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Preceded by:
Amenemnisut
Pharaoh of Egypt
21st Dynasty
Succeeded by:
Amenemopet
Psusennes I
Ancient Egyptian: Pasebakhaenniut
Psusennes I

Golden funerary mask of Psusennes I.©

Reign
1046-1000 BC (46 years) or
1046-995 BC (51 years)
Praenomen
M23
t
L2
t
<
ra
O29
L1C12U21
n
>
Aakheperre-Setepenamun
"Great Manifestation of Re,
Chosen of Amun"
Nomen
G39N5
<
G40N14N28
a
n
t O49
>
Pasebakhaenniut
"The Rising Star in the City"
Horus name
G5E2
D40
mD37
D37
imn
n
F12f
F39
Z7sN28
D36
mR19t
O49
O33
Kanakhte-Mawiamun-
Userefau-Sekhaemwaset
"Strong Bull, Gift of Amun,
Rich in Splendor, who
Appears in Thebes"
Nebty name
G16G36
D21
mn
n
W24
W24
W24mip
t
Q1Z2s
O49
nbF9F9G45
f
N19N21
N21
V29tM23W19ramp t
N1
Wermenuemopetsut-Nebpehty-
Waftawy-Wahnisutmiraempet
"Great of Monuments at Karnak,
Mighty Lord, Subduer of the
Two Lands, Enduring of
Kingship like Re in the Sky"
Golden Horus
G8F36L1
Z2
D46
D21
D40
T10
tZ3Z3Z3V15
D40
mS42m&fN19
N18
N21
N21
nb
Z7
Z3
Semakheperu-Derpedjut-9-
Itjemsekhemef-Taunebu
"United in Manifestations, who
Repelled the Nine Bows, and
Seized with his Strong Arm
All Lands"
Legacy
Father Pinedjem I
Mother Duathathor-Henuttawy
Consort(s) Mutnedjmet, Wiay
Issue Ankhefenmut, Amenemopet,
Isetemakhbit
Died 995 BC
Burial NRT III, Tanis
Monuments Great Temple of Amun at Tanis
For other pages by this name, see Psusennes.

Aakheperre-Setepenamun Psusennes I, the Hellenized version of Pasebakhaenniut I (transliteration: pꜢ-sbꜢ-ḫꜤ-n-nỉwt, meaning: "The Rising Star in the City"), was the third Pharaoh of the Twenty-first Dynasty during the Third Intermediate Period.

Family[]

See also: 21st Dynasty Family Tree.

Psusennes I was a son of the High Priest of Amun Pinedjem I and his mother was Duathathor-Henuttawy, making him a grandson of Ramesses XI, the last ruler of the New Kingdom. His brothers include the successive High Priests Masaharta, Djedkhonsiuefankh and Menkheperre.

Psusennes had taken his sister, Mutnedjmet, in marriage, in addition to the lady Wiay. Psusennes I's children include Ankhefenmut, Amenemopet and Isetemakhbit.

Dates and Length of Reign[]

Psusennes I's precise reign length is unknown because different copies of Manetho's records credit him with a reign of either 41 or 46 years. Some Egyptologists have proposed raising the 41 year figure by a decade to 51 years to more closely match certain anonymous Year 48 and Year 49 dates in Upper Egypt. However, the German Egyptologist Karl Jansen-Winkeln has suggested that all these dates should be attributed to the serving High Priest of Amun, Menkheperre instead who is explicitly documented in a Year 48 record.[1] Jansen-Winkeln notes that "in the first half of Dyn. 21, [the] HP Herihor, Pinedjem I and Menkheperre have royal attributes and [royal] titles to differing extents" whereas the first three Tanite kings (Smendes I, Amenemnisu and Psusennes I) are almost never referred to by name in Upper Egypt with the exception of one graffito and rock stela for Smendes.[2] In contrast, the name of Psusennes I's Twenty-first Dynasty successors such as Amenemopet, Osorkon and Siamun appear frequently in various documents from Upper Egypt while the Theban High Priest Pinedjem II who was a contemporary of the latter three kings never adopted any royal attributes or titles in his career.[3]

Whether the two separate Year 49 dates from Thebes and Ombos[4] can be attributed to the ruling High Priest Menkheperre in Thebes instead of Psusennes I remains disputed, since the Banishment Stela attests Menkheperre in Regnal Year 25 of the ruling pharaoh Smendes I. This would argue against the idea that Menkheperre counted his own years as High Priest of Amun.

