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Tuthmosis IV

1419 - 1386 BC**

(** see below)

 

 18th Dynasty

It is thought that upon the death of Amenhotep II a brief power struggle took place amongst his surviving sons (the eldest and heir to the throne had already predeceased his father). The main piece of evidence looked upon for this belief is the 'Sphinx Dream Stela', in this Tuthmosis IV relates how he fell asleep between the paws of the Great Sphinx and dreamed. In his dream the sphinx promised the young prince the crown of Egypt if he would clear the sand from around the sphinx that the desert winds has blown across. If the young Tuthmosis was the heir to the throne he would not of needed the help of the sphinx to secure it, the stela does suggest that there was competition amongst the princes (another son of Amenhotep II, Prince Webensenu, had stelae dedicated by him defaced, his canopic jars and shabtis were found in KV35 which would suggest that he was of some importance. However, it is not possible to be certain if the defacement of Webensenu's stelaes were part of a power struggle let alone if Tuthmosis IV was the culprit).

Building program
Although he enjoyed only a brief reign of 9 years (** - the dates abov relate to 'Chronicle of the Pharaohs' by P. Clayton - but it should be noted that the length of reign given here is the more accepted length - see 'Oxford History of Ancient Egypt' by I Shaw), Tuthmosis IV wasted no time in setting about major building projects. Surviving monuments from his reign have been found throughout Egypt:

 
Alexandria - columns  Seriakus Heliopolis
Giza - Dream Stela Abusir Saqqara
Memphis Faiyum, Crocodilopolis Hermopolis
Amarna Abydos (chapel and statue) Dendera
Medamud Karnak - (scene on pylon IV, court showing Tuthmosis IV offering to Amun, erected obelisk originally made for Tuthmosis III) Luxor (scene in birth hall)
Western Thebes (mortuary temple and tomb) Armant Tod
El-kab (small temple) Edfu Elephantine
Konosso (stelae) Faras (Nubia) Buhen (Nubia)
Amada (decorated court) Tabo (building finished by Amenhotep III) Gebel Barkal (foundation deposit)
Serabit el-Khadim (decoration to Hathor temple).    

Foreign relations
Following the successes of his father and grandfather, Tuthmosis IV inheritated a wealthy and peaceful country. The Mitanni who had plagued Egypt years previously were now at peace - this peace was emphasised by the marriage of Tuthmosis IV to Artatama, the daughter of the Mitanni n ruler.
Only very brief campaigns were undertaken by Egypt in this period; a city in Syria (thought to have been possibly Qatna or Sidon), and possible action against some towns in southern Palestine.

 Royal women
Tuthmosis IV followed the fashion of the dynasty and himself depicted as the result of a divine union between Amun-Re and his mother Tiaa. Throughout her son's rule Tiaa was known as the "King's Mother", and "Great Royal Wife" (Tiaa was only referred to as the 'Great Royal Wife' of Amenhotep II in monuments dating to the reign of Tuthmosis IV - there is no evdence to suggest that she held this title under Amenhotep II).
Nefertiry, wife of Tuthmosis IV, from non-royal origins.
Iaret, wife and sister of Tuthmosis IV following the death of Nefertiry.

(LEFT: statue of Tuthmosis IV and Tiaa - unusually mother and son sit apart).

Tuthmosis IV and Amenhotep III
Two tombs from Thebes (Sobekhotep TT63, and Hekarnehhe TT64) show the young Prince Amenhotep in a favoured position before Tuthmosis IV, but of Amenhotep III's mother Mutemwiya there is no mention. Indeed there is no mention of her at all during Tuthmosis IV's reign which would suggest that she was a member of the harem.

Officials of Tuthmosis IV
Amenemope - Vizier - TT29
Sennefer - Mayor of Thebes (brother to Amenemope, TT29) - TT96
Qenamun - Steward of the Royal Palace at Memphis - TT98
Kaemheryibsen - 3rd Prophet of Amun (brother to Qenamun) - TT98
Meri and Amenemhat - Chief Priests of Amun - TT97
Menkheperraseneb - Chief of the Granaries - TT79
Userhat - Royal Scribe and Tutor - TT56

Kha - TT8
Nebamun - Standard Bearer - TT90

The Tomb and mummy of Tuthmosis IV

Tuthmosis IV was buried in the Valley of the Kings - KV43 - which was discovered by Howard Carter in 1903. The tomb had been robbed in antiquity, two graffiti in the tomb give the dates of restoration (by the official Maya and his assistant Djehutymose) during the reign of Horemheb. The King's body had been moved to KV35 for safety by High Priests of the 21st Dynasty, the tomb did still contain a large amount of funerary furniture, ushabtis, provisions of food and a chariot.

The mummy of Tuthmosis IV was found as part of the cache of mummies in the tomb of Amenhotep II - KV35. The mummy was of an extremely emaciated man who died in his thirties - it also possible to see a resemblence between the mummy of Amenhotep II.