The queens of Egypt of primary rank were called “the Great Wife.” If they were able to bear the pharaoh’s heirs, they received the additional title of “Mother of the King” and wore the vulture headdress of nekhebet, the goddess protector of Upper Egypt. Other titles bestowed upon them were “Mistress of the Two Lands,” “Mistress of Upper and Lower Egypt,” “For whom the Sun Rises,” and “Great of Favors.”
The title of “the god’s wife of amun” began in the reign of ‘ahmose (1550-1525 b.c.e.), founder of the New Kingdom, when Queen ‘ahmose nefertari received that rank in exchange for privileges offered to her. The role, also called the Divine Adoratrices of Amun in some eras, evolved over the centuries into a religious office of considerable power.
A necropolis site on the eastern hill of deir el-medina on the western shore of the Nile. Tombs from the Eighteenth Dynasty (1550-1307 b.c.e.) and the Ramessid Period (1307-1070 b.c.e.) were excavated there.
Qus (Gesa, Apollinopolis Parva)
A site north of thebes, on the western bank of the Nile, involved in the vast trade expeditions of Egypt. The Egyptians called the site Gesa, and the Greeks named it Apollinopolis Parva. Qus served as departure point for expeditions to the wadi hammamat and the Red Sea. Two pylons from the Ptolemaic Period (304-30 b.c.e.) dedicated to Haroeris and heket remain there.
Rabirius Postumus (fl. first century b.c.e.)
Roman of equestrian rank assigned to Egypt by the Roman Senate He managed the financial affairs of ptolemy xii neos dionysus (r. 80-58, 55-51 b.c.e.) on behalf of the Senate of Rome. Rabirius was charged with taking a bribe as a result of conducting this office but was defended successfully by cicero in Rome.
Ra’djedef (Djedef-re) (d. 2520 b.c.e.)
Third ruler of the Fourth Dynasty
He reigned from 2528 b.c.e. until his death. The son of khufu (Cheops) and a lesser-ranked queen, he had a brief reign and was possibly associated with the death of Prince kewab, his half brother and the rightful heir. Ra’djedef apparently was a member of a separate line of Khufu’s royal family, possibly of Libyan connections.
He was recorded as marrying hetepheres (2), his half sister and the widow of Prince Kewab. She was the mother as well of Kewab’s daughter, merysankh (3), who married Ra’djedef’s successor, khafre (Chephren). Hetepheres (2) bore Ra’djedef a daughter, neferhetepes (1). He also married khentetka and had three sons, Setka, Baka, and Harnit. They are all listed in Ra’djedef’s unfinished pyramid in ABU rowash, but none inherited the throne.
Ra’djedef chose the royal name “Son of Re,” indicating a religious revolt of some sort, and was mentioned in the TURIN canon. He also abandoned the giza plateau, building his mortuary complex in Abu Rowash, near the Third Dynasty (2649-2575 b.c.e.) necropolis to the north. This unfinished complex was designed with a mortuary temple, called “Ra’djedef is a Sehedu Star.” The mortuary temple was started on the east side of the pyramid. A large boat pit was built on the southern end.
some 20 statues were discovered on the site, now in a ruined condition. Red quartzite and other fine stones were used throughout the complex. A sphinx was also found on the site, the first use of that symbol in royal tombs. Ra’djedef’s pyramid was ransacked as a quarry by later pharaohs, and he remains a mysterious individual who represented the rise of a faction of the royal family for a brief period. A queen’s pyramid has recently been uncovered on the site.
Rahotep (1) (fl. 26th century b.c.e.)
Prince of the Fourth Dynasty, famed for his mortuary statue A son of snefru (r. 2575-2551 b.c.e.), Rahotep was married to Princess nofret (1) and buried with her in a mastaba tomb near the pyramid of meidum. Rahotep served as the high priest of the god re at HELiOPOLis.He also served as the director of expeditions and as the chief of royal building. There is a possibility that Rahotep was the son of huni (r. 2599-2575 b.c.e.), buried in Snefru’s reign. A remarkable portrait statue of Rahotep was discovered at Meidum. Nofret was also depicted by another remarkable statue in the tomb. These limestone portrayals were fashioned with inlaid eyes and depict individuals of vitality and charm.
