Ancient Egypt Wiki
Preceded by:
Seti I
Pharaoh of Egypt
19th Dynasty
Succeeded by:
Ramesses II
Ramesses the Great
Hellenized: Osymandyas
Akkadian Cuneiform: Wašmuareya

Ramesses II: one of four external seated statues at Abu Simbel.

1279-1213 BC
(66 years and 2 months)
rawsrmAatra stp
The Justice of Re is Powerful,
Chosen of Re
Born of Re, Beloved of Amun
Horus name
Strong Bull, Beloved of Re
Nebty name
Protector of Egypt,
who Curbs Foreign Lands
Golden Horus
Rich in Years, Great in Victories
Father Seti I
Mother Tuya
Consort(s) Nefertari, Isetnofret I, Henutmire,
Bentanat, Meritamen, Nebettawy,
Henuttawy, Meritre, Tanedjmet (?),
Maathorneferure,[note 1] Sutererey (?)[1]
Unknown Princess of Babylon,[note 2]
Unknown Princess of Zulapi,[note 3]
Issue Amunherkhepeshef, Ramesses,
Pareherwenemef, Khaemwaset,
Merenptah, Mentuherkhepeshef,
Meryamun, Meryatum, Seti,
Bentanat, Meritamen, Nebettawy,
Henuttawy, Isetnofret (II?),
Nefertari, Takhat (?), Meritre, etc.
(List of children of Ramesses II)
Born c. 1303 BC
Died 1213 BC (aged 90-91)
Burial KV7 (initial), TT320 (reburial)
Monuments Great Hypostyle Hall and
2nd Pylon at Karnak, Abu Simbel,
Ramesseum, Per-Ramesses,
1st Pylon and Court at Luxor, etc.
For other pages by this name, see Ramesses.

Usermaatre-Setepenre Ramesses II (also known as Ramesses the Great and alternatively transcribed as Ramses and Rameses) was the third Pharaoh of the Nineteenth Dynasty of Egypt during the New Kingdom. Josephus's version of Manetho's Epithome attributes Ramesses II a reign of 66 years and 2 months. If he became king in 1279 BC as most Egyptologists today believe, he would have assumed the throne on May 31 1279 BC, based on his known accession date of III Shemu 27,[2][3] and died in late July or early August in 1213 BC.[4][5][2] Estimates of his mummy's age at death vary, but an age of about ninety is considered most likely. This would indicate that he was born c. 1303 BC and ascended to the throne at about 24-25 years old. Ramesses II was the second-longest-reigning Pharaoh of Egypt after Pepi II. It is also said that there are more statues of Ramesses II in existence than of any other Egyptian Pharaoh.[6]


Ramesses II was known as Rhampses (Ραμψης) in Eusebius' version of Manetho's Epitome. Ramesses assumed the throne name (or prenomen) Usermaatre-Setepenre (transliteration: wsr-mꜢꜤt-rꜤ stp-n-rꜤ, meaning: "Powerful Justice of Re, Chosen of Re"). The earliest references to his throne name still lacked the epithet -Setepenre, which is included in all mentions after Year 2.[7] Osymandyas (Οσυμανδυας) of Diodorus' version is derived from the king's throne name; Usermaatre. His birth name (or nomen), Ramesses, is technically transliterated as rꜤ-ms-sw, meaning "Ra Fashioned Him", and includes the epithet mry-ỉmn, which is usually transliterated as Meryamun, meaning "Beloved of Amun". His whole name is thus realised as Usermaatre-Setepenre Ramesses-Meryamun (ancient Egyptian: wsr-mꜢꜤt-rꜤ stp-n-rꜤ rꜤ-ms-sw mry-ỉmn, meaning: "The Justice of Ra is Powerful, Chosen of Ra, Ra bore him, Beloved of Amun"). In the Hittite copy of the peace treaty with king Ḫattušili III of Ḫatti, the pharaoh's name appears in cuneiform as Washmuaria Shatepnaria Riamashesha Maiamana. Some scholars believe this is possibly a closer approximation of the actual vocalization of the Egyptian king's name.


See also: 19th Dynasty Family Tree.

