Pendant bearing the cartouche of Osorkon II
seated King Osorkon flanked by Horus and Isis
|Reign||872–837 BC (22nd Dynasty)|
|Children||Tjesbastperu, Nimlot C,|
Shoshenq D, Hornakht
Usermaatre Setepenamun Osorkon II was the fifth kingof the Twenty-second Dynasty of Ancient Egypt and the son of King Takelot I and Queen Kapes. He ruled Egypt from approximately 872 BC to 837 BC from Tanis, the capital of that dynasty.
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.
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.
Hedjkheperre Setepenre Takelot I was an ancient Libyan ruler who was pharaoh during the Twenty-second Dynasty of Egypt.
After succeeding his father, Osorkon II was faced with the competing rule of his cousin, King Harsiese A, who controlled both Thebes and the Western Oasis of Egypt. Potentially, Harsiese's kingship could have posed a serious challenge to the authority of Osorkon, however, when Harsiese died in 860 BC, Osorkon II acted to ensure that no king would replace Harsiese. He appointed his son, Nimlot C, as the high priest of Amun at Thebes, which would have been the source for a successor to Harsiese. This consolidated the king's authority over Upper Egypt and thereafter, Osorkon II ruled over a united Egypt. Osorkon II's reign would be a time of prosperity for Egypt and large-scale monumental building ensued.
King Hedjkheperre Setepenamun Harsiese or Harsiese A, is viewed by the Egyptologist Kenneth Kitchen in his Third Intermediate Period in Egypt to be both a High Priest of Amun and the son of the High Priest of Amun, Shoshenq C. The archaeological evidence does suggest that he was indeed Shoshenq C's son. However, recent published studies by the German Egyptologist Karl Jansen-Winkeln in JEA 81 (1995) have demonstrated that all the monuments of the first (king) Harsiese show that he was never a High Priest of Amun in his own right. Rather both Harsiese A and his son [...du] —whose existence is known from inscriptions on the latter's funerary objects at Coptos —are only attested as Ordinary Priests of Amun. Instead, while Harsiese A was certainly an independent king at Thebes during the first decade of Osorkon II's kingship, he was a different person from a second person who was also called Harsiese: Harsiese B. Harsiese B was the genuine High Priest of Amun who is attested in office late in Osorkon II's reign, in the regnal year 6 of Shoshenq III and in regnal years 18 and 19 of Pedubast I, according to Jansen-Winkeln.
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 for long periods during the Middle Kingdom and New Kingdom eras. 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 where the city proper was situated; and the western bank, where a necropolis of large private and royal cemeteries and funerary complexes can be found.
Nimlot C was a High Priest of Amun at Thebes during the reign of pharaoh Osorkon II of the 22nd Dynasty.
Despite his astuteness in dealings with matters at home, Osorkon II was forced to be aggressive on the international scene. The growing power of Assyria was accompanied with increased meddling in the affairs of Israel and Syria – territories well within Egypt's sphere of influence.
Assyria, also called the Assyrian Empire, was a Mesopotamian kingdom and empire of the ancient Near East and the Levant that existed as a state from perhaps as early as the 25th century BC until its collapse between 612 BC and 609 BC - spanning the periods of the Early to Middle Bronze Age through to the late Iron Age. From the end of the seventh century BC to the mid-seventh century AD, it survived as a geopolitical entity, for the most part ruled by foreign powers such as the Parthian and early Sasanian Empires between the mid-second century BC and late third century AD, the final part of which period saw Mesopotamia become a major centre of Syriac Christianity and the birthplace of the Church of the East.
Israel, also known as the State of Israel, is a country in Western Asia, located on the southeastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea and the northern shore of the Red Sea. It has land borders with Lebanon to the north, Syria to the northeast, Jordan on the east, the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and Gaza Strip to the east and west, respectively, and Egypt to the southwest. The country contains geographically diverse features within its relatively small area. Israel's economic and technological center is Tel Aviv, while its seat of government and proclaimed capital is Jerusalem, although the state's sovereignty over Jerusalem has only partial recognition.
