Amenhotep III and Akhenaten - Inscriptions

New Egypt discovery could change chronology of the Pharaohs and beliefs about Amenhotep III and IV

(Read the article on one page)

A team of Spanish and Egyptian archaeologists has made an unexpected discovery in a southern Egyptian tomb, which could lead to a reinterpretation of Pharaonic chronology and change our understanding of the Pharaoh’s Amenhotep III and his son, Amenhotep IV.

The scientists, led by Spanish archaeologist Francisco Martin Valentin, were excavating the remains of a wall and columns of the mausoleum of a minister of the 18th Dynasty (1569-1315 BC) in the province of Luxor, when they discovered the names of Amenhotep III and Amenhotep IV carved together .  According to Mr Valentin, the joint inscription suggests that they reigned together.

Inscription of Amenhotep

The inscription that suggests Amenhotep III and Amenhotep IV reigned together. Photo credit: Egypt’s Ministry of State for Antiquities Affairs

This “could confirm that the two Pharaohs governed jointly between nine and 10 years of the 39 that Amenhotep III governed, since the hieroglyphics on the columns explain that they were both sovereigns of Upper and Lower Egypt,” said Valentin. “There is nothing similar in Pharaonic history.”

There has long been a debate among historians and Egyptologists over whether Amenhotep III and Amenhotep IV shared a co-regency towards the end Amenhotep III’s reign, with some experts suggesting a power sharing arrangement lasting as long as 12 years or as short as two years. Most scholars have argued against the co-regency theory because there has been no solid archaeological evidence to resolve the debate. Could the latest discovery resolve the debate once and for all?

The reigns of Amenhotep III and of Amenhotep IV, better known as Akhenaten, are among the most significant in Ancient Egypt.  The reign of Amenhotep III marked the zenith of ancient Egyptian civilisation, both in terms of political power and cultural achievement, under his 36 year reign.

Amenhotep IV , on the other hand, was one of the most puzzling pharaohs of Egypt, also mentioned as the ‘Heretic Pharaoh’ or ‘Rebel Pharaoh’.  Amenhotep IV (Akhenaten), father of Tutankhamun, was a revolutionary who is noted for abandoning traditional Egyptian polytheism and introducing the first monotheistic religion centred on the one ‘true’ god of Aten (the Sun disk).

Until now, experts thought that Akhenaten had rebelled against his father’s way of ruling and that he introduced his radical new monotheistic religion after succeeding him on the throne. However, if Amenhotep III and Akhenaten were ruling at the same time, this could indicate that father and son were together in this revolutionary movement.

The team of researchers still have another 600 square feet to excavate, which they hope may reveal more information about this puzzling discovery because, if true, the finding will require another rewrite of the history books.

By April Holloway

Comments

More confused than ever

malisa wright

The article, including the headline, consistently lists the father, Amenhotep III first, followed by his son, Amenhotep IV/Akhenaten. Yet the position of the uncaptioned pictures atop the article places Akhenaten on the left, which is customarily reserved for those itemst designated as "first".

It is just needlessly confusing.

Maybe Zowee Hawowee will spew some mental vomit and clear it all up for us.

Register to become part of our active community, get updates, receive a monthly newsletter, and enjoy the benefits and rewards of our member point system OR just post your comment below as a Guest.

Our Mission

At Ancient Origins, we believe that one of the most important fields of knowledge we can pursue as human beings is our beginnings. And while some people may seem content with the story as it stands, our view is that there exists countless mysteries, scientific anomalies and surprising artifacts that have yet to be discovered and explained.

The goal of Ancient Origins is to highlight recent archaeological discoveries, peer-reviewed academic research and evidence, as well as offering alternative viewpoints and explanations of science, archaeology, mythology, religion and history around the globe.

We’re the only Pop Archaeology site combining scientific research with out-of-the-box perspectives.

By bringing together top experts and authors, this archaeology website explores lost civilizations, examines sacred writings, tours ancient places, investigates ancient discoveries and questions mysterious happenings. Our open community is dedicated to digging into the origins of our species on planet earth, and question wherever the discoveries might take us. We seek to retell the story of our beginnings. 

Ancient Image Galleries

View from the Castle Gate (Burgtor). (Public Domain)
Door surrounded by roots of Tetrameles nudiflora in the Khmer temple of Ta Phrom, Angkor temple complex, located today in Cambodia. (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Cable car in the Xihai (West Sea) Grand Canyon (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Next article