(First published in newsletter # 3 in 1993)
The data gained from the chariot wheels placed the Exodus at the time of the 18th Dynasty. Amazingly, this is the most well documented group of kings in all of ancient Egypt. A “dynasty”, to give a definition, is basically a continuous family line of rulers.
“A more or less arbitrary and artificial but convenient subdivision of these epochs, beginning with the historic age, is furnished by the so-called dynasties of Manetho. This native historian of Egypt, a priest of Sebennytos, who flourished under Ptolemy I (305-285 B.C.), wrote a history of his country in the Greek language. The work has perished, and we only know it in an epitome by Julius Africanus and Eusebius, and extracts by Josephus. The value of the work was slight, as it was built up on folk tales and popular traditions of the early kings. Manetho divided the long succession of Pharaohs as known to him, into thirty royal houses or dynasties, and although we know that many of his divisions are arbitrary, and that there was many a dynastic change where he indicates none, yet his dynasties divide the kings into convenient groups, which have so long been employed in modern study of Egyptian history, that it is now impossible to dispense with them.”
This quote from “A History of Egypt” by James Henry Breasted (1905) p. 13-14, tells us from the pen of one of the leading authorities on ancient Egypt, that the basis on which the information of ancient Egyptian dynasties rests, is unreliable, yet it continues in use.
This so-called 18th Dynasty consisted of a family who ruled in Thebes. At the time this family came to the throne, it was apparent that other dynastic families were ruling as pharaohs in other areas of Egypt. In the north, or the delta region, there lived at this time a people whom the Egyptians thought of as “foreign”- these included the descendants of Jacob, or the Israelites. It appears that other Asiatic peoples had moved into the region along with them- people who were ambitious and wanted to rule themselves as the Egyptians did. And they did not conform to the Egyptian religion.
We know that the Israelites, by decree of the pharaoh of Joseph’s time, were allowed to live as “independents” and that their leaders were considered “royal”- when Jacob died, the description of his funeral was exactly the same as that of the pharaohs:
GEN 50:2 And Joseph commanded his servants the physicians to embalm his father: and the physicians embalmed Israel. 3 And forty days were fulfilled for him; for so are fulfilled the days of those which are embalmed: and the Egyptians mourned for him threescore and ten days. 7 And Joseph went up to bury his father: and with him went up all the servants of Pharaoh, the elders of his house, and all the elders of the land of Egypt, 9 And there went up with him both chariots and horsemen: and it was a very great company.
So, for many, many years the Israelites live peacefully among themselves, setting up their own rulers. And doesn’t it seem reasonable to assume that relatives and friends of the Israelites would want to move down to the Delta region with them when they saw what a “garden of Eden” it was there? Well, whether it was friends and relatives, or not, someone moved in and lived along side of them. And these foreigners soon became a “thorn in the side” of the native Egyptians.
At the end of the 17th Dynasty, ancient records tell of the Egyptians in Thebes claiming to expel the “Hyksos” from the delta. Inscriptions document the presence of these “Shepherd Kings” in the delta region beginning with the 6th dynasty and terminating with the 17th.
When the native Egyptian Theban rulers “expelled” the Hyksos, what occurred was that they ran these other peoples who had settled along with the Israelites out of Egypt. And although no mention is made of the Israelites by name, we know that it was at this time, at the beginning of the 18th dynasty, that they were enslaved. With the trouble-making outsiders gone, the peaceful Israelites were at the mercy of the Theban rulers.
There is an interesting inscription by Hatshepsut of the 18th dynasty which refers to the restoration of Egypt after the “Hyksos” had been expelled from the delta region:
“I have restored that which was in ruins, I have raised up that which was unfinished. Since the Asiatics were in the midst of Avaris of the Northland [Delta], and the barbarians were in the midst of them [the people of the Northland], overthrowing that which had been made, while they ruled in ignorance of Re.”
This wonderful passage tells us that whoever lived in the Delta (the Israelites and the “barbarians” from Asia) did not worship RE, the Egyptian sun god. And we know this was true of the Israelites. So they simply “kicked out” the trouble-makers, who had no right to be there in the first place. Then, the Israelites, who had been given the right to live there, had their special “status” canceled. The Egyptians had no reason to expel them- after all, they were peaceful, industrious and hardy people. Instead, they were enslaved.