Ramesses II is the son of Pharaoh Seti I and his Queen Tuya. He had an older sister named Tia and a younger sister Henutmire, though the latter might be his daughter instead. Another theory suggests he also had an older brother Nebkhasetnebet, who predeceased him before adulthood.[8] Upon becoming Crown Prince under Seti I, Ramesses II married several women of nobility in order to produce an heir and secure the Nineteenth Dynasty line of succession. Two of these women were later known as his first and second Queen; Nefertari and Isetnofret I. Both their sons and daughters had priviliged status in the line of succession and were more frequently depicted on monuments. During his reign, Ramesses II also married several foreign wives, most famous of whom is Maathorneferure, Princess of Hatti.[9]

Statue of Ramesses II "The great".

Colossal statue of Ramesses II from the Ramesseum, now in the British Museum.

Once Ramesses II succeeded his father as Pharaoh, he had already fathered about 20 children. Ramesses II went on to have in total around 100 children; between 48 to 50 sons, and 40 to 53 daughters.[10] His children include:


Main article: List of children of Ramesses II.

Prior to accession[]

Ramesses II was born c. 1300 BC, during the reign of Horemheb. Ramesses was of non-royal birth, being born and raised into a noble military family from the Eastern Nile Delta region, possibly near the former Hyksos capital Avaris, where he would eventually built his new capital, Per-Ramesses. He was named after his grandfather, Ramesses I, who at the time, was Vizier under pharaoh Horemheb. Horemheb appointed Ramesses I as his heir. The two might have been related, but this remains speculative. When Ramesses was in his early teens his grandfather became king Ramesses I. Suddenly Ramesses had become a royal prince of high importance regarding the royal family's line of succession.

Ramesses was groomed for kingship from a young age. He was ranked an army commander at just ten years old. Though it is obvious that his rank would have been merely honorific, given his tender age, it is believed that he had started receiving military training by then. In his mid-teens, his grandfather died and his father, Seti I ascended to the throne. As Crown Prince, Ramesses received a special status as prince-regent from his father. Seti provided him with a kingly household and harem, which consisted of several wives in order to increase the chance of producing a suitable heir.[citation needed] These wives undoubtedly included his future queens Nefertari and Isetnofret. The children of Ramesses II that were ranked high on the lists of procession were probably all born during the reign of Seti I. During his late adolescence, Ramesses accompanied his father on the latter's campaigns as a general, so that when the young prince came to rule, he already had plenty of experience in kingship and warfare.

Dates and length of reign[]

The accession-date of Ramesses II is known to have corresponded with the Egyptian civil date III Shemu 27.[2][3] Ramesses II was succeeded by his son Merenptah in II Akhet, between days 3 and 13.[5] Thereby confirming Josephus' figure for the total reign length of Ramesses II; 66 years and 2 months.

The chronological placement of Ramesses II's reign is determined by a psḏntyw-date in his regnal Year 52 on II Peret 27.[citation needed] This new moon date is by most Egyptologists believed to be in accordance with 20 December 1228 BC, which would place Ramesses' accession date of III Shemu 27 at 31 May 1279 BC and death in late July or early August 1213 BC.

Foreign policy[]

Early in his life, Ramesses II embarked on numerous campaigns to restore possession of previously held territories lost to the Nubians and Hittites and to secure Egypt's borders. He was also responsible for suppressing some Nubian revolts and carrying out a campaign in Libya. Though the Battle of Kadesh often dominates the scholarly view of Ramesses II's military prowess and power, he nevertheless enjoyed more than a few outright victories over Egypt's enemies. During his reign, the Egyptian army is estimated to have totaled some 100,000 men: a formidable force that he used to strengthen Egyptian influence.[12]

Battle against Sherden sea pirates[]

In his Year 2, Ramesses II decisively defeated the Sherden sea pirates who were wreaking havoc along Egypt's Mediterranean coast by attacking cargo-ladden vessels travelling the sea routes to Egypt.[13] The Sherden people came from the coast of Ionia or south-west Turkey. Ramesses posted troops and ships at strategic points along the coast and patiently allowed the pirates to attack their prey before skillfully catching them by surprise in a sea battle and capturing them all in one fell swoop.[14] Ramesses would soon incorporate these skilled Sherden mercenaries into his army where they were to play a significant military role as the king's bodyguard during the famous Battle of Kadesh.[15]

First Syrian campaign[]

Ramesses II's first Syrian campaign seems to have taken place in Year 4 of his reign, during which he captured the Hittite vassal state of the Amurru.[16] This campaign was commemorated by the erection of what became the first of the Commemorative stelae of Nahr el-Kalb near what is now Beirut.[17] However, the inscription is so weathered that only the name Ramesses II and the date "Year 4" can be read.[18]

Second Syrian campaign[]

Main article: Battle of Kadesh.