Syria, officially the Syrian Arab Republic, is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon to the southwest, the Mediterranean Sea to the west, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest. A country of fertile plains, high mountains, and deserts, Syria is home to diverse ethnic and religious groups, including Syrian Arabs, Greeks, Armenians, Assyrians, Kurds, Circassians, Mandeans and Turkemens. Religious groups include Sunnis, Christians, Alawites, Druze, Isma'ilis, Mandeans, Shiites, Salafis, Yazidis, and Jews. Sunnis make up the largest religious group in Syria.
Osorkon II devoted considerable resources into his building projects by adding to the temple of Bastet at Bubastis,which featured a substantial new hall decorated with scenes depicting his Sed festival and images of his queen, Karomama. Monumental construction during his reign also was performed at Thebes, Memphis, Tanis, and Leontopolis. Osorkon II also built Temple J at Karnak during the final years of his reign and it was decorated by his high priest, Takelot F (the future king, Takelot II). Takelot F was the son of the deceased high priest Nimlot C and, thus, Osorkon II's grandson.
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 Bastet, and therefore the principal depository in Egypt of mummies of cats.
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.
Leontopolis was an Ancient Egyptian city located in the Nile Delta, Lower Egypt. It served as a provincial capital and Metropolitan Archbishopric, which remains a Latin Catholic titular see. The archaeological site and settlement are known today as Kafr Al Muqdam.
Now, all of Osorkon II's sizeable stone statues are known to be re-used works of earlier periods that merely were re-inscribed for Osorkon II, including the famous "Cairo-Philadelphia statue of Osorkon II".Osorkon II was the last great Twenty-second Dynasty king of Tanis, ruling Egypt from the Delta to Upper Egypt. His successor, Shoshenq III, lost the effective control of Middle and Upper Egypt that Osorkon II had assembled into a united Egypt.
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.
Many officials may be dated to the reign of Osorkon II. Ankhkherednefer was inspector of the palace, Paanmeny probably was his chief physician, Djeddjehutyiuefankh was the fourth prophet of Amun,and Bakenkhons was another prophet of Amun during his reign.
Ankhkherednefer was an Ancient Egyptian official known from a block statue found in the Tell el-Maskhuta. The statue, made of red granite is now in the British Museum.
Approximately 837 BC, Osorkon II died and he was buried in Tomb NRT I at Tanis. Currently, he is believed to have reigned for more than 30 years, rather than just 25 years as had been interpreted earlier. The celebration of his first Sed Jubilee previously was thought to have occurred in his Year 22, but the Heb Sed date in his Great Temple of Bubastis is damaged and also may be read as Year 30, as Edward Wente notes. –as the inscribed walls of Temple J prove – supports the hypothesis of a longer reign for Osorkon II.The fact that this king's own grandson, Takelot F, served him as High Priest of Amun at Thebes
Recently, it has been demonstrated that Nile Level Text 14 (dated to Year 29 of an Usimare Setepenamun) belongs to Osorkon II on palaeographical grounds.This finding suggests that Osorkon II likely did celebrate his first Heb Sed in his Year 30 as was traditionally the case with other Libyan era kings, such as Shoshenq III and Shoshenq V. In addition, a Year 22 Stela from his reign preserves no mention of any Heb Sed celebrations in that year, as would be expected (see Von Beckerath, 'infra').
While Osorkon II's precise reign length is unknown, some Egyptologists, such as Jürgen von Beckerath – in his 1997 book Chronology of the Egyptian Pharaohs – and Aidan Dodson have suggested a range of between 38 and 39 years. However, these much higher figures are not verified by the current monumental evidence. Gerard Broekman gives Osorkon II a slightly shorter reign of 34 years. English Egyptologist Kenneth Kitchen, in a 2006 Agypten und Levante article, now accepts that if Nile Level Text 14 is correctly attributed to Year 29 of Osorkon II, then the reference to Osorkon's Sed Festival jubilee should be amended from Year 22 to Year 30. Kitchen suggests that Osorkon II would have died shortly afterward, in his Year 31.
