Amenhotep III, King of Egypt (1390-1352 BC)

Amenhotep III was the son and successor of Thutmose IV. The supposed divine nature of his birth is represented in a series of reliefs inside the Luxor Temple.


He inherited a vast empire, stretching from Syria to the Fifth Cataract of the Nile in Sudan, maintained through trade and diplomacy. Several of his wives were foreign princesses, married for diplomatic reasons. His chief wife, Tiye, was from a wealthy non-royal family.

Amenhotep III's reign was a time of wealth and stability. His only recorded military campaign was early in his reign, against Nubia, perhaps securing the supply of gold to Egypt. He possibly undertook more building projects than even Ramesses II; they included the Serapeum at Saqqara, the Temple of Luxor and additions to the Temple of Karnak. He also had a palace and boating lake built at Malkata, and his mortuary temple on the west bank of the Nile at Thebes. There are probably more statues of this king than any other. He also subsidised glass, faience and jewellery workshops.

His tomb is located in the valley to the west of the Valley of the Kings. His body has not been identified with certainty, but may have been among those re-buried in the tomb of Amenhotep II. The body in question suffered from ill health and obesity in later life.

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