The Battle of Kadesh in his Year 5 was the climactic engagement in a campaign that Ramesses fought in Syria, against the resurgent Hittite forces of Muwatallis. The pharaoh wanted a victory at Kadesh both to expand Egypt's frontiers into Syria, and to emulate his father Seti I's triumphal entry into the city just a decade or so earlier. He also constructed his new capital, Per-Ramesses. There he built factories to manufacture weapons, chariots, and shields, supposedly producing some 1,000 weapons in a week, about 250 chariots in two weeks, and 1,000 shields in a week and a half. After these preparations, Ramesses moved to attack territory in the Levant, which belonged to a more substantial enemy than any he had ever faced in war: the Hittite Empire.[19]

Ramesses II's forces were caught in a Hittite ambush and outnumbered at Kadesh when they counterattacked and routed the Hittites, whose survivors abandoned their chariots and swam the Orontes river to reach the safe city walls. Ramesses, logistically unable to sustain a long siege, returned to Egypt.

Third Syrian campaign[]

Egypt's sphere of influence was now restricted to Canaan while Syria fell into Hittite hands. Canaanite princes, seemingly encouraged by the Egyptian incapacity to impose their will and goaded on by the Hittites, began revolts against Egypt. In the seventh year of his reign, Ramesses II returned to Syria once again. This time he proved more successful against his Hittite foes. During this campaign he split his army into two forces. One force was led by his son, Amunherkhepeshef, and it chased warriors of the Šhasu tribes across the Negev as far as the Dead Sea, capturing Edom. It then marched on to capture Moab. The other force, led by Ramesses, attacked Jerusalem and Jericho. He, too, then entered Moab, where he rejoined his son. The reunited army then marched on Hesbon, Damascus, on to Kumidi, and finally, recaptured the entire land of Upi (the land around Damascus), reestablishing Egypt's former sphere of influence.[20]

Fourth Syrian campaign[]

Main article: Siege of Tunip.

Ramesses extended his military successes in his regnal Year 8. He crossed the Dog River (Nahr al-Kalb) and pushed north into Amurru, this time succesfully capturing Kadesh. He then also captured Dapur for the first time and had a statue of himself erected there. His armies managed to march as far north as Tunip, where no Egyptian soldier had been seen since the time of Thutmose III, almost 120 years earlier. He laid siege to the city of Tunip before capturing it, an event later recorded on the walls of the Ramesseum.[21] The thin strip of territory pinched between Amurru and Kadesh did not make for a stable possession as Ramesses' victories in Amurru proved to be ephemeral. Within a year, they had returned to the Hittite fold.

Fifth Syrian campaign[]

The Hittite king, Muwatalli II, continued to campaign as far south as the Egyptian province of Upi, which he captured and placed under the control of his brother, the future Ḫattušili III.[22] Egypt's sphere of influence in Asia was now restricted to Canaan,[22] but even that territory was threatened at the time by revolts. In Year 9, Ramesses was compelled to embark on a series of campaigns in Canaan to uphold his authority there before he could initiate further assaults against the Hittite Empire. Ramesses reasserted his power over Canaan, erecting a stele at Beth Shean, before leading his army north. A mostly illegible stele near Beirut, which appears to be dated to the king's second year, was probably set up there in his tenth.[23]

Sixth Syrian campaign[]

Main article: Siege of Dapur.

Ramesses II marched against Dapur once more in his Year 10. This time he claimed to have fought the battle without even bothering to put on his corslet, until two hours after the fighting began. Six of Ramesses' youthful sons, still wearing their side locks, took part in this conquest. He took towns in the Canaan,[24] before marching into Amurru and laying a successful siege to Dapur, the latter event was later recorded on the walls of the Ramesseum.[21] However, just like two years ago, this campaign also led to short-term successes only, as the Egyptians could not hold control over these distant territories due to the presence of the Hittites.