Osorkon II is known to have had at least four wives:
Other children of record included:
Other possible children attributed to Osorkon II include his successor Shoshenq III and the King's Daughter Tentsepeh (D), the wife of General Ptahudjankhef, who was a son of Nimlot C and hence, a grandson of Osorkon II.
David Aston has argued in a JEA 75 (1989) paper that Osorkon II was succeeded by Shoshenq III at Tanis rather than Takelot II Si-Ese as Kitchen presumed because none of Takelot II's monuments have been found in Lower Egypt where other genuine Tanite kings, such as Osorkon II, Shoshenq III, and even the short-lived Pami (at 6-7 years) are attested on donation stelas, temple walls, and annal documents. — now have been attributed exclusively to king Takelot I by Egyptologists today, including Kitchen.Other Egyptologists, such as Gerard Broekman, Karl Jansen-Winkeln, Aidan Dodson, and Jürgen von Beckerath have endorsed this position as well. Von Beckerath also identifies Shoshenq III as the immediate successor of Osorkon II and places Takelot II as a separate king in Upper Egypt. Gerard Broekman writes in a recent 2005 GM article that, "in light of the monumental and genealogical evidence", Aston's chronology for the position of the twenty-second dynasty kings "is highly preferable" to Kitchen's chronology. The only documents that mention a king Takelot in Lower Egypt, such as a royal tomb at Tanis, a Year 9 donation stela from Bubastis, and a heart scarab featuring the nomen 'Takelot Meryamun'
The English Egyptologist Aidan Dodson, in his book The Canopic Equipment of the Kings of Egypt, observes that Shoshenq III built "a dividing wall, with a double scene showing Osorkon II" and him "each adoring an unnamed deity" in the antechamber of Osorkon II's tomb. – Osorkon II. Consequently, the case for establishing Takelot II as a Twenty-second Dynasty king and successor to Osorkon II disappears, as Dodson writes. Takelot II instead founded the twenty-third dynasty of Egypt and ruled a divided Egypt by administering Middle and Upper Egypt.Dodson concludes that while one may argue Shoshenq III erected the wall to hide Osorkon II's sarcophagus, it made no sense for Shoshenq to create such an elaborate relief if Takelot II really had intervened between him and Osorkon II at Tanis for 25 years, unless Shoshenq III was Osorkon II's immediate successor. Shoshenq III must, hence, have wished to associate himself with his predecessor
The French excavator Pierre Montet discovered Osorkon II's plundered royal tomb at Tanis on February 27, 1939. It revealed that Osorkon II was buried in a massive granite sarcophagus with a lid carved from a Ramesside-era statue. Only some fragments of a hawk-headed coffin and canopic jars remained in the robbed tomb to identify him.While the tomb had been looted in antiquity, what jewellery that remained "was of such high quality that existing conceptions of the wealth of the northern Twenty-first and Twenty-second dynasties had to be revised."
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".
Titkheperure or Tyetkheperre Psusennes II [Greek Ψουσέννης] or Hor-Pasebakhaenniut II [Egyptian ḥr-p3-sb3-ḫˁỉ-⟨n⟩-nỉwt], was the last king of the Twenty-first dynasty of Egypt. His royal name means "Image of the transformations of Re" in Egyptian. Psusennes II is often considered the same person as the High-Priest of Amun known as Psusennes III. The Egyptologist Karl Jansen-Winkeln notes that an important graffito from the Temple of Abydos contains the complete titles of a king Tyetkheperre Setepenre Pasebakhaenniut Meryamun "who is simultaneously called the HPA and supreme military commander." This suggests that Psusennes was both king at Tanis and the High Priest in Thebes at the same time, meaning he did not resign his office as High Priest of Amun during his reign. The few contemporary attestations from his reign include the aforementioned graffito in Seti I's Abydos temple, an ostracon from Umm el-Qa'ab, an affiliation at Karnak and his presumed burial – which consists of a gilded coffin with a royal uraeus and a Mummy, found in an antechamber of Psusennes I's tomb at Tanis. He was a High Priest of Amun at Thebes and the son of Pinedjem II and Istemkheb. His daughter Maatkare B was the Great Royal Wife of Osorkon I.
