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Twentieth dynasty of Egypt

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The Eighteenth, Nineteenth, and Twentieth Dynasties of ancient Egypt are often combined under the group title, New Kingdom. This dynasty is considered to be the last one of the New Kingdom of Egypt, and was followed by the Third Intermediate Period.

Pharaohs of the 20th Dynasty

The pharaohs of the 20th dynasty ruled for approximately one hundred and twenty years: from ca 1187 to 1064 BCE. The dates and names in the table are taken from Dodson and Hilton. [1]. Many of the pharaohs were buried in the Valley of the Kings in Thebes (designated KV). More information can be found on the Theban Mapping Project website. [2]

Twentieth Dynasty Pharaohs of Egypt
name of King Horus (Throne) Name date Burial Queen(s)
Setnakhte Userkhaure 1187 - 1185 BCE KV14 Tiy-merenese
Ramesses III Usermaatre-Meryamun 1185 - 1153 BCE KV11 Iset Ta-Hemdjert
Ramesses IV User/Heqamaatre Setepenamun 1153 - 1146 BCE KV2 Duatentopet
Ramesses V Amenhirkhepeshef I Usermaatre Sekheperenre 1146 - 1141 BCE KV9 Henutwati
Ramesses VI Amenhirkhepeshef II Nebmaatre Meryamun 1141 - 1133 BCE KV9 Nubkhesbed
Ramesses VII Itamun Usermaatre Setepenre Meryamun 1133 - 1125 BCE KV1
Ramesses VIII Sethhirkhepeshef Usermaatre Akhenamun 1125 - 1123 BCE
Ramesses IX Khaemwaset I Neferkare Setepenre 1123 - 1104 BCE KV6 Baketwernel
Ramesses X Amenhirkhepeshef III Khepermaatre Setepenre 1104 - 1094 BCE KV18 Tyti
Ramesses XI Khaemwaset II Menmaatre Setpenptah 1094 - 1064 BCE KV4 Tentamun


Pharaoh Setnakhte was likely already middle aged when he took the throne after Queen Twosret. He only ruled for a short time when he was succeeded by his son Ramesses III. Egypt was threatened by the Sea Peoples during this time period, but Ramesses III was able to defeat this confederacy from the Near East. The king is also known for a harem conspiracy in which Queen Tiye attempted to assassinate the king and put her son Pentawere on the throne. The coup was not successful in the end. The king may have died from the attempt on his life, but it was his legitimate heir Ramesses IV who succeeded him to the throne. After this a succession of kings named Ramesses take the throne, but none would truly achieve greatness. [3]

Tomb robbing

The period of these rulers is notable for the beginning of the systematic robbing of the Royal Tombs. Many surviving administrative documents from this period are records of investigations and punishment for these crimes, especially in the reigns of Ramses IX and Ramses XI.[4]


As happened under the earlier Nineteenth Dynasty, this group struggled under the effects of the bickering between the heirs of Ramesses III. For instance, three different sons of Ramesses III are known to have assumed power as Ramesses IV, Ramesses VI and Ramesses VIII respectively. However, at this time Egypt was also increasingly beset by a series of droughts, below-normal flooding levels of the Nile, famine, civil unrest and official corruption – all of which would limit the managerial abilities of any king. The power of the last king, Ramesses XI, grew so weak that in the south the High Priests of Amun at Thebes became the effective defacto rulers of Upper Egypt, while Smendes controlled Lower Egypt even before Ramesses XI's death. Smendes would eventually found the Twenty-First dynasty at Tanis.[5]

Twentieth Dynasty timeline

Ramesses XIRamesses XRamesses IXRamesses VIIIRamesses VIIRamesses VIRamesses VRamesses IVRamesses IIISetnakhte


  1. Aidan Dodson, Dyan Hilton: The Complete Royal Families of Ancient Egypt. The American University in Cairo Press, London 2004
  2. Sites in the Valley of the Kings
  3. Dodson and Hilton, pg 184
  4. Dodson and Hilton, pg 184-185
  5. Dodson and Hilton, pg 185-186
This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Twentieth dynasty of Egypt. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.

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