Thutmose IV

Last updated

Thutmose IV (sometimes read as Thutmosis or Tuthmosis IV, Thothmes in older history works in Latinized Greek; Ancient Egyptian : ḏḥwti.msi(.w) "Thoth is born") [3] was the 8th Pharaoh of the 18th Dynasty of Egypt, who ruled in approximately the 14th century BC. His prenomen or royal name, Menkheperure, means "Established in forms is Re." [4] He was the son of Amenhotep II and Tiaa.



Close-up of a scene from the Dream Stele depicting Thutmose IV giving offerings to the Great Sphinx of Giza. From a full-sized reproduction on display at the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum, San Jose. ReproductionOfDreamSteleOfThutmoseIV-CloseUp RosicrucianEgyptianMuseum.png
Close-up of a scene from the Dream Stele depicting Thutmose IV giving offerings to the Great Sphinx of Giza. From a full-sized reproduction on display at the Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum, San Jose.

Thutmose IV was born to Amenhotep II and Tiaa, but was not actually the crown prince and Amenhotep II's chosen successor to the throne. Some scholars speculate that Thutmose ousted his older brother in order to usurp power and then commissioned the Dream Stele in order to justify his unexpected kingship. Thutmose's most celebrated accomplishment was the restoration of the Great Sphinx of Giza and subsequent commission of the Dream Stele. According to Thutmose's account on the Dream Stele, while the young prince was out on a hunting trip, he stopped to rest under the head of the Sphinx, which was buried up to the neck in sand. He soon fell asleep and had a dream in which the Sphinx told him that if he cleared away the sand and restored it he would become the next pharaoh. After completing the restoration of the Sphinx, he placed a carved stone tablet, now known as the Dream Stele, between the two paws of the Sphinx. The restoration of the Sphinx, and the text of the Dream Stele would then be a piece of propaganda on Thutmose's part, meant to bestow legitimacy upon his unexpected kingship. [5]

Syrian ("Retjenu") tribute bearers in the tomb of Sobekhotep, during the reign of Thutmose IV, Thebes. British Museum West Asiatic tribute bearers tomb of Sobekhotep 18th Dynasty Thebes.jpg
Syrian (" Retjenu ") tribute bearers in the tomb of Sobekhotep, during the reign of Thutmose IV, Thebes. British Museum

Little is known about his brief ten-year rule. He suppressed a minor uprising in Nubia in his 8th year (attested in his Konosso stela) around 1393 BC and was referred to in a stela as the Conqueror of Syria, [6] but little else has been pieced together about his military exploits. Betsy Bryan, who penned a biography of Thutmose IV, says that Thutmose IV's Konosso stela appears to refer to a minor desert patrol action on the part of the king's forces to protect certain gold-mine routes in Egypt's Eastern Desert from occasional attacks by the Nubians. [7] Thutmose IV's rule is significant because he established peaceful relations with Mitanni and married a Mitannian princess to seal this new alliance. Thutmose IV's role in initiating contact with Egypt's former rival, Mitanni, is documented by Amarna letter EA 29 composed decades later by Tushratta, a Mittanian king who ruled during the reign of Akhenaten, Thutmose IV's grandson. Tushratta states to Akhenaten that:

When [Menkheperure], the father of Nimmureya (i.e., Amenhotep III) wrote to Artatama, my grandfather, he asked for the daughter of my grandfather, the sister of my father. He wrote 5, 6 times, but he did not give her. When he wrote my grandfather 7 times, then only under such pressure, did he give her. (EA 29) [8]

Dates and length of reign

Thutmose IV wearing the khepresh, Musee du Louvre. Thutmosis IV.jpg
Thutmose IV wearing the khepresh, Musée du Louvre.
Fragment of a crudely carved limestone stela showing king Thutmose IV adoring a goddess (probably Astarte). From Thebes, Egypt. 18th Dynasty. The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, London Fragment of a crudely carved limestone stela showing king Thutmose IV adoring a goddess (probably Astarte). From Thebes, Egypt. 18th Dynasty. The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, London.jpg
Fragment of a crudely carved limestone stela showing king Thutmose IV adoring a goddess (probably Astarte). From Thebes, Egypt. 18th Dynasty. The Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, London

Dating the beginning of the reign of Thutmose IV is difficult to do with certainty because he is several generations removed from the astronomical dates which are usually used to calculate Egyptian chronologies, and the debate over the proper interpretation of these observances has not been settled. Thutmose's grandfather Thutmose III almost certainly acceded the throne in either 1504 or 1479, based upon two lunar observances during his reign, [9] and ruled for nearly 54 years. [10] His successor Amenhotep II, Thutmose IV's father, took the throne and ruled for at least 26 years [11] but has been assigned up to 35 years in some chronological reconstructions. [12] The currently preferred reconstruction, after analyzing all this evidence, usually comes to an accession date around 1401 BC [13] or 1400 BC [14] for the beginning of Thutmose IV's reign.

