Saturday, December 31, 2011

Amenhotep and more notes

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Amenhotep 1


Extending the boundaries of Egypt in Nubia


Amenhotep succeeded his father Ahmose


Evidence from the tomb of Ahmose, son of Ebana, that the new king began the process of reconquering Nubia and consolidating Egyptian control over it.


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The tomb inscription of Ahmose, son of Ebana, recorded that he accompanied king Amenhotep to Kush ‘in order to extend the borders of Egypt’ -Grimal. This is the first mention of deliberate expansionist policy.


Egyptian trade was chiefly directed towards the lands of the upper Nile and the Sudan and the pharaohs saw the need to keep this area under control. The reasons for the Egyptians’ attraction to Nubia and the decision of the pharaohs to eventually incorporate it into their growing empire were threefold


1. Enormous quantities of gold were obtained from the extensive mines of Kush.


. Taxes in the form of cattle and agricultural products could be extorted from the various native tribes.


. Nubia was the connecting link between Egypt and the regions of the Sudan and beyond. All the goods that the Egyptians coveted from tropical Africa, such as ivory, ebony, ostrich feathers and eggs, animal skins, cattle, slaves, etc, passed through Nubia.


To ensure the continued supply of these products, the regions of Nubia and all the connecting desert routes had to be under Egyptian control. Amenhotep began to rebuild the forts that protected Egyptians living and working in Nubia and to make sure that the flow of gold and tropical products was not interrupted.


The commandant of Buhen, appointed by Ahmose 1, was now made viceroy of Nubia and given the title king’s son, overseer of southern lands. In the reign of Thutmose1 (Amenhotep’s successor) this position was referred to as the king’s son of Kush, and it became one of the most important offices in the administration of the empire.


Other aspects of Amenhotep’s policy


As well as restoring those monuments damaged and neglected during the Hyksos domination he


- Devoted himself to the building of Thebes as a new capital city.


- Erected beautiful monuments to the state god Amun-Re at Karnak, ‘erecting for him a great gate of twenty cubits (in height) at the double fa├žade of the temple, of fine white limestone of Ayan’- Breasted


- Took the first steps in developing the west bank at Thebes as the site of the vast necropolis (city of the dead).


- Founded a special workforce called workmen of the royal tomb who lived in their own town at Deir el-Medina. This workforce was responsible for building and decorating all royal tombs. He and his mother were deified and worshipped in Deir el-Medina as gods for centuries after their deaths.


- Built or repaired temples and chapels at Abydos, El kab and Elephantine Island.


The succession


Amenhotep had married his sister Meritamun.


If they had children was unknown. There was no surviving son.


Amenhotep reigned for approximately 1 years.


Selected successor, a military leader named Thutmose whose mother Senseneb was a commoner. During his reign his queen consort was Ahmose.


There are a number of conflicting views about Ahmose


- ‘Thutmose 1 appears to have achieved the kingship through his marriage to the hereditary princess Ahmose, the sister and daughter respectively, of his two predecessors’- Adam’s


- Others believe that she was of royal blood but not the daughter of Ahmose or Amenhotep. ‘Probably his sole title to kingship was as husband of the princess Ahmose, a lady evidently of very exalted parentage’- Anthers


- A third view is that she was the sister or half-sister of Thutmose. Tyldsley, in her book Hatshepsut, suggests that if this were the case then ‘their brother-sister marriage must have occurred after Thutmose’s promotion to heir apparent, as such incestuous marriages were extremely rare outside the immediate royal family’.


To ensure his succession, Amenhotep may have associated Thutmose with him in co-regency sometime before his death-Bradley.


The beginning of an empire


Thutmose 1


Some believe Thutmose 1 was the real founder of the 18th dynasty and not King Ahmose. He was the first in a line of kings referred to as the Thutmosids, who were


‘Ambitious, intelligent and energetic as rulers, vain, self indulgent, headstrong, and occasionally ruthless as individuals, but consistent in their pious devotion to the god Amun and his fellow deities and in their patronage of their country’s arts and crafts.’


-Lehner


Thutmose 1’s military achievements


In the early part of his reign, he led important military campaigns (to Nubia and Western Asia) during he displayed exceptional abilites as a military leader.


