Ancient Egypt Wiki
Preceded by:
Thutmose III
Pharaoh of Egypt
18th Dynasty
Succeeded by:
Thutmose IV
Amenhotep II
Manetho: Amenophis

Granite statue of Amenhotep II from the Museo Egizio, Turin.

1427-1401/1392 BC
(26-35 years)
Great are the forms of Re
t p
Amun is Pleased/Satisfied,
Ruler of Heliopolis
Horus name
Strong Bull, Great of Power
Nebty name
Powerful of Splendour,
Appearing in Thebes
Golden Horus
Who Seizes by his Strength
in All Lands
Father Thutmose III
Mother Meritre-Hatshepsut
Consort(s) Tiaa
Issue Thutmose IV, Amenhotep,
Webensenu, Amenemopet,
Nedjem, Iaret, Khaemwaset,
Ahmose, Aakheperure,
Burial KV35
Monuments Heb Sed Temple at Karnak
Calcite barque shrine at Karnak
Temple of Horemakhet at Giza
Temple of Amada
For other pages by this name, see Amenhotep.

Aakheperure Amenhotep II (ancient Egyptian: ỉmn-ḥtp, "Amun is Pleased", Hellenized Amenophis) was the seventh Pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt during the New Kingdom. He is generally given a reign lasting 25 years and 10 months from 1427 to 1401 B.C.E.[1] Although, Manetho assigns a reign of 31 years to this king. Amenhotep II is believed to have succeeded Thutmose III after a brief coregency.


Amenhotep II is known as Amenophis (Αμενωφις) in Manetho's Epitome. Upon coronation, Amenhotep II adopted the throne name (or prenomen) Aakheperure (ancient Egyptian: ꜥꜣ-ḫprw-rꜥ, "Great are the forms of Re"). He also made use of the epithet Heqaiunu (ancient Egyptian: ḥḳꜣ-ỉwnw, "Ruler of Heliopolis") after his birth name (or nomen). His name is thus usually realised as Aakheperure Amenhotep-Heqaiunu.


See also: 18th Dynasty Family Tree.

Amenhotep II was the son of Pharaoh Thutmose III and Queen Meritre-Hatshepsut. Amenhotep did not record the names of his queens; some Egyptologists theorize that he felt that women had become too powerful under titles such as God's Wife of Amun. They point to the fact that he participated in his father's removal of Hatshepsut's name from her monuments and the destruction of her image. Tiaa is the only known wife of Amenhotep II, since she is attested by their son Thutmose IV during the latter's reign.


Amenhotep was certainly the junior co-regent to his father for 2 Years and 4 Months according to contemporary historical records since his accession date was "IV Akhet day 1" as noted in the Semna stela of Usersatet, the serving Viceroy of Kush under Amenhotep II, while Thutmose III is recorded to have died on III Peret day 30 in the Tomb Biography of Amenemheb. Peter der Manuelian gives this translation of the text in Usersatet's stela: "Year 23, IV Akhet [day] 1, the day of the Festival of the king's accession".[2]

Dates and Length of Reign[]

Amenhotep's coronation can be dated without much difficulty because of a number of lunar dates in the reign of his father, Thutmose III. These sightings limit the date of Thutmose's accession to either 1504 or 1479 BC.[3] Thutmose died after 54 years of reign,[4] at which time Amenhotep would have acceded to the throne. Amenhotep's short coregency with his father would then move his accession two years and four months earlier,[5] dating his accession to either 1427 BC in the low chronology,[6] or in 1454 BC in the high chronology. The length of his reign is indicated by a wine jar inscribed with the king's prenomen found in Amenhotep II's funerary temple at Thebes; it is dated to this king's highest known date — his Year 26 — and lists the name of the pharaoh's vintner, Panehesy.[7] Mortuary temples were generally not stocked until the king died or was near death; therefore, Amenhotep could not have lived much later beyond his 26th year.[8] There are alternate theories which attempt to assign him a reign of up to 35 years, which is the absolute maximum length he could have reigned. In this chronology, he reigned from 1454 to 1419.[5] However, there are problems facing these theories which cannot be resolved.[9] In particular, this would mean Amenhotep died when he was 52, but an X-ray analysis of his mummy has shown him to have been about 40 when he died.[10] Accordingly, Amenhotep II is usually given a reign of 26 years and said to have reigned from 1427 to 1401 BC.[6]

