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1184-1153 B.C.
20th Dynasty

The second king of the 20th Dynasty was the son of Sethnakhte and was the last great king of the New Kingdom. Ramesses assumed the throne after his father’s short two year reign. Ramesses fought the Libyans twice during his reign. He compared himself to Mont, the god of war and was confident in his abilities. He overcame an attack by the Sea Peoples in his eighth year as pharaoh. After defeating the Sea People (of which he took many captives) he attacked the Palestinian tribes and was again victorious. Ramesses received tributes from all conquered peoples. Egypt, however, was experiencing financial problems. Workers were striking for pay and there was a general unrest of all social classes. Consequently, an unsuccessful harem revolt led to the deaths of many, including officials and women. During his thirty-one year reign, Ramesses built the vast mortuary complex at Medinet Habu, three shrines at Karnak that were dedicated to the gods Amon, Mut and Khons, and a palace at Leontopolis, just north of Cairo. Ramesses III's tomb is in the Valley of the Kings. His mummy was found in a cache at Deir el-Bahri and is now in the Cairo Museum. Ramesses III is thought to have been about sixty-five years of age at his death.

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