Shoshenq IV

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Hedjkheperre Setepenre Shoshenq IV ruled Egypt's 22nd Dynasty between the reigns of Shoshenq III and Pami. In 1986, David Rohl proposed that there were two king Shoshenqs bearing the prenomen Hedjkheperre – (i) the well-known founder of the dynasty, Hedjkheperre Shoshenq I, and (ii) a later pharaoh from the second half of the dynasty, whom Rohl called Hedjkheperre Shoshenq (b) due to his exact position in the dynasty being unknown. [3] Following Rohl's proposal (first suggested to him by Pieter Gert van der Veen in 1984), the British Egyptologist Aidan Dodson supported the new king's existence by demonstrating that the earlier Hedjkheperre Shoshenq bore simple epithets in his titulary, whereas the later Hedjkheperre Shoshenq's epithets were more complex. [4]

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.

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.

Pami Egyptian pharaoh

Usermaatre Setepenre Pami was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh of the 22nd Dynasty who ruled for 7 years. "Pami" in Egyptian, means "the Cat" or "He who belongs to the Cat [Bastet]."

Dodson suggested that the ruler that Kenneth Kitchen, in his standard work on Third Intermediate Period chronology, [5] had numbered Shoshenq IV – bearing the prenomen Usermaatre – should be removed from the 22nd Dynasty and replaced by Rohl's Hedjkheperre Shoshenq (b), renumbering the latter as Shoshenq IV. At the same time the old Usermaatre Shoshenq IV was renumbered as Shoshenq VI. Dodson's historical summary of the new King Shoshenq IV's discovery and his supportive evidence for that king's independent existence from Hedjkheperre Shoshenq I appeared in a seminal article entitled ‘A New King Shoshenq Confirmed?’ which appeared in 1993. [4]

Rohl and Dodson's combined arguments for the existence of a new 22nd Dynasty Tanite king called Hedjkheperre Shoshenq IV are accepted by Egyptologists today, including Jurgen von Beckerath and Kitchen – the latter in the preface to the third edition of his book on The Third Intermediate Period in Egypt. [6]

As Dodson pointed out, while Shoshenq IV shared the same prenomen as his illustrious ancestor Shoshenq I, he is distinguished from Shoshenq I by his use of an especially long nomen – Shoshenq-meryamun-sibast-netjerheqaon which featured both the sibast ('son of Bast') and netjerheqaon ('god-ruler of Heliopolis') epithets. [7] These two epithets were only gradually employed by the 22nd Dynasty pharaohs, starting from the reign of Osorkon II. By contrast, Shoshenq I's nomen simply reads ‘Shoshenq-meryamun’. Shoshenq I's immediate successors, Osorkon I and Takelot I also never used epithets beyond the standard ‘meryamun’ (beloved of Amun). In his 1994 book on the Canopic Equipment of the Kings of Egypt, Dodson perceptively observes that when the sibast epithet ‘appears during the dynasty of Osorkon II’, it is rather infrequent, while the netjerheqawaset ('god-ruler of Thebes') and netjerheqaon epithets are only exclusively attested ‘in the reigns of that monarch’s successors’ – that is Shoshenq III, Pami and Shoshenq V. [8] This suggests that the newly identified Hedjkhperre Shoshenq IV was a late Tanite-era king who ruled in Egypt either during or after the reign of Shoshenq III.

Osorkon II Egyptian pharaoh

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.

Takelot I Egyptian pharaoh(1000-0874)

Hedjkheperre Setepenre Takelot I was an ancient Libyan ruler who was pharaoh during the Twenty-second Dynasty of Egypt.

Shoshenq V Egyptian pharaoh

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

Rohl had already pointed out in 1989 that the cartouches of a Hedjkheperre Shoshenq appear on a stela (St. Petersburg Hermitage 5630) dated to Year 10 of the king. [9] This stela mentions a Great Chief of the Libu, Niumateped, who is also attested in a Year 8, usually attributed to Shoshenq V. Since the title ‘Chief of the Libu’ is only documented from Year 31 of Shoshenq III onwards, it seems this new king must have ruled contemporary with or after Shoshenq III. Dodson noted that the Hedjkheperre Shoshenq on the stela bore the long form titulary, now attributed to Hedjkhperre Shoshenq IV, thus confirming that the stela cannot be dated to Hedjkheperre Shoshenq I. [10]

In his 1993 paper, Dodson proposed to place Shoshenq IV's reign after the last attested regnal date for Shoshenq III in Year 39, arguing that the discovery of Shoshenq IV's burial in the tomb of Shoshenq III at Tanis makes it likely that he was part of the 22nd Dynasty Tanite line. Dodson would therefore place Hedjkheperre Shoshenq IV between Shoshenq III and Pami.


A rendering of the tomb NRT V, showing the two sarcophagi. NRT V e.jpg
A rendering of the tomb NRT V, showing the two sarcophagi.