The length of his reign is not clear. He is usually given about nine or ten years of reign. Manetho credits him a reign of 9 years and 8 months. [15] However, Manetho's other figures for the 18th Dynasty are frequently assigned to the wrong kings or simply incorrect, so monumental evidence is also used to determine his reign length. [16] Of all of Thutmose IV's dated monuments, three date to his first regnal year, one to his fourth, possibly one to his fifth, one to his sixth, two to his seventh, and one to his eighth. [17] Two other dated objects, one dated to a Year 19 and another year 20, have been suggested as possibly belonging to him, but neither have been accepted as dating to his reign. [17] The readings of the king's name in these dates are today accepted as referring to the prenomen of Thutmose III—Menkheperre—and not Menkhepe[ru]re Thutmose IV himself. Due to the absence of higher dates for Thutmose IV after his Year 8 Konosso stela, [18] Manetho's figures here are usually accepted. [15] There were once chronological reconstructions which gave him a reign as long as 34–35 years. [15] [19] Today, however, most scholars ascribe him a 10-year reign from 1401 to 1392 BC, within a small margin of error.


Thutmose IV's Karnak chapel Karnak Musee 03.jpg
Thutmose IV's Karnak chapel
Thutmose IV's peristyle hall at Karnak Thutmose IV's peristyle hall (Horus-2009).jpg
Thutmose IV's peristyle hall at Karnak

Like most of the Thutmoside kings, he built on a grand scale. Thutmose IV completed the eastern obelisk at the Temple of Karnak started by Thutmose III, which, at 32 m (105 ft), was the tallest obelisk ever erected in Egypt. [6] Thutmose IV called it the tekhen waty or 'unique obelisk.' It was transported to the grounds of the Circus Maximus in Rome by Emperor Constantius II in 357 AD and, later, "re-erected by Pope Sixtus V in 1588 at the Piazza San Giovanni" where it is today known as the Lateran Obelisk. [20]

Thutmose IV also built a unique chapel and peristyle hall against the back or eastern walls of the main Karnak temple building. [21] The chapel was intended for people "who had no right of access to the main [Karnak] temple. It was a 'place of the ear' for the god Amun where the god could hear the prayers of the townspeople." [22] This small alabaster chapel and peristyle hall of Thutmose IV [23] has today been carefully restored by French scholars from the Centre Franco-Egyptien D'Étude des Temple de Karnak (CFEETK) mission in Karnak. [24]

Burial and mummy

Thutmose IV's mummy. Thutmosis IV mummy head.png
Thutmose IV's mummy.

Thutmose IV was buried in tomb KV43 the Valley of the Kings but his body was later moved to the mummy cache in KV35, where it was discovered by Victor Loret in 1898. An examination of his mummy conducted by Grafton Elliot Smith revealed that he was extremely emaciated at the time of his death. His height was given as 1.646 m (5 ft 4.8 in) but considering that the feet have been broken off post-mortem, his height in life would have been taller. The forearms are crossed over the chest, right over left. His hair, which is parted in the middle, is about 16 cm (6.3 in) long and dark reddish-brown. His ears are also pierced. Elliot Smith estimated his age to be 25–28 years or possibly older. [25] He was succeeded to the throne by his son, Amenhotep III.

In 1980, James Harris and Edward F. Wente conducted X-ray examinations of New Kingdom Pharaoh's crania and skeletal remains, which included the mummified remains of Thutmose IV. The authors determined that the royal mummies of the 18th Dynasty bore strong similarities to contemporary Nubians with slight differences. [26]

In 2012 a surgeon at Imperial College London analysed the early death of Thutmose IV and the premature deaths of other Eighteenth Dynasty pharaohs (including Tutankhamun and Akhenaten). He concludes that their early deaths were likely as a result of a familial temporal epilepsy. This would account for both the untimely death of Thutmose IV and also his religious vision described on the Dream Stele, due to this type of epilepsy's association with intense spiritual visions and religiosity. [27]

His mummy has the inventory number CG 61073. [28] In April 2021 his mummy was moved from the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities to the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization along with those of 17 other kings and 4 queens in an event termed the Pharaohs' Golden Parade. [29]

See also

Related Research Articles

Hatshepsut 5th Pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt (c. 1479 BC - 1458 BC)

Hatshepsut was the fifth pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt. She was the second historically confirmed female pharaoh, after Sobekneferu.