Nubian campaigns[]

Ramesses II also campaigned south of the first cataract into Nubia. By the time Ramesses ascended the throne, Nubia had been a colony for c. 200 years, but tribal rebellions still had to be oppressed as evident in decoration from the temples Ramesses II built at Kalabsha, Gerf Hussein and Beit el-Wali in Lower Nubia (all these temples were relocated to New Kalabsha to avoid the rising waters of Lake Nasser caused by the construction of the Aswan High Dam). On the south wall of the Beit el-Wali temple, Ramesses II is depicted charging into battle against Nubian tribes in a war chariot, while his two young sons; Amunherkhepeshef and Khaemwaset, are shown behind him, also in war chariots.[25] The Aswan Stela, erected in Year 2 of Ramesses's reign, may account for the same Nubian campaign.[25]

Libyan campaigns[]

During the reign of Ramesses II, the Egyptians were evidently active on a 300-kilometre (190 mi) stretch along the Mediterranean coast, at least as far as Zawyet Umm El Rakham. Although the exact events surrounding the foundation of the coastal forts and fortresses is not clear, some degree of political and military control must have been held over the region to allow their construction.

There are no detailed accounts of Ramesses II's undertaking large military actions against the Libyans, only generalised records of his conquering and crushing them, which may or may not refer to specific events that were otherwise unrecorded. It may be that some of the records, such as the Aswan Stele of his Year 2, are harking back to Ramesses's presence on his father's Libyan campaigns. Perhaps it was Seti I who achieved this supposed control over the region, and who planned to establish the defensive system, in a manner similar to how he rebuilt those to the east, the Ways of Horus across Northern Sinai.

Peace treaty with the Hittites[]

Main article: Egyptian–Hittite Peace Treaty.

The deposed Hittite king, Muršili III, fled to Egypt, the land of his country's enemy, after the failure of his plots to oust his uncle from the throne. Ḫattušili III responded by demanding that Ramesses II extradite his nephew back to Hatti.[26]

This demand precipitated a crisis in relations between Egypt and Hatti when Ramesses denied any knowledge of Muršili's whereabouts in his country, and the two empires came dangerously close to war. Eventually, in the twenty-first year of his reign (1258 BC), Ramesses decided to conclude an agreement with the new Hittite king, Ḫattušili III, at Kadesh to end the conflict.[27] The ensuing document is the earliest known peace treaty in world history.[28]

The peace treaty was recorded in two versions, one in Egyptian hieroglyphs, the other in Hittite, using cuneiform script; both versions survive. Such dual-language recording is common to many subsequent treaties. This treaty differs from others, in that the two language versions are worded differently. While the majority of the text is identical, the Hittite version says the Egyptians came suing for peace and the Egyptian version says the reverse.[29] The treaty was given to the Egyptians in the form of a silver plaque, and this "pocket-book" version was taken back to Egypt and carved into the temple at Karnak.

The treaty's 18 articles call for peace between Egypt and Hatti and then proceeds to maintain that their respective deities also demand peace. The frontiers are not laid down in this treaty, but may be inferred from other documents. The Anastasy A papyrus describes Canaan during the latter part of the reign of Ramesses II and enumerates and names the Phoenician coastal towns under Egyptian control. The harbour town of Sumur, north of Byblos, is mentioned as the northernmost town belonging to Egypt, suggesting it contained an Egyptian garrison.[30] No further Egyptian campaigns in Canaan are mentioned after the conclusion of the peace treaty. The northern border seems to have been safe and quiet, so the rule of the pharaoh was strong until Ramesses II's death, and the waning of the dynasty.[31]

When the King of Mira attempted to involve Ramesses in a hostile act against the Hittites, the Egyptian responded that the times of intrigue in support of Muršili III, had passed. Ḫattušili III wrote to Kadašman-Enlil II, Kassite king of Karduniaš (Babylon) in the same spirit, reminding him of the time when his father, Kadašman-Turgu, had offered to fight Ramesses II, the king of Egypt. The Hittite king encouraged the Babylonian to oppose another enemy, which must have been the king of Assyria, whose allies had killed the messenger of the Egyptian king. Ḫattušili encouraged Kadašman-Enlil to come to his aid and prevent the Assyrians from cutting the link between the Canaanite province of Egypt and Muršili III, the ally of Ramesses.

