Describe the main features of Amenhotep III’s reign

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Come 1390BC, Egypt was to welcome a new leader to the throne, Amenhotep III (meaning ‘Amen is satisfied’). He was the 9th Pharaoh of the 18th dynasty and came to power when his father Thutmose IV died and left him the throne. Many call Amenhotep’s reign ‘The Golden Age’ as he not only aimed to keep Egypt in a state of peace and prosperity but also was the wealthiest and most powerful person of his time. This new ruler proved to be different in almost every way from both his predecessors and the pharaohs who ruled after him. He made Egypt a peaceful and prosperous nation, not through warfare but through diplomacy. This state of peace was achieved mostly by the religious, and foreign policies in relation to his rule. First of all, one of the main features of Amenhotep’s reign was foreign policy. Amenhotep traded with many other Eastern countries, he had gold from Nubia, Silver from Anatolia, Cedar from Lebanon and various more from other Eastern countries. He is said to have been the wealthiest person of that time, with an incomparable amount of gold. With this, and diplomatic rule rather than warfare, Amenhotep could keep peace with the outside world. An amazing discovery in 1887 helped historians immensely in terms of Amenhotep’s relationship with other countries. A peasant woman was digging for mud bricks and instead found rows of well preserved clay tablets, covered with what she thought were bird’s footprints. These “footprints” however, were soon to be discovered by archaeologists and historians as actual writing, and these clay tablets called “Armarna letters” became politically, the most significant discovery of the ancient world. These Armarna letters were cuneform letters between Amenhotep and other kings outside the empire, and the content of these letters included organised treaties, allies and trade information. This discovery further cemented the
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