Monday, February 19, 2007

New Kingdom - 19th dynasty

[Above - limestone stela depicting Ramessu (I) on the left offering loaves of bread to the god Osiris, taken at the Allard Pierson Museum by Carla Stela reads: "The Lord of the Two Lands, Menpehtire. The Lord of appearances, Ramessu. Given life. Usir, foremost of the Westerners. The great God, lord of the necropolis."]

1st Pharaoh of the 19th dynasty - Ramessu (I) [pictured, above left] [Ramessu, Ramses, Ramesses]
The son of Sethy "Officer of the Charioteers" and Tiu "Lady of the House and Chantress of Ra" (known from an inscription on the 400 Year Stela). Ramessu (I) also had a brother named Khaemwaset "Chief of the Bow of Kush" who was married to a lady called Taemwadsjy.
Ramessu's (I) titles are as follows: Horus name "Khanakht Wadjnisyt" Strong bull who rejuvenate the royalty. Nebty name "Khaemnisutmiatum" Who appears instead of King like Atum. Golden Horus name "Semenma'atkhettawy" Who confirms Ma'at throughout the Two Lands. Throne name "Nesu-bit Menpehtire" The King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Eternal is the strength of Ra. Birth name "Sa-Ra Ramessu" Son of the Sun, Ra begot him.
Ramessu (I) was not of royal birth, he was probably born of a noble family in the Nile Delta area, where he was originally called Paramessu, taking the name Ramessu when he came to the throne. He was originally a military man, where he eventually held the title of "General of the Armies." This is how Ramessu (I) came to inherit the throne, as he was favoured by the previous pharaoh, Horemheb, who died childless. Ramessu's (I) Queen was called Sitre, and they had a son together who was named Sethy, and he served as "Crown Prince." Queen Sitre was buried at Queen's Valley 38. Ramessu's (I) reign was very short, lasting from approximately 1292-1290 BC. Ramessu (I) was buried at Kings's Valley 16, but is believed to have been moved in antiquity to the mummy cache at Deir el-Bahri 320, only to be stolen and smuggled out of Egypt where he was brought to the museum in Niagara Falls. The mummy was then bought by The Michael Carlos Museum at Emory University in Atlanta. Although it is in no way conclusive that this particular mummy is indeed Ramessu (I), scientific testing has provided expected-death dates that are within approximate dates for Ramessu's (I) time of death. Measurements of his skull have also shown a great likeness to that of his son Sethy (I), and his grand-son Ramessu (II), and the style of the mummy's wrappings are very similar to mummification techniques of that period.

[Above - fragment of a stela from the Oriental Institute, depicting Pharaoh Sethy (I) with his son Prince Ramessu (II) standing behind him. Opposite them stands priest Amenwahsu, in front of a man who is believed to be Tjia, Sethy's (I) son-in-law. Photo supplied by John DeWerd. Stela reads: "The Usir, king, Lord of the Two Lands, Menma'atra, Sethy Merenptah, repeating life, possessor of reverence. The king's son, of his body, whom he loves, Ramessu. The Usir, scribe of the offering table of the Lord of the Two Lands, Amenwahsu, true of voice, repeating life. The Usir, the royal scribe, Tjia, true of voice."]

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2nd Pharaoh of the 19th dynasty - Sethy (I) [pictured above, second from left] [Sethy, Sethos, Seti]
The son of Ramessu (I) and Queen Sitre.
His titles are as follows: Horus name "Kanakht Khaemwaset Seankhtawy" Strong bull rising in Thebes, the One who makes life the Two Lands. Nebty name "Wehemmesut Sekhemkhepesh Derpedjetpesdjet" The One who renew the births, strong with a sword who subjugate the Nine-Bows (all the countries under Egyptian domination). Golden Horus name "Wehemkhau Weserpedjutemtawnebu" The One who renew the crowns, the One who subjugate the Nine-Bows in all countries. Throne name "Nesu-bit Menma'atra Heqaiunu" The King of Upper and Lower Egypt, firm is the truth of Ra, the Ruler of Heliopolis. Birth name "Sa-Ra Sethy Merenptah" The son of the Sun, The man of Seth, beloved of Ptah.
Sethy (I) was not born into the royal family, his Great Royal Wife, Queen Tuya, was also born a commoner, her mother was called Ruia and her father, Raia, was the "Commander of the Chariots" in the Egyptian army. Both of Tuya's parents were burried at Thebes. Sethy (I) and Tuya had their children before he was made king, this is known due to their eldest daughter named Tia, who is believed to have married before their family became royalty, as she was married to a commoner called Tjia. He held the title of "Overseer of the Treasury". Tia and Tjia were burried in a
tomb at Saqqara.
There was some debate as to whether Sethy (I) and Tuya had one son or two sons due to an inscription, at the Great Hypostyle Hall in the Karnak temple, showing Sethy (I) preceeded by what was initially believed to be a prince named Nebenkhasetneb. Also here was a figure from a Libyan battle scene (again thought to be the elder son of Sethy) that had been plastered over and replaced by a picture of Ramessu (II) (3rd Pharaoh of the 19th dynasty). The plaster has partially fallen off in places, revealing to present archaeologists both stages. It was thought that if this son had existed, he must have died in infancy, as there is no further trace of this prince. More recently it has been proposed that this isn't a prince, but a favoured high ranking military man of Sethy (I), holding the titles of "Troop Leader" and "Fan Bearer" nicknamed, Mehy. It is possible that Mehy may have been heir apparent to Sethy (I), especially in the early years of Sethy's (I) reign, as Ramessu (II) may have been considered too young to reign. But it is likely that as soon as Ramessu (II) reached puberty, Mehy's claim to the throne was no-longer and Ramessu (II) became the legitimate heir.
The other son is Ramessu, who later became pharaoh [Ramessu (II) or "Ramessu the Great"]. It is unknown if Ramessu (II) was officially named as coregent, but it is thought that he probably did because of examples like The Kings List at Abydos, where they are depicted together. Sethy's (I) and Queen Tuya's younger daughter was named
Henutmira. She later married her brother Ramessu (II), after he had become pharaoh. She was burried in Queen's Valley 75. It is important to mention here that Henutmira has also been credited with being the daughter of Ramessu (II), and even more often the grand-daughter of Ramessu (II), but generally she is thought to be the daughter of Sethy (I) and Queen Tuya. [Princess Henutmira and Queen Tuya are pictured, below right]. Sethy's (I) reign lasted from approximately 1290-1279 BC, and on his death was buried at King's Valley 17, but like his father he was relocated to the Deir el-Bahri 320 mummy cache in antiquity, where he rested until the discovery of the cache in 1881. Queen Tuya outlived him by about 20 years, and gained high prominence during Ramessu's (II) - her son's - reign, where he credited her with the title "Mut-Tuya" meaning, Mother Tuya. When she did die, it is possible that Ramessu (II) had his mother buried in - as yet - an unnumbered tomb, located west of Queen's Valley 66.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

