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Ancient Man and His First Civilizations

Egypt-5

 

 

When last we left Egypt, "king Kamose" had expelled the Hyksos and ushered in the 18th dynasty, which was another period of great prosperity.

The New Kingdom

It was with pharaoh Amenhotep III, the ninth king of the 18th dynasty. Who ruled Egypt for almost 40 years, that Egypt had one of its most prosperous and stable periods. However, the groundwork for this period of prosperity had been earlier laid by Amenhotep III's grandfather Tuthmosis III, who had earlier conquered Egypt's Canaanite, Nubian and Libyan neighbors.

 

 

Amenhotep III

 

 

Amenhotep III, as is the case with the leader of any Superpower, had many foreign policy responsibilities. Chief of which, was insuring Egypt's security and promoting trade. In the ancient world, the best way to assure good relations between nations was by dynastic marriage. The problem was, Egyptians only "accepted" foreign wives. They never reciprocated with Egyptian princesses. Which led to the following correspondence.

 

 

   

 

 

Letter from Kadashman Enlil I, king of Babylon, To Amenhotep III
 

 Kadashman Enlil of Babylon to Amenhotep of Egypt [..missing..] How is it possible that, having written to you in order to ask for the hand of your daughter - oh my brother, you should have written me using such language, telling me that you will not give her to me as since earliest times no daughter of the king of Egypt has ever been given in marriage? Why are you telling me such things? You are the king. You may do as you wish. If you wanted to give me your daughter in marriage who could say you nay?
 
But you, keeping to your principle of not sending anybody, have not sent me a wife. Have you not been looking for a fraternal and amicable relationship, when you suggested to me - in writing - a marriage, in order to make us become closer? Why hasn't my brother sent me a wife? [...] It is possible for you not to send me a wife, but how could I refuse you a wife and not send her to you, as you did? I have daughters, I will not refuse you in any way concerning this....
 

As to the gold about which I wrote you, send me now quickly during this summer [.... ] before your messenger reach me, gold in abundance, as much as is available. I could thus achieve the task I have undertaken. If you send me this summer [...] the gold concerning which I've written to you, I shall give you my daughter in marriage. Therefore, send gold, willingly, as much as you please. But if you do not send me gold [...] so I can achieve the task I have undertaken , why haven't you sent me any earlier willingly? After I have finished the task I have undertaken , why would I wish for gold? Even if you sent me 3000 talents of gold I would not accept them. I would return them and would not give you my daughter in marriage.

 

 

 

 

 

Akhenaten

 

There were many great kings of the eighteenth dynasty, But we will make special note of Amenhotep III's second son, Amenhotep IV - better known as Akhenaten. He is the first king to renounce the many gods for only one. His god was called Aten, and was depicted as a sun disk with rays of light emanating from all around it. Considering the Egyptians sophistication and knowledge of astronomy, it is probably an oversimplification to call Akhenaten, a "Sun worshipper". Question: did he influence the Hebrews or did the Hebrews influence him?

 

Akhenaten's second Wife Kiya

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Below are three artifacts of Akhenaten's wife Nefertiti. Always innocently looking to have fun, White people have created a fake Nefertiti, just to see if we can tell which is real and which is the White mans fake. Can you tell? (Tongue firmly in cheek).

 

 

 

 

Hint: This one was recently X-rayed, and it was discovered that the covering was fake, done maybe a hundred years ago. But there is a real bust underneath. White people are just full of fun. Click Here For link to News Story

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Smenkhkare


Upon the death of Akhenaten, his younger brother (or son) Smenkhkare became king. He was married to Merytaten who was probably his eldest sister, the senior heiress of the royal blood line. But she seems to have died early, leaving her sister, Ankhesenpaten in this position. It was Ankhesenpaten, who later married a somewhat younger Tutankhamun. Smenkhkare and Merytaten are pictured in the tomb of Meryre II at Amarna, and were once shown on a relief at Memphis. Yet there has, over time, been a great deal of controversy on all these facts. It would seem that Smenkhkare became co-regent shortly after the death of Ankhenaten's principle wife, Nefertiti. Speculation at times has run rampant, including one theory that Nefertiti had actually disguised herself as a male in the custom of Hatahepsut, so as to become co-regent, and that Smenkhkare was none other than Nefertiti herself. Lending some credence to this theory is the "Co-regency Stela", a fragment of which was found in Amarna.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tutankhamun


