Seti II

Sat on the throne during a period known for dynastic intrigue and short reigns

Seti II was the fifth pharaoh of Egypt’s Nineteenth Dynasty, reigning from 1200 to 1194 BC. Userkheperure Setepenre, his throne name, meaning “Powerful are Re’s manifestations, the chosen one of Re.” He was the son of Merneptah and Isetnofret II and reigned during a time when dynastic intrigue and brief reigns were common, and his reign was no exception. During his second to fourth regnal years, Seti II had to contend with a number of severe schemes, the most dangerous of which was the arrival of a rival king named Amenmesse, probably a half brother, who gained control of Thebes and Nubia in Upper Egypt.

Seti II

Seti II, on the other hand, staged a comeback and reclaimed the throne, then proceeded to have his name restored on all of the monuments. The name of his father was likewise removed during the mutilation process, but Seti II did not restore it; instead, he simply replaced it with his own. The intriguing twist is that when Seti II’s mummy was X-rayed, it did not resemble that of his father or grandfather. It’s possible that the mummy was misplaced or that foul play was involved.


It was not unusual in ancient Egypt for the successful, long reign of a king to be followed by succession problems.

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Seti II


It was not uncommon in ancient Egypt for a king’s lengthy and prosperous reign to be followed by succession issues. Of fact, few kings had a longer and more prosperous reign than Ramesses II, and when he died, he was succeeded by his son, who was now an adult. Merneptah, who was probably definitely Seti II’s father, was here. Seti is said to have governed for for approximately six years, from around 1200 to 1193 BC. Seti II is known to have had at least three wives: Takhat II, Tausret, and Tiaa. Tausret was the mother of Seti-Merenptah, his eldest son and heir, but he died before he could take the throne. Instead, Siptah, a younger son, became the king, albeit as a child under Tausret’s regency, despite the fact that his mother is said to have been Queen Tiaa. In reality, Tausret appears to have outlived this youthful monarch, assuming complete control of the throne and royal titles, just like Hatshepsut had done 300 years before. The reign of Seti II appears to have been reasonably calm.
Although there was likely activity at the mines at Serabit el-Khadim in the Sinai during his reign, we have little evidence of foreign policy. He made a variety of boasts about construction projects, however there is little evidence that his words translate into tangible results. At Hermopolis, where he presumably finished some decorations in his grandfather Ramesses II’s temple, we discover surviving trances of his work. He also worked in Karnak, where he was most likely in charge of a new way station for the holy barks in the First Court of the temple of Amun-Re, as well as some work in the Mut temple.


Death and burial

In January 1908, Egyptologist Edward R. Ayrton discovered a small burial in tomb KV56, which Davis dubbed “The Gold Tomb” in his publication of the discovery in the Valley of the Kings, during an excavation for Theodore M. Davis; it turned out to contain a small cache of jewellery bearing the name of Seti II. This tomb contained sets of “earrings, finger-rings, bracelets, a series of necklace decorations and amulets, a pair of silver ‘gloves,’ and a little silver sandal.”
Seti II was most likely buried with his wife, Tausret, in her tomb before being transported to this tomb, which appears to have been built quickly and incompletely by Sethnakht. In truth, the tomb may have been begun for Seti II, but the construction was halted at some time. If Amenmesse governed concurrently with Seti II rather than before him, this might have had something to do with it. Seti’s name appears to have been etched, erased, and then carved out again within the tomb. Amenmesse or Saptah may have been responsible for the erasing. His wife Twosret is said to have gotten her husband’s name restored after that.


What was Seti II famous for?

Seti II made Chancellor Bay his most important state official and constructed three graves in the Valley of the Kings for himself, his Senior Queen Twosret, and Bay – KV13, KV14, and KV15.

What did Seti II suffer during his reign?

Seti II had to contend with a number of severe schemes, the most dangerous of which was the arrival of a rival king named Amenmesse, probably a half brother, who gained control of Thebes and Nubia in Upper Egypt.

What was found in Seti II tomb?

In 1898, the mummy of King Seti II, the fifth pharaoh of the 19th Dynasty, was discovered in the Valley of the Kings, Luxor, in the Tomb of Amenhotep II (KV 35). The mummy was discovered wrapped in numerous layers of exquisite linen. Seti II’s facial characteristics have been well maintained for the most part.

Where was Seti II buried?


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