(Thoth is born
) was the eighth Pharaoh of the Eighteenth dynasty. He acceded to the throne on the death of his father Amenhotep II
, being given the praenomen Menkheperure
(Established in forms is Re
Thutmose IV was the son of Amenhotep II
and Tiaa, but it was his brother, Amenhotep, referred to as the 'King's Son, Executive
' who was the crown prince and Amenhotep II's
It has been speculated that Thutmose ousted his older brother and then commissioned the Dream Stele
(see below) in order to justify his ascent to the throne.
Tuthmose IV was probably married to Mutemwiya, with whom he had his son and heir, Amenhotep III, though he never acknowledged her as either a major or minor queen. She was possibly the daughter of the Mitannian king, Artatama, sent to the Egyptian court to seal a diplomatic alliance. His other wives included a non-royal wife, Nefertari, and one of his sisters, Laret.
Little is documented about his ten-year rule. He suppressed a minor uprising in Nubia in his 8th regnal year and was referred to in a stele as the Conqueror of Syria
, but little else has been pieced together about his military exploits.
Thutmose IV completed an obelisk at the Temple of Karnak first started by Thutmose III, at 32m the tallest obelisk ever erected in Egypt. Thutmose's most celebrated accomplishment was the restoration of the Sphinx at Giza. According to Thutmose's account on the Dream Stele
(right), he had a dream in which Re-Harakhte, the sun god embodied in the Sphinx, told him that if he cleared away the sand around the sphinx and restored it, he would become the next Pharaoh. The restoration of the Sphinx and the text of the Dream Stele
could be seen as an attempt to legitimise his kingship.
Thutmose IV was buried in tomb KV43
, but his body was later moved to the mummy cache in KV35
, where it was discovered by Victor Loret in 1898.
Tuthmosis IV, Thutmes IV
............Reign: 1401–1391 BC
..Predecessor: Amenhotep II
i.g..Successor: Amenhotep III
...yi..i..Father: Amenhotep II
.nw..Children: Amenhotep III,
..,(Thoth is born, beautiful of forms)..i.i..Tomb No: KV43
(Amun is Satisfied
) was the ninth Pharaoh of the Eighteenth dynasty. He acceded to the throne on the death of his father Thutmose IV, being given the praenomen Nebmaatre
(The Lord of Truth is Re
Amenhotep III had two sons with his Great Royal Wife Tiye: the Crown Prince Tuthmose who predeceased his father, and Akhenaten, who succeeded him to the throne. Amenhotep III and Tiye also had four daughters: Sitamun, Henuttaneb, Iset and Nebetah. It has been suggested that Smenkhkare, who later would succeed Akhenaten and briefly ruled Egypt as pharaoh, could be a further son of Amenhotep III with his daughter Sitamun.
Amenhotep III made two of his daughters, Sitamun and Iset, 'great royal wifes' during the last decade of his reign. Sitamun may have actually been the youngest daughter of Amenhotep III's father Thutmose IV, making her the half-sister of Amenhotep III and not his daughter. Amenhotep III also married Gilukhepa, the daughter of Shuttarna II of Mitanni, in the tenth year of his reign. In his 36th regnal year, he also married Tadukhepa, the daughter of his ally Tushratta of Mitanni.
Amenhotep's lengthy reign was a period of unprecedented prosperity, when Egypt reached the peak of her artistic and international power. Proof of this is shown by the diplomatic correspondence from the rulers of Assyria, Mitanni, Babylon, and Hatti which is preserved in the archive known as the Amarna Letters. The letters cover the period from Year 30 of Amenhotep III until at least the end of Akhenaten's reign. During his reign, Amenhotep built extensively including at the Temple of Karnak. His mortuary temple on the west bank of the Nile was, in its day, the largest religious complex in Thebes, but, unfortunately, less than two hundred years later, it stood in ruins. The Colossi of Memnon, two massive stone statues of Amenhotep that stood at the gateway of his mortuary temple, are the only elements of the complex that remained standing.
Amenhotep III died in his 38th regnal year and was buried in the Western Valley of the Valley of the Kings, in Tomb WV22
. His chief wife, Tiye, is known to have outlived him by about twelve years.
............Reign: 1391–1353 BC
..Predecessor: Thutmose IV
i.g..Successor: Amenhotep IV
...yi..i..Father: Thutmose IV
..(Amun is Satisfied, King of Thebes)..i.i..Tomb No: WV22
(Amun is Satisfied
) was the tenth Pharaoh of the Eighteenth dynasty. He acceded to the throne on the death of his father Amenhotep III, being given the praenomen Neferkheperure-waenre
(Beautiful are the manifestations of Re
). Amenhotep IV, later known as Akhenaten, ushered in a revolutionary period in Egyptian history. The Amarna Interlude, as it is often called, saw the removal of the seat of government to a short-lived new capital city, Akhetaten, the introduction of a new art style, and the elevation of the cult of the sun disc, the Aten, to pre-eminent status in Egyptian religion.
