Death & BurialPharaoh Merneptah - 19th Dynasty - The Pharaohs - The People
“Beloved of Ptah, Joyous is Truth”, The Soul of Re, Beloved of the Gods”
Son of the Infamous Pharaoh Ramses II and Grandson of Pharaoh Seti I
Death and Burial
Pharaoh Merneptah completed his Mortuary Temple or his Temple of Millions of Years before his death. It is located on the West Bank of the River Nile at Thebes, modern day Luxor, next to his father’s Mortuary Temple, the Ramesseum, and the Mortuary Temple of Pharaoh Amenhotep III. Pharaoh is known to have “robbed” much of the stonework for the Temple from that of Pharaoh Amenhotep III’s Mortuary Temple. To learn more about Pharaoh Merneptah’s Mortuary Temple, click here.
We cannot view this as a form of theft by the monarch but rather that the offending Pharaoh viewed the co-opting of other Pharaoh’s building stones into their own monuments as a way to make them sacred and bring a gravitas of importance to their own projects. If the stone was marked with another Pharaoh’s cartouche this almost made it like a modern time reliquary’s – even more sacred and bound with even more meaning. To learn how the builders used Stone and other material to build the Monuments of Ancient Egypt, click here.
As with all his 19th Dynasty forebears, Pharaoh Merneptah prepared his rock hewn tomb, KV8, in the Valley of the Kings. His Tomb is the second largest found to date in the Valley of the Kings so we may presume that he began to have the Tomb hewn before he reached the Throne. It may well be that it the latter years of his father’s reign, the then Crown Prince Merneptah ruled jointly with his father which would have garnered him the opportunity to begin his Tomb before he succeeded to the Throne. To discover more about, and see images of, tomb KV8, click here. But this was not his final resting place. As with many of his compatriots, he was relocated by the Theban Priests to a Mummy Cache in Tomb KV35, the Tomb of Pharaoh Amenhotep II, along with 18 other mummies.
His heir was his son Pharaoh Seti II who was married to his half-sister, Princess Twosret and nearly had his Throne usurped by his half-brother, Prince Amenmesse, who ruled for approximately 2 years between Thebes and Nubia.