Amenhotep KingsWritten by Dr. Sherin Elkhawaga
18TH DYNASTY PHAROAHS- Amenhotep kings
The 18th Dynasty was a period full of powerful Kings and Queens. It starts by King Ahmose who ruled from 1570-1546, one of most outstanding in history of ancient Egypt. His principal achievement was to weaken Hyksos, who had dominated Lower Egypt for some 300 years, by taking Avaris, their citadel in north. He pursued them into southern Palestine and laid siege to Sharuhen for three years.
Amenhotep I (Amenophis) was son of Ahmose I and his queen Ahmose-Nefertari - and ruled from 1546 to 1526. He undertook military campaigns in Libya and in Nubia (up to 3rd cataract) using boats on Nile to transport his army, and extended boundaries of his empire by establishing a vice-royalty in Nubia. On reaching throne, Amenhotep I very quickly had to defend Egypt's borders - Libyans had taken opportunity of Ahmose I's death to launch an invasion in Egypt's delta - Amenhotep I led an army to Western border and defeated Libyans and their allies. Next was a rebellion by Nubia, Amenhotep I this time led an army to southern border and very quickly restored order. Amenhotep I had an interest in art and architecture and intiated elaborate building projects - such as Karnak temple complex at Karnak . Amenhotep I was also first pharaoh who separated his mortuary temple and tomb. Amenhotep II , 7th king of 18th dynasty, son of Thutmose III, ruled Egypt from 1450 to 1425 BC. He continued military exploits of his father, particularly in Syria, where he crushed an uprising and demanded oaths of loyalty from local rulers. His mummy was discovered in Valley of Kings. Amenhotep II was famed at time for his sportsmanship - he was very athletic and had a great love of horses.His greatest feat of sportsmanship was shooting of copper targets with arrows, while driving a chariot with reigns tied round his waist. Upon death of Tuthmosis III, Amenhotep II inherited a vast empire, it was not something that he intended to lose - any rebellions were severely dealt with and a series of campaigns were made into Syria. Amenhotep III ruled (1417-1379 BC) Egypt at height of its power. His father was Tuthmosis IV by one of that king's chief queens, Mutemwiya. She may have, though mostly in doubt now, been daughter of Mitannian king, Artatama. That queen was indeed probably sent to Egypt for purposes of a diplomatic marriage. He was more likely between six and twelve years of age at time of his father's death. Amenhotep III's own chief queen, was not of royal blood, but came from a very substantial family. She was Tiy, daughter of Yuya and his wife, Tuya, who owned vast holdings in Delta. Yuya was also a powerful military leader. His extensive diplomatic contacts with other Near Eastern states, especially Mitanni and Babylonia, are revealed in Amarna tablets. Of great temple he built near Thebes, only two statues, so-called colossi of Memnon, remain. Amenhotep's wife Tiye, a woman of humble birth, was prominently associated with him during his long and peaceful reign.We know at least six of his children consisting of two sons and four daughters (other daughters including Henuttaneb and Nebetiah). However, his probable oldest son, Tuthmosis died early leaving future heretic king, Amenhotep IV, otherwise known as Akhenaten, as crown prince. His extensive diplomatic contacts with other Near Eastern states, especially Mitanni and Babylonia, are revealed in Amarna tablets. Of great temple he built near Thebes, only two statues, so-called colossi of Memnon, remain.
After military problems seem to have been settled, we find a long period of great building works and high art. It was also a period of lavish luxury at royal court. The wealth needed to accomplish all of this did not come from conquests, but rather from foreign trade and an abundant supply of gold, mostly from mines in Wadi Hammamat and further south in Nubia. . During his reign, we find a marked increase in Egyptian materials found on Greek mainland. We also find many Egyptian place names, including Mycenae, Phaistos and Knossos first appearing in Egyptian inscriptions We also find letters written between Amenhotep III and his peers in Babylon, Mitanni and Arzawa preserved in cuneiform writing on clay tablets.
