Ancient Egypt: The New Kingdom Dynasty XVIII--Thutmose I (1506-1493 BC)

Figure 1.--It was Thutmose I who began the monumental building at Karnack. The statues here are of Thutmose III. The photograph was probably taken in the 1920s. Egyptology as a descipline is almopst entirely a European creation. The Arabs who conquered Egypt (7th century) contributed almost nothing to the study which began to fascinate Europeans (18th century). The primary Arab interest was paricvipating in the European tourist trade. Some Egyptian scholars today are involved, but most of the important work has been done by Wrestern scholars.

Thutmose I was the third Pharaoh of the 18th dynasty of Egypt, perhaps the best known. At the time the great pyramids were over a milenium old. He obtained the throne after the death of Amenhotep I. It is widely believed that Thutmose's father was Amenhotep I, but others postulate that he was a military commander that married into the rtoyal family. His mother was Senseneb, but this is a common name. She was of non-royal parentage, perhaps even a concubine. Thus Thutmose's sucession was not assured. His military campaign began in the south. He also conducted campaigns east well beyond of the Nile Valley, deep into the Levant. This expanded the borders of Egypt beyond those of any previous pharoes. He was a great builder. The Karnack temple complex is largely the work of the 18th Dynasty pharoes as Thebes became the capital of the unified Ancient Egypt. Thutmose I as one of the great builder pharoes played a major role in initiating a major building effort at Karnack. His greatest building projects were at the Temple of Karnak under the supervision of the architect Inen. He erected a massive enclosure wall connecting the Fourth and Fifth pylons. This is the earliest part of the temple still standing in situ. Almost every pharaoh of the 18th Dynasty added something to the Karnak temple site expanding on what Thutmose left. Thutmose built many temples in Egypt and built a tomb for himself in the Valley of the Kings, arguably the first. Thutmose's principal wife was Queen Ahmose, a woman of considerable importance. She held important titles. Before marriahge she was Hereditary Princess (iryt-p`t). Other titles included: Great of Praises (wrt-hzwt), Mistress of Great Beloved Sweetness (nebt-bnrt-‘3(t)-mrwt), Great King’s Wife, his beloved (hmt-niswt-wrt meryt.f), Mistress of Gladness (hnwt-ndjm-ib), Lady of all Women (hnwt-hmwt-nbwt), Mistress of the Two Lands (hnwt-t3wy) Companion of Horus (zm3yt-hrw), Beloved Companion of Horus (zm3yt-hrw-mryt.f), King’s Sister (snt-niswt). Unfortunately the references to kings are often not clear. We are not certain just who they refer to. Some historians believe she was a sister of King Amenhotep and served as a royal connection to the old and new ruling family. The predominant opinion is that she was a daughter of Amenhotep and wife of sister of Tuthmosis I. Given Egyptian traditions, she may have been his sister as well. Whatever her linage, she clearly was a high ranking royal lady. Thutmose I was succeeded by his son Thutmose II. We do not know a lot about the princes. One we know about is Wadjmose. The Prince appears to have been born before his father ascended the throne. He had a brother named Amenmose. Their mother is more difficult to know. If their mother was Queen Ahmose, they were full brothers of Hatshepsut and Neferubity. Another possibility is Queen Mutnofret which would make him a brother of Thutmose II. Wadjmose's name occurs written in a cartouche, which is quite rare for princes, suggesting that he was if some importance. It is believed, however that he died before his father.


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Created: 2:45 AM 5/12/2011
Last updated: 2:45 AM 5/12/2011