Although the wide use of magic and spells, the plot appears to have failed as the culprits were caught and forced to commit suicide, but as Ramses appears to have died before their trial was complete, who is to say that they did not succeed in killing him after all. He was buried in the Valley of the Kings (KV 11) in an elaborate tomb that was initially intended for his father.
During his long period, Ramses III fought several campaigns including the battle with the sea peoples, which is shown on the walls of inner walls of the first pylon. Ramsses III records the following encounter with such foreigners: “The foreign countries made a conspiracy in their islands.…They were coming forward toward Egypt, while the flame was prepared before them. Their confederation was the Philistines, Tjeker, Shekelesh, Denyen, and Weshesh, lands united.” – In the continuation of this record, Ramses III claims to have defeated all of these forces handily, but that’s likely a bit of bravado, or propaganda.
For two thousand years Egyptian civilization was second to none. By the time of Rameses III, however, the world was going through great upheavals. The long period of stability in the Middle East brought about by Thutmose III, and continued by Rameses II's victories over the Hittites, was about to come to an end. But Egypt was not about to give up and sink into oblivion, not yet anyway. There was still one more moment of glory for Egypt. During the first few years of his reign, Rameses III brought unity to the country. In his fifth year when the Libyans attacked, Egypt was well prepared. An organized and efficient Egyptian army easily defeated them. Ramses III also defeated other armies that threatened Egypt from the sea. Rameses III had two principle wives plus a number of minor wives and it was one of these minor wives that led to his destruction. She hatched a plot to kill him so she could put her son on the throne. Rameses III’s death marks the end of an era. He had ruled for 31 years and was the last of the great Pharaohs. Egypt now began to suffer economic problems and was unable to exploit the revolution of the Iron Age because Egypt had no sources of iron ore. But the most important factor in Egypt’s decline was a break down in society. There were disputes between officials and governors and infighting between Upper and Lower Egypt. The priesthood became very powerful and eventually they took control of the government. From this time onwards others would determine the destiny of Egypt. The Assyrians, Persians, Greeks and eventually the Romans were to become the lead players in Egypt’s destiny.
Inside the first pylon is a large open courtyard, and on the northern side stands rather fat-legged statues of Ramses in the form of Osiris with wives at his feet. Unfortunately, many of these statues were removed to make way for a Coptic Church, which remained inside the temple until the nineteenth century.
Ramesses III Family:
Prince Amun-her-Khopshef (her tomb QV55):
Ernesto Schiapaelli discovered this tomb during the Italian expedition’s second diggings in the Valley 1903. Although, like many other tombs it had been looted probably not long after its completion, its structure and decorations were in good condition. The basic shape of the tomb is similar to that of Prince Khaemwaset, a straight corridor leading first to an antechamber and then to the burial chamber. There are single annexes leading from both rooms.
The main theme of the tomb paintings is Ramses III introducing his son to various gods and there are some fine paintings of him wearing a serpent crown. Amun-her-Khepshef is shown with his hair in a side lock, like that shown below, which was a style worn by children. From this, we can assume that he, like many of his brothers, died in childhood and although estimates of his age at death vary, it is likely that it occurred when he was around fifteen years old.
He was not one of Ramses III senior sons but he did hold many titles and is shown both in his tomb and in the Medinet Habu as being a fan-bearer on the right-hand side of his father, which was a position of importance that several of his brothers held.
Prince Amun-her-Khopshef (QV55)