Ahmose I Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt

Ahmose I was a pharaoh and founder of the Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt, classified as the first dynasty of the New Kingdom of Egypt, the era in which ancient Egypt achieved the peak of its power. He was a member of the Theban royal house, the son of pharaoh Seqenenre Tao and brother of the last pharaoh of the Seventeenth dynasty, Kamose. During the reign of his father or grandfather, Thebes rebelled against the Hyksos, the rulers of Lower Egypt. When he was seven years old, his father was killed, and he was about ten when his brother died of unknown causes after reigning only three years. Ahmose I assumed the throne after the death of his brother, and upon coronation became known as nb-pḥtj-rꜥ "The Lord of Strength is Ra".

Akhenaten 18th Dynasty pharaoh

Akhenaten, also spelled Echnaton, Akhenaton,, was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh reigning c. 1353–1336 or 1351–1334 BC, the tenth ruler of the Eighteenth Dynasty. Before the fifth year of his reign, he was known as Amenhotep IV.

Nefertiti Wife of Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenaten

Neferneferuaten Nefertiti was a queen of the 18th Dynasty of Ancient Egypt, the great royal wife of Pharaoh Akhenaten. Nefertiti and her husband were known for a religious revolution, in which they worshipped solely the sun disc, Aten, as the only god. With her husband, she reigned at what was arguably the wealthiest period of ancient Egyptian history. Some scholars believe that Nefertiti ruled briefly as Neferneferuaten after her husband's death and before the ascension of Tutankhamun, although this identification is a matter of ongoing debate. If Nefertiti did rule as Pharaoh, her reign was marked by the fall of Amarna and relocation of the capital back to the traditional city of Thebes.

Thutmose III Sixth Egyptian Pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty (c. 1479 BC - 1425 BC)

Thutmose III, sometimes called Thutmose the Great, was the sixth pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty. Officially, Thutmose III ruled Egypt for almost 54 years and his reign is usually dated from 28 April 1479 BC to 11 March 1425 BC, from the age of two and until his death at age fifty-six; however, during the first 22 years of his reign, he was coregent with his stepmother and aunt, Hatshepsut, who was named the pharaoh. While he was shown first on surviving monuments, both were assigned the usual royal names and insignia and neither is given any obvious seniority over the other. Thutmose served as the head of Hatshepsut's armies. During the final two years of his reign, he appointed his son and successor, Amenhotep II, as his junior co-regent. His firstborn son and heir to the throne, Amenemhat, predeceased Thutmose III. He would become one of the most powerful pharaohs of the 18th dynasty.

Karnak Ancient Egyptian temple complex

The Karnak Temple Complex, commonly known as Karnak, comprises a vast mix of decayed temples, pylons, chapels, and other buildings near Luxor, Egypt. Construction at the complex began during the reign of Senusret I in the Middle Kingdom and continued into the Ptolemaic Kingdom, although most of the extant buildings date from the New Kingdom. The area around Karnak was the ancient Egyptian Ipet-isut and the main place of worship of the 18th Dynastic Theban Triad, with the god Amun as its head. It is part of the monumental city of Thebes, and in 1979 it was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List along with the rest of the city. The Karnak complex gives its name to the nearby, and partly surrounded, modern village of El-Karnak, 2.5 kilometres north of Luxor.

Seti I Egyptian pharaoh

Menmaatre Seti I was the second pharaoh of the Nineteenth Dynasty of Egypt during the New Kingdom period, ruling c.1294 or 1290 BC to 1279 BC. He was the son of Ramesses I and Sitre, and the father of Ramesses II.

Amenhotep III Ninth Pharaoh of the Eighteenth dynasty of Egypt

Amenhotep III, also known as Amenhotep the Magnificent or Amenhotep the Great, was the ninth pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty. According to different authors, he ruled Egypt from June 1386 to 1349 BC, or from June 1388 BC to December 1351 BC/1350 BC, after his father Thutmose IV died. Amenhotep was Thutmose's son by a minor wife, Mutemwiya.

Thutmose I Egyptian pharaoh

Thutmose I was the third pharaoh of the 18th Dynasty of Egypt. He received the throne after the death of the previous king, Amenhotep I. During his reign, he campaigned deep into the Levant and Nubia, pushing the borders of Egypt farther than ever before in each region. He also built many temples in Egypt, and a tomb for himself in the Valley of the Kings; he is the first king confirmed to have done this.

