A painted relief shows Ramesses III making offerings to the gods in the sanctuary of the temple of Khonsu at Karnak. Design by Anand Balaji.

Ramesses III, The Final Warrior Pharaoh: Savior of Egypt in Her Darkest Hour—Part I

(Read the article on one page)

The reign of Ramesses III proved to be unprecedented in more ways than one. While most of his predecessors often had to thwart the designs of Egypt’s enemies one at a time, he had to quell invasion attempts by a coalition of savage forces on land and water. As the marauding Sea Peoples set their sights on the grandest prize, Ramesses realized that he had to make a bold statement as Pharaoh and prove that he was God on earth by annihilating their foes.

A damaged relief from his palace-cum-mortuary temple at Djamet shows King Ramesses III making offerings to the gods. Medinet Habu. This edifice played a vital role during the king’s reign and was the place where he breathed his last following an attempt on his life.

A damaged relief from his palace-cum-mortuary temple at Djamet shows King Ramesses III making offerings to the gods. Medinet Habu. This edifice played a vital role during the king’s reign and was the place where he breathed his last following an attempt on his life. (Photo: Elena Pleskevich/ CC BY-SA 2.0 )

A Robust Dynasty Withers Away

Egypt entered an era of extreme uncertainty at the close of the Nineteenth Dynasty. Down to this day, the mystifying power tussle that played out between two kings – Amenmesse and Seti II – when they ruled Upper Egypt and the Delta region up to Memphis, respectively – after the death of Pharaoh Merenptah (ca. 1202 BC) the 13th son of Ramesses II; continues to confound scholars. In due course, Seti II, the rightful heir to the throne ousted Amenmesse and decreed a damnatio memoriae against the usurper. However, he was to rule for no longer than a couple of years. Upon his demise, young Merenptah Siptah was placed on the throne by chancellor Bay – a master manipulator or ‘kingmaker’ of Syrian origin. It is possible that Siptah was the son of the rebel ruler Amenmesse and not of Seti II. A statue of Siptah in Munich shows the Pharaoh seated on the lap of his father, whose image has been thoroughly destroyed.

This elegant quartzite head wearing the Blue Crown originally belonged with the body of a statue that still stands in the great Hypostyle Hall of the Temple of Amun at Karnak; the inscriptions show that it had been carved for the short rule of King Amenmesse. Following Merenptah, Amenmesse had apparently seized the throne from the rightful heir, Seti II who was subsequently able to retake the throne. Later, he reinscribed this statue, like most of the others carved for Amenmesse, with his own name.

This elegant quartzite head wearing the Blue Crown originally belonged with the body of a statue that still stands in the great Hypostyle Hall of the Temple of Amun at Karnak; the inscriptions show that it had been carved for the short rule of King Amenmesse. Following Merenptah, Amenmesse had apparently seized the throne from the rightful heir, Seti II who was subsequently able to retake the throne. Later, he reinscribed this statue, like most of the others carved for Amenmesse, with his own name. ( Metropolitan Museum of Art )

Dr Aidan Dodson and Dyan Hilton believe this damaged figure represented Amenmesse: “The only ruler of the period who could have promoted such destruction was Amenmesse, and likewise he is the only king whose offspring required such explicit promotion. The destruction of this figure is likely to have closely followed the fall of Bay or the death of Siptah himself, when any short-lived rehabilitation of Amenmesse will have ended.”

Anyway, Bay, who had his own devious agenda, was clearly not intent on doing anybody a favor, least of all to Siptah, who suffered illness and physical deformity. Instead, by getting him crowned king, the Syrian machinator aspired to pull the strings of power from the shadows and, in effect, become the de facto ruler of the country. Riven by petty politics, usurpation of high office, and perfidy; this period witnessed the epitome of intrigue when Queen Twosret, one of the few women rulers of ancient Egypt, assumed the throne.

In Regnal Year 5 of Siptah, this widow of Seti II ousted the vile chancellor Bay and promptly had him executed. Subsequently, when the sickly Siptah died within a year, Twosret, his step mother declared herself sole pharaoh.

READ MORE… 

Like this Preview and want to read on? You can! JOIN US THERE  with easy, instant access  ) and see what you’re missing!! All Premium articles are available in full, with immediate access.

For the price of a cup of coffee, you get this and all the other great benefits at Ancient Origins Premium. And - each time you support AO Premium, you support independent thought and writing.

 

An Ancient Origins Premium series by independent researcher and playwright Anand Balaji , author of Sands of Amarna: End of Akhenaten

--

Top Image: A painted relief shows Ramesses III making offerings to the gods in the sanctuary of the temple of Khonsu at Karnak. Design by Anand Balaji. (Wikimedia Commons);Deriv.

Register to become part of our active community, get updates, receive a monthly newsletter, and enjoy the benefits and rewards of our member point system OR just post your comment below as a Guest.

Human Origins

Photo of Zecharia Sitchin (left)(CC0)Akkadian cylinder seal dating to circa 2300 BC depicting the deities Inanna, Utu, and Enki, three members of the Anunnaki.(right)
In a previous 2-part article (1), the authors wrote about the faulty associations of the Sumerian deities known as the Anunnaki as they are portrayed in the books, television series, and other media, which promotes Ancient Astronaut Theory (hereafter “A.A.T.”).

Opinion

Hopewell mounds from the Mound City Group in Ohio. Representative image
During the Early Woodland Period (1000—200 BC), the Adena people constructed extensive burial mounds and earthworks throughout the Ohio Valley in Ohio, Indiana, Pennsylvania, Kentucky, and West Virginia. Many of the skeletal remains found in these mounds by early antiquarians and 20th-Century archaeologists were of powerfully-built individuals reaching between 6.5 and eight feet in height (198 cm – 244 cm).

Our Mission

At Ancient Origins, we believe that one of the most important fields of knowledge we can pursue as human beings is our beginnings. And while some people may seem content with the story as it stands, our view is that there exists countless mysteries, scientific anomalies and surprising artifacts that have yet to be discovered and explained.

The goal of Ancient Origins is to highlight recent archaeological discoveries, peer-reviewed academic research and evidence, as well as offering alternative viewpoints and explanations of science, archaeology, mythology, religion and history around the globe.

We’re the only Pop Archaeology site combining scientific research with out-of-the-box perspectives.

By bringing together top experts and authors, this archaeology website explores lost civilizations, examines sacred writings, tours ancient places, investigates ancient discoveries and questions mysterious happenings. Our open community is dedicated to digging into the origins of our species on planet earth, and question wherever the discoveries might take us. We seek to retell the story of our beginnings. 

Ancient Image Galleries

View from the Castle Gate (Burgtor). (Public Domain)
Door surrounded by roots of Tetrameles nudiflora in the Khmer temple of Ta Phrom, Angkor temple complex, located today in Cambodia. (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Cable car in the Xihai (West Sea) Grand Canyon (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Next article