Egypt's Pharaohs Golden Parade: Story of the 22 royals

Nevine El-Aref , Saturday 3 Apr 2021

The 22 mummies were discovered in two cachettes in Luxor's Deir El-Bahari and the Valley of the Kings

A set of postage stamps issued to commemorate the Pharaohs’ Golden Parade (Photo: Egypt's Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities"

The long-awaited 'Pharaohs' Golden parade' will be held on Saturday, where the transfer of 22 royal mummies will take place from their display at the Egyptian Museum in Tahrir to their final destination at the National Museum of Egyptian Civilisation (NMEC) in Fustat.

Before the launch of the unrivalled parade, it is important to know who the royals crossing the streets of Cairo in an ancient Egyptian procession are.
The 22 mummies were discovered in two cachettes. The first was unearthed in 1881 at Deir El-Bahari in Luxor’s West Bank in tomb TT320.
The royal mummies found in the first cachette included those of the Kings Seqenenre Taa, Ahmose I, Amenhotep I, Thutmose I, Thutmose II, Thutmose III, Seti I, Ramses II, Ramses III, and Ramses IX, and Queen Ahmose-Nefertari.
The second cachette was found in a chamber in the tomb of King Amenhotep II (KV 35), by French Egyptologist Victor Loret in 1898, at the Valley of the Kings in Luxor.
Among the royal mummies found in this cachette were those of Kings Amenhotep II, Tuthmosis IV, Amenhotep III, Merenptah, Ramses IV, V, VI and Seti II.
1- King Seqenenre Taa
He is the last 17th Dynasty King, who was the ruler of Thebes (modern day Luxor). History will always remember Seqenenre Taa as the King who began the liberation war against the Hyksos, a war which was continued by his sons Kamose and Ahmose I.
Seqenenre Taa’s mummy was found inside a massive anthropoid coffin carved in cedar at El-Deir El-Bahari (TT320), west of Luxor in 1881.
Studies revealed that Seqenenre Taa died in his 40s. His skull bears the marks of horrific wounds, almost certainly the result of battle against the Hyksos.
2- Queen Ahmose-Nefertari
She is the daughter of Seqenenre Taa and was married to her brother Ahmose I, who expelled the Hyksos and founded the 18th Dynasty and the New Kingdom. The royal couple bore several children, including Amenhotep I, who succeeded his father as King.
Powerful and influential during her lifetime, she maintained her power during the reign of her son Amenhotep I and they were venerated as a divinised couple by the Egyptians, especially in the Necropolis of Deir El-Medina.
The mummy of the queen was found in a massive anthropoid coffin of wood and cartonnage in the Deir El-Bahari cache (TT 320) in 1881.
3- King Amenhotep I
King Amenhotep I is the son of King Ahmose I and Queen Ahmose-Nefertari.
He is the second pharaoh of the 18th Dynasty. Amenhotep I may have been a child when he became king and ruled with the assistance of his mother, Queen Ahmose-Nefertari.
Amenhotep I led a number of campaigns. He also began or completed a number of projects. Remembered as a great ruler, he was deified after his death alongside his mother. His mummy was discovered in an anthropoid coffin made of cedar and adorned with floral garlands, in the Deir El-Bahari cache (TT 320), west of Luxor in 1881.
4- Queen Meritamun
Queen Meritamun  is the daughter of King Ahmose I and Queen Ahmose-Nefertari
Her mummy was discovered in 1930 in tomb number (TT 358) also in El-Deir El-Bahari, west of Luxor.
5- King Thutmose I
Thutmose I became King after King Amenhotep I died without an heir. He came to the throne around the age of 40 and is thought to have ruled for a little over ten years. His principal wife was Ahmose, they were the parents of Hatshepsut.
Remembered as a warrior pharaoh, King Thutmose I accomplished substantial campaigns and the Egyptian Empire expanded to the south. His military campaigns, which were recorded in the tombs of several of his officials, opened new opportunities for trade, diplomacy and economic exploitation with Egypt’s neighbours.
His mummy was discovered in 1881 inside a coffin set that had been made by his son, Thutmose II, at the El-Deir El-Bahari. The mummy was found in an excellent state of preservation.
6- King Thutmose II
King Thutmose II is the son of King Thutmose I. His reign was secured through his marriage to his half-sister, Queen Hatshepsut, daughter of Thutmose I’s principal Queen Ahmose. His son, Thutmose III, succeeded him on the throne.
His mummy was discovered (TT 320) west of Luxor also in 1881. Studies show that the king died at approximately the age of 30.
7- Queen Hatshepsut
Queen Hatshepsut was the Daughter of King Thutmose I.
