Thutmose I

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Thutmose I (also known as Thothmes, Thutmosis or Tuthmosis I, meaning Thoth-Born) was the third Pharaoh of the 18th dynasty of Ancient Egypt. He became pharaoh after the death of Amenhotep I. During his reign, he sent his armies into the Levant and Nubia, pushing the borders of Egypt further than ever before. He built many temples in Egypt and a tomb for himself in the Valley of the Kings. He is the first king known to have done this, though Amenhotep I may have done it first. He was succeeded by his son Thutmose II, and then his daughter, Hatshepsut. He ruled from 1506 to 1493 BC. Some scholars give his dates from 1526 BC to 1513 BC.[2][3] This depends on where the astronomical observations used to calculate ancient Egyptian dates were made. If the observations were from the city of Memphis it would give the dates 20 years earlier than if it was Thebes.

Family[change | change source]

Thutmose's father is unknown, but it may have been Amenhotep I. His mother, Senseneb, was not from a royal family and may have been a lesser wife or concubine of Amenhotep.[4] Thutmoses's wife, Queen Ahmose, the Great Royal Wife, was probably the daughter of Ahmose I and the sister of Amenhotep I.[5] There is some doubt, as she was never called a "king's daughter." Some historians believe that she was Thutmose's own sister.[6] Thutmose's first son with Ahmose was Amenmose. He was born long before Thutmose's coronation. He can be seen on a stela from about 1522 BC hunting near Memphis. He became the commander of the army. Amenmose died about the same time as Thutmose.[7] Thutmose had another son, Wadjmose, and two daughters, Hatshepsut and Nefrubity, by Ahmose. Wadjmose died before his father, and Nefrubity died as an infant.[8] Thutmose had a son by another wife, Mutnofret. This son, married to Thutmose's daughter Hatshepsut, succeeded him as Thutmose II.[8] Hatshepsut said that Thutmose gave the kingship to them both. However, this is considered to be propaganda by Hatshepsut's supporters to support her claim to the throne when she later took over power.[9]

Dates and length of reign[change | change source]

During the reign of Amenhotep I, the Egyptians recorded an astronomical event. This was the star Sothis appearing above the horizon at dawn. This is called a heliacal rising. Modern scientists believe that Sothis is the star that we call Sirius. If this observation was made at Thebes, it took place in 1517 BC.[10] From this date, the date of Amenhotep's death, and Thutmose's coronation can be calculated to 1506 BC. But a few historians believe that the observations were made at either Heliopolis or Memphis. This would mean that Thutmose would have been crowned in 1526 BC.[11]

An Egyptian priest, Manetho, writing in the third century BC, said that Thutmose I's reign lasted 12 Years and 9 Months (or 13 Years).[12] This data is supported by two dated inscriptions from Years 8 and 9 of his reign with Thutmoses's cartouche found on a stone block in Karnak.[13] Accordingly, Thutmose is usually said to have ruled from 1506 BC to 1493 BC, but some scholars date him from 1526 BC to 1513 BC[10]

Military achievements[change | change source]

The maximum territorial extent of Egypt (15th century BC)

At the time Thutmose became king, Nubia rebelled against Egyptian rule. Thutmose travelled up the Nile with his army and fought in the battle, personally killing the Nubian king.[14] He returned to Thebes with the Nubian king's body hung from the front of his ship.[14] In the third year of his reign he led another expedition against Nubia. He ordered the canal at the first cataract to be made deeper to make it easier to get his ships upstream. The canal had been first built by Sesostris III of the 12th Dynasty. This helped make Nubia part of the Egyptian empire.[8] This expedition is mentioned in two separate inscriptions by the king's son Thure:[15]

"Year 3, first month of the third season, day 22, under the majesty of the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Aakheperre who is given life. His Majesty commanded to dig this canal after he found it stopped up with stones [so that] no [ship sailed upon it]; Year 3, first month of the third season, day 22. His Majesty sailed this canal in victory and in the power of his return from overthrowing the wretched Kush."[16]

In the second year of Thutmose's reign, a stele at Tombos records that he built a fortress there. This is near the third cataract. Before this the Egyptian army had stopped at Buhen, at the second cataract.[17] This stele says that he already fought in Syria. His Syrian campaign may be placed at the beginning of the second year of his rule.[18] The Syrian campaign was the farthest north any Egyptian ruler had ever campaigned. Although it has not been found in modern times, he set up a stele when he crossed the Euphrates River.[19] During this campaign, the Syrian princes declared loyalty to Thutmose. However, after he went back to Egypt, they stopped tribute and began building defences against future attacks.[8] Thutmose celebrated his victories with an elephant hunt in the area of Niy, near Apamea in Syria.[7] He returned to Egypt with strange tales of the Euphrates, "that inverted water which flows upstream when it ought to be flowing downstream."[8] The Euphrates was the first major river which the Egyptians had seen which flowed from the north. This would be downstream on the Nile, instead of the south which was upstream on the Nile. The river became known in Egypt as the "inverted water."[8]

