Amenhotep III inherited the crown from his father Thutmose IV. He may have been crowned while still a child, possibly under 12 years old and is believed to have ruled from around 1388 or 1386BC. If this is the case he would have had advisers to assist him.
He married his Great Royal Wife Tiye, 2 years after coming to power and she was to produce 2 sons during their marriage. There is speculation from carvings, that she may also have had 4 daughters, but this is unclear.
Amenhotep III had a peaceful and uneventful reign during a time of prosperity in Egypt. He is believed to have only gone to war once and this was to quell a rebellion in Nubia. During his reign Egypt was known for its artistic splendour and international power.
There are many surviving statues of Amenhotep III; the most of any Egyptian Pharoah. These total over 250 pieces and span the length of his reign. He was a great patron of the arts and some of the finest statues of Egyptian art were made for Amenhotep III. As well as these, there are over 200 commemorative stone scarabs giving us a great insight into his life and accomplishments.
Over 100 stone scarabs record the number of lions that he killed from years 1 – 10 of his reign. This would be approximately 105 ‘with his own arrows’. Another 11 show the excavation of an artificial lake he built for his wife Tiye.
Amenhotep III undertook a large building program, mainly around the temple at Karnak. Included in this program is the temple of Luxor, which still stands today.
He also built his own palace at Malkata in Western Thebes where he would celebrate 3 Sed festivals, in years 30, 34 and 37 of his reign. This palace was named Per-Hay or ‘House of Rejoicing’ and consisted of a festival hall built especially for the occasion.
Amenhotep III reigned for 38 or 39 years and may have been 40 or 50 when he died. There is speculation that during the latter part of his reign he made his son Amenhotep IV co-regent, but this is uncertain.
At the time of his death, Egypt was at the height of its power and influence and was well respected across the world. He had been a successful Pharoah and was to become known as ‘Amenhotep the Magnificent’.