|Ramses III, Rameses III|
|Reign||1186–1155 BC (20th Dynasty)|
|Consort||Iset Ta-Hemdjert, Tyti, Tiye|
|Children||Ramesses IV, Ramesses VI, Ramesses VIII, Amun-her-khepeshef, Meryamun, Pareherwenemef, Khaemwaset, Meryatum, Montuherkhopshef, Pentawere, Duatentopet (?)|
Usermaatre Ramesses III (also written Ramses and Rameses) was the second Pharaoh of the Twentieth Dynasty in Ancient Egypt. He is thought to have reigned from 1186 to 1155 BC and is considered to be the last great monarch of the New Kingdom to wield any substantial authority over Egypt. His long reign saw the decline of Egyptian political and economic power, linked to a series of invasions and internal economic problems that also plagued pharaohs before him. He has also been described as "warrior Pharaoh" due to his strong military strategies. He led the way by defeating the invaders known as "the Sea People", who had caused destruction in other civilizations and empires. He was able to save Egypt from collapsing at the time when many other empires fell during the Late Bronze Age; however, the damage of the invasions took a toll on 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.
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.
Ramesses III was the son of Setnakhte and Queen Tiy-Merenese. He was assassinated in the Harem conspiracy led by one of his secondary wives, Tiye, her son Pentawer, and a group of high officials.
Userkhaure-setepenre Setnakhte was the first pharaoh (1189 BC–1186 BC) of the Twentieth Dynasty of the New Kingdom of Egypt and the father of Ramesses III.
Tiy-merenese, Teye-Merenaset, Tiye-Mereniset(Tiy, Beloved of Isis) was the Great Royal Wife of pharaoh Setnakhte and mother of Ramesses III of the Twentieth Dynasty of Egypt.
The harem conspiracy was a plot to murder the Egyptian pharaoh Ramesses III. The principal figure behind the plot was one of the pharaoh's secondary wives, Tiye, who hoped to put her son Pentawere on the throne instead of the pharaoh's other son, Ramesses IV. The plan was organized by the court official Pebekkamen. The plot was apparently successful in causing the death of the pharaoh, but failed in its main objective of establishing Pentawere on the throne. In the aftermath, the leading conspirators were convicted and executed.
Ramesses' two main names transliterate as wsr-mꜢʿt-rʿ–mry-ỉmn rʿ-ms-s–ḥḳꜢ-ỉwnw. They are normally realised as Usermaatre-Meryamun Rameses-Heqaiunu, meaning "The Ma'at of Ra is strong, Beloved of Amun, Born of Ra, Ruler of Heliopolis".
Ra or Re is the ancient Egyptian deity of the sun. By the Fifth Dynasty in the 25th and 24th centuries BC, he had become one of the most important gods in ancient Egyptian religion, identified primarily with the noon sun. Ra was believed to rule in all parts of the created world: the sky, the Earth, and the underworld. He was the god of the sun, order, kings, and the sky.
Amun is a major ancient Egyptian deity who appears as a member of the Hermopolitan Ogdoad. Amun was attested from the Old Kingdom together with his wife Amaunet. With the 11th dynasty, Amun rose to the position of patron deity of Thebes by replacing Montu.
Ramesses III is believed to have reigned from March 1186 to April 1155 BC. This is based on his known accession date of I Shemu day 26 and his death on Year 32 III Shemu day 15, for a reign of 31 years, 1 month and 19 days. Alternative dates for his reign are 1187–1156 BC.
In a description of his coronation from Medinet Habu, four doves were said to be "dispatched to the four corners of the horizon to confirm that the living Horus, Ramses III, is (still) in possession of his throne, that the order of Maat prevails in the cosmos and society".
A coronation was an extremely important ritual in early and ancient Egyptian history, concerning the change of power and rulership between two succeeding pharaohs. The accession to the throne was celebrated in several ceremonies, rites and feasts.
Horus or Her, Heru, Hor in Ancient Egyptian, is one of the most significant ancient Egyptian deities who served many functions, most notably god of kingship and the sky. He was worshipped from at least the late prehistoric Egypt until the Ptolemaic Kingdom and Roman Egypt. Different forms of Horus are recorded in history and these are treated as distinct gods by Egyptologists. These various forms may possibly be different manifestations of the same multi-layered deity in which certain attributes or syncretic relationships are emphasized, not necessarily in opposition but complementary to one another, consistent with how the Ancient Egyptians viewed the multiple facets of reality. He was most often depicted as a falcon, most likely a lanner falcon or peregrine falcon, or as a man with a falcon head.
