Egypt During the Reign of Akhenaton

Horemheb

Last pharaoh of the eighteenth dynasty.

He was responsible for the defacing of all monuments to Akhenaton and Tutenkhamon.

He was a general and could conceivably have been responsible for the murder of the Hittite prince sent to marry Ankhesenpaaton after the death of her husband Tutankhamon.

The Amon priests probably placed Horemheb on the throne, by this time eager to stop the tolerance of the Aton religion that both Tutankhamon and Ay had shown to the people.

Horemheb was more concerned with the preservation of the national and priestly institutions than with war. Perhaps he felt that the dynasty was at an end.

The celebration of the feast of Opet was the ideal occasion for his long-planned accession to the throne.

He seems to have married Mutnedjmet, the possible sister of Nefertiti. There seem to have been no royal princesses of the Amarna Court whom he could have made his queen.

His destruction of his predecessors names seems to have taken two stages:

First he attributed to himself all the recent monuments, especially those of Tutankhamon and Ay - starting with temples and statues.

He dates his rule from the date of Akhenaton's succession as Amenhophis IV.

He raised most of the city of Akhetaton, destroyed the Aton temple at Thebes and used more than 10,000 blocks of Amarna stone for the foundations of his pylons to the great Amon temple.

Horemheb relied too much on the priests of Amon and surrendered some pharaonic powers to them.

He sacked the tomb of Ay and desecrated the tomb of Tiye defacing shrines and causing destruction of objects.

He concentrated on the destruction of Akhim - the birthplace of some members of the royal house and of their supporters.

Back

Next