Diplomatic marriage[]

The relationship between the Egyptian and Hittite empires had turned badly with a war over the Levant. Under Ramesses II, they improved after his Year 21 when the peace treaty was concluded. After thirteen more years in his Year 34, the first diplomatic marriages with the Hittites took place. Only a total of four diplomatic marriages are known from the Ramesside period, all of them having been contracted by Ramesses II.[32] The evidence for these marriages comes from the cuneiform documents at the Hittite court.[note 4] These indicate that prior to his marriages with two daughters of the Hittite king Hattušili III, Ramesses had married a sister of Kadašman-Enlil II of Babylon and a daughter of the king of Zulapi, a land thought to have been situated in the north of Syria.

The only one of these foreign princesses known by name is Maathorneferure, the first Hittite princess that arrived at the Egyptian court. She is also the only one to whom any offspring is known, a daughter named Neferure. Maathorneferure is thought to have died shortly after.[33][34] This might explain why Ramesses then took a second bride so shortly after the first, since it was a way to maintain his bond with the Hittites.[33]

Monuments and attestations[]

Ramesses II built extensively and constructed many impressive monuments, including the renowned temples of Abu Simbel, and the mortuary temple known as the Ramesseum. He built on a scale unlike almost anything before to ensure that his legacy would survive the ravages of time. Ramesses used art as a means of propaganda for his victories over foreigners, which are depicted on numerous temple reliefs. Ramesses II erected more colossal statues of himself than any other pharaoh, and also usurped many existing statues by inscribing his own cartouche on them. In order to eternalize himself in stone, Ramesses had his cartouches deeply engraved in stone, which made them not only less susceptible to later alteration, but also made them more prominent in the Egyptian sun, reflecting his relationship with the sun deity, Ra.


Main article: Per-Ramesses.

Ramesses II moved the capital of his kingdom from Thebes in the Nile valley to a new site in the eastern Delta. His motives are uncertain, although he possibly wished to be closer to his territories in Canaan and Syria. The new city of Per-Ramesses (or to give the full name, Per-Ramesses Aa-nakhtu, meaning "House of Ramesses, Great in Victory")[35] was dominated by huge temples and his vast residential palace, complete with its own zoo. For a time, during the early 20th century, the site was misidentified as that of Tanis, due to the amount of statuary and other material from Per-Ramesses found there, but it now is recognised that the Ramesside remains at Tanis were brought there from elsewhere, and the real Per-Ramesses lies about 30 km (18.6 mi) south, near modern Qantir. The colossal feet of the statue of Ramesses are almost all that remains above ground today. The rest is buried in the fields.[35] The site previously had served as a summer palace during Seti I's reign.[36]


Main article: Ramesseum.

The temple complex built by Ramesses II on the west bank of Thebes, which served as his mortuary temple, has been known as the Ramesseum since the 19th century. It was originally called the House of millions of years of Usermaatre-Setepenre that unites with Thebes in the domain of Amun.[37] Surviving records indicate that work on the project began shortly after the start of his reign and continued for twenty years. The design of Ramesses's mortuary temple adheres to the standard canons of New Kingdom temple architecture; comprised of pylons, courtyards, and a hypostyle hall. As was customary, the pylons and outer walls were decorated with scenes commemorating the pharaoh's military victories and leaving due record of his dedication to, and kinship with, the gods. In Ramesses's case, much importance was placed on the Battle of Kadesh.

Abu Simbel[]

Main article: Abu Simbel.

Of the numerous temples Ramesses II built in Lower Nubia (such as the temples at Kalabsha, Gerf Hussein and Beit el-Wali), the dual temples at Abu Simbel are by far the most impressive. The greater temple was dedicated to Ramesses himself, while the smaller one was built for his favorite queen, Nefertari.

The great temple of Ramesses II at Abu Simbel was discovered in 1813 by the Swiss Orientalist and traveler Johann Ludwig Burckhardt. An enormous pile of sand almost completely covered the facade and its colossal statues, blocking the entrance for four more years. The Paduan explorer Giovanni Battista Belzoni reached the interior on 4 August 1817.[38]

Colossal statue[]

Main article: Statue of Ramesses II.

A colossal statue of Ramesses II was reconstructed and erected on Ramses Square in Cairo in 1955. In August 2006, contractors moved the 3,200-year-old statue from Ramses Square to save it from exhaust fumes that were causing the 83-ton statue to deteriorate.[39] The statue was originally taken from a temple in Memphis and is currently situated at the Grand Egyptian Museum.[40] It is not to be confused with another impressive colossal statue of Ramesses II from Memphis, which can be seen at the open-air Memphis Museum. This famous statue lays on its back as it was found broken off by the ankles.