Maat or Maʽat refers to the ancient Egyptian concepts of truth, balance, order, harmony, law, morality, and justice. Maat was also the goddess who personified these concepts, and regulated the stars, seasons, and the actions of mortals and the deities who had brought order from chaos at the moment of creation. Her ideological opposite was Isfet, meaning injustice, chaos, violence or to do evil.
During his long tenure in the midst of the surrounding political chaos of the Greek Dark Ages, Egypt was beset by foreign invaders (including the so-called Sea Peoples and the Libyans) and experienced the beginnings of increasing economic difficulties and internal strife which would eventually lead to the collapse of the Twentieth Dynasty. In Year 8 of his reign, the Sea Peoples, including Peleset, Denyen, Shardana, Meshwesh of the sea, and Tjekker, invaded Egypt by land and sea. Ramesses III defeated them in two great land and sea battles. Although the Egyptians had a reputation as poor seamen, they fought tenaciously. Rameses lined the shores with ranks of archers who kept up a continuous volley of arrows into the enemy ships when they attempted to land on the banks of the Nile. Then, the Egyptian navy attacked using grappling hooks to haul in the enemy ships. In the brutal hand-to-hand fighting which ensued, the Sea People were utterly defeated. The Harris Papyrus states:
The Greek Dark Ages, Homeric Age or Geometric period , is the period of Greek history from the end of the Mycenaean palatial civilization around 1100 BC to the first signs of the Greek poleis (city-states) in the 9th century BC.
The Sea Peoples are a purported seafaring confederation that attacked ancient Egypt and other regions of the East Mediterranean prior to and during the Late Bronze Age collapse. Following the creation of the concept in the nineteenth century, it became one of the most famous chapters of Egyptian history, given its connection with, in the words of Wilhelm Max Müller: "the most important questions of ethnography and the primitive history of classic nations". Their origins undocumented, the various Sea Peoples have been proposed to have originated from places that include western Asia Minor, the Aegean, the Mediterranean islands and Southern Europe. Although the archaeological inscriptions do not include reference to a migration, the Sea Peoples are conjectured to have sailed around the eastern Mediterranean and invaded Anatolia, Syria, Phoenicia, Canaan, Cyprus and Egypt toward the end of the Bronze Age.
The Latin name Libya referred to the region west of the Nile generally corresponding to the Atlantic Mountains according to Diodorus. Its people were ancestors of the modern Libyan. They occupied the area for thousands of years before the beginning of human records in ancient Egypt. Climate changes affected the locations of the settlements.
As for those who reached my frontier, their seed is not, their heart and their soul are finished forever and ever. As for those who came forward together on the seas, the full flame was in front of them at the Nile mouths, while a stockade of lances surrounded them on the shore, prostrated on the beach, slain, and made into heaps from head to tail.
Ramesses III incorporated the Sea Peoples as subject peoples and settled them in southern Canaan. Their presence in Canaan may have contributed to the formation of new states in this region such as Philistia after the collapse of the Egyptian Empire in Asia. Ramesses III was also compelled to fight invading Libyan tribesmen in two major campaigns in Egypt's Western Delta in his Year 5 and Year 11 respectively.
The heavy cost of these battles slowly exhausted Egypt's treasury and contributed to the gradual decline of the Egyptian Empire in Asia. The severity of these difficulties is stressed by the fact that the first known labour strike in recorded history occurred during Year 29 of Ramesses III's reign, when the food rations for the favoured and elite royal tomb-builders and artisans in the village of Set Maat her imenty Waset (now known as Deir el-Medina), could not be provisioned. BC. The result in Egypt was a substantial increase in grain prices under the later reigns of Ramesses VI–VII, whereas the prices for fowl and slaves remained constant. Thus the cooldown affected Ramesses III's final years and impaired his ability to provide a constant supply of grain rations to the workmen of the Deir el-Medina community.Something in the air (possibly the Hekla 3 eruption) prevented much sunlight from reaching the ground and also arrested global tree growth for almost two full decades until 1140
These difficult realities are completely ignored in Ramesses' official monuments, many of which seek to emulate those of his famous predecessor, Ramesses II, and which present an image of continuity and stability. He built important additions to the temples at Luxor and Karnak, and his funerary temple and administrative complex at Medinet-Habu is amongst the largest and best-preserved in Egypt; however, the uncertainty of Ramesses' times is apparent from the massive fortifications which were built to enclose the latter. No temple in the heart of Egypt prior to Ramesses' reign had ever needed to be protected in such a manner.
