Shebitku's statue in the Nubian Museum
|Reign||714–705 BC (25th dynasty)|
Shebitku (also known as Shabataka or Shebitqo; formerly known as Shabako) was the second king of the Twenty-fifth Dynasty of Egypt who ruled from 714 BC-705 BC, according to the most recent academic research. He was a son of Piye, the founder of this dynasty. Shebitku's prenomen or throne name, Djedkare, means "Enduring is the Soul of Re."Shebitku's queen was Arty, who was a daughter of king Piye, according to a fragment of statue JE 49157 of the High Priest of Amun Haremakhet, son of Shabaka, found in the temple of the Goddess Mut in Karnak.
The Twenty-fifth Dynasty of Egypt, also known as the Nubian Dynasty or the Kushite Empire, was the last dynasty of the Third Intermediate Period of Egypt that occurred after the Nubian invasion.
Piye was an ancient Kushite king and founder of the Twenty-fifth dynasty of Egypt who ruled Egypt from 744–714 BC. He ruled from the city of Napata, located deep in Nubia, modern-day Sudan.
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.
Until recent times, Shebitku was placed within the 25th Dynasty between Shabaka and Taharqa. Although the possibility of a switch between the reigns of Shabaka and Shebitku had already been suggested before by Brunetand Baker had outlined nine reasons for the reversal, it was Michael Bányai in 2013 who first published in a mainstream journal many arguments in favor of such a relocation. After him, Frédéric Payraudeau and Gerard P. F. Broekman independently expanded the hypothesis. The archaeological evidence now in 2016/2017 firmly favours a Shebitku-Shabaka succession. Gerard Broekman's GM 251 (2017) paper shows that Shebitku reigned before Shabaka since the upper edge of Shabaka’s NLR #30 Year 2 Karnak quay inscription was carved over the left-hand side of the lower edge of Shebitku's NLR#33 Year 3 inscription. This can only mean that Shabaka ruled after Shebitku.
Neferkare Shabaka was the third Kushite pharaoh of the Twenty-fifth Dynasty of Egypt, who reigned from 705–690 BC.
Taharqa, also spelled Taharka or Taharqo, was a pharaoh of the Twenty-fifth Dynasty of Egypt and qore (king) of the Kingdom of Kush.
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.
Critically, it was first pointed out by Bakerand then later by Frederic Payraudeau who wrote in French that "the Divine Adoratrix ie. God's Wife of Amun Shepenupet I," the last Libyan Adoratrix, was still alive during the reign of Shebitku/Shabataqo because she is represented performing rites and is described as “living” in those parts of the Osiris-Héqadjet chapel built during his reign (wall and exterior of the gate) In the rest of the room it is Amenirdis I, Shabaka's sister), who is represented with the Adoratrix title and provided with a coronation name. The succession Shepenupet I - Amenirdis I as God's Wife of Amun or Divine Adoratrice of Amun thus took place during the reign of Shebitku. This detail in itself is sufficient to show that the reign of Shabaka cannot precede that of Shebitku.
The Divine Adoratrice of Amun was a second title – after God's Wife of Amun – created for the chief priestess of the ancient Egyptian deity, Amun. During the first millennium BCE, when the holder of this office exercised her largest measure of influence, her position was an important appointment facilitating the transfer of power from one pharaoh to the next, when his daughter was adopted to fill it by the incumbent office holder. The Divine Adoratrice ruled over the extensive temple duties and domains, controlling a significant part of the ancient Egyptian economy.
God's Wife of Amun was the highest-ranking priestess of the Amun cult, an important religious institution in ancient Egypt. The cult was centered in Thebes in Upper Egypt during the Twenty-fifth and Twenty-sixth dynasties. The office had political importance as well as religious, since the two were closely related in ancient Egypt.
Shepenupet I or Shapenewpet I was God's Wife of Amun during the Twenty-third Dynasty of Egypt.
