Aten is the disk of the sun in ancient Egyptian religion and mythology, and originally an aspect of the sun god Ra. It became the focus of the religion of Atenism as established by the pharaoh Amenhotep IV, who later took the name Akhenaten, in worship and recognition of Aten. In his poem "Great Hymn to the Aten", Akhenaten praises Aten as the creator, giver of life, and nurturing spirit of the world.
At some point during his reign, Akhenaten discovered a sphered relic and came to believe it was the Aten itself. His son and later successor, Tutankhamun, took up the relic, but gave it to the priests of Amun at the Temple of Karnak in Thebes to restore balance once he had discarded Atenism as the state religion. In the aftermath of his passing, Akhenaten's vision of Aten manifested as a form of the afterlife.
Despite being largely discarded, the worship of Aten was still prevalent in certain regions of Egypt in the 1st century BCE. In one such village outside Thebes a cult still commemorated the Aten with multiple rituals.