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Tuthmosis I

1524 - 1518 BC

 

 18th Dynasty

Amenhotep I was followed by Tuthmosis I, a military commander - not Amenhotep I's son (Amenhotep I had produced no heir to the throne), it is possible that Amenhotep I and Tuthmosis I shared a co-regency for short time before the death of Amenhotep - this may have been to legitimise Tuthmosis I's claim to the throne (however, there is a theory that Tuthmosis I was indeed the son of Amenhotep I - but by a lesser ranked wife - the Queen Senseb).

Tuthmosis I's main claim to the throne of Egypt was by taking the daughter of Ahmose I and Queen Ahmose Nefertari - the princess Ahmose - as his wife. She would give him two daughters (Neferukheb and Hatshepsut) and two sons (Wadjmose and Amenmose). Tuthmosis I would ignore the sons from the Queen Ahmose in favour of Tuthmosis (II) born to a lesser ranked queen Mutnofret (possibly a nome heiress).

The women of Tuthmosis I -

Ahmose (his queen)
 

Queen Senseb (his mother ?)

The Military campaigns of Tuthmosis I

In Year 2, Tuthmosis I led a highly successful campaign into Nubia, battling against the local warrior clans and was able to thrust as far south as the Fourth Cataract (a boundary marker was set up at Kanisa Kurgus). Tuthmosis I was to fight a Nubian chief in hand-to-hand combat - the Nubian was killed and his body was carried back to Thebes hanging from the prow of Tuthmosis's ship. These campaigns were recorded on an inscription engraved on a rock near the island of Tombos above the Third Cataract, and also in the biographical inscription of Ahmose son of Ebana.After completing his Nubian campaign, Tuthmosis turned his attention to the north of Egypt - he attacked across the River Euphrates into Narin (ruled by the Mitanni). A victory stela was built near Carchemish, describing how many of the enemy were killed or taken captive.

These campaigns of Tuthmosis were to extend the borders of Egypt to the greatest that they would ever be - the River Euphrates in the North and approaching the Fifth Cataract in the south (Tuthmosis I would boast that he had enlarged the boundaries of Egypt to match the cicuit of the sun).

 

Art and Architecture

To celebrate his military victories, Tuthmosis I renovated the temple of Amun at Karnak;

an enclosure wall, two pylons, a hypostyle hall built of cedar wood columns, with a copper and gold door, two obelisks in front of the outer pylon and flagstaffs tipped with electrum.

The obelisk at Karnak - built by Tuthmosis I.

Translation of the obelisk text:

FRONT.-Horus, Mighty Bull, beloved of Maat; King of the South and the North, Akheperkara, emanation of Amen. He made [them] as his monument to his father, Amen-Ra, Governor of the Two Lands. He set up to him two great obelisks at the two-fold doorway of the house of the god. The pyramidion caps were made of tcham metal . .

BACK.-Horus, Mighty Bull, beloved of Maat; King of the South and the North, lord of the vulture crown and the serpent crown, diademed with the serpent crown, great of valour, Akheperkara, chosen of Ra; the Horus of gold, well-doing in years, making hearts to live; son of Ra, of his body, Tuthmosis, diademed with beauties. He made [them] as his monument to his father Amen, Lord of the Thrones of the Two Lands, President of the Apts, endowed with life like Ra for ever.

RIGHT.-Horus, Mighty Bull of Ra; lord of the vulture crown and the serpent crown, conqueror of all Iands; the Horus of gold, smiter of the Nine Bows; King of the South and the North, Lord of the Two Lands Akheper-kara-merenra. Marked out for him the lord of the gods the Set festival on the Ashet treel; the son of Ra, Thothmes diademed like Ra, beloved of Amen-Ra Ka-mut-f, endowed with life for ever.

LEFT.-Horus, beloved of Ra, crowned with the White Crown; lord of the vulture crown and the serpent crown, the adorer of Temu, diademed with crowns; King of the South and the North, Lord of the Two Lands, Akheperkara, made of Ra; the Horus of gold, great of strength, mighty of valour, flourishing for years in the Great House of Maat; son of Ra, Thothmes diademed like Ra, divine Governor of Anu (On), beloved of Amen-Ra, lord of the thrones of the Two Lands, endowed with life like Ra for ever.

The Death of Tuthmosis I

Tuthmosis I died in his fifties, his mummy was found in the royal cache of mummies at TT320. X-rays have shown that he suffered from rheumatoid arthritis, and that sometime in his life he had fractured his pelvis.

 

The Tombs of Tuthmosis I

Through the talents of his official Ineni, Tuthmosis I was the the first pharaoh to be buried in the Valley of the Kings - the first tomb for the valley was very modest as compared to the later efforts of Seti I (for example). The funerary temple of Tuthmosis I was built on the edge of the cultivated land by the Nile (although this temple has yet to be discovered), Tuthmosis also founded the village for the builders of the tombs in the Valley of the Kings at Deir el Medina.

Although he was the first pharaoh to be buried in the Valley of the Kings, there has been confusion as to what was his original tomb - two tombs have had evidence of Tuthmosis I being buried within them: KV38 contained a canopic chest and a sarcophagus both with the name of Tuthmosis I (however these have been shown to have been made by Tuthmosis III for a reburial of Tuthmosis I). It is now thought that Tuthmosis I was originally buried in KV20 (a sarcophagus was found here also for the burial of Tuthmosis I) - it was this tomb that he shared, for a short while at least, with his daughter Hatshepsut.

 

Such was his popularity, Tuthmosis I was worshipped as part of a mortuary cult well into the 19th Dynasty and beyond (High Priests of the 21st Dynasty wished to identify themselves with the Tuthmosis Kings).