Thutmose II Egyptian Pharaoh

Thutmose II was the fourth Pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt. His reign is generally dated from 1493 to 1479 BC. His body was found in the Deir el-Bahri Cache above the Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut and can be viewed today in the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization in Cairo.

Amenhotep I Second Pharaoh of the Eighteenth dynasty of Egypt

Amenhotep I, Amenôthes I, or Amenophis I, (,) from Ancient Greek Ἀμένωφις, additionally King Djeserkere, was the second Pharaoh of the 18th Dynasty of Egypt. His reign is generally dated from 1526 to 1506 BC. He was a son of Ahmose I and Ahmose-Nefertari, but had at least two elder brothers, Ahmose-ankh and Ahmose Sapair, and was not expected to inherit the throne. However, sometime in the eight years between Ahmose I's 17th regnal year and his death, his heir apparent died and Amenhotep became crown prince. He then acceded to the throne and ruled for about 21 years. Although his reign is poorly documented, it is possible to piece together a basic history from available evidence. He inherited the kingdom formed by his father's military conquests and maintained dominance over Nubia and the Nile Delta but probably did not attempt to maintain Egyptian power in the Levant. He continued the rebuilding of temples in Upper Egypt and revolutionized mortuary complex design by separating his tomb from his mortuary temple, setting a trend in royal funerary monuments which would persist throughout the New Kingdom. After his death, he was deified as a patron god of Deir el-Medina.

Amenhotep II Seventh Pharaoh of the Eighteenth dynasty of Egypt

Amenhotep II was the seventh pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt. Amenhotep inherited a vast kingdom from his father Thutmose III, and held it by means of a few military campaigns in Syria; however, he fought much less than his father, and his reign saw the effective cessation of hostilities between Egypt and Mitanni, the major kingdoms vying for power in Syria. His reign is usually dated from 1427 to 1401 BC. His consort was Tiaa, who was barred from any prestige until Amenhotep's son, Thutmose IV, came into power.

New Kingdom of Egypt Period in ancient Egyptian history (c. 1550 BCE–1077 BCE)

The New Kingdom, also referred to as the Egyptian Empire, is the period in ancient Egyptian history between the sixteenth century BC and the eleventh century BC, covering the Eighteenth, Nineteenth, and Twentieth dynasties of Egypt. Radiocarbon dating places the exact beginning of the New Kingdom between 1570 BC and 1544 BC. The New Kingdom followed the Second Intermediate Period and was succeeded by the Third Intermediate Period. It was Egypt's most prosperous time and marked the peak of its power.

Psusennes II Last king of the 21st Dynasty of Egypt

Titkheperure or Tyetkheperre Psusennes II [Greek Ψουσέννης] or Hor-Pasebakhaenniut II [Egyptian ḥr-p3-sb3-ḫˁỉ-⟨n⟩-nỉwt], was the last king of the Twenty-first Dynasty of Egypt. His royal name means "Image of the transformations of Re" in Egyptian. Psusennes II is often considered the same person as the High-Priest of Amun known as Psusennes III. The Egyptologist Karl Jansen-Winkeln notes that an important graffito from the Temple of Abydos contains the complete titles of a king Tyetkheperre Setepenre Pasebakhaenniut Meryamun "who is simultaneously called the HPA and supreme military commander." This suggests that Psusennes was both king at Tanis and the High Priest in Thebes at the same time, meaning he did not resign his office as High Priest of Amun during his reign. The few contemporary attestations from his reign include the aforementioned graffito in Seti I's Abydos temple, an ostracon from Umm el-Qa'ab, an affiliation at Karnak and his presumed burial – which consists of a gilded coffin with a royal uraeus and a Mummy, found in an antechamber of Psusennes I's tomb at Tanis. He was a High Priest of Amun at Thebes and the son of Pinedjem II and Istemkheb. His daughter Maatkare B was the Great Royal Wife of Osorkon I.

Gods Wife of Amun Highest-ranking priestess of the Amun cult

God's Wife of Amun was the highest-ranking priestess of the Amun cult, an important religious institution in ancient Egypt. The cult was centered in Thebes in Upper Egypt during the Twenty-fifth and Twenty-sixth dynasties. The office had political importance as well as religious, since the two were closely related in ancient Egypt.

Jürgen von Beckerath was a German Egyptologist. He was a prolific writer who published countless articles in journals such as Orientalia, Göttinger Miszellen (GM), Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt (JARCE), Archiv für Orientforschung (AfO), and Studien zur Altägyptischen Kultur (SAK) among others. Together with Kenneth Kitchen, he is viewed as one of the foremost scholars on the New Kingdom and the Third Intermediate Period of Egypt.