Policy[]

Psusennes I ruled controlled Lower Egypt during his reign while Upper Egypt and Nubia were effectively under the suzerainty of the High Priest of Amun Menkheperre. As brothers, Pharaoh Psusennes I and the serving High Priests of Amun in Thebes Menkheperre must have enjoyed cordial relations with each other during Psusennes' long reign. This is reflected by the fact that it is Psusennes' son Smendes II who succeeded Menkheperre in office. Several grave goods were donated to Psusennes by the High Priest Smendes II.

Monuments and attestations[]

During his long reign, Psusennes built the enclosure walls and the central part of the Great Temple of Amun at Tanis which was dedicated to the triad of Amun, Mut and Khonsu.[5] Psusennes was ostensibly the ruler responsible for turning Tanis into a fully-fledged capital city, surrounding its temple with a formidable brick temenos wall with its sanctuary dedicated to Amun being composed of blocks salvaged from the derelict Per-Ramesses. Many of these blocks were unaltered and kept the name of Per-Ramesses' builder, Ramesses II, including obelisks still bearing the name of Ramesses II transported from the former capital of Per-Ramesses to Tanis.[6]

Burial and Succession[]

Psusennes died after a long reign of more than four, and possibly five, decades. He was succeeded on the throne by his son Amenemopet, which whom a period of co-regency probably existed.[7] During his last regnal years, Psusennes may have ended up unfit to rule due to his advanced age and illnesses requiring his son to rule for him as coregent.

Psusennes Coffin

Silver anthropoid coffin of Psusennes I at the Cairo Museum.©

Professor Pierre Montet discovered pharaoh Psusennes I's intact tomb (No.3 or NRT III) in Tanis in 1940.[8] Unfortunately, due to its moist Lower Egypt location, most of the perishable wood objects were destroyed by water – a fate not shared by KV62, the tomb of Tutankhamun in the drier climate of Upper Egypt. In contrast to KV62, Psusennes I's tomb holds the distinction of being the only pharaonic grave ever found unscathed by any tomb robbing attempts.[9]

Mummy[]

Dr. Douglas Derry, who worked as the head of Cairo University's Anatomy Department, examined the king's remains in 1940 and determined that the king was an old man when he died.[10] Derry noted that Psusennes I's teeth were badly worn and full of cavities, that he had an abscess that left a hole in his palate, and observed that the king suffered from extensive arthritis and was probably crippled by this condition in his final years.[11]

References[]

  1. Jansen-Winkeln 1992, p. 26.
  2. Jansen-Winkeln 2006, p. 226-227, 229.
  3. Jansen-Winkeln 2006, p. 229.
  4. Kitchen 1996, p. 421, 573.
  5. Grimal 1992, p. 315-317.
  6. Dodson 1995, p. 155–156.
  7. Kitchen 1996, p. 431-433.
  8. Brier 1994, p. 145.
  9. Clayton 1994, p. 180.
  10. Derry 1940, p. 969-970.
  11. Brier 1994, p. 147.

Bibliography[]

  • Brier, B., 1994: Egyptian Mummies: Unravelling the Secrets of an Ancient Art. William Morrow & Company Inc., New York.
  • Clayton, P., 1994: Chronicle of the Pharaohs. Thames & Hudson, London.
  • Derry, D.E., 1940: Annales du Service des Antiquités de l'Égypte. Vol. 40.
  • Dodson, A., 1995: Monarchs of the Nile. Rubicon, London.
  • Grimal, N., 1992: A History of Ancient Egypt. Blackwell Books, Oxford.
  • Janssen-Winkeln, K., 1992: Das Ende des Neuen Reiches. Zeitschrift für ägyptische Sprache, Vol. 119.
  • Janssen-Winkeln, K., 2006: Relative Chronology of Dyn. 21. In: Erik Hornung, Rolf Krauss, and David A. Warburton (eds.), Ancient Egyptian Chronology. Handbook of Oriental Studies. Section 1: The Near and Middle East, Vol. 83.
  • Kitchen, K.A., 1996: The Third Intermediate Period in Egypt (1100-650 BC). 3rd ed. Aris & Phillips, Warminster.
Predecessor:
Amenemnisut
Pharaoh of Egypt
21st Dynasty
Successor:
Amenemopet
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