Thanks to the discovery of papyrus trial transcripts (dated to Ramesses III), it is now known that there was a plot against his life as a result of a royal harem conspiracy during a celebration at Medinet Habu. The conspiracy was instigated by Tiye, one of his three known wives (the others being Tyti and Iset Ta-Hemdjert), over whose son would inherit the throne. Tyti's son, Ramesses Amenherkhepshef (the future Ramesses IV), was the eldest and the successor chosen by Ramesses III in preference to Tiye's son Pentaweret.
The trial documentsshow that many individuals were implicated in the plot. Chief among them were Queen Tiye and her son Pentaweret, Ramesses' chief of the chamber, Pebekkamen, seven royal butlers (a respectable state office), two Treasury overseers, two Army standard bearers, two royal scribes and a herald. There is little doubt that all of the main conspirators were executed: some of the condemned were given the option of committing suicide (possibly by poison) rather than being put to death. According to the surviving trial transcripts, a total of three separate trials were started, while 38 people were sentenced to death. The tombs of Tiye and her son Pentaweret were robbed and their names erased to prevent them from enjoying an afterlife. The Egyptians did such a thorough job of this that the only references to them are the trial documents and what remains of their tombs.
Some of the accused harem women tried to seduce the members of the judiciary who tried them but were caught in the act. Judges who were involved were severely punished.
It is not certain whether the assassination plot succeeded since Ramesses IV, the king's designated successor, assumed the throne upon his death rather than Pentaweret, who was intended to be the main beneficiary of the palace conspiracy. Moreover, Ramesses III died in his 32nd year before the summaries of the sentences were composed,but the same year that the trial documents record the trial and execution of the conspirators.
Although it was long believed that Ramesses III's body showed no obvious wounds,a recent examination of the mummy by a German forensic team, televised in the documentary Ramesses: Mummy King Mystery on the Science Channel in 2011, showed excessive bandages around the neck. A subsequent CT scan that was done in Egypt by Ashraf Selim and Sahar Saleem, professors of Radiology in Cairo University, revealed that beneath the bandages was a deep knife wound across the throat, deep enough to reach the vertebrae. According to the documentary narrator, "It was a wound no one could have survived." The December 2012 issue of the British Medical Journal quotes the conclusion of the study of the team of researchers, led by Zahi Hawass, the former head of the Egyptian Supreme Council of Antiquity, and his Egyptian team, as well as Albert Zink from the Institute for Mummies and the Iceman of the European Academy of Bolzano/Bozen in Italy, which stated that conspirators murdered pharaoh Ramesses III by cutting his throat. Zink observes in an interview that:
A subsequent study of the CT scan of the mummy of Ramesses III's body by Sahar Saleem revealed that the left big toe was likely chopped by a heavy sharp object like an ax. There were no signs of bone healing so this injury must have happened shortly before death. The embalmers placed a prosthesis-like object made of linen in place of the amputated toe. The embalmers placed six amulets around both feet and ankles for magical healing of the wound for the life after. This additional injury of the foot supports the assassination of the Pharaoh, likely by the hands of multiple assailants using different weapons.Before this discovery it had been speculated that Ramesses III had been killed by means that would not have left a mark on the body. Among the conspirators were practitioners of magic, who might well have used poison. Some had put forth a hypothesis that a snakebite from a viper was the cause of the king's death. His mummy includes an amulet to protect Ramesses III in the afterlife from snakes. The servant in charge of his food and drink were also among the listed conspirators, but there were also other conspirators who were called the snake and the lord of snakes.
In one respect the conspirators certainly failed. The crown passed to the king's designated successor: Ramesses IV. Ramesses III may have been doubtful as to the latter's chances of succeeding him, given that, in the Great Harris Papyrus, he implored Amun to ensure his son's rights.
The Zink unit determined that the mummy of an unknown man buried with Ramesses was, because of the proven genetic relationship and a mummification process that suggested punishment, a good candidate for the pharaoh's son, Pentaweret, who was the only son to revolt against his father. It was impossible to determine his cause of death. Both mummies were predicted by the STR-predictor to share the Y chromosomal haplogroup E1b1a1-M2 and 50% of their genetic material, which pointed to a father-son relationship.