Nubia rebelled against Egyptian rule again in his fourth year.[18] He sent his army even farther south to stop it. An inscription from his reign has been found as far south as Kurgus, which was south of the fourth cataract.[19] During his reign, he began a number of projects which effectively ended Nubian independence for the next 500 years. He enlarged a temple to Sesostris III and Khnum, opposite the Nile from Semna.[20] There are also records of specific religious rites which the viceroy of El-Kab was to have performed in the temples in Nubia for the king.[21] He also appointed a man, Turi, to the position of viceroy of Cush, also known as the "King's Son of Cush."[22] With a civilian representative of the king living in Nubia itself, Nubia did not dare to revolt as often as it had. It was easily controlled by future Egyptian kings.[18]

Building projects[change | change source]

Stela of Thutmose I in the Cairo Museum
Court of the 4th pylon: obelisk of Thutmose I at Karnak

Thutmose I organized great building projects during his reign, including many temples and tombs. His greatest projects were at the Temple of Karnak under the supervision of the architect Ineni.[23] Before this, Karnak probably consisted only of a long road to a central platform, with a number of shrines for the solar boats along the side of the road.[24] Thutmose had the temple made much bigger. He had a fifth pylon built along the temple's main road. He built a wall around the inner temple and two flagpoles on either side of the gateway.[24] Outside of this, he built a fourth pylon and another enclosing wall.[24] He built a hypostyle hall between pylons four and five. This was made with columns of cedar wood. This was common in ancient Egyptian temples, and supposedly represents a papyrus marsh, an Egyptian symbol of creation.[25] Along the edge of this room he built very large statues, each one alternating wearing the crown of Upper Egypt and the crown of Lower Egypt.[24] Finally, outside of the fourth pylon, he built four more flagpoles[24] and two obelisks. One of them, which now has fallen, was not inscribed until Thutmose III about 50 years later.[23] The cedar columns in Thutmose I's hypostyle hall were replaced with stone columns by Thutmose III, however at least the northernmost two were replaced by Thutmose I himself.[23] Hatshepsut also erected two of her own obelisks inside of Thutmose I's hypostyle hall.[24]

Thutmose I also built statues of the Ennead at Abydos, buildings at Armant, Ombos, el-Hiba, Memphis, and Edfu, as well as minor expansions to buildings in Nubia, at Semna, Buhen, Aniba, and Quban.[26]

Death and burial[change | change source]

Thutmose I was the first king who definitely was buried in the Valley of the Kings.[19] The architect, Ineni, built the tomb, and his mortuary temple.[7] This temple has not been found as it was probably destroyed by the building of Hatshepsut's mortuary temple at Deir el-Bahri.[27]

Thutmose I was buried in a tomb now called KV20 dug high into the cliffs of the Valley of the Kings.[28] His daughter Hatshepsut had the tomb made bigger, with a room big enough for both of their stone coffins (sarcophagus). His grandson, Thutmose III had him reburied in KV38.[29] KV20 was rediscovered during the Napoleonic expedition of 1799. In 1844, the Prussian scholar Karl Richard Lepsius had explored its upper passage.[30] However, many passageways were blocked by rocks, stones and other rubbish brought in during floods. In 1903-1904 Howard Carter, after two years of hard work, was able to clear the passages and enter the double burial chamber.[30] He found broken pottery and shattered stone vessels from the burial chamber and lower passages. He found parts of two vases made for Queen Ahmose Nefertari, which were part of the original funerary equipment of Thutmose I. On one vase was written that Thutmose II "[made it] as his monument to his father."[31] Other vessels which had the names and titles of Thutmose I had also been inscribed by his son and successor, Thutmose II. There were parts of stone vessels made for Hatshepsut before she herself became king which had her royal name of 'Maatkare'.[32]

Hatshepsut used this quartzite sarcophagus for the reburial of her father, Thutmose I, in KV20 (Museum of Fine Arts, Boston)

Carter, however, also discovered two separate coffins in the burial chamber. The beautifully carved sarcophagus of Hatshepsut "was discovered open with no sign of a body, and with the lid lying discarded on the floor."[32] It is now in the Cairo Museum with a matching yellow quartzite canopic chest. A second sarcophagus, was found lying on its side, with its almost undamaged lid propped against the wall. This was given to Theodore M. Davis, who had paid for the excavation.[32] Davis gave it to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. The sarcophagus had originally been engraved with the name of "the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Maatkare Hatshepsut."[32] However, when the sarcophagus was complete, Hatshepsut decided to have a new one made for herself. She used the first sarcophagus for her father, Thutmose I.[32] The stonemasons then tried to erase the original carvings by restoring the surface of the quartzite so that it could be re-carved with the name and titles of Thuthmose I. The sarcophagus is seven feet long and three feet wide with walls five inches thick. It has text carved on it which records Hatshepsut's generosity towards her father:

...long live the Female Horus...The king of Upper and Lower Egypt, Maatkare, the son of Re, Hatshepsut-Khnemet-Amun! May she live forever! She made it as her monument to her father whom she loved, the Good God, Lord of the Two Lands, Aakheperkare, the son of Re, Thutmosis the justified.[33]