Upon the death of Smenkhkare, his brother or nephew, Tutankhamun became king. We still know relatively little about Tutankhamun. For example, even who his father was remains a topic of some debate. His mother was probably Kiya, though this too is in question. At age nine he was married to Ankhesenpaaten, his half sister, and later to Ankhesenamun. We believe Ankhesenpaaten was older then Tutankhamun because she was probably of child-bearing age, seemingly already having had a child by her father, Akhenaten. It is possible also, that Ankhesenamun had been married to Tutankhamun's predecessor Smenkhkare.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The total story, and results of this DNA testing, is contained in this linked "Special Subject Page" << Click >>

 

 

 

 

 

Though we know that Tutankhamun died young, we are not certain about how he died. Both forensic analysis of his mummy, and clay seals dated with his regnal year support his demise at the age of 17 or no later then 18. As to how he died, a small sliver of bone within the upper cranial cavity of his mummy was discovered from X-ray analysis, suggesting that his death was not due to illness. It has been suggested that he was possibly murdered, but it was also just as likely the result of an accident.

 

 

Ay


The well-known death/murder of pharaoh Tutankhamun, and the subsequent miss-steps of his widow Ankhesenamun, created a power vacuum that was filled by Ankhesenamun’s grandfather and the king’s chancellor, Ay. He is first documented as a Master of Horses at the court of Akhenaten; he later rose to the position of Vizier and royal chancellor. He was originally a military man, like most of the men of power during this period. He may have been related to Yuya, the father of Queen Tiye, making him the brother-in-law of Amenhotep III. Ay was an old man (at least 70) when he inherited the throne from Tutankhamun.

He apparently accomplished this by marrying Tutankhamun's widow, Ankhesenamun. There seems to have been considerable intrigue to this marriage. She likely did it against her wishes, as Ay was her grandfather. Further, it would seem that she was not even regarded as a dominant wife of Ay, as paintings in his tomb usually showed Ay accompanied by Tiy, an older wife. We learn from Hattian archives that previous to her marriage to Ay, Ankhesenamun wrote to Suppiliumas, the Hattian king, requesting one of his sons for her to marry and make pharaoh. After some investigation by Suppiliumas, this request was granted, but his son Zannanza, was killed en-route while traveling through Aram, (no doubt by Ay’s agents). See Armana letters section for the correspondence.

 

 

 

The wedding of Ay and Ankhesenamun must have happened rapidly: For Ay officiated at Tutankhamun's funeral as a king, wearing the Blue Crown thus enhancing his claim to the thrown. His reign was brief, believed to only have been four years. It is likely that Ankhensenamun died very shortly afterwards, for there is no mention of her beyond the Cairo ring. In fact, her image has been hacked out on several monuments, and it has been suggested that her dealings with the Hattians may have disgraced her, resulting in her death.

 

 

 

 


Horemheb


Upon the death of Ay, another military man Horemheb; who during the reign of Tutankhamun, had became King's Deputy (and very likely regent), and may, together with Ay, have been responsible for governing Egypt in the background, during Tutankhamun's reign, became king. Other than the fact that Horemheb came from Herakleopolis, little else is known about the background of this pharaoh that we place as the last king of Egypt's important 18th Dynasty. His parentage is completely unknown. It is very possible that Ay and Horemheb had Tutankhamun murdered when that king grew near adulthood and hence, able to rule independently.

 

 

 

It was during the reign of Horemheb that the first attempts were made to write the Amarna Period out of Egyptian History, and he is often credited with reopening and repairing the temples, as well as restoring its priesthood. However, realizing the problems that this powerful priesthood caused for previous kings, he had military men whose loyalties he could trust appointed as priests. In addition to Horemheb's efforts of religious restoration, a stela on the north face of the Tenth Pylon at Karnak, describes the king's desire to remedy various excesses committed by servants of the state.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Through these documents, known as the Great Edict of Horemheb, he apparently invoked harsh punishments for those found guilty of corruption. Abuses included the unlawful requisitioning of boats and slaves, the theft of cattle hides, the illegal taxation of private farmland and fraud in assessing lawful taxes and the extortion of local mayors by officials responsible for organizing the king's annual visit to the Opet Festival. Horemheb reigned for about thirty years, upon his death, there were no children as heirs to the throne of Egypt, and so he chose Paramesse, who was perhaps his northern Vizier, as his successor. The new king would become Ramesses I, who founded Egypt's 19th Dynasty.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

Below are two artifacts of Egyptian king Ramesses II. As with Nefertiti, always innocently looking to have fun, White people have created a fake Ramesses II, just to see if we can tell which is real and which is the White mans fake. Can you tell? (Tongue firmly in cheek).

No hint forthcoming, this one is just too easy!
 

 

 

RAMSES II DID IT!

