The Amarna Period – Paradise or Hell?

the aten planet mercury

Akhenaten & Nefertiti with the kids. The Aten/Mercury replete with sunrays taking center stage.

Akhenaten & Amarna

The ancient Egyptian city of Tell el-Amarna (or simply Amarna) was the short-lived capital built by the ‘heretic’ Pharaoh Akhenaten and abandoned shortly after his death (c. 1332 BCE). It was here that he pursued his vision of a society dedicated to the cult of one god, the power of the sun (the Aten). As well as this historic interest Amarna remains the largest readily accessible living-site from ancient Egypt. It is thus simultaneously the key to a chapter in the history of religious experience and to a fuller understanding of what it was like to be an ancient Egyptian. There is no other site like it.

Akhenaten – meaning “living spirit of Aten” – known before the fifth year of his reign as Amenhotep IV (sometimes given its Greek form, Amenophis IV, and meaning Amun is Satisfied), was a Pharaoh of the Eighteenth dynasty of Egypt who ruled for 17 years and died perhaps in 1336 BC or 1334 BC. He is especially noted for abandoning traditional Egyptian polytheism and introducing worship centered on the Aten, which is sometimes described as monotheistic or henotheistic. An early inscription likens him to the sun as compared to stars, and later official language avoids calling the Aten a god, giving the solar deity a status above mere gods.

Pharaoh Akhenaten was known as the Heretic King. He was the tenth King of the 18th Dynasty. Egyptologists are still trying to figure out what actually happened during his lifetime as much of the truth was buried after he died.

Akhenaten lived at the peak of Egypt’s imperial glory. Egypt had never been richer, more powerful, or more secure. Up and down the Nile, workers built hundreds of temples to pay homage to the Gods. They believed that if the Gods were pleased, Egypt would prosper. And so it did.

Aten Mercury Akhenaten

The Aten-Mercury with unusual sunrays.

In short at the peak of Egypt’s glory the pharaoh Akhenaten took the momentous decision to uproot his court and capital from Thebes and build a new capital 250 miles to the north at a place now called Amarna. A fresh start, a rich city, dedicated to the virtual sole worship of the new god the Aten as all other gods were banished. After about 20 years Akhenaten died and Amarna was abandoned. A few years after his death the Tutankhamen moved the capital back to Thebes and re-established the power of the earlier gods. Attempts were later made to erase Akhenaten’s name from historical records.

Seems as though the Aten was so benevolent after all!

It was thought that as a brand new capital city that it would have been well supplied – from the workers to the royal court, a high point of health and fitness. That was until Professor Barry Kemp and his team began excavating the Amarna tombs in 2005. In studying human remains, they were shocked and surprised to find that the Aten that was said to provide warmth, light and life, was found wanting when it came to the supporting ‘life’ bit.

The dark side of Amarna


Regardless of whether or not Akhenaten wanted people to love him, recent research shows that the people who built his new city, out in the desert, paid a steep price.


Recent research published in the journal Antiquity shows that the common people at Amarna suffered from nutritional deficiencies and a high juvenile mortality rate, even by the standards of the time.


The children had stunted growth, and many of the bones were porous due to nutritional deficiency, probably because the commoners lived on a diet of mostly bread and beer, archaeologist Anna Stevens told LiveScience in an interview at the time the research was published.


Researchers also found that more than three-quarters of the adults had degenerative joint disease, likely from hauling heavy loads, and about two-thirds of these adults had at least one broken bone as reported in the LiveScience story.

Analysis of bones at one cemetery found that the Amarna citizens were among the shortest people in Egyptian history. Before and after Akhenaten’s time the Egyptians were on average 6 inches taller. In other words …

The population of Amarna shrank 6 inches under Akhenaten and Atenism!

Only when Atenism faded and site of Amarna was abandoned did the Egyptians regain their height and health.

Source: Quest for Egypts Lost Kings. Discovery Channel (approx. 27 mins). YouTube also here or here.

Overall it was found that the standard of living for the vast majority of people in Amarna was not only far from the idyll depicted on tomb walls, but also below the basic threshold you’d expect to find in the capital of a wealthy empire.

Scholars are, understandably baffled.