Rahotep (2) (Wah’ankh) (d. c. 1630 b.c.e.)
Ruler, or possibly the founder, of the Seventeenth Dynasty He was also called Rahotep Wah’ankh and is mentioned in reliefs in the tomb of amenmesses of the Nineteenth Dynasty in the valley of the kings. Rahotep restored the temples of min and osiris at koptos and abydos. His pyramid was erected at dra-abu el-naga, the oldest section of the necropolis of Thebes.
Rai (fl. 16th century b.c.e.)
Court woman of the Eighteenth Dynasty
She served in the reign of ‘ahmose (1550-1525 b.c.e.), as a wet nurse of Queen ‘ahmose-nefertari. Rai was buried in Thebes in a newly made coffin of sycamore wood. Her original coffin was used to bury Princess ‘ahmose-in-hapi. Rai’s remains were discovered at deir el-bahri in 1881. Her mummy clearly shows that she was a graceful and delicate woman with abundant masses of hair, woven into braids.
Raia (fl. 14th century b.c.e.)
Royal woman of the Nineteenth Dynasty, the mother-in-law of Seti I Raia’s daughter, Queen tuya, probably married Seti I (r. 1306-1290 b.c.e.) before he became pharaoh. Raia’s husband, Ruia, was a lieutenant of charioteers in the army of Ramesses I before he was asked by horemhab to found a new royal line. she was buried in Thebes.
Ramesses (fl. 13th century b.c.e.)
Prince of the Nineteenth Dynasty
He was the son of ramesses ii (r. 1290-1224 b.c.e.) and Queen isetnofret (1) and campaigned with his father in nubia, serving as a charioteer. A general and the appointed heir to the throne from Ramesses Il’s regnal years of 40-50, Prince Ramesses died before inheriting. He followed amenhirkhopshef (2) in the line of succession. Prince Ramesses was depicted at abu simbel. He denoted funerary items for the apis bulls and conducted inquiries into a legal matter concerning the mortuary temple of tuthmosis i.
Ramesses I (Menpehtire) (d. 1306 b.c.e.)
Founder of the Nineteenth Dynasty
He reigned only from 1307 b.c.e. until his death. Chosen as the successor by horemhab, Ramesses I served for a time as coregent while Horemhab lived and then began his own royal line. The son of an Egyptian military commander, a commoner named Seti, Ramesses I was born in avaris, the former capital of the hyksos in the eastern Delta. Joining the army, Ramesses I fought at the side of Horemhab and became a commander of troops, superintendent of cavalry troops, a royal envoy, superintendent of “the Mouths of the Nile,” the branches of the river in the Delta, and a full general.
In time, Ramesses I served as Horemhab’s vizier and high priest of amun, a rank that placed him in command of all the cults and temples of the nation. when Horemhab died childless, Ramesses I was installed as the deputy of the throne, becoming the heir. His wife sitre was the mother of seti i. As Ramesses I was quite elderly when he succeeded Horemhab, Seti I was already a military commander.
The name Ramesses was translated as “Re Fashioned Him,” and his throne name, Menpehtire, was translated as “Enduring is the Might of Re.” in his first months of power, Ramesses I restored the great temple of karnak in thebes, completing the second pylon and a vestibule. He also added a colonnaded hall. Ramesses I named seti i as his coregent and died only 16 months after his coronation.
At wadi halfa, a stela bears his name and commemorates his temple offerings. Ramesses i conducted a Nubian campaign, probably led by Seti I in his name. His tomb was prepared in the valley of the kings but was not completed. it has a double row of stairs, a burial chamber, and three annexes. portraits of the goddess ma’at decorate the entrance. The burial chamber contains a yellow granite sarcophagus with figures of the goddess isis on the ends. paintings were used instead of cut reliefs as tomb adornments. Ramesses i’s mummified remains were moved to deir el-bahri in later eras and were discovered in the cache there. Ramesses i also had a tomb in Avaris, unused and probably built for him before he ascended the throne.
