Now Egypt is free, expelled the invaders and consolidated the borders both in the north and in the south, after about 25 years of reign, the great Pharaoh Ahmose can certainly rise to the duat deserved. Some problems still create some monarchies that had served the Hyksos but they are only nostalgic regurgitations easily repressed.
Now there is no longer the “king-god”, with Ahmose the “king-general” arose, even if the religious claims coming from the clergy of Amon who hold considerable power in Thebes are pressing.
With the departure of Ahmose, his successor was his son Amenhotep I, (Amenofi), who, being still at a young age, spent the first years of his reign under the regency of his mother, Queen Ahmose Nefertari. The correct dating of his reign comes to us from an annotation on the reverse side of the medical Papyrus Ebers:
<< ……… new year’s party, 3rd month of Shemu, 9th day, ….. . to rise up from Sopedet, (Sothis, Sirius) …….. >>, all at the date of the 9th year of reign of Amenhotep I. Since this sotiaco period changes dating according to the place of observation, for the calculation of the years it must be taken into account that then the capital was Thebes, being the duration of his reign of 21 years, we can date the coronation of Amenhotep I to 1526 BC
The royal bride of Amenhotep I was her sister Ahmose Meritamon labeled “daughter of the king, sister of the king, great royal bride”. The intense building activity of Amenhotep I was mainly directed to the cities that had collaborated as allies of the father during the war against the Hyksos.
The consequence of the recovery in the buildings was the reopening of the quarries that remained unused since the 12th dynasty, Gebel Silsila, halfway between Edfu and Kom Hombo and Serabit el-Khadim in Sinai. Between 1525 and 1504 BC Pharaoh Amenhotep I decided to create a new royal necropolis in a desert area near ancient Thebes about 3 km from the west bank of the Nile.
In order to facilitate the skilled workers in the construction of the royal tombs, for the burials of the future sovereigns of the New Kingdom, and to the artistic production within them, he built a special village, Pa demi, (Deir el-Medina), according to some the realization of the village would be attributed to his successor Thutmose I.
The definitive drafting of the “Book of Amduat” is traced back to his kingdom, the text of which appears for the first time in the tomb of Thutmose I.
From the inscriptions found in the tombs of the two generals of his father Ahmose, (already mentioned in previous articles), we learn that the military activity of Amenhotep I concentrated almost exclusively on Nubia where the Egyptian army penetrated as far as Gebel Barkal near the fourth cataract.
Here, in the 7th year of his reign, Amenhotep I, as his father already did, put all Nubia under his control which he exercised by means of a governor called “Son of the King of Kush”.
Scholars believe that even the oases of the Libyan desert, after a military campaign, were placed under central control and administered by the “Superintendent of the Oases”.
Now, since it seems that Amenhotep I had only one son, Ahhotep II, called Amenhemat, who died young, since he lacked other legitimate heirs to his death and was succeeded by Thutmose I, husband of Amenhotep I’s sister, Princess Ahmes.
According to some scholars Thutmose I, he had no kinship with Amenhotep I, he was only a very important figure in the army that was associated with the throne as a coregent, this is what is deduced from a representation found at the third pylon of the temple of Karnak where, on a ritual boat, the cartouches of Amenhotep I and Thutmose I appear next to each other.
Of the numerous statues of Amenhotep The discovered, related to his lively funerary cult, most date back to the Ramesside era and they reflect the style of the New Kingdom while, the study of those contemporary to him reflect his tendency to remain faithful to the style of the Middle Kingdom.
The burial place of Amenhotep I still remains a mystery, there are two tombs that were attributed to it, the KV39 in the Valley of the Kings and the AN B in the necropolis of Antef.
The KV39 was discovered by Andraos Boutros and Chinouda Macarios in 1900, visited by Howard Carter in 1916 and excavated later by John Rose until 1994 when invaded by a flood, was again filled with debris. According to a report by Arthur Weigall, the tomb decorations were already deteriorated and difficult to read, so much so that they were not even detected by John Rose in 1989.
Inside the tomb, various fragments of pottery were found, pieces of sarcophagus, ropes, human remains of at least nine individuals in addition to labels bearing the cartouches of Thutmose I, Thutmose II and Amenhotep II. The other is the AN B to Dra Abu el-Naga in the Antef necropolis.
When it was discovered by Howard Carter in 1907, on indications of local inhabitants, at first it was thought to have discovered the double tomb of the mother Ahmose Nefertari subsequently enlarged to accommodate also the son. This conviction remained in doubt until the discovery of the KV39 tomb when it finally fell.
Despite all there are still many scholars who doubt that the KV39 was actually the tomb of Amenhotep I. Also the mummy of Amenhotep I was found in the cachette of Deir el Bahari, labeled as DB320, presents a cartonnage covering the stupendous bandages invoice and of great artistic value that has made it the only one that has never been dislodged. Today it is kept at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.
by: Piero Cargnino
Sources and bibliography:
Cimmino, Franco, “Dictionary of Pharaonic dynasties”, Bompiani, Milan 2003
Mario Tosi, “Deir el-Medina Amenhotep I and the artists of the pharaoh”, Ananke, 2003
Giuseppina Capriotti Vittozzi, “Deir El-Medina”, Aracne, 2004
Sergio Donadoni, “The Egyptian man”, Editori Laterza 2011
M. Tosi and A. Roccati, “Stele and other epigraphs of Deir El Medina”, Fratelli Pozzo Art Editions 1972
Sergio Donadoni, “Thebes”, Mondadori Electa 1999
Nicolas Grimal, “History of Ancient Egypt”, Laterza, Rome-Bari 1990, ed. Rcs Milan 2004
Web – Egyptology.net – Jane Akshar’s blog, “KV38 and KV39 from Richard Sellicks”, Nov. 2010