In keeping with the normal convention of lies, and damn lies by Caucasians; as relates to ancient history. The following bit of fiction has been trying to build a following among the gullible and ignorant.

From the British Museum - Quote: Royal statues in Egypt were sometimes usurped (taken over) by later rulers. The normal procedure was simply to re-carve their name over the old one, but in some cases the physical features were also altered. Ramesses II (1279-1213 BC) seems to have altered a number of statues of Amenhotep III in this way, presumably because he wished to represent his ideal image in a certain form. Ramesses seems to have concentrated on changing the characteristic thick lips of the older statuary to thinner ones. In other cases he took to reducing the plump stomach areas of Amenhotep's statues to make them closer to his ideal of the physical shape of the king.

Read it for yourself here: Click

So now we are asked to believe that it was not the Eurasians (modern Europeans and Turks), who have held in their hands, Egypt's treasures for over 2,500 years, who are responsible for breaking-off or sharpening the noses of Egyptian statues and cutting the lips etc. but rather, it was Rameses II. But now we are left to wonder, just how Rameses II managed to get his hands on all of those statues, even those made after he was dead; and even Sumerian and other statues too, seeing as how the same thing was done to them also. Truly amazing - that Whites think us such fools.

 

 

We skip ahead to the third king of the 19th dynasty Merenptah.

 

 

Merenptah


By the time that Ramesses II died, he had apparently outlived twelve of his sons, so it was his 13th son, Merenptah who ascended the throne of Egypt. Merenptah was himself old by this time, probably nearly sixty years old, he ruled from 1213 until 1203 B.C. Early in Merneptah's reign, his troops had to suppress a revolt in Palestine by the cities of Ashqelon, Gezer, and Yenoam.

 

 

 

But Merneptah's greatest challenge came from the west. Libyans had penetrated the buffer territory west of the delta oases and were encroaching on Egyptian lands.

Merneptah also learned that some Sea Peoples: The Black original inhabitants of Southern Europe and the Mediterranean Islands, who had been displaced by Caucasian invaders and were now roving the Middle East in search of new homes, had joined and armed the Libyans, and with them, were conspiring to attack Memphis and Heliopolis, the great administrative and religious centers near the delta's apex. Among the Sea peoples were the Shardana, of Sardinia; the Akhaivasha, usually identified with the Achæans; the Shakalsha, who may have been Cretanized Sicilians; and the Tursha, perhaps the Turseni, who were represented in Etruria. They were defeated by Merneptah, but some settled in Libya and became mercenaries in the Egyptian army. Merenptah's victory is inscribed on his victory stele; also known as the Israel stele.

Click here for the Merneptah stele: Click >>>

 

 

 

 

Seti II


Seti II was probably the fifth or sixth king of Egypt's 19th Dynasty depending on the treatment we give Amenmessses who may have ruled before, concurrently or even after him (though that is less likely). Seti (mer-en-ptah) was this king's birth name, meaning "He of the god Seti, Beloved of Ptah". He is also sometimes referred to by his Greek name, Sethos II. His throne name was User-kheperu-re Setep-en-re, meaning "Powerful are the Manifestations of Re, Chosen of Re".

 

 

 

It was not unusual in ancient Egypt for the successful, long reign of a king to be followed by succession problems. Of course, few kings had a longer, more successful reign than Ramesses II and when he died, he left a son who was now old himself as the new King. This was Merneptah who was almost certainly the father of Seti II. We believe that an usurper named Amenemesses probably ruled either before him, or concurrently with Seti II during the early part of his rule. It may have been Amenemesses who erased the name of Seti II in his tomb and elsewhere, but it was likewise Seti II who probably did likewise to the names and images of Amenemesses after taking complete control of Egypt.

We believe that Seti may have only reigned for about six years, from about 1199 until 1193 B.C. We do know that Seti II took at least three wives, consisting of Takhat II, Tausret and Tiaa (Sutailja??). Tausret apparently was the mother of his oldest son and heir named Seti-Merenptah, but that child did not live to inherit the throne. Instead, it was Siptah, a younger son who replaced the king, though probably only as a child under Tausret's regency even though his mother is considered to have been Queen Tiaa. In fact, Tausret appears to have outlived this young king, taking full possession of the throne herself with full royal titles much as Hatshepsut had done some 300 years earlier.

