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Akhenaten's Life

This table shows key events from the Reign of Akhenaten. These occurrences can be dated with reasonable accuracy from surviving inscriptions and correspondence. Note that the BC dates shown are approximate as many of the inscriptions are dated relative to the start of the Pharaohs reign.

There are still several facts about Akhenaten's reign which are unclear, in particular the possibility of co regency with his father at the start of his reign or with Smenkhkare at the end.

There is also uncertainty about the relationship between Akhenaten and his successors, Smenkhkare and Tutankhamun. It is accepted that Nefertiti had 6 daughters, but no son was ever shown in reliefs. It is possible that both successors were Akhenaten's sons by another wife, possibly Kiya who was 'much loved' of the Pharaoh.

The final mystery of Akhenaten was what became of his mummy. Fragments of sculpture and carving from the royal tomb at Akhetaten shows that his body was originally put there, but no sign of the mummy remains. It is possible that followers of the Aten feared for it's destruction, which would deny him eternal life, and moved the body to a place of safety, possibly at Thebes.

Year B.C. Year Of Reign Dated Events
1350 0
1349 1

Amenhotep IV continues work on pylons started by his father at Karnak

Birth of Meritaten

1348 2

Work started on 4 temples to the Aten at Thebes

Celebration of first Jubilee

1347 3
1346 4

Work starts on new city at Akhetaten

Birth of Meketaten and Ankhenspaaten

1345 5 Work at Karnak completed
1344 6

Central section of Akhetaten completed

Amenhotep IV changes name to Akhenaten

Work begins on Royal tomb

1343 7
1342 8 Seat of government transferred to Akhetaten
1341 9

Names of the Aten purified to remove references to all gods except Re

Akhenaten's Sarcophagus carved

1339 10 Birth of Neferneferuaten
1338 11 Birth of Neferneferure and Setepenre
1337 12

Official family, with all six of Nefertiti's daughters shown for last time

Akhenaten's mother, Queen Tiye, visits Akhetaten

1336 13 Death of Meketaten
1335 14

Death of Nefertiti

Meritaten becomes Queen

1334 15

Meritaten marries Smenkhkare

Co regency between Akhenaten and Smenkhkare

1333 16
1332 17 Death of Akhenaten