Thutmose I

From New World Encyclopedia
Thutmose I
Early 18th dynasty statue head, perhaps Thutmose I (British Museum)
Early 18th dynasty statue head, perhaps Thutmose I (British Museum)
Pharaoh of Egypt
Reign 1506–1493 B.C.E. (disputed),  18th Dynasty
Predecessor Amenhotep I
Successor Thutmose II
Consort(s) Queen Ahmose, Mutnofret
Children Thutmose II, Hatshepsut, Amenmose, Wadjmose, Nefrubity
Father Unknown
Mother Senseneb
Died 1493 B.C.E.
Burial KV38, later KV20
Monuments Pylons IV and V, two obelisks, and a hypostyle hall at Karnak

Thutmose I (sometimes read as 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 B.C.E.


Thutmose's father was a military man whose name is unknown, while his mother, Senseneb, was believed to have been a commoner.[2] Queen Ahmose, his great wife, was probably the daughter of Ahmose I and the sister of Amenhotep I;[2] however, she was never called "king's daughter," so there is some doubt about this with some historians of the view that she was Thutmose's own sister.[3] Assuming she was related to Amenhotep, it could be thought that she was married to him 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.[4] 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.[5] Thutmose had another son, Wadjmose, and two daughters, Hatshepsut and Nefrubity, by Ahmose. Wadjmose died before his father, and Nefrubity died as an infant.[6] Thutmose had one son by another wife, Mutnofret. This son succeeded him as Thutmose II, whom Thutmose I married to his daughter, Hatshepsut.[6] 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 legitimize her claim to the throne when she later assumed power.[7]

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 B.C.E., assuming the observation was made at either Heliopolis or Memphis.[8] The year of Amenhotep's death and Thutmose's subsequent coronation can be accordingly derived, and is dated to 1506 B.C.E. 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 B.C.E.[9] Manetho records that Thutmose I's reign lasted 12 Years and 9 Months (or 13 Years) as a certain Mephres in his Epitome.[10] 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.[11] Accordingly, Thutmose is usually given a reign from 1506 B.C.E. to 1493 B.C.E. in the low chronology, but a minority of scholars would date him from 1526 B.C.E. to 1513 B.C.E.[8]

Military Expansion

The maximum territorial extent of Egypt (XVth century B.C.E.)

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.[12] Upon victory, he had the Nubian king's body hung from the prow of his ship, before he returned to Thebes.[12] 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.[6] This expedition is mentioned in two separate inscriptions by the king's son Thure:[13]

"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."[14]

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.[15] 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.[16] 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.[17] During this campaign, the Syrian princes declared allegiance to Thutmose. However, after he returned, they discontinued tribute and began fortifying against future incursions.[6] Thutmose celebrated his victories with an elephant hunt in the area of Niy, near Apamea in Syria,[5] and returned to Egypt with strange tales of the Euphrates, "that inverted water which flows upstream when it ought to be flowing downstream."[6] 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."[6]

Thutmose had to face one more military threat, another rebellion by Nubia in his fourth year.[16] 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.[17] 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.[18] 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.[19] He also appointed a man called Turi to the position of viceroy of Cush, also known as the "King's Son of Cush."[20] 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 kings.[16]

Building Projects

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, but his greatest projects were at the Temple of Karnak under the supervision of the architect Ineni.[21] Previous to Thutmose, Karnak probably consisted only of a long road to a central platform, with a number of shrines for the solar bark along the side of the road.[22] Thutmose was the first king to drastically enlarge the temple. Thutmose had the fifth pylon built along the temple's main road, along with a wall to run around the inner sanctuary and two flagpoles to flank the gateway. Outside of this, he built a fourth pylon and another enclosure wall.[22] Between pylons four and five, he had a hypostyle hall constructed, with columns made of cedar wood. This type of structure was common in ancient Egyptian temples, and supposedly represents a papyrus marsh, an Egyptian symbol of creation.[23] Along the edge of this room he built colossal statues, each one alternating wearing the crown of Upper Egypt and the crown of Lower Egypt.[22] Finally, outside of the fourth pylon, he erected four more flagpoles[22] and two obelisks, although one of them, which now has fallen, was not inscribed until Thutmose III inscribed it about 50 years later.[21] 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.[21] Hatshepsut also erected two of her own obelisks inside of Thutmose I's hypostyle hall.[22]

In addition to Karnak, 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.[24]

Thutmose I was the first king who definitely was buried in the Valley of the Kings.[17] Ineni was commissioned to dig this tomb, and presumably to build his mortuary temple.[5] His mortuary temple has not been found, quite possibly because it was incorporated into or demolished by the construction of Hatshepsut's mortuary temple at Deir el-Bahri.[25] His tomb, however, has been identified as KV32. In it was found a yellow quartzite sarcophagus bearing the name of Thutmose I.[2] His body, however, may have been moved by Thutmose III into the tomb of Hatshepsut, KV20, which also contains a sarcophagus with the name of Thutmose I on it.[17]

