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Pharaoh Seti II

19th Dynasty - The Pharaohs - The People

Grandson of the Infamous Pharaoh Ramses II and Great Grandson of Pharaoh Seti I

Userkheperure Setepenre, means “Powerful are the manifestations of Re, the chosen one of Re.”

Named after his illustrious great grandfather, Pharaoh Seti II’s reign was not quite so well established!


He was the son of Pharaoh Merneptah and Queen Isetnofret II, born during the 19th Dynasty. He was married to his half-sister, Princess Twosret.



They came to the Throne after the death of their father and he was the 5th Pharaoh of his Dynastic line. No more than 2 years into his reign and probably while he was out of the country undertaking a Military Campaign in Asia, his half-brother, Prince Amenmesse, seized Upper Egypt and Nubia, and crowned himself as a rival Pharaoh.

During his “reign” Pharaoh Amenmesse ordered Pharaoh Seti II’s King’s Valley Tomb, which had commenced on his accession to the Throne, to be purposefully damaged. This is one of the clear indicators that Egyptologists have used to confirm that Pharaoh Amenmesse did not rule before or after his half-brother, as all the damages to the name of Pharaoh Seti II in his Tomb, KV15, were repaired shortly after Pharaoh Amenmesse’s fall.

Pharaoh Seti II defeated this rival Pharaoh and, we can presume, killed him for his usurpation. As a form of revenge, Pharaoh Seti II removed all of his half-brother’s monuments and any references to this rival court including that of his Vizier, Noble Khaemter, a former Viceroy of Kush for Pharaoh Seti II. As the final punishment which was to be enacted to reach the false Pharaoh in his Afterlife, Pharaoh Seti II had the Spells and Texts were removed from Pharaoh Amenmesse’s Tomb.


Pharaoh built 3 Tombs in the King’s Valley; one for himself, KV15; one for his Great Royal Wife, Queen Twosret, KV14; and one for his Chancellor, the Noble Bay, KV13. It was highly unusual for a Chancellor of non-Royal blood and obviously shows the strong trust and relationship that the Pharaoh and Chancellor had between them.

He built his own Monuments and carved his own Reliefs but two of the most recognisable today are found:-

  • Outside the First Pylon of the Precinct of Amun Ra at Karnak Temple; an Obelisk
  • Inside the First Pylon’s Courtyard in the Precinct of Amun Ra at Karnak Temple; a Barque Shrine to the Theban Triad, God Amun Ra, Goddess Mut and their son, the God Khonsu. To visit the site of the Barque Shrine, click here

Death and Burial

Pharaoh Seti II ruled for 5 years and 10 months. Due to the brevity of his reign the Tomb that he had started, Amenmesse had damaged, and Pharaoh’s agents had repaired was not finished. We can assume that his family continued on with his Tomb after his death and eventually he was laid to rest inside. In the interim it is believed that he may have been interred in the Tomb for his Great Royal Wife, Queen Twosret.


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