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21st Dynasty Pharaohs

The Tanite Pharaohs - The Pharaohs - The People

What we know about the Pharaohs of the Third Intermediate Period?

During this 21st Dynasty, Lower Egypt was ruled from Tanis by the Pharaohs now known as the “21st Dynasty Pharaohs” whilst Middle and Upper Egypt was ruled from Thebes by the High Priests of Amun. In Tanis, there was a rival Priesthood who celebrated the same deity’s setup in opposition to their Theban opposites. Although by the third Ruler of this Dynasty there were direct family links between the High Priests of Amun in Thebes and these Pharaohs in Tanis

Pharaoh Nesbanebdjed I, “He of the Ram, Lord of Mendes”

Parents: Lady Hrere, Chief of Harem of Mun-Re and a High priest of Amun 
Born: Unknown
Predecessor: Pharaoh Ramses XI 
Throne Name: Hedjkheperre Setepenre Smendes
Spouse: Tentamun B, daughter of Pharaoh Ramses IX
Children: Pharaoh Amenemnisu
Known as: Pharaoh Smendes in Greek;
Reign: 1077/1076–1052 BC
Died: 1052BC; Buried: Unknown

Notes: Ruled over Lower Egypt as Middle and Upper Egypt were under the rule of the High Priests of Amun in Thebes. Although information does survive to show that Pharaoh Nesbanebdjed I did order that Luxor Temple was saved from flooding during his reign. So he did have at least some influence over the other realms in hid domain

Pharaoh Amenemnisu

Parents: Pharaoh Nesbanebdjed I and Princess Tentamun B, daughter of Pharaoh Ramses IX
Born: Unknown
Spouse: Unknown
Children: Unknown
Throne Name: Neferkare Heqawaset
Reign: 1051-1047 BC
Died: 1047BC; Buried: NRT3, Tanis

Pharaoh Psusennes I, The Star appearing in the City

Parents: High Priest of Amun, Thebes, Pinediem I and Henuttawy
Born: Unknown
Spouses: Mutnodjmet, his sister, and Wiay
Children: Amenemope, Ankhefenmut, Isitemkheb
Throne Name: Akheperre Setepenamun – Great are the Manifestations of Ra, chosen of Amun
Reign: thought to be 1047-1001BC    3rd Pharaoh of the 21st Dynasty; as he ruled during a period of unrest in Egypt i.e. the Third Intermediate Period, the Reign Dates cannot be 100% confirmed so Pharaoh could have ruled up to 51 years
Died: 1001BC as an old man as evidenced by his Mummy having suffered with badly worn and cavitied teeth, arthritis that may well have partially crippled him; he is thought to have been approx. 85-90 years olds
Buried: NRT3, Tanis with a Solid Gold Death Mask, a Solid Silver Inner Coffin (which was rarer in Egypt than Gold) and reused Middle Pink Granite Sarcophagi and Outer Granite Sarcophagi from Pharaoh Merenptah, Ramses II’s successor, which was robbed from the Valley of the Kings – see some images of these Burial Goods below
Monuments: Enclosure Walls with re-used blocks from Pi-Ramses and the central part of the Great Temple of Amun, Tanis
Now known as: The Silver Pharaoh

Pharaoh Amenemope

Parents: Pharaoh Psusennes I and Great Royal Wife, Mutnodjmet
Born: Unknown
Spouses: Unknown
Children: Unknown
Throne Name: Usermaatre Setepenamun
Reign: 1001-992 BC
Died: 992BC, seemingly of a head injury that may have led to Meningitis
Buried: NRT4, Tanis; Reburied: NRT3, Tanis

Gold masks of King Psusennes, center, and the gold coffin and mummy mask of King Amenemope to left and right, from the royal necropolis of Tanis

Pharaoh Osorkon the Elder

Notes: The first Pharaoh of Meshwesh or of Libyan origin    Parents: Shoshenq A, Great Chief of the Ma Peoples, and his Great Wife, Mehtenweshkhet A
Other Family: He was brother to Nimlot A, Great Chief of the Ma Peoples. Uncle to Pharaoh Shoshenq I, the Founder of the 22nd Dynasty
Children: Karimala     Throne Name: Akheperre Setepenre, Osorkon Meryamun     Reign: 992-986 BC     Died: 986BC     Buried: NRT3, Tanis

Pharaoh Siamun, “Divine is the Manifestation of Ra, Chosen of Amun”

Parents: Unknown but he was of Egyptian origin, rather than being a Libyan successor of Pharaoh Osorkon the Elder; Born: Unknown
Spouse: Unknown; Children: Unknown
Throne Name: Netjerkheperre Setepenamun
Reign: 986-967 BC
Died: 967BC
Buried: In a Tomb that has never been located and may have been washed away by the Nile
Reburied: NRT3, Tanis
Monuments: Thought to have doubled the size of the Temple of Amun at Tanis. Erected buildings in Heliopolis and Piramesse, and a new Temple to Amun at Memphis
Notes: The High Priest of Amun at Thebes during his reign was High Priest Pinedjem II who, during Year 1 to Year 10 of Pharaoh Siamun’s reign, organised the removing and reburying of the Deir El-Bahari Mummy Cache due to the looting of the New Kingdom Mummies in the Valley of the Kings

Pharaoh Psusennes II

Parents: High Priest of Amun in Thebes, Pinedjem II (Ruler of Upper Egypt) and Isitemkheb;
Children: Maatkare B
Throne Name: Titkheperure Setepenre;
Reign: 967-943 BC
Died: 943BC; Buried: NRT3, Tanis


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