Foreign Policy[]

Amenhotep was faced with a major rebellion in Syria by the vassal state of Naharin in his Year 3 almost immediately after the death of his father and dispatched his Army to the Levant to suppress it. The king was well known for his physical prowess and is said to have singlehandedly killed 7 rebel Princes at Takhsy. After capturing Kadesh and thus successfully terminating his first Syrian campaign, the king ordered the bodies of the seven princes to be hung upside down on the prow of his ship – a common punishment for rebel leaders in Pharaonic Egypt. Upon reaching Thebes all but one of the princes were mounted on the city walls. The other was taken to the often rebellious territory of Nubia and hung on the city wall of Napata, as an example of the consequence of rising against Pharaoh and to demoralise any Nubian opponents of Egyptian authority there. Amenhotep II was evidently successful in his endeavour since no mention of any rebellion was recorded in Nubia under his reign – unlike the situation with his successor Thutmose IV. Amenhotep also embarked on his second and third Syrian campaigns in Year 7 and 9 of his reign. Both rebellions were caused by a revolt in the Syrian regions of the Egyptian Empire, which was likely instigated by Egypt's chief Near Eastern rival, Mitanni. The Year 9 battle occurred on the heights of Niy and resulted in Egypt's loss of control over the entire area between the rivers Orontes and Euphrates despite the recorded Egyptian pillaging in Retenu and the capture of 3,600 Apiru prisoners-of-war. After this campaign, no further conflicts developed between Mitanni and Egypt, and an informal peace was maintained between Amenhotep and the king of Mitanni. Thereafter, Amenhotep concentrated on domestic matters but maintained Egypt's imperial control over Canaan and Egypt's overall prosperity.

Amenhotep was not solely a warrior, but also a diplomat who established cordial relations with Babylonians and Hittites in exchange for acknowledging Egyptian hegemony of the region. With peace secured, Amenhotep set about initiating various building projects. He commissioned a column to stand in the courtyard between the fourth and fifth pylons in the Temple of Karnak commemorating the agreement between him and the Mitannian kings Artatama I and Šuttarna II.

Monuments and Attestations[]

Amenhotep II followed Thutmoses III in building and enlarging temples. He also placed statues of himself both in front of them and inside them. One shows him as an offering king in kneeling position with an altar (Cairo CG 42073). His statuary can be grouped on the basis of physiognomy and iconography. One can see a development from the statuary of Hatshepsut, Thutmoses III, Amenhotep II, Thutmoses IV up to Amenhotep III. So the faces of the statues are not so much portraiture as an idealized face expressing artistic tradition and the contemporary ideal of beauty.

Amenhotep II built a temple to Horemakhet near the Great Sphinx at Giza and expanded the Temple Complex of Karnak. Amenhotep also ordered the decoration of the Temple at Kalabsha and continued Thutmose III's construction projects at Amada in Nubia.

Amenhotep had a mortuary temple constructed at the edge of the cultivation in the Theban Necropolis, close to where the Ramesseum was later built, but it was destroyed in ancient times.

Burial and Succession[]

Amenhotep II was succeeded by his son Thutmose IV and interred in his KV35 rock-cut tomb in the Valley of the Kings; his mummy was found there within his original sarcophagus when the tomb was discovered in March 1898 by Victor Loret. The tomb also housed a mummy cache containing several New Kingdom pharaohs including Thutmose IV, Seti II, Ramesses III, Ramesses IV, and Ramesses VI. They had been re-buried in Amenhotep II's tomb by the 21st Dynasty High Priest of Amun, Pinedjem II, during Siamun's reign, to protect them from tomb robbers.



