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Preceded by:
Pharaoh of Egypt
21st Dynasty
Succeeded by:
Osorkon the Elder
Manetho: Osochor
992-986 BC (6 years)
Great Manifestation of Re,
Chosen of Re
"Osorkon, Beloved of Amun"
Father Shoshenq
Mother Mehytenweskhet
Issue Karimala (?)[1]
Died 986 BC
Burial Unknown
For other pages by this name, see Osorkon.

Aakheperre-Setepenre Osorkon (transliteration: wsỉrkn), was the fifth Pharaoh of the Twenty-first Dynasty during the Third Intermediate Period. Osorkon was the first pharaoh of Libyan origin and a precursor of the 22nd and 23rd Dynasties.

Origins and Family[]

Osorkon was the son of Shoshenq, who was the "Great Chief of the Ma", thus revealing his Libyan origins. The Ma or Meshwesh were a Berber tribe from Libya who – in increasing numbers – began to settle in the Western Nile Delta region of Egypt during the late New Kingdom. Osorkon's mother, Mehytenweskhet, is attested with the prestigious title of "King's Mother" in a certain genealogical document.[2] His brother, Nimlot, became "Great Chief of the Meshwesh" after their father. Osorkon also had a sister named Tentshepeh. He was the uncle of Shoshenq I, who later became the founder of the Twenty-second Dynasty.

Chris Bennett has suggested in 1999 that Osorkon could be the father of Karimala, who is known from an inscription in the temple of Semna in Nubia where she is called both "King's Daughter" and "King's Wife".[1] Her name suggests she may indeed have been of Libyan origin. Given the Year 14 date of the inscription, she might have been the queen of either Siamun or Psusennes II. Bennett prefers a marriage to Siamun, because in that case she could have taken over the position of the Viceroy of Kush, Neskhonsu, as a religious figurehead in Nubia after the death of the latter in Year 5 of Siamun. Siamun as the son-in-law of Osorkon would also serve as an explanation for their succession.

Dates and Length of Reign[]

Manetho's Epitome credits Osochor (Osorkon's Hellenised name) with 6 years of rule. However, due to lack of attestation, his existence was doubted. That was until Eric Young established in 1963 that the induction of a temple priest named Nespaneferher in Year 2 I Shemu day 20 under a certain king named Aakheperre-Setepenre — in fragment 3B, line 1-3 of the Karnak Priest Annals — occurred one generation prior to the induction of Hor, Nespaneferhor's son, in Year 17 of Siamun, which is also recorded in the same annals.[3] Young argued that this king Aakheperre-Setepenre was the unknown Osochor. This hypothesis was later supported by genealogical findings by Jean Yoyotte;[4] since none of the other kings named Osorkon had a mother named Mehtenweskhet, it was conclusively established that Aakheperre-Setepenre was indeed Manetho's Osochor.

Based on a calculation of the aforementioned Year 2 lunar date of this king – which Rolf Krauss in an astronomical calculation has shown to correspond to 990 BC – Osorkon must have become king two years before the induction of Nespaneferher in 992 BC.[5]

Burial and Succession[]

Osorkon was succeeded on the throne by Siamun, who may have been his son-in-law.[1] The whereabouts of Osorkon's tomb and mummy remain unknown.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Bennett 1999, p. 7-8.
  2. Yoyotte 1976-1977, p. 39–54.
  3. Young 1963, p. 99–112.
  4. Yoyotte 1976-1977
  5. Hornung et al. 2006, p. 474.


  • Bennett, C., 1999: Queen Karimala, Daughter of Osochor? Göttinger Miszellen, Vol. 173.
  • Hornung, E./Krauss, R./Warburton, D.A., 2006: Ancient Egyptian Chronology. Handbook of Oriental Studies. Section 1: The Near and Middle East, Vol. 83.
  • Young, E., 1963: Some Notes on the Chronology and Genealogy of the Twenty-first Dynasty. Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt, Vol. 2.
  • Yoyotte, J., 1976-1977: Osorkon fils de Mehytouskhé: Un pharaon oublié? Bulletin de la Société française d'égyptologie, Vol. 77–78.
Pharaoh of Egypt
21st Dynasty