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Volume 11 issue 1 August 2010



This issue’s NETFISHING continues its look at the history of Egypt by seeing what the World Wide Web has to say about reign of the Libyan kings in the Twenty-second Dynasty.


Around 924 BC, King Sheshonq I died, and the throne of Egypt passed to his son Osorkon I (the son-in-law of King Psusennes II, the last king of the Twenty-first Dynasty). Osorkon I removed his brother, Iuput A, from the position of High Priest of Amun and instead installed his own son, Sheshonq (II), as High Priest. Later, in 890 BC, this son was to be appointed as co-regent to his father, but Sheshonq II died soon afterwards and appears never to have ruled in his own right. Both Osorkon I and Sheshonq II were buried at Tanis and the throne passed to Takelot I, another son of Osorkon I by a minor wife. Refer:


Osorkon I http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Osorkon_I



Sheshonq II http://ib205.tripod.com/shoshenq2.html





Takelot I ruled for some fifteen years (c. 889-874 BC) but little is known of his reign and he has left no monuments behind. He was succeeded by Osorkon II as king (c. 874-850 BC), shortly after a Harsiese, a son of Sheshonq II, had been appointed as High Priest of Amun at Karnak, although scholars still debate this point. Refer:

Takelot I http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Takelot_I_a.jpg



Harsiese http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harsiese_A


If his father, Sheshonq II, had lived, Harsiese might have become king in his own right, but history unfolded differently. In year four of Osorkon II’s reign, High Priest Harsiese declared himself ‘King of the South’. He ruled at Thebes for some ten years (870-860 BC), but despite his declaration, he does not appear to have enjoyed good health and there is evidence of trepanning on his skull, surgery from which he apparently recovered. When he eventually died, he was buried in a re-used hawk-headed granite coffin apparently made for Henutmire, a sister of Rameses II.

After Harsiese’s death, Osorkon II consolidated his position by appointing one of his sons, Nimlot C, as High Priest at Karnak. He appointed another son, Sheshonq D, as High Priest of Ptah at Memphis, and made his young son Harnakhte (who was still under the age of ten) High Priest of Amun of Tanis. It is worth noting that Nimlot C was also Governor of Hierakleopolis in Middle Egypt, so authority over Egypt was once again being divided. Despite this, Osorkon II busied himself with building work throughout Egypt, especially at Bubastis.

In was in the latter years of Osorkon’s reign that Assyrian power began to encroach into Syria and posed a threat to Egypt. Osorkon formed an alliance with the kingdoms of the Eastern Mediterranean, including both Israel and Byblos, and a combined force managed to halt the Assyrian advance, in 853 BC, at the battle of Qarqar on the Orontes River. The Assyrian now had more pressing matters to attend to at home, but they would return to Egypt in the future. Refer:






After the death of Osorkon II it appears that the throne passed to a King Sheshonq III. Previously it had been believed that King Takelot II ruled after Osorkon II died, but it now appears that Takelot II ruled over Middle & Upper Egypt, but not Lower Egypt, and so his name is now allocated to the Twenty-third Dynasty instead. Refer:

Sheshonq III http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sheshonk_III




Takelot II http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Takelot_II




This period, towards the end of the Twenty-second Dynasty, marks a low point in Egyptian history, as different kings vied with one another to establish control over the lands of Egypt. Civil wars were rife and no one side had a clear advantage. The exact succession of kings is also confused as the above web-sites make clear. Egypt descended into turmoil with petty kings ruling over their own areas of Egypt, and the land was ripe for foreign invasion ... as we will see in the next edition.


Victor Blunden

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