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(b Athribis, nr Benha, c. 1440 bc; d c. 1350 bc).

Ancient Egyptian architect and patron. Amenhotpe rose to prominence in his home town during the reign of Amenophis III (reg c. 1391–c. 1353 bc) as a royal scribe and chief of the priests of the local god Khentekhtai. About 1390 bc he moved to the royal court at Thebes and was rapidly promoted by Amenophis III to the position of chief royal architect, responsible for the whole process of temple construction, from quarrying to the sculpting of relief decoration, as well as the commissioning of royal statues. The full list of buildings for which Amenhotpe was architect is not known, but he certainly supervised the construction of a huge temple at Soleb near the second cataract of the Nile in Lower Nubia, where several of the reliefs depict him standing alongside the King during the temple consecration ceremony. He also built two tombs and a mortuary temple for himself on the west bank at Thebes (...

Article

Ian M. E. Shaw

[Nebmaatre]

(reg c. 1391–c. 1353 bc). Egyptian ruler and patron. He reigned in the late 18th Dynasty (c. 1540–c. 1292 bc), a time of great national peace and prosperity. Amenophis III was a prolific builder: it was during his reign that Amenhotpe, the greatest Egyptian architect since Imhotep, rose to a position of power and influence as ‘Overseer of all the King’s Works’.

Although Amenophis III constructed numerous temples, from Memphis and Bubastis in the north of Egypt to Soleb and Sedeinga in the south (see Nubia, §III), only a small number of these have survived. His mortuary temple, built in fine white limestone on the west bank of the Nile at Thebes, must have been one of the most impressive buildings of the time, but it was systematically dismantled in the 19th Dynasty (c. 1292–c. 1190 bc). Only a few items of sculpture and stelae have been preserved from it, notably the celebrated ‘...

Article

Claude Vandersleyen

[Amenemhet III; Nymaatre]

Egyptian ruler. Both architecture and sculpture have survived from his reign in the 12th Dynasty (for chronological chart of Egyptian kings see Egypt, ancient, fig.). He built two pyramids, one at Dahshur and the other at Hawara in the Faiyum region, where is also a small temple, finished by Ammenemes III’s successor, Ammenemes IV; the reliefs in this temple have not been published in detail. Some reliefs of Ammenemes III were also found at Abydos (Philadelphia, U. PA, Mus.); they display little of the quality and interest of the reliefs of his predecessor, Sesostris III.

There are more than 50 statues and heads of Ammenemes III, easily identifiable because of his distinctive physiognomy. As with the statues of Sesostris III, they appear to correspond to various ages of the King; however, this progression is probably complicated by wider variations of style and dimensions. The characteristic traits of these heads are large eyes (always serious and impassive), exceptionally large ears and a nose that is far less prominent than that of Sesostris III and hooks back into the face after the bump of the nasal bone. His mouth has thick, curled lips, the corners of which turn up to end against fleshy protuberances. The cheek-bones are very high and wide and are cut by a wrinkle leaving the inside corner of the eye at an angle of 45°....

Article

Alain-Pierre Zivie

[Djeserkheprure]

(reg c. 1319–c. 1292 bc). Ancient Egyptian ruler and patron of the post-Amarna period. The reign of Horemheb was rich and fascinating in terms of art and architecture, although the amount of evidence is small and the situation is confused by the large number of monuments usurped from his predecessors. It would be too simplistic to consider him merely as one who restored order and traditional religious cults after the so-called anarchy or revolution of the reign of Akhenaten (reg c. 1353–c. 1336 bc). It was during the reign of Akhenaten that he first came to prominence, perhaps under the earlier name of Paatenemheb, later appearing in the monuments of Tutankhamun (reg c. 1332–c. 1323 bc) as the general-in-chief and regent, Horemheb. He became even more powerful during the reign of Ay (reg c. 1323–c. 1319 bc), whom he eventually succeeded. It is possible that his wife Mutnodjmet was of royal descent and thus conferred on him a legitimacy that he had at first lacked....

Article

Claude Vandersleyen

[Khakaure; Senusret III]

Egyptian ruler of the 12th Dynasty. The brick pyramid of Sesostris III (for chronological chart of Egyptian kings see Egypt, ancient, fig.) at Dahshur is the only surviving evidence of his architectural activity. It has been possible to reconstruct the plan of a temple of Sesostris III at Madamud, and some blocks have been discovered at various sites in the Delta and Upper Egypt, but most of these are lintels and jambs of doors that opened into mud-brick walls. On two lintels and on the facings of a door from Madamud there are excellent reliefs showing the King (Paris, Louvre, and Cairo, Egyp. Mus.).

On the other hand, numerous statues and fragments (including more than 30 heads) have preserved the features of Sesostris III, confirming the iconographic evidence of the reliefs (see fig.). The physiognomy of the King is very characteristic, with globular eyes, bony eyebrow arches (without conventional eyebrows), hollow temples, protruding cheek-bones and a nose that is prominent, aquiline and thin. Furrows run from the inside corners of his eyes, between the cheek-bones and the nose; his mouth is surly; his lips are thin, their corners turned down; his chin is receding and flat....

Article

C. A. Keller

(reg c. 1290–c. 1279 bc). Egyptian ruler and patron, second ruler of the 19th Dynasty. The inclusion in his own titulary of the expression wehem–meswt (Egyp.: ‘renaissance’) explicitly stated the rationale for his vigorous political and architectural activity: in his aggressive military policy he sought to emulate the achievements of Tuthmosis III (reg c. 1479–c. 1426 bc) by re-establishing Egyptian power in Nubia and north Syria, and in his extensive building programme he attempted to restore monuments defaced during the Amarna period by iconoclastic followers of the sun god Aten. His repairs were frequently accompanied by a text, such as ‘a renewal of this monument that Sethos I made’.

His own monuments were fashioned on a large scale, possibly in imitation of the massive projects of Amenophis III (reg c. 1390–c. 1353 bc), and were decorated with characteristically fine reliefs. At Thebes, his most significant accomplishment was the completion of the ‘...

Article

Peter F. Dorman

[Menkheperre]

(reg c. 1479–c. 1426 bc). Ancient Egyptian ruler and patron of the 18th Dynasty. The long reign of Tuthmosis III can be viewed as both a retrospective and a formative period for Egyptian art and architecture of the New Kingdom, a period in which artists endeavoured both to preserve the standards of the past and to experiment with novel ideas. One of the greatest military figures of Egyptian history, Tuthmosis III passed the first half of his reign under the shadow of his stepmother and aunt, Hatshepsut (reg c. 1479–c. 1458 bc). He succeeded his father, Tuthmosis II (reg c. 1482–c. 1479 bc), at a young age, and although monuments such as the temple of Semna in Nubia were dedicated in his name during these early years, the management of affairs of state was largely in the hands of Hatshepsut acting as queen regent. Throughout his co-regency with Hatshepsut, Tuthmosis was accorded secondary (and occasionally equal) mention on royal and private monuments, and it is only from the beginning of his sole reign, in his regnal year 22, that the policies and, endeavours of the Egyptian throne can be unequivocally ascribed to him....