THE KINGS OF THE 18TH DYNASTY
The kings of the 18th Dynasty are stated by historians as being named either Amenhotep and Thutmoses. But, there is a big problem with this fluctuation between names. The pharaoh was considered the earthly embodiment of the main god and his name reflected the supreme god of his royal family. Does it make sense to anyone that one king would consider Thoth (Thutmoses) the supreme god while the next considered Amen (Amenhotep) the supreme god, and continue to alternate gods through a succession of several kings? Of course not.
As we read earlier, the list of dynasties and kings that the Egyptologists base their information on is quite inaccurate. The inscriptions found in temples and tombs indicate that the “Thutmoses” name is indicative of one of the offices of the pharaoh, just as was the “Amenhotep” name- and that each pharaoh was both a “Thutmoses” as well as an “Amenhotep” as he advanced in the royal line from co-regent to emperor.
From our research, it appears that the crown prince received his “Thutmoses” title upon being appointed co-regent, and then became “Amenhotep” in addition to his earlier names, when he became emperor. Let me stress that it appears that this is the order he received each name; however, it may possibly have been reversed. But we have no doubts that each ruler possessed both names.
Each ruler left inscriptions relating to his reign in both names- sometimes he referred to himself as Thutmoses, while at other times Amenhotep. Each individual king left inscriptions in both names, dating his regnal years sometimes from the date of his co-regency and sometimes from the date of his emperorship. We don’t fully understand the “rules” governing these practices yet.
Yes, most people think of the pharaoh of the Exodus as “Rameses”. And why not? The name “Rameses” is mentioned in the Bible as early as the story of Joseph. Was there a “Rameses” in the 18th dynasty? Yes… but that was more a title than a name- much like the title “pharaoh”.
Not only was “Thutmoses” also to become “Amenhotep”- he, as main emperor of all Egypt, was also titled “Rameses”. If you will recall, in the story of Joseph, the land of Goshen was also referred to as the land of “Rameses”:
GEN 47:11 And Joseph placed his father and his brethren, and gave them a possession in the land of Egypt, in the best of the land, in the land of Rameses, as Pharaoh had commanded.
Egyptian evidence shows that every native Egyptian king from the time of the so-called 5th dynasty was titled “Son of the Sun” or “Rameses” in addition to his other names. This has caused massive confusion among the Egyptian scholars, who have zeroed in on one particular pharaoh, “Rameses II”, and proclaimed him the “greatest pharaoh of all Egypt”. All one needs to do is go to the museum in Cairo and view the 4 statues of “Rameses II” in the main entrance hall- each one is clearly a different person. The inscriptions referring to “Rameses” refer to many different pharaohs.
Also, let’s go back to the inscription of Hatshepsut in the section on the Hyksos- remember that she said these people lived “in ignorance of RE? This inscription makes its quite clear that whoever lived in the delta (Goshen/Rameses) region, did not worship the native Egyptian god, Re. “Re” is the “Ra” of “Rameses”- and this verifies the supremacy of “Re/Ra” during the time of the 18th dynasty,- and that “Rameses” would indeed be one of the titles of the pharaoh.
“Thutmoses” = “Amenhotep”
We are going to do a great deal of talking about the 18th dynasty kings. To make it easier for you to follow, we will state now that we believe Thutmoses 1 became Amenhotep 1 when he went from co-regent to emperor. Therefore, these 2 names are the same person.
This list will tell you who we believe were the names of each royal person we will be discussing. You can reference this list if you get confused.
Pharaoh at Moses’ birth THUTMOSES 1/ AMENHOTEP 1
“Pharaoh’s daughter” NEFURE /HATSHEPSUT
(Moses- con’t) HATSHEPSUT XNEM AMEN
Pharaoh when he fled THUTMOSES 3/ AMENHOTEP 2
Pharaoh of the Exodus THUTMOSES 4/ AMENHOTEP 3
1st-born son of Pharaoh TUTANKHAMEN
THE DATE OF THE EXODUS
1KI 6:1 And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month Zif, which is the second month, that he began to build the house of the LORD.
