Tutankhamun, who died at age 19. They however did not release the genetic data to the public themselves. The Discovery Chanel was making a documentary about this research and perhaps by mistake has recorded and aired some of the results from scientists computers.

Keen observers of the genetics company iGENEA quickly pointed out that the video from Discovery Channel shows the Y-STR results, which appear to be R1b. R1b and its variants is rare among modern Egyptians and the Middle East, it is however quite common in Europe and among the Armenians. This revelation however has not been taken seriously by academia, since the results were never officially published by Egyptian scholars.

Looking back however, with the recent study in mind, it is highly possible that the ancient Egyptian Pharaohs had European or Armenian ancestry.

Ancient Europeans and modern Armenians

The Armenian Highlands and Anatolia form a bridge connecting Europe, the Near East and the Caucasus. Anatolia’s location and history have placed it at the centre of several modern human expansions in Eurasia: it has been inhabited continuously since at least the early Upper Palaeolithic, and has the oldest known monumental complex built by huntergatherers in the 10th millennium BCE (Armenian Portasar commonly known as Göbekli Tepe). It is believed to have been the origin and/or route for migrating Near Eastern farmers towards Europe during the Neolithic, and has also played a major role in the dispersal of the Indo-European languages.

A genetics study by Haber et. al (2015) published not so long ago in the Nature’s European Journal of Human Genetics has demonstrated this connection.

We show that Armenians have higher genetic affinity to Neolithic Europeans than other present-day Near Easterners, and that 29% of the Armenian ancestry may originate from an ancestral population best represented by Neolithic Europeans.

Hence today’s Armenians show genetic affinity to both the ancient Europeans and Egyptians. For more details read the following article: Armenians Have A High Genetic Affinity To Ancient Europeans

The Hyksos

One explanation for the ancient Egyptian genetic affinity to Near East and Europe could be the Hyksos invasion. The Hyksos (Egyptian heqa khaseshet, meaning: “ruler(s) of the foreign countries”) were a people of unknown origin who settled in the eastern Nile Delta, some time before 1650 BC and ruled over Egypt well into the Hellenistic era. The Hyksos were often described as bowmen and cavalrymen wearing the cloaks of many colors. They were excellent archers and horse riders, who brought chariot warfare to Egypt.

Various theories have been postulated regarding their origin among them the theory of their Hurrian and Indo-European descent. Their way of life certainly resembles that of the Armeno-Aryan peoples of the time. The Hyksos for example practiced horse burials, and their chief deity was a storm God who later became associated with the Egyptian storm and desert god Set. Ancient Armenians worshiped the storm God Teshub/Teisheba. Teshub was later also identified with Aramazd and Hayk.

Furthermore, the Hyksos brought several technical innovations to Egypt, as well as cultural infusions such as new musical instruments and foreign loanwords. The changes introduced include new techniques of bronze working and pottery, new breeds of animals, and new crops. In warfare, they introduced the horse and chariot, the composite bow, improved battle axes, and advanced fortification techniques. All of this strongly suggests Indo-European origin. Robert Drews (1994) in this book “The Coming of the Greeks: Indo-European Conquests in the Aegean and the Near East” describes the Hyksos as follows:

“Where the hyksos chiefs who took over Egypt ca. 1650 B.C. may have gotten their chariots and charioteers is not known, but eastern Anatolia is not an unlikely source. The most direct evidence for the importance of Armenia in the development and manufacture of military chariots in the Late Bronze Age comes from Egyptian tombs. Since Egypt lacked the necessary woods, one assumes that the pharaohs regularly purchased from abroad either finished chariots or-after Egyptian woodworkers had perfected their skills-the requisite chariot wood. A tomb inscription from the reign of Amenhotep II declares that the wood for His Majesty’s chariot was brought from “the country of Naharin” (Mitanni). Since Mitanni itself was not wooded, we may suppose that the material come from the mountains to the north of Mitanni. In the case of the fifteenth century chariot now in Florance’s Museo Archeologico, studies of the wood done more than fifty years ago concluded that the chariot was made in Armenia, or quite precisely in the mountainous area bounded on the east by the Caspian, and on the south and west by a diagonal line extending from the southern shores of the Caspian to the Black Sea coast in the vicinity of Trebizond. If Egypt was to some extent dependent upon eastern Anatolia for its chariotry during the Eighteenth Dynasty, there are grounds for suspecting that when the chariot warfare first came to Egypt, it came from Armenia.”

That there was plenty of contact between ancient Egypt and ancient Armenia is apparent from Egyptian artifacts that were found in ancient Armenian burials. Whether the Hyksos explain the ancient Egyptian affinity to Armenians and other ancient people of Levant, Anatolia and Europe, or that perhaps this genetic influx extends to far older times remains a mystery. It is not unthinkable that the entire ancient Egyptian civilization radiated from the Armenian plateau after the invention and the spread of agriculture that occurred on the Armenian Highlands and its adjacent territories. The fact that within 1,300-year timespan that these DNA samples represent, there is great genetic continuity among the ancient Egyptians, suggests that it might extend to much older periods even predating the Hyksos invasion. Unless scholars find older Egyptian DNA to analyse and compare, this will remain a subject of discussion.

Another caution regarding the generalization of these findings should be considered. All of the 93 mummies that have been investigated were found in the same place at Abusir el-Meleq. It is possible that they represent only the upper class of ancient Egyptian life or a regional subgroup. However, because of the fairly large time period (1300 years) these mummies belonged to, it is also feasible to assume that they indeed represent a large portion of the genetics of ancient Egypt, with its roots possibly in Armenian Highlands.


4 Akhenaten

Akhenaten was potentially one of the biggest religious innovators in human history. The Egyptian pharaoh who lived and ruled during the 18th Dynasty is famous as the one who switched Egypt from a polytheistic society into a monotheistic one. [7] The god that the pharaoh worshiped was called Aten or the Sun Disk. Akhenaten&rsquos devotion for his god even pushed him to build a whole city for Aten.

In poetry of the time, the pharaoh is portrayed as being visited by beings from the sky. Some have even indicated that he was one of these beings himself. Akhenaten brought religious and social revolution in Egypt and started a new era for the nation. To do so in a traditionally polytheistic civilization adds to the suspicion that he wasn&rsquot doing it alone but was guided.


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