Nubia


Captain Ahmose, son of Ebana, navigated the king’s fleet safely along the Nile and through the rough waters of the cataract regions to ‘crush rebellion in the highlands, in order to suppress the raiding of the desert region’- Lehner


According to Ahmose’s biography, when Thutmose faced the Nubian’s he raged like a panther, piercing the chest of a Nubian chieftain with his first arrow.


During this long year campaign, Thutmose personally led his troops well beyond the third cataract as far as the island of Argo. Egyptians to extend their control in Upper Egypt (Kush) as far as the fourth cataract. To guard the frontier, Thutmose ordered the construction of a fortress on the island of tombos. Years later, after the campaign to the Euphrates, an inscription celebrating his victories was cut into the granite cliffs high above Tombos.


It appears that Thutmose had to make another expedition to Nubia several years later during which wretched Kush was overthrown. He continued with the building of a string of fortresses in Nubia and established a new administrative system.


Western Asia


He marched through Syria, where the local princes humbled themselves before him and offered tribute. Then he continued as far north as the upper reaches of the Euphrates River. The Egyptian troops, familiar with the Nile that flowed from south to north, were amazed at this great river that they believed flowed upside down. The Egyptians referred to it as ‘the inverted river (Euphrates) that goes downstream in going upstream’-Grimal


The Egyptian king led his army across the river into the territory of the powerful Mitanni and Naharin. When the Mitannian and Egyptian armies finally met, Thutmose’s troops proved to be superior and ‘numberless were the living prisoners, which his majesty brought off from his victories’-Herodotus


With this great victory, Thutmose ordered the erection of a commemorative stela on the banks of the Euphrates, proclaiming his mighty deeds to all future generations. This has not survived but evidence of its existence comes from the records of Thutmose .


Thutmose’s success at hunting added to the image of the heroic king.





Thutmose made no attempt to bring the area thoroughly under control by organising a unified administration similar to that set up in Nubia.


The importance of Thutmose 1’s military campaigns


The Syrian campaign showed Thutmose 1 to be a military leader of exceptional ability. The example set by Thutmose 1 was followed for centuries to come as they realised the benefits of acquiring an empire.





The official propaganda described the military achievements of Thutmose 1 in the following way


‘He brought the ends of the earth into his domain; he trod its two extremities with his mighty sword, seeking battle; but he found no one who faced him. He penetrated valleys, which his royal ancestors knew not, which the wearers of the double crown had not seen. His southern boundary is as far as the frontier of this land (Nubia), his northern, as far as the inverted river’…-Grimal


‘I made the boundaries of Egypt as far as that which the sun encircles’-David


Dedications to Amun-Re at Karnak


To glorify his father Amun-Re, who had helped him make ‘Egypt the superior of every land’-Lichtheim


He ordered superb additions to Amun’s temple at Karanak.


Supervisor- King’s architect- ‘Ineni’


1. The original middle kingdom shrine was enlarged into an enclosed court with columned porticoes and statues of the king in the form of the god Osiris.


. In front of this court, Thutmose ordered the construction of a monumental gateway or pylon. Mounted in slots in the pylon walls were two huge cedar flag masks, the tips of which were sheathed in fine electrum. Between the massive towers of the pylons was a


‘Great door of Asiatic copper where on was the Divine Shadow inlaid with gold’-Lichtheim


This door way was given the name Amun Mighty in Wealth and is an indication of what was to pour into the god’s coffers in succeeding years.


. Later in his reign Thutmose had a second monumental gateway built approximately 1 metres in front of the first. The space between the pylons was roofed over to form a hall.


4. To celebrate his sed festival Thutmose had erected, in front of the second entranceway, two 0-metre-high obelisks. The pyramid ions at the tip of each red granite obelisk were covered in sheet gold to catch the rays of the sun.


Funerary developments


Thutmose 1 set another pattern for future kings to follow by ordering the construction of a rock-cut tomb in the isolated Valley of the Kings.


In the high rugged cliffs behind Deir el-bahri the royal architect ‘inspected the excavation of the cliff-tomb of his majesty, alone, no one seeing, no one hearing’. He was ‘vigilant seeking that which was excellent’-Lichtheim


The royal tomb workers from the village of Deir el-Medina decorated the royal tomb.





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