The construction of the tomb of Shebitku (Ku. 18) resembles that of Piye (Ku. 17) while that of Shabaka (Ku. 15) is similar to that of Taharqa (Nu. 1) and Tantamani (Ku. 16).One of the strongest evidence that Shabaka ruled after Shebitku was demonstrated by the architectural features of the Kushite royal pyramids in El Kurru. Only in the pyramids of Piye (Ku 17) and Shebitku (Ku 18) are the burial-chambers open-cut structures with a corbelled roof, whereas fully tunneled burial chamber substructures are found in the pyramids of Shabaka (Ku 15), Taharqa (Nu 1) and Tantamani (Ku 16), as well as with all subsequent royal pyramids in El Kurru and Nuri. The fully tunneled and once-decorated burial chamber of Shabaka's pyramid was clearly an architectural improvement since it was followed by Taharqa and all his successors.
In architecture a corbel is in medieval architecture a structural piece of stone, wood or metal jutting from a wall to carry a superincumbent weight, a type of bracket. A corbel is a solid piece of material in the wall, whereas a console is a piece applied to the structure. A piece of timber projecting in the same way was called a "tassel" or a "bragger" in England.
Tantamani, Tanutamun or Tanwetamani (Egyptian) or Tementhes (Greek) was a Pharaoh of Egypt and the Kingdom of Kush located in Northern Sudan and a member of the Nubian or Twenty-fifth dynasty of Egypt. His prenomen or royal name was Bakare which means "Glorious is the Soul of Re."
Nuri is a place in modern Sudan on the west side of the Nile, near the Fourth Cataract Nuri is situated about 15 km north of Sanam, and 10 km from Jebel Barkal.
The pyramid design evidence also shows that Shabaka must have ruled after—and not before—Shebitku. This also favours a Shebitku-Shabaka succession in the 25th dynasty. In the Cairo CG 42204 of the High Priest of Amun, Haremakhet—son of Shabaka—calls himself as "king’s son of Shabaka, justified, who loves him, Sole Confidant of king Taharqa, justified, Director of the palace of the king of Upper and Lower Egypt Tanutamun/Tantamani, may he live for ever."However, as first noted by Baker, no mention of Haremakhet's service under Shebitku is made; even if Haremakhet was only a youth under Shebitku, this king's absence is strange since the intent of the statue's text was to render a chronological sequence of kings who reigned during Haremakhet's life, each of their names being accompanied by a reference to the relationship that existed between the king mentioned and Haremakhet. A possible explanation for Shebitku's omission from the statue of Haremakhet was that Shebitku was already dead when Haremaket was born under Shabaka.
Haremakhet, also Horemakhet or Harmakhis, was an ancient Egyptian prince and High Priest of Amun during the 25th Dynasty.
Payraudeau notes that Shebitku’s shabtis are small (about 10 cm) and have a very brief inscription with only the king's birth name in a cartouche preceded by “the Osiris, king of Upper and Lower Egypt” and followed by mȝʿ-ḫrw. They are thus very close to those of Piye/Piankhy [42 – D. Dunham, (see footnote 39), plate 44.]. However, Shabaka's shabtis are larger (about 15–20 cm) with more developed inscriptions, including the quotation from the Book of the Dead, which is also present on those Taharqo, Tanouetamani and Senkamanisken." All this evidence also suggests that Shebitku ruled before Shabaka. Finally, as first pointed out by Baker, and then later by Payraudeau who observed that in the traditional Shebitku-Shabaka chronology, the time span between the reign of Taharqa and Shabaka seems to be excessively long. They both noted that Papyrus Louvre E 3328c from Year 2 or Year 6 of Taharqa mentions the sale of a slave by his owner who had bought him in Year 7 of Shabaka, that is 27 years earlier in the traditional chronology but if the reign of Shabaka is placed just before that of Taharqa (with no intervening reign of Shebitku), there is a gap of about 10 years which is much more credible.
The ushabti was a funerary figurine used in ancient Egyptian religion. The Egyptological term is derived from Ancient Egyptian: 𓅱𓈙𓃀𓏏𓏭𓀾wšbtj, which replaced earlier 𓆷𓍯𓃀𓏏𓏭𓀾 šwbtj, perhaps the nisba of 𓈙𓍯𓃀𓆭 šwꜣb "Persea tree".