Ramesses II (Userma’atre’setepenre) (d. 1224 b.c.e.)
Third ruler of the Nineteenth Dynasty, called the Great He reigned from 1290 b.c.e. until his death, one of the longest-lived pharaohs of Egypt. The son of seti i and Queen tuya, Ramesses II was introduced early to the military careers of his family. His grandfather, ramesses i, and his great-grandfather, seti, had been commanders in the field. Ramesses II accompanied his father in a Libyan campaign when he was a teenager. He also went to war in the Mediterranean and palestine regions.
He became the coregent in the seventh year of the reign of Seti I, who reportedly said: “Crown Him as king that I may see his beauty while I live with him.” His throne name meant “Strong in Right Is re.” He also conducted a Nubian campaign, accompanied by two of his own sons, at age 22.
In Egypt, he aided seti i in vast restoration programs up and down the Nile. Together they built a new palace at per-ramesses, the new capital founded by Ramesses I in the eastern Delta. Wells, quarries, and mines were also reopened.
Inheriting the throne, Ramesses II completed his father’s buildings and began to restore the empire. He made promotions among his aides, refurbished temples and shrines, and campaigned on the borders of the land. He then began a war with the hittites that would last for decades. This war opened with the Battle of kadesh,a military campaign commemorated in the Poem of pentaur (or Pentauret) on the walls of karnak and in the sallier papyrus iii.
That particular campaign provided a temporary truce but then continued in a series of three phases. After pushing the Egyptian domain to Beirut, (modern Lebanon), Ramesses II met the enemy at Kadesh. Later he battled to recover Palestine, which had been encouraged to revolt. Lastly, Ramesses II conquered Hittite lands far from Egypt and deep inside the enemy’s empire, bringing the Hittites to the treaty table.
At Per-Ramesses, the new capital of Egypt, Ramesses II enlarged the royal residence, adding doorways, balconies, throne rooms, and chambers. These new areas were decorated with faience tiles and statues. He also built abu simbel, south of aswan, and temples in derr in nubia (modern Sudan), and in abydos. In his 21st regnal year, he formed an alliance to repel the sea peoples and the Assyrians. Karnak and the ramesseum benefited from his generosity and sense of style.
Ramesses II’s wives and consorts were many, numbering 200 in some periods of his reign. His “Great Wife,” his favorite, was nefertari-Merymut, who probably married him before he became a royal prince. She bore him children and was honored in a temple at abu simbel. When she retired to the harem villa at mi-wer in the faiyum, isetnofret (1) became the leading queen. When she died or retired, her daughter, bint-anath, and Nefer-tari’s daughter, meryt amun (1), became queens. Other favorites were ma’at-hornefrure, probably a Hittite princess, and nebt-tawy (1).
Ramesses had more than 100 sons and numerous daughters. His sons were named individually as the heir to the throne and then predeceased their father, resulting in merenptah’s succession as the thirteenth offspring designated as crown prince. Some of the sons who have been identified over the centuries were Montuhirkhopshef (or Montuhirwenemuf), Neben-Kharru, Mery-Amun, Amun-wia, Seti, Setep-en-Re, Mery-re, Hor-her-wenemuf, Amenhotep, Itamun, Mery-Atum-Ramesses and kha’em-weset (1).
A unique megatomb, the largest and most intriguing burial site in the valley of the kings at Thebes, was erected as the grave of Ramesses II’s royal sons. Recently uncovered, this tomb has pillared halls, T-shaped corridors, and separate chambers. Some 67 chambers with wall paintings have been discovered thus far, leading to another level of the structure that promises additional chambers.
He was possibly deified at the celebration of his first heb-sed, or at the commemoration of his coronation. Ramesses II married a daughter of the Hittite ruler hat-tusilis iii, probably ma’at hornefrure, in 1257 b.c.e. Statues and other monuments continued to honor him throughout Egypt. When he died, merenptah, his thirteenth son and heir, placed him in a tomb in the valley of the Kings at Thebes. This large tomb was long and highly decorated. The end chambers are at an angle to the entrance corridors. His mummified remains, however, had to be removed to keep them safe from robbers. His original tomb was possibly flooded before he died, as two such monuments bear his name in the valley of the Kings.
