first king of the eighteenth dynasty and the founder of the New Kingdom. The son of Sekenenre Ta'o and the powerful queen Ahhotep, he succeeded to the throne upon the death of his brother Kamose. As he was probably about ten years old at the time, his mother Ahhotep served as regent until he was about sixteen. When his mother died, he provided fine jewelry for her funerary treasure. His wife was Ahmose-Nefertari, who was most likely the daughter of Kamose, his brother; she wielded considerable influence and was the object of a posthumous cult.
Having assumed power, he immediately took steps to drive the Hyksos out of Northern Egypt, and he achieved his goal within the first decade of his reign, thereby completing the task that his father and his brother had begun. The details of this campaign are recorded in the biographical texts inscribed in the tombs of two officers who fought under him (both also named Ahmose): Ahmose, son of Ebana, and Ahmose Pennekheb. King Ahmose first launched a successful attack on Avaris, the Hyksos capital in the Nile Delta. The city having fallen, he chased his enemies into southern Palestine and subdued them. He then settled an insurrection to the south, in Nubia. With Egypt now secure, he guaranteed its safety by returning to deal one final blow to the Hyksos in Palestine and southern Phoenicia. The testimonies of the two officers previously mentioned give evidence of the great respect that his soldiers had for their king (who was only about twenty years old at the time of his victory).
Although his greatest fame derived from those military exploits, Ahmose's domestic achievements are also notable. He reformed and strengthened the internal administration so that it could effectively carry out his orders. The limestone quarries at Tura were reopened, and the construction of monumental royal and temple buildings was resumed. Although there are few remains of these structures, what does exist reveals generally high craftsmanship. Temple remains give evidence that he fostered the cult of the Theban god Amun-Re. Also during his reign, Egypt renewed the foreign contacts that had been broken when the Hyksos ruled. Trade took place with the Near East, Byblos, Crete, and Nubia.
Ahmose was buried near his seventeenth dynasty ancestors at Dra Abul Naga at Thebes, and he was honored with a cult at Abydos throughout the eighteenth dynasty. He bequeathed to his son Amenhotpe I a unified, strong, and free Egypt that went on to flourish in the New Kingdom.
See also AHMOSE-NEFERTARI.
- Grimal, Nicolas. A History of Ancient Egypt. Oxford, 1992.
- Vandersleyen, Claude. “Une tempête sous le règne d'Amosis.” Revue d'Égyptologie 19 (1967), 123–159.
- Vandersleyen, Claude. Les guerres d'Amosis, fondateur de la XVIIIe dynastie. Monographies Reine Elisabeth, 1. Brussels, 1971.