The respected German scholar Karl Jansen Winkeln also endorsed a Shebitku-Shabaka succession in a JEH 10 (2017) N.1 paper titled 'Beiträge zur Geschichte der Dritten Zwischenzeit’, Journal of Egyptian History 10 (2017), pp. 23–42 when he wrote a postscript stating “Im Gegensatz zu meinen Ausführungen auf dem  Kolloquium in Münster bin ich jetzt der Meinung, dass die (neue) Reihenfolge Schebitku—Schabako in der Tat richtig ist...” or ‘In contrast to my exposition at the  Munster colloquium, I am now of the opinion that the (new) succession Shebitku-Shabako is in fact correct…’
Turin Stela 1467, which depicts Shabaka and Shebitku seated together (with Shebitku behind Shabaka) facing two other individuals across an offering table, was once considered to be clear evidence for a royal co-regency between these two Nubian kings in William J. Murnane's 1977 book on Ancient Egyptian Coregencies.However, the Turin Museum has subsequently acknowledged the statue to be a forgery. Robert Morkot and Stephen Quirke, who analysed the stela in a 2001 article, also confirmed that the object is a forgery which cannot be used to postulate a possible coregency between Shabaka and Shebitku.
Secondly, Shebitku's Year 3, 1st month of Shemu day 5 inscription in Nile Level Text Number 33 has been assumed to record a coregency between Shabaka and Shebitku among some scholars. This Nile text records Shebitku mentioning his appearing (xai) in Thebes as king in the temple of Amun at Karnak where "Amun gave him the crown with two uraei like Horus on the throne of Re" thereby legitimising his kingship.Jürgen von Beckerath argued in a GM 136 (1993) article that the inscription recorded both the official coronation of Shebitku and the very first appearance of the king himself in Egypt after comparing this inscription with Nile Level Text No.30 from Year 2 of Shebitku when Shabaka conquered all of Egypt. If correct, this would demonstrate that Shebitku had truly served as a coregent to Shabaka for 2 years.
Kenneth Kitchen, however, observes that the "verb xai (or appearance) applies to any official 'epiphany' or official manifestation of the king to his 'public appearances'."Kitchen also stresses that the period around the first month of Shemu days 1-5 marked the date of a Festival of Amun-Re at Karnak which is well attested during the New Kingdom Period, the 22nd Dynasty and through to the Ptolemaic period. Hence, in the third Year of Shebitku, this Feast to Amun evidently coincided with both the Inundation of the Nile and a personal visit by Shebitku to the Temple of Amun "but we have no warrant whatever for assuming that Shebitku...remained uncrowned for 2 whole years after his accession." William Murnane also endorsed this interpretation by noting that Shebitku's Year 3 Nile Text "need not refer to an accession or coronation at all. Rather, it seems simply to record an 'appearance' of Shebitku in the temple of Amun during his third year and to acknowledge the god's influence in securing his initial appearance as king." In other words, Shebitku was already king of Egypt and the purpose of his visit to Karnak was to receive and record for posterity the god Amun's official legitimization of his reign. Therefore, the evidence for a possible coregency between Shabaka and Shebitku is illusory at present.
Dan'el Kahn also carefully considered but rejected arguments against a division of the 25th dynasty kingdom under Shabaka's reign with Shabaka ruling in Lower and Upper Egypt and Shebitku, acting as Shabaka's junior coregent or viceroy, in Nubia in an important 2006 article.Kahn notes that there was always only one Nubian king ruling over all of the 25th dynasty's domain including both Egypt and Nubia and that problems of communication and control "did not hinder the kushite king to be the supreme ruler of this vast territory." Kahn stresses that the Great Triumphal stela of Piye indicates it took only 39 days to travel by boat from Napata to Thebes while the Nitocris Adoption Stela shows that "the time to travel the distance between Memphis (or possibly Tanis) and Thebes by boat (c.700 km or more for Tanis) is [only] 16 days."
