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Dynasty XVIII - 1570-1293

Ahmose I15701546
Amenhotep I15511524
Tuthmosis I 15241518
Tuthmosis II15181504
Tuthmosis III15041450
Queen Hatshepsut15031483
Amenhotep II14531419
Tuthmosis IV14191386
Amenhotep III13861349
Amenhotep IVAkhenaten + Nefertiti13501334
Smenkhkare13361334
TutankhatenTutankhamun13341325
Ay13251321
Horemheb13211293

Amenhotep I
(Djeserkare)
1514-1493 B.C.
The son of Ahmose and Queen Ahmose Nefretiri was the second king of the 18th Dynasty. Facing a Libyan uprising his first year as king, Amenhotep successfully overcame the Libyans on two occasions and prevented an invasion in the Delta area.

Next in line for battle were the Nubians. Upon his victory, Amenhotep brought captives back to Thebes. Amenhotep was given the rare honor of being declared a titular god upon his death by the priests. His accomplishments included elaborate building complexes at the Karnak Temple in Thebes. He utilized different types of stone including alabaster from Hatnub.

He repaired and restored many ancient temples along the Nile. He was the first pharaoh to build his tomb separate from the temple.

Because of the looting of tombs, he had his built in an inconspicuous place in Thebes. Amenhotep’s son died in infancy so his military commander Thutmose, who was married to the king’s sister, assumed the throne upon Amenhotep’s death.

Thutmose I
(Akheperkare)
1493-1481 B.C.
The third king of the 18th Dynasty was a commoner by birth. He had married Ahmose, a sister of Amenhotep I, and was named king when the king died childless. Ahmose bore him two sons who were passed over for Thutmose II, who was born to Mutnofret.

Thutmose built an extension to the temple of Amon at Karnak. He added pylons, courts and statues. He led a campaign into Nubia where he penetrated beyond the Third Cataract. He defeated the Nubian chief in a hand to hand combat and returned to Thebes with the body of the fallen chief hanging on the prow of his ship.

His greatest campaigns were in the Delta. Warring against the Hyksos he subdued tribes and finally reached the Euphrates River. To commemorate his victory he built a hypostyle hall at Karnak, made entirely of cedar wood columns. His remains were found in the cache, with others, at Deir el Bahri. Thutmose brought Egypt a sense of stability and his military campaigns healed the wounds of Thebians.

(Maatkare)
1473-1458 B.C.
Hatshepsut, the fifth ruler of the 18th Dynasty, was the daughter of Thutmose I and Queen Ahmose. As was common in royal families, she married her half-brother, Thutmose II, who had a son, Thutmose III, by a minor wife. When Thutmose II died in 1479 B.C. his son, Thutmose III, was appointed heir.

However, Hatshepsut was appointed regent due to the boy’s young age. They ruled jointly until 1473 when she declared herself pharaoh. Dressed in men’s attire, Hatshepsut administered affairs of the nation, with the full support of the high priest of Amon, Hapuseneb and other officials.

When she built her magnificent temple at Deir el Bahari in Thebes she made reliefs of her divine birth as the daughter of Amon. Hatshepsut disappeared in 1458 B.C. when Thutmose III, wishing to reclaim the throne, led a revolt. Thutmose had her shrines, statues and reliefs mutilated.

Amenhotep II
(Akheperure)
1427-1392 B.C.
Amenhotep, the seventh king of the 18th Dynasty, was a fierce ruler that excelled in both horsemanship and archery. While a prince, he was given the command of the naval base near Memphis.

In his first year as king the Asiatics rebelled, but to no avail. He spent his second year in Syria overcoming several uprisings. His victorious return to Egypt was indicated by the captive officers that were hanging upside down on the prow of his ship. The same were beheaded in a ceremony by Amenhotep’s own hand. His son, Thutmose IV assumed the throne when Amenhotep died at the age of 45. His remains show signs of a systemic disease which probably attributed to his death. He built a court in the Temple of Luxor, that was later decorated by Tutankhamun and Horemheb. Amenhotep II’s tomb is in the Valley of the Kings in Thebes.

(Nebmaatre)
1382-1344 B.C.
The ninth king of the 18th dynasty was the son of Thutmose IV and Queen Mutemwiya. He married Tiy, daughter of Yuya, who was a chancellor of the north and was a priest of Hermonthis and Amon.

Egypt was enjoying a peaceful time during Amenhotep’s reign, thus allowing him to concentrate on more artistic renewals. He married daughters of foreign kings, including a Mitanni princess and one from Babylon. This solidified his international standings.
During his reign he enlarged many temples. He built Malkata on the western shore of Thebes, south of Medinet Habu. This complex was a miniature city with offices, houses, chambers, chapels and apartments.

Close to Malkata he built a lake for his queen. Next to the lake he built a palace for his harem and a palace for Queen Tiy. He built the famous Colossi of Memnon and is accredited with building the Temple of Luxor. Amenhotep spent years improving Karnak, by adding temples and a row of sphinxes that linked it to the temple of Amon at Luxor. Amenhotep died in his mid fifties. His heir was the infamous Akhenaten.