Ramesses II depicted in a colossal statue in Luxor temple.
Discovered in the mummy cache in deir el-bahri in 1881, Ramesses Il’s remains were wrapped in floral garlands. He had red hair, possibly the result of the mummification process, and his body was beautifully wrapped in a cedarwood coffin. The mummy shows that he suffered from smallpox at one time. He had a patrician nose and was six feet in height. His face had jutting eyebrows, thick lashes, a strong jaw, and round ears. His genital organs had been removed and placed in a statue of the god osiris, probably as an act of reverence for the deity set, the patron of his family’s original home. His muscles were atrophied from age, and he suffered from arteriosclerosis.
Publishing, 2000; Kitchen, K. A. Ramesside Inscriptions: Ramesses II, His Contemporaries. London: Blackwell, 2000; Menu. Bernadette. Ramesses II: Great of the Pharaoh New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1999; Montet, Pierre. Everyday Life in the Days of Ramesses the Great. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania, 1998; Tyldesley, Joyce A. Ramesses: Egypt’s Greatest Pharaoh. New York: Penguin,2001.
Ramesses II Cycle
This was a text found on a stela in the temple of khons (1) at thebes. The text is an account of “Princess Bekhen,” a fanciful tale prompted by the marriage of ramesses ii (r. 1290-1224 b.c.e.) to the daughter of the hittite ruler hattusilis iii in 1257 b.c.e. The tale involves demons and the god khons and was popular for several centuries in Egypt. See also bentresh stela.
Ramesses Il’s Colossal Statue
This is a figure found in the ruins of ancient memphis, now in an enclosed shelter there. Originally more than 12.8 meters high, the statue was carved out of limestone. Beautifully fashioned, the statue depicts Ramesses II in his royal regalia. The figure is damaged and is displayed in a prone position rather than standing erect.
Ramesses III (Userma’atre’meryamun) (d.1163 b.c.e.)
Second ruler of the Twentieth Dynasty
He reigned from 1194 b.c.e. until his untimely death. ramesses iii was the last great pharaoh of Egypt’s New Kingdom and the last true warrior king. The son of seth-nakhte, the founder of the royal line, and Queen tiye-mereniset, Ramesses III served as coruler and then inherited the throne.
He was militarily active from the start of his reign, as he was of a mature age when crowned and faced unrest in the land. In his fifth regnal year, Ramesses III faced a confederacy of Libyans, led by the meshwesh, the most powerful tribe of that area. Ramesses III used mercenary troops to defeat the enemy, and the campaign lasted seven years as the Libyans plundered Delta territories. Ramesses III is recorded as slaying 12,535 of the enemy forces, with collected heads, hands, or phalli used as markers for the count.
In his eighth regnal year, Ramesses III conducted a northern war against the sea peoples, including the sher-den pirates. These Asia Minor nomads had destroyed the hittite holdings and other city-states. Entire families instead of units of enemy warriors faced the Egyptians in southern Palestine and in the Delta. An Egyptian war fleet was sent to the coastal regions south of Arvad, where the Sea Peoples were defeated. Two groups, however, survived and were sent to Palestine. one of the groups, the Peleset, reportedly became the Philistines.
The Second Libyan War followed in Ramesses Ill’s 11th regnal year. The Meshwesh invaded the Nile Valley, reaching the outskirts of heliopolis. The Libyans entered a canal there, called the waters of re, and found the Egyptians waiting. The Libyan king, keper, and his son, Meshesher, died in the battle, and 2,175 Libyans perished as well. Ramesses III chased the enemy 11 miles into the desert and captured 2,052, including women and children.
