Granite bust of Thutmose IV
|Reign||1401 – 1391 BC or 1397 – 1388 BC (18th Dynasty)|
|Consort||Nefertari, Iaret, Mutemwiya|
|Children||Amenhotep III, Siatum (?), Amenemhat, Tiaa, Amenemopet, Petepihu, Tentamun|
|Died||1391 or 1388 BC|
Thutmose IV (sometimes read as Thutmosis or Tuthmosis IV, Thothmes in older history works in Latinized Greek; Ancient Egyptian : ḏḥwtj.msj(.w) "Thoth is born") 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."
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.
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,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. 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)
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,and ruled for nearly 54 years. His successor Amenhotep II, Thutmose IV's father, took the throne and ruled for at least 26 years but has been assigned up to 35 years in some chronological reconstructions. The currently preferred reconstruction, after analyzing all this evidence, usually comes to an accession date around 1401 BC or 1400 BC for the beginning of Thutmose IV's reign.
The length of his reign is not as clear as one would wish. He is usually given about nine or ten years of reign. Manetho credits him a reign of 9 years and 8 months.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. 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. 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. 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, Manetho's figures here are usually accepted. There were once chronological reconstructions which gave him a reign as long as 34–35 years. Today, however, most scholars ascribe him a 10-year reign from 1401 to 1391 BC, within a small margin of error.
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. 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.
Thutmose IV also built a unique chapel and peristyle hall against the back or eastern walls of the main Karnak temple building.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." This small alabaster chapel and peristyle hall of Thutmose IV has today been carefully restored by French scholars from the Centre Franco-Egyptien D'Étude des Temple de Karnak (CFEETK) mission in Karnak.
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. He was succeeded to the throne by his son, Amenhotep III.
Recently 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.
Hatshepsut was the fifth pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt. She was the second historically confirmed female pharaoh, the first being Sobekneferu.
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, also spelled Echnaton, Akhenaton, Ikhnaton, and Khuenaten, 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.
The Karnak Temple Complex, commonly known as Karnak, comprises a vast mix of decayed temples, chapels, pylons, and other buildings near Luxor, in Egypt. Construction at the complex began during the reign of Senusret I in the Middle Kingdom and continued into the Ptolemaic period, 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 Eighteenth Dynasty Theban Triad with the god Amun as its head. It is part of the monumental city of Thebes. The Karnak complex gives its name to the nearby, and partly surrounded, modern village of El-Karnak, 2.5 kilometres north of Luxor.
Menmaatre Seti I was a pharaoh of the New Kingdom Nineteenth Dynasty of Egypt, the son of Ramesses I and Sitre, and the father of Ramesses II. As with all dates in Ancient Egypt, the actual dates of his reign are unclear, and various historians claim different dates, with 1294 BC to 1279 BC and 1290 BC to 1279 BC being the most commonly used by scholars today.
Amenhotep III, also known as Amenhotep the Magnificent, 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 III was Thutmose's son by a minor wife, Mutemwiya.
Meritaten, also spelled Merytaten or Meryetaten, was an ancient Egyptian royal woman of the Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt. Her name means "She who is beloved of Aten"; Aten being the sun-deity whom her father, Pharaoh Akhenaten, worshipped. She held several titles, performing official roles for her father and becoming the Great Royal Wife to Pharaoh Smenkhkare, who may have been a brother or son of Akhenaten. Meritaten also may have served as pharaoh in her own right under the name Ankhkheperure Neferneferuaten.
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. 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 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 Egyptian Museum in Cairo.
Amenhotep I, Amenôthes I, or Amenophis I, (,) from Ancient Greek Ἀμένωφις, additionally King Zeserkere, 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 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.
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.
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.
The Precinct of Amun-Re, located near Luxor, Egypt, is one of the four main temple enclosures that make up the immense Karnak Temple Complex. The precinct is by far the largest of these and the only one that is open to the general public. The temple complex is dedicated to the principal god of the Theban Triad, Amun, in the form of Amun-Re.
Gebel el-Silsila or Gebel Silsileh is 65 km north of Aswan in Upper Egypt, where the cliffs on both sides close to the narrowest point along the length of the entire Nile. The location is between Edfu in the north towards Lower Egypt and Kom Ombo in the south towards Upper Egypt. The name Kheny means "The Place of Rowing". It was used as a major quarry site on both sides of the Nile from at least the 18th Dynasty to Greco-Roman times. Silsila is famous for its New Kingdom stelai and cenotaphs.
Thutmose was the eldest son of Pharaoh Amenhotep III and Queen Tiye, who lived during the Eighteenth dynasty of Egypt. His early death led to the reign of Akhenaten, his younger brother—as the successor to the Egyptian throne—and the intrigues of the century leading up to Ramesses II, the start and ultimately the failure of Atenism, the Amarna letters, and the changing roles of the kingdom's powers.
The history of the Karnak Temple complex is largely the history of Thebes. The city does not appear to have been of any significance before the Eleventh Dynasty, and any temple building here would have been relatively small and unimportant, with any shrines being dedicated to the early god of Thebes, Montu. The earliest artifact found in the area of the temple is a small, eight-sided column from the Eleventh Dynasty, which mentions Amun-Re. The tomb of Intef II mentions a 'house of Amun', which implies some structure, whether a shrine or a small temple is unknown. The ancient name for Karnak, Ipet-Isut only really refers to the central core structures of the Precinct of Amun-Re, and was in use as early as the 11th Dynasty, again implying the presence of some form of temple before the Middle Kingdom expansion.
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.
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 1549/1550 to 1292 BC. This dynasty is also known as the Thutmosid Dynasty for the four pharaohs named Thutmose.
Articles related to ancient Egypt include: