Senusret II (1897-1878)

King Senusret II (1897 BC-1878BC) or Senwosret II or Sesostris II was the fourth pharaoh of the Dynasty 12. He was the first pharaoh who thought in drainage canal in Faiyum between bahr Yusuf and Lake Moeris. The purpose of Senusret II's project was to increase the amount of cultivable land here. he maybe reign of only ten Years as some scholars believed.

Some historians think that King Senusret II = “Pharaoh Khakheperre” of Dynasty twelve who ordered to settle Israel in Goshen at “Fayoum”. An Eternal historical documentation appears in the drawn message, documented by Joseph, on the north wall of the tomb of Count Khnumhotep II at Beni-Hassan, Egypt, as a “Point in Time” -- “In the year 6 of King Khakheperre”.

The pyramid of Senusret II

Senusret II built his "Shining Pyramid" At the entrance of the Fayoum, of limestone and mud-brick at El Lahun. After the failure of his Dahshur Pyramid, King Amenemhet III abandoned it and started over with a new pyramid located near the modern village of Hawara el-Makta, not far from Lahun.

The pyramid of Senusret II at El-LahunThe pyramid of Senusret II at El-Lahun
(the royal tombs of the family appear in the north)

North of the pyramid, there are eight rock tombs of the royal family and a small pyramid of the queen with burial chamber.

Pectoral with the Name of King Senwosret II, it was found among the jewelry of Princess Sithathoryunet (sit-hathor-you-net) in a special niche of her underground tomb beside the pyramid of King Senwosret II at Lahun. Hieroglyphic signs are amply used in the design, and the whole might actually be read as a text saying, Ò The god of the rising sun grants life and dominion over all that the sun encircles for one million one hundred thousand years [i.e., eternity] to King Khakheperre (Senwosret II).

The arts in the reign of Senusret II, (Princess Sithathoryunet's Pectoral):

This centerpiece of a princess’s necklace is composed around the throne name of King Senwosret II. It was found among the jewelry of Princess Sithathoryunet (sit-hathor-you-net) in a special niche of her underground tomb beside the pyramid of Senwosret II at Lahun. Hieroglyphic signs are amply used in the design, and the whole might actually be read as a text saying, The god of the rising sun grants life and dominion over all that the sun encircles for one million one hundred thousand years [i.e., eternity] to King Khakheperre [Senwosret II].

The deity of the rising sun is present in the two falcons that flank the name of the king, sun disks on their heads and the circular hieroglyphic sign for odominion over time and space’ clutched in their claws. Royal cobras, whose tails encircle the sun disks, hold the king’s cartouche upright, and signs of life (ankhs) hanging from the looped cobra bodies also flank the royal name. The cartouche rests on the bent tops of palm fronds (signs for (year)) that are held by a kneeling Heh, god of eternity and sign for “one million.” A tadpole (sign for “one hundred thousand) dangles from the god’s right elbow.

The symbolism of the design, however, goes beyond this simple text. Notice that the whole group of figures rests on a rectangular bar that is characterized as a reed mat by vertical divisions. The Egyptians used such mats as floor covers for high-status people to sit on and as trays for offerings. This particular mat, decorated with zigzag lines signifying water, is actually a representation of the primeval water from which the earth rose at creation. With the water at the bottom and the sun disks at the top, the pectoral design depicts the world as the Egyptians knew it.

Also significant is the heraldic character of the symmetrical configuration. With pairs of identical figures and emblems facing each other across a central motto, the device is remarkably like a coat of arms of medieval European times. Like all heraldic ensigns, the pectoral proclaims a program: the program of Egyptian kingship. The pharaoh surrounded and protected by gods guarantees the ever renewed creation of life and order in perpetuity.

The pectoral is a masterpiece of Egyptian jewelry making at its peak. The goldsmith surely from the royal workshop set 372 precisely cut pieces of semiprecious stone into tiny cloisons that he had formed from bands of sheet gold set on edge and fused to gold backing plates. The various colored stones bring this filigree of gold to brilliant life.

How to travel to the pyramid of Senusert II?

Senusert II’ pyramid at Illahun (Lahun pyramid) which you can travel there by train or by air.

Ramses III

King Ramses III (who ruled between roughly 1190 to 1150 B.C.E.), was the son and heir of Sethnakht who became the first King of the 20th Dynasty. Sethnatkht’s path to the throne is unclear. It is possible that there was a family relationship between him and Ramses II, but it is just as likely that he grabbed power when the opportunity arose just as Ay and Horemheb had before him.

Cartouche of Ramses III
Cartouche of Ramses III

Ramses III made his own claim to the throne clear by having the words “I did not take my office by robbery, but the crown was set upon my head willingly” inscribed on one of the temple pylons. Although the foriegn wars of King Ramsses III, along his life, even in peaceful times there was wide spread corruption and internal strife in Egypt. This unrest might have led to the harem plot, which occurred later in his reign, when several of his ministers and his wife Queen Ty aimed to have him assassinated during the Opet festival celebrations, intending to make Queen Ty’s son king.

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.

Wars and the Military Power of Ramsses III

Ramses III emulated Ramses II in many ways and he named several of his own sons after those of Ramses II. The original Prince Khaemwaset was one of the more famous sons of Ramses II as he became High Priest of Ptah but this Prince Khaemwaset although he also became a priest of Ptah did not rise to the same heights as his namesake. Nevertheless, he did hold high office and in his youth was ‘fan-bearer to the right of the King’. He was one of Ramses III older sons and it is thought that Queen Tyti may have been his mother but his age at death has never been determined.

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.

King Ramses III left us not only a written account of his battles with these foreigners, but also pictures – one of which is this drawing found in his mortuary temple, depicting a sea battle with these foreigners.

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.

Temple of Ramsses III (Mortuary temple )

Before entering the mortuary temple visitors pass under the windowed gateway where Ramses had his pleasure rooms and enter an open space which was once a magnificent garden. Facing, is the deeply carved first pylon, which shows Ramses fighting imaginary battles against the enemies of Egypt but on the inner walls are scenes of battles that he really did fight and win. To the right of the gateway is the temple that Hatshepsut built and on the left is the temple of the Divine Adoratrix, which was added at a later date.

Temple of Ramses III at Medinet HabuTemple of Ramses III at Medinet Habu

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.

In the second courtyard, a series of reliefs show scribes completing a tally of the dead after a battle with the Libyans. This series is interesting as it starts with the counting of hands, which confused the issue as each enemy had two, and finishes by counting penises of which they only had one.
The temple has a chequered history. Apart from being plastered over with mud and turned into a Coptic monastery, when the Egyptian economy began to crumble it was the scene of a labour demonstration. Workers from Deir el Medina gathered there when they went on strike over their lack of pay and poor conditions of employment. Was this the first organised labour dispute? When social order broke down even further, gangs of Libyan bandits roamed the area and when they were attacked, the entire population of Deir el Medina abandoned their town and took refuge within the temple walls.

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.

At the rear of this tomb is a case which holds a mummified foetus that myth ascribed to a miscarriage his mother (possibly Queen Tyti) had on hearing the news of his death. This is an interesting tale but that is all it is because later studies have discovered that the foetus was moved there from another tomb early in the 20th Century.

Prince Amun-her-Khopshef (QV55)

Ramses I (1315-1313 B.C.)

King Rameses I (1315-1313 B.C.), first king of the 19th Dynasty, ruled only a year and four months and was too old to bear the burdens of kingship alone and thus to have been the Pharaoh of the Exodus.

How Ramesses I came to the throne?

Horemheb had no son so he appointed his chief minister, Paramesse, as his successor to reward Paramesse’s loyalty and because Peramesse had a son and grandson to follow him on the throne. Paramesse took the name Ramses I when he became pharaoh and founded the 19th dynasty.

