Virtual Guide

The beginning

The 18th dynasty king Amenhotep III reigned for 40 years the last 30 of which involved great building and art works, financed by an enormous empire, successful foriegn trade and gold production. He built a new 'palace city' at Thebes, called Malqata, and a pleasure lake 1 mile long and 0.25 miles wide built for the queen Tiye. He was the first king to promote the worship of the Aten (worshipped as an aspect of the sun god Re-Harakhte from at least the twelth dynasty), his royal barge was called "the Aten Gleams".

In regnal year 30 Amenhotep III celebrated the first of the traditional sed-festivals of rejuvination and from then on images of the king show him elaborately decorated with the symbols of solar divinity and the old formalities of representing the king as an idealised human form begin to break down, the king being shown with more expressive features such as a full waistline and almond shaped eyes.

Compare the two images of Amenhotep III.

Click on each to see a larger image and more information.