Ahmose Pen-Ebana was a major figure in the battles that forged Egypt's empire during the New Kingdom era, in the late-1500 BC. According to his autobiography, he fought in the Battle of Avaris (circa 1550 BC), when the Theban Dynasty overthrew the Hyksos Dynasty, and then he fought at the Battle of Sharuhen a few years later, in which the last of the Hyksos Dynasty was destroyed. After these battles, the Thebans had gained political control over both Northern Egypt and Canaan, although the level of control exercised in Canaan is unclear. Then he reports fighting in a series of battles in Nubia as the Thebans conquered and enslaved northern Sudan. A canal had been dug through the shallow third cataract during the Middle Kingdom, which the Egyptians re-dug as soon as they took control of the region again during the campaigns of Ahmose I, who campaigned in Nubia between approximately 1540 and 1525 BC. The third cataract appears to also be the farthest south the Egyptians built a fortress during Ahmose Pen-Ebana's lifetime, the fortress at Tombos, which was more likely there to keep the canal clear for trade than to protect Egyptians from the Nubian tribes.
Ahmose Pen-Ebana then reports campaigns that were likely along the Yellow Nile in Darfur (modern Wadi Howar), and east past the fourth cataract of the Nile, before the Pharaoh Thutmose I declared victory in the south and marched his army as far north as it could go, invading the Mitanni Empire in Syria. His march through Canaan to the Euphrates was described as peaceful, and apparently, the Canaanite princes recognized his authority over the land. This march is believed to have happened in 1503 BC, and was his second peaceful march through Canaan, the first in 1505 BC, shortly after his coronation. Ahmose Pen-Ebana does not report being part of that campaign, nor the earlier campaign of Ahmose I into Canaan after conquering Sharuhen, which strongly suggests that he did not take part in these campaigns. His long service in the Egyptian military includes service under three Pharaohs: Ahmose I (circa 1549 to 1524 BC), Amenhotep I (circa 1525 to 1504 BC), and Thutmose I (circa 1506 to 1493 BC), and included many of the most important battles that laid the foundation of the New Kingdom, allowing Egyptologists to understand the order of these battles, as well as the Egyptian view of the battles and their enemies.
Ahmose Pen-Ebana's autobiography has survived to the present because it was cut into his tomb walls in El Kab, his hometown. About half of the text carved into the wall was destroyed when Egyptologists broke into the tomb in the 1800s, however, most of his biography seems to have survived. There is some damage to the wall the autobiography was carved on, resulting in short lacunas, however, Egyptologists believe their reconstructions of the missing texts are accurate, given how short the gaps are. In this translation, the Egyptologists' reconstructions are treated as accurate, and their reconstructions are translated with the rest of the text. This may result in minor translation errors compared to the original text, however, it is better than reading sentences with missing words, especially when the words seem fairly obvious.