The Amarna Period did not outlive its founder by long. Soon after the death of Akhenaten the return to the old gods began, and the royal court moved back to its historic capital at Thebes.

The city, however, appears to have remained occupied for some years after the death of Akhenaten. A shrine to Horemheb was discovered which shows that there was still activity in the city during his reign.

Although the move away from Akhetaten and the heresy started under Tutankhamun and was probably more or less completed under Ay, It was Horemheb who later claimed the credit for the restoration of the old ways. It is easy to imagine a power struggle between the two men to control the then 9 year old Pharaoh.

After Horemhebs orgy of violence against the Atenist legacy, things seem to have settled down. Akhetaten became a convenient source of stone for the surrounding villiages and the Temples and monuments were dismantled and either destroyed or, in some cases, recycled.

The systematic destruction wrought by Horemheb was not entirely successful. Although he sought to erase all mention of his predecessors and erased images of akhenten wherever he could, much survived. For example the royal sarcophagus from Akhetaten was smashed into little pieces, but careful excavation and recording has enabled it to be reconstructed.