After the reign of Horemheb (1348-1320 B.C) the 18th dynasty was over, after presented service to Egypt and the Hyksos, and the 19th dynasty began. The first ruler of the new dynasty was Rameses I. His reign of 2 years was succeeded by his son, Seti I who did much to restore Egypt's prestige. There was one campaign against the Libyans and he also campaigned in the east and restored Egyptian control over Palestine. Egypt came into conflict with the Hittites in Syria, but by the end of Seti I's reign, the two powers seemed to come to an understanding. More about Rameses I and Daily Life In Ancient Egypt here.

The tomb of Ramesses I (KV16):


Ramesses I ruled just one year and afew months, so his tomb came smaller than the other tombs of the dynasty 19 of Ancient Egypt history.

It contain just two descending staircases link with sloping corridor which lead to the burial chamber of Ramesses I.

KV16 Like the tomb of Horemheb (KV57), it was decorated with the Book of Gates.

Osiris (oh-SIGH-ris) was the Egyptian god of the afterlife and rebirth. He ruled the netherworld, and his son, Horus, ruled the world of the living. Every reigning pharaoh was identified with Horus and was thought to become one with Osiris after death. At Abydos (ah-BYE-dos or AH-bee-dos), the place most sacred to Osiris, Egyptian kings built temples and funerary chapels so they would be identified with him. They believed that through carved images of themselves their spirits would be able to participate in the annual celebration of the myth of Osiris, during which Osiris was actually reborn, and by extension, they would be reborn as well. Whenever possible, non royal persons also attempted to participate by erecting chapels and stelae at Abydos (slide 33).

Originally this limestone relief was on the back wall inside a small chapel built by Seti I for his father, Ramesses I. In inscriptions on the chapel walls Seti declared, “I am the one who makes his name live” and “I will make him a place where his ka [spirit] can alight, drawn in outline and carved with the chisel”

Cartouches of Ramesses IThe scene is divided down the center. On the right Ramesses kneels and presents an offering of food and flowers to a cult symbol of Osiris that resembles a head covered with a cloth or wig and surmounted by two tall ostrich plumes. The symbol is supported by a shaft set into a stand equipped with sledge runners and carrying poles. Encircling the shaft are small figures of deities and the king. Actual cult symbols in the time of Seti and Ramesses were probably made of rich materials. Behind the Osiris symbol is the figure of Isis (EYE-sis), wife of Osiris. She holds an ankh in one hand and raises the other in a gesture of protection.

The poses and arrangement of the figures on the left side of the scene are nearly identical to those on the right. Seti kneels and presents a small kneeling statue of himself offering a jar of myrrh to a cult symbol identical to the one on the right. Behind the symbol stands a falcon-headed figure of Horus, son of Isis and Osiris. He holds an ankh and raises the other hand protectively. The sense of balance is reinforced by the triangular composition.

Reliefs from the two side walls of the chapel are displayed with the central one in the Museum. One shows Ramesses, his face exhibiting signs of old age, receiving offerings of food and drink. In the other, he and his family make offerings to Osiris, Isis, and Hathor.

Senusret I

King Senusret I (1971BC-1926BC), the second pharaoh of the dynasty 12. His father is Amenemhat I, and Nefertitanen was his wife, but Neferu was his sister and wife also, Neferu is the mother of Amenemhat II who successed Senusret I. In his rule the Residence city was constituted at el-Lisht.

Some historians thought that Senusret I is the pharaoh who arrogated Sarai for his wife, and they think that Sarai was Saenusret’s enatic half-sister (as well as being Abraham’s paternal half-sister) and it was common apply for Egyptian pharaohs to marry their (half-) sisters in order to advancement the kingship through the female line. But all that is Just a guess, and the fact is unknown as yet.

Senusret I Militarily Affairs:

Militarily amours, Senusret I pressed in Egypt Nubia (New Sudan) all the direction to the 3rd cataract and as well Constituted the avid fortress of Buhen. He exploited quarries and mines and ascertained the havens of the Libyan Desert and the imaginations in the Sinai. He constructed Kermeh fort in Egypt Nubia and determined operations at the mines of Wadi Halfa as well as regional diorite quarries. Copper was mined inward Wadi Hudi, and red granite was adopted of a quarry south of Aswan Egypt.

Senusret I wasn't concerned in sweeping conquest and confined his causes to the defence force of Egypt’s borders and to the development of usable resources. He also advertised trade with Crete and other Aegean islets and with Palestine and Syria.

The literary in the reign of Senusret I:

Elsewhere my belief that Egyptian literary documents should be allotted to the date to which they purport to belong, unless cogent argues can be adduced to the contrary‘. Both on general and exceptional grounds, hence, it seems probgble that the story of Sinuhe was written in the reign of Sesostris I, and is therefore contemporary with the events that it associates.

The form of the tale so intimately resembles other autobiographies that have been ascertained on the walls of tombs that it seems quite likely that its nucleus may be calculated from the tomb of a real Sinulie, who had led a life of adventure in Palestine and was afterward buried at Lisht’. Needless to say we are here on high-risk ground, and in such a casing no proof or disproof is strictly possible, unless an astonishing chance should bushel to us the tomb of Sinuhe himself. Even in this case we should doubtless find that literary elaboration had greatly changed the expression and the character of the archetype narrative, so that in its ceased state the story could not claim to be‘ more than “founded on fact”.The story of Sinuhe is evenhandedly straightforward.1 It portrays him addressing from his tomb and narrating events in his life. Sinuhe was a Middle Kingdom Egyptian official of the 12th dynasty (1938-1756 B.C.) who fled Egypt to Syria. As a custodial of Amenemhet’s harem, he went on an expedition to Libya. When he learned of the Pharaoh’s assassination he took flight, either because he was a coconspirator or as he dreaded false accusals. In all events, winds on the Nile blew him northward and he wandered through Palestine and Lebanon. He finally settled in southern Syria and married the oldest daughter of a captain in the region. Some years after, Pharaoh Sesostris I welcomed Sinuhe back to Egypt. The king forgave him and granted him gifts. From that point forward, Sinuhe remained in Egypt and was accorded an estimable burial.One tale of the dandiest Egyptian literary works were written on the age of Senusret I: "The Instructions of Amenemhet" and "The Story of Sinuhe". The former was written by Amenemhet I to his heir son Senusret I. The deceased Pharaoh assured his son in a dream that he was murdered by a bodyguard. He also warned Senusret not to become to close to anybody. Being Pharaoh was so a lonely job.

Building of Senusret I:

Within Egypt, he was a fecund builder, freshening up the temple of Re-Atum in Heliopolis. The famous white chapel appointments to his reign, and he is accredited with building the burden of the Karnak Composite itself. He likewise raised two obelisks there. Senusret I was active in restoring the Faiyum Egypt region, adding up to the irrigational memorials there.

He established a temple to Sekhmet-Hathor at IMU, today known as Kom el-Hisn, the Mound of the Fort, in the Delta. The temple was rectangular and arrested a bark chapel and Columns. He is as well credited with constructing 35 separate religious structures from the Faiyum of Egypt to the Delta. A stone stela built for a temple in Heliopolis and dating to Senusret I’s rule was copied by a scribe assisting king Amenhotep III (1391–1353). 5 hundred years old when copied, the stela disappeared. The copy argues a text in the form of a poem, rattling answering as a temple dedication commemorative an improver Established by Senwosret I, afforded with other elaborate Contributions.

The pedagogies of Amenemhet I date as well to his rule. His father was alleged to have dictated the Commands, a text that warns of the endangers of a weak monarch. This act is also known as Amenemhet’s directions or the Testament of Amenemhet.

Obelisk Senusert I:

Senusert I's Obelisk

Standing Stone in Lower Egypt (North)

The Obelisk (Obelisk art) of Senusert I at Mataria in the East of the Capital Cairo. Date to 12th Dynasty of the Middle Kingdom dynasties.

The obelisk consisted to the On sun temple, differently know as Heliopolis to the Greece and romans.

Pyramid of Senusret I:

The Pyramid of Senusret I was established in the age of the dynasty 12 in Lisht city, close the pyramid of Amenemhat I (his father)

Pyramid of Senusret I

It's have 4 faces pyramid, the height of the pyramid is 61.25 ms, and it's 105 ms in any side of it. Senusert I’ pyramid at Lisht in Upper Egypt which anybody can travel there by train or by Nile River cruise.

Related Posts:

Thutmose IV
Djoser or Zoser (2687-2668 BC)
Narmer (Menes)

Narmer (Menes)

Narmer or King Menes was the first Egyptian pharaoh. He was united the two parts of Egypt lands which was called Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt. With that united Menes established the Old Kingdom in 3100BC. The discover of his tomb was in 1897. There is believe that Menes ruled 62 years and the legend told that he killed by a hippopotamus.

Some historical records for Egyptian and Greece describe a period of civilization with a united Egypt under the King Menes in 3000 BC. While we often think of Egyptain civilization as suddenly flowering from nothing, and then the immediately building of the pyramids, there is a long prior period during which the Nile Valley was brought into cultivation, and societies and governments developed. This prior period encompassed the 0th and 1st Dynasties. It included the legendary kings. See Cartouche of Narmer and the other pharaohs here

Because the Nile River Valley became more settled, and the society life and communities grew into small towns and cities, a more complex mathematical system became necessary. With all things considered, it is no surprise that by the timeline of the First Dynasty we see the use of mathematical place values well into the thousands. The Pharaoh Narmer (also called King Mena or King Menes) united Tawi (the Two-Lands of Kemet) and was the founder of the dynasties. Of course, the concept of a pharaoh and dynasties came before Narmer from the Ta-Seti Nubia regions. The Narmer Palette, although simple, is very revealing.

Thus, some Egyptologists list Narmer as the first ruler of Dynasty 1 while others give the honor to Aha, placing the “Scorpion King” and Narmer in Dynasty 0. The First and Second Dynasties are generally referred to as the Archaic Period of Egypt. Perhaps Narmer was the first king in the world who united his home and establish strong empire.

Narmer palette:

King Narmer seem to be the pharaoh who united the two lands of Egypt based primarily on a shield-shaped sculpture called the Narmer Palette (one of the most attractions of ancient Egypt arts) that has been dated to 3150 – 3125 BC. The front side of the Narmer Palette shows King Narmer wearing the White Crown of Upper Egypt in the act of striking an enemy from the marshlands. The rear side shows Narmer wearing the Red Crown of Lower Egypt (the Nile delta) as he inspects the bodies of headless enemies. When the Narmer Palette discovered?

King Narmer palette

The important of Narmer palette:

The Egyptian plaque or the palette of Narmer showing him wearing the White garland of Upper Egypt and the Red garland of Lower Egypt is believed to indicate that Narmer united Upper and Lower Egypt into a universal state. Other historical data indicates his central importance. Since the Narmer Palette has been dated to 3150 – 3125 BC we have chosen 3157 BC as the beginning of the universal state of a predynastic period that we will call Nile River civilization.

This palette show that Cloth and writing came at the same time, about 3000 B.C.E. That when Narmer (or Menes) of Upper Egypt (upriver to the south) conquered Lower Egypt (downriver to the north), thus unifying the kingdom. A large commemorative stone shows him about to bonk his kneeling rival over the head.

Djoser (2687-2668 BC)

King Djoser (2687-2668 BC), was the first pharaoh in the third dynasty as many scholars believed. They also think that queen Nimaethap was his mother and Khasekhemwy was his father.

Djoser may have fixed the southern bounders of Egypt in his reign. He also sent some expeditions to Sinai because the local inhabitants were subdued there.

Djoser’s reign lasted only 18 years, yet is remarkable in that it ushered in Egypt’s ‘golden age’ of monumental architecture. Not only were he and Imhotep able to organise the massive workforce required for building the pyramid, but they also initiated a belief that the pharaoh had eternal existence.

The step pyramid at SaqqaraThe step pyramid at Saqqara

During the reign of Djoser in the third dynasty (refer to the Cheat Sheet for a timeline), Egypt is said to have experienced seven years of famine because of particularly low annual floods. The pharaoh was held responsible for the situation because he was an intermediary between the people and the gods, and the famine was seen as punishment from the gods for the pharaoh not doing his job.

On the Island of Sehel in the south of Egypt, Ptolemy V (204–181 BC) commissioned a stela recording this famine and Djoser’s actions. Imhotep, the builder of the step pyramid, traced the source of the Nile to the island of Elephantine and the caves of Khnum.

He assured Djoser that renewed worship of Khnum would start the floods again. Khnum then appeared to Djoser in a dream. Djoser awoke and was pleased at the message. He passed a decree of an increase of taxes to be paid to the temple of Khnum

The Step Pyramid. In Saqqara where any one can travel by train, also the one can get there by taxi or by bus.

Thutmose I

His name Thutmose, written by the Greeks Thotraosis, means "Thut's child", I have already called attention to its meaning according to its derivation. The victories and wars of this king, who for the first time undertook a campaign in the East as far as the banks of the Euphrates, constitute the principal events of his history so far as the contemporary and later monuments have transmitted them to us.

The inscription we have already noticed from the tomb of the chief of the sailors Aahmes, mentions next a campaign of King Thutmose I. against the country of Khont-Hon-nofer, or “the nearer Hon-nofer” Perhaps I may be allowed on this occasion to offer a few words of explanation.

The lands on the South of Egypt, as well as their inhabitants, were designated in general terms as a mixture of dusky coloured races, known according to their situation, by particular names, which perhaps varied at different epochs. The countries which bordered on Egypt from the first cataract as far as Mount Barkal to the south, bore the general appellation of Ta-khont, or “the land of Khont” the capital of which (with its very celebrated temple of Amon) was Napata, situated at “the holy mountain,” Mount Barkal. The name of Khont-Hon-nofer, as appears to us, comprehended on the other hand, all the countries of the African continent, and included the countries and peoples situated to the West of the Nile as far as the Libyan north coast, while the expression Kush was confined to those regions which we at the present day call the Sudan. On a tract of this enormous extent there lived an almost innumerable mass of tribes, who belonged to an original pure ancient African stock, which we still at this day find in these countries; the black and brown negro races called Nahasi on the monuments. Among these, from the side of the sea, lighter coloured races of Semitic or Kushite origin had thrust themselves, who in the course of ages had settled in the valleys of the mountain districts between the Nile and Red Sea, the so-called An of Ta-Khont, which a later memorial of the time of the Ptolemies calls by the name of the Senti.

In alluding to the situation of these countries and the habitations of these peoples, we have in our works substituted for the Egyptian appellations Ta-Khont and Kush the better known names Nubia and Ethiopia, for Nahasi the term Negro, and for An the term "Kushites". To all these nations the Nile afforded the only great waterway, on which the hosts of the Pharaohs were transported to effect their landings at the harbours, in order to follow the enemy into the interior of their empire.

In spite of all the efforts of the inhabitants in these remote parts of the world, to beard the Egyptian kings and to destroy the monuments of the Pharaohs, so as annihilate all memorial of their tyrants, there are still traces enough left to give us information about the supremacy of the Egyptian kings in these countries. The name of Thutmose I. is not wanting here. The inscriptions on the rocks in the neighbourhood of the waterfalls of Kerman, in sight of Tombos, between the 20th and the 19th degree of latitude, have preserved the remembrance of the great deeds of this king. The longest of them, with the date of the fifteenth day of the month Paophi, of the second year of the reign of this Pharaoh, exalts to heaven the praises of the warlike activity of the first Thutmose, and relates in a long succession the general names of the conquered peoples, who in the south as well as in the north were subjected to his supremacy. The holy letters which are engraved on the stone relate how Thutmose I had taken possession of the throne of Horus, to extend the boundary marks of the Thebais,' how 'in the territory of the Theban quarter of the town called Khefti-nib-s, the inhabitants of the desert (Heru-sha), and the Aaraoo and all foreign nations are obliged to work, how bowed down are the northern people of Khebau-nib, and extinguished are the Agabot (Libyans), how 'now peace is there, since the inhabitants of the southern lands were driven downwards and the northern people were driven upwards, and how they altogether subjected themselves to the king, how the inhabitants of the wiser country hastened to Pharaoh to bow before his throne how he smote the king of An (the Kushites), and the negroes, how the An of Nubia were hewed in pieces and scattered all over their lands, and how their stink filled the valleys Then the inscription continues. The lords of the great king's house have made a frontier watch of his war people, that they might not be over-ridden by the foreign peoples; they have assembled like the panther against the bull. He remains still; he is blinded. Even to the uttermost end of his realm is the king come; he has reached his extreme boundary through his mighty arm. He sought the struggle, but found it not, which might have offered him resistance. He opened the valleys, which had remained unknown to his forefathers, and which had never beheld the wearer of the double crown. His southern boundary mark was at the beginning of this land, the northern boundary at that water where the traveler downwards turns for his upward journey. Never was this the case under any other king Then the inscription concludes with the words: The land in its complete extent lay at the feet of the king.

The office of a governor of the Southern land or of Kush, mention of which is henceforwards more and more frequently made, to which the real king's sons (the so-called king's sons of Kush) laid claim, was mentioned for the first time under the rule of Thutmose I. On the wall of the temple at Semne there is represented an official called Nehi, of the time of Thutmose I, who had won his spurs under Aahmes and Thutmose I. and was raised by the latter king to this new dignity.

And in fact, the riches of Nubia and Ethiopia made it at all times important for the Pharaohs to secure the possession of these countries, and by governors to carry on the administration and to collect the revenues.

In the course of trade, as also in consequence of the never-ending plundering wars, which were undertaken against the obstinate resistance of these dusky races, there floated, coming from the south down stream, richly laden ships freighted with cattle and rare animals, panther skins, ivory, ebony, other costly woods, balsam, and sweet-smelling resin, gold and precious stones, corn, and lastly, negroes in almost countless numbers, to fill the temples and adorn the palaces of Pharaoh. In the mines of the scorching valleys of the country of Wawa there languished prisoners and negro slaves, who out of deep gullies loosened the gold sprinkled stone from the rocks, crushed it in mills, and with unspeakable pains washed out the particles o gold. Egyptian men-at-arms and foreign soldiers under their captains kept close watch, and looked after the complete fulfilling of the day's work. Where now in our day to the traveler from the banks of the river the temples filled with sand, and the towns and fortresses present themselves drearily on the miserable desolate sides of the narrow Nubian valleys, and a wretched people struggle with want and necessity, and is scarcely able to gain from the scanty soil sufficient to maintain themselves and their cattle, and the date palm alone or in groves 6tretches heavenward its proud head as the only representative of the cheerful green tree world and is overtopped in the background by the dark masses of rock of the long broken mountain chain, there, thirty-four centuries ago was presented to the eye of the wanderer a picture of active life.

In the villages, which were placed in the neighborhood of the temple of the country, there dwelt an industrious dusky population, to whom the Egyptian corn stores delivered the sustenance, which the soil of their own home denied them. The service of the temple, and the neighborhood of the Egyptian fortresses and the frontier guards of Pharaoh, gave them profit enough to support themselves and their cattle. The sailor folk, well experienced in the dangerous cataracts of the Upper Nile, exercised their calling in the service of the king's generals and merchants. These also gained the reward of their labor. On feast days the crowd, bent on piety or amusement, flocked to the stone-built houses of the Gods, or to the grottos of the divine ones, and enjoyed themselves in the pomp of “the Holy Fathers” cheerfully performing the duty of carrying on their shoulders, or in their hands, the golden barks with their divine inhabitants, and exhibiting them to the devout inhabitants of the country surrounding the Temple. If Pharaoh reached the Nubian country in his richly-adorned Nile ship, in whose sails of costly byssus the north wind blew with full power during his day journey upwards, and at night brought to his ship in the harbours, there was no end to the wonder and admiration, the joy and the hurras, for on the part of the king and his exalted courtiers there were rich and gracious gifts to the inhabitants. It answered well to the kings to leave behind them generous presents, so that the inhabitants might learn that the Pharaoh was the father and benefactor of his subjects. These dusky-coloured men might well sing that wonderful song of praise to the king which a rock grotto at Silsilis has preserved for us down to the present day, and the literal translation of which is contained in the following lines: "Hail to thee king of Egypt. Sun of the foreign peoples I Thy name is great in the land of Kush, Where thy war cry resounded thro'. The dwellings of men. Great is thy power Thou beneficent ruler. It puts to shame the peoples. The Pharaoh Life, salvation health to him. He is a shining sun".

After Thutmose I, in the first year of his government, had undertaken his campaign by water against Nubia and Kush, and had fixed the boundaries of his empire to the south, and had returned laden with a rich booty to his home in Egypt, it seemed to him that the favourable moment had arrived to send forward his experienced troops to the east, to attack in their own homes the ancient hereditary enemies of the country, the hated inhabitants of Western Asia. The great war of vengeance against Asia now began, which for nearly 500 years was carried on by succeeding Pharaohs with almost uninterrupted good fortune. Before we follow the wars of King Thutmose, it appears fitting carefully to survey the theatre of the coining important campaigns, and to become acquainted with the peoples and cities whose names from this time forward will constantly come under our notice.

Amenhotep II

King Amenhotep II the son of Thutmosis IV. Amenhotep II came to the throne of Egypt at age 12 years and ruled for 38 years. During his reign, Egypt’s power and influence was drastically reduced. The Hatti (Hittites) attacked the Mitanni and seized Mitanni and Egyptian territorities The Mitanni repeatedly appealed to Egypt to fulfill its treaty obligations, but Egypt would not respond.

Amenhotep II

Cartouche of Amenhotep II:

You can see his cartouche on his crown (on the front of it), which the symbol of Tiy.

From 382 tablets discovered at Tell el-Amarna there were similar appeals from Labayu (Lion of Yahweh) king of Schechem and Abduheba on the throne of Jerusalem. They complain of the invading Habiru and demand that Egypt send military support.

Amenhotep II built no new temples or other monumental works. In fact, the only notable change during his reign was a growth in Egyptian art, an indication of looking inward, not that of an expanding empire.

Scholars believed that he was 44 years when he died.

Related Posts:

Thutmose IV
Djoser (2687-2668 BC)
Narmer (Menes)

Sneferu (Pyramids and Tomb)

King Sneferu was an interesting fellow, obviously quite stubborn, and over the course of his life managed to build three pyramids (only one “true”), in all using more stone than any other pharaoh in history. Dahshur was home to two of Snef’s pyramids, the Red Pyramid and the Bent Pyramid.

The Bent Pyramid, off at a distance from where we were, is exactly as the name suggests. While working on the pyramid, the planners discovered that if they continued at the angle they were building, the pyramid would collapse. Instead, they ordered a quick angle revision, and so now we have the pleasure of viewing one of history’s biggest blunders. The Red Pyramid, however, was finally the “true” pyramid that Sneferu obviously craved, and, fittingly, became his burial place.

Bent Pyramid

We were excited to see the Red Pyramid, because this was finally our chance to go inside one of these ancient tombs. Contrasting to Giza, Dahshur was relatively empty, and so we could easily descend into the pyramid without having to battle our way through hordes of other, obviously sweatier and smellier, tourists. Leaving my sister, who was quietly evaporating, behind, my parents and I started the steep climb up the side of the pyramid.

Reaching halfway up, we stood in front of the tiny black shaft that would lead us 60 metres into the middle of the pyramid, and we suddenly felt very unsure of the whole situation. Gallantly, in the name of exploration, we pushed on and started the backwards descent into the yawning abyss. As we moved deeper and deeper (and darker and darker, more and more humid, smellier and smellier), I couldn’t help feeling very eerie, especially when I contemplated the fact that, 4500 years before, the dead pharaoh was moved along this very passageway to his eternal resting place. If there had been room to shudder, I would have.

They all smiled at me with the sort of smile that only a group of humming, handholding French people inside a 4500 year old pyramid could give, and then continued their communal chant. Even more embarrassingly, I could hear my parents’ loud, excited murmurings as they reached the end of the shaft, blissfully unaware of the pyramid-cult we had managed to stumble upon. I was beginning to worry that these people required some sort of human sacrifice, but luckily they just seemed content to hum.

We quickly moved across the room to the next antechamber, relieved to be away, but also slightly anxious that the only way out of the pyramid was through the previous room. You can imagine how the aforementioned sense of eeriness had by this time erupted into full-blown creepiness, and the butterflies that inhabited my stomach were having a rather out-of-control rager. It was in this stage of heightened terror when suddenly, out of the stillness of the tomb, came the most blood-curdling scream I have ever heard.

This woman would have made Janet Leigh from Psycho jealous. Obviously if I had been any less of a man I would have fainted right then and there, images of a linen-trailing mummy and his magical curses flying through my mind. Of course there was no Curse of Sneferu; it turns out the woman, one of the cult-members, had suffered a deadly attack of claustrophobia, and was literally unable to move. Unfortunately for her she still needed to climb 60 metres up a dark, form-fitting shaft. I suppose the moral of this story is: “Don’t climb into the middle of a pyramid if you suffer from intense claustrophobia!” (Which in itself seems rather obvious, but who am I to say?). See Cartouche of King Sneferu here.

Note: You can travel to Giza and Dahshur by train or by bus.

The Death of Ramses II

When King Ramses II was 92 years old, In his reign in Year 67, he was finally united with his beloved Amon. His tomb in the Valley of the Kings (KV7) was completed long before his death. Unfortunately for us, very little was left that the plundering tomb robbers hadn't stolen. Using the magnificent tomb of the relatively minor King Tutankhamon as a point of comparison, we can imagine that it must have been absolutely splendid. Ramses mummy was removed and hidden by the Valley priests at the beginning of the Third Intermediate Period, and the discover of KV5 was in a cache at Deir el-Bahari in 1881.

The new discover for KV5:

In 1989, an old tomb that had been deemed unimportant by Howard Carter in 1902 was rediscovered. It was KV5, now known to be the tomb of many of the sons of King Ramses II. It contains over 110 corridors and chambers dug hundreds of feet into the hillside. It is one of the largest tombs in all of Egypt, and is currently under excavation.

Daily hundreds of tourists stream past the remains and temples that once were either surrounded by the hustle and bustle of daily Ancient Egyptian activity, or echoed the silent communication between the Gods and humankind. Three thousand years have slipped over the desert, and day by day new discoveries appear.

The massive stone monuments, vibrating sympathetically with their celestial counterparts, have been covered and uncovered by those sands over the years. But late at night, when the humans sleep, and the nocturnal animals roam, Sirius rises in the east. And the wind whispers the name of King Ramses II or Ramesses II.

Cartouche of Ramses II

The temple in the city of Sohag of Upper Egypt, in the north side of the temple of Seti I. Any one can go to Sohag city from the capital (Cairo) by Nile river cruise or by train.

Related Posts:

Queen Hatshepsut
Tutankhamun (1334-1325 B.C.)

Family, Life and Childhood of Ramses II

The son of King Ramses I was Seti I, and was the pharaoh who truly restored Egypt power to the greatness and harmony it had enjoyed before the Amarna period (which in the capital moved in the reign of Ankhenaten). He instituted a major building program and a clearly defined foreign policy abroad. He assumed the title "repeater of births," which indicated the beginning of a new and legitimate era.

The efforts of Seti secured the eastern borders with Syria and the western borders with Libya. Later, foreshadowing the famous battle of Kadesh led by his son Ramses II, Seti attempted for once and all to restore Egyptian dominance in Most importantly, Setis 13-year reign represents one of the most important periods in the history of Ancient Egypt, architecture and culture. The quality of the reliefs the temples and his tomb are unique in all of Egyptian art.

Seti continued on the great building project his father began in Karnak that his son Ramses would later complete: the Hypostyle Hall in the Temple of Amon. He built the magnificent temple at Abydos, the city sacred to Osiris. It is in this temple that the "Royal List of Abydos" is found. This is one of the important sources of Egyptian history and chronology.

Beyond this temple is the massive and mysterious "Osirion" or "Tomb of Osiris।" historians also attribute this to Seti, although there is evidence that it is much older. Setis finest work was his tomb in the Valley of the Kings (KV17), the discover of KV17 by Belzoni in 1817. It is the longest, deepest and most beautiful of all of the tombs in the Valley.

The Valley of The Kings

Seti married within his own military "caste." King Ramses mother was Queen Tuya. She outlived her husband by many years. She was queen-mother in until her death in Year 22 or 23 of the reign of King Ramses the great, and statues of her appear frequently in Ramses temples and constructions. She appears on the facade at Abu Simbel, and in statue at the Ramesseum and at Ramses Delta capital, Piramesse. A beautiful portrait of Tuya was appeared in 1972 during a reclearance of her large tomb in the Valley of the Queens.

At 10 years of age, Seti recognized Ramses as "Eldest Kings Son," even though there were no other sons, for Ramses older brother died young. He was carefully trained as future king. He was named after his grandfather, a military man, the vizier and friend of Pharaoh Horemheb. Ramses, too, was trained in the martial techniques, and by his mid-teens he is seen as a participant of Setis Libyan campaign in the inscribed portrayals at Karnak. He rode alongside his father, learning directly from the pharaoh, but also learned from the masters of the various techniques and sciences: the inscriptions refer to the youth as overseer in the cutting of obelisks in the granite quarries of Aswan and working on his fathers many building projects. Again and again, inscriptions from the epoch around the empire refer to Ramses as an astute young leader.

One of the first sources of Ramses early years is found at Abydos, the dedication stele he set up in his father Setis temple. After his fathers death, Ramses had sailed to Abydos, the sacred shrine and ancient burial site of Osiris, and found that his fathers massive temple project was left unfinished and the burial sites of the earlier kings lay in ruins. Ramses immediately summoned the Court and reinitiated the project, making it clear that he would fulfill Setis wishes. On the stele he describes his youth.

King Seti himself made me great, while I was a child, until I reignedI was installed as eldest son, as hereditary prince upon the throne of Geb [the earth god or the world god] [He, Seti, said] "Crown him as king, that I may see his beauty while I live with him"He equipped me with women, a royal harem, as beautiful as those of the palace, those of the South and North were under my feet.

By the age of 15, Ramses had already married his two principal wives, Nefertari and Istnofret. Nefertari was always the Chief wife, until her death in Year 24 of Ramses reign. Her famous tomb is the most beautiful of all in Upper Egypt. The paintings inside her tomb are extraordinary, and have recently been completely restored. At Nefertaris death, Istnofret took her place. Apparently, she lived until Year 34.

These two wifes bore Ramses most important children. The first son of Ramses, Crown Prince Amenhirkhopshef, as well as at least three other sons and two daughters, were born unto Nefertari. Istnofret bore Merneptah, who would eventually succeed his father. She also bore a son named for his father, and Khaemwaset, who is often referred to today as the first archeologist. In his lifetime, as High Priest of Memphis, he was venerated as a great magician and restorer of ancient monuments.

One example of his restoration projects is the pyramid of King Unas at Saqqara, which contains the famous "Pyramid Texts." Over the course of his life, Ramses had eight principal wives. Following pharaonic custom, Ramses included several family members in his harem. One of his sisters and three of his daughters eventually became royal wives.

The power of Egypt forced the Hittites's king send his daughter to be wed to Ramses at the conclusion of the Hittite wars, and another one of his daughters came to join her 7 years later. There were also a number of Syrian and Babylonian royal ladies in Ramses harem. Ramses fathered over 100 children. He outlived twelve of his heirs. Merneptah, Ramses thirteenth son, became pharaoh when he was in his sixties.