Soon after, Ramesses III invaded Syrian cities that had been decimated by the sea Peoples. He led his troops against five such settlements and then captured two Hit-tite fortresses. He also conducted a Nubian campaign, listing 124 sites in the records of his battles on medinet habu. While he was campaigning, Ramesses III was supervising the building of medinet habu at Thebes. The structure was started in his sixth regnal year and completed in the 12th. This lavish complex contained architectural and artistic innovations, as well as Asiatic and Nubian metals and displays. The dedication of Medinet Habu signaled as well the end of Ramesses III’s wars, as Egypt had entered a period of peace.
He thus turned his attention to the nation, reopening the granite quarries at aswan and the mines of the sinai. He also sent an expedition to punt. Temples across Egypt were repaired and refurbished. per-ramesses also reopened, and a new royal residence was added. He built in abydos, assiut, athribis, elkab, heliopolis, hermopolis,memphis, Per-Ramesses, thinis, and Thebes.
His Great Wife was iset (2) Takemdjert, recorded as being the daughter of a foreign ruler. Other consorts were titi and tiy. His sons included kha’emweset ii, amen-hirkhopshef, Preherwenemef, Sethirkhopshef, Merya-mun, Meryatum, montuhirkhopshef, ramesses iv, vi, and viii. The ranking daughter of Ramesses III was Titi.
In the 32nd year of Ramesses Ill’s reign, Queen tiye (2), who wanted to place her son, pentaweret, on the throne, plotted the death of the pharaoh. Ramesses III was attacked at Medinet Habu. All of the conspirators and later accomplices were apprehended and condemned. The attack appears to have been successful, as Ramesses III died soon after. He was buried in the valley of the kings in a tomb now called “the Tomb of the Harpers.” This gravesite has 10 chambers and three passages.
Buried in a carapace, Ramesses III was moved to deir el-bahri in later eras and was discovered in the mummy cache in 1881. His mummy was packed in resins and placed in a sarcophagus of pink granite. A well room and magazines are part of the design. A pillared hall is decorated with the text of the topic of the Gates, a mortuary document. other mortuary texts were used as well in the burial chamber, including The topic of the Earth. Ramesses III was buried with a collection of bronze SHABTIS.
Ramesses IV (Heqama’atre’setepenamun) (d. 1156 b.c.e.)
Third ruler of the Twentieth Dynasty He reigned from 1163 b.c.e. until his death. The son of ramesses iii and probably Queen iset (2), he buried his father and placed the harris papyrus i in the tomb during the mortuary rituals. The harem conspirators, who had plotted the death of his father, met their final ends during his reign.
Young when crowned, Ramesses IV proclaimed a general amnesty and was active in refurbishing sites in the Nile Valley. He built in thebes, abydos, heliopolis,karnak, edfu, el-tod, esna, buhen, garf hussein,medamud, erment, and koptos. He also sent expeditions to the wadi hammamat and to the sinai and reopened quarries to aid in constructing temples at deir el-bahri, at thebes. His viceroy, Hori, governed nubia (modern Sudan) in this historical period.
Marrying Queen isetnofret (3), Ramesses IV prayed to the gods for a long reign to better serve Egypt but that ambition was not to be fulfilled. A second consort was Queen tentopet, or Duatentapet, and his sons were ramesses v and amenhirkhopshef. Dying young, possibly of smallpox, Ramesses IV was buried in the valley of the kings. His tomb was designed with steps leading to three corridors and to a chamber that was decorated with inscriptions from the topic of the dead. The burial chamber is square with an astronomical ceiling and a granite sarcophagus. painted reliefs serve as decorations.
Ramesses IV’s mummified corpse was moved to the tomb of amenhotep ii in thebes and was recovered there. In his embalmed state of preservation, Ramesses IV is clean-shaven and bald, and his mummy was stuffed with lichen in his chest and abdomen. His eyes had been filled with two onions to retain their shape during the mortuary rituals.
Ramesses V Userma’atre’sekhepenre) (d. 1151 b.c.e.)
Fourth ruler of the Twentieth Dynasty
He reigned from 1156 b.c.e. until his death. He was the son of ramesses iv and Queen tentopet. Ramesses V reopened the mines at gebel el-silsileh and the sinai and built at heliopolis and at the Nubian (modern Sudanese) fortress of buhen. The wilbour papyrus dates to his reign, and he is recorded also as marrying Queen nubkheshed (1).