This section needs to be updated.May 2017)(
In 1999, an Egypt-Assyrian synchronism from the Great Inscription of Tang-i Var in Iran was re-discovered and re-analysed. Carved by Sargon II of Assyria (722-705 BC), the inscription dates to the period around 707/706 BC and reveals that it was Shebitku, king of Egypt, who extradited the rebel king Iamanni of Ashdod into Sargon's hands, rather than Shabaka as previously thought.The pertinent section of the inscription by Sargon II reads:
|“||"(19) I (scil. Sargon) plundered the city of Ashdod, Iamani, its king, feared [my weapons] and...He fled to the region of the land of Meluhha and lived (there) stealthfully (literally:like a thief). (20) Shapataku' (Shebitku) king of the land of Meluhha, heard of the mig[ht] of the gods Ashur, Nabu (and) Marduk which I had [demonstrated] over all lands...(21) He put (Iamani) in manacles and handcuffs...he had him brought captive into my presence."||”|
The Tang-i Var inscription dates to Sargon's 15th year between Nisan 707 BC to Adar 706 BC.This shows that Shebitku was ruling in Egypt by April 706 BC at the very latest, and perhaps as early as November 707 BC to allow some time for Iamanni's extradition and the recording of this deed in Sargon's inscription. A suggestion that Shebitku served as Shabaka's viceroy in Nubia and that Shebitku extradited Iamanni to Sargon II during the reign of king Shabaka has been rejected by the Egyptologist Karl Jansen-Winkeln in Ancient Egyptian Chronology (Handbook of Oriental Studies), which is the most updated publication on Egyptian chronology. As Jansen-Winkeln writes:
The Greek historian Herodotus in his Histories (book II, chapter 141) writes of a High Priest of Ptah named Sethos (Greek : ΣεθῶνSethon) who became pharaoh and defeated the Assyrians with divine intervention. This name is probably a corruption of Shebitku. Herodotus' account was the inspiration for the 18th-century fantasy novel Life of Sethos , which has been influential among Afrocentrists.
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.
Usermaatre Setepenamun Osorkon II was the fifth king of 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.
Nitocris I served as the heir to, and then, as the Divine Adoratrice of Amun or God's Wife of Amun for a period of more than seventy years, between 655 BC and 585 BC.
Shepsesre Tefnakht was a prince of Sais and founder of the relatively short Twenty-fourth dynasty of Egypt; he rose to become a Chief of the Ma in his home city. He is thought to have reigned roughly 732 BCE to 725 BCE, or 7 years. Tefnakht I first began his career as the "Great Chief of the West" and Prince of Sais and was a late contemporary of the last ruler of the 22nd dynasty: Shoshenq V. Tefnakht I was actually the second ruler of Sais; he was preceded by Osorkon C, who is attested by several documents mentioning him as this city's Chief of the Ma and Army Leader, according to Kenneth Kitchen, while his predecessor as Great Chief of the West was a man named Ankhhor. A recently discovered statue, dedicated by Tefnakht I to Amun-Re, reveals important details about his personal origins. The statue's text states that Tefnakht was the son of a certain Gemnefsutkapu and the grandson of Basa, a priest of Amun near Sais. Consequently, Tefnakht was not actually descended from either lines of Chiefs of the Ma and of the Libu as traditionally believed but rather came from a family of priests, and his ancestors being more likely Egyptians rather than Libyans.
Hedjkheperre Setepenre Takelot I was an ancient Libyan ruler who was pharaoh during the Twenty-second Dynasty of Egypt.
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.
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.
Rudamun was the final pharaoh of the Twenty-third dynasty of Ancient Egypt. His titulary simply reads as Usermaatre Setepenamun, Rudamun Meryamun, and excludes the Si-Ese or Netjer-Heqawaset epithets employed by his father and brother.
Shepenupet II was an Ancient Egyptian princess of the 25th Dynasty who served as the high priestess, the Divine Adoratrice of Amun, from around 700 BC to 650 BC. She was the daughter of the first Kushite pharaoh Piye and sister of Piye's successors, Shabaka and Taharqa.
Usermaatre Osorkon IV was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh during the late Third Intermediate Period. Traditionally considered the very last king of the 22nd Dynasty, he was de facto little more than ruler in Tanis and Bubastis, in Lower Egypt. He is generally – though not universally – identified with the King Shilkanni mentioned by Assyrian sources, and with the biblical So, King of Egypt mentioned in the second Books of Kings.
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.
The Sack of Thebes took place in 664 BC at the hands of the Neo-Assyrian Empire under king Ashurbanipal, then at war with the Kushite Twenty-fifth Dynasty of Egypt under Taharqa or Tantamani. This was a major event in the history of the city of Thebes and of ancient Egypt in general, as it precipitated the rise of the Twenty-sixth Dynasty and heralded the end of the Third Intermediate Period.
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| Pharaoh of Egypt |
714 BC – 705 BC