Rameses had his name cartouched and writings about him made so deep in the surface of temples, that any successor would not be able to remove them.

Ramses II Childhood:

As a boy Ramses II (or
Ramesses II) knew royalty was his future. When he was only about 10, he became heir to the throne of the 19th dynasty of Egypt by order of his father, Pharaoh Seti I. Ramses later married Nefertari. At about age 25, Ramses became Egypt’s pharaoh, or ruler, when his father died.

Ancient Egyptians thought of their pharaohs as gods in human form. Ramses’ cartouche (car−TOOSH), or symbol, shows his throne name. Part of it means "One Chosen by [the sun god] Re."

By the time Ramses came to power, the great Sphinx and the pyramids at Giza had already been standing for more than a thousand years near the banks of the Nile River. To remind people of his godlike status, Ramses built large statues and temples. One of his massive works was the city of Pi−Ramses, or House of Ramses. He placed obelisks, or tall stone pillars, everywhere and decorated the palace with brightly colored tiles.

Before Ramses ever became pharaoh, the Hittites, an enemy people, had taken control of the Egyptian city of Kadesh. During Ramses’ fifth year as pharaoh, he fought to get the city back. In battle, the Hittites caught Ramses and most of his troops in a surprise attack. According to Ramses’ accounts−−inscribed on stone temple walls all over Egypt−−he bravely charged the enemy, holding them off until more Egyptian soldiers arrived. The conflict ended in a draw, but Ramses declared victory. The Egyptians and the Hittites signed a treaty 16 years later, and Ramses also married a Hittite princess. A peaceful time period then began, and many Egyptians prospered under Ramses’ rule.

Ramses II Family:

King Ramses II married about 200 wives and fathered over 100 children. As a young man he co-ruled Egypt with his father, Seti I. He also successfully led Egypt in a series of wars against the Hittites and greatly expanded Egyptian territory.

The 19th Dynasty ended in political turmoil. Small wonder, with 59 daughters and 79 sons! Talk about a succession crisis! Ramses II outlived his first 12 sons, and was succeeded by his 13th. This son had a reasonably successful reign, but the dynasty stumbled along to end with an assortment of short and unremarkable claimants to the throne.

The original Prince Khaemwaset was one of the more famous sons of Ramses II as he became High Priest of Ptah but this Prince Khaemwaset although he also became a priest of Ptah did not rise to the same heights as his namesake.

Tomb of Ramses II's Sons:

The search for the tomb of Ramses II sons is on:

All of the other tombs in the vicinity were already excavated.

KV5 was only cursorily explored, then lost again.

Burton’s maps showed KV5’s entrance in the southern half of a long slope not far from KV6, the tomb of Ramses IX.


Queen Nefertari, which is located a few hundred feet from her husband’s memorial. Nefertari’s temple looks much alike the one we just visited in our visit to Egypt, but it has more statues, a total of 9, and the sanctuary has three doors leading inside. Most of the statues show the queen as making offerings to various gods of her era.

Related Posts:

Egypt Under Ramses II
The Death of Ramses II
Sneferu (Pyramids and Tomb)

List of Egyptians Pharaohs

List of Egyptians Pharaohs, The rulers of ancient Egypt:

c. 1725 BC – Sobekhotep IV
c. 1695-1685 BC – Ay
c. 1615-1595 BC – Nevbererau I
c. 1560 BC – Taa (Thebes); first engagement between Thebes and Hyksos kings (Apepi) occurred during his reign

c. 1555 BC - Apepi (Hyksos)
1555-1550 BC – Kamose (Theban)
1550-1525 BC – Ahmose
1525-1504 BC – Amenhotep I
1504-1492 BC – Thutmose I
1492-1479 NC – Thutmose II
1473-1458 BC – Queen Hatshepsut
1479-1425 BC – Thutmose III (some co-regency with Hatshepsut)
1427-1400 BC – Amenhotep II
1400-1390 BC – Thutmose IV
1390-1352 BC – Amenhotep III
1352-1336 BC – Amenhotep IV
1336-1327 BC – Tutankhamun
1327-1323 BC - Ay
1323-1295 BC – Horemheb
1295-1294 BC – Ramses I
1294-1279 BC – Sety I
1279-1213 BC – Ramesses II
1213-1203 BC – Merenptah
1200-1194 BC – Sety II (yes there is a gap)
1194-1188 BC – Saptah
1188-1186 BC – (queen) Tausret – Sety’s principal queen
1186-1184 BC – Sethnakht
1184-1153 BC – Ramesses III – last to send expeditions to Punt
1153-1147 BC – Ramesses IV
1147-1143 BC – Ramesses V
1143-1136 BC – Ramesses VI
1136-1129 BC – Ramesses VII
1129-1126 BC – Ramesses VIII
1126-1108 BC – Ramesses IX
1108-1099 BC – Ramesses X
1099-1069 BC – Ramesses XI
1069-1043 BC – Smendes – power base at new delta city of Tanis
1043-1039 BC - Amenemnisu
1039-991 BC – Psusennes I
984-978 BC – Osorkon the Elder (Libyan)
978-959 BC – Siamun
959-945 – Psusennes II
945-924 BC – Sheshonq I (Libyan)
924-889 BC – Osorkon I (Libyan)
874-850 BC – Osorkon II (“)
850-825 BC – Takelot II (“)
825-773 BC – Sheshonq III (“)
702-690 BC - Shabitqo
690-664 BC – Taharqo (Nubian)
664-656 BC – Tanutamani
664-610 BC – Psamtek I – reunified Egypt (I know there’s an overlap, I don’t know why)
610-595 BC – Nekau II
595-589 BC – Psamtek II
589-570 BC – Apries; revolt of mercenaries at Elephantine during this time
570-526 BC – Ahmose II
526-525 BC – Psamtek III
525-522 BC – Cambyses
522-486 BC – Darius
486-465 BC – Xerxes
424-405 BC – Darius II
405-359 BC – Artaxerxes II
393-380 BC – Hakor
380-362 BC – Nectanebo I
362-360 BC – Teos
360-343 BC – Nectanebo II
343-338 BC – Artaxerxes III
205-180 BC – Ptolemy V Epiphanes reign
1532-1528 BC – Ahmose’s conquest of Avaris
818-793 BC – Pedubastis I – first local ruler to call himself king
746-716 BC – Nubian ruler Piy launches military expedition into Egypt and takes over Thebes (in Aswan) and many towns and cities in northern Upper Egypt
727-720 BC – Tefnakt declares himself king and gains control of western delta and Memphis
672-664 BC – Assyrian records indicate rule of king Nekau I; killed by Nubian King Tanutamani in 664 BC
c. 574-570 BC – Apries makes good use of Egyptian fleet in strategically well-conceived series of campaigns moved to Cyprus and Phoenicia
c. 510-497 BC – Darius completes construction of canal that runs from Pelusiac branch of the Nile thru Adi Tumilat to the Bitter Lakes and the Red Sea 343-342 BC – Artaxerxes III and Persians invade and conquer Egypt’s Nectanebo II (who has 20,000 mercenaries). See ancient egypt List of King's Cartouches

King Khufu

King Thutmose III

King Tut


Nefertiti woman is queen nefertiti

Queen Nefertiti: Her name means “the beautiful [or youthful] woman has come.” In ancient times, when the scene was complete, Nefertiti would have been seen with her husband, the pharaoh Akhenaten. King Akhenaten and Nefertiti are best known for leading a religious transformation. They tried to change Egyptian religious practice from the worship of multiple gods to the worship of one deity only—Aten, the disc of the sun. They moved the capital of Egypt from Thebes to Amarna and dedicated it to Aten to show their devotion. At some time during her husband’s reign, Nefertiti was made core gent, the pharaoh’s equal. Proof of this is seen on other reliefs that show her the same size as the pharaoh.