If you go to your encyclopaedia or most any reference book, you will be able to discover that the date of Solomon’s rule is fairly well established and the date of the 4th year of his reign would be 967/966 BC. In our opinion, the most accurate and authoritative book on the subject of dating the Hebrew Kings is “The Mysterious Numbers of the Hebrew Kings” by Edwin R. Thiele. You can order this book from any book store if they do not have it in stock.
With this date established (967/966 BC) we need to go back 480 years, as the above scripture indicates. This would place the date of the Exodus at 1447/1446 BC. I will state at this point that we do not consider any outside source above the scriptural reference, so we will look no further for more information as to the date.
We will, however, look for historical references and inscriptions which may verify this date. The following information is just such a verification, and is from the “Encyclopaedia Britannica” 1985 ed. vol. 4 pp. 575,6:
“The next date is given by a medical papyrus, to which a calendar is added, possibly to insure a correct conversion of dates used in the receipts to the actual timetable. Here it is said that the 9th day of the 11th month of year 9 of King Amenhotep I was the day of the helical rising of Sothis- i.e., 1538 BC. This date, however, is only accurate provided the astronomical observations were taken at the old residence of Memphis; if observed at Thebes in Upper Egypt, the residence of the 18th dynasty, the date must be lowered by 20 years- i.e., 1518 BC.”
When we came across this information, we had already constructed our chronology of the 18th dynasty, which took about 3 years. We show year 9 of Amenhotep 1 to be 1519 BC- and this reference places his year 9 at 1518 BC, if the observance was noted at Thebes, which is where their royal headquarters were. This was a very exciting confirmation which is based on solid astronomical evidence. It, at the very least, placed the 18th dynasty at exactly the right place in the time scale. For it to have fit so extremely well was far more than we could have asked for!
For more information on Biblical chronology, see our chronology later in this volume with references, etc.
WHO WAS PHARAOH’S DAUGHTER?
The next question that must be addressed is whether there existed in the 18th dynasty, a pharaoh without a royal son to pass the throne to, and whether that pharaoh had a royal daughter of note. The answer is a most resounding “yes”! Not only did “Thutmoses I/Amenhotep I” not have a royal son who lived, he had a daughter who is the most well-known and well-documented female personage of all ancient Egyptian history, next to Cleopatra. Her names were Nefure and Hatshepsut. She was referred to as “Nefure” when we first learn of her in the inscriptions. At that time, she is a royal princess- her father was co-regent for the emperor, “pharaoh Ahmosis”. She is referred to in the ancient records by this name, Nefure, until a point in time when she becomes known as the “royal queen”- we’ll explain a little later.
Also, we want to explain that when Moses was born, the emperor of all Egypt was Ahmosis who lived in Thebes. In Memphis, Thutmoses 1 was co-regent, and also called “pharaoh”. The word “pharaoh” comes from the Egyptian word “pero” which simply means “big house”. This “pharaoh”, whose daughter rescued baby Moses, didn’t become emperor of all of Egypt until Moses was about 12 years old.
WHO WAS MOSES?
Let me interject here that Egyptian scholars have constructed a scenario whereas “Nefure” and “Hatshepsut” are 2 different people. However, again, we can with great confidence state that these 2 names belong to the same lady. It was young Nefure who rescued baby Moses from the Nile while she was living at the palace in Memphis- the royal residence of the co-regent. In the museums across the world are various statues, unlike any other ancient Egyptian statues, which are of a young girl holding a baby or small child- this child wears on his head the “royal side-lock” of a future prince. The names on these statues are “Nefure” and “Senmut”- Senmut being the baby’s name. However, the scholars have designated the woman in these statues as being a man named “Senmut”, who is the official nurse of princess “Nefure”.
Moses = SENMUT
“Senmut” is the Egyptian name given to Moses when he first came to live at the palace. This name is of extreme importance for it means literally “mother’s brother”. To understand the significance, we must explain briefly a subject which normally would take several volumes- Egyptian religion and the pharaoh…
The ancient Egyptians believed that the first king of Egypt was Osiris. Osiris was married to Isis, his sister. Osiris’ brother, Set, killed Osiris out of jealousy for the throne. To sum it up briefly, Isis brought Osiris back to life for one night by a magic spell- and during this one night she was impregnated by Osiris, who then returned to his death state. The child she bore was called Horus, and he was the reincarnation of Osirus. At the end of the story, the throne is returned to Horus, the rightful king.