Mutemwiya was a minor wife of the Eighteenth Dynasty pharaoh Thutmose IV, and the mother of Pharaoh Amenhotep III. Mutemwiya's name means "Mut in the divine barque". While unconfirmed, it has been suggested that she acted as regent during the minority of her son Amenhotep III.

Dream Stele Ancient Egyptian stele

The Dream Stele, also called the Sphinx Stele, is an epigraphic stele erected between the front paws of the Great Sphinx of Giza by the ancient Egyptian pharaoh Thutmose IV in the first year of the king's reign, 1401 BC, during the 18th Dynasty. As was common with other New Kingdom rulers, the epigraph makes claim to a divine legitimisation of kingship.

Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt Dynasty of Egypt from c. 1550 to 1292 BCE

The Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt is classified as the first dynasty of the New Kingdom of Egypt, the era in which ancient Egypt achieved the peak of its power. The Eighteenth Dynasty spanned the period from 1550/1549 to 1292 BC. This dynasty is also known as the Thutmosid Dynasty for the four pharaohs named Thutmose.

This page list topics related to ancient Egypt.


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 Beckerath 1999, pp. 138–141.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Leprohon 2013, pp. 101.
  3. Ranke, Hermann (1935). Die Ägyptischen Personennamen, Bd. 1: Verzeichnis der Namen (PDF). Glückstadt: J.J. Augustin. p. 408. Retrieved 25 July 2020.
  4. Clayton 1994, p. 112.
  5. Peter Clayton, Chronicle of the Pharaohs, Thames & Hudson Ltd, 1994. pp.113-114
  6. 1 2 Clayton 1994, p. 114.
  7. Bryan 1991, p. 335.
  8. William L. Moran, The Amarna Letters, Johns Hopkins University Press, 1992. p.93
  9. Bryan 1991, p. 14.
  10. Peter Der Manuelian. Studies in the Reign of Amenophis II. p.20. Hildesheimer Ägyptologische Beiträge(HÄB) Verlag: 1987
  11. Donald B. Redford. The Chronology of the Eighteenth Dynasty. p.119. Journal of Near Eastern Studies, Vol. 25, No. 2 (Apr., 1966)
  12. Charles C. Van Siclen. "Amenhotep II", The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt. Ed. Donald Redford. Vol. 1, p.71. Oxford University Press, 2001.
  13. Jürgen von Beckerath, Chronologie des Pharaonischen Ägypten. Philipp von Zabern, Mainz, (1997) p.190
  14. Shaw, Ian; and Nicholson, Paul. The Dictionary of Ancient Egypt. p.290. The British Museum Press, 1995.
  15. 1 2 3 Bryan 1991, p. 4.
  16. Bryan 1991, p. 5.
  17. 1 2 Bryan 1991, p. 6.
  18. BAR II, 823-829
  19. Wente, E.F.; and Van Siclen, C. "A Chronology of the New Kingdom." SAOC 39
  20. Nicolas Grimal, A History of Ancient Egypt, Blackwell Books, 1992. p.303
  21. Kemp 1989, p. 202.
  22. Kemp 1989, p. 303.
  23. Accessible online in the Karnak project database:
  24. Al-Ahram, Fruitful seasons, 21–27 November 2002, Issue No.613
  25. Elliot Smith, G. (1912). The Royal Mummies (2000 reprint ed.). Bath, UK: Duckworth. pp. 42–46. ISBN   0-7156-2959-X.
  26. An X-ray atlas of the royal mummies. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. 1980. pp. 207–208. ISBN   0226317455.
  27. Ashrafian, Hutan. (2012). "Familial epilepsy in the pharaohs of ancient Egypt's eighteenth dynasty". Epilepsy Behav. 25 (1): 23–31. doi:10.1016/j.yebeh.2012.06.014. PMID   22980077. S2CID   20771815.
  28. Habicht, M.E; Bouwman, A.S; Rühli, F.J (25 January 2016). "Identifications of ancient Egyptian royal mummies from the 18th Dynasty reconsidered". Yearbook of Physical Anthropology. 159 (S61): 216–231. doi: 10.1002/ajpa.22909 . PMID   26808107.
  29. Parisse, Emmanuel (5 April 2021). "22 Ancient Pharaohs Have Been Carried Across Cairo in an Epic 'Golden Parade'". ScienceAlert. Retrieved 5 April 2021.


Further reading