 

 

Tausert

It is with the last ruler of the nineteenth dynasty Queen Tausert, that the real trouble begins. She was one of the few queens who ruled Egypt (about 1187 B.C.). Her birth name appears to have been Two-sret (setep-en-mut) which means "Mighty Lady, Chosen of Mut". Her Throne name was Sit-re Mery-amun which means "Daughter of Re, Beloved of Amun". She had been the wife of Seti II, but apparently did not supply him with a heir. So upon his death, his young son Siptah by a Canaanite wife ascended the throne, with Tausert as his regent. When Siptah died six years later, Tausert declared herself king. But upon the death of Tausert, it was a free-for-all for the throne. The exact nature of this turmoil is unknown. But we do know that it was Setnakhte, who ended the confusion and reestablished order. Setnakhte became the first king of the 20th dynasty.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ramesses III

Ramesses III, was the second ruler of Egypt's 20th Dynasty. Ramesses father Setnakhte, may have been related to Ramesses II (Ramesses the great). But in any case, Ramesses III is considered to be the last of the great pharaohs. His reign was during a time of considerable turmoil throughout southern Europe and the Mediterranean Islands.

The sixty years since the reign of Mernenptah, had seen a constant flood of Caucasians from the Eurasian Plains of Asia. They had taken Mycenae and a great many cities in the other nations; and were ever increasing. This caused a great surge of displaced people from all over the region reeking havoc in search of new homes. This was also the time of the Trojan War. It is in the eight year of the reign of Ramesses III, (about 1160 B.C.) that the Sea People once again attack Egypt, but this time, their group includes displaced people from all the nations and Islands of Southern Europe and the Mediterranean.

 

 

 

 

Invasion of the Sea Peoples, inscription on mortuary temple of Rameses III, Medinet Habu, Egypt

"The foreign countries conspired in their islands, and the lands were dislodged and scattered in battle together; no land could stand before their arms: the land of the Hittites, Qode, Carchemesh, Arzawa and Cyprus were wasted, and they set up a camp in (what is now) southern Syria. They desolated its people and made its land as if non-existent. They bore fore before them as they came forward towards Egypt."

 

 

 

 

On they came with fire prepared at their front, faces towards Egypt. Their main protection was the Pelset, the Tjekru, the Shekelesh, the Da'anu, the Washosh and all the lands united. They laid their hands on countries as afar as the circuit of the earth.

After having stayed for a time in Anatolia, the Sea People apparently traveled over land to the Egyptian border. The Sea People had with them their women and children, together with their possessions piled high on ox-carts, it is clear that they were looking for a new home. They also employed a sea fleet that apparently stayed in contract with those on land. Ramesses dispatched squads of soldiers at once to the eastern Egyptian frontier at Djahy, (southern Canaan, perhaps the Egyptian garrison in the Gaza strip), with orders to stand firm at any cost until the main Egyptian army arrived.

Once deployed, the Egyptian army then had little trouble in slaying these enemies. However, there was still the sea fleet to consider, as the Sea Peoples fleet headed for the mouth of one of the eastern arms of the Nile, they were met by the Egyptian fleet. In a brilliant tactical maneuver, the Egyptian fleet worked the Sea Peoples' boats towards shore, where land based Egyptian archers were waiting to pour volley after volley of arrows into the enemy ships, while at the same time, Egyptian marine archers, standing on the decks of their ships, also fired in unison. Thus, Ramesses III defeats the Sea people and they are turned away.

Click here for Details and Pictures of the Sea People. <<Click>>

Three years later, Libyans together with the Meshwesh and five other tribes from the west, launched a full scale invasion of lower Egypt, during Ramesses eleventh year as ruler. Once again, Ramesses III counter attacked, crushing these opponents as well.

At some point during the latter part of Ramesses III's reign, there were economic problems, these problems became evident when the Deir el-Medina workmen failed to be paid. This lead to a general strike, the first in recorded history, in the 29th year of the king's reign.

Against this background was hatched a plot against the king's life by one of his many Queens, "one Queen Tiy". She apparently wished for her son, called Pentewere, to ascend the throne of Egypt. Her's was no simple conspiracy, considering that at least 40 people were implicated and tried as a group. Amongst their numbers were harem officials, many of whom were close to the king. Apparently not only had they intended to kill the king, but also to incite a revolt outside of the palace in order to facilitate their coup. The plot was seemingly hatched in Piramesses, where one of the conspirators had a house. The plan called for the murder of the king during the annual Opet Festival at Thebes. Preparations for this included magical spells and wax figurines, which were smuggled into the harem. This conspiracy is thought to have failed, and the culprits were charged and brought before a court consisting of a panel of fourteen officials. These included seven royal butlers, two treasury overseers, two army standard bearers, two scribes and a herald.

