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Amenhotep III

Posted by
Hitesh Sawlani (Reading, United Kingdom) on 18 January 2007 in Lifestyle & Culture.

Amenhotep III (sometimes read as Amenophis III and meaning Amun is Satisfied) was an Egyptian pharaoh of the Eighteenth dynasty. According to different authors, he ruled Egypt from June 1391 BC-December 1353 BC or June 1388 BC to December 1351 BC/1350 BC[3] after his father Thutmose IV died.

Amenhotep III is known to have fathered two sons with his Chief Queen Tiye: the Crown Prince Tuthmose who predeceased his father, his second son Akhenaten who ultimately succeeded him to the throne. He may have possibly fathered a third son—the mysterious king Smenkhkare who later succeeded Akhenaten.[4] Amenhotep III is known to have married Gilukhepa (a diplomatic bride) who was the daughter of Shuttarna II of the Mitanni in Year 10 of his reign.[5]

Amenhotep III has the distinction of having the most surviving statues of any Egyptian Pharaoh. Over 250 statues of Amenhotep III have been discovered. Since these statues cover his entire life, they provide the most complete portraiture over time of any ancient Egyptian ruler.

Amenhotep appears to have been crowned while still a child, perhaps between the ages of 6 and 12. His lengthy reign was a period of great peace, prosperity, and artistic splendour. He celebrated three Jubilee Festivals in his Year 30, Year 34 and Year 37 respectively. His Highest attested Year dates are a pair of Year 38 Wine dockets from his summer palace at Malkata.

His reign was remembered in later eras as a time of unprecedented prosperity and splendour when Egypt reached the very heights of her artistic and international power. Proof of this is shown by the diplomatic correspondence from the rulers of Assyria, Mitanni, Babylon and Hatti which is preserved in the archive of Amarna Letters found in 1887. They cover the period from Year 30 of Amenhotep III until the end of Akhenaten's reign. In one well-known letter, king Tushratta of Mitanni famously requests that Amenhotep. brother [must] send me gold in very great quantity without measure. For in my brother's land, gold is as plentiful as dust.[6]