The Great Harris Papyrus or Papyrus Harris I, which was commissioned by his son and chosen successor Ramesses IV, chronicles this king's vast donations of land, gold statues and monumental construction to Egypt's various temples at Piramesse, Heliopolis, Memphis, Athribis, Hermopolis, This, Abydos, Coptos, El Kab and other cities in Nubia and Syria. It also records that the king dispatched a trading expedition to the Land of Punt and quarried the copper mines of Timna in southern Canaan. Papyrus Harris I records some of Ramesses III's activities:
"I sent my emissaries to the land of Atika, [i.e., Timna] to the great copper mines which are there. Their ships carried them along and others went overland on their donkeys. It had not been heard of since the [time of any earlier] king. Their mines were found and [they] yielded copper which was loaded by tens of thousands into their ships, they being sent in their care to Egypt, and arriving safely." (P. Harris I, 78, 1-4)
Ramesses began the reconstruction of the Temple of Khonsu at Karnak from the foundations of an earlier temple of Amenhotep III and completed the Temple of Medinet Habu around his Year 12.He decorated the walls of his Medinet Habu temple with scenes of his Naval and Land battles against the Sea Peoples. This monument stands today as one of the best-preserved temples of the New Kingdom.
The mummy of Ramesses III was discovered by antiquarians in 1886 and is regarded as the prototypical Egyptian Mummy in numerous Hollywood movies.His tomb (KV11) is one of the largest in the Valley of the Kings.
There is uncertainty regarding the exact dates of the reign of Ramesses III. This uncertainty affects the dating of the Late Bronze/Iron Age transition in the Levant. This transition is defined by the appearance of Mycenaean LH IIIC:1b (Philistine) pottery in the coastal plain of Palestine, generally assumed to correspond to the settlement of Sea People there at the 8th year of Ramesses III.Radiocarbon dates and other external evidence permit this transition to be as late as 1100 BC, compared to the conventional dating of c. 1179 BC.
Some scientists have tried to establish a chronological point for this pharaoh's reign at 1159 BC, based on a 1999 dating of the Hekla 3 eruption of the Hekla volcano in Iceland. Since contemporary records show that the king experienced difficulties provisioning his workmen at Deir el-Medina with supplies in his 29th Year, this dating of Hekla 3 might connect his 28th or 29th regnal year to c. 1159 BC. A minor discrepancy of one year is possible since Egypt's granaries could have had reserves to cope with at least a single bad year of crop harvests following the onset of the disaster. This implies that the king's reign would have ended just three to four years later, around 1156 or 1155 BC. A rival date of "2900 BP" (950 BC) has since been proposed by scientists based on a re-examination of the volcanic layer. Given that no Egyptologist dates Ramesses III's reign to as late as 1000 BC, this would mean that the Hekla 3 eruption presumably occurred well after Ramesses III's reign. A 2002 study, using high-precision radiocarbon dating of a peat deposit containing ash layers, put this eruption in the range 1087–1006 BC.
The 1150s BC is a decade which lasted from 1159 BC to 1150 BC.
Menpehtyre Ramesses I was the founding pharaoh of ancient Egypt's 19th dynasty. The dates for his short reign are not completely known but the time-line of late 1292–1290 BC is frequently cited as well as 1295–1294 BC. While Ramesses I was the founder of the 19th dynasty, in reality his brief reign marked the transition between the reign of Horemheb who had stabilized Egypt in the late 18th dynasty and the rule of the powerful pharaohs of this dynasty, in particular his son Seti I and grandson Ramesses II, who would bring Egypt up to new heights of imperial power.
The New Kingdom, also referred to as the Egyptian Empire, is the period in ancient Egyptian history between the 16th century BC and the 11th century BC, covering the 18th, 19th, and 20th dynasties of Egypt. Radiocarbon dating places the exact beginning of the New Kingdom between 1570 BC and 1544 BC. The New Kingdom followed the Second Intermediate Period and was succeeded by the Third Intermediate Period. It was Egypt's most prosperous time and marked the peak of its power.
Neferkare Ramesses IX was the eighth pharaoh of the Twentieth dynasty of Egypt. He was the third longest serving king of this Dynasty after Ramesses III and Ramesses XI. He is now believed to have assumed the throne on I Akhet day 21 based on evidence presented by Jürgen von Beckerath in a 1984 GM article. According to Papyrus Turin 1932+1939, Ramesses IX enjoyed a reign of 18 years and 4 months and died in his 19th Year in the first month of Peret between day 17 and 27. His throne name, Neferkare Setepenre, means "Beautiful Is The Soul of Re, Chosen of Re." Ramesses IX is believed to be the son of Mentuherkhepeshef, a son of Ramesses III since Montuherkhopshef's wife, the lady Takhat bears the prominent title of King's Mother on the walls of tomb KV10 which she usurped and reused in the late 20th dynasty; no other 20th dynasty king is known to have had a mother with this name. Ramesses IX was, therefore, probably a grandson of Ramesses III.
