Amenemope (pharaoh)

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Usermaatre Amenemope was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh of the 21st Dynasty.

Ancient Egypt ancient civilization of Northeastern Africa

Ancient Egypt was a civilization of ancient North Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in the place that is now the country Egypt. Ancient Egyptian civilization followed prehistoric Egypt and coalesced around 3100 BC with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under Menes. The history of ancient Egypt occurred as a series of stable kingdoms, separated by periods of relative instability known as Intermediate Periods: the Old Kingdom of the Early Bronze Age, the Middle Kingdom of the Middle Bronze Age and the New Kingdom of the Late Bronze Age.

Pharaoh Ruler of Ancient Egypt

Pharaoh is the common title of the monarchs of ancient Egypt from the First Dynasty until the annexation of Egypt by the Roman Empire in 30 BCE, although the actual term "Pharaoh" was not used contemporaneously for a ruler until Merneptah, c. 1200 BCE. In the early dynasty, ancient Egyptian kings used to have up to three titles, the Horus, the Sedge and Bee (nswt-bjtj) name, and the Two Ladies (nbtj) name. The Golden Horus and nomen and prenomen titles were later added.



A probable son of Psusennes I and his queen Mutnedjmet, [5] Amenemope succeeded his purported father's long reign after a period of coregency. [6] This coregency has been deduced thanks to a linen bandage mentioning a "... king Amenemope, Year 49..." which has been reconstructed as "[Year X under] king Amenemope, Year 49 [under king Psusennes I]". [7] It has been suggested, however, that this Year 49 may belong to the High Priest of Amun Menkheperre instead of Psusennes I, thus ruling out the coregency; [8] this hypothesis has been rejected by Kenneth Kitchen, who still supports a coregency. [9] Kitchen refers to the existence of Papyrus Brooklyn 16.205, a document mentioning a Year 49 followed by a Year 4, once thought to refer to Shoshenq III and Pami, but more recently to Psusennes I and Amenemope, and thus issued in regnal Year 4 of the latter. [10]

Psusennes I Egyptian pharaoh

Psusennes I was the third pharaoh of the 21st Dynasty who ruled from Tanis between 1047–1001 BC. Psusennes is the Greek version of his original name Pasibkhanu or Pasebakhaenniut, which means "The Star Appearing in the City" while his throne name, Akheperre Setepenamun, translates as "Great are the Manifestations of Ra, chosen of Amun." He was the son of Pinedjem I and Henuttawy, Ramesses XI's daughter by Tentamun. He married his sister Mutnedjmet.

Mutnedjmet was an ancient Egyptian queen of the 21st dynasty. She was the Great Royal Wife of her brother, Psusennes I.

A coregency or co-principality is the situation where a monarchical position, normally held by only a single person, is held by two or more. It is to be distinguished from diarchies or duumvirates such as ancient Sparta and Rome, or contemporary Andorra, where monarchical power is formally divided between two rulers.

During his reign as Pharaoh, Amenemope claimed the title of "High Priest of Amun in Tanis" as Psusennes also did before him. Amenemope's authority was fully recognized at Thebes – at this time governed by the High Priest of Amun Smendes II and then by his brother Pinedjem II [11] – as his name appears on funerary goods of at least nine Theban burials, among these is the Book of the Dead of the "Captain of the barque of Amun", Pennestawy, dating to Amenemope's Year 5. [12]

Thebes, Egypt ancient Egyptian city

Thebes, known to the ancient Egyptians as Waset, was an ancient Egyptian city located along the Nile about 800 kilometers (500 mi) south of the Mediterranean. Its ruins lie within the modern Egyptian city of Luxor. Thebes was the main city of the fourth Upper Egyptian nome and was the capital of Egypt mainly during the Middle Kingdom and the New Kingdom. It was close to Nubia and the Eastern Desert, with its valuable mineral resources and trade routes. It was a cult center and the most venerated city of ancient Egypt during its heyday. The site of Thebes includes areas on both the eastern bank of the Nile, where the temples of Karnak and Luxor stand and the city proper was situated; and the western bank, where a necropolis of large private and royal cemeteries and funerary complexes can be found.

Smendes II Theban High Priest of Amun

Nesbanebdjed II, or in Hellenized form, Smendes II, was a High Priest of Amun at Thebes in Ancient Egypt. He briefly governed from about 992 BC to 990 BC.

Pinedjem II Egyptian high priest of Amun

Pinedjem II was a High Priest of Amun at Thebes in Ancient Egypt from 990 BC to 969 BC and was the de facto ruler of the south of the country. He was married to his sister Isetemkheb D and also to his niece Nesikhons, the daughter of his brother Smendes II. He succeeded Smendes II, who had a short rule.

Apart from his Tanite tomb and the aforementioned Theban burials, Amemenope is a poorly attested ruler. He continued with the decoration of the chapel of Isis "Mistress of the Pyramids at Giza" and made an addition to one of the temples in Memphis. [12]

Isis goddess in ancient Egyptian religion

Isis was a major goddess in ancient Egyptian religion whose worship spread throughout the Greco-Roman world. Isis was first mentioned in the Old Kingdom as one of the main characters of the Osiris myth, in which she resurrects her slain husband, the divine king Osiris, and produces and protects his heir, Horus. She was believed to help the dead enter the afterlife as she had helped Osiris, and she was considered the divine mother of the pharaoh, who was likened to Horus. Her maternal aid was invoked in healing spells to benefit ordinary people. Originally, she played a limited role in royal rituals and temple rites, although she was more prominent in funerary practices and magical texts. She was usually portrayed in art as a human woman wearing a throne-like hieroglyph on her head. During the New Kingdom, as she took on traits that originally belonged to Hathor, the preeminent goddess of earlier times, Isis came to be portrayed wearing Hathor's headdress: a sun disk between the horns of a cow.