Amenhotep IV was the younger son of Amenhotep III and his Great Royal Wife Tiye. His older brother, the Crown Prince Thutmose, predeceased his father, so on Amenhotep III's death he became pharaoh Amenhotep IV. The king's Great Royal Wife was Nefertiti, with whom he had 6 daughters, Meritaten, Meketaten, Ankhesenpaaten, Neferneferuaten Tasherit, Neferneferure and Setepenre. It is thought tjhat he also had a son, Tutankhaten (later Tutankhamun) with his lesser Royal wife, Kiya.
In the early years of his reign he permitted worship of Egypt's traditional deities to continue but near the Temple of Karnak, he erected several massive buildings including temples to the Aten. In his fifth regnal year, Amenhotep IV established the Aten as the exclusive god of Egypt. To emphasize his complete allegiance to the Aten, the king changed his name to Akhenaten (Servant of Aten
), and also renamed his queen, Nefernefruaten (Beautiful is the Beauty of Aten
). His fifth regnal year also marked the beginning of construction on his new capital, Akhetaten (Horizon of Aten
), at the site known today as Amarna. Very soon afterwards, he centralized Egyptian religious practices in Akhetaten.
Akhenaten is thought to have married at least two of his daughters, Meketaten, and Akhesenpaaten, who later became the wife of Tutankhamun. Nefertiti died in about year 14 of Akhenaten's reign and was probably buried in the royal tomb at Amarna. Her daughter Meritaten succeeded her as Great Royal Wife, but it is thought that she got this title due to her marriage to Smenkhkare, laterly Akhenaten's co-regent, rather than marrying Akhenaten himself.
Akhenaten probably died in his 16th reignal year. It has been suggested that he was buried in the royal tomb at Amarna, but it appears the tomb was never used. What is almost certain is that his body did not remain at Amarna. He may have been buried in KV55
, though other possibilities are also likely.
After his death and the restoration of traditional religious practice, he and his immediate successors were ignored and excised from history by later rulers. Akhenaten himself is usually referred to as 'the enemy'.
|Amenhotep IV / Akhenaten|
............Reign: 1353–1334 BC
..Predecessor: Amenhotep III
...yi..i..Father: Amenhotep III
.nw..Children: Smenkhkare (?),
..(Amun is Satisfied, Ruler of Heliopolis).,.(2)..
...............(Servant of Aten)..
..i.i..Tomb No: KV55 (?)
(Vigorous is the Soul of Re
) was possibly the eleventh Pharaoh of the Eighteenth dynasty. If so, he acceded to the throne on the death of Amenhotep IV (Akhenaten), being given the praenomen Ankhkheprure
(Living are the manifestations of Re
The identity of the Pharaoh whose praenomen is Ankhkheprure
is somewhat mysterious. The most recent studies of the late Amarna period by various Egyptologists all agree that there were in fact two rulers who shared the prenomen Ankhkheprure, one male and the other female.
Smenkhkare may be identified as the Amarna Pharaoh who ruled beside Queen Meritaten, the daughter of Akhenaten. To date, no objects other than a wine jar label, six royal seals, and a depiction of a male king Smenkhkare along with his Queen, Meritaten, are known. Some feminine objects with the name Ankhkheprure Neferneferuaten were reused in the burial of Tutankhamun. The throne name Ankhkheperure occasionally is written in the feminine form Ankhetkheperure
. This suggests that Meritaten may have been the female ruler Ankhkheperure Neferneferuaten and thus the successor of her recently deceased husband, Smenkhkare.
Other scholars such as Nicholas Reeves have contended that Smenkhkare was the same person as Neferneferuaten who ruled together with Akhenaten as co-regents for the final one or two years of Akhenaten's reign and that all of the names in question were different titles for Meritaten, used at different times as she held different positions: Queen, co-regent, and finally, Pharaoh.
Smenkhkare's family history is unknown; the leading theory is that he was either a son of Akhenaten or Amenhotep III, by his daughter and wife Sitamun. Given Akhenaten's assumed age of 12 at ascension, it seems unlikely that he was a son of Akhenaten, making it more likely that Smenkhkare was a son of Amenhotep III and, by inference, a younger brother of Akhenaten.
In 1907, Edward Ayrton discovered tomb KV55
in the Valley of the Kings. In the tomb there was a very poorly preserved mummy that might, it was suggested, be the body of Smenkhkare. However, the latest findings suggest that the mummy's age was between thirty-five or forty, making it more likely that the body is that of Akhenaten.
