Egypt's Greatest Treasures with Bettany Hughes.

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Re: Egypt's Greatest Treasures with Bettany Hughes.

Post by Horus » Fri Aug 16, 2019 10:10 am

It is true that some items are attributed to Ramesses II that were maybe not his originally, but then again he was quite aware that previous Pharaohs had usurped other Pharaohs statues and buildings by carving their own names all over them, or erasing hieroglyphs in order to change something. Ramesses II was also guilty of this, but he also went to great lengths to make sure his own stuff was not usurped after his death. All of his statues have very deeply incised cartouches and many that have been inspected also have his name inscribed under a foot in another attempt to foil the statue usurpers. A good example of this is the temple of Seti I at Abydos, after his death his own son Ramesses II had some temple inscriptions changed which resulted in the famous ‘alien conspiracy theorists’ that some of the hieroglyphs showed a modern day helicopter, a tank etc. when in reality they were just re-carved hieroglyphs in which the patching plaster had fallen out over the millennia.


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Re: Egypt's Greatest Treasures with Bettany Hughes.

Post by newcastle » Fri Aug 16, 2019 10:24 am

I’ve never heard anyone attribute that coffin in which Ramesses II mummy was found to Ramesses II himself....

It’s obvious that it wasn’t his originally both on stylistic grounds and the unlikelihood of it surviving several moves after his tomb was extensively looted.

I would think it highly unlikely that a pharaoh of the wealth and status of Ramesses II would be buried in a rehashed coffin of someone else!

https://www.academia.edu/7415022/The_Co ... es_II_2017_

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Re: Egypt's Greatest Treasures with Bettany Hughes.

Post by Horus » Fri Aug 16, 2019 11:38 am

As you say the majority of Pharaohs with some major exceptions would have had their own coffins carved during their lifetime. The exceptions would be those who’s reign was very short or met with a sudden death and of course those who were no longer in favour and it is likely that they were entombed using recycled goods or even items ‘selected’ from other tombs in order to make up the required funerary items so to speak. Even allowing for the relocating of the mummies into the Deir el Bahari cache which would have certainly resulted in a mixing of original coffins, it is also likely that over the preceding years that the priests would have re-wrapped and rehoused vandalised and robbed tombs probably using a previously redundant coffin or two. What is certain is that most are unlikely to be in their original coffins or sarcophagus as many of these have been re carved, Tutankhamen’s tomb is a good example of the use of scavenged items all of which belonged to or were made for someone else.
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Re: Egypt's Greatest Treasures with Bettany Hughes.

Post by newcastle » Fri Aug 16, 2019 12:51 pm

What became of Ramesses II original coffin is - and probably will remain - a mystery.

No likely candidate(s) have ever turned up.

It’s very likely that it would have been shorn of its gold and if, like Tutankamun’s, it was solid gold (quite possible), it would have been melted down by succeeding pharaohs when the remaining contents of the Valley of the Kings were appropriated to the treasury.

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Re: Egypt's Greatest Treasures with Bettany Hughes.

Post by carrie » Fri Aug 16, 2019 12:59 pm

Now I am most probably completely wrong but I don't understand why Rameses II is considered to be such a great Pharaoh.
I know he ruled for a long time and had built some fantastic monuments extolling his greatness. Is that enough to make him a "great pharaoh? A great self publicist maybe.
The battle of Quadesh, which he depicts as having won practically single handed wasn't a great victory but a draw. The money he spent on his monumental building projects was created as I understand it not by him but his father.
Now I am quite prepared to be shot down in flames by those with more knowledge so please tell me why I'm wrong, educate a poor unfortunate.

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Re: Egypt's Greatest Treasures with Bettany Hughes.

Post by newcastle » Fri Aug 16, 2019 2:16 pm

You’ve hit the nail on the head Carrie...Ramesses II was a self-publicist beyond compare, and a very successful one!

