April 15, 2012

Tuthmosis IV Pharaoh 1419-1386 BC

Tuthmosis IV
Menkheperure
Dynasty 18
1419-1386 BC

Tuthmosis IV and His Mother Tiaa
Tuthmosis IV Pharaoh Biography 1419-1386 BC
There may have been some doubt about the legitimacy of Tuthmosis IV's succession, since a long inscription preserved on a tall stele between the paws of the Sphinx at Giza smacks of propaganda in support of the new king. Known as the Dream Stele, it tells how the young prince Tuthmosis was out hunting in the desert when he fell asleep in the shadow of the Sphinx. Re-Harakhte, the sun god embodied in the Sphinx, appeared to him in a dream and promised that if the sand engulfing the great limestone body was cleared away, the prince would become king. Needless to say, the sand-clearing operation was immediately carried out and the prince became the fourth king of his name.

Little of a military nature appears to have occurred during Tuthmosis IV's reign, although our knowledge may be marred by the lack of texts. A Nubian campaign is recorded in Year 8, which was, of course, highly successful. There also appear to have been some Syrian campaigns, since the king is referred to twice as 'conqueror of Syria' - but these may have been rather low-key policing excursions rather than full blown military attacks.

Tuthmosis IV's Dream Stele
It is from the reign of Tuthmosis IV that some of the best known decorated private tombs survive in the Theban necropolis, such as those of Nakht (TT 52) and Menna (TT 69). Tuthmosis's own anciently robbed tomb in the Valley of the Kings (KV 43) was found in 1903 by Howard Carter. A large amount of the damaged and destroyed funerary furniture, ushabtis, food provisions and a chariot were found in it. The destruction appears to have taken place before Year 8 of Horemheb (1321-1293), when two graffiti record the restoration of the tomb by the official Maya and his assistant Djehutymose. The king's mummy, however, was not present in the splendidly decorated granite sarcophagus: it had been found five years earlier, as one of those hidden in the tomb of Amenhotep II .

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