Preceded by:
[[Pharaoh|Pharaoh of Egypt]]
19th Dynasty
Succeeded by:
Seti I
Ramesses I
style="vertical-align: top; text-align: right;" | Reign colspan="3" style="text-align: left;" | 1292 BC to 1290 BC or
1295 BC to 1294 BC
style="vertical-align: top; text-align: right;" | Praenomen colspan="3" style="text-align: left;" |
t t

Established by the strength of Ra
- style="vertical-align: top; text-align: right;" | Nomen colspan="3" style="text-align: left;" |

Ra bore him
style="vertical-align: top; text-align: right;" | Consort(s) colspan="3" style="text-align: left;" | Queen Sitre -
style="vertical-align: top; text-align: right;" | Issues colspan="3" style="text-align: left;" | Seti I -
style="vertical-align: top; text-align: right;" | Died colspan="3" style="text-align: left;" | 1290 BC -
style="vertical-align: top; text-align: right;" | Burial colspan="3" style="text-align: left;" | KV16 -

Menpehtyre Ramesses I (also written Ramses or Rameses) was the founding Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt's 19th Dynasty. The dates for his short reign are not completely known but the time-line of late 1292-1290 B.C.E. is frequently cited[1] as well as 1295-1294 B.C.E[2]. While Ramesses I is widely regarded as the founder of the 19th Dynasty, in reality his brief reign marked the transition between the deign of Horemheb who had stabilised Egypt and the rule of the powerful Pharaohs of this dynasty, in particular Seti I and Ramesses II, who would bring Egypt up to new heights of imperial power.


Ramesses enjoyed a very brief reign, as evidenced by the general paucity of contemporary monuments mentioning him: the king had little time to build any major buildings in his reign and was hurriedly buried in a small and hastily finished tomb.[3] The Egyptian priest Manetho assigns him a reign of only 16 months, but Ramesses ruled Egypt for at least 17 months based on the date of his stela at the fortress of Buhen which is dated to his second regnal year. His only known actions was to order the provision of endowments for a Nubian temple at Buhen and "the construction of a chapel and a temple (which was to be finished by his son) at Abydos."[4] He was succeeded by his son, Seti I on III Shemu day 24. According to Peter J. Brand, Ramesses I's highest year date is a stela dated to his Year 2 II Peret day 20 (Louvre C57) which ordered the provision of new endowments of food and priests for the Temple of Ptah within Buhen.[5] Jürgen von Beckerath observes that Ramesses I died just 5 Months later -- in June 1290 BC -- since Seti has own accession on III Shemu day 24.[6] The aged Ramesses I was buried in the Valley of the Kings. His tomb, discovered by Giovanni Belzoni in 1817 and designated KV16, is small in size and gives the impression of having been completed with haste. Joyce Tyldesley states in her book that Ramesses I's tomb consisted of a single corridor and one unfinished room whose

"walls, after a hurried coat of plaster, were painted to show the king with his gods, with Osiris allowed a prominent position. The red granite sarcophagus too was painted rather than carved with inscriptions which, due to their hasty preparation, included a number of unfortunate errors."[7]


His mummy was stolen by the Abu-Rassul family of grave robbers and brought to North America around 1860 by Dr. James Douglas. He was then placed in the Niagara Museum and Daredevil Hall of Fame in Ontario, Canada. Ramesses I remained here, his identity unknown, next to other curiosities and so-called "freaks of nature" for more than 130 years but was eventually sold in 1999 to the Michael C. Carlos Museum at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia. His royal identity was conclusively determined through various CT scans, X-rays and radio-carbon dating tests by researchers at the University and his mummy was returned to Egypt on October 24, 2003 with full official honors.


  1. J. Von Beckerath, Chronologie des Äegyptischen Pharaonischen (Mainz: Phillip von Zabern, 1997), p.190
  2. Michael Rice, Who's Who in Ancient Egypt (London: Routledge, 1999)
  3. Joyce Tyldesley, Ramesses: Egypt's Greatest Pharaoh (New York: Penguin Books, 2000), pp.37-38
  4. Nicolas Grimal, A History of Ancient Egypt (Oxford: Blackwell Books, 1992), p. 245
  5. Peter J. Brand, The Monuments of Seti I: Epigraphic, Historical and Art Historical Analysis (Leiden: Brill, 2000), pp.289, 300 and 311.
  6. von Beckerath, 'Chronologie, p.190
  7. Tyldesley, Ramesses, p.38

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