Ancient Egypt Wiki
Preceded by:
Amenhotep II
Pharaoh of Egypt
18th Dynasty
Succeeded by:
Amenhotep III
Thutmose IV
Ancient Egyptian: Djehutymes
Hellenized: Thutmosis
Manetho: Touthmosis
Thutmose IV

Granite bust of Thutmose IV at Louvre Museum.©

1401-1391 BC (10 years) or
1392-1379 BC (13 years)
Established are the
Manifestations of Re
Born of Thoth, Radiant of Crowns
Horus name
Strong Bull, Image of Appearances
Nebty name
Stable of Kingship like Atum
Golden Horus
Userkhepesh-Derpedjut 9
Great One of Strength, Who has
Repelled the Nine Bows
Father Amenhotep II
Mother Tiaa
Consort(s) Nefertari, Iaret, Mutemwia,
Unknown Princess of Mitanni[1]
Issue Amenhotep III, Amenemhat,
Siatum (?), Amenemopet,
Tiaa, Pyihia, Tentamun, Temy (?),
Pentepihu (?)
Died 1391 or 1379 BC
Burial KV43 (initial), KV35 (reburial)
Monuments Dream Stela at Giza
Lateran Obelisk
Alabaster barque shrine and
Peristyle Hall at Karnak
For other pages by this name, see Thutmose.

Menkheperure Thutmose IV (ancient Egyptian: ḏḥty-ms, "Born of Thoth", Hellenized: Thutmosis) was the eighth Pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty during the New Kingdom. Josephus' version of Manetho assigns a reign of 9 years and 8 months to him. Thutmose IV's reign has generally been dated from 1401 to 1391 B.C.E.


Thutmose IV is known as Touthmosis (Τουθμωσις) in Manetho's Epitome. Upon coronation, Thutmose IV adopted the throne name (or prenomen) Menkheperure (ancient Egyptian: mn-ḫprw-rꜥ, "Established are the Manifestations of Re"). He is occassionally attested with the epithet Khakhau (ancient Egyptian: ḫꜥ-ḫꜥw, "Radiant of Crowns") after his birth name (or nomen). His name is thus realised as Menkheperure Djehutymes-Khakhau.


See also: 18th Dynasty Family Tree.

Thutmose IV is the son of Amenhotep II and Tiaa, but was not actually the crown prince and Amenhotep II's chosen successor to the throne. Thutmose IV's first Queen was Nefertari, who's origins are unknown and was likely a commoner. She was later replaced by Iaret, who was his sister. It is not known whether any children were born either to Nefertari or to Iaret. After Thutmose IV's death the next pharaoh was Amenhotep III, his son by a secondary wife called Mutemwia.[2]

Dates and Length of Reign[]

Dating the beginning of the reign of Thutmose IV is difficult to do with certainty because he is several generations removed from the astronomical dates which are usually used to calculate Egyptian chronologies, and the debate over the proper interpretation of these observances has not been settled. Thutmose's grandfather Thutmose III almost certainly acceded the throne in either 1504 or 1479, based upon two lunar observances during his reign,[3] and ruled for nearly 54 years.[4] His successor Amenhotep II, Thutmose IV's father, took the throne and ruled for at least 26 years[5] but has been assigned up to 35 years in some chronological reconstructions.[6] The currently preferred reconstruction, after analyzing all this evidence, usually comes to an accession date around 1401 BC[7] or 1400 BC[8] for the beginning of Thutmose IV's reign.

The length of his reign is not as clear as one would wish. He is usually given about nine or ten years of reign. Manetho credits him a reign of 9 years and 8 months.[9] However, Manetho's other figures for the 18th Dynasty are frequently assigned to the wrong kings or simply incorrect, so monumental evidence is also used to determine his reign length.[10] Of all of Thutmose IV's dated monuments, three date to his first regnal year, one to his fourth, possibly one to his fifth, one to his sixth, two to his seventh, and one to his eighth.[11] Two other dated objects, one dated to a Year 19 and another year 20, have been suggested as possibly belonging to him, but neither have been accepted as dating to his reign.[11] The readings of the king's name in these dates are today accepted as referring to the prenomen of Thutmose III—Menkheperre—and not Menkhepe[ru]re Thutmose IV himself. Due to the absence of higher dates for Thutmose IV after his Year 8 Konosso stela,[12] Manetho's figures here are usually accepted.[9] There were once chronological reconstructions which gave him a reign as long as 34–35 years.[9][13] Today, however, most scholars ascribe him a 10-year reign from 1401 to 1392 BC, within a small margin of error.

