Ahmose I was an Ancient Egyptian pharaoh who began the eighteenth dynasty. He was born a member of the Theban royal family and ascended the throne when his brother died after reigning for three years. He was only ten when he took the throne and gained the title “Neb-Pehty-Re,” or “the lord of strength is Re.” It is estimated that he took the throne in 1550 BC and ruled for twenty-five years.
Beginning during Ahmose I father’s reign, and lasting throughout the entirety of his brother’s term of power, the Theban kings were at war with Hyksos, a group that had gained power in the Nile Delta. Due to Ahmose I being only ten when he took power, his mother reigned as regent until he came of age. It was during this time she consolidated Thebes’ power.
After Ahmose I took power, he went on the defensive, fortifying borders and cutting off the Hyksos capital Avaris from other strongholds. Though it took four attempts, Ahmose I led forces to eventually conquer the city. He completed his victory over the Hyksos over a three-year siege of Sharuhen. This was completed by the 19th year of his reign.
By defeating the Hyksos, Ahmose I set the stage for the rise of the New Kingdom where Egypt reached the peak of its power. With Upper and Lower Egypt being reunited, Ahmose I and his successors would provide royal support for art and monuments that had not been seen since the Middle Kingdom. The art style was similar to that of the Middle Kingdom, but also saw advances such as the art of glass blowing and a wider variety of resources.
After the reunification, Ahmose I decided to make Thebes the capital of Egypt for multiple reasons. It had served as the capital during the Middle Kingdom; therefore, it had historical value. Being from the Theban royal family also influenced his choice. A third, and often over looked reason, is simply the location of the city. It was located near the middle of the kingdom, providing easy access to both the northern and southern frontiers. This was important because of the threat of the Hyksos returning from the north and the Nubians located to the south.
At the end of his reign, his pyramid was built in what is present day Abydos. It is the last pyramid that was built as a mortuary complex. It was rediscovered during the end of the 19th century and has provided information about his reign. Carvings found there depict a great battle against the Hyksos and show them on horseback. This is the earliest known depiction of horses in Egypt. There are multiple other temples in the area; one dedicated to his queen and one dedicated to his grandmother.
His mummy was discovered in 1881 in the Deir el-Bahri Cache alongside the other pharaohs of the 18th and 19th dynasties. Unfortunately, his grave was the victim of ancient grave robbers. His cedar wood coffin was stripped bare, and his remains damaged with the head being removed from the body. This led to him being moved from his pyramid during the 21st dynasty.
There have been questions raised as to whether the mummy discovered is actually Ahmose I due to the differences between it and those found of his family members. Because of the positioning of the arms of the mummy, this has also added to others not being totally convinced that it may actually be him.
Ahmose I is one of the great pharaohs who reunited Egypt and restored the ways of the Old Kingdom. He brought a new age of religion to the Egyptian people with the building of great temples and prominent worship, particularly of Amun. His accomplishments are important aspects of Ancient Egyptian history as he brought Egyptian culture to a high that rivaled that of the Old Kingdom.
It appears that Ramses II began construction during the fifth year of his rule. During his reign, the temple was referred to as Hwt Ramesses Meryamun, which literally means Temple of Ramses beloved of Amun. Even by today’s standards the temple appears to have been constructed very extravagantly. Ramses had four large statues depicting him. Each statue is 67 feet high and he can be seen wearing the double crown (The crown of Upper and Lower Egypt). Shown to the side of each statute and on the throne are Nile gods unifying Egypt.