Nefertiti was the wife of the pharaoh Akhenaton. Akhenaton was an Egyptian pharaoh who reigned Egypt from 1353 to 1336 BC. Nefertiti supported her husband's revolution in the Egyptian religion. Which was the religion that celebrated the power of the sun disk Aten and the sun god Aton.

Nefertiti is best known for her portrait bust, found at Tell el- Amarna. Which was the main province in the country. Nefertiti had six daughters. Two of them had later became queens of Egypt. At around the 12th year of Akhenaton's reign Nefertiti probably retired after losing favor from Akhenaton, if not she must have died. Some of Nefertiti's things were found in a place in Amarna.

Nefertiti is standing with her arms raised offering a bouquet of lotus flowers to a god whose multiple arms and hands reach out to accept the gift. Who do you think the god could be? What might the many hands symbolize?

Nefertiti jumps out at us from history thanks to this sculpture, which was found in the abandoned Amarna workshop of the sculptor Tuthmosis by German archaeologists in 1912. She stood out in her time for her power as well as her beauty. Ancient carvings show images of Nefetiti killing traditional Egyptian enemies. Usually, only pharaohs were shown in this powerful and aggressive pose. Nefertiti was Akhenaten’s most important wife, and the mother of six daughters. Historians aren’t sure if she or another of Akhenaten’s wives was the mother of King Tut. This statue is now in Germany inside one of the most famous museum in the world.

King Akhenaten, his beautiful wife Nefertiti, and his probable son Tutankhamun were all part of this dynasty (dynasty 18). During this time one of the most dramatic changes in Egypt took place: Akhenaten built a new city as a capital, Amarna, for a god named the Aten, and outlawed all other gods. The Amarna period, sometimes called “The Amarna Experiment,” resulted in some of the bestknown art, tombs, writing and records of ancient Egypt. That is why, even though the period was only around 30 years long, it is one of the most famous in Egyptian history.

In fact Akhenaten focused in his religion ideas and didn't care of the foreign affairs like traded or the power of Egypt in Asia.

Questions and Facts about Nefertiti:

Did Mutnodjmet really exist?

Yes, Mutnodjmet really existed, as did Nefertiti, Queen Tiye, Akhenaten, Vizier Ay, Lady Kiya, General Horemheb, General Nakhtmin... Suffice it to say that almost every character in the book was based on an historical personage.

While the main historical events are accurate, such as Ay’s rise to power, Akhenaten’s obsession with Aten, the dream of Amarna, and Nefertiti’s unparalleled influence at court, liberties were taken with personalities, names and minor historical events. For instance, no one can be certain how Mutnodjmet felt about her sister’s vision of an Egypt without the Amun Priests, but in an image of her found in Amarna she is standing off to one side, her arms down while everyone else is enthusiastically embracing Aten. In a period where art attempted to portray reality for the first time, I found this significant. And while Nefertiti did have six daughters with Akhenaten, she never, so far as we know, produced twins the way she did in the novel. Historical uncertainties revolve as well around the questions of whether Amunhotep the Younger ever had a co-regency with his father, or whether Nefertiti ever did rule on her own. These are questions that can only be answered by conjecture, and I went with what seemed most plausible given the historical evidence.

Today, some of these questions could be answered by a firm identification of the Amarna mummies. Although much of Kiya’s funerary equipment was found in her son Tutankhamun’s tomb, little to nothing remains that was Akhenaten’s or Nefertiti’s. How old was Nefertiti when she died? What killed Tiye? Dr. Joann Fletcher contends that a cache of mummies found in tomb KV55 are the bodies of Nefertiti and the Dowager Queen. If so, they were stunning beauties even in death.

Some historians mentioned that Nefertiti had been captivedand and prison in a Northern Palace in the end of Akhenaten' reign, Is that true?

No. This belief was predicated upon an inscription on the Northern Palace which archaeologists believed read “Nefertiti.” The name had been removed from the palace while Nefertiti was still alive and replaced with the name of Princess Meritaten. If Princess Meritaten had truly removed her mother’s name from the palace, it would indeed seem to indicate a daughter taking the place of her mother. However, the inscription was later discovered to actually read “Kiya.” After Kiya’s death Nefertiti and her daughter set out to erase the existence of Nefertiti’s only real rival. Unfortunately, many internet sites haven’t bothered to update their information, so the erroneous theory of Nefertiti having been banished persists.

Is it true that Akhenaten had Marfan’s syndrome?

There is absolutely no anthropological or DNA evidence to suggest this was the case. Those who believe that Akhenaten had Marfan Syndrome, a genetic disorder characterized by unusually long limbs and curvature of the spine, do so simply because some of his statues show a man with long arms and an elongated head. It is essential to remember, however, that Akhenaten purposefully changed the artistic style which all of his predecessors had used, creating a new style known today as Amarna Art. For as many images as there are of Akhenaten with a long, leonine face and feminine hips, there are just as many images from when he was a child displaying none of these startling features. During the Amarna period, all of Akhenaten’s family begins to appear with long arms, elongated heads and large hips, even Nefertiti. It is highly unlikely that the entire royal family had this connective tissue disorder, particularly in light of Nefertiti’s bust which resides in Berlin and shows none of the characteristics that those with Marfan Syndrome typically display.

Nefertiti ever ruled as Pharaoh, Is that true?

This depends on which Egyptologist you ask and what camp they fall into. Amunhotep IV changed his name to Akhenaten, and when Nefertiti became co-regent with her husband she changed her name to Ankhkheperura-Neferneferuaten. It is not beyond the limits of plausibility, then, to imagine that Nefertiti later became Pharaoh Ankhkheperura-Smenkhkara, who ruled briefly after Akhenaten’s death. A beautiful gold figurine in Tutankhamun’s tomb depicts a female Pharaoh (not a queen) walking atop an ebony leopard. Egyptologists have dated the figure back to Akhenaten’s reign, which means there is only one possibility of who this feminine ruler of Egypt could be: Nefertiti. There is also evidence of foreign correspondence during Pharaoh Ankhkheperura-Smenkhkara’s time that points to Egypt’s Pharaoh being Nefertiti. If you want more information about this, I suggest checking out the work of Dr. Joann Fletcher, who wrote The Search for Nefertiti: The True Story of an Amazing Discovery and whose work was featured on the Discovery Channel. Dr. Fletcher stirred up quite the controversy with this book and her announcement that she discovered the body of Nefertiti.

Dating as far back as 1500 BCE, palaces were more comfortable than you or I might imagine given that it was 3,500 years ago. The wealthy shaved with copper razors and bathrooms were discovered in Amarna equipped with toilet seats that matched the limestone sink bowls. Royal women regularly applied face cream, eye shadow and lipstick. Women had elaborate containers for their makeup, and very wealthy women carried handheld mirrors made of polished brass the way women carry purses today.

If Nefertiti ruled on her own, then who would have been her queen?

Just as Hatshepsut made herself Pharaoh and her daughter queen, Nefertiti would have named her eldest daughter Meritaten as her consort. Surprising though this may seem, rulers of Egypt searched for balance, the feminine with the masculine, and in religious ceremonies it was necessary to have a female part which Pharaoh, as a “man,” couldn’t play.

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Akhenaten (Amenhotep IV)

During Akhenaten's rule, from 1353 to 1336 BCE, He moved the capital city of Egypt from Thebes to Amarna, then known as Akhetaten, a city he constructed on what had been just a piece of desert. There he created a new religion and new temples. His influence lived on beyond his death.


You may know that throughout their history ancient Egyptians worshiped many gods and goddesses. In some ways these deities were a lot like people: they had arguments, could get married and had children. Together, they were believed to control everything from health to rainfall.

Everyday Egyptians kept images of the gods and goddesses in their homes and communicated with them. Making offerings,celebrating religious holidays and preparing complex fun eralswere all a part of Egyptians’ constant interactions with their royal gods.

