TUTHMOSIS I, 3RD KING OF EGYPT'S 18TH DYNASTY
by Jimmy Dunn -
The third king of the 18th Dynasty was a commoner by birth and a military man by training. We do not know his fathers name, but his mother
was Semiseneb, a rather common name during the Second Intermediate Period and the early 18th Dynasty. He had married Ahmose, who may have
been a sister of Amenhotep I and daughter of Ahmose I and Queen Ahmose Nefertary (who still held the title, "God's Wife of Amun during
her grandson's rule) and thus legitimized his rule. However, others have suggested that Ahmose was in fact Tuthmosis I's own sister. He
may have also served as a co-regent under Amenhotep I, and was most certainly an important military commander under his predecessor.
His birth name we are told was Tuthmosis, meaning "Born of the god Thoth", though this is a Greek version. His actual Egyptian name was
Djehutymes I, but he is also sometimes referred to as Thutmose I, or Thutmosis I. His thrown name was A-Kheper-ka-re (Aakheperkara). He
gained the thrown at a fairly late age, and may have ruled for about six years. The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt gives his reign
lasting from 1504-1492 BC, while Peter Clayton indicates 1524-1518 and Monarchs of the Nile as 1503-1491.
Nevertheless, he staged a series of brilliant military campaigns that were to establish Egypt's 18th Dynasty. So effective were these
efforts that we believe he must have started preparations the the military operations during the last years of Amenhotep I's rule. Ahmose
son of Ebana, an admiral during Tuthmosis I's reign, tells us that a campaign into Nubia where he penetrated beyond the Third Cataract
was highly successful. Tuthmosis may have defeated the Nubian chief in 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 and his battles against the Syrians as he finally reached the Euphrates River. This expedition
opened new horizons that led later to Egypt's important role in he trade and diplomacy of the Late Bronze Age Near East. Tuthmosis I
brought Egypt a sense of stability and his military campaigns healed the wounds of Thebians.
We learn from his Abydos stele of his building works at Thebes. His architect, Ineni, built an extension to the temple of Amun at Karnak,
adding pylons (the fourth and fifth), courts, statues and one of Egypt's largest standing Obelisks. To commemorate his victory he built
a hypostyle hall made entirely of cedar wood columns. He also expanded "the Treasury" begun by his predecessor at the northeast corner of
the complex. The Abydos stele also tells us that Tuthmosis I he made contributions to the temple of Osiris, including cult objects and
statues. Further, he apparently did some substantial work at Giza.
In fact, he was responsible for a number of building projects within Egypt proper, where he left indications of structures at
Elephantine, Armant, Ombos (near the late 17th to early 18th Dynasty palace center at Deir el-Ballas), el-Hiba, Memphis and probably at
Edfu. However, there are also a number of monuments in Upper and Lower Nubia left by Tuthmosis I and his viceroy, Turi. We believe that
there are several structures that may date from his reign near Kenisa at the fourth cataract and at Napata. Traces of ruins also exist at
Semna, Buhen, Aniba, Quban and Qasr Ibrim, though most of these were probably small, or additions to earlier buildings. We also find a few
votive objects dedicated in his name in the Sinai at the temple of Serabit el-Khadim.
Ahmose bore him two sons named Wadjmose and Amenmose (though their parentage is a bit uncertain), but they apparently preceded their
father to the grave. So it was by Mutnofret (Mutnefert), a minor queen who was the sister of his principle wife, Ahmose, that his heir,
Tuthmosis II was born. However, his more famous offspring was Queen Hatshepsut, a daughter by Ahmose who would rule after her husband and
brother's death. After the death of
Ahmose, he probably even took Hatshepsut as his own wife until his death. Ahmose may have also provided him with another daughter by the
name of Nefrubity who is depicted with Tuthmosis I and Ahmose in the temple of Hatshepsut at Deir el-Bahri.
We think that Tuthmosis I buried in two different tombs in the Valley of the Kings on the West Bank at Luxor (ancient Thebes). It appears
that he may have first been buried in KV 20, which may have been intended as a tomb for both him and his daughter, Hatshepsut. It
contained two yellow quartzite sarcophagi, one inscribed for him and the other for his daughter, as well as a canopic chest for her.
However, when KV 38 was investigated by Victor Loret in 1899, he found a sarcophagus for the king in that tomb as well. It is possible
that his grandson, Tuthmosis III had his grandfather's body removed from the tomb of his despised stepmother's burial and relocated it
to KV 38. However, his remains were found in the cache, with others, at Deir el Bahri.
Thutmose I (sometimes read as Thothmes, Thutmosis or Tuthmosis I) was the third Pharaoh of the 18th dynasty of Egypt. He was given the
throne after the death of the previous king Amenhotep I. During his reign, he campaigned deep into the Levant and Nubia, pushing the
borders of Egypt further than ever before. He also built many temples in Egypt and built a tomb for himself in the Valley of the
Kings; he is the first king confirmed to have done this (though Amenhotep I may have preceded him). He was succeeded by his son
Thutmose II, who in turn was succeeded by Thutmose II's sister, Hatshepsut. His reign is generally dated from 1506 to 1493 BCE.