Hedjkheperre Setepenre Takelot II Si-Ese was a pharaoh of the Twenty-third Dynasty of Ancient Egypt in Middle and Upper Egypt. He has been identified as the High Priest of Amun Takelot F, son of the High Priest of Amun Nimlot C at Thebes and, thus, the son of Nimlot C and grandson of king Osorkon II according to the latest academic research. Based on two lunar dates belonging to Takelot II, this Upper Egyptian pharaoh is today believed to have ascended to the throne of a divided Egypt in either 845 BC or 834 BC. Most Egyptologists today, including Aidan Dodson, Gerard Broekman, Jürgen von Beckerath, M.A. Leahy and Karl Jansen-Winkeln, also accept David Aston's hypothesis that Shoshenq III was Osorkon II's actual successor at Tanis, rather than Takelot II. As Aidan Dodson and Dyan Hilton write in their comprehensive book on the royal families of Ancient Egypt:
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.
The son of Shoshenq I and his chief consort, Karomat A, Osorkon I was the second king of Egypt's 22nd Dynasty and ruled around 922 BC – 887 BC. He succeeded his father Shoshenq I who probably died within a year of his successful 923 BC campaign against the kingdoms of Israel and Judah. Osorkon I's reign is known for many temple building projects and was a long and prosperous period of Egypt's History. His highest known date is a "Year 33" date found on the bandage of Nakhtefmut's Mummy which held a menat-tab necklace inscribed with Osorkon I's nomen and praenomen: Osorkon Sekhemkheperre. This date can only belong to Osorkon I since no other early Dynasty 22 king ruled for close to 30 years until the time of Osorkon II. Other mummy linens which belong to his reign include three separate bandages dating to his Regnal Years 11, 12, and 23 on the mummy of Khonsmaakheru in Berlin. The bandages are anonymously dated but definitely belong to his reign because Khonsmaakheru wore leather bands that contained a menat-tab naming Osorkon I. Secondly, no other king who ruled around Osorkon I's reign had a 23rd Regnal Year including Shoshenq I who died just before the beginning of his Year 22.
The Twenty-third Dynasty of Egypt is usually classified as the third dynasty of the ancient Egyptian Third Intermediate Period. This dynasty consisted of a number of Meshwesh ancient Libyan (Berber) kings, who ruled either as pharaohs or independent kings of parts of Upper Egypt from 880 BC to 720 BC, and pharaohs from 837 BC to 728 BC.
Jürgen von Beckerath 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.
Harsiese B was a High Priest of Amun in 874 BC. Earlier Egyptologists assumed he was both the High Priest of Amun (HPA) and son of the High Priest Shoshenq C, who may have become a king at Thebes. However, recent research by Karl Jansen-Winkeln shows that all the monuments of the first (King) Harsiese A demonstrate that he was never Theban High Priest of Amun in his own right, merely a regular Priest of Amun. While the earlier Harsiese was certainly a king at Thebes, he is clearly a different person from the later Harsiese, Harsiese B, who is attested as a High Priest of Amun. Jansen-Winkeln further shows that Harsiese A's son, [...du], was only an ordinary Priest of Amun.
