Two years of DNA testing and CAT scans on 16 royal mummies conducted by Egypt's Supreme Council of Antiquities, however, gave the firmest evidence to date that an unidentified mummy — known as KV55, after the number of the tomb where it was found in 1907 in Egypt's Valley of the Kings — is Akhenaten's.Previous assertions that KV55 is Akhenaten were dismissed based on the supposition that the age of the KV55 mummy at death was too young, but this has since been revised.
The testing, whose results were announced last month, established that KV55 was the father of King Tut and the son of the Pharaoh Amenhotep III, a lineage that matches Akhenaten's, according to inscriptions.
Akhenaten ruled during the 18th Dynasty, traditionally dated in the 14th century BC. He promoted worship of Aten the sun-disk in preference to the god Amun. He changed his own name from Amenhotep (4) to Akhenaten, removed the name Amun from several inscriptions and destroyed Amun's temples, and built the city Akhetaten for Aten.
It is claimed by some that Akhenaten was a monotheist, antedating and anticipating Moses. This is incorrect for several reasons: theological and chronological. Though Akhenaten may have been a monotheist of sorts, it appears that he was devoted to Aten in preference to Amun whom he rejected. But he tolerated other deities, all his animosity was directed solely at Amun.
Neither did Akhenaten antedate Moses. Even with traditional Egyptian dating one needs also to hold to a shortened Hebrew chronology placing Moses in the 13th rather than the 15th century BC. Scripturally, 200 years between Moses and David is too short. All the arguments for a late exodus are extra-biblical.
But the traditional dating of Akhenaten is incorrect. Finding synchronisms between Israel and Egypt based on matching individuals rather than spurious dates places the beginning of the 18th pharaonic Dynasty around the time of King Saul. Akhenaten is not mentioned in the Bible by any name. His great-grandfather may have been. Akentaten was the son of Amenhotep 3, son of Thutmose 4, son of Amenhotep 2. Amenhotep 2 is identified as Zerah the Cushite (2 Chronicles 14) by Immanuel Velikovsky and David Down. Zerah attached Judah c. 900 BC which would place Akhenaten some time in the late 9th century BC. The Armana tablets from the time of Amenhotep 3 and Akhenaten are correspondence between Egypt and northern countries. They include correspondence from Samaria (which is erroneously ascribed to Sumer) and Jerusalem.
Picture of Nefertiti bust in Berlin museum.