Ancient Egypt Wiki
Preceded by:
Ramesses III
Pharaoh of Egypt
20th Dynasty
Succeeded by:
Ramesses V
Ramesses IV
Prince: Ramesses
Ramesses IV

Statue of Ramesses IV at the British Museum, London.

1155-1149 BC (6 years)
The Ruler of Ma'at is Re,
Chosen of Amun
Re Fashioned Him, The Ruler of
Ma'at is Re, Beloved of Amun
Horus name
C10 S34
Strong Bull, Living in Ma'at
Nebty name
Mekkemetwafpedjut 9
Protector of Egypt, Who
Vanquishes the Nine Bows
Golden Horus
Rich in years, Great in Victories
Father Ramesses III
Mother Tyti
Consort(s) Duatentopet
Issue Ramesses V
Died 1149 BC
Burial KV2 (initial), KV35 (reburial)
Monuments Temple of Khonsu at Karnak,
Mortuary temple
For other pages by this name, see Ramesses.

Heqamaatre-Setepenamun Ramesses IV (reigned 1155 B.C.E. – 1149 B.C.E.) was the third Pharaoh of the Twentieth Dynasty of the New Kingdom of Ancient Egypt. His name prior to assuming the crown was simply Ramesses. Ramesses IV was the second son of Ramesses III, most likely named after Ramesses, the second son of Ramesses II, who also held the title of "Generalissimo". Due to the three decade rule of his father, he is believed to have been in his 40s when he took the throne. His reign has been dated to either 1152 to 1146 BC or 1154 to 1148 BC.


Ramesses IV changed his throne name in Year 2 of his reign from Usermaatre-Setepenamun (transliterated: wsr-mꜣꜥt-rꜥ stp-n-ỉmn, meaning: "The Ma'at of Re is Powerful, Chosen of Amun") to Heqamaatre-Setepenamun (transliterated: ḥqꜣ-mꜣꜥt-rꜥ stp-n-ỉmn, meaning: "The Ruler of Ma'at is Re, Chosen of Amun").[1]


See also: 20th Dynasty Family Tree.

Ramesses IV was the second son of Ramesses III, the firstborn son being Amunherkhepeshef.[2] Ramesses IV's mother was Queen Tyti, who was previously speculated to have been Ramesses X's wife.[3][4] However, since 2010, Tyti is known to have been the queen consort of Ramesses III.[5] Given her title "King's Mother", out of her husband's sons who ascended to the throne, Ramesses IV is the only one who can account for the title being present in her tomb.[5] Ramesses IV is depicted first in Ramesses III's procession of princes at Medinet Habu,[6] with his figure altered to suit the status of a king and his name inscribed within a cartouche. The later kings Ramesses VI and Ramesses VIII were his younger (half-)brothers.

Ramesses IV's queen consort was probably his (half-)sister, Duatentopet. His successor Ramesses V was probably their son.

Prior to Accession[]

Ramesses IV was probably born during the reign of Seti II, while Tausret reigned in the first decade of his life. As a prince under the reign of Ramesses III, Ramesses IV is already a young man and thus old enough to take part in the Battle against the Sea Peoples in the early years of his father's reign. The participation of the princes in the victorious repulsion of the Sea Peoples is depicted on the north wall of the mortuary temple of Ramesses III at Medinet Habu, on which the princes remain unnamed.

After his older brother Amunherkhepeshef died at about fifteen years old,[2] Ramesses became Crown Prince.

A tomb lintel, currently in Florence, bears the name and titles of a son of Ramesses III, the "Crown Prince, Royal Scribe, Generalissimo, Commissioner of His Majesty, King's Son, Ramesses",[7] which are the same titles of the Ramesses attested first in the procession of princes at Medinet Habu. Both simply refer to the prince as "Ramesses", without epithets and both are thus identifiable with Ramesses IV.[8]

Monuments and Attestations[]

Ramesses IV Karnak

Ramesses IV depicted in the temple of Khonsu at Karnak.

