Amenophis I

Amenophis I
King 1546-1526 BC.
    The son and successor of *Amosis I, Amenophis I continued his father's military policy but his aim was not merely to restore Egypt's borders but to extend her boundaries by using the army which, by its expertise, had re-established the country's independence after the *Hyksos rule.
    It is probable that Amenophis I campaigned in Syria, perhaps reaching as far as the River Euphrates, and also against the *Libyans to prevent an invasion of the Delta. His primary concern was to re-establish Egypt's supremacy in *Nubia, where he introduced the position of governor which eventually became the powerful role entitled 'King's Son of Kush'. The biographical inscriptions found in the tombs at El Kab of the two warriors—Ahmose, son of Ebana, and Ahmose Pennekheb— who fought with *Amosis I and *Amenhotep I, provide details of these campaigns. In addition to his military preoccupations, Amenophis I, like his father, devoted considerable energy to his domestic policy, rebuilding the temples and restoring the country's prosperity.
    His funerary arrangements broke with the royal tradition of burial which had incorporated a pyramid and a funerary temple in one complex. His tomb, at Dira Abu'n Naga at Thebes, was cut into the rock high in the hills and was quite separate from the funerary temple which was situated down in the Theban plain. This arrangement was continued by all the later rulers buried at Thebes, and *Tuthmosis I (son of Amenophis I) was the first king to build a tomb in the place which was known later as the Valley of the Kings. Amenophis I's decision to build a rock-cut tomb rather than a pyramid may have been an attempt (although unsuccessful) to defeat the robbers who had ransacked the highly visible pyramids since the Old Kingdom.
    Amenophis I shared his funerary temple with his mother, the powerful queen *Ahmose-Nefertari, who may also have been buried in his tomb. However, subsequent ransacking of the tomb resulted in the removal of their coffins and bodies and their reburial in the great cache near Deir el Bahri which was discovered in the 1881.
    This king was responsible for founding the special community of craftsmen and necropolis workers who built and decorated the kings' tombs throughout the New Kingdom. *Tuthmosis I later built their village at Deir el Medina, but Amenophis I was worshipped as their patron and, with Ahmose-Nefertari, received a cult as the divine guardian of the royal necropolis. Several chapels were dedicated to him, and the royal necropolis workers and their families prayed to him for justice and help in times of trouble. As a god, his most popular form was as Amenophis, Lord of the Village, and the community celebrated several annual feasts in his honour, at which the royal workmen acted as priests.
    In two papyri (Chester Beatty IX and Cairo-Turin), he is also mentioned as the king who performs an important ritual in certain temples, to ensure the continuation of the king as a god, as a royal ancestor and as a ruler in the afterlife.
BIBL. Cerny, J. Le culte d'Amenophis ler chez les ouvriers de la Necropole thebaine. BIFAO 27 (1927) pp. 159-203; Winlock, H.E. A restoration of the reliefs from the mortuary temple of Amenhotep I. JEA 4 (1917) pp. 11-15; Nelson, H.H. Certain reliefs at Karnak and Medinet Habu and the Ritual of Amenophis 1. JNES 8 (1949) pp. 201, 310; Cerny, J.A. A Community of workemen at Thebes in the Ramesside period. Cairo: 1973.
Biographical Dictionary of Ancient Egypt by Rosalie and Antony E. David

Ancient Egypt. A Reference Guide. . 2011.

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