Araldo De Luca/Egyptian Treasures from the Egyptian Museum in Cairo

Depicting the traditional sun god Re-Harakhti, this pendant was found in Tutankhamun’s tomb near Thebes. At first, Akhenaten identified Aten with Re-Harakhti (“the sun [Re] appearing as the ruler of the world at dawn [Harakhti]”), often depicted as a falcon or falcon-headed human crowned with the sun disk. As Akhenaten’s sense of the deity became more abstract, however, he abandoned this representation for a simpler, more symbolic image: the sun disk (Aten) with radiating beams of light—a version of the hieroglyph for “light.” He also began to conceive of Aten as the sole god and essential force of the universe.