People > Amasis I

Amasis I

Egypt History - Egyptian Chapter Decoration


Amasis I, also known as Ahmose I, was the founder of the 18th Dynasty of ancient Egypt and played a crucial role in the reunification of Egypt after the Second Intermediate Period, which was characterized by the division of the country and the rule of the Hyksos. His reign marked the beginning of the New Kingdom, a period of significant political and cultural achievements. Here is an overview of Ahmose I and his reign:


  1. Second Intermediate Period:

    • The Second Intermediate Period (circa 1650–1550 BCE) was a time of fragmentation and foreign domination, particularly by the Hyksos, a Semitic people who controlled Lower Egypt and established their capital at Avaris.
    • The native Egyptian rulers retained control over Upper Egypt, with the Theban dynasty leading the resistance against the Hyksos.
  2. Family and Lineage:

    • Ahmose I was the son of Pharaoh Seqenenre Tao and Queen Ahhotep I. His family was part of the Theban royal line that actively resisted Hyksos rule.
    • He succeeded his brother Kamose, who had initiated military campaigns against the Hyksos but died before fully expelling them.

Reign of Ahmose I

  1. Accession to the Throne:

    • Ahmose I ascended to the throne as a young boy after the death of his brother Kamose. His early years were likely dominated by regents, particularly his mother, Queen Ahhotep I, who played a significant role in maintaining stability and supporting the war effort.
  2. Military Campaigns and Expulsion of the Hyksos:

    • Ahmose I continued the military campaigns against the Hyksos initiated by his brother and father. He launched several successful attacks, eventually capturing Avaris, the Hyksos capital.
    • The final defeat of the Hyksos and their expulsion from Egypt marked the reunification of the country under native Egyptian rule. Ahmose I pursued the fleeing Hyksos into southern Canaan, ensuring they could not reestablish their power base.
  3. Consolidation of Power:

    • After expelling the Hyksos, Ahmose I focused on consolidating his power over all of Egypt. He worked to restore central authority and rebuild the country’s administrative infrastructure.
    • He quelled rebellions in Upper Egypt and Nubia, securing Egypt's southern borders and ensuring the loyalty of regional governors and local leaders.

Achievements and Contributions

  1. Building Projects:

    • Ahmose I initiated several building projects to symbolize the renewal of Egypt under native rule. He rebuilt temples and monuments that had been destroyed or neglected during the Hyksos occupation.
    • Notable projects include the construction of the temple at Abydos, dedicated to the god Osiris, and the rebuilding of temples in Thebes.
  2. Economic and Administrative Reforms:

    • Ahmose I implemented reforms to stabilize and rejuvenate Egypt's economy. He reopened quarries, mines, and trade routes that had been disrupted during the Second Intermediate Period.
    • He also reorganized the administration, ensuring efficient tax collection and resource management, which helped restore the prosperity of Egypt.
  3. Cultural and Religious Revival:

    • Ahmose I’s reign marked a cultural and religious revival. He promoted traditional Egyptian religious practices and supported the priesthood, particularly the cult of Amun, which became increasingly powerful during the New Kingdom.
    • His restoration of temples and religious institutions helped reestablish the cultural heritage of Egypt after the disruptions of the Hyksos period.

Death and Legacy

  1. Death:

    • Ahmose I died around 1525 BCE. He was succeeded by his son, Amenhotep I, who continued his father’s policies and further consolidated the New Kingdom's power.
  2. Burial:

    • Ahmose I was buried in a tomb in the necropolis at Thebes. His mummy was later discovered in the Deir el-Bahri cache (DB320), along with those of other New Kingdom pharaohs, which helped protect them from tomb robbers.
  3. Historical Significance:

    • Ahmose I is remembered as a unifier and a founder of the New Kingdom, which became one of the most prosperous and influential periods in ancient Egyptian history. His military successes and administrative reforms laid the foundation for Egypt's golden age.
    • His legacy includes the reunification of Egypt, the expulsion of foreign rulers, and the restoration of Egyptian culture and traditions.
  4. Cultural Impact:

    • The cultural and religious revival initiated by Ahmose I had a lasting impact on Egyptian society. The prominence of the cult of Amun and the architectural achievements of his reign set the stage for the grandeur of later New Kingdom rulers.
    • His achievements were celebrated in Egyptian literature and inscriptions, portraying him as a heroic figure who restored Egypt’s greatness.


Ahmose I, also known as Amasis I, was the founder of the 18th Dynasty and played a crucial role in the reunification of Egypt after the Second Intermediate Period. His reign, from approximately 1550 to 1525 BCE, marked the beginning of the New Kingdom. Ahmose I expelled the Hyksos, restored central authority, and initiated significant building projects, economic reforms, and cultural revival. His legacy includes the establishment of one of ancient Egypt's most prosperous periods, the New Kingdom, and the lasting impact of his military and administrative achievements on Egyptian history.

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