Thutmose's father was Amenhotep I, while his mother, Senseneb, is believed to have been a concubine. Queen Ahmose, who held the
title of Great Royal Wife of Thutmose, was probably the daughter of Ahmose I and the sister of Amenhotep I; however, she was never
called "king's daughter," so there is some doubt about this, and some historians believe that she was Thutmose's own sister.
Assuming she was related to Amenhotep, it could be thought that she was married to Thutmose in order to guarantee succession. However,
this is known not to be the case for two reasons. Firstly, Amenhotep's alabaster bark built at Karnak associates Amenhotep's name
with Thutmose's name well before Amenhotep's death. Secondly, Thutmose's first born son with Ahmose, Amenmose, was apparently
born long before Thutmose's coronation. He can be seen on a stela from Thutmose's fourth regnal year hunting near Memphis, and he
became the "great army-commander of his father" sometime before his death, which was no later than Thutmose's own death in his 12th
regnal year. Thutmose had another son, Wadjmose, and two daughters, Hatshepsut and Nefrubity, by Ahmose. Wadjmose died before his
father, and Nefrubity died as an infant. Thutmose had one son by another wife, Mutnofret. This son succeeded him as Thutmose II,
whom Thutmose I married to his daughter, Hatshepsut. It was later recorded by Hatshepsut that Thutmose willed the kingship to both
Thutmose II and Hatshepsut. However, this is considered to be propaganda by Hatshepsut's supporters to legitimise her claim to the
throne when she later assumed power.
Dates and length of reign
A heliacal rising of Sothis was recorded in the reign of Thutmose's predecessor, Amenhotep I, which has been dated to 1517 BC,
assuming the observation was made at either Heliopolis or Memphis. The year of Amenhotep's death and Thutmose's subsequent
coronation can be accordingly derived, and is dated to 1506 BC by most modern scholars. However, if the observation were made at
Thebes, as a minority of scholars promote, Thutmose would have been crowned in 1526 BC. Manetho records that Thutmose I's reign
lasted 12 Years and 9 Months (or 13 Years) as a certain Mephres in his Epitome. This data is supported by two dated inscriptions
from Years 8 and 9 of his reign bearing his cartouche found inscribed on a stone block in Karnak. Accordingly, Thutmose is usually
given a reign from 1506 BC to 1493 BC in the low chronology, but a minority of scholars would date him from 1526 BC to 1513 BC
Upon Thutmose's coronation, Nubia rebelled against Egyptian rule. According to the tomb autobiography of Ahmose, son of Ebana,
Thutmose travelled down the Nile and fought in the battle, personally killing the Nubian king. Upon victory, he had the Nubian
king's body hung from the prow of his ship, before he returned to Thebes. After that campaign, he led a second expedition against
Nubia in his third year in the course of which he ordered the canal at the first cataract-which had been built under Sesostris III of
the 12th Dynasty-to be dredged in order to facilitate easier travel upstream from Egypt to Nubia. This helped integrate Nubia into the
Egyptian empire. This expedition is mentioned in two separate inscriptions by the king's son Thure:
" 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.
In the second year of Thutmose's reign, the king cut a stele at Tombos, which records that he built a fortress at Tombos, near the
third cataract, thus permanently extending the Egyptian military presence, which had previously stopped at Buhen, at the second
cataract. This indicates that he already fought a campaign in Syria; hence, his Syrian campaign may be placed at the beginning of
his second regnal year. This second campaign was the farthest north any Egyptian ruler had ever campaigned. Although it has not
been found in modern times, he apparently set up a stele when he crossed the Euphrates River. During this campaign, the Syrian
princes declared allegiance to Thutmose. However, after he returned, they discontinued tribute and began fortifying against future
incursions. Thutmose celebrated his victories with an elephant hunt in the area of Niy, near Apamea in Syria, and returned to
Egypt with strange tales of the Euphrates, "that inverted water which flows upstream when it ought to be flowing downstream." The
Euphrates was the first major river which the Egyptians had ever encountered which flowed from the north, which was downstream on the
Nile, to the south, which was upstream on the Nile. Thus the river became known in Egypt as simply, "inverted water."
Thutmose had to face one more military threat, another rebellion by Nubia in his fourth year. His influence accordingly expanded
even farther south, as an inscription dated to his reign has been found as far south as Kurgus, which was south of the fourth
cataract. During his reign, he initiated 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. There are also records of specific religious rites
which the viceroy of El-Kab was to have performed in the temples in Nubia in proxy for the king. He also appointed a man called
Turi to the position of viceroy of Cush, also known as the "King's Son of Cush." With a civilian representative of the king
permanently established in Nubia itself, Nubia did not dare to revolt as often as it had and was easily controlled by future Egyptian