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The Story of Man (continued)

Ramses III

Ramses III (1187-1186 - 1156/1155 BC) was the second Pharaoh of the 20th dynasty, and he is considered to be the last Egyptian ruler to have substantial power. He was known to the Greeks as Rhampsinitus.  He is well known for continuing the struggle against the Sea Peoples who would eventually terminate the 20th dynasty.  Papyrus records also record a conspiracy that may or may not have been successful.(9)  His mummy bears no signs of trauma. Although he is credited in the book The Story of Man as the "persecutor of the Israelites" there is no solid evidence this was the case.  The mines at Timna in Israel apparently begun during his reign.

mummy of Ramses III Figure 8 (from p. 233). The mummy of Rameses III is regarded as the prototype for mummies that appear in films.  It is interesting to note that the mummy had an amulet to guard against poison, suggesting that this ruler still did not trust his subjects.  A palace conspiracy, including his food taster, was uncovered earlier in his reign.

Figure 9. One of the few color plates in the book is this one, which paints a rather grim decline of Eygpt from a heyday of power to snake charmers in the street.  Illustration of snake charmers


(9) For a general discussion see Clayton, P.A. (1994).  Chronicle of the Pharaohs. Thames and Hudson: London

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