Virtual Guide

Akhenaten's Legacy

During the later years of Akhenaten's reign two mysterious characters appear; first a co-regent called Ankhkheprura and then a co-regent/successor called Smenkhkara, other names used for these two suggest they may be the same person and possibly female. At the same time Nefertiti disappears from view; could it be that the powerful and divine Nefertiti achieved such a status that she took new names and titles as co-regent and was able, for a short time, to take the throne herself? Was this why Merytaten was needed as "Great Royal Wife"?

Shortly after Akhenaten's death the young Tutankhamun, Akhenaten's son-in-law and possibly also his son, was on the throne. He soon abandoned Amarna and the worship of Aten, reinstating the traditional deities and beginning the restoration of the monuments and temples of Amen, the powerful god of Thebes. Tutankhamun died when he was less than twenty years old and was buried in the Valley of the Kings, where his tomb was discovered in l922.

Tutankhamen wearing a nemes headdress

Reign of Tutankhamen, 1332 - 1322 B.C.
Sandstone; h. 29.6 cm, w. 26.5 cm
Gift of Miss Mary S. Ames.
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, 1911 11.1533