Pedubastis I or Pedubast I was an Upper Egyptian Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt during the 9th century BC. Based on lunar dates which are known to belong to the reign of his rival in Upper Egypt Takelot II and the fact that Pedubast I first appeared as a local king at Thebes around Year 11 of Takelot II's rule, Pedubast I is today believed to have had his accession date in either 835 BC or 824 BC. This local Pharaoh is recorded as being of Libyan ancestry and ruled Egypt for 25 years according to the redaction of Manetho done by Eusebius. He first became king at Thebes in Year 8 of Shoshenq III and his highest dated Year is his 23rd Year according to Nile Level Text No. 29. This year is equivalent to Year 31 of Shoshenq III of the Tanis based 22nd Dynasty of Egypt; however, since Shoshenq II only controlled Lower Egypt in Memphis and the Delta region, Pedubast and Shoshenq III were not political rivals and may even have established a relationship. Indeed, Shoshenq III's son, the general and army leader Pashedbast B "built a vestibule door to Pylon X at Karnak, and in one and the same commemorative text thereon named his father as [king] Sheshonq (III)" but dated his actions here to Pedubast I. This may show some tacit support for the Pedubast faction by the Tanite based 22nd dynasty king Shoshenq III.
Shoshenq C was the eldest son of the 22nd Dynasty pharaoh Osorkon I and queen Maatkare, the daughter of Psusennes II, and served as the High Priest of Amun at Thebes during his father's reign. Consequently, he was the most important official in Upper Egypt after the king himself. He has generally been equated with Heqakheperre Shoshenq II by the English Egyptologist Kenneth Kitchen and viewed as a short-lived co-regent to his father based on the Nile God British Museum statue 8 which identifies him as the son of Osorkon I and Queen Maatkare, daughter of Hor-Psusennes but this assumption is unproven. In the statue, Shoshenq C is called "the Master of the Two Lands" and the formula "beloved of Amun" is enclosed within a royal cartouche. However, in the text of the statue, he is not given a specific throne name or prenomen, the use of a cartouche by a royal prince is attested in other periods of Egyptian history such as that of Amenmes, son of Thutmose I, and the documents depicts Shoshenq C as a simple High Priest of Amun on the side of the legs of the Nile God, rather than a king.
Tutkheperre Shoshenq or Shoshenq IIb is an obscure Third Intermediate Period Libyan king whose existence was until recently doubted. In 2004, a GM 203 German article by Eva R. Lange on a newly discovered stone block decoration from the Temple of Bubastis that bore his rare royal prenomen, Tutkheperre, confirmed his existence because his name is found in Lower and Upper Egypt. Tutkheperre's prenomen translates approximately as "Appearance of the Image of Re."
Usermaatre Setepenamun Osorkon III Si-Ese was Pharaoh of Egypt in the 8th Century BC. He is the same person as the Crown Prince and High Priest of Amun Osorkon B, son of Takelot II by his Great Royal Wife Karomama II. Prince Osorkon B is best attested by his Chronicle—which consists of a series of texts documenting his activities at Thebes—on the Bubastite Portal at Karnak. He later reigned as king Osorkon III in Upper Egypt for twenty-eight years after defeating the rival forces of Pedubast I/Shoshenq VI who had apparently resisted the authority of his father here. Osorkon ruled the last five years of his reign in coregency with his son, Takelot III, according to Karnak Nile Level Text No. 13. Osorkon III's formal titulary was long and elaborate: Usermaatre Setepenamun, Osorkon Si-Ese Meryamun, Netjer-Heqa-waset.
Usimare Setepenamun Takelot III Si-Ese was Osorkon III's eldest son and successor. Takelot III ruled the first five years of his reign in a coregency with his father, according to the evidence from Nile Quay Text No.14, and succeeded his father as king the following year. He served previously as the High Priest of Amun at Thebes. He was previously thought to have ruled Egypt for only 7 years until his 13th Year was found on a stela from Ahmeida in the Dakhla Oasis in 2005.
Queen Karomama I was an Egyptian queen, married to Osorkon II. She was part of the 22nd dynasty of Ancient Egypt.
The High Priest of Amun or First Prophet of Amun was the highest-ranking priest in the priesthood of the ancient Egyptian god Amun. The first high priests of Amun appear in the New Kingdom of Egypt, at the beginning of the Eighteenth Dynasty.
Karomama II was an ancient Egyptian queen, Great Royal Wife of pharaoh Takelot II of the 23rd Dynasty of Egypt.
Smendes III was a High Priest of Amun at Thebes during the reign of pharaoh Takelot I of the 22nd Dynasty.