Statue of Thutmose III

This greywacke statue of Thutmose III was found in the Karnak Cachette in 1904. With the legs below the knees missing, the statue measures at 90cm tall.

The Karnak Cachette was discovered by Gaston Maspero in 1903 and excavated by Georges Legrain between 1903 and 1907. It was a treasure trove of finds, with over 700 stone statues and 17,000 bronze artefacts discovered, ranging from throughout Egypt’s Dynastic age; the Old Kingdom to Ptolemaic Period.

Thutmose III created the largest empire Egypt had ever seen; no fewer than 17 campaigns were conducted and he conquered lands from the Niya Kingdom in northern Syria to the Fourth Cataract of the Nile in Nubia.

Thutmose III who reigned ca. 1479-1425 BC was the sixth king of the 18th Dynasty of Egypt. During the first 22 years of his reign, he was coregent with his stepmother and aunt, Hatshepsut, who was named the King. The statue is now in the Luxor Museum.

A statue of Thutmose III in the Luxor museum
A statue of Thutmose III in the Luxor museum

Thutmose III flexed his military might repeatedly: in Nubia, in Phoenician ports, in the valuable trade center of Kadesh, and in the kingdom of Mitanni, in modern-day Syria and Turkey. Over the course of 17 campaigns, he secured more territory than any other king. By the end, he controlled Egypt’s largest ever empire.

The spoils from Thutmose III’s military campaigns—including plunder, taxes, and tribute—vastly enriched Egypt’s treasury and made him the richest man in the world at the time. But he also secured human capital from his captured lands. The sons of conquered rulers were taken to Egypt and educated at court. Acclimated to Egyptian ways, those offspring returned home sympathetic to Egyptian rule.

Unlike one of his later successors, Ramesses II—who exaggerated his military achievements—Thutmose III earned the triumphs recorded on the numerous monuments he built. His annals were inscribed on the sanctuary walls at the great Temple of Amun-Re at Karnak.

Statue of King Thutmose III
Statue of King Thutmose III

The Festival Hall there depicts the fauna and flora—including 275 plants—he collected on his Asian campaigns. He installed obelisks at Karnak and built the sun god temple at Heliopolis. And by destroying—albeit incompletely—references to Hatshepsut and her reign, Thutmose III fashioned a direct line to his eponymous predecessors, strengthening his claim and his legacy as the rightful and most powerful ruler of Egypt.

Thutmose III was an important king of ancient Egypt who reigned during the New Kingdom period. He is often referred to as the “Napoleon of Egypt” due to his military prowess and successful military campaigns. Thutmose III expanded the Egyptian empire to its greatest extent, conquering numerous territories and establishing Egypt as a dominant power in the region.

His military campaigns not only brought wealth and resources to Egypt but also helped secure its borders and maintain stability. Thutmose III’s reign marked a period of prosperity and cultural development in Egypt, with advancements in art, architecture, and trade.

Additionally, Thutmose III played a significant role in promoting the worship of Amun, the chief deity of the Egyptian pantheon. He initiated the construction of grand temples dedicated to Amun and actively supported the priesthood, further solidifying the religious and political power of Amun and the priesthood.

Overall, Thutmose III’s importance lies in his military achievements, expansion of the Egyptian empire, and his contributions to the cultural and religious development of ancient Egypt.

This statue of Thutmose III was found in the Karnak Cachette in 1904.

Thutmose III achieved several notable accomplishments during his reign as king of ancient Egypt. Here are some of his key achievements:

Military Campaigns

Thutmose III conducted numerous successful military campaigns, expanding the Egyptian empire to its greatest extent. He led at least 17 military campaigns, conquering territories in modern-day Syria, Palestine, and Nubia. His military strategies and tactics were highly effective, and he is considered one of the greatest military leaders in ancient history.

Battle of Megiddo

One of Thutmose III’s most significant achievements was the Battle of Megiddo, fought against a coalition of Canaanite city-states. This battle resulted in a decisive victory for the Egyptians and allowed Thutmose III to gain control over Canaan. The battle is considered a masterpiece of military strategy and is often studied by military historians.

Building Projects

Thutmose III initiated several building projects throughout Egypt, including the construction and renovation of temples, palaces, and monuments. He expanded the temple complex at Karnak, built the Festival Hall at Karnak, and constructed the Temple of Amun at Luxor. These projects showcased his wealth, power, and devotion to the gods.

Economic Prosperity

Thutmose III’s military campaigns brought wealth and resources to Egypt, contributing to a period of economic prosperity. The conquered territories provided Egypt with valuable goods, including timber, metals, and agricultural products, which fueled the economy and allowed for cultural and architectural advancements.

Cultural Development

Thutmose III’s reign witnessed a flourishing of art, architecture, and literature. He commissioned numerous artistic works, including statues, reliefs, and obelisks, which showcased the artistic skills of ancient Egyptian craftsmen. Thutmose III also supported the development of literature and historical records, contributing to the preservation of Egyptian culture and history.

These achievements collectively established Thutmose III as one of the most successful and influential kings in ancient Egypt’s history.