, pub-5063766797865882, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 The Third Intermediate Ancient Egyptian Period 1069-525 BC ~ Ancient Egypt Facts

April 22, 2012

The Third Intermediate Ancient Egyptian Period 1069-525 BC

Two thousand years after its inception, Egyptian civilization began to slide downhill after achieving the giddy heights of the Old, Middle and New Kingdoms. No longer was Egypt, in the eyes of the ancient world, an isolated Shangri La or Land of the Lotus Eaters; no longer were her pharaohs the god-kings manifest on earth as in better times.

Economically, around 1000 BC, the country was virtually bankrupt. Outside influences became more evident as other ancient civilizations, Assyrians and Persians, followed by Macedonian Greeks, broke into the fertile valley. Confusion swayed back and forth, even to the extent of Egypt being ruled in the 25th Dynasty by Nubians or Kushites from the once despised lands south of Elephantine. Little could be done about it - the ultimate came with Alexander III, the Great; driving out the hated Persians in 332 BC he was recognized as the son of Ammon in the old traditional way. He at least, in founding Alexandria, brought Egypt fully into the intellectual ambit of the now omnipresent Mediterranean world.

Political factions fractured ancient Egypt during the Third Intermediate Period. The boundaries above show the political situation during the mid-8th century BCE

Third Intermediate Ancient Egyptian Period Pharaohs

High Priests (at Thebes) 1080-945

Herihor (siamun)
1080-1074 BC

1074-1070 BC

Pinedjem I
1070-1032 BC

1054-1046 BC

1045-992 BC

Smendes II
992-990 BC

Pinedjem II
990-969 BC

Psusennes IIP
969-945 BC

Dynasty 21
(at Tams) 
1069-945 BC

Smendes I
Hedjkheperre Setepenre
1069-1043 BC

Osorkon the Elder
Aakheperre Setepenre
984-978 BC

1043-1039 BC

Psusennes I
(Pasebakhaen- niut I)
Akheperre Setepenre
1039-991 BC

Usermaatre Meryamun Setepenamun
993-984 BC

Osorkon the Elder
Aakheperre Setepenre
984-978 BC

978-959 BC

Psusennes II
(Pasebakhaen- niut II)

959-945 BC

Nuri pyramids
The steadily increasing power of the priesthood of Amun at Thebes had come to a head under Ramses XI. Homer extolled the wealth of Thebes in the Iliad, Book 9: 'in Egyptian Thebes the heaps of precious ingots gleam, the hundred-gated Thebes'. The Amun priesthood owned two-thirds of all temple land in Egypt, 90 per cent of all ships, 80 per cent of all factories, and much else. Their grip on the state's economy was paramount. It was therefore merely a short step for Herihor, as mentioned earlier (p. 171), to enforce his supremacy over the last of the Ramessides and create a ruling class of the High Priests of Amun at Thebes.

Herihor ruled alongside Ramses XI for some six years (1080-1074), and he died about five years before that king. Herihor's antecedents are unknown. He had acquired the high title of Viceroy of Kush and, ultimately, the office of vizier in addition to his priestly functions. His wife, Nodjmet, may have been a sister of Ramses XI, which helps to explain Herihor's preference. His major building work is at the temple of Khonsu on the south side in the temple complex of Amun at Thebes, where he built the forecourt and the pylons (p. 171), but otherwise the records of him are the pious restorations written on some of the coffins and dockets on the mummies from the royal cache (DB 320).

The mummy of Herihor's wife, Nodjmet, was found amongst those in the royal cache in 1881 but their joint funerary papyrus, a magnificent illustrated copy of the Book of the Dead, had come on to the antiquities market some years before the formal discovery. A linen docket on the mummy showed that the queen had been embalmed in or after Year 1 of the Tanite king Smendes I (c. 1069: p. 178), indicating that she outlived her husband by some five years. She appears to have been hidden in another cache of mummies before being transferred to her last resting place. Husband and wife were not buried together despite having a joint funerary papyrus. In fact, there is no trace of Herihor's burial apart from this papyrus, no ushabtis, canopic jars, or fragments of funerary furniture. There is good reason to believe, from rock-scratched graffiti, that Herihor's tomb may still await discovery in the Theban hills.