Ramesses III himself, most likely commissioned the prosecution, but according to the language of the papyrus, probably died during the trial, though not necessarily from the effects of the plot. Curiously, this court was given authority to deliver and carry out whatever penalty they deemed fair, including the death penalty, which normally only the king could inflict. It should be noted however, that scholars are in disagreement over the events of this conspiracy. Some maintain that Ramesses III was in fact killed by the conspirators, and that his son, Ramesses IV, set up the tribunal, but others maintain that the mummy of the king shows no acts of violence.

All of those involved in the plot were apparently condemned to death, as was certainly the fate of Queen Tiy herself. Though the record of the actual trial is lost, there were apparently three different prosecutions. The first consisted of twenty eight people, who included the major ringleaders. They were found guilty, and almost certainly put to death. In the next prosecution six people were condemned, and forced to commit suicide within the court itself. In the final trial, four additional individuals, including the son of Queen Tiy, were likewise condemned to suicide, though they were presumably allowed to carry out the act in their prison.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Interestingly, there was also a fourth trial, but this one did not involve the actual conspirators, but instead three of the judges and two officers. It would seem that this curious affair resulted from accusations that, after their appointment to the conspiracy commission, they knowingly entertained several of the women involved in the plot, as well as consorted with a general referred to as Peyes. Though one of the judges was found innocent, the remainder of the group was condemned to have their ears and noses amputated. One of the judges named "Pebes" committed suicide before the sentence could be carried out.

But by the end of the twentieth dynasty, the same old problem came back and caused another collapse, as usual the cause is a weak king, in this case it is Ramsses XI. After the collapse of the 20th Dynasty and the so-called Ramesside kings, Egypt descended into another period of political chaos.

Oddly enough, the groundwork for this collapse was laid by Ramsses III himself. The Harris Papyrus tells us that Ramesses III, made huge donations of land to the most important temples in Thebes, Memphis and Heliopolis. In fact, by the end of his reign, a third of the cultivatable land belonged to the temples, and of this, three quarters belonged to the temple of Amun at Thebes. Over time, the power and influence of the High Priest of Amun, (which was now hereditary), continued to grow. So that by the time of Ramsses XI - who was a less than energetic king - whomever was the high priest, was in fact the ruler, with the pharaoh little more than a figure-head.

After Ramsses XI's death, a man named Hrihor, who had earlier usurped the former High Priest of Amun in Thebes ( Upper Egypt), and then made himself vizier there as well, divided-up Egypt between himself and a man named Smendes from the town of Tanis in Lower Egypt, there Smendes was the high priest of Amun and the viceroy of Lower Egypt. Together these two had kept Ramesses XI in seclusion on his estates during much of his reign, now they rule Egypt.

 

 

Egyptian King and Ruler list

The ancient Egyptian Kinglist is very fluid, as new attestations for previously unknown kings or Queens are discovered (such as newfound Serekhs or Cartouches), the list is updated. Chronological dates are educated guesses.

 


 

 

NEW KINGDOM

18th Dynasty continued..

Amenhotep III (Nebmaatre) 1382 - 1344
Amenhotep IV / Akhenaten 1350 - 1334
Smenkhkare (Ankhkheperure) 1336-1334
Tutankhamun (Nebkheperure) 1334 - 1325
Ay (Kheperkheperure) 1325 - 1321
Horemheb (Djeserkheperure) 1323 - 1295

 

19th Dynasty

Ramesses I (Menpehtyre) 1295 - 1294
Seti I (Menmaatre) 1394 - 1279
Ramesses II (Usermaatresetepenre) 1279 - 1213
Merenptah (Baenrehotephirmaat) 1213 - 1203
Amenmesse (Menmire) 1203 - 1200
Seti II (Userkheperuresetepenre) 1200 - 1194
Siptah (Akhenresetepenre) 1194 - 1188
Tausert (Sitremeritamun) 1185-1187

20th Dynasty

Setakht (Userkhauremeryamun) 1186 - 1184
Ramesses III (Usermaatremeryamun) 1184 - 1153
Ramesses IV (Hekamaatresetepenamun) 1153 - 1147
Ramesses V (Usermaatresekheperenre) 1147 - 1143
Ramesses VI (Nebmaatremeryamun) 1143 - 1136
Ramesses VII (Usermaatresetepenre) 1136 - 1129
Ramesses VIII (Usermaatreakhenamun) 1129 - 1126
Ramesses IX (Neferkaresetepenre) 1126 - 1108
Ramesses X (Khepermaatresetepenre) 1108 - 1099
Ramesses XI (Menmaatresetepenptah) 1099 - 1069

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

Please visit the "Additional Material Area" for many more photographs of each civilization, and related material <Click>

 

 

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