Therefore, Isis’ child was her son, her husband and her brother- all in one. All kings of Egypt were then said to be “Horus”- the reincarnation of Osiris. Confusing?- yes. But that’s what they believed.
Do you see the significance of the name given to Moses? He was being “set up” in the Egyptian economy to possibly be the future king- the royal heir of his “grandfather-pharaoh”. His “grandfather” (adopted, of course) had no royal male heirs- they had died. But he had one royal daughter, Nefure. The future king could only inherit the throne through the royal daughter.
She (Nefure) convinced her father, the pharaoh, to make her little adopted boy his future heir. Nefure, as the symbolic Isis, had her little “Osiris/Horus”, who was named “Senmut”- his “mother’s brother”. If all of this seems a bit complicated and silly, just compare it with the rules and regulations of the royal family of England today. The right to the throne doesn’t pass that easily to someone inside the family, much less outside of the family. But, in times when there is no heir, preparations and steps must be taken to procure the right for whoever is determined.
With this understanding, there is a Scripture which sheds a great deal more light on the situation of Moses as Nefure (Hatshepsut)’s son:
HEB 11:24 By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter;
Nefure = Hatshepsut
Our studies show that Moses came to live at the palace at about age 12, about the same time his “grandfather” became main emperor over all Egypt. At this time, they moved from the palace at Memphis where the co-regent ruled, to Thebes where the main palace was. At about age 18, Moses was designated the future “heir apparent”, with his mother, Nefure as his regent. She was now given the additional royal name of “Hatshepsut” and referred to as “queen” instead of princess. It gets very confusing from this point on because the Egyptologists have come up with a very elaborate scenario whereby they say that Hatshepsut proclaimed herself king. Now, a few words about this theory may help give a little understanding.
For one thing, the Egyptian line of royalty descent was based on very sacred beliefs- beliefs which would not in any way allow for a woman to become the “earthly embodiment” of the god. She could become the “royal wife”, the “great queen”, and in some cases possess the royal power to appoint a new pharaoh in instances whereby the throne may be empty at one point in time. But this fantastic scenario whereby the scholars say Hatshepsut proclaimed herself “king” is simply not possible.
In her temple at Deir El Bahri, there is a wall which depicts the birth of the future heir to the throne, which historians say is the birth of Hatshepsut. But there are a couple of problems with the scenario that these scholars have chosen to ignore. One, is that the baby is definitely a boy baby! And secondly, one scene shows the baby in the arms of Hatshepsut! One book we have explains this as “obviously a mistake on the part of the scribes who wrote the hieroglyphics- they must have gotten confused”.
Moses = “Hatshepsut Xnem Amen”
The evidence on which they build the case for Hatshepsut declaring herself king are the inscriptions of “king Hatshepsut Xnem Amen / MaatKaRe”. They assume that this is Hatshepsut with a few additions to her royal name. But let’s examine this “king’s” name: “Hatshepsut Xnem Amen” means “Hatshepsut united with Amen”. “Amen” is the supreme god of the 18th dynasty, another name for “Re/Ra”, the sun. This name means that the “king” of this name is the product of Hatshepsut being united with Amen, or the offspring, so to speak, of Hatshepsut by the god, Amen.
This “king”, who was not really king, but was being designated as the future heir to the throne, was Moses, with Hatshepsut as his regent. One someone was designated as the future heir to the throne, his inscriptions refer to him as “king”.
That Moses was always closely associated with his adopted mother is very apparent- after all, she was his only connection to the royal family. To justify his elevation to such royal position had to be carefully documented in a manner that would be acceptable to the system.
The evidence shows that he was elevated to this position, as “heir apparent” when he was about 24 years old.
Moses = Thutmoses II
Finally, when Moses was about 33 years old, he was designated as the crown prince and became “Thutmoses II”. Let us state at this point that the numbers after the Egyptian kings’ names are not actually a part of their name- they are simply designations given them by the Egyptologists to identify each succeeding person of the same name.
Josephus tells that Moses, as Thutmoses, was the general of the army and that he was very popular with the Egyptians. He attributes Moses as the general who pacified Nubia, which in turn served to increase the wealth of Egypt greatly by the gold paid as tribute by the Nubians.