Foreign Policy[]

He suppressed a minor uprising in Nubia in his 8th year (attested in his Konosso stela) around 1393 BC and was referred to in a stela as the Conqueror of Syria,[14] but little else has been pieced together about his military exploits. Betsy Bryan, who penned a biography of Thutmose IV, says that Thutmose IV's Konosso stela appears to refer to a minor desert patrol action on the part of the king's forces to protect certain gold-mine routes in Egypt's Eastern Desert from occasional attacks by the Nubians.[15] Thutmose IV's rule is significant because he established peaceful relations with Mitanni and married the daughter of king Artatama I of Mitanni, to seal this new alliance. This Mitannian princess was occasionally identified by some researchers as Mutemwia, but no evidence proves that they are the same person.[16] This diplomatic marriage is documented by an Amarna letter (EA 29) composed decades later by Tušratta, a Mittanian king who ruled during the reign of Akhenaten, Thutmose IV's grandson. In the letter, Tušratta states to Akhenaten that:

When [Menkheperure], the father of Nimmureya (i.e., Amenhotep III) wrote to Artatama, my grandfather, he asked for the daughter of my grandfather, the sister of my father. He wrote 5, 6 times, but he did not give her. When he wrote my grandfather 7 times, then only under such pressure, did he give her.[17]

Most importantly, the marriage, which sealed the alliance between Egypt and Mitanni, meant that the two powerful kingdoms came to an agreement on the devision of Syrian territories. Egypt gained control of Kadesh on the Orontes river in Amurru, along with the Syrian coast as far north as Ugarit.[18] With Egypt's northern territories secured, military campaigns became unnecessary in Syria for the remainder of Thutmose IV's reign as well as the entire reign of his son, Amenhotep III.

Monuments and Attestation[]

Thutmose IV's most celebrated accomplishment was the restoration of the Great Sphinx of Giza and subsequent commission of the Dream Stele. According to Thutmose's account on the Dream Stele, while the young prince was out on a hunting trip, he stopped to rest under the head of the Sphinx, which was buried up to the neck in sand. He soon fell asleep and had a dream in which the Sphinx told him that if he cleared away the sand and restored it he would become the next pharaoh. After completing the restoration of the Sphinx, he placed a carved stone tablet, now known as the Dream Stele, between the two paws of the Sphinx. The restoration of the Sphinx, and the text of the Dream Stele would then be a piece of propaganda on Thutmose's part, meant to bestow legitimacy upon his unexpected kingship.[14]

Thutmose IV erected the largest standing ancient Egyptian obelisk in the world, which is currently in Rome and known as the Lateran Obelisk. Originally, both the Lateran Obelisk and another (now known as the Obelisk of Theodosius) were created by his grandfather Thutmose III. When Thutmose IV erected them at Karnak, the Lateran Obelisk stood at 32m (105 ft) which was the tallest one in Egypt.[19] Thutmose IV also built a unique barque shrine and peristyle hall against the back or eastern walls of the main Karnak temple building.[20]

Burial and Succession[]

Thutmose IV was succeeded upon death by his son Amenhotep III. He was buried in his KV43 rock-cut tomb in the Valley of the Kings. However, his mummy was later moved to a royal cache in the KV35 tomb of his father Amenhotep II, where it was discovered by Victor Loret in 1898. Thutmose's mummy was subsequently moved to the Cairo Museum.


ThutmoseIV Mummy

Mummyhead of Thutmose IV (Smith 1912).

Thutmose IV's mummy has the inventory number CG 61073.[21] An examination of his mummy conducted by Grafton Elliot Smith revealed that he was extremely emaciated at the time of his death. His height was given as 1.646 m (5 ft 4.8 in) but considering that the feet have been broken off post-mortem, his height in life would have been taller. The forearms are crossed over the chest, right over left. His hair, which is parted in the middle, is about 16 cm (6.3 in) long and dark reddish-brown. His ears are also pierced. Elliot Smith estimated his age to be 25–28 years or possibly older.[22]