Death and Burial

Thutmose I was originally buried and then reburied in KV20 in a double burial with his daughter Hatshepsut rather than KV38. which could only have been built for Thutmose I during the reign of his grandson Tuthmose III based on "a recent re-examination of the architecture and contents of KV38."[26] The location of KV20, if not its original owner, had long been known since the Napoleonic expedition of 1799 and, in 1844, the Prussian scholar Karl Richard Lepsius had partially explored its upper passage.[27] However all its passageways "had become blocked by a solidified mass of rubble, small stones and rubbish which had been carried into the tomb by floodwaters" and it was not until the 1903-1904 excavation season that Howard Carter, after two previous seasons of strenuous work, was able to clear its corridors and enter its double burial chamber.[28] Here, among the debris of broken pottery and shattered stone vessels from the burial chamber and lower passages were the remnants of two vases made for Queen Ahmose Nefertari that formed part of the original funerary equipment of Thutmose I; one of the vases contained a secondary inscription which states that Thutmose II "[made it] as his monument to his father."[29] Other vessels which bore the names and titles of Thutmose I had also been inscribed by his son and successor, Thutmose II, as well as fragments of stone vessels made for Hatshepsut before she herself became king as well as other vessels which bore her royal name of 'Maatkare' which would have been made only after she took the throne in her own right.[30]

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;" it is now housed in the Cairo Museum along with a matching yellow quartzite canopic chest.[31] A second sarcophagus, was found lying on its side with its almost undamaged lid propped against the wall nearby; it was eventually presented to Theodore M. Davis, the excavation's financial sponsor as a gesture of appreciation for his generous financial support.[32] Davis would, in turn, present it to the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. The second quartzite sarcophagus had originally been engraved with the name of "the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Maatkare Hatchepsut."[33] However, when the sarcophagus was complete, Hatshepsut decided to commission an entirely new sarcophagus for herself while she donated the existing finished sarcophagus to her father, Thutmose I.[34] The stonemasons then attempted 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 Tuthmose I instead. This quartzite sarcophagus measures 7 feet long by 3 feet wide with walls 5 inches thick and bears a dedication text 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, Hatchepsut-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."[35]

Tuthmose I was, however, not destined to lie alongside his daughter after Hatshepsut's death. Thutmose III, Hatshepsut's successor, decided to reinter his grandfather in an even more magnificent tomb, KV38, which featured another yellow sarcophagus dedicated to Thutmose I and inscribed with texts which proclaimed this pharaoh's love for his deceased grandfather.[36] Unfortunately, however, Thutmose I's remains would be disturbed late during the 20th dynasty when KV38 was plundered; the sarcophagus' lid was broken and all this king's valuable precious jewellry and grave goods were stolen.[37]

Thutmose I's mummy was ultimately discovered in the Deir el-Bahri Cache above the Mortuary Temple of Hatshepsut, revealed in 1881. He had been interred along with those of other 18th and 19th dynasty leaders 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.

The original coffin of Thutmose I was taken over and re-used by a later pharaoh of the 21st dynasty. The mummy of Thutmose I was thought to be lost, but Egyptologist Gaston Maspero, largely on the strength of familial resemblance to the mummies of Thutmose II and Thutmose III, believed he had found his mummy in the otherwise unlabelled mummy #5283.[38] This identification has been supported by subsequent examinations, revealing that the embalming techniques used came from the appropriate period of time, almost certainly after that of Ahmose I and made during the course of the Eighteenth dynasty.[39]

Gaston Maspero described the mummy in the following manner:

"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."[38]

What has been thought to be his mummy can be viewed in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. However, in 2007, Dr. Zahi Hawass announced that the mummy which was previously thought to be Thutmose I [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 was determined that the mummy was probably not that of King Thutmose I himself.[40]