Finally, when Moses was 40, we know what happened at that time- and that he fled Egypt.
ROYAL TOMBS CONSTRUCTED FOR MOSES
Tomb No. 71
Near ancient Thebes, there is a magnificent building called “Deir el Bahri”, which is a temple Moses built (as architect) for his adopted mother, Nefure. Above it is a tomb for Moses which has an unfinished statue carved above the entrance, in the virgin rock of the mountain, of a woman holding a small child. We, of course, recognize this as Moses and his adoptive mother.
The records of the building of this tomb show that it was begun when Moses was about 18- the year he was designated as the royal son of pharaoh’s daughter and placed in line as the possible future heir-apparent. The name “Senmut” and “Nefure” are the names mentioned in this tomb.
Just below this tomb, excavators found a small rock-cut chamber that held the mummies of Hatnofer and Ramose, the Egyptian names for Moses’ parents. His mother was embalmed and given a royal funeral, which indicates that she was buried here at the time of her death. The body of her husband, Ramose, however, was clearly a secondary burial- his body had been removed from its original burial and transferred to this grave- and it was clearly a non-royal burial.
This tomb was never finished and no one was ever buried in it. One reason being that another more elaborate, royal tomb was begun for Moses when he was about age 33/34- the year he was designated as Thutmoses II.
Tomb No. 353
This tomb is equally as fascinating as the first, for there was never a burial in it either. This was the second tomb built for Moses and this one would have been his royal tomb. It is very exciting to go down into that tomb and see how, at the time Moses fled and gave up his claim to the future throne, all work stopped on this tomb and it remains exactly as it was left to this day. It is finished down to the lower section of hieroglyphs and pictures- then, where the workmen stopped work, the pictures are drawn onto the wall in black ink.
Equally amazing is the fact that, unlike other Egyptian tombs where the deceased is pictured with a wife and family, Moses is shown with only his mother and father, Hatnofer and Ramose. After all, Moses was never married while he was in Egypt.
SIR MARSTON & JOSEPHUS KNEW HATSHEPSUT
At this point, I would like to state that those of you who decide to research this subject- and we definitely recommend that you do just that- will find that the facts we have presented will be totally different from those as presented by historians and scholars. But view the evidences in the light that we have presented them and see for yourself how the evidence fits.
It is amazing to us that the majority of scholars have missed this altogether. There have been a few, however, who have made the connection. One of these is Sir Charles Marston, who, in his book “New Bible Evidence”, 1934, recognizes that the Exodus had to occur during the 18th dynasty and that Hatshepsut was indeed the “pharaoh’s daughter”. If he had had the information that the Thutmoses and the Amenhoteps of this dynasty were in fact the same people- (they were Thutmoses when they were co-regents in Memphis, and Amenhoteps when they arose to main emperor),- he would have figured it all out.
Marston brings out the fact that Josephus gives some vital information as to this pharoah’s daughter’s identity on p. 162 of his above mentioned book: “He does, however, mention the name of the princess who found Moses in the ark of bulrushes. He says it was `Thermuthis,’in which we see an echo of the name Thotmes, or Tahutmes, which was borne by each of the three Pharaohs in whose reigns Hatshepsut played such a leading part.”
THE MAN “WHO TOOK MOSES’ PLACE”
When Moses fled Egypt at age 40, the emperor, Amenhotep 1 was very elderly- he had been preparing Moses for the throne for the past 22 years. Now, there was a big problem. Who would now be the future king?
In Memphis, a young man was being groomed to be appointed co-regent for Moses when he became emperor. This young man was immediately elevated to the rank of co-regent and given the same name of Thutmoses. The records show that he assumed the throne on his year 22. Now, this is a strange statement and tells much more than one might at first notice. A co-regent, or royal heir-apparent, begins counting his years when he is designated as the “heir-apparent”. That becomes his year one. Here, we have a man assuming office in year 22 and he assumes it under that same name as Moses had.