After Hatshepsut's death, Thutmose III, Hatshepsut's successor, moved his grandfather to a magnificent new tomb, KV38. This had another yellow sarcophagus dedicated to Thutmose I. It was covered with texts which spoke of this pharaoh's love for his dead grandfather.[34] Thutmose I's remains were disturbed during the 20th dynasty when KV38 was robbed. The sarcophagus' lid was broken and all this king's valuable precious jewellery and grave goods were stolen.[34] The original coffin of Thutmose I was taken over and re-used by a later pharaoh of the 21st dynasty. In 1994 a flood refilled KV20 with stones and debris.[28]

Thutmose I's mummy has not yet been identified. He was reburied during 21st dynasty when the bodies of the pharaohs of the 18th and 19th dynasties were rewrapped and buried in the Deir el-Bahri Cache above the Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut. They were discovered in 1881. The mummies included Ahmose I, Amenhotep I, Thutmose II, Thutmose III, Ramesses I, Seti I, Ramesses II, and Ramesses IX, as well as the 21st dynasty pharaohs Pinedjem I, Pinedjem II, and Siamun. Egyptologist Gaston Maspero, believed that unlabelled mummy #5283 was that of Thutmose I. The face had the same features as the mummies of Thutmose II and Thutmose III.[35] Later research proved that it was an 18th dynasty mummy.[36]

Gaston Maspero wrote:

The king was already advanced in age at the time of his death, being over fifty years old, to judge by the incisor teeth, which are worn and corroded by the impurities of which the Egyptian bread was full. The body, though small and emaciated, shows evidence of unusual muscular strength; the head is bald, the features are refined, and the mouth still bears an expression characteristic of shrewdness and cunning.[35]

This mummy can be viewed in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. However, in 2007, Dr. Zahi Hawass announced that the mummy is that of a 30-year-old man who had died as a result of an arrow wound to the chest. Because of the young age of the mummy and the cause of death, it could not be King Thutmose I.[37]

References[change | change source]

  1. Clayton, Peter. Chronicle of the Pharaohs, Thames and Hudson Ltd, paperback 2006, p.100
  2. Grimal, Nicolas. A History of Ancient Egypt. p.202. Librairie Arthéme Fayard, 1988.
  3. Ancient Egyptian Chronology, chapter 10, Egyptian Sirius/Sothic Dates and the Question of the Sirius based Lunar Calendar, 2006 Rolf Krauss pgs. 439-457
  4. [1] Archived 2016-08-22 at the Wayback Machine accessed 2 May 2010
  5. Gardiner 1964 p. 176
  6. Bleiberg (2000) p.400
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 Gardiner (1964) p.179
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 8.5 Steindorff (1942) p.36
  9. Erman (1894) p.43
  10. 10.0 10.1 Grimal (1988) p.202
  11. Helk (1983) pp.47-9
  12. "Manetho's Kings". Archived from the original on 2003-01-28. Retrieved 2006-12-30.
  13. Jürgen von Beckerath (1997), p.120
  14. 14.0 14.1 Steindorff and Seele (1942) p.34
  15. Lorna Oakes, Pyramids, Temples and Tombs of Ancient Egypt, Hermes House, 2003. p.207
  16. Oakes, op. cit., p.207
  17. Breasted (1906) p.28
  18. 18.0 18.1 18.2 Steindorff and Seele (1942) p.35
  19. 19.0 19.1 19.2 Shaw and Nicholson (1995) p.289
  20. Erman (1894) p.503
  21. Breasted (1906) p.25
  22. Breasted (1906) p.27
  23. 23.0 23.1 23.2 Breasted (1906) p.41
  24. 24.0 24.1 24.2 24.3 24.4 24.5 Grimal (1988) p.300
  25. Shaw (2003) p.168
  26. "Thutmosis I". Retrieved 2006-08-02.
  27. Gardiner (1964) p.170
  28. 28.0 28.1 "KV 20 (Thutmes I and Hatshepsut)". Theban Mapping Project. 2008. Archived from the original on 12 July 2010. Retrieved 13 October 2012.
  29. Joyce Tyldesley, Hatchepsut: The Female Pharaoh, Penguin Books, hardback, 1996. pp.121-25
  30. 30.0 30.1 Tyldesley, p.122
  31. Tyldesley, pp.123-24
  32. 32.0 32.1 32.2 32.3 32.4 Tyldesley, p.124
  33. Tyldesley, p.125
  34. 34.0 34.1 Tyldesley, p.126
  35. 35.0 35.1 Maspero, Gaston. History Of Egypt, Chaldaea, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, Volume 4 (of 12), Project Gutenberg EBook, Release Date: December 16, 2005. EBook #17324. [2] Archived 2007-09-29 at the Wayback Machine
  36. Smith (2000) p.25-28
  37. Anderson, Lisa (14 July 2007). "Mummy awakens new era in Egypt". Chicago Tribune.

Bibliography[change | change source]

Other websites[change | change source]

Media related to Thutmosis I at Wikimedia Commons