Ramesses V’s reign was troubled by a lethal epidemic of smallpox and by conditions approaching a civil war. As many as six members of the royal family died of smallpox, and Ramesses V’s mummy carries scars from the disease. He may have died from smallpox or have been a victim of the political unrest of the period. The fragmentary hieratic papyrus of Turin indicates that he was buried in year two of his successor, ramesses vi. Whether he was held prisoner and died in captivity or died and was kept in an embalmed state as a corpse for years,
Ramesses V was put to rest in the valley of the kings and then finally reburied in the tomb of amenhotep ii. His chest and abdomen were filled with sawdust, an unusual mummification material. His head also displays a major wound, inflicted before or shortly after his death, adding to the mystery.
The tomb of Ramesses V was designed with an entrance passage, a well room, and a pillared hall, decorated with paintings. His burial chamber has a ceiling depicting the goddess nut and reliefs from the topic of Days and the topic of the Heavens. The mask from his anthropoid coffin was recovered.
Ramesses VI (Nebma’atre’meryamun) (d. 1143 b.c.e.)
Fifth ruler of the Twentieth Dynasty
He reigned from 1151 b.c.e. until his death, possibly a usurper of the throne of his nephew, ramesses v. Ramesses VI was reportedly the son of ramesses iii and Queen iset. He also married a Queen nubkhesed (2), perhaps the widow of Ramesses V His son was ramesses vii, and his daughter, iset, became a god’s wife of amun at Thebes. His other sons were panebenkemyt and Amen-hirkhopshef.
Ramesses VI sent an expedition to the sinai, and he was the last of his royal line to work the turquoise mines there. He left statues and a karnak relief. When he died, he was buried in the tomb of Ramesses V, blocking the original tomb on the site, that of tut’ankhamun, thus saving it from plunderers. This tomb extends into the cliff and is one of the most beautifully decorated sites in the valley of the kings. An astronomical ceiling design, with royal vulture symbols, is displayed, and long corridors and vaults depicting the goddess nut are evident. Robbers invaded his tomb during the next dynastic period, and the mummy of Ramesses VI was hacked to pieces, damaging his head and trunk. The priests of later dynasties had to pin his remains to a board in order to transfer them to the tomb of amenhotep ii for security. His remains contained the head of an unknown woman.
Ramesses VII (Userma’atre’meryamun) (d. 1136 b.c.e.)
Sixth ruler of the Twentieth Dynasty He reigned from 1143 b.c.e. until his death. Ramesses VII was the son of ramesses vi and probably Queen nubkhesed (2), also called Itames. He married another iset nofret and had a son who died as an infant. He built additions or refurbished temples at Memphis, karnak, and elkab. His only true monument, however, is his tomb in the valley of the kings on the western shore of the Nile at Thebes. He was proclaimed on a stela, however, and a scarab that was discovered bears his cartouche.
His tomb in the Valley of the Kings is small but beautifully decorated, with corridors and a burial chamber. Ramesses VII’s granite sarcophagus was fashioned in the shape of a cartouche but was smashed by robbers. His body was never found, but his tomb had an entrance passageway and a painted burial chamber. A rock hollow was part of the design, covered by a stone block and decorated.
Ramesses VIII (Userma’atre’ankhenamun) (d. 1131 b.c.e.)
Seventh ruler of the Twentieth Dynasty He reigned from 1136 b.c.e. until his death. He was a son of ramesses iii and probably Queen iset. The last surviving son of Ramesses III, he was pictured in medinet habu as Prince Sethirkhopshef. When he died, Ramesses VIII was buried secretly in Thebes, where his empty sarcophagus was found. Little is known of his reign.
Ramesses IX (Neferkare’setenre) (d. 1112 b.c.e.)
