Ramesses III

one of the last great Egyptian pharaohs

Ramesses III was the twentieth dynasty’s second Pharaoh. He is estimated to have ruled from 1184 to 1153 BC and is regarded as the New Kingdom’s final major pharaoh with significant control over Egypt. During his long reign, Egypt’s political and economic might declined, due to a succession of invasions and internal economic issues that afflicted previous pharaohs. Because of his powerful military strategies, he has also been dubbed “warrior Pharaoh.” He paved the way by destroying the “Sea Peoples,” a group of invaders who had wreaked havoc on earlier civilizations and empires. During the Late Bronze Age, he was able to prevent Egypt from collapse at a period when many other civilizations were crumbling; but, the destruction caused by the invasions took a toll on Egypt.

Sarcophagus lid of Ramesses III, from Thebes

Ramesses III is notable for his domestic construction projects, law and order consolidation, and tree-planting campaign. He gave massive land grants to the most prominent temples in Thebes, Memphis, and Heliopolis. The Ramesses III Mortuary Temple at Medinet Habu has important writings and visual portrayals of the Sea Peoples, offering crucial information about their look and accessories.
Ramesses III’s reign marked the beginning of ancient Egypt’s downfall, and many academics believe he was the final pharaoh to relinquish significant control over the country. During the latter years of his reign, royal tomb workers went on strike for the first time in recorded history, for unpaid wages.


Ramesses III governed for 31 years and 41 days, according to the Great Harris Papyrus. According to some evidence, he was murdered in a scheme involving one of his secondary wives and her son.

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Ramesses III


A group of “Sea Peoples” sought to impose settlement in Egypt in the eighth year of his reign. War and starvation forced the “Sea Peoples” to flee their homes along the Mediterranean coast. They attempted to conquer Egypt from both the land and the sea on the eastern side of the country. The Sea Peoples were vanquished by an army dispatched by Ramses III.
Ramesses III is notable for his domestic construction projects, law and order consolidation, and tree-planting campaign. He gave land to the most prominent temples in Thebes, Memphis, and Heliopolis in large amounts. Important inscriptions and visual images of the Sea Peoples may be found in the Mortuary Temple of Ramesses III at Medinet Habu, offering crucial information about their appearance and accessories.

Medinet Habu

Medinet Habu

The Ramesses III Mortuary Temple at Medinet Habu is an important New Kingdom era construction in Egypt’s West Bank. Apart from its size and architectural and aesthetic significance, the temple is most famous for its engraved reliefs representing the arrival and defeat of the Sea Peoples during Ramesses III’s reign. The 150-meter-long temple is of orthodox style and closely recalls Ramesses II’s neighbouring funerary temple (the Ramesseum). More over 7,000 m2 of decorated wall reliefs cover the temple precinct, which is roughly 210 m by 300 m.
It is enclosed by a huge mudbrick enclosure that may have been fortified and its walls are quite well maintained. A fortified gate-house known as a migdol was the initial entry (a common architectural feature of Asiatic fortresses of the time). The chapels of Amenirdis I, Shepenupet II, and Nitiqret, all of whom had the title of Divine Adoratrice of Amun, may be found just inside the enclosure, to the south. The first pylon leads into an open courtyard flanked on one side by enormous statues of Ramesses III as Osiris and uncarved columns on the other by colossal sculptures of Ramesses III as Osiris. The second pylon leads to a peristyle hall with Ramesses-shaped columns once more. Continue up a ramp that leads through a columned portico and into a wide hypostyle hall to reach the third pylon (which has lost its roof). Within the temple, reliefs and real heads of foreign prisoners were discovered, possibly to symbolise the king’s sovereignty over Syria and Nubia.

Ramesses III

Death and burial

Ramesses III: The Death of While we know he died during the harem conspirators’ trial. Some researchers assume he died at the hands of the conspirators, while others feel it was unrelated to the scheme. His death, however, heralded the end of the New Kingdom, as well as Egypt’s elevated standing on the international scene. In the Valley of the Kings on the West Bank at ancient Thebes, he was buried in a huge tomb (KV11). His tomb is well known for a picture of two blind male harpists, as well as some secular subjects that were unique among royal tombs.
though sometimes called “Bruce’s Tomb after its discoverer, James Bruce in 1769, in literature it is more well known as “The Tomb of the Harper”. Presumably, he was succeeded by his son, Ramesses IV .


What did Ramesses III claim about the Sea Peoples?

According to the Egyptians, no other country had been able to withstand their invasions, as these inscriptions from Ramesses III’s tomb temple in Medinet Habu attest: The other kingdoms (i.e. Sea Peoples) plotted in their islands. The territories were all at once removed and scattered in the midst of the battle.

What was Rameses III known for?

Ramses III is notable for his domestic construction initiative, as well as a law and order consolidation and tree-planting campaign. He provided substantial land grants to the most prominent temples in Thebes, Memphis, and Heliopolis. Ramses III reigned for 31 years and 41 days, according to the Great Harris Papyrus.

Was Ramesses III a good leader?

Only a few of the hundreds who governed Egypt (or parts of Egypt) during the Pharaonic Period may be regarded genuinely outstanding monarchs during the three thousand years of Egyptian history. The last of the great pharaohs on the throne was Ramesses III, the second king of Egypt’s 20th Dynasty.

How did Ramesses III die?

An Egyptologist team concludes that the ancient Egyptian king Ramesses III died in a horrific coup attempt in which his neck was slit, and that he was likely buried with his disgraced son, one of the coup plotters.

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