Updated: Nov 4, 2021
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.
Tuthmosis IV was buried in the Valley of the Kings, in tomb (KV43). The entrance to (KV 43) lies in the south branch of the southeast wadi, high in the mountainside above and southeast of (KV 19).
Similar in plan to (KV 35 - Amenhetep II), the first three corridors (B, C, D), the well chamber (E) and side chamber (Ea) followed a north-south axis. The side chamber (Ea) off the bottom of the shaft in the well chamber (E) was partly beneath a pillared chamber (F). At the latter chamber, the tomb axis turned ninety degrees to the left (east) and continued on a west-east axis to chamber (I), after which it again
turned ninety degrees to the left, giving access to the burial chamber (J) and side chambers (Ja-Jd). The tomb was decorated with representations of the king with various deities in the well chamber (E) and in chamber (I).
Hieratic graffiti in chamber (I) inform us that the tomb was entered during regnal year 8 of Horemheb for a renewal of the burial. After the removal of the mummy of Tuthmosis IV to (KV 35) in Dynasty 21, the tomb was sealed with roughly-cut stones, covered by flood debris, and forgotten until its discovery by Carter in 1903.
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