Eighth ruler of the Twentieth Dynasty
He reigned from 1131 b.c.e. until his death. Ramesses IX was a grandson of ramesses iii, the son of Prince Mon-tuhirkhopshef and princess Takhat. coming to the throne after his uncle, he provided Egypt with a brief but stable period. His wife was probably Queen baketwerel, and ramesses x was probably his son. The tomb robberies and the subsequent trials took place in his reign. Another son, Nebma’atre, became the high priest of heliopolis. He also had a son named Montuhirkhopshef.
Two documents concerning trade and economics depict Ramesses IX’s reign. The true power of Egypt was already in the hands of the priests of amun, and inflation and other problems were causing unrest in the Nile Valley. Ramesses IX, who was the last pharaoh of Egypt to rule over nubia (modern Sudan) was buried in the valley of the kings on the western shore of Thebes. His tomb was designed with three decorated corridors and three square-shaped halls, including one for offerings and containing four squared pillars. The burial chamber was decorated with scenes from the topic of the Caverns and depicted the goddess nut, surrounded by solar barks and stars. Ramesses IX’s mummified remains were discovered in the cache of deir el-bahri in a coffin belonging to Princess neskhonsu, the wife of pinudjem ii.
Ramesses X (Khenerma’atre’setepenre) (d. 1000 b.c.e.)
Ninth ruler of the Twentieth Dynasty
He reigned from 1112 b.c.e. until his death. He was probably the son of ramesses ix and Queen baketwerel.He married Queen tiye (3) and his son was ramesses xi. Little is known of his reign, but the Libyans had invaded Thebes and the workers in the area were not receiving their normal rations. His tomb in the valley of the kings at Thebes has been identified but not explored. No mummy has ever been found.
Ramesses XI (Menma’atre’setepenptah) (d. 1070 b.c.e.)
Last ruler of the Twentieth Dynasty and the New Kingdom
He reigned from 1100 b.c.e. until his death. Ramesses XI was the son of ramesses x and Queen tiye, and married Queen tanutamun. They had two daughters, henuttawy and another Tanutamun. He also had a second consort, possibly Baketwerel.
The state of Egypt was perilous at the time, as the Tale of WENAMUN, a literary work of the reign, indicates. Thebes was in a state of constant revolt, and Ramesses XI was a recluse. Local Thebans used medinet habu, Ramesses Ill’s temple, as a fortress because of the riots and unrest. Hundreds died in the Theban revolt. The viceroy of Nubia, panhesi, took control of the city but was ousted by heri-hor, who became the high priest of Amun and commander of Upper Egypt. He died before Ramesses XI, who built a tomb in the valley of the kings at Thebes but did not use it. This tomb was unfinished, but elaborate, with pillared halls, a shaft, and a burial chamber. The mummy of Ramesses XI has never been found.
Ramessesnakht (fl. 12th century b.c.e.)
Priestly official of the Twentieth Dynasty
He served ramesses iv (r. 1163-1156 b.c.e.) as the high priest of amun in thebes. He may have held this office in earlier reigns as well. Ramessesnakht led an expeditionary force of 8,000 Egyptians to the quarries of wadi hammamat. He brought back stone materials for Ramesses IV’s building programs. He also assumed many high ranks and put his sons, Nesamon and Amenhotep, in high offices. He was related to the mayor of Thebes. Ramessesnakht’s usurpation of power aided the decline of the New Kingdom.
Ramesses-Nebweben (fl. 13th century b.c.e.)
Prince of the Nineteenth Dynasty
He was a son of ramesses ii (r. 1290-1224 b.c.e.). Ramesses-Nebweben was buried in the faiyum, near the retirement center of the harem at mi-wer. He was a hunchback and spent most of his life at the harem retreat, dying at a young age.
This was the temple built by ramesses ii (r. 1290-1224 b.c.e.) at thebes. Called “the Temple of the Million Years,” the structure was part of Ramesses Il’s mortuary cult. The temple was dedicated to the deified Ramesses II and to the god amun, called “the United With Eternity.” The site was named the Memnomium, or the Tomb of ozymandias, by the Greeks.
