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Dynasties of Ancient Egypt
Predynastic Period
Protodynastic Period
Early Dynastic Period
1st 2nd
Old Kingdom
3rd 4th 5th 6th
First Intermediate Period
7th 8th 9th 10th 11th
Middle Kingdom
11th 12th
Second Intermediate Period
13th 14th 15th 16th 17th
Abydos Dynasty
New Kingdom
18th 19th 20th
Third Intermediate Period
21st 22nd 23rd 24th 25th
Late Period
26th 27th 28th
29th 30th 31st
Hellenistic Period
Argead Dynasty
Ptolemaic Dynasty

The Twentieth Dynasty (1189 – 1078 B.C.E.) of ancient Egypt was founded by Setnakhte, but its most prominent member was Ramesses III, who modelled his career after Ramesses II the Great. This dynasty is considered to be the last one of the New Kingdom, and was followed by the Third Intermediate Period.

The period of these rulers is notable for the beginning of the systematic robbing of the Royal Tombs. Many surviving administrative documents from this period are records of investigations and punishment for these crimes, especially in the reigns of Ramesses IX and Ramesses XI.


Mortuary temple of Ramesses III at Medinet Habu.

As happened under the Nineteenth Dynasty had, this struggled under the effects of the bickering between the heirs of its strongest ruler, a group whom Diodorus Siculus described as "confirmed sluggards devoted only to indulgence and luxury," without "any deed worthy of historical note." However, at this time Egypt was increasingly beset by a series of droughts, below-normal flooding levels of the Nile, famine, civil unrest and official corruption – all of which would limit the managerial abilities of any king. The power of the last king, Ramesses XI, grew so weak that in the south the High Priests of Amun at Thebes became the effective de facto rulers of Upper Egypt, while Smendes I controlled Lower Egypt even before Ramesses XI's death. Smendes would found the Twenty-first Dynasty at Tanis.


Twentieth Dynasty
Name Dates
Userkhaure-Setepenre Setnakhte 1189-1186 BC (3 years)
Usermaatre-Meryamun Ramesses III 1186-1155 BC (31 years)
Heqamaatre-Setepenamun Ramesses IV 1155-1149 BC (6 years)
Usermaatre-Sekheperenre Ramesses V 1149-1145 BC (4 years)
Nebmaatre-Meryamun Ramesses VI 1145-1137 BC (8 years)
Usermaatre-Setepenre-Meryamun Ramesses VII 1137-1130 BC (7 years)
Usermaatre-Akhenamun Ramesses VIII 1130-1129 BC (1 year)
Neferkare-Setepenre Ramesses IX 1129-1111 BC (18 years)
Khepermaatre-Setepenre Ramesses X 1111-1107 BC (4 years)
Menmaatre-Setepenptah Ramesses XI 1107-1076 BC (ca. 31 years)


Ramesses XIRamesses XRamesses IXRamesses VIIIRamesses VIIRamesses VIRamesses VRamesses IVRamesses IIISetnakhte

See also[]

Preceded by:
19th Dynasty
New Kingdom
20th Dynasty
Succeeded by:
21st Dynasty