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The New Kingdom: The 19th Dynasty
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The New Kingdom:
The 19th Dynasty

(Dates: ± 30 years)
1293 - Ramses I Menpehtyre
  • Ramses was a general chosen by Horemheb as successor.
1291 - Seti I Merienptah Menmaatre
  • Temples at Karnak

Painted tomb pillar in the tomb of Seti I
Painted tomb pillar
in the tomb of Seti I
(Source: Tulane University website)

Avenue of Sphinxes
Avenue of Sphinxes
at Karnak, 1275
(Source: Tulane University website)

Temple of Ramses II
Temple of Ramses II
formerly at Abu Simbel
(Source: Tulane University website)

Queen Nefertari playing Senet
Queen Nefertari
playing Senet
(Source: Tulane University website)

Chair of Sennedjem 19th Dynasty
Chair of Sennedjem
19th Dynasty
(Source: Tulane University website)

Block statue of Nedjem
Block statue of Nedjem
19th Dynasty
(Source: University of Memphis)

Bronze mirror
Bronze mirror
(Source: Emory University site)

1279 - Beginning of the reign of Ramses II
  • The priesthood increases its power, kings are often depicted kneeling in front of the gods.
  • The style of the reliefs becomes more idealistic and ornamental
  • Mortuary temple of Seti I at Abydos, dedicated to a great number of gods, monumental, with a pillar hall and rooms with columns.
  • Temple of Amen at Karnak, monumental style columns covered with reliefs and inscriptions. Depiction of King Seti's military achievements and repeated depiction of the king in his chariot.
  • Tombs for the holy Apis bull mummies at Saqqara, with a great sphinx avenue.
  • Water clocks
  • The Dreambook found at Deir el Medina: Interpretation of dreams as access of the common man to the gods.
  • Dream interpretation plays an important role in medicine.
  • Reliefs showing Ramses II piling up cut off hands of fallen Hittites
  • After sixty years of conflict, a peace treaty is concluded between Egypt and the Kingdom of the Hittites. Northern Syria remains Hittite.
  • Avenue of sphinxes at Karnak
  • Ramses II marries a Hittite princess. Close ties to the Hittite royal family.
  • Black granite statue of the sitting Ramses II, clean archaic style.
  • Many colossal statues of the king.
  • Tomb of Queen Nefertari in the Valley of the Queens.
  • Turin Papyrus: Gods in animal form, myth of the Sun Eye, animals talking
  • Literature in the vernacular: Fairy tales, war stories, love songs, (at times rhyming)
  • Book of the Dead of the royal scribe Hunefer with depictions of the Judgment of the Dead: Osiris as the Ruler of the Beyond, beside him his sisters Isis and Nephthys, fourteen gods are present. the heart of the dead person is being weighed on the Scales of Truth by the jackal headed god Anubis. The deceased is either received by Osiris or devoured by the monster Ammit (crocodile jaws, a lion's body, a hippo's rear end.)
    In the Negative Confessions the dead person swears to be innocent of the following sins: Having caused hunger, tears, killing, ordering a killing, evil, lessening of votive offerings adultery, falsifying measures for corn and weights, preventing the feeding of small livestock, interrupting religious processions.
  • Rock temple at Abu Simbel in Nubia, monumental style.
  • Temple at Abydos with realistic battle reliefs.
  • Rock temple at Es Sebua, with a sphinx avenue.
  • Canal connecting the Nile and the Red Sea
  • Map of a goldmining region, with explanations in cursive writing.
  • Speculative: The Egyptians may have circumnavigated Africa and discovered the Canary Islands.
  • Assaying of gold with the touchstone.
  • The standing army consists mostly of non-Egyptians (60%). The charioteers become exclusive elite troops.
  • Silver cup with geometric ornamentation, figurative engravings, a drinking ram as handle.
  • Exportation of gold, scrolls of papyrus, cloth, corn, artefacts. Importation from the North of horses, chariots, wood, oil, beer, wine, cattle, copper, silver, from the South of incense, ebony, ivory, leopard skins, gold.
  • The Egyptian culture is showing signs of aging: freezing into archaic forms
1212 - Merneptah
  • Incursions of the Sea Peoples
  • Victory hymn after the suppression of revolts in Palestine. (first mention of the Israelites)
  • Civil unrest after Merneptah's death.
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