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Ancient Egypt - Tuthmosis II

Updated: Nov 5, 2020


Tuthmosis was succeeded by his young son, Tuthmosis II. Son of a minor wife, Tuthmosis II was married to his half-sister, Hatshepsut, in order to strengthen his position. Hatshepsut was the daughter of Queen Ahmose.

A quick side note... Her marriage to Tuthmosis II lasted for 20 years. This marriage, by all accounts, seems to have been uneventful. Tuthmosis II doesn't build any great temples, doesn't build any obelisks, and doesn't seem to do anything of any great value. Since we've recovered his mummy, he doesn't appear to have been very attractive. As Bob Brier put it: “It may have been a long 20 years for Queen Hatshepsut.” After she became pharaoh, she never mentioned her husband. He was not included when she decided to bury her father in her tomb in the Valley. Her silence says a lot, and is kind of sad... I wish we had more information.

Upon Tuthmosis II's coronation, Nubia rebelled and the Egyptian army was sent to crush the revolt. An account of the campaign is given by the Jewish historian Josephus who refers to it as the Ethiopic War. Tuthmosis II had one son by a harem girl, named Isis. He may have also had a daughter, named Neferure, by Hatshepsut. Realizing the ambition of his wife, he endeavored to curtail it by declaring his son, Tuthmosis III, successor before he died. She would eventually usurp the throne anyway.

Tomb (KV20)

Tuthmosis II's tomb in the Valley of the Kings may have been (KV20). The tomb was known to the Napoleonic Expedition in 1799, but a full clearance of the tomb was only undertaken by Howard Carter in 1903, although it had been visited by several explorers between 1799 and 1903. (KV20) is distinguished from other tombs in the valley, both in its general layout and because of the atypical clockwise curvature of its corridors.

The tomb descended through a series of five corridors (B, C1, D1, C2, D2), two ending in chambers with central descents (C1, C2), until it reached chamber (J1). From there, a corridor (G) led to the burial chamber (J2). Three low-ceilinged side chambers (Ja-c) were cut into the north end of the latter. Because the soft shale walls of the burial chamber, they were unsuitable for decoration. Mortuary texts were written in red and black ink on limestone blocks which probably lined the walls. Tuthmosis II's mummy was discovered in the 1881 cache. Even though his body was badly mutilated by tomb robbers in antiquity, his body showed signs that he did not have an easy life. The

Archaeologist Gaston Maspero unwrapped the mummy on July 1st, 1886, and reported the following:

“He had scarcely reached the age of thirty when he fell victim to

a disease of which the process of embalming could not remove

the traces. The skin was scabrous in patches and covered with scars,

while the upper part of the skull was bald; the body was thin and

somewhat shrunken, and appears to have lacked vigor and muscular

power.” -Gaston Maspero – 06/01/1886

Possible Pharaoh of the Biblical Exodus Account

Tuthmosis II is one of the more popular candidates for the Pharaoh of the Exodus. Biblical scholar Alfred Edersheim proposes in his book, “Bible History of the Old Testament” which was published in 1887, that Tuthmosis II is best qualified to be the Pharaoh of the Exodus based on the fact that he had a brief prosperous reign and then a sudden collapse with no son to succeed him. Edersheim states that Tuthmosis II is the only Pharaoh's mummy to have cysts, possible evidence of plagues that spread throughout the Egyptian and Hittite Empires at the time.

Upon his death, his 2-year -old son, Tuthmosis III, would succeed him under the direction of his stepmother, Hatshepsut. She would take the throne herself and proclaim herself the new ruler of Egypt.


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