Burial : Akhetaten (el-Amarna); subsequently Valley of the Kings (Thebes)
Amenhotep IV-better known as Akhenaten, the new name he took early on in his reign-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 (modern el-Amarna), 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. This last heresy in particular was to bring down on Akhenaten and his immediate successors the opprobrium of later kings.

The young prince was at least the second son of Amenhotep III by his chief wife, Tiy: an elder brother, prince Tuthmosis, had died prematurely (strangely, a whip bearing his name was found in Tutankhamun’s tomb).

There is some controversy over whether or not the old king took his son into partnership on the throne in a co-regency there are quite strong arguments both for and against.

A point in favor of a co-regency is the appearance during the latter years of Amenhotep III’s reign of artistic styles that are subsequently seen as part of the ’revolutionary’ Amarna art introduced by Akhenaten; on the other hand, both ’traditional’ and ’revolutionary’ Art styles could easily have coexisted during the early years of Akhenaten’s reign.

At any rate, if there had been a co-regency, it would not have been for longer than the short period before the new king assumed his preferred name of Akhenaten (’Servant of the Aten’) in Year 5.

The beginning of Akhenaten’s reign marked no great discontinuity with that of his predecessors. Not only was he crowned at Karnak (temple of the god Amun) but, like his father he married a lady of non-royal blood, Nefertiti, the daughter of the vizier Ay. Ay seems to have been a brother of Queen Tiy (Anen was another) and a son of Yuya and Tuya. Nefertiti’s mother is not known; she may have died in childbirth or shortly afterwards, since Nefertiti seems to have been brought up by another wife of Ay named Tey, who would then be her stepmother.

The cult of the Aten
The tenth king of the 18th Dynasty was perhaps the most controversial because of his break with traditional religion. Some say that he was the most remarkable king to sit upon Egypt’s throne. There can be little doubt that the new king was far more of a thinker and philosopher than his forebears. Akhenaten was traditionally raised by his parents, Amenhotep III and Queen Tiy (1382-1344 B.C.) by worshipping Amen.

Akhenaten, however, preferred Aten, the sun god that was worshipped in earlier times. Amenhotep III had recognized the growing power of the priesthood of Amun and had sought to curb it; his son was to take the matter a lot further by introducing a new monotheistic cult of sun-worship that was incarnate in the sun’s disc, the Aten.

When early in his reign he changed his name to Akhenaten, meaning “He Who is of Service to Aten”, he also renamed his queen to Nefer-Nefru-Aten, which is “Beautiful is the Beauty of Aten.”

Tutankhamun
(Nebkheprure)
1336-1327 B.C.
The 12th king of the 18th Dynasty was only eight or nine years old at his succession. His father, Smenkhkare, died at the age of 25 and the cause remains a mystery. Tutankhamun was married to Ankhesenamon, the third daughter of Akhenaten and Nefertiti.

The couple originally lived at el Amarna but later moved to Memphis where they refurbished the apartments of Amenhotep III. The Restoration Stela gives an account of his effort to stabilize the government and to restore the temples and honors of the old gods after the Amarna period. He paid the priest and palace staff from his own pockets.

He built a mortuary temple close to Medinet Habu, with two colossal statues, but they were usurped by his successors. Tutankhamun died at the age of 19 by a head injury. He was buried in the Valley of the Kings. Two mummified fetuses were found in coffins that had been sealed by his name. These are believed to have been his children that were born prematurely.

Horemheb
(Djeserkheperure)
1323-1295 B.C.
The fourteenth king of the 18th Dynasty was chief of the army during Tutankhamun’s reign. When Tutankhamun died, Ay succeeded the throne. Ay favored Horemheb and kept him on as a military leader.

When Ay died without an heir, Horemheb was made king. Restoring order was his main objective. Once accomplished, Horemheb moved to Memphis and began work on internal affairs. He returned properties of the temples to the rightful priests and lands to the rightful owners.

He had restoration projects and building additions in Karnak. He erected shrines and a temple to Ptah. He built tombs at Thebes, in the Valley of the Kings, and Memphis.

He was noted for admonishing high ranking officials against cheating the poor and misappropriating the use of slaves and properties. He promised the death penalty for such offenses. Horemheb had no heir so he appointed a military leader to succeed him. That leader was Ramesses I.

Horemheb
(Djeserkheperure)
1323-1295 B.C.
The fourteenth king of the 18th Dynasty was chief of the army during Tutankhamun’s reign. When Tutankhamun died, Ay succeeded the throne. Ay favored Horemheb and kept him on as a military leader.

When Ay died without an heir, Horemheb was made king. Restoring order was his main objective. Once accomplished, Horemheb moved to Memphis and began work on internal affairs. He returned properties of the temples to the rightful priests and lands to the rightful owners.

He had restoration projects and building additions in Karnak. He erected shrines and a temple to Ptah. He built tombs at Thebes, in the Valley of the Kings, and Memphis.

He was noted for admonishing high ranking officials against cheating the poor and misappropriating the use of slaves and properties. He promised the death penalty for such offenses. Horemheb had no heir so he appointed a military leader to succeed him. That leader was Ramesses I.




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