The “foremost of noble ladies,” Hatshepsut’s achievements as a powerful queen and then a ruling pharaoh have made her one of the most famous figures in the history of ancient Egypt.  She was married to her half-brother, Thutmose II, who came to the throne after the death of their father, Thutmose I. Hatshepsut became Egypt’s regent monarch in all but name. For several years, she ruled the country on behalf of her stepson.
In ancient Egypt, a woman could not become pharaoh, Hatshepsut however, as the daughter of one pharaoh and the wife of another - claimed the purest of royal bloodlines - soon declared herself pharaoh despite her gender.
Hatshepsut is remembered as a prolific builder who commissioned countless construction projects. She also re-established trade networks and sponsored an expedition to the land of Punt, gathering ivory, resins, ebony, spices and other valuable goods.
Her mummy was discovered in 1903 in tomb number KV 60 at the Valley of the Kings.
8- King Thutmose III
Too young to rule at the death of his father, Thutmose III began his reign as monarch in name only. His stepmother, Hatshepsut, served as his regent for several years and then declared herself pharaoh, relegating the young Thutmose III to the role of junior king.
For the next two decades, the young monarch grew into what would become his eventual role as one of the great warrior pharaohs of the New Kingdom. After her death he launched a series of military campaigns that solidified Egypt’s position as one of the region’s superpowers. His battle at Megiddo is considered a model of military strategy.
The Mummy of the king was discovered in the El- Deir El-Bahari cache (TT 320), west of Luxor in 1881.
9- King Amenhotep II
King Amenhotep II is the son of King Thutmose III. He ascended the throne at about the age of 18 and ruled for at least 26 years. The tallest of his bloodline, this king boasted of his athletic prowess, often representing himself performing feats of strength and skill. Remembered as a great sportsman, he also had a reputation as an excellent charioteer and displayed considerable skill with the bow and arrow.
He maintained the borders of the empire solidified by his father and fought campaigns securing wealth and power for Egypt. A prolific builder, he expanded the Karnak complex dedicated to the great state god Amun.
The King's mummy was discovered inside the quartzite sarcophagus in 1898 in the tomb of Amenhotep II (KV 35) at the Valley of the Kings. Studies revealed that he died around the age of 45.
10- King Thutmose IV
King Thutmose IV is the son of King Amenhotep II.
The “Dream Stela,” erected by Thutmose IV between the paws of the Great Sphinx at Giza, tells of how, as a young prince, he fell asleep in the shade of this colossal figure while hunting in the desert nearby. The Sphinx appeared to him in his dreams and instructed him to clear away the sand that covered its body and in return he would be made the next pharaoh.
The mummy of the king was discovered in 1898 in the tomb of Amenhotep II (KV 35).
11- King Amenhotep III
King Amenhotep III is the son of Thutmose IV, New Kingdom, Dynasty 18
After ascending the throne as a teenager, Amenhotep III ruled for 37 or 38 years. His Great Royal Wife was Tiye, daughter of a powerful provincial family from Akhmim.
His memorial temple at Kom El-Hittan was fronted by huge statues now known as the Colossi of Memnon. A colossi statue of Amenhotep III and Tiye, a symbol of their strong bond and eternal power, is an iconic sight at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.
The King’s mummy was discovered in 1898 in the tomb of Amenhotep II (KV 35).
12- Queen Tiye
Queen Tiye is the daughter of Yuya and Tuya, New Kingdom, 18th Dynasty
Queen Tiye was the wife of Amenhotep III, one of Egypt’s most successful rulers.  Her mummy was discovered in 1898 in the tomb of Amenhotep II (KV 35).
13- King Seti I
Son of Ramses I, the founder of the 19th Dynasty, New Kingdom. Seti I ruled Egypt for at least 21 years. He commanded various campaigns to reimpose Egyptian authority abroad. He also led a battle against the Hittites. These military activities and victories were carefully recorded at Karnak, in the temple of Amun.
His principal Queen was Tuya. Together, they had at least three children, one of whom became the next King, Ramses II.
The tomb of Seti I in the Valley of the Kings (KV 17) is one of the best preserved and most beautiful of the royal sepulchers. The wall decoration retains its vivid colours.
His mummy was discovered in 1898 in the tomb of Amenhotep II (KV 35) at Valley of the Kings in Luxor.
14- King Ramses II
He is the most famous of the New Kingdom pharaohs, Ramses II succeeded his father Seti I and became king at the age of between 25 and 30. He enjoyed a long reign, ruling for 67 years and left a well-recorded legacy.