Akhenaten was born into this world of many gods. At that time, Amun Re was the most important of Egypt’s gods. Amun Re was a mysterious god with many abilities, but he appeared to the people as the sun. A powerful group of priests served Amun-Re.

When Akhenaten became king in 1353 BC he began to make changes. He declared that there was only one god who could be worshiped –the Aten – and he declared that as pharaoh he was the only person who could communicate with this god.

Why did Akhenaten make this huge change?Some people think he wanted to get rid ofthe powerful priests of Amun Re, whose power could challenge the pharaohs. Other people think that Akhenaten was totally dedicated to the Aten, and that he was one of the first people in history to express unique and personal thoughts on spirituality.

The Aten literally meant “the disk of the sun.” Akhenaten searched for a place to build a new city for the Aten. He found it in a spot where the sun appeared to rise from an eastern valley and spread its light over abroad piece of land in front of the Nile river.The new city was named Akhetaten, “horizon of the Aten.” Today, historians call the city Amarna.

The pharaoh lived at Amarna with his family. As a result,all the government officials, artists, builders and families who served the king moved there, too. This was a great huge move.

As the population grew, the city stretched north and south along the Nile, which was the source of water for the wells the people of Amarna dug into the desert. Official royal buildings and the temples of the Aten were concentrated in the heart of the city. Suburbs, where most people lived, surrounded the center of the city.

Cartouche of AkhenatenSurely, daily life went on for the Egyptian people. They farmed, fished and built as they had for hundred of years. The king, his wives and children went about their daily lives, but the family had a new significance in the new religion. Instead of the many statues of gods the people had been used to seeing when worshiping in the past, the king’s family were now Egyptians visible link to god. In sculpture, at important events, and even traveling around the city, the pharaoh family were not only royalty or representatives of gods on earth: they were the people’s only link to god. They also took the place of myths of the gods and their families.

During the rule of Akhenaten’s father, Amenhotep III, the numerous gods of ancient Egypt were worshiped widely, but Amun Re was held above the rest. The priests of Amun Re became so powerful and wealthy that they could even challenge the pharaoh. This wasn’t good for the royal family, and within his reign Amenhotep III made steps to raise other gods up and control the power of the priests. One of the gods he called attention to was the Aten, a solar god who was represented by an image of the sun in the sky.

About the year 1350 BCE, new rules were given by Pharaoh Akhenaten to the people of Egypt, and they came as a shock. The one and only god would be the Aten, which had no human or animal form. It was simply the sun in the sky. Only Akhenaten could know the Aten’s wishes, or ask the Aten for help.

When Akhenaten closed all the gods’ temples, including those of Amun Re, and announced that he was moving to a new city, priests suddenly lost all their power.

When the traditional gods were outlawed, everyday Egyptians lost their connection to the spiritual world. Akhenaten proclaimed that he and his family were the only ones capable of communicating with the Aten. If people wanted to communicate with the god, they would have to look to the pharaoh.

Of course, some people weren’t happy about all these changes, but they had also been trained for generations to think that the pharaoh was a god on Earth. They didn’t challenge his changes.

You may hear people claim that the religion of the Aten was monotheistic, which means a religion with only one god. Certainly the religion of the Aten was much closer to monotheism than the religion of the many gods Egyptian shad worshiped before. But there is one problem: The people had to worship Akhenaten, his wife Nefertiti and their family as the representatives of the Aten. The royal family would, in turn, worship the Aten. This isn’t strictly monotheism as we know it today.

Think of it - what if you had to worship the president,who could then worship god. The Egyptians were used to thinking of their leaders as godly, so it wasn’t as strange to them as it would be to you - but they still remembered the old ways.

In about 1346 BC Akhenaten chose Amarna as the site of a new city to be built for the Aten. All the people whose jobs depended on the pharaoh, from sculptors to builders to government officials, left their homes in Thebes and traveled to Amarna to begin a new life under one god. There, temples were built without roofs, so that the sun could be seen in the sky.

Did Akhenaten really believe in the Aten, or did he just use the Aten to upset Egypt’s power structure and reshape it the way he wanted? Signs show that Akhenaten really did believe in his spiritual connection to the Aten. He composed songs and poems in honor of the god, and sometimes neglected Egypt’s well-being and safety in his pursuit of building the perfect home for the Aten. But all of Akhenaten’s devotion to the Aten couldn’t erase what the people of Egypt had known for hundreds of years.

Soon after Akhenaten’s death, Amarna was abandoned and the capital cities moved to Memphis and Thebes,where the Aten was turned back into just one of many minor gods.

Akhenaten set out to build the Aten a city so amazing, rich and beautiful that it put memories of old gods out of his subjects’ minds. He wanted to create a place worthy of his god, and one that would impress his people with the Aten’s magnificence.

Because the pharaoh was so wealthy, he could hire as many painters, sculptors and artisans as he wanted - and it seems that a virtual army of artists lived in Amarna during the city’s short time. Akhenaten himself developed a new style for showing the human body in art. Instead of the very stiff and straight traditional figures, his were long and curved, with large hips and thin arms. Some people have even wondered if Akhenaten was born with an illness that gave him a strange figure - but now it is believed he was shown in this way as part of the new artistic style.

Family portraits of the royal family, Akhenaten, Nefertiti and their daughters, also changed at this time. In addition to formal, ceremonial pictures, the family was shown playingand relaxing together, holding each other and enjoying age under the rays of the Aten.

On this block from a temple relief, Akhenaten (ack-en-AH-ten), recognizable by his elongated features, holds a duck up toward Aten, the solar disk. Akhenaten believed that light was the only divine power in the universe and thus was the source and sustainer of all creation. The solar disk was the means through which this power came into the world. Akhenaten’s god was not portrayed in human or animal form but through the symbol of the solar disk with rays ending in small human hands, one of which holds an ankh, symbol of life, toward the king’s nose. The sun-disk symbol is a large-scale hieroglyph meaning ‘light”

On this block from a temple relief, Akhenaten (ack-en-AH-ten), recognizable by his elongated features, holds a duck up toward Aten, the solar disk. Akhenaten believed that light was the only divine power in the universe and thus was the source and sustainer of all creation. The solar disk was the means through which this power came into the world. Akhenaten’s god was not portrayed in human or animal form but through the symbol of the solar disk with rays ending in small human hands, one of which holds an ankh, symbol of life, toward the king’s nose. The sun-disk symbol is a large-scale hieroglyph meaning ‘light”

On this block from a temple relief, Akhenaten (ack-en-AH-ten), recognizable by his elongated features, holds a duck up toward Aten, the solar disk. Akhenaten believed that light was the only divine power in the universe and thus was the source and sustainer of all creation. The solar disk was the means through which this power came into the world. Akhenaten’s god was not portrayed in human or animal form but through the symbol of the solar disk with rays ending in small human hands, one of which holds an ankh, symbol of life, toward the king’s nose. The sun-disk symbol is a large-scale hieroglyph meaning ‘light”

With one hand Akhenaten holds the duck firmly by its wings and with the other he wrings its neck before offering it to his god. Although early depictions of Akhenaten often appear strangely exaggerated, his sculptors later in his reign attempted a more naturalistic style, emphasizing transitory motion and a sense of space and atmosphere. Akhenaten’s hands here are grasping and straining to hold on to the struggling duck. Such a scene, capturing a moment in a sacrifice being made by a king, would never have been attempted in another period. Akhenaten’s right hand, however, is twisted so that all five fingers can be seen, a pose that conforms to the Egyptian convention of presenting each part of the body as completely as possible.

The type of relief used here is called sunk relief. Instead of cutting the background away and leaving the figures raised above the surface of the stone (as in raised relief), the artist has cut the outlines of the figures into the surface. Sunk relief in general appears mostly on the outside of buildings, where the outlines are emphasized by shadows cast by Egypt’s brilliant sunlight, but during the Amarna period almost all relief was executed in this technique.