Undoubtedly his longevity - at a time when you did well to reach 40 - and the vast number of offspring helped bolster the epithet “Great”. Moneywise, he probably garnered more than Seti I simply by reigning so much longer. Remember- apart from battle loot, conquered peoples were required to send annual tribute to Egypt.

Whether it was merited in the sense of conquest is dubious and Qadesh was probably not the great victory he would have us believe. He was certainly a great builder....although I guess he didn’t handle a trowel himself. :lol: He was adept at cannibalising the statues and buildings of predecessors.

Anyway, it’s arguable that some predecessors - Sneferu for example - contributed more substantial edifices to Egypt’s landscape.

As a counter argument to whether he deserves being known as “the Great” it should be remembered that his long tenure was not necessarily to Egypt’s benefit....the remainder of the 19th Dynasty is a story of decline. A bit like Pepi II overstaying his welcome.

Moreover, the vast number of princes and princesses he left in his wake gave plenty of opportunity for intrigues and jealousies within the palace.

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Re: Egypt's Greatest Treasures with Bettany Hughes.

Post by A-Four » Sun Aug 18, 2019 3:56 pm

Horus wrote:
Fri Aug 16, 2019 11:38 am
Even allowing for the relocating of the mummies into the Deir el Bahari cache which would have certainly resulted in a mixing of original coffins,
I'm sure this comment relates to my seeing the coffin lid of Ramessis II. My second visit to Cairo Museum was at least 30 years ago, in those days if an official label said Ramessis II we all believed it, that same label was still there six years ago. Back in the 70's and 80's millions believed the books of Erich von Daniken. Today we have the authority of Wikipedia etc, which some quote as though it is an authority to everything.

Whether this is the coffin lid of Ramessis II or not, the simple fact is that all inner-most coffins of both Royal cacheswere made of wood. The inner-most solid gold coffin found in KV 62 was obviously made for Akhenaten. Thirty years ago no one would make such a challenge, today we know most of the items found in that tomb were not Tutankhamoun's own possessions,.........but let's not bother about that, we depend on tourism not facts,.............enter stage, ...Welcome to the land of the golden Pharaoh.

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Re: Egypt's Greatest Treasures with Bettany Hughes.

Post by newcastle » Sun Aug 18, 2019 8:34 pm

A-Four wrote:
Sun Aug 18, 2019 3:56 pm
Back in the 70's and 80's millions believed the books of Erich von Daniken. Today we have the authority of Wikipedia etc, which some quote as though it is an authority to everything.
I thought I quoted Nicholas Reeves.

But then....what does he know? :urm:

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Re: Egypt's Greatest Treasures with Bettany Hughes.

Post by Horus » Mon Aug 19, 2019 9:44 am

My comments referred to no particular post, it was just a general observation of the known facts about the royal mummies. Not sure what your problem is with Wiki or Google as it's no different than accessing a library, if you know how to read you can browse the encylopedia Britannica, if you can't then you can only look at pictures.
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Re: Egypt's Greatest Treasures with Bettany Hughes.

Post by newcastle » Mon Aug 19, 2019 10:49 am

Sites like Wikipedia are not infallible but, if used sensibly, can lead you to the best current information on any particular subject, or any particular person. Frequently, it will point you to other avenues of research.

As Horus says, it’s like having access to a library - an enormous one- without the practical difficulties of accessing such a vast depository of information. I frequently wonder how we ever managed before the internet, Google and Wikipedia.

It’s also useful as a check to one’s knowledge. I’ve often come across information which leads me to review and revise a long-held opinion.

A-Four might have found that useful in the discussion, some time ago, on the Roman era frescoes in Luxor Temple. He might also like to revisit his assertion that Tutankhamun’s innermost solid gold coffin was made for Akhenaton.

Whilst there is a strong inference that it may have been made for another Amarna pharaoh, there is nothing linking it to Akhenaton. I suspect A-Four is confusing the coffin with the gold funeral mask which shows clear signs (in the form of visible cartouches) of having been made for Neferneferuaten.

Of course, if he has any evidence, he’s more than welcome to share it with the forum!

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