Egypt’s Pharaoh Thutmose III

December 1, 2022

Thutmose III had a co-regency with Hatshepsut. When she died about 1483 BC he began his independent reign (of an additional 32 years). “At the end of some seventeen years of military campaigns, Thutmose III had successfully established Egyptian dominance over Palestine and had made strong inroads into southern Syria. His own reputation was assured, and the proceeds were extravagantly expended on behalf of the temples of Amun and other gods, as well as on those men who followed the king on his quests” (Betsy M. Bryan, The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt, ed. Ian Shaw, p. 243).

Bust of Thutmose III, Egyptian Museum, Cairo. Photo ©Leon Mauldin.

Thutmose III recorded a detailed account of his Near Eastern campaign on the inside walls of the central hallway after the hypostyle hall at the Karnak Temple. These inscriptions describe specific episodes of the warfare and booty lists.

Thutmose III City List of Canaan Campaign, Karnak Temple. Photo ©Leon Mauldin.

The earliest reference to Canaanite Megiddo:

. . . comes from the annals of the 18th Dynasty Pharaoh Thutmose III (r. 1479–1425 BC) inscribed on the walls of the Karnak temple complex in Luxor (ancient Thebes). Thutmose III campaigned into Canaan to quell a rebellion headed by an alliance of Canaanite leaders in the vicinity of Megiddo (appearing in the text as Ma-k-ta). The account indicates that Megiddo was strategically located near the opening of the Wadi Ara, referred to in the annals of Thutmose III as the Aruna pass. The pharaoh defeated the Canaanites, who then fled into the fortified city of Megiddo. Thutmose laid siege to the city and proclaimed that the taking of Megiddo is “the capture of a thousand towns”—a reference to the city’s strategic location (Lichtheim, Ancient Egyptian Literature, 33). Thutmose III’s campaign marked the beginning of Egyptian hegemony over Canaan, characterized by the establishment of numerous Egyptian strongholds in the southern Levant (see Rainey, The Sacred Bridge, 65–69; compare Aharoni, Avi-Yonah, Rainey, and Safrai, The Carta Bible Atlas, 31–33). Megiddo became an Egyptian administrative center and military garrison. Megiddo also appears in Thutmose III’s list of conquered cities (also at the Karnak temple complex; Rainey, The Sacred Bridge, 72–73), and in a list of Canaanite emissaries attributed to Thutmose III (found in Papyrus Leningrad 1116-A).

Kelley, J. L. (2016). Megiddo. The Lexham Bible Dictionary. Lexham Press.

I’ve previously posted on Thutmose III here and here and here.

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Thutmose III, Name and Titles

January 13, 2011

Today’s post features a relief with name and titles of Pharaoh Thutmose III.

Relief of Thutmose III, name and titles. Photo by Leon Mauldin. Boston Museum.

The accompanying informational sign at the Boston Museum explains,

The full titulary of an Egyptian pharaoh contained five separate names. Two of the five names were enclosed in cartouches, or oval rings. The first was the prenomen, or accession name of the king, and the second was the nomen, or personal name. The prenomen (Men-kheper-Re) and nomen (Djehuty-mes, or Thutmose) of Thutmose III are carved on the painted relief above. It once formed the lintel of a doorway in the Dynasty 18 temple of Osiris at Abydos.

See diagram in photo below.

Diagram of Thutmose III name and title. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

Remember that this powerful Pharaoh would have been contemporary with Moses.

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Victory Stele of Thutmose III

January 12, 2011

Today’s photo features the Victory Stele of Thutmose III, which was situated at Jebel Barkal in the Sudan. This location marked the extreme southern limit of the empire of this powerful Pharaoh. It has 50 lines of hieroglyphs, and includes praise of the king, his victorious conquest in Nahurin, an elephant hunt in Niy, and the Battle of Megiddo, which was referenced in our previous post.

Victory Stele of Thutmose III. Boston Museum. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

The remains of thirteen temples and three palaces have been uncovered at Jebel Barkal.


Thutmose III City Lists

January 11, 2011

Thutmose III (ca. 1504-1450 BC) was a Pharaoh of the 18 dynasty. He was a powerful ruler who received tribute from as far away as Mesopotamia.

Thutmose III, seated by city list in Karnak. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

At Karnak in Egypt, Thutmose III left his listing of cities that he conquered in the Levant. Egyptian hieroglyphics list 119 place names in Canaan, Transjordan, Lebanon and Syria. Princes are depicted with hands tied behind their backs.  The rulers shown were trapped in Megiddo; when Thutmose III took the city after a seven month siege, he said it was the “capture of a thousand cities.”

Thutmose III City List. Canaanite princes were captured. Photo by Leon Mauldin.

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