Sed festival[]

See also: Sed festival.

After reigning for 30 years, Ramesses joined a select group that included only a handful of Egypt's longest-lived rulers. By tradition, in the 30th year of his reign Ramesses celebrated a jubilee called the Sed festival. These were held to honour and rejuvenate the pharaoh's strength. Only halfway through what would be a 66-year reign, Ramesses had already eclipsed all but a few of his greatest predecessors in his achievements. He had brought peace, maintained Egyptian borders, and built great and numerous monuments across the empire. His country was more prosperous and powerful than it had been in nearly a century.

Sed festivals traditionally were held again every three years after the 30th year; Ramesses II, who sometimes held them after two years, eventually celebrated an unprecedented thirteen or fourteen Sed festivals.

Burial and succession[]

Ramesses II died in late July or early August in 1213 BC.[4][5][2] He was buried in his KV7 rock-cut tomb in the Valley of the Kings. Ramesses died at an exceptionally advanced age and as a result he outlived many of his heirs. Ultimately he was succeeded by the thirteenth son in line of the throne, Merenptah.


During the 21st Dynasty, Ramesses II's mummy (along many other New Kingdom rulers) was moved to the royal cache at Deir el-Bahari, where it was discovered by authorities in 1881. In 1885 it was placed in Cairo's Egyptian Museum. His mummy has the inventory number CG 61078.[41]

Ramesses II Mummy

Mummyhead of Ramesses II (Smith 1912).

Ramesses' mummy features a hooked nose and strong jaw, and is of above average height for an ancient Egyptian, standing at about 1.7 metres (5 ft 7 in).[42] In his last years, he suffered from arthritis, tooth cavities and poor circulation.

In 1974, Cairo Museum Egyptologists noticed that the mummy's condition was rapidly deteriorating. They decided to fly Ramesses II's mummy to Paris for examination. Ramesses was issued an Egyptian passport that listed his occupation as "King (deceased)." In September 1976, it was greeted at Paris–Le Bourget Airport with full military honours befitting a king, then taken to a laboratory at the Musée de l'Homme.

The mummy was forensically tested by Professor Pierre-Fernand Ceccaldi, the chief forensic scientist at the Criminal Identification Laboratory of Paris. Professor Ceccaldi determined that Ramesses II was a fair-skinned person with wavy ginger hair.[43] Subsequent microscopic inspection of the roots of Ramesses II's hair proved that the king's hair originally was red, which suggests that he came from a family of redheads.[44][45] This has more than just cosmetic significance: in ancient Egypt people with red hair were associated with the deity Set, the slayer of Osiris, and the name of Ramesses II's father, Seti I, means "follower of Seth".[46]

In Paris, Ramses' mummy was diagnosed and treated for a fungal infection. During the examination, scientific analysis revealed battle wounds and old fractures, as well as the pharaoh's arthritis and poor circulation. Ramesses II's arthritis is believed to have made him walk with a hunched back for the last decades of his life.[45] A significant hole in the pharaoh's mandible was detected. Researchers observed "an abscess by his teeth (which) was serious enough to have caused death by infection, although this cannot be determined with certainty".[45] After being irradiated in an attempt to eliminate fungi and insects, the mummy was returned from Paris to Egypt in May 1977.

In April 2021 his mummy was moved from the Museum of Egyptian Antiquities to National Museum of Egyptian Civilization along with those of 17 other kings and 4 queens in an event termed the Pharaohs' Golden Parade.[47]

Tomb KV5[]

Main article: KV5.