Smenkhkare's reign was probably brief, lasting perhaps no more than several months or a year at the most given the lack of objects mentioning his name.
............Reign: 1336–1335 BC
..Predecessor: Amenhotep IV
i.g..Successor: Neferneferuaten (?)
...yi..i..Father: Amenhotep III (?)
...i..f...Mother: Sitamun (?)
...iiiSpouse(s): Meritaten (?)
....(Vigorous is the Soul of Re)..i.i..Tomb No: KV55 (?)
(Perfect One of Aten's Perfection
) was possibly the twelfth Pharaoh of the Eighteenth dynasty. If so, she may have acceded to the throne on the death of Smenkhkare, being given the praenomen Ankhkheperure
(Living are the manifestations of Re
The royal succession of this period is very unclear. Manetho's Epitome, an ancient historical source written during the third century BC, mentions a certain king's daughter, Akenkeres,
who was a ruler of Egypt. This information is confirmed by the rare epithet, 'Effective for her husband
', which establishes that a female ruler, who was the daughter of a king (presumably Akhenaten), assumed power as pharaoh toward the end of the Amarna era. Akenkeres or Achencheres is probably the Greek form of Neferneferuaten's prenomen, Ankh[et]kheperure. Ankhkheperure is assigned a reign of 2 years and 1 month and is placed in Manetho's account as the immediate predecessor of Rathothis
, who is believed to be Tutankhamun.
While the identity of Akenkeres as a female king is now generally accepted in the Egyptological community, the Amarna succession remains problematic. Some Egyptologists, including Aidan Dodson, view her as Meritaten, Smenkhkare's spouse. In this interpretation, Meritaten would have acceded to the throne (using part of her mother Nefertiti's titles) as Neferneferuaten, after the short-lived reign of her husband Smenkhkare.
In contrast, other scholars maintain that the ruler Neferneferuaten is strongly linked with Akhenaten, in which case, she would have been Akhenaten's wife and co-regent before ruling Egypt for two years before dying or marrying Smenkhkare. In this scenario, Neferneferuaten would merely have intervened between the rule of Akhenaten and Smenkhkare. The implication here is that Smenkhkare was the direct predecessor of Tutankhamun instead.
............Reign: 1335–1333 BC
..Predecessor: Smenkhkare (?)
...yi..i..Father: Akhanaten (?)
...i..f...Mother: Nefertiti (?)
...iiiSpouse(s): Smenkhkare (?)
..(Perfect One of Aten's Perfection)..i.i..Tomb No: Unknown
(Living Image of Amun
) was the thirteenth Pharaoh of the Eighteenth dynasty. He acceded to the throne, possibly on the death of Neferneferuaten, being given the praenomen Nebkheperure (Lord of the Forms of Re
His original name was Tutankhaten (Living Image of Aten
). He is possibly the Nibhurrereya
of the Amarna letters as well as the eighteenth dynasty king Rathotis
, who, according to the ancient historian Manetho, reigned for nine years.
Tutankhamun's lineage is uncertain. An inscription calls him a king's son, but it is not clear which king was meant. He was originally thought to be a son of Amenhotep III and Queen Tiye. Later research claimed that he may have been a son of Amenhotep III, but not by Queen Tiye, since Tiye would have been more than fifty years old at the time of his birth.
Currently, the most common hypothesis holds that Tutankhamun was the son of Akhenaten (Amenhotep IV), and his minor wife Queen Kiya. A third scenario is that Tutankhamun was the son of Smenkhkare and Meritaten.
Tutankhamun was eight or nine years old when he became pharaoh, and reigned for approximately ten years. He was married to Ankhesenpaaten, possibly his half-sister, since Ankhesenpaaten is recorded as being one of the six daughters of Akhenaten and Nefertiti. After his rejection of the radical religious innovations introduced by Akenhaten and the re-establishment of the traditional Egyptian religion, he changed their names to Tutankhamun
respectively. They are thought to have had two children, both girls, whose mummies were discovered in Tutankhamun's tomb - they both died as babies, probably stillborn.
At his death, Tutankhamun was about 19 years old. He was buried in KV62
, famously discovered by Howard Carter in 1922. Tutankhamun was slight of build, and was roughly 170cm tall. It is currently thought that he died of gangrene after breaking his leg.
Tutankhamen, Tutankhaten, Tutankhamon
............Reign: 1333–1323 BC
..Predecessor: Neferneferuaten (?)
...yi..i..Father: Akhanaten (?)
...i..f...Mother: Kiya (?)
