Ancient Egypt: History and culture
Ancient Egypt: Hunting elephants
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Hunting elephants

Thutmose I

    The glory of king Aakheperkare, the blessed, he has brought these elephant tusks, from his victories [in the southern and northern countries. His majesty hunted x] elephants [in the land of Naharin, being on a] horse carriage [after his majesty had set out in order to subdue Upper [Reten]u on [his x-th victorious campaign.
    His majesty reached the the land] Ny [and found there these elephants. Never has anything similar occurred to earlier] kings. [These elephant tusks which his majesty [brought from this land, he gave them to the House of his father Amen, Lord of the Thrones of the Two Lands, after] returning home in [strength, in victory and in triumph, after overcoming his enemies.

After Sethe, Urk. IV 104f



-Thutmose I (Akheperkare) (1527-1515)
-Naharin: Today's Syria
-Retenu: Canaan
-There were no elephants in Egypt in historic times
-elephant tusks: luxuries generally received as tribute from Nubia or traded from Punt. A large part of the ivory used in Egypt came from hippos.
-Two Lands: Egypt

Thutmose II

    [Gifts which were brought to] the fame of the king, Okhepernere [from his vic]tories ////////// elephant[s] ////////// horse[s] /////////// [Retenu] the Upper ////////// [the land] of Niy ///////// kings ///////// his majesty in /////////// [when] he came out of ///////////.

J.H.Breasted, Ancient Records of Egypt Part Two, § 125


-Okhepernere: Thutmose II (Akheperenre) (1515-1498)—Sethe read Akheperkare (Thutmose I) instead, basing his interpretation on the fact that if there had been an n (water) hieroglyph as needed to form Akheperenre, part of the n glyph should have remained visible. Breasted's note: In Naville's text the end of the name is lost; hence Naville, not having collated the old publications, is unable to identify the name, but says: "it seems to be that of Thotmes I" (Naville, Deir-el-Bahari, III, 17). Both Mariette and Dümichen give Thutmose II. [1]

Thutmose III

Another occasion now of victory that Re had commanded for me: He made me again do something very brave at the sea of Ny. He made me run across a troop of elephants. My Majesty fought them, they being a herd of 120. Never had the like been done by a king since the god who had received the white crown of Upper Egypt. I said this without boasting there, and without lie therein.

The Napata Stela



-Thutmose III (Menkhepere) (1504-1450)
Again [I beheld] another excellent deed which the Lord of the Two Lands did in Niy. He hunted 120 elephants, for the sake of their tusks and [///]. I engaged the largest which was among them, which fought against his majesty; I cut off his hand while he was alive [before] his majesty, while I stood in the water between two rocks. Then my lord rewarded me with gold; [he] gave /// /// /// and three changes of clothing.

Biography of Amenemhab
J.H.Breasted, Ancient Records of Egypt Part Two, § 588

-I: Amenemhab
-his hand: seemingly referring to the elephant's trunk

[1] I'd like to thank Alain Zimmerlin for drawing my attention to this issue.


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April 2004