April 19, 2012

Setnakhte Pharaoh Biography 1185-1182 BC

Setnakhte
(mereramunre) 
Userkhaure Setepenre 
1185-1182 BC
The 19th Dynasty had ended with a degree of confusion, not least with the presence of Twosret as queen regnant, only the fourth in Egypt's history to that date. Whether there was a short period of anarchy, perhaps of only a few months, between the end of Twosret's sole reign and the accession of her successor Setnakhte is debatable. How Setnakhte came to the throne, or indeed who he was, is uncertain. The best source for the beginning of the 20th Dynasty comes from about 65 years later, in the account in the Great Harris Papyrus (see box opposite). The last four 'pages' describe how Setnakhte arose and put down the rebellions fermented by Asiatics: he relieved besieged cities, brought back those who had gone into hiding, and reopened the temples and restored their revenues.

Year 4 stela of Setnakhte
Setnakhte reigned for only about three years. His son - the future Ramses III - by his wife Queen Tiy-merenese was apparently associated with him in a short co-regency. Setnakhte was buried with full royal honours, described in the papyrus: 'he was rowed in his king's barge upon the river [i.e. crossed the Nile to the west bank], and rested in his eternal house west of Thebes'. Setnakhte actually usurped and enlarged Queen Twosret's tomb (KV 14), which had already been taken over from Seti II. He had begun to excavate another tomb (KV 11), but this had intruded upon the tomb of Amenmesses (KV 10) and been abandoned; subsequently it was to be realigned and used by his son, Ramses III. Setnakhte's coffin was found in the royal cache in Amenhotep II's tomb (KV 35, p. 103) in 1898, and it is possible that his may be the unwrapped and unidentified body found on a wooden boat in the tomb.

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