Jürgen von Beckerath

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Jürgen von Beckerath (19 February 1920 – 26 June 2016) was a German Egyptologist. He was a prolific writer who published countless articles in journals such as Orientalia , Göttinger Miszellen (GM), Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt (JARCE), Archiv für Orientforschung (AfO), and Studien zur Altägyptischen Kultur (SAK) among others. Together with Kenneth Kitchen, he is viewed as one of the foremost scholars on the New Kingdom and the Third Intermediate Period of Egypt.

Egyptology Study of Ancient Egypt

Egyptology is the study of ancient Egyptian history, language, literature, religion, architecture and art from the 5th millennium BC until the end of its native religious practices in the 4th century AD. A practitioner of the discipline is an "Egyptologist". In Europe, particularly on the Continent, Egyptology is primarily regarded as being a philological discipline, while in North America it is often regarded as a branch of archaeology.

Göttinger Miszellen journal

Göttinger Miszellen is a scientific journal published by the Seminar für Ägyptologie und Koptologie which contains short scholarly articles on Egyptological, Coptological, and other related subjects.

<i>Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt</i> journal

The Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt (JARCE) is an academic journal published by the American Research Center in Egypt. It was established in 1962 to publish research into the art, archaeology, languages, history, and social systems of the Egyptian people. As is usual for Egyptological journals, it accepts articles written in English, French, or German. Over the years a number of Egyptologists have served as editor-in-chief. In 2008, Eugene Cruz-Uribe succeeded Ann Macy Roth as editor.


His many popular German-language publications include Handbuch der Ägyptischen Königsnamen, 2nd edition (Mainz, 1999) and Chronologie des Pharaonischen Ägypten or "Chronology of the Egyptian Pharaohs," MÄS 46 (Philip von Zabern, Mainz: 1997), which is regarded by academics as one of the best and most comprehensive books on the chronology of Ancient Egypt and its various Pharaohs. In 1953, he personally inspected and recorded the Nile Quay Texts at Karnak before they were permanently lost or damaged through erosion.

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.

Karnak Ancient Egyptian temple complex

The Karnak Temple Complex, commonly known as Karnak, comprises a vast mix of decayed temples, chapels, pylons, and other buildings near Luxor, in Egypt. Construction at the complex began during the reign of Senusret I in the Middle Kingdom and continued into the Ptolemaic period, although most of the extant buildings date from the New Kingdom. The area around Karnak was the ancient Egyptian Ipet-isut and the main place of worship of the eighteenth dynasty Theban Triad with the god Amun as its head. It is part of the monumental city of Thebes. The Karnak complex gives its name to the nearby, and partly surrounded, modern village of El-Karnak, 2.5 kilometres north of Luxor.

Academic contributions

Throughout his academic career, Beckerath maintained a high scholarly standard in his publications and articles and dispelled many previously held assumptions or beliefs by meticulously analyzing the original evidence. For instance, in a GM 154 (1996) paper, he examined and published a privately owned and poorly known stela, which dated to Year 22 of Osorkon II's reign and has frequently been called a Jubilee stela by academics (GM 154, pp. 19). Beckerath revealed, however, that this document did not mention any Sed festival or Jubilee celebrations for Osorkon II in this year as one would have expected if he had indeed celebrated his massive Jubilee Feast at this time. Instead, Beckerath demonstrated that the stela's text simply read: Regnal Year 22 under the Majesty of the King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Usermaatre Setepenamun (i.e., Osorkon II), son of Re, the Appearance of the beloved Osorkon Meryamun in the presence of the deities Osiris, Horus and Isis. (GM 154, p. 20). Osorkon II is shown being blessed by these gods in the stela.

Osorkon II Egyptian pharaoh

Usermaatre Setepenamun Osorkon II was the fifth pharaoh of the Twenty-second Dynasty of Ancient Egypt and the son of Takelot I and Queen Kapes. He ruled Egypt around 872 BC to 837 BC from Tanis, the capital of this Dynasty.

Sed festival

The Sed festival was an ancient Egyptian ceremony that celebrated the continued rule of a pharaoh. The name is taken from the name of an Egyptian wolf god, one of whose names was Wepwawet or Sed.

Osiris God of the afterlife in Egyptian mythology

Osiris is the god of the afterlife, the underworld, and rebirth in ancient Egyptian religion. He was classically depicted as a green-skinned deity with a pharaoh's beard, partially mummy-wrapped at the legs, wearing a distinctive atef crown, and holding a symbolic crook and flail. Osiris was at times considered the eldest son of the god Geb and the sky goddess Nut, as well as being brother and husband of Isis, with Horus being considered his posthumously begotten son. He was also associated with the epithet Khenti-Amentiu, meaning "Foremost of the Westerners", a reference to his kingship in the land of the dead. As ruler of the dead, Osiris was also sometimes called "king of the living": ancient Egyptians considered the blessed dead "the living ones". Through syncretism with Iah, he is also the god of the Moon.