Notes and references

  1. Peter Clayton. Chronicle of the Pharaohs. (Thames and Hudson Ltd, 2006), 100
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Alan Gardiner. (1964). Egypt of the Pharaohs: An Introduction. (Oxford University Press. ISBN 0195002679), 176
  3. Edward Bleiberg (2001). "Thutmose I," The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt, Ed. Donald Redford. Vol. 3. (Oxford University Press. ISBN 0195102347), 400
  4. Nicolas Grimal. (1988). A History of Ancient Egypt. (Librairie Arthéme Fayard. ISBN 0631193960), 203
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Gardiner, 1964, 179
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 6.5 George Steindorff and Keith C. Seele. When Egypt Ruled the East. (Chicago: University of Chicago, 1942), 36
  7. Adolf Erman, H. M. Tirard (Translator)(1894). Life in Ancient Egypt. (reprint ed. Kessinger, 2003. ISBN 0766176606), 43
  8. 8.0 8.1 Grimal, 1988, 202
  9. Wolfgang Helk. (1983). Schwachstellen der Chronologie-Diskussion. (Göttingen: Göttinger Miszellen, (in German), 47-49
  10. Manetho's Kings.
  11. Jürgen von Beckerath. Chronologie des Pharaonischen Ägypten. (Mainz am Rhein: Verlag Philipp von Zabern. 1997) 120.
  12. 12.0 12.1 Steindorff and Seele, 1942, 34
  13. Lorna Oakes. Pyramids, Temples and Tombs of Ancient Egypt. (Hermes House, 2003), 207.
  14. Oakes, 207
  15. James Henry Breasted. (1906). Ancient Records of Egypt, Vol. II. (reprint ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003. ISBN 02520697571906), 28
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 Steindorff and Seele, 1942, 35
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 17.3 Ian Shaw and Paul Nicholson. 1995. The British Museum Dictionary of Ancient Egypt. (London: British Museum Publishers, ISBN 0714109827), 289
  18. Erman, (1894), 503
  19. Breasted, (1906), 25
  20. Breasted, (1906), 27
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 Breasted, 1906, 41
  22. 22.0 22.1 22.2 22.3 22.4 Grimal, 1988, 300
  23. Ian Shaw 2003. Exploring Ancient Egypt. (Places in Time). (Oxford University Press. ISBN 019511678X), 168
  24. Jimmy Dunn, Feature Story: Tuthmosis I, 3rd King of Egypt's 18th accessdate December 9, 2008
  25. Gardiner, 1964, 170
  26. Joyce Tyldesley. Hatchepsut: The Female Pharaoh. (Penguin Books, 1996), 121-25
  27. Tyldesley, 122
  28. Tyldesley, 122
  29. Tyldesley, 123-124
  30. Tyldesley, 124
  31. Tyldesley, 124
  32. Tyldesley, 124
  33. Tyldesley, 124
  34. Tyldesley, 124
  35. Tyldesley, 125
  36. Tyldesley, 126
  37. Tyldesley, 126
  38. 38.0 38.1 Gaston Maspero. History Of Egypt, Chaldaea, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, Volume 4 (of 12), Project Gutenberg EBook, Release Date: December 16, 2005. EBook #17324. Project Gutenberg. Retrieved December 9, 2008.
  39. G. Elliot Smith. 2000. The Royal Mummies. (Duckworth. ISBN 071562959X), 25-28
  40. Lisa Anderson, July 14, 2007, "Mummy awakens new era in Egypt.". Chicago Tribune Retrieved December 9, 2008.

ISBN links support NWE through referral fees

  • Bleiberg, Edward. 2001. "Thutmose I," The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt, Ed. Donald Redford. Vol. 3. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0195102347.
  • Breasted, James Henry. (1906). Ancient Records of Egypt, Vol. II. reprint ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2003. ISBN 0252069757.
  • Clayton, Peter. Chronicle of the Pharaohs. Thames and Hudson Ltd, 2006. ISBN 0500286280.
  • David, Dr. A. Rosa, The Experience of Ancient Egypt. (Experiences of Archaeology) Routledge, 2000. ISBN 0415032636.
  • Erman, Adolf, with H. M. Tirard (Translator)(1894). Life in Ancient Egypt. reprint ed. Kessinger, 2003. ISBN 0766176606.
  • Gardiner, Alan. 1964. Egypt of the Pharaohs: An Introduction. Oxford University Press. ISBN 0195002679.
  • Grimal, Nicolas. 1988. A History of Ancient Egypt. Librairie Arthéme Fayard. ISBN 0631193960.
  • Helk, Wolfgang. 1983. Schwachstellen der Chronologie-Diskussion. Göttinger Miszellen, Göttingen. (in German)
  • Oakes, Lorna. Pyramids, Temples and Tombs of Ancient Egypt. Hermes House, 2003.
  • Shaw, Ian, and Paul Nicholson. 1995. The British Museum Dictionary of Ancient Egypt. London: British Museum Publishers, ISBN 0714109827.
  • Shaw, Ian, and Paul Nicholson. 2003. The Dictionary of Ancient Egypt. Harry N. Abrams. ISBN 0810990962.
  • Shaw, Ian. 2003. Exploring Ancient Egypt. (Places in Time). Oxford University Press. ISBN 019511678X.
  • Smith, G. Elliot. 2000. The Royal Mummies. Duckworth. ISBN 071562959X.
  • Stanwick, Paul Edmond 2003. Portraits of the Ptolemies: Greek kings as Egyptian pharaohs. Austin: University of Texas Press. ISBN 0292777728.
  • Steindorff, George and Keith C. Seele. When Egypt Ruled the East. Chicago: University of Chicago, 1942.
  • Tyldesley, Joyce A. Hatchepsut: The Female Pharaoh. Penguin Books, 1996. ISBN 0140244646.
  • von Beckerath, Jürgen. Chronologie des Pharaonischen Ägypten. Mainz am Rhein: Verlag Philipp von Zabern. 1997. (in German)


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