Ramses III, the second Pharaoh from the 20th dynasty, reigned from 1187 to 1156 BCE. Don’t confuse him with Ramses the Great, who is Ramses II, who was probably a great grandfather to Ramses III. His father was King Setnakhte, and his mother was Queen Tiy-Merenese. He reigned for about 32 years; his death was still a mystery till 2012, the secret was revealed, but we will come to that later. Let’s know about his life first.
Why was Ramses III Known As “The Warrior Pharaoh”?
Ramses III was known as the “Warrior Pharaoh” ; he went through three great wars and defended Egypt against foreign invasions. He reigned during a hard time in the Mediterranean area; the Trojan war was happening and the fall of the Mycenae.
In the 8th year of his coming to the throne, the Sea People tried to invade Egypt from the eastern land border and the Mediterranean Sea. The origin of the Sea people is unknown, but most likely, they were from the Mediterranean and lost their homes because of the war and famine, so they wanted to take Egypt as a forced settlement, but Ramses III didn’t give them a chance and defeated them.
The decline of Ancient Egypt
Ramses III did succeed in defending the country and achieved victory in the wars, but that had consequences Egypt suffered from after. The war wasn’t the only thing that exhausted the country’s economy; the building projects also played a role. His building program included Thebes, Memphis, and Heliopolis. He added parts to both Luxor and Karnak temples and built his own temple, Medinet Habu.
One of the best-preserved temples now is that of Ramses III, Medinet Habu; it is located on the West bank of Luxor. It was built beside Hatshepsut and Thutmose II temples, but the memorial temple of Ramses III was massive in comparison. The walls of the temples depict the war against the sea people and describe them.
How Did King Ramses III Die ?
Let’s come to the interesting part in the King’s life, which is ironically his death. Ramses III was believed to be assassinated in a planned plot by one of his secondary wives, Tiya, and her son, Prince Pentawere. The Queen wanted her son to succeed his father, but he wasn’t the first in line; his other brother Ramses IV was the crowned prince.
If you wonder where the mystery is in that, just wait to know the rest of the story. The records say that the assassination failed, and everyone involved in it was either sentenced to death or ordered to kill himself, like Prince Pentawere. But the thing is, when the mummy of the Pharaoh was found, there was no sign of any wounds, then after several studies and scans, the scars were found.
Where was Ramses III Body found ?
The mummy of the pharaoh, which was found buried at the Valley of the King, was internationally mummified in a way to hide the wound on the neck of the king that causes immediate death. It is like they made plastic surgery on the mummy to conceal his wounds.
So Does that mean that the assassination trial didn’t actually fail?
You can say it failed and succeeded simultaneously since the King was actually killed, but at the same time, they caught the conspirators, were sentenced to death, and Ramses IV, the crown prince, succeeded his father.
Where to find the mummy of Ramses III nowadays?
The mummy of Ramses III is now resting in its final place at the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization (NMEC). It was moved during the Golden Royal parade that took place in April 2021, along with 21 other mummies.