In 2012 a surgeon at Imperial College London analysed the early death of Thutmose IV and the premature deaths of other 18th Dynasty pharaohs (including Tutankhamun and Akhenaten). He concludes that their early deaths were likely as a result of a familial temporal epilepsy. This would account for both the untimely death of Thutmose IV and also his religious vision described on the Dream Stele, due to this type of epilepsy's association with intense spiritual visions and religiosity.[23]

In April 2021 his mummy was moved from the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities to National Museum of Egyptian Civilization along with those of 17 other kings and 4 queens in an event termed the Pharaohs' Golden Parade.[24]

See also[]


  1. EA 29 composed decades later by King Tušratta of Mitanni states to Akhenaten: "When [Menkheperure], the father of Nimmureya (i.e., Amenhotep III) wrote to Artatama, my grandfather, he asked for the daughter of my grandfather, the sister of my father. He wrote 5, 6 times, but he did not give her. When he wrote my grandfather 7 times, then only under such pressure, did he give her."
  2. Dodson & Hilton 2004, p. 140.
  3. Bryan 1991, p. 14.
  4. Der Manuelian 1987, p. 20.
  5. Redford 1966, p. 119.
  6. Van Siclen 2001, p. 71.
  7. Von Beckerath 1997, p. 190.
  8. Shaw & Nicholson 1995, p. 290.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Bryan 1991, p. 4.
  10. Bryan 1991, p. 5.
  11. 11.0 11.1 Bryan 1991, p. 6.
  12. BAR II, 823-829
  13. Wente & Van Siclen 1977.
  14. 14.0 14.1 Clayton 1994, p. 113-114.
  15. Bryan 1991, p. 335.
  16. Bryan 1991, p. 119.
  17. Moran 1992, p. 93.
  18. Bryce 2019, p. 72.
  19. Strudwick 2006, p. 499.
  20. Kemp 1989, p. 202.
  21. Habicht et al. 2016.
  22. Smith 1912, p. 42–46.
  23. Ashrafian 2012, p. 23–31.
  24. Parisse, Emmanuel (5 April 2021). "22 Ancient Pharaohs Have Been Carried Across Cairo in an Epic Golden Parade". ScienceAlert.


  • Ashrafian, H., 2012: Familial epilepsy in the pharaohs of ancient Egypt's eighteenth dynasty. Epilepsy Behav. 25 (1).
  • Beckerath, J. von, 1997: Chronologie des Pharaonischen Ägypten. Philipp von Zabern, Mainz.
  • Bryan, B., 1991: The Reign of Thutmose IV. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press.
  • Bryce, T.R., 2019: Warriors of Anatolia: A Concise History of the Hittites. Bloomsbury Academic, London.
  • Clayton, P., 1994: Chronicle of the Pharaohs. Thames & Hudson Ltd.
  • Dodson, A./Hilton, D., 2004: The Complete Royal Families of Ancient Egypt. Thames & Hudson.
  • Habicht, M./Rühli, F./Bouwman, A., 2016: Identification of Ancient Egyptian Royal Mummies from the 18th Dynasty reconsidered. American Journal of Physical Anthropology.
  • Kemp, B.J., 1989: Ancient Egypt: Anatomy of a Civilization. Routledge.
  • Manuelian, P. der, 1987: Studies in the Reign of Amenophis II. Hildesheimer Ägyptologische Beiträge (HÄB) Verlag.
  • Moran, W.L., 1992: The Amarna Letters. Johns Hopkins University Press.
  • Redford, D.B., 1966: The Chronology of the Eighteenth Dynasty. Journal of Near Eastern Studies, Vol. 25, No. 2.
  • Shaw, I./Nicholson, P., 1995: The Dictionary of Ancient Egypt. The British Museum Press.
  • Siclen, C.C. van, 2001: Amenhotep II. The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt. Ed. Donald Redford. Oxford University Press, Vol. 1.
  • Smith, G.E., 1912: The Royal Mummies: Catalogue Général des Antiquités Égyptiennes du Musée de Caire. Duckworth Egyptology, Bath (Reprinted year 2000 version).
  • Strudwick, H., (ed.) 2006: The Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt. New York: Metro Books.
  • Wente, E.F./Siclen, C.C. van, 1977: A Chronology of the New Kingdom. In: Studies in Honor of George R. Hughes. Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago (SAOC), Vol. 39.

External links[]

Amenhotep II
Pharaoh of Egypt
Eighteenth Dynasty
Amenhotep III