Horemheb

Horemheb

Discussion
Ask a question about 'Horemheb'
Start a new discussion about 'Horemheb'
Answer questions from other users
Full Discussion Forum
 
Encyclopedia
Horemheb was the last Pharaoh
Pharaoh
Pharaoh is a title used in many modern discussions of the ancient Egyptian rulers of all periods. The title originates in the term "pr-aa" which means "great house" and describes the royal palace...

 of the 18th Dynasty
Eighteenth dynasty of Egypt
The eighteenth dynasty of ancient Egypt is perhaps the best known of all the dynasties of ancient Egypt...

 from either 1319 BC to late 1292 BC, or 1306 to late 1292 BC (if he ruled for 14 years) although he was not related to the preceding royal family and is believed to have been of common birth.

Before he became pharaoh, Horemheb was the commander in chief of the army under the reigns of Tutankamun and Ay
Ay
Ay was the penultimate Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt's 18th dynasty. He held the throne of Egypt for a brief four-year period , although he was a close advisor to two and perhaps three of the pharaohs who ruled before him and was the power behind the throne during Tutankhamun's reign...

. After his accession to the throne he reformed the state and it was under his reign that official action against the preceding Amarna
Amarna
Amarna is an extensive Egyptian archaeological site that represents the remains of the capital city newly–established and built by the Pharaoh Akhenaten of the late Eighteenth Dynasty , and abandoned shortly afterwards...

 rulers began.

Horemheb demolished monuments of Akhenaten
Akhenaten
Akhenaten also spelled Echnaton,Ikhnaton,and Khuenaten;meaning "living spirit of Aten") known before the fifth year of his reign as Amenhotep IV , was a Pharaoh of the Eighteenth dynasty of Egypt who ruled for 17 years and died perhaps in 1336 BC or 1334 BC...

, reusing their remains in his own building projects, and usurped monuments of Tutankhamun and Ay. Horemheb presumably remained childless and he appointed his vizier Paramesse as his successor, who would assume the throne as Ramesses I
Ramesses I
Menpehtyre Ramesses I was the founding Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt's 19th dynasty. The dates for his short reign are not completely known but the time-line of late 1292-1290 BC is frequently cited as well as 1295-1294 BC...

.

Early life


Horemheb is believed to have originated from Herakleopolis Magna
Herakleopolis Magna
Heracleopolis or Herakleopolis Magna is the Greek name of the capital of the Twentieth nome of ancient Egypt. It was called Henen-nesut, Nen-nesu, or Hwt-nen-nesu in ancient Egyptian, meaning 'house of the royal child.' Later, it was called Hnas in Coptic, and Ahnas in medieval Arabic writings...

 or ancient Hnes (modern Ihnasya el-Medina) on the west bank of the Nile near the entrance to the Fayum
Al Fayyum
Faiyum is a city in Middle Egypt. Located 130 km southwest of Cairo, it is the capital of the modern Faiyum Governorate. The town occupies part of the ancient site of Crocodilopolis...

 since his coronation text formally credits the God Horus of Hnes for establishing him on the throne.

His parentage is unknown but he is universally believed to be a commoner. According to the French (Sorbonne) Egyptologist Nicolas Grimal
Nicolas Grimal
Nicolas Grimal is a French Egyptologist.- Biography :Nicolas Grimal was born to Pierre Grimal in 1948. After his Agrégation in Classics in 1971, he obtained a PhD in 1984. He has been a professor at the Sorbonne since 1988.From 1989 to 1999, he headed the French Institute of Oriental Archeology in...

, Horemheb does not appear to be the same person as Paatenemheb (Aten
Aten
Aten is the disk of the sun in ancient Egyptian mythology, and originally an aspect of Ra. The deified Aten is the focus of the monolatristic, henotheistic, or monotheistic religion of Atenism established by Amenhotep IV, who later took the name Akhenaten in worship in recognition of Aten...

 Is Present In Jubilation
) who was the Commander-in-chief of Akhenaten's army. Grimal notes that Horemheb's political career first began under Tutankhamun where he "is depicted at this king's side in his own tomb chapel at Memphis.".

In the earliest known stage of his life, Horemheb served as "the royal spokesman for [Egypt's] foreign affairs" and personally led a diplomatic mission to visit the Nubian governors. This resulted in a reciprocal visit by "the Prince of Miam (Aniba)" to Tutankhamun's court, "an event [that is] depicted in the tomb of the Viceroy Huy." Horemheb quickly rose to prominence under Tutankhamun
Tutankhamun
Tutankhamun , Egyptian , ; approx. 1341 BC – 1323 BC) was an Egyptian pharaoh of the 18th dynasty , during the period of Egyptian history known as the New Kingdom...

, becoming Commander-in-Chief of the Army, and advisor to the Pharaoh. Horemheb's specific titles are outlined from his Saqqara tomb which was built while he was still only an official: "Hereditary Prince, Fan-bearer on the Right Side of the King
Fan-bearer on the Right Side of the King
Fan-bearer on the Right Side of the King – sometimes also translated as Fanbearer on the King's Right Hand – or is a term used to describe an Ancient Egyptian courtier....

, and Chief Commander of the Army"; the "attendant of the King in his footsteps in the foreign countries of the south and the north"; the "King's Messenger in front of his army to the foreign countries to the south and the north"; and the "Sole Companion, he who is by the feet of his lord on the battlefield on that day of killing Asiatics."

When Tutankhamun died while still a teenager, Horemheb had actually been designated as rpat ("Crown Prince") and idnw (King's "Deputy") which meant that Horemheb was the officially recognised heir to