His Great Royal Wife was Nefertari, for whom he built a temple near his own in Abu Simbel. Her tomb in the Valley of the Queens is perhaps the most beautiful sepulcher in the Theban Necropolis.
Ramses II is remembered as a great warrior at the Battle of Kadesh, in which he fought against the Hittites. He signed the first known peace treaty in history with the Hittites.
This pharaoh built temples almost everywhere in Egypt. The most famous of his projects is Abu Simbel, the Ramesseum, dedicated to his mortuary cult.
The Mummy of the king was discovered in the El-Deir el-Bahari cachette (TT 320).
15- King Merenptah
King Merenptah is from the 19th Dynasty of the New Kingdom. He was the son of Ramses II. Due to his father’s very long reign, he ascended the throne at a more advanced age and ruled for only about 11 years. He also engaged in a number of military campaigns.
His mummy was discovered in 1898 in the tomb of Amenhotep II (KV 35).
16- King Seti II
King Seti II is the son of King Merenptah. He is the fifth pharaoh of Dynasty 19, Seti II ruled for almost six years.
His mummy was discovered in 1898 in the tomb of Amenhotep II (KV 35) at the Valley of the Kings. The king was found enshrouded in many layers of exceptionally fine linen. For the most part, Seti II’s facial features are well-preserved, small faience amulets, including scarabs, wedjat eyes, and sphinxes were found on strings wrapped around the lower part of the mummy.
17- King Siptah
King Siptah, came to the throne as a boy, placed there by a powerful official named Bay. Since he was too young to rule alone, his stepmother Tawosret, wife of Seti II, took on the role of regent.
His mummy was discovered in 1898 in the tomb of Amenhotep II (KV 35) in Valley of the Kings, Luxor. The mummy was found wrapped in many layers of linen. Studies revealed that he died very young, before the age of twenty.
18- King Ramses III
King Ramses III is the son of King Setnakht, from the 20th Dynasty of the New Kingdom.
After the deaths of Siptah and Tawosret, last rulers of the 19th Dynasty, the throne of Egypt passed to a king named Setnakht, who ruled for only a few years and was then succeeded by his son, Ramses III. This king is considered the last of the great “warrior pharaohs” of the New Kingdom.
Ramses III fought a number of notable battles and is remembered as skilled in the art of warfare.
Despite Ramses III’s great victories and accomplishments, he fell victim to a plot devised by a minor wife, Tiye, to put her son Pentawer on the throne. Several papyri tell of this “harem conspiracy” to kill the king, which involved various officers; members of the royal harem and high court officials. CT scans carried out by the Egyptian Mummy Project showed clearly that the king’s throat had been cut from behind. Perhaps to make sure that the king would be healed and complete in the afterlife, an eye of Horus amulet was placed on the right lower rim of the wound. The X-ray studies determined that Ramses III likely died between the ages of 60 and 65.
The Mummy of the king was discovered in (TT 320).
19- King Ramses IV
King Ramses IV is the son of Ramses III from the 20th Dynasty, New Kingdom.
Although his father had been murdered by conspirators trying to take over the throne all for the son of a minor queen, the legitimate crown prince Ramses IV, succeeded in keeping the crown.
During his short reign of six to seven years, he did much to honour his father’s memory and continue his policies.
His mummy was discovered in 1898 in the tomb of Amenhotep II (KV 35).
Forensic study puts Ramses IV’s age at death at around fifty.
19- King Ramses V
King Ramses V is the son of Ramses IV, New Kingdom, Dynasty 20. He ruled for only about four years and died without an heir to the throne.
Ramses V opened the sandstone quarries at Gebel Silsila and sent expeditions to the mines in Sinai for copper and turquoise.
His mummy was discovered in 1898 in the tomb of Amenhotep II (KV 35) and it was relatively well preserved. Studies showed that the king died between the ages of 25 and 35.
21- King Ramses VI
He was one of the sons of Ramses III. He ruled for about eight years. His mummy was discovered in 1898 in the tomb of Amenhotep II (KV 35).
22- Ramses IX
He is the eighth king of the 20th Dynasty, New Kingdom. He was the grandson of Ramses III. It is estimated that he ruled for about 18 years, instilling a new sense of stability.
His principal cult contributions were to the sun temple in Heliopolis. He also decorated the north wall of the Seventh Pylon of the complex of Amun-Re at Karnak.
The original burial place of Ramses IX, a beautifully painted tomb that still retains its colours today, was KV six. His mummy was moved several times before it was hidden in the Deir El-Bahari, where it was discovered in 1881.


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