Keep in mind, that as the royal heir assumes each stage of office, “heir-apparent”, crown prince and co-regent, he also in some places counts his years from that particular appointment. This is why the years of “Thutmoses III are given as 54 years, while the years of Amenhotep II are given as 26 to 32 years (depending on what author you are reading). The problem with Thutmoses III, who took Moses’ place, is that there are no records of his rise through the ranks. He just suddenly appears in year 22 as taking the throne.
Now, what happened here is that when Moses fled, in order to continue the reign of the earthly embodiment of “Thoth” in the “Thutmoses” co-regent, this man simply assumed the years that Moses had held that position. In other cases, when a royal personage would die, the god is said to “fly to the heavens” and then redescend into the body of whoever becomes the next earthly embodiment of the god. In this case, there was no death- there had to be an immediate transfer, which is exactly what took place. Everything that had belonged to Moses was simply figuratively transferred to this “new” “Thutmoses” and things went along without missing a step. This man is now referred to by scholars as Thutmoses III. All of the statuary attributed to him are actually the statues that were made of Moses.
And it was to this Thutmoses that scholars attribute 54 years of rule. However, 22 of those years belonged to the man he replaced, Moses. And the historic evidence proves this, too. If we subtract the 22 years from the 54 year total, we are left with 32 years. Now, instead of going through all the evidence, let’s just read what one historian has to say about this Thutmoses III:
“He passed away after a rule of thirty-two (some say fifty-four) years, having made Egyptian leadership in the Mediterranean world complete.” This is from “The Story of Civilization” Vol. 1 by Will Durant, (1954) p. 155.
And it truly was 32 years later when the man who became emperor after taking Moses’ place, died. Amenhotep II was perhaps the greatest ruler Egypt ever had. By the time of his death, Egypt was truly the world power and the wealthiest nation. Hatshepsut remained alive for many years after Moses fled, and is named as queen on monuments very late into this king’s rule.
THE PHARAOH OF THE EXODUS
Upon Amenhotep II’s death, his co-regent for 29 years, the 4th Thutmoses, became Amenhotep III. Upon his becoming emperor, he appointed his young son, Tutankhamen, as “crown-prince” and for the next 8/9 years, this pharaoh ruled Egypt. He inherited the throne at a time when Egypt was well established as the world ruler. All he basically had to do was sit back and collect the foreign tribute as it arrived. Egypt had military troops stationed in all the vassal territories and maintained their empire peaceably. In his inscriptions, this emperor makes claims to be a triumphant warrior, but these references are to the time of his co-regency, when he accompanied Amenhotep II in his triumphant exploits.
But most interesting about this man is the fact that historical data shows that he actually had no claim to the throne. He was not the first-born of the pharaoh, which was the standard mode of becoming emperor. The well-known “sphinx stele”, still present between the paws of the sphinx at Giza, tells the strange story of how Thutmoses IV fell asleep one day in the shadow of the sphinx. He dreamed that the sun god came to him and told him that if he would clear away the sand from around the sphinx, he would make him king. This elaborate story would not have been needed if he had been entitled to the throne as rightful heir.
But, it appears that Amenhotep II was also without a royal son. The inscriptions always call the new king the “son” of the previous king, but this is figurative- as referring to Osiris and Horus. But keep in mind that this new pharaoh was not the first born of the last pharaoh. This is important because this new king, Amenhotep III, was the pharaoh of the Exodus. Think about this- all the firstborn were killed by the Angel of Death; if the pharaoh had been a first born, he would have died that night! So it is very important that we establish that this pharaoh was not a firstborn.
After reigning as emperor for 8/9 years, we reach the 40th year after Moses had fled Egypt. Remember, the pharaoh who took Moses’ place reigned 32 years. Then, this last pharaoh reigned 8/9 years. This equalled the 40 years Moses was in the wilderness of Midian.
At this time at the end of the 40 years, Moses returns to the court of pharaoh Amenhotep III as commanded by God. And soon, the plagues began to fall upon Egypt. When the plague of the death of the first born fell by the hand of the Angel of Death, the pharaoh was not striken- but his son was:
EXO 11:5 And all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh that sitteth upon his throne, even unto the firstborn of the maidservant that is behind the mill; and all the firstborn of beasts.
This son was the young crown prince known to us all as “King Tut”. However, the name is misleading, for we know he was never pharaoh, just crown prince. And while the historians all argue over who his father was, in an inscription on a statue of a lion dedicated by Tutankhamen to the temple of Soleb, he calls Amenhotep III his father.
