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Ancient Egyptian Pharaoh – Ramses II – 12 Facts
Posted In: Ancient Civilizations  6/26/08
By: Yona Williams

In previous articles, you have received a taste of Ramses II – regarded as one of the most powerful of all pharaohs in ancient Egypt. Now, you will learn a little more about the man who is said to have been found buried with 50 of his 52 sons.

1) It is recorded that Ramses II fathered more than 100 children during his lifetime.

2) Out of all the other pharaohs to have ruled over ancient Egypt, it is said that he was in charge of constructing the most temples and erected the most monuments. This was his way of highlighting just how significant he was as a king.

3) As pharaoh, Ramses II succeeded his father Seti I and was succeeded by Merneptah, his 13th son. Interestingly, the only reason Merneptah came into power was that all of his older siblings had died before he. At the time, he was nearly 60 years old. When he took the throne, he was referred to as "Ba-en-re Mery-netjeru," which translated into "The Soul of Ra, Beloved of the Gods."

4) Ramses II is known for marching more than 20,000 troops to the north in Syria in an attempt to defend his empire and make sure that he won the respect of his people. In the end, the battle dissipated when he married the daughter of a Hittite king.

5) In Lower Egypt, Ramses II constructed a grand city that was named Pi Ramses – which translates into "House of Ramses."

6) The final resting place of Ramses is Abu Simbel, which is situated in Upper Egypt. Archeologists exclaim that he was placed in one of the largest tombs they had ever seen. His temple was actually built out of what seems to be a solid rock cliff.

7) Inside his pyramid, 67 chambers that were all filled with paintings and various inscriptions surrounded Ramses II's final resting place. This number is quite significant, as it is also the same number as the length of time that he served as king of ancient Egypt.

8) A gold scarab replaced Ramses' heart when he was laid to rest.

9) A royal cache located on the Theban west bank is where the mummy of Ramses II was uncovered, as he not discovered in his elaborate tomb.  

10) Ramses II had an affinity for constructing temples with one of the most well known being Ramesseum, which stands between Qurna and the desert. Sadly, this once majestic temple has been reduced to a couple of ruins from many years of damage and erosion.

11) When Ramses had ruled for 30 years, he was given the honor of joining a select group comprised of the kings who had lived the longest in ancient Egypt history. It had always been a tradition to hold a celebration for the 30th regin of a king. This traditional party was called the Sed festival and was linked to the transformation of the king into a god.

12) Today, the mummy of Ramses II is located at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.


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