Heqamaatre Ramesses IV was the third pharaoh of the Twentieth Dynasty of the New Kingdom of Ancient Egypt. His name prior to assuming the crown was Amonhirkhopshef. He was the fifth son of Ramesses III and was appointed to the position of crown prince by the twenty-second year of his father's reign when all four of his elder brothers predeceased him. His promotion to crown prince:
is suggested by his appearance in a scene of the festival of Min at the Ramesses III temple at Karnak, which may have been completed by Year 22 [of his father's reign].
Usermare Akhenamun Ramesses VIII or Ramesses Sethherkhepshef Meryamun, was the seventh Pharaoh of the Twentieth Dynasty of the New Kingdom of Egypt and was one of the last surviving sons of Ramesses III.
Usermaatre Sekheperenre Ramesses V was the fourth pharaoh of the Twentieth dynasty of Egypt and was the son of Ramesses IV and Queen Duatentopet.
Ramesses VI Nebmaatre-Meryamun was the fifth pharaoh of the Twentieth Dynasty of Egypt. He reigned for about eight years in the mid-to-late 12th century BC and was a son of Ramesses III and queen Iset Ta-Hemdjert. As a prince, he was known as Ramesses Amunherkhepeshef and held the titles of royal scribe and cavalry general. He was succeeded by his son, Ramesses VII Itamun, whom he had fathered with queen Nubkhesbed.
Papyrus Harris I is also known as the Great Harris Papyrus and simply the Harris Papyrus. Its technical designation is Papyrus British Museum EA 9999. At 41 metres long, it is "the longest known papyrus from Egypt, with some 1,500 lines of text." It was found in a tomb near Medinet Habu, across the Nile river from Luxor, Egypt, and purchased by collector Anthony Charles Harris (1790–1869) in 1855; it entered the collection of the British Museum in 1872.
Mortuary temples were temples that were erected adjacent to, or in the vicinity of, royal tombs in Ancient Egypt. The temples were designed to commemorate the reign of the Pharaoh under whom they were constructed, as well as for use by the king's cult after death.
The Mortuary Temple of Ramesses III at Medinet Habu was an important New Kingdom period temple structure in the West Bank of Luxor in Egypt. Aside from its size and architectural and artistic importance, the temple is probably best known as the source of inscribed reliefs depicting the advent and defeat of the Sea Peoples during the reign of Ramesses III.
Malkata, meaning the place where things are picked up in Arabic, is the site of an Ancient Egyptian palace complex built during the New Kingdom, by the 18th Dynasty pharaoh Amenhotep III. It is located on the West Bank of the Nile at Thebes, Upper Egypt, in the desert to the south of Medinet Habu. The site also included a temple dedicated to Amenhotep III's Great Royal Wife, Tiy, which honors Sobek, the crocodile deity.
Tiye was an Ancient Egyptian queen of the twentieth dynasty; a secondary wife of Ramesses III, against whom she instigated a conspiracy.
The Judicial Papyrus of Turin is an ancient Egyptian record of the trials held against conspirators plotting to assassinate Ramesses III in what is referred to as the "harem conspiracy". The papyrus contains mostly summaries of the accusations, convictions and punishments meted out.
The Battle of Djahy was a major land battle between the forces of pharaoh Ramesses III and the Sea Peoples who intended to invade and conquer Egypt. The conflict occurred somewhere on the Egyptian Empire's easternmost frontier in Djahy or modern-day southern Lebanon, in the eighth year of pharaoh Ramesses III or about c. 1178 BC.
Ramesses II, also known as Ramesses the Great, was the third pharaoh of the Nineteenth Dynasty of Egypt. He is often regarded as the greatest, most celebrated, and most powerful pharaoh of the New Kingdom. His successors and later Egyptians called him the "Great Ancestor".
Pentawer was an ancient Egyptian prince of the 20th Dynasty, a son of Pharaoh Ramesses III and a secondary wife, Tiye. He was involved in the so-called "harem conspiracy", a plot to kill his father and place him on the throne. He either killed himself or was executed following the assassination of Ramesses III.
Meryatum was an Ancient Egyptian prince and High Priest of Re, the son of Pharaoh Ramesses III. Meryatum was the brother of pharaohs Ramesses IV, Ramesses VI, and Ramesses VIII. He was the uncle of pharaohs Ramesses V and Ramesses VII. His name can also be found as Ramesses Meryatum.
The Twentieth Dynasty of Egypt is the third and last dynasty of the Ancient Egyptian New Kingdom period, lasting from 1189 BC to 1077 BC. The 19th and 20th Dynasties furthermore together constitute an era known as the Ramesside period.
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