In 1995, Professor Kent Weeks, head of the Theban Mapping Project rediscovered Tomb KV5. It has proven to be the largest tomb in the Valley of the Kings which originally contained the mummified remains of some of this king's estimated 52 sons. Approximately 150 corridors and tomb chambers have been located in this tomb as of 2006 and the tomb may contain as many as 200 corridors and chambers.[48] It is believed that at least 4 of Ramesses' sons including Meryatum, Sety, Amunherkhepeshef (Ramesses' first born son) and "the King's Principal Son of His Body, the Generalissimo Ramesses, justified" (ie: deceased) were buried there from inscriptions, ostracas or canopic jars discovered in the tomb.[49] Joyce Tyldesley writes that thus far:

"No intact burials have been discovered and there have been little substantial funeral debris: thousands of potsherds, faience shabti figures, beads, amulets, fragments of Canopic jars, of wooden coffins...but no intact sarcophagi, mummies or mummy cases, suggesting that much of the tomb may have been unused. Those burials which were made in KV5 were thoroughly looted in antiquity, leaving little or no remains."[49]


Ramesses II ensured that his name would be remembered throughout Egyptian history. Discoveries of so many monuments and buildings associated with his reign has made his name a familiar one in the modern world as well. Historians comment that he left an indelible stamp on Egypt. After him, nine more pharaohs took the name Ramesses in his honor, but none could live up to his incredible standard since only one was ever known as "Ramesses the Great".

See also[]

Notes and sources[]


  1. The Marriage Stela and KUB III 37 + KBo I 17 + KUB III 57 record that king Hattušili III of Hatti sent his daughter with a great dowry to Egypt and that she arrived in Year 34 of Ramesses' reign.
  2. KUB XXI 31 refers to a "daughter of Babylon who had been sent to Egypt", who must surely have been the daughter of king Kadašman-Turgu of Babylon.
  3. In KUB III 37 + KBo I 17 + KUB III 57 Ramesses II quotes the Hittite king about the given bride: "I give her, and her dowry is greater than that of the daughter of the king of Babylon and greater than that of the king of Zulapi".
  4. See notes 1-3.


  1. Dodson & Hilton 2004.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Von Beckerath 1997, p. 190.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Brand 2000, p. 302–305.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Gardiner 1948, p. 14, 30.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Peden 1994, p. 69.
  6. "Ramesses II".
  7. Dodson 2010, p. 4.
  8. Schneider 2002, p. 354-355.
  9. Grajetzki 2005.
  10. Dodson & Hilton 2004, p. 166.
  11. Dodson & Hilton 2004, p. 171-173.
  12. Gabriel 2002, p. 6.
  13. Grimal 1992, p. 250-253.
  14. Tyldesley 2000, p. 53.
  15. Raafat Abbas 2016.
  16. Grimal 1992, p. 253.
  17. Lipinski 2004.
  18. Breasted 1912, p. 423–424.
  19. Tyldesley 2000, p. 68.
  20. Grimal 1992, p. 256.
  21. 21.0 21.1 Kitchen 1996, p. 46.
  22. 22.0 22.1 Tyldesley 2000, p. 73.
  23. Kitchen 1979, p. 223–224.
  24. Kitchen 1996, p. 33.
  25. 25.0 25.1 Breasted 1906, p. 195-210.
  26. Kitchen 1982, p. 74.
  27. Grimal 1992, p. 257.
  28. Grimal 1992, p. 256.
  29. Kitchen 1982, p. 62–64, 73–79.
  30. Stieglitz 1991, p. 45.
  31. Kitchen 1982, p. 215.
  32. Schulman 1979, p. 186.
  33. 33.0 33.1 Schulman 1979, p. 193.
  34. Tyldesley 2001.
  35. 35.0 35.1 Kitchen 2003, p. 255.
  36. Kitchen 1982, p. 119.
  37. Guy Lecuyot. "The Ramesseum (Egypt)". Archéologies d'Orient et d'Occident.
  38. Siliotti 1994.
  39. "Giant Ramses statue gets new home". BBC NEWS. 25 August 2006. Archived from the original on 20 July 2008.
  40. "The removal of Ramses II Statue". Archived from the original on 12 March 2007.
  41. Habicht et al. 2016.
  42. Tyldesley 2000, p. 14.
  43. Ceccaldi 1987, p. 119.
  44. Tyldesley 2000.
  45. 45.0 45.1 45.2 Brier 1994, p. 153.
  46. Brier 1994, p. 200-201.
  47. Parisse, Emmanuel (5 April 2021). "22 Ancient Pharaohs Have Been Carried Across Cairo in an Epic Golden Parade". ScienceAlert.
  48. Valley of the Kings - KV5 tomb sons of Ramesses II - XIXth Dynasty
  49. 49.0 49.1 Tyldesley 2000, p. 161-162.


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Seti I
Pharaoh of Egypt
19th Dynasty