Herihor's short-lived successor as High Priest of Amun and de facto pharaoh was Piankh, who may have been Herihor's son-in-law. There are records of Piankh fighting some rebels late in the reign of Ramses XI, but both he and Ramses appear to have died about the same time in 1070.

25th Dynasty

Piankh was succeeded by his son, Pinedjem I, who is identified as such many times on the restoration dockets on the royal mummies. Pinedjem, although his name later appears in a royal cartouche, did not give himself regnal years (nor had Herihor), but instead on the dockets used those of Smendes I, who ruled in the Delta until 1043. Both coexisted in tranquillity, Pinedjem's sphere of influence being centred on Thebes but also extending south as far as Aswan and north to el-Hiba, just south of the Faiyum.

In the temple of Amun at Karnak, Pinedjem appears on the outer face and entrance of the pylon beyond the first court and his name is on a number of scattered blocks. His major usurpation was to add his name to the colossal standing statue of Ramses II with a diminutive Queen Nefertari at his knees in the first court of the temple of Amun at Karnak (p. 149).

Relationships between the ruling families of the north and south were cemented in the age-old tradition of marriages. Pinedjem married Henuttawy (I), a daughter of Ramses XI, by whom he had several sons and daughters. One son became Psusennes I, the third king in the dynasty at Tanis (p. 180), whilst two other sons, Masaherta and Menkheperre, became successive High Priests of Amun. Their sister, Maatkare, was the 'Divine Adoratrice': God's Wife and chief of the priestesses of Amun (cf. p. 192).
Pinedjem's mummy and a large number of his bright blue faience ushabti figures from six ushabti boxes were found in the royal cache at Deir el-Bahari (DB 320). Like the mummy of Nodjmet, Pinedjem seems to have been moved to this cache from a previous one. He apparently had intentions of taking over the unfinished tomb of Ramses XI (KV 4) but never did so (p. 171). Where he or any of the other priestly, quasiroyal bodies found in the 1881 cache were originally buried - whether in individual tombs or a large, family tomb - is unknown.

After the two successive High Priests of Amun, Masaherta (1054-1046) and Menkheperre (1045-992), came the latter's son Smendes II (992-990) and then Pinedjem II, Menkheperre's son by his wife Isiemkheb, daughter of Psusennes I, ruler in the Delta. Pinedjem II's mummy and coffins were found intact in the royal cache (DB 320), suggesting that this was his original place of burial. The king was accompanied by his large blue ushabtis (p. 177), together with one of his wives, Neskhons, and their daughter, Nesitanebashru. The fact that other members of the family were also found in the cache suggests that this was the original place of interment.

It was the appearance on the antiquities market in the late 1870s of ushabtis and funerary papyri of these members of the 21st Dynasty priestly royal family that alerted Gaston Maspero to the possibility of a new find. He thought that the fellahin had discovered an intact tomb of the period. After intensive local questioning, the Abd el-Rassul family were identified as the culprits and led the authorities to the concealed shaft of DB 320 in the next wadi south of Deir el-Bahari. Here they were amazed to discover not only the 21st Dynasty bodies and equipment but also the mummies of the majority of the great pharaohs of the New Kingdom (see p. 103).

Psusennes III's is a shadowy, possibly even non-existent, figure. If the evidence of a doubtfully read docket from Deir el-Bahari tomb 320 is accepted, he would be a son of Pinedjem II, with a reign of at least five years and some have suggested as much as 24 years.

Related Web Search :


Post a Comment

Hi, If you found any copyright content in Ancient Egypt blog please don't hesitant to send an email : and will delete within 24 Hours


Follow us

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...