3rd Pharaoh of the 19th dynasty - Ramessu (II) [pictured below] [Ramessu, Ramses, Ramesses]
A son of Sethy (I) and Queen Tuya. His titles are as follows: Horus name "Kanakht Meryma'at" Strong bull, Beloved of Ma'at. Nebty name "Mekkemet Wafkhasut" The protector of Egypt, The conqueror of neighbouring countries. Golden Horus name "Userrenput Aanehktu" Rich in years, Great in victories. Throne name "Nesu-bit Userma'atra Setepenra" The King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Powerful is the justice of Ra, Chosen by Ra. Birth name "Sa-Ra Ramessu Meryamun" Son of the Sun, Ra bore him, Beloved of Amun.

Like his father and grand-father, Ramessu (II) was probably born a non-royal, but it would have been very early in his life that his grand-father, Ramessu (I) came to the throne. Ramessu (II) was previously know as Ramses, but he changed the spelling of his name to Ramessu during his 20th regnal year. Although it remains unknown why he changed his name, it is not an uncommon thing for the Ancient Egyptians to do. Ramessu (II) had many wives that we have information on, as well as concubines that are less well known. This led him to be the father of between 50-150 children, as he had an exceptionally long reign from approximatey 1279-1212 BC; some of these children being extremely well documented by him.
Ramessu's (II) queen was named, Nefertari, and she bore him at least 4 sons. Firstly, Amunherkhepshef whom was originally named Amunherwenemef; he changed his name to Amunherkhepshef very early in his father's reign. He then changed his name again in his father's 20th regal year to Sethherkopshef. It is likely that he was buried at King's Valley 5. There were also at least three other sons born to Nefertari named, Pareherwenemef, Meryatum, and Meryre. Ramessu (II) and Nefertari also had at least two daughters named Meryetamun and Henuttawy. Meryetamun was raised to the position of "Great Royal Wife" of Ramessu (II) after the death of her mother, and on her own death was buried at Queen's Valley 68).

[Upper left picture is of Henutmira beside her mother, Tuya, from the Vatican Museum, supplied by Anneke Bart. Above is a red-granite column depicting Ramessu (on right) making an offering to the god, Khnum (on left) taken at the Manchester Museum, which reads: "...he is joyful. I have given you kingship. Lord of the Two Lands, Userma'atra Setepenra. Lord of Appearances, Ramessu Meryamun. Producing incense for his father, Given Life."]

[Right - Photo of a statue piece of Khaemwaset from the Berlin Egyptian Museum. Photo supplied by Sesen.]

Another wife of Ramessu (II) was Queen Isetnofret. She had at least three sons with Ramessu (II); Khaemwaset [pictured right], Prince Ramses-Meryatum (otherwise referred to as Ramses Junior), and Merenptah. These sons appear to have held important roles at court, with Khaemwaset being the High Priest of Ptah and conducting restorations to old monuments on behalf of his father. Khaemwaset's burial place has never been discovered, but it's believed that he may have been buried at Saqqara close to the Serapeum, due to a golden mask that was discovered there. Prince Ramses-Meryatum was buried in King's Valley 5, and Merenptah was Ramessu's (II) eventual successor to the throne. There are two known daughters of Isetnofret, called Bintanat and Isetnofret (II). Bintanat later became her father's wife, too. Prince Suty who was buried at King's Valley 5, and Princess Nebettawy may have also been the offspring of Queen Isetnofret. Like Bintanat, Nebettawy also married her father, Ramessu (II).

Links to my favourite sites containing information on Ancient Egyptian Royalty:
Ancient Egypt - Site by Anneke Bart, containing details on Egyptian royalty and officials, priests etc .
Foreign rulers of Egypt - Names of Egypts foreign rulers.

Title's links are from: Sethy1 and eGlyphica. Picture link is from: Egyptarchive.

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