Ancient Egyptian animalsWritten by Dr. Sherin Elkhawaga
The ancient Egyptians were very fond of animals. They had animals that were sacred, some were pets and other were used in farming. This article is courtesy of www.kingtutshop.com home of handmade crafts and educational kits. Sacred Animals. Animals were thought to be sacred to Egyptians because they believed that when one of their gods or goddesses came down to earth, they would represent themselves as a specific species. The Egyptians thought by honoring them, they would be pleasing god. They also thought that animals shared an afterlife with their humans so it resulted in animals being buried within its family tomb. The animals that were considered especially sacred: ˇcat- The male cat had religious connections with Ra. Kittens were specifically reared for sacrificial/worship uses . ˇcattle- Beef was often used as a sacrificial offering to various deities. ˇscarab beetle- The emblem of a specific goddess, scarab beetle was associated with daily birth of sun, and credited with spontaneous generation of its young. Because of its sacred status, it was widely represented in art. ˇJackel- it was considered a protector of royal tombs from robbers and helped in afterlife journey. Cats and Kittens. One of most common animal mummies in Egypt was cat. Cats were believed to represent goddess Bastet. Consequently, they were raised in and around temples devoted to Bastet. When they died, they were mummified and buried in huge cemeteries, often in large communal graves. From about 332 B.C. to 30 B.C., animals began to be raised for specific purpose of being turned into mummies. The mummies were sold to people on their way to worship a god and left at temple as offerings. Scientists have uncovered a gruesome fact: many cats died quite premature and unnatural deaths. Two- to four-month-old kittens seemed to have been sacrificed in huge numbers. So many cat mummies were made that researchers can only guess that there were millions of them.
Bastet: Cats are very useful animals in a country that depends on grain. The cat's hunting instincts were honoured by Ancient Egyptians, but so was cat's gentler side as a warm and loving mother to her kittens. Bastet can be shown as a woman with a feline head. There are disagreements among zoologists as to when these animals first began to live with humans along Nile, and about which feline became Egyptian pet. Cats do not appear as household pets during Age of Pyramids, though they were very popular animal companions in later times. Cattle were thought to be sacred and beef was often used for offerings to gods or goddesses. A bull represented power, aggression, masculinity, fertility; these could be attributes of kingship. . The cow's large eyes with long lashes, and her generally quiet demeanor suggested a gentle aspect of feminine beauty. Her gift of milk, which could sustain a human child, became of symbol of love and sustenance. Hathor: Hathor as royal goddess. Her name means 'House of Horus." Her image could take form of a cow, a woman with a cow's head, or a woman wearing horns of a cow. As a motherly cow, she gave king her divine milk, and protected him as a cow protects her calf. She was goddess of love, music, singing, and dance. She was one of most important deities in Age of Pyramids, and her popularity continued to end of Egyptian civilization. In early economy of Egypt, cows were wealth. A herd of cattle was a beautiful sight because it represented wealth in form of food, milk, hides, and work, as oxen pulled ploughs of farmers. Cattle dung was a valuable fertilizer and had many uses in building. The Egyptians admired many qualities in cows, besides their economic benefits. The cow's careful tending of her calf was a model for motherhood. In a time when many women died in childbirth, ability of cow's milk to sustain a human baby was deeply appreciated. Cows, like people, love music and will happily listen to a human singing, thus it made sense for Hathor to be goddess of music. The big, gentle brown eyes of cows set a standard for beauty. The Hawk A hawk, who soars high above world of humans, seeming to expend no energy in his long hours aloft, and who - far seeing, -can swoop in an instant to capture his prey in sharp talons, became a symbol of kingship. Anty: Anty was a hawk god of Upper Egypt. He is shown as a hawk sitting on a crescent moon, or in a boat. He became associated with other hawk-gods, such as Sokar Horus: This god is shown as a falcon, or as a man with head of a falcon. In Egyptian, his name is Her - distant one. Like good king who sees everything in his kingdom, hawk is noted for his sharp vision. The sudden stoop of hawk, as he leaves distant sky to attack and capture his prey, is like quick and decisive action of a king in defense of his country. Horus is one of oldest gods of Egyptians. In days when powerful leaders were fighting to make one nation out of smaller settlements, early rulers were called Followers of Horus. On Narmer palette, King is shown with a falcon whose one human arm holds a rope that passes through nose of a defeated rival. The earliest way of distinguishing name of a king from names of others was serekh, which was a rectangle representing palace of king, with a hawk on top. Originally, there were at least two gods called Horus. One is fifth child of Nut and Geb, Horus Elder, and other is son of Isis and Osiris. Over time, their stories and attributes came together. An old story tells of how Osiris, king of Egypt, was murdered by his brother, Seth. Seth was very strong and powerful. He took over country, and ruled well. Isis, wife of Osiris, hid child she had born, and raised him in secret. When Horus grew up, he claimed his father's throne. Seth and Horus struggled for kingship, but in end Horus' claim, as son of previous king, was recognized by a court of all gods, and Horus became king. In Ancient Egypt, each king was Horus. When a king died, Egyptians said that falcon had flown to Heaven and united with Sun Disk. The next king then became Horus. Like Hawk, king was a fighter, a warrior. This is why Horus, when shown as a hawk-headed man, wears an armored breast-plate.