Ramesses IV initiated a substantial building campaign program on the scale of Ramesses II by doubling the size of the work gangs at Deir el-Medina to a total of 120 men and dispatching several major expeditions to the stone quarries of Wadi Hammamat and the Sinai. Several inscribed stelae at Wadi Hammamat record that the largest expedition consisted of 8,368 men alone including 2,000 soldiers.[1] Part of his program included the extensive enlargement of his father's Temple of Khonsu at Karnak and the construction of a large mortuary temple near the mortuary temple of Hatshepsut at Deir el-Bahari. Despite Ramesses IV's many endeavours for the gods and his prayer to Osiris – preserved on a Year 4 stela at Abydos – that "thou shalt give me the great age with a long reign [as my predecessor]", the king did not live long enough to accomplish his ambitious goals.[1]

The most important document to survive from this pharaoh's rule is Papyrus Harris I, which honours the life of his father, Ramesses III, by listing the latter's many accomplishments and gifts to the temples of Egypt, and the Turin Papyrus, the earliest known geologic map.

Burial and Succession[]

Ramesses IV was buried in his KV2 rock-cut tomb in the Valley of the Kings. He was succeeded on the throne by his son Ramesses V.

The QV53 rock-cut tomb in the Valley of the Queens, constructed for a certain Ramesses(-Meryamun), son of Ramesses III, might have been initially begun for Ramesses IV while still a prince. Perhaps the tomb ended up serving for the burial of his younger (half-)brother, Meryamun. However, it remains unknown whether the tomb was ever used, since nothing to indicate a burial has been found.


Ramesses IV Mummy

Mummyhead of Ramesses IV (Smith 1912).

The mummy of Ramesses IV was found in 1898 in a side room in the KV35 royal cache,[1] his reburial is confirmed by a graffito of Penamun. The mummy was unwrapped and studied in 1905 by Grafton Elliot Smith, who estimated that Ramesses IV was at least 50 years old and probably older. His teeth were healthy although well worn. Smith stated that the mummy was relatively intact and showed typical mummification of the 20th Dynasty. The only innovations were onions as artificial eyes, which are noted to have appeared quite realistic, and a resin ball to close the anus.[9]

The coffin used for the reburial of Ramesses IV originally belonged to a Wab Priest named Aha-Aa and is currently housed in the Cairo Museum (CG61041). The original decoration was covered with plaster on which the name of Ramesses IV was written in black ink. Nicholas Reeves states that the coffin was made in the same workshop that had decorated the coffins of Seti II and Siptah at the time of their reburials in KV14. The date of these events was Year 6-7 of wḥm mswt, and it is highly likely that Ramesses IV was also reburied in KV14 at this time. According to Reeves, sometime subsequent to Year 13 of Smendes, the royal mummies were removed from this tomb and placed in KV35.[10]

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.[11]

See also[]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Clayton 1994, p. 167.
  2. 2.0 2.1 Siliotti 1997.
  3. Kitchen 1972.
  4. Dodson & Hilton 2004, p. 187.
  5. 5.0 5.1 Collier et al. 2010, p. 246.
  6. Kitchen 1982, p. 121-123.
  7. Schiaparelli 1887, p. 332-333.
  8. Kitchen 1982.
  9. Smith 1912.
  10. Reeves 1990, p. 249.
  11. Parisse, Emmanuel (5 April 2021). "22 Ancient Pharaohs Have Been Carried Across Cairo in an Epic Golden Parade". ScienceAlert.


  • Clayton, P., 1994: Chronicle of the Pharaohs. Thames & Hudson, London.
  • Collier, M./Dodson, A./Hamernik, G., 2010: P. BM 10052, Anthony Harris and Queen Tyti. Journal of Egyptian Archaeology, Vol. 96.
  • Dodson, A./Hilton, D., 2004: The Complete Royal Families of Ancient Egypt. Thames & Hudson, London.
  • Kitchen, K.A., 1972: Ramesses VII and the Twentieth Dynasty. The Journal of Egyptian Archaeology, Vol. 58.
  • Kitchen, K.A., 1982: The Twentieth Dynasty Revisited. The Journal of Egyptian Archaeology, Vol. 68.
  • Reeves, C.N., 1990: The Valley of the Kings: the Decline of a Royal Necropolis. Kegan Paul International.
  • Schiaparelli, E., 1887: Museo archeologico di Firenze: antichita egizie. No. 1602 [4019].
  • Siliotti, A., 1997: Guide to the Valley of the Kings. Barnes and Noble.
  • Smith, G.E., 1912: The Royal Mummies. (2000 reprint ed.). Bath, UK: Duckworth.

External links[]

Ramesses III
Pharaoh of Egypt
Twentieth Dynasty
Ramesses V