Eighteenth dynasty of Egypt

Eighteenth dynasty of Egypt

:"Amarna period" redirects here. For information on Amarna, see" AmarnaThe Eighteenth Dynasty (1550-1292 BC) is perhaps the best known of all the dynasties of ancient Egypt. As well as a number of Egypt's most powerful pharaohs, it included Tutankhamun, whose tomb, uncovered by Howard Carter in 1922, was one of the greatest of all archaeological discoveries, being completely undisturbed by tomb robbers. It is sometimes known as the Thutmosid Dynasty because all four of the Thutmosis pharaohs ruled well. Hatshepsut, and perhaps two others of a handful of native women known to be crowned king of Egypt, ruled during this dynasty, as did Akhenaten (also known as Amenophis IV), the "heretic Pharaoh" who with his wife, Nefertiti, instituted what may be the first monotheistic state religion.

This dynasty often is combined with the Nineteenth and Twentieth dynasties under the group title, New Kingdom.


The Eighteenth Dynasty was founded by Ahmose I the brother of Kamose, the last ruler of the Seventeenth Dynasty. Ahmose finished the campaign to expel the hated Hyksos rulers. With this dynasty, the Second Intermediate Period of Egypt ended, and the New Kingdom of Egypt or the Egyptian Empire began. He was followed by Amenhotep I. Both ruled for more than two years.

Thutmose I and Hatshepsut

Thutmose I seems to have not been directly related to the existing royal line, but married into royalty. The dynasty next included Thutmose II and his royal queen, Hatshepsut. She was the daughter of Thutmose I and soon after her husband's death, ruled for over twenty years after becoming pharaoh during the minority of her stepson, who would become Thutmose III. Hatshepsut later was considered a usurper by nineteenth century researchers, but more recent evidence indicates that she was a very effective and successful ruler, as related in ancient histories. She reestablished international trade, restored the wealth of the country, fostered large building projects, and restored ravaged temples. She built her tomb in what would become the Valley of the Kings as those pharaohs succeeding her chose to be associated with the grandeur of her mortuary complex. Thutmose III also had a lengthly reign after becoming pharaoh and he was followed by Thutmose IV, who ruled for ten years.

Amenhotep III, Akhenaten and the Amarna period

The first recorded formal relations of Egypt with foreign countries were under Amenhotep III, which, under his reign, Egypt enjoyed an economic boom. He built many temples and monuments across Egypt to honor his favorite god, Sobek, who was always depicted as a crocodile. Some records of his relations were included in the el Amarna letters many of which were scattered before they could be protected properly. Akhenaten instigated the earliest verified expression of monotheism, (although the origins of a pure monotheism are the subject of continuing debate within the academic community and some state that Akhenaten restored monotheisim). Scholars believe that Akhenaten's devotion to his god Aten offended many in power below him, which contributed to the end of this dynasty; he later suffered "damnatio memoriae". Although modern students of Egyptology consider the monotheism of Akhenaten the most important event of this period, the later Egyptians considered the so-called Amarna period an unfortunate aberration. Following Akhenaten are the pharaohs Smenkhkare and Neferneferuaten, who both may have been women, during a return to more traditional religious and cultural practices.


Tutankhamun who died before he was twenty years old, and the dynasty's final years clearly were shaky. The royal line of the dynasty died out with Tutankhamun, two foetuses found buried in his tomb may have been his twin daughters, according to a 2008 investigation. [cite web|url=http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/specials/tutankhamun/article4648589.ece|title=Bodies found in the tomb of 'boy king' Tutankhamun's tomb are twin daughters|date=2008-09-01|accessdate=2008-09-01|work=Times Online] The unidentified widow of "King Nibhururiya" in Hittite records, now believed to be Ankhesenamun, royal wife of Tutankhamun, wrote to Suppiluliumas I, king of the Hittites, asking him to send one of his sons to become her husband and rule Egypt. In her note she expressed fear and a reluctance to take a husband from the ranks of the administrators. Suppiluliumas sent an ambassador to investigate, who reported that the situation was described accurately; however the destined Hittite prince Zannanza was murdered en route on the border between the Hittite and Egyptian empires. Suppiluliumas I reacted with rage at the news of his son's death by going to war against Egypt's vassal states in Syria and Northern Canaan and captured the city of Amki. Unfortunately, Egyptian prisoners of war from Amki carried a plague which eventually, would ravage the Hittite Empire and kill both Suppiluliumas I and his direct successor.Fact|date=August 2008 The last two members of this dynasty–Ay and Horemheb–became rulers from the ranks of officials in the royal court, although Ay may have married the widow of Tutankhamun in order to obtain power and she did not live long afterward. Ay's reign was short. His successor was Horemheb, who had been a diplomat in the administration of Tutankhamun and may have been intended as his successor by the childless Tutankhamun. Horemheb may have taken the throne away from Ay in a coup. He also died childless and appointed his successor.

The Nineteenth Dynasty of Ramesses I succeeded this one in 1292 BC.

Eighteenth Dynasty timeline

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DateFormat = yyyyPeriod = from:-1560 till:-1290TimeAxis = orientation:horizontalScaleMajor = unit:year increment:100 start:-1560ScaleMinor = unit:year increment:25 start:-1560

Colors = id:canvas value:rgb(0.97,0.97,0.97) id:PA value:green id:GP value:red id:eon value:rgb(1,0.7,1) # light purple

Backgroundcolors = canvas:canvas

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PlotData= width:5 align:left fontsize:S shift:(5,-4) anchor:till barset:Rulers

from: -1550 till: -1525 color:PA text:"Ahmose I (1550 BC – 1525 BC)" from: -1525 till: -1504 color:PA text:"Amenhotep I (1525 BC – 1504 BC)" from: -1504 till: -1492 color:PA text:"Thutmose I (1504 BC – 1492 BC)" from: -1492 till: -1479 color:PA text:"Thutmose II (1492 BC – 1479 BC)" from: -1479 till: -1425 color:PA text:"Thutmose III (1479 BC – 1425 BC)" from: -1479 till: -1457 color:PA text:"Hatshepsut (1479 BC – 1457 BC)" from: -1427 till: -1401 color:PA text:"Amenhotep II" from: -1401 till: -1391 color:PA text:"Thutmose IV" from: -1391 till: -1353 color:PA text:"Amenhotep III" from: -1353 till: -1335 color:PA text:"Akhenaten" from: -1336 till: -1335 color:PA text:"Smenkhkare" from: -1335 till: -1334 color:PA text:"Neferneferuaten" from: -1333 till: -1323 color:PA text:"Tutankhamun (1333 BC – 1323 BC)" from: -1323 till: -1319 color:PA text:"Kheperkheprure Ay (1323 BC – 1319 BC)" from: -1319 till: -1292 color:PA text:"Horemheb (1319 BC – 1292 BC)"


ee also

*History of ancient Egypt
*Family tree of the Eighteenth dynasty of Egypt
*List of DNA tested mummies
*Egyptian chronology


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