The Twenty-Second Dynasty in Ancient Egypt



The first news about this ruler is provided by a long inscription discovered at Abido and composed when he was still "the great leader of the Meshwesh, prince of princes." His father Nemrat, son of a lady named Mehetemwaskhe, had died, and Sheshonq had approached the then ruler seeking permission to establish a great funerary cult in his honor at Abydos.


The Twenty-Second Dynasty in Ancient Egypt

Both the king and the "great god" (no doubt Amun) had given a favorable answer. It is almost certain that the pharaoh in question was the last of the Psusennes, it is known that Osorkon II, son, and successor of Sheshonq, married his daughter, Makara. As far as is known, the new sovereign had numerous children, to each of whom he entrusted the most suitable positions to ensure the continuity of his regime.

According to the stele of Harpson, wife of Sheshonq and mother of Osorkon II was Karoma, but elsewhere she is called "Adorer of God", a title that was believed to exclude any marital relationship. Another son of Sheshonq was Juput, whom his father named high priest of Amun-Ra at Karnak, breaking the hereditary tradition hitherto observed. This was a particularly skillful move because it placed that very important office under the direct control of the sovereign, and it seems that the same system was followed for several successive generations.

Thebes, although always proud of its importance, went through a period of political stagnation. Apart from self-censorships and arid genealogical lists, very little can be derived from the verbose epigraphs on the statues of the Theban dignitaries. Precious to establish the reign years of the 22nd and 23rd dynasty are the levels of the Niloregistered on the pier in front of the temple. In Middle Egypt, just north of Oxyrhynchus, a fortress with a temple, where Sheshonq I and Osorkon II joined hands, apparently served as a kind of border or barrier between the north and south of the country.

The exact relationship between Sheshonq III and its predecessor Takelot II is unknown. It is known only that the latter's son, Osorkon, the high priest in Thebes remained in office at least until the twenty-ninth year of Sheshonq III's reign, which suggests that there were no problems for the succession.

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