Mummyhead of Amenhotep II (Carter 1902).

Amenhotep II's mummy has the inventory number CG 61069.[11] The mummy of the king was first examined, described, and photographed in January 1902 by Gaston Maspero in the company of Howard Carter, Friedrich Wilhelm von Bissing, and Pierre Lacau.[12] The Australian anatomist Grafton Elliot Smith examined Amenhotep's mummy in 1907. During this examination the linen still adhering to the face was removed for an unobstructed view. He found the body to be 1.67 metres (5.5 ft) tall and noted a strong facial resemblance to his son, Thutmose IV. The wavy brown hair present on his head is "abundantly interspersed with white".[13] The arms are crossed low over the chest, with the right hand tightly clenched and the left less so. Unusually, the skin all over the body is covered with small tubercles though Smith could not say if they were the result of the embalming process or disease. Resin on the body preserved the impressions of jewellery; several rows of a beaded collar were present on the upper back, and a diamond-shaped geometric pattern seen on the back of the hips. Smith estimated he was forty to fifty at death based on his worn teeth and greying hair.[13] His cause of death remains unknown.

In April 2021 his mummy was moved from the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities to the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization along with those of 17 other kings and 4 queens in an event termed the Pharaohs' Golden Parade.[14]

See also[]


  1. Von Beckerath 1997, p. 190.
  2. Der Manuelian 1987, p. 21.
  3. Wente 1975, p. 267.
  4. Breasted 1906, p. 234.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Van Siclen 2001, p. 71.
  6. 6.0 6.1 Shaw & Nicholson 1995, p. 28.
  7. Der Manuelian 1987, op. cit., p. 42-43.
  8. Redford, JNES Chronology, p. 119.
  9. Der Manuelian 1987, p. 43.
  10. Der Manuelian 1987, p. 44.
  11. Habicht et al. 2016.
  12. Carter et al. 1902.
  13. 13.0 13.1 Smith 1912, p. 36–38.
  14. Parisse, Emmanuel (5 April 2021). "22 Ancient Pharaohs Have Been Carried Across Cairo in an Epic Golden Parade". ScienceAlert.


  • Beckerath, J. von, 1997: Chronologie des Pharaonischen Ägypten. Philipp von Zabern, Mainz.
  • Breasted, J.H., 1906: Ancient Records of Egypt. Vol. II. University of Chicago Press.
  • Carter, H./Bissing, F.W. von/Lacau, P./Maspero, G., 1902: Annales du Service des Antiquités de l'Égypte. ASAE, Vol. 3
  • Grimal, N., 1992: A History of Ancient Egypt. Blackwell Books.
  • Habicht, M./Rühli, F./Bouwman, A., 2016: Identification of Ancient Egyptian Royal Mummies from the 18th Dynasty reconsidered. American Journal of Physical Anthropology.
  • Manuelian, P. der, 1987: Studies in the Reign of Amenophis II. Hildesheimer Ägyptologische Beiträge (HÄB) Verlag.
  • Reisinger, M., 2005: Entwicklung der ägyptischen Königsplastik in der frühen und hohen 18. Dynastie. Agnus-Verlag, Münster.
  • Siclen, C.C. van, 2001: Amenhotep II. The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt. Ed. Donald Redford. Vol. 1. Oxford University Press.
  • Smith, G.E., 1912: The Royal Mummies: Catalogue Général des Antiquités Égyptiennes du Musée de Caire. Duckworth Egyptology, Bath (Reprinted year 2000 version).
  • Wente, E.F., 1975: Thutmose III's Accession and the Beginning of the New Kingdom. Journal of Near Eastern Studies, University of Chicago Press.

External links[]

Thutmose III
Pharaoh of Egypt
Eighteenth Dynasty
Thutmose IV