In other words, the document was just a perfectly ordinary stela depicting the king before this trinity of gods. Beckerath aptly notes that this new evidence casts serious doubt upon the idea that the damaged Sed Jubilee date in Osorkon II's Bubastis Festival Hall should be read as Year 22, rather than Year 30 of this pharaoh's reign (the latter reading is possible with some restoration of the damaged numeral) as Edward Wente noted in his 1976 JNES review of Kitchen's TIPE book. Beckerath's analysis thus undermined the conventional view that this king celebrated his Sed Jubilee in his 22nd Year and suggests that Osorkon II likely celebrated his first Jubilee Feast in his 30th Year instead. Traditionally, in Egypt, Sed Jubilee Feasts were held on the 30th Year of a king's reign as is evidenced by the practices of other 22nd Dynasty kings such as Osorkon I, Shoshenq III and Shoshenq V.

Bubastis Archaeological site in Egypt

Bubastis, also known in Arabic as Tell-Basta or in Egyptian as Per-Bast, was an Ancient Egyptian city. Bubastis is often identified with the biblical Pi-Beseth. It was the capital of its own nome, located along the River Nile in the Delta region of Lower Egypt, and notable as a center of worship for the feline goddess Bast, and therefore the principal depository in Egypt of mummies of cats.

Shoshenq III Egyptian pharaoh of the 22th Dynasty

King Usermaatre Setepenre/SetepenamunShoshenq III ruled Egypt's 22nd Dynasty for 39 years according to contemporary historical records. Two Apis Bulls were buried in the fourth and 28th years of his reign and he celebrated his Heb Sed Jubilee in his regnal year 30. Little is known of the precise basis for his successful claim to the throne since he was not a son of Osorkon II and Shoshenq's parentage and family ties are unknown.

Shoshenq V Egyptian pharaoh

Aakheperre Shoshenq V was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh of the late 22nd Dynasty.

In another article titled "Zur Datierung des Papyrus Brooklyn 16.205" in GM 140 (1994), pp. 15–17, Professor Beckerath argued that "the 49th regnal year of a king referred to in Pap. Brooklyn 16.205 [which] is generally ascribed to Shoshenq III of the 22nd Dynasty" and comes from a mummy bandage from Deir el-Bahari should be dated to Year 49 of the 21st dynasty king Psusennes I instead because "it is unlikely that private persons from Upper Egypt [would] refer to this late year of Shoshenq III." Shoshenq III is known to have lost effective control of Upper Egypt after his 8th Year when Pedubast I proclaimed himself king here. All mentions of Shoshenq III after his 8th Year in Upper Egypt are associated with the serving High Priest of Amun, Osorkon B. After the 1993 discovery of a new Tanite king named Shoshenq IV who ruled Egypt for a minimum of 10 years in the 13-year interval from Year 39 of Shoshenq III to Year 1 of Pami, Kenneth Kitchen accepted von Beckerath's proposal in the introduction to the latest (1996) edition of his book, The Third Intermediate Period of Egypt (c. 1100-650 BC). Kitchen writes that this new royal arrangement (i.e.: Shoshenq III->Shoshenq IV->Pami) means that "Papyrus Brooklyn 16.205 of a Year 49 followed by a Year 4 must now be attributed to the time of Psusennes I and Amenemope, not to Shoshenq III and Pimay. [i.e. Pami] (cf. 103, §83 below)" (Kitchen, TIPE 1996, p. xxvi).

Deir el-Bahari archaeological site

Deir el-Bahari or Dayr al-Bahri is a complex of mortuary temples and tombs located on the west bank of the Nile, opposite the city of Luxor, Egypt. This is a part of the Theban Necropolis.

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.

Upper Egypt strip of land on the Nile valley between Nubia and Lower Egypt

Upper Egypt is the strip of land on both sides of the Nile that extends between Nubia and downriver (northwards) to Lower Egypt.

Beckerath also advocated the view that Shoshenq II enjoyed an independent reign at Tanis in his book Chronologie des Pharaonischen Ägypten. This view is seconded by Norbert Dautzenberg among other scholars.

He died in June 2016 at the age of 96. [1]


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Kenneth Anderson Kitchen is a British biblical scholar, Ancient Near Eastern historian, and Personal and Brunner Professor Emeritus of Egyptology and Honorary Research Fellow at the School of Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology, University of Liverpool, England. He is one of the leading experts on the ancient Egyptian Ramesside Period, and the Third Intermediate Period of Egypt, as well as ancient Egyptian chronology, having written over 250 books and journal articles on these and other subjects since the mid-1950s. He has been described by The Times as "the very architect of Egyptian chronology".

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Takelot II Egyptian Pharaoh

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Takelot II is likely to have been identical with the High Priest Takelot F, who is stated in [the] Karnak inscriptions to have been a son of Nimlot C, and whose likely period of office falls neatly just before Takelot II's appearance.

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