The structure was surrounded by a brick wall and superimposed on a temple constructed originally by seti i. Pylons depicted Ramesses Il’s Battle of kadesh and his Syrian victories. The Ramesseum had a hypostyle hall, courts, and a throne room. A colossal statue of Ramesses ii, more than 55 feet tall, was discovered in the first court. An astronomical chamber was also found on the site, composing a second hypostyle hall.
Ramesseum columns, part of the elaborate hypostyle hall in the funerary monument of Ramesses II.
In the southeast, a temple dedicated to Seti I and Queen tuya, the royal parents of Ramesses II, was erected, and an avenue of sphinxes surrounded various buildings. There were also chambers that served as sanctuaries for the assorted solar barks. A royal residence was part of the design. The Twenty-second (945-712 b.c.e.) and Twenty-third (828-712 b.c.e.) Dynasties used the storage areas of the Ramesseum as a burial site. A papyrus discovered on the site contained a version of “the Tale of the eloquent peasant,” and medical texts concerning the treatment of stiffening limbs were also found.
In the reign of Ramesses IX (1131-1112 b.c.e.), priests serving the Ramesseum were caught removing golden objects from this shrine. An accomplice, a gardener named Kar, confessed how quantities of golden decorations were taken. He also named his confederates, many of whom were in the priesthood. They were severely punished, as their crimes included not only theft but sacrilege in desecrating a religious site.
A series of documents discovered in the great temple built by ramesses ii (r. 1290-1224 b.c.e.) at Thebes, the first was discovered during an expedition to the site during 1895-1896 and is now in the Berlin Museum. “The Tale of the eloquent peasant” was contained in this papyrus. The Ramesseum Papyrus IV dates to 1900 b.c.e. and contained magico-medical material. The text called Papyrus V is purely medical, concerned with “stiffening of the limbs,” the condition of arthritis. Another text describes various illnesses being treated in Kahun.
Ram of Mendes He was a divine being in Egypt, ba’eb djet, called “the Ram of Tjet” or “the Soul Lord of Tjet.” This cult was founded in the Second Dynasty (2770-2649 b.c.e.) and prospered in bubastis. The word BA was translated in this cult as “soul” or “ram.” In time the Ram of Mendes was believed to embody the souls of the deities re, shu, geb, and osiris. The Ram’s consort was hat-mehit, a dolphin goddess. ptolemy ii philadelphus (r. 285-246 b.c.e.) aided the cult of the Ram of Mendes.
Ramose (1) (fl. 14th century b.c.e.)
Vizier of the Eighteenth Dynasty
He served in this high office for amenhotep iii (r. 1391-1353 b.c.e.) and akhenaten (r. 1353-1335 b.c.e.). A trusted courtier, Ramose’s career spanned the traditional and the ‘amarna Periods, although he died before ‘Amarna became Egypt’s capital in Akhenaten’s reign. Ramose was a relative of the famed amenhotep, son of hapu. Ramose accepted the cult of aten.
His tomb in sheikh abd’el-qurna, on the western shore of Thebes, contains traditional and ‘Amarna style reliefs. They depict Aten rituals, as well as the usual scenes, and include a portrait of Amenhotep, son of Hapu, always recognized by his long flowing hair. The tomb was unfinished and not used, and Ramose’s remains have never been discovered.
Ramose (2) (fl. 13th century b.c.e.)
Official of the Nineteenth Dynasty
He served as a scribe and administrator for ramesses ii (r. 1290-1224 b.c.e.). Ramose was a temple official, belonging to a family that held high positions since the reign of tuthmosis iv of the Eighteenth Dynasty. He served as a scribe in the temple treasury, as accountant for the cattle of Amun, and as a chief administrator for the House of the Seal Bearer. His tomb in ‘amarna was cruciform in shape with a transverse galley and a burial shaft. It was unfinished but contained statue remnants and painted scenes.
Ramose (3) (fl. 15th century b.c.e.)
Official of the Eighteenth Dynasty
He served hatshepsut (r. 1473-1458 b.c.e.). His wife was Hatnofer, and he was buried with her at Thebes. Ramose was the father of senenmut, the tutor of neferu-re.