Episode 93: The River War

Amunhotep III (Part 4): The Nubian War.

In late 1397 BCE, Amunhotep III received word of a rebellion in Nubia. A local chieftain, Ikheny, had gathered warriors and risen up in revolt. The pharaoh, just seventeen years old, was eager for a chance to prove himself. He gathered his warriors, and invaded Nubia…

93. Nubia 1

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93. Map

The major locations of the war (Higher Resolution)


Amunhotep III executing Nubian prisoners after the battle. Amun and Khonsu (left) and Ptah Ta-Tenen (right) watch. Between the King’s feet, a defeated Nubian (Ikheny?) lies helpless (Kozloff, 2012).

93. Nubia 2

Amunhotep III in portrait, wearing the Blue Crown, from Memphis (Metropolitan Museum of Art).


Charles Bonnet, “Upper Nubia from 3000 to 1000 BC,” in W.V. Davies (editor), Egypt and Africa: Nubia from Prehistory to Islam, 1991.

John C. Darnell and Colleen Manassa, Tutankhamun’s Armies: Battle and Conquest During Ancient Egypt’s Late Eighteenth Dynasty, 2007.

P.L. Shinnie, “Trade Routes of the Ancient Sudan 3,000 BC – AD 350,” in W.V. Davies (editor), Egypt and Africa: Nubia from Prehistory to Islam, 1991.

Aidan Dodson, Amarna Sunrise, 2012.

Arielle P. Kozloff, Amenhotep III: Egypt’s Radiant Pharaoh, 2012.

Stuart Tyson Smith, Wretched Kush: Ethnic Identities and Boundaries in Egypt’s Nubian Empire, 2003.

Anthony J. Spalinger, War in Ancient Egypt, 2005.

Lazlo Török, Between Two Worlds: The Frontier Region between Ancient Nubia and Egypt 3700 BC – 500 AD, 2008.

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