Remember, Amenhotep III was also named Thutmoses IV.
THE ROYAL MUMMIES
Another confusing factor in the identification of the kings and queens is the overabundance of royal mummies. In other words, although Thutmoses III and Amenhotep II are the same man, there have been found mummies for each name. Does this shoot down our theory? No, not in the least. First of all, it is necessary to have an understanding of the ancient Egyptian beliefs concerning death.
At death, they believed that a body was necessary for the ba, the ka and the akh to survive. These were, loosely translated, the various “spirit forms” which made up the psychic person and survived after death. However, in cases where the person was unavailable for burial, etc., any body would suffice as long as it was labeled with the name of the deceased. They believed that as long as a person’s name was being spoken, or was on the walls of his tomb, his immortality was assured.
The name was the most important factor. The following is from “Mummies, Myth and Magic in Ancient Egypt” by Christine El Mahdy (1989) p. 13:
“The tomb, the mummy, the equipment, the paintings and reliefs were all designed to help preserve the name of the individual. the greatest horror was to have your name destroyed, cut out from a wall.” (Emphasis ours)
If the mummy of the actual individual was so vital, why would they fear the desecration of their name? Because it was the key, in their belief, to their immortality. The mummy was important, as were the statues of the deceased. But the mummy could be supplied in a pinch- no problem.
Since it was considered a sacred duty of each king to protect the burials of his ancestor-kings, if a king couldn’t find a mummy for a particular king, he would provide one as is written in numerous inscriptions.
Mummies have been found which the excavators claim to be the mummies of each of the Amenhoteps and each of the Thutmoses. However, a careful examination of all evidence leads one to conclude that the only mummies which are of the actual 18th Dynasty pharaohs in question are the mummy of Amenhotep I and Amenhotep II.
Amenhotep I (Thutmoses I) was found in his own tomb, as was Amenhotep II (Thutmoses III). Amenhotep I’s mummy was never unwrapped but was x-rayed- and it revealed several genetic peculiarities which were shared by the mummies of several of his ancestors. The most obvious of these was the fact that he had the same type of malocclusion – a very prominent protrusion of the top front teeth- almost an overbite. This genetic feature was seen in all his female relatives- sister, mother, grandmother and daughter.
We believe the only authentic mummies of the 18th dynasty kings to be those of Amenhotep I and Amenhotep II. Of course, there wouldn’t be a mummy for Amenhotep III as he drowned in the Red Sea. Nor would there be a mummy of Thutmoses II since he was Moses. The others, which are said to be Thutmoses I, III, IV and Amenhotep III we believe to be mummies supplied by later kings, as they were all found in other tombs, in other sarcophaguses, and as they were simply not royal burials.
Here are a couple of examples of the evidence which shows these mummies to be extremely doubtful. These concern the mummy said to be that of Thutmoses 1, who is known to have ruled a minimum of 21 years by existing inscriptions: “However, several eminent physical anthropologists who have seen these x-rays have been absolutely convinced that this mummy is that of a young man, perhaps 18 years of age, certainly not over twenty.” “X-Raying the Pharaohs” by James E. Harris and Kent R. Weeks, (1973) p.131-2. The fact that this mummy is far too young to be this king is evidence enough. But now, let’s go back to when the mummy was actually identified as Thutmoses I:
“Among the mummies discovered at Deir-el-Bahari was one, which on account of its having been found in a coffin bearing the name of Pinozen I of the XXIst Dynasty, was formerly supposed to be the mummy of that king. Maspero, however, formed the opinion that it was the mummy of Thutmoses I on account of the facial resemblance which it bore to the Pharaohs Thutmoses II and III” “Egyptian Mummies” by G. Elliot Smith and Warren R. Dawson (1924) p. 91.
This mummy was identified as Thutmoses 1 because he seemed to favor the other mummies. Not a strong basis for identification. Plus that fact that the mummy said to be Thutmoses III was also determined to be far too young- plus the fact that he was just barely five feet tall. Then, there is the mummy of Thutmoses IV, who was extremely emaciated and identified as just barely 30 years old. It doesn’t even take careful study to realize that these mummies are “impostors”.
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