............(Living Image of Aten)
(Living Image of Amun, Ruler of Heliopolis)
..i.i..Tomb No: KV62
it-netjer (Ay, Father of the Gods
) was the fourteenth and penultimate Pharaoh of the Eighteenth dynasty. He acceded to the throne on the death of Tutankhamun, being given the praenomen Kheperkheperure–Irimaat (Everlasting are the Manifestations of Re, who does what is right
Ay came to prominance at the court of Akhenaten. One theory for his rise to power is that he may have been the son of the courtier Yuya and his wife Tjuyu, who were the parents of Tiye, Amenhotep's Great Royal Wife. If this were so, he would have been a brother or half-brother of Tiye, brother-in-law of Amenhotep III and maternal uncle of Akhenaten. Another theory is that he and his wife Tey were the parents of Akhenaten's Great Royal Wife, Nefertiti and that another of their daughters, Mutnedjmet, was the wife and queen of Horemheb.
Either theory would explain the status to which Ay rose during Akhenaten's Amarna interlude. All that is known for certain was that by the time he was permitted to build a tomb for himself at Akhetaten during the reign of Akhenaten, he had achieved the title of 'Overseer of All the Horses of His Majesty', the highest rank in the elite charioteering division of the army.
Tutankhamun's untimely death at the age of 18 or 19, together with his failure to produce an heir, left a power vacuum that Ay was quick to fill. The grounds on which Ay based his successful claim to power are not entirely clear. Horemheb, had actually been designated as the 'Deputy of the Lord of the Two Lands' under Tutankhamun and was presumed to be the boy king's successor. It appears that Horemheb was outmaneuvered by Ay, who married Ankhesenamun, the widow of Tutankhamun, in order to legitimise his claim to the throne.
Since he was already advanced in age upon his accession, Ay ruled Egypt in his own right for only four years. During this period, he consolidated the return to the old religious ways.Prior to his death, Ay failed in his attempt to make Nakhtmin, possibly his son or an adopted son, his successor as pharaoh. Ay's tomb WV23
was in the Western Valley. However, it is not certain if he was ever buried there. At some time in antiquity the images and names of Ay were cut from the wall decoration and the king's sarcophagus. His mummy has never been found.
............Reign: 1323–1319 BC
...yi..i..Father: Yuya (?)
...i..f...Mother: Tjuyu (?)
.nw..Children: Nefertiti (?)
......(Ay, Father of the Gods)
..i.i..Tomb No: WV23
(Horus is in Jubilation, Beloved of Amun
) was the fifteenth and last Pharaoh of the Eighteenth dynasty. He acceded to the throne on the death of Ay, being given the praenomen Djeserkheperure Setepenre (Holy are the Manifestations of Re, Chosen of Re
Horemheb is believed to have originated from Herakleopolis Magna on the west bank of the Nile. His parentage is unknown but he is universally believed to be a commoner. Horemheb quickly rose to prominence under Tutankhamun, becoming Commander-in-Chief of the Army, and advisor to the Pharaoh. When Tutankhamun died, Horemheb had officially been recognised as his heir. However, the Vizier Ay sidelined Horemheb's claim to the throne and instead succeed Tutankhamun. Having pushed Horemheb aside, Ay proceeded to nominate a military officer named Nakhtmin, possibly Ay's son or adopted son, to succeed him rather than Horemheb.
After Ay's brief reign, however, Horemheb seized power, presumably from his position of strength as Commander of the Army. Upon his accession, Horemheb initiated a comprehensive series of internal reforms intended to curb the abuses of power and privileges that had begun under Akhenaten.
Horemheb was a prolific builder who erected numerous temples and buildings throughout Egypt during his reign. He constructed the Second, Ninth and Tenth Pylons of the Great Hypostyle Hall, in the Temple at Karnak using material from Akhenaten's nearly mortuary temple.
Horemheb had two wives, Amenia, who died before he came to power, and his Great Royal Wife Mutnedjmet, neither of whom bore him children. Since Horemheb remained childless, he appointed his Vizier, Paramesse as his chosen successor. Paramesse employed the name Ramesses I
upon assuming power and founded the 19th Dynasty of the New Kingdom
Horemheb had two tombs constructed for himself: the first, when he was a nobleman, at Saqqara near Memphis, and the second, the royal tomb (KV57
) in the Valley of the Kings. The decoration of his KV57
was left unfinished after his death. No remains of Horemheb have been found. The broken lid of the sarcophagus found lying on the floor, as well as the shattered condition of the canopic chest and other burial furnishings, suggest that the burial was robbed.
............Reign: 1319–1292 BC
i.g..Successor: Ramesses I
.(Horus is in Jubilation, beloved of Amun)
..i.i..Tomb No: KV57