Excavation work in the looted NRT V Tanite tomb of Shoshenq III revealed the presence of two sarcophagi: one inscribed for Usermaatre-setepenre Shoshenq III and the other being an anonymous sarcophagus. The unmarked sarcophagus, however, ‘was clearly a secondary introduction’ according to its position in the tomb. [11] In the Tanite tomb's debris, several fragments were found from one or two canopic jars bearing the cartouches of a Hedjkheperre Shoshenq. Rohl had pointed out that the Staatliche Museum in Berlin possessed a canopic chest for Hedjkheperre Shoshenq I and that these jars from the tomb of Shoshenq III were too large to fit inside the Berlin canopic chest. Rohl ‘used the evidence of the jars as the key element of his theory that there were indeed two Hedjkheperre Shoshenqs’. [7] Dodson noted that the Tanite canopic vessels bear the name ‘Hedjkheperre-Setpenre-meryamun-sibast-netjerheqaon’ and, since the epithet netjerheqaon ('god ruler of Heliopolis') was never employed by the 22nd Dynasty kings until the reign of Shoshenq III, this is clear evidence that the new Shoshenq IV was buried in Shoshenq III's Tanite tomb and must have succeeded this king. [12] It also establishes that the king buried in the second sarcophagus in Shoshenq III's tomb was certainly not Shoshenq I. Dodson was initially reluctant to accept Rohl's proposal for a second Hedjkheperre Shoshenq but his own research into the archaeological evidence led him to revise his opinion:

“Having implicitly rejected such a conclusion in 1986, further study of the canopic fragments as part of my general treatment of royal canopics has now led me rather to support the existence of two Shoshenqs with the prenomen Hedjkheperre.” [7]

This is now the mainstream consensus view within Egyptology.

Related Research Articles

Psusennes II Egyptian pharaoh

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.

Takelot II Egyptian Pharaoh

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.

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 ancient Egyptian high priest of Amun

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.

Shoshenq VI Egyptian pharaoh

Shoshenq VI is known to be Pedubast I's immediate successor at Thebes based upon the career of the Letter Writer to Pharaoh Hor IX, who served under Osorkon II and Pedubast I. Since Shoshenq VI's prenomen is inscribed on Hor IX's funerary cones, this indicates that Hor IX outlived Pedubast I and made his funeral arrangements under Shoshenq VI instead. His prenomen or royal name was "Usermaatre Meryamun Shoshenq" which is unusual because it is the only known example where the epithet "Meryamun" appears within a king's cartouche. Shoshenq VI's High Priest of Amun was a certain Takelot who first appears in office in Year 23 of Pedubast I.

Pimay was an ancient Egyptian prince, son of pharaoh Shoshenq III, who served as a Great Chief of the Ma during his father's reign.

Amenemope (pharaoh) Egyptian Pharaoh

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

Harsiese A priest (1000-0860)

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.

Pedubast I Egyptian pharaoh

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.

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."

Osorkon III Egyptian pharaoh

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.

Setepenre is an often-used title of Egyptian kings (pharaohs), meaning "Elect of Re". It was also used as a personal name in at least two instances.

High Priest of Ptah position

The High Priest of Ptah was sometimes referred to as "The Greatest of the Directors of Craftsmanship" (wr-ḫrp-ḥmwt). This title refers to Ptah as the patron god of the craftsmen.


  1. Jansen-Winkeln, Karl (2014). "Die "Großfürsten der Libu" im westlichen Delta in der späten 22. Dynastie". Journal of Egyptian History. 7: 194–202.
  2. Jürgen von Beckerath, Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen (= Münchner ägyptologische Studien, vol 46), Mainz am Rhein: Verlag Philipp von Zabern, 1999. ISBN   3-8053-2310-7, pp.190-91.
  3. D. Rohl: ‘Questions and Answers on the Chronology of Rohl and James’, Chronology & Catastrophism Workshop 1986:1, p. 22.
  4. 1 2 A. Dodson: ‘A new King Shoshenq confirmed?’, Göttinger Miszellen 137 (1993), pp.53-58.
  5. K. A. Kitchen, The Third Intermediate Period in Egypt (1100-650 BC), 1st edition (1973), p. 87.
  6. K. A. Kitchen, The Third Intermediate Period in Egypt (1100-650 BC), 3rd edition (1996), § Y p.xxvi
  7. 1 2 3 A. Dodson, op. cit. (1993), p.55.
  8. A. Dodson, The Canopic Equipment of the Kings of Egypt (1994), p. 93.
  9. D. Rohl: ‘The Early Third Intermediate Period: Some Chronological Considerations’, Journal of the Ancient Chronology Forum 3 (1989), pp.66-67.
  10. A. Dodson, op.cit. (1993), pp.55-56.
  11. A. Dodson, op.cit. (1994), p. 93.
  12. A. Dodson, op. cit. (1993), pp.54-55
Preceded by
Shoshenq III
Pharaoh of Egypt
798 785 BC
Twenty-second dynasty of Egypt
Succeeded by