We have evidence of the most stressed and disease-ridden of the ancient skeletons of Egypt that have been reported to date,” said University of Arkansas bioarchaeologist Jerome Rose (a National Geographic Committee for Research and Exploration grantee), one of the team of experts examining the dead. “Amarna is the capital city of the Egyptian empire. There should be plenty of food . . . Something seems to be amiss.

Planetary upheaval holds the answers – the Aten wasn’t the Sun it was the newly birthed Mercury in the image of the Sun (Ra).

The largest canyon in the Solar System, the Valles Marineris cuts a wide swath across the face of Mars. This enormous chasm was created when Mars gave birth to its iron core Mercury.

After approximately 2,000 years of Mars-Earth encounters, huge gravitational and electromagnetic forces resulted in the larger ‘magnet’ of Earth quite literally tearing out the smaller magnetic heart of Mars, its solid iron core to become the iron planet known as Mercury. A “Glorious Sun-Disc of all Lands” is born! The Egyptians called it the Aten. The evidence for the genesis of Mercury is still visible today in the form of the Valles Marineris – an enormous scar on the surface of Mars with a length approximately (allowing for shrinkage) the same diameter as Mercury – this is no coincidence!


See: The Birth of Mercury and the Demise of Mars.

Mercury Iron Core

The Aten/Mercury, once the iron core of Mars.

The Aten wasn’t the sun, it was the newly birthed Mercury in close proximity to earth. As a scolding hot body (hotter than the sun) its luminosity was such that it blotted out the Sun and all other gods for a period of about 20 years just as the record shows. It appeared just as the images, a glaring disk with sunrays beaming down. After about 20 years it rapidly cooled down and its glaring light diminished. It subsequently took on the appearance of an incandescent red Horus orb – thus allowing Egypt’s more traditional gods and the afterlife (stars) to once again come back into view – again, exactly as recorded. Mercury was called the ‘disk of Ra’ (Aten) for about two decades because as well as blotting out the sun it also took on the attributes of Ra i.e., traversing from east to west – any reference to Ra during this period such as “Thou O Ra” is simply a reference to a body mimicking the role of Ra. In other words, we can take the name the “Disk of the Ra” (Aten) at face value since the Aten/Mercury was for a short time Ra’s disk.

The Aten planet Mercury

The Aten now the iron planet Mercury.

Akhenaten moved the capital to Amarna to be under the path of this brand new deity (Aten) as it began to rise in the east and set in the west, just like Ra. The Egyptians do not suddenly up and move the capital for what was in effect a renaming of the sun. It is a totally absurd notion and shows complete lack of understanding of ancient minds. The Aten was a separate body to the Sun and as such caused all manor of health problems.

Sunlight and Vitamin D

Your body must have vitamin D, it is essential for your health and wellbeing. Sunlight is considered to be the best source of vitamin D for your body and one of the best ways to ensure you are producing enough vitamin D is exposure to sunlight. A lack of sunlight and vitamin D can lead to all sorts of health related problems.

So what’s the big deal? Well, our bodies need vitamin D in order to absorb calcium, which supports bone growth and strength. Without it, children can develop a softening of the bones (and in extreme cases, rickets), which can lead to stunted or delayed growth, skeletal malformations, increased breaks and fractures, as well as back and leg pain. Not only that, but vitamin D deficiency has been linked to health problems like heart disease, cancer, multiple sclerosis, depression, diabetes, autoimmune disorders, and more. Basically, any ailment you can think of can be traced back to a lack of vitamin D.

One of the more significant consequences of the loss of natural sunlight during the Amarna Period was on health. I am suggesting that the population of Amarna were an unhealthy bunch due to the lack of sunlight. That is to say: The high juvenile mortality rate, the stunted growth, porous bones, degenerative joint disease in adults, broken bones and general ill-health was all down to the Aten/Mercury obscuring our Sun and its life-giving properties. Only when the Aten-Mercury cooled down and began its journey towards the Sun did things begin to return to ‘normal.’ Just as the records shows!

The obvious question is; did contemporary civilizations (Mesopotamian) suffer similar health problems around the same time as the Amarna Period? My guess would be yes but unfortunately mainly because of the political situation little is been done in the way of archaeological excavations elsewhere. We also have to bear in mind we are looking for a 20 year window for stunted growth etc. A daunting task! My research continues…

Akhenaten making an offering to the Aten-Mercury