Memphis, Egypt Ancient capital of Aneb-Hetch, Egypt

Memphis was the ancient capital of Aneb-Hetch, the first nome of Lower Egypt. Its ruins are located near the town of Mit Rahina, 20 km (12 mi) south of Giza.

All versions of Manetho's Epitome reports that Amenophthis (Amenemope's hellenised name) enjoyed 9 years of reign, a duration more or less confirmed by archaeological sources. [13] Neither children nor wives are known for him, and he was succeeded by the seemingly unrelated Osorkon the Elder.

Manetho Egyptian historian and priest from Ancient Egypt

Manetho is believed to have been an Egyptian priest from Sebennytos who lived during the Ptolemaic Kingdom in the early third century BC and authored the Aegyptiaca, a major chronological source for the reigns of the ancient pharaohs.

Osorkon the Elder Egyptian pharaoh

Aakheperre Setepenre Osorkon the Elder was the fifth king of the 21st Dynasty of Ancient Egypt and was the first Pharaoh of Meshwesh origin. He is also sometimes known as Osochor, following Manetho's Aegyptiaca.

According to the analysis of his skeleton performed by Dr. Douglas Derry, Amenemope was a strongly-built man who reached a fairly advanced age. [14] It seems that the king suffered a skull infection which likely developed into meningitis and led to his death. [15]

Meningitis inflammation of membranes around the brain and spinal cord

Meningitis is an acute inflammation of the protective membranes covering the brain and spinal cord, known collectively as the meninges. The most common symptoms are fever, headache, and neck stiffness. Other symptoms include confusion or altered consciousness, vomiting, and an inability to tolerate light or loud noises. Young children often exhibit only nonspecific symptoms, such as irritability, drowsiness, or poor feeding. If a rash is present, it may indicate a particular cause of meningitis; for instance, meningitis caused by meningococcal bacteria may be accompanied by a characteristic rash.


Full view of the Royal Necropolis of Tanis (NRT). Amenemope was originally buried in NRT IV and later reburied in NRT III, left granite chamber, next to Psusennes I Necropole de Tanis.jpg
Full view of the Royal Necropolis of Tanis (NRT). Amenemope was originally buried in NRT IV and later reburied in NRT III, left granite chamber, next to Psusennes I

Amenemope was originally buried in the only chamber of a small tomb (NRT IV) in the royal necropolis of Tanis; a few years after his death, during the reign of Siamun, Amenemope was moved and reburied in NRT III, inside the chamber once belonging to his purported mother Mutnedjmet and just next to Psusennes I. [12] [16] His undisturbed tomb was rediscovered by French Egyptologists Pierre Montet and Georges Goyon in April 1940, just a month before the Nazi invasion of France. Montet had to stop his excavation until the end of World War II, then resumed it in 1946 and later published his findings in 1958.

When the excavators entered the small burial chamber, they argued that it was originally made for queen Mutnedjmet. The chamber contained an uninscribed granite sarcophagus, some vessels including the canopic jars and the vessel once containing the water used for washing the mummy, and a heap of around 400 ushabtis; a wooden coffin covered with gold leaf was placed within the sarcophagus and contained Amenemope's mummy. On the mummy were found two gilt funerary masks, two pectorals, necklaces, bracelets, rings and a cloisonné collar. Four of these items bore the name of Psusennes I. [17] [18] The funerary masks depict the king as young, although Goyon stated that at the moment of discovery the masks had an expression of suffering and pleading, later softened after restoration. [17] The mummy and funerary goods are now in Cairo Museum.
Amenemope was buried with far less opulence than his neighbour Psusennes I: for comparison, the latter was provided with a solid silver coffin and a solid gold mask, while the former's coffin and mask were merely gilt. [12]

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  1. Jansen-Winkeln, p. 493
  2. Kitchen, Table 1
  3. von Beckerath, Jürgen (1999). Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen. Münchner ägyptologische Studien, Heft 49, Mainz: Philip von Zabern. ISBN   978-3-8053-2591-2., pp. 180-181
  4. Clayton, Peter (1994). Chronicle of the Pharaohs. Thames & Hudson Ltd., p. 178
  5. Kitchen, § 221
  6. Kitchen, §§ 431-433
  7. Jansen-Winkeln, p. 227
  8. Jansen-Winkeln, p. 230, n. 70
  9. Kitchen, §§ L-M
  10. Kitchen, § 83
  11. Kitchen, § 388-389
  12. 1 2 3 4 Kitchen, § 229
  13. Kitchen, §§ 3-4; 31
  14. Derry, Douglas E. (1942). "Report on skeleton of King Amenemopet". Annales du Service des Antiquités de l'Égypte. 41., p. 149
  15. Goyon, p. 164
  16. Goyon, pp. 87; 163
  17. 1 2 Goyon, p. 163
  18. Wente, Edward F. (1967). "On the Chronology of the Twenty-First Dynasty". Journal of Near Eastern Studies. 26., p. 156