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Sunday, November 1, 2015

Mummy of Ramses II

Ramses II (aka Ramesses II, Rameses II or Sese) was the third pharaoh of the 19th dynasty. He was one of the most powerful and influential pharaohs of ancient Egypt.





King Ramses the Second took the throne of Egypt in his early twenties (around 1279 BC) and ruled for 66 years until his death (1213 BC). He was the third ruler of the 19th Dynasty and ruled for an amazing 67 years, the second longest reign of the ancient Egyptian pharaohs.
A variety of health problems (such as arthritis and arterial issues) may have contributed to the end of the life of Ramses II, but he had accomplished much in his time.

Perhaps the best-known achievements of Ramses the Great are his architecturalendeavors, most notable the Ramesseum and the temples of Abu SimbelRamses II's interest in architecture resulted in the erection of more monuments than any of the other ancient Egyptian pharaohs. A significant number of architectural tributes attributed to Ramses 2 still dominate the landscape of Egypt today.
The Ramesseum is a memorial temple complex situated close to Luxor (even closer to Qurna). Although it is in ruins now, it is still recognizable for the large Pylon of Ramesses inside which is useful as a historical document.
Pylon is the Greek word for the entrance of an Egyptian temple. The pylon is inscribed with images showing Ramesses victories over the Hittites in war, and the subsequent peace treaty which ensued. This pylon, along with other inscriptions and temples created during Ramses II's reign, shows that this pharaoh wanted to be remembered for his influence on military, political, and religious life.
Also at the Ramesseum are the remains of a gigantic Ramses II statue. It used to be 56ft (17m) high, but now only parts of the torso and base remain. Other remains found are those of 2 large statues of a seated Ramesses 2 (the bust is on display in the British Museum).
 Pi-Ramesses, an ancient city in the Nile delta, was established by Ramesses 2 and used for his campaigns in Syria. This city is mentioned in the Bible, as a place where Israelites were forced to work for the Pharaoh.
Another ancient city, Abydos (known for its mythological inscriptions) was used by Ramses II to record the history of his reign and that of his ancestors, providing a wealth of knowledge for future generations on the accomplishments of these pharaohs.
The well known Ramses II statue unearthed atMemphis was thought to have been commissioned by Ramses II himself. It has shown people today how large of an impact Ramses the Great had on the artwork of his day. Other sites have yielded similar large Ramses II statues.

Ramses II: Military Impact

The reign of Ramses 2 was marked by numerous military battles and he became one of the famous Egyptian pharaohs known for hismilitary strength. Much of his reign was occupied with taking back territories that were lost to Egypt during the rule of other ancient Egyptian pharaohs (most notably Akhenaten) was preoccupied with establishing a monotheistic religion. Ramses II's army was 100,000 men strong, enormous for that period in time.
Ramses 2's most famous battle is the Battle of Kadesh, which took place at the city of Kadesh (situated in present day Syria). Fought in 1274 BC against the Hittites, it was the largest chariot battle ever. Ramesses made a tactical error in that fight by dividing his forces, causing one of his divisions to be swept away. Eventually none of the parties gained victory and Ramesses had to retreat because of logistic difficulties.
The military genius of Ramses II helped to secure Egypt's borders from foreign invaders and pirates along the Mediterranean and in Libya. He managed to fend off invasions from the Hittites and Nubians.
In addition, his campaigns restored land to Egypt that had been previously lost to these empires. By forming peace treaties with these empires after warring with them, Ramses II helped to solidify Egypt's borders on all sides, allowing for increased internal stability. Many of these campaigns were completed in the first twenty years of Ramses II's reign.