Amenhotep II

Seventh pharaoh of the 18th Dynasty of Egypt

Amenhotep II reign was the 7th Pharaoh of Egypt’s 18th Dynasty, according to historians. His natal name was Amenhotep (heqaiunuwas), which meant “Amun is Pleased, Ruler of Heliopolis.” Amenhotpe II, or the Greek variant of his name, Amenophis II, are two names that have been used to refer to him. The name of his throne was A-kheperu-re, which meant “Great are the Manifestations of Re.” He was Thutmose III’s son, and he and Thutmose III may have shared the regency for roughly two years. Merytra, a daughter of Huy, who was a heavenly adoratrice of Amun and Atum and leader of choristers for Ra, was most likely his mother.

Amenhotep II

As a young man, Amenhotep II was well-known for his athletic talents. Several depictions of him show him participating in successful sports endeavours. He resided in Memphite, where he trained horses in his father’s stables, and one of his most impressive athletic feats was shooting arrows through a copper plate while driving a chariot with the reins wrapped around his waist. Numerous inscriptions, including a stele at Giza and representations at Thebes, attest to this deed.


“ Though Amenhotep II was not the eldest, he inherited the throne because his older brother, Amenemhat, and his brother’s mother, the chief queen of Egypt, both died.”

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Relief of Amenhotep II

Relief of Amenhotep II

The king often boasted of his physical prowess. That relief show, “…he entered into his northern garden and found that there had been set up for him four targets of Asiatic copper of one palm in their thickness, with 20 cubits between one post and its fellow. Then his majesty appeared in a chariot like Montu [the god of war] in his power. He grasped his bow and gripped four arrows at the same time. So he rode northward, shooting at them like Montu in his regalia. His arrows had come out on the back thereof while he was attacking another post. It was really a deed which had never been done nor heard of by report: shooting at a target of copper an arrow which came out and dropped to the ground – except for the king…” (Wilson 1969: 244).

Amenhotep II Being Showered by Thoth and Horus

Amenhotep II Being Showered by Thoth and Horus

The King, Amenhotep II, stands in the centre of the scene. The gods Thoth and Horus are on the left and right, respectively. The gods are pouring water from jars held high over the King’s head, but instead of water, a torrent of ankhs, the Egyptian emblem for life, is released.
At Karnak, a comparable tableau depicts Hatshepsut receiving similar treatment from Horus and Thoth, albeit Hatshepsut has been meticulously chiselled away in that relief. From the west wall of the Temple of Amada’s antechamber in Egypt.


Construction projects

Amenhotep’s construction initiatives were mostly focused on increasing lesser temples around Egypt, as Thutmose III had committed so much labour to developing Karnak. His father’s Overseer of Works, Minmose, is mentioned in an inscription at Tura as directing the construction of further temples in the Delta. Small shrines have been discovered in upper Egypt at Medamud, el-Tod, and Armant. Despite the fact that Karnak did not receive the same level of attention as his father, he was not completely ignored. He had a column erected in the courtyard between the fourth and fifth pylons to commemorate Mitanni’s payment of tribute. Amenhotep II erected at Qasr Ibrim and Semna in Nubia, as well as ordering the embellishment of the Temple at Kalabsha. His most renowned Nubian temple, however, was at Amada.
Thutmose III had began construction of a temple devoted to Horus, despite the presence of Re-Harakhti and Amun-Re. Amenhotep finished it and carved a stele with the chronicle of his year 3 campaign. He had a funerary temple built on the edge of the farmland in the Theban Necropolis, near where the Ramesseum would eventually be built, but it was demolished in antiquity.

Amenhotep II KV35 tomb

Death and burial

Amenhotep II was buried in the Valley of the Kings’ KV35 tomb, where his body was recovered within his original coffin after the tomb was unearthed by Victor Loret in March 1898. Thutmose IVSeti IIRamesses IIIRamesses IV, and Ramesses VI were among the New Kingdom pharaohs whose mummies were discovered in the tomb. During Siamun’s reign, the 21st Dynasty High Priest of Amun, Pinedjem II, reburied them in Amenhotep II’s tomb to safeguard them from tomb thieves.
Gaston Maspero, Howard Carter, Friedrich Wilhelm von Bissing, and Pierre Lacau inspected, described, and photographed the king’s mummy for the first time in January 1902. Grafton Elliot Smith, an Australian anatomist, examined Amenhotep’s mummy in 1907. The linen that was still adhered to the face was removed during this inspection to allow for a clear look. He measured the corpse at 1.67 metres (5.5 feet) in height and saw a remarkable facial likeness to his son, Thutmose IV. His head is covered with wavy brown hair that is “abundantly mixed with white.”
The arms are crossed low over the chest, the right hand clasped strongly and the left hand less so. Small tubercles cover the skin all over the body, which Smith couldn’t tell if they were caused by the embalming procedure or by illness. The imprints of jewellery on the body were retained by resin; numerous rows of a beaded collar were visible on the upper back, and a diamond-shaped geometric design was visible on the back of the hips. Smith’s damaged teeth and greying hair led him to believe he was in his forties or fifties when he died. His death was due to an unexplained reason.


How old was Amenhotep II when he became pharaoh?

According to an inscription on his huge Sphinx stela, Amenhotep II was 18 years old when he took power: “Now his Majesty emerged as king as a fine youngster after he had grown ‘fully formed,’ and had completed eighteen years in his strength and valour.”

Did Amenhotep II enter war?

Before Thutmose III’s death and Amenhotep II’s ascent to the throne around the age of 18, he governed as co-regent, sharing responsibilities with his father. He reigned between 1427 and 1400 BCE. Unlike his father, Amenhotep II did not fight in or even had to engage in many conflicts, despite his military prowess.

When did Amenhotep II rule?

Around 1427–1400 BC, under the 18th Dynasty. After his father Thutmose III (1481–1425 BC), Egypt’s kingdom grew to its largest size, reaching from modern-day Syria to Sudan, he succeeded to the throne.

Where is the mummy of Amenhotep II?

His tomb may be found in Egypt’s Valley of the Kings, which is where pharaohs and rich Egyptian nobles built their tombs. Amenhotep’s mummy remained unharmed, until guards plundering the tomb in 1901.


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