Ancient Egypt - Pharaoh Tuthmosis IV

Updated: Feb 10

Tuthmosis IV. He was born to Amenhotep II and Queen Tio, but was not actually the crown prince. Some scholars speculate that Tuthmosis IV ousted his older brother and commissioned the Dream Stele in order to justify his unexpected kingship. The stele tells how the young prince Tuthmosis was out hunting in the desert when he fell asleep in the shadow of the Sphinx. The sun god Ra appeared to him in a dream and promised that he would be king if he cleared away the sand that had nearly buried the body of the Sphinx. The stele was placed between the two paws of the Sphinx upon its restoration.

Tuthmosis IV's rule was significant because he established peaceful relations with the Mitanni and married a Mitannian princess to seal the new alliance. Mitanni had been a rival of Egypt since the reign of Tuthmosis I. Now at the height of its power, the kingdom decided to join forces with Egypt to protect their mutual interests from the threat of Hittite domination.

Building Works at Karnak

Like most of the Tuthmoside kings, Tuthmosis IV built on a grand scale. He completed the Eastern Obelisk first started by Tuthmosis III, which at 105 ft, was the tallest obelisk ever erected in Egypt. It was intended, most unusually, as a single obelisk for the temple at Karnak, and not one of a pair. The obelisk was later transported to the grounds of the Circus Maximus in Rome by Emperor Constantius II in 357 A.D. and later re-erected by Pope Sixtus V in 1588 at the Piazza San Giovanni. It is currently known as the Lateran Obelisk, and is the tallest standing obelisk in the world.

Tuthmosis IV also built a unique chapel and peristyle hall against the back of the main Karnak Temple building. The chapel was intended for people 'who had no right of access' to the main Karnak temple. It was a 'place of the ear' for the god Amun to hear the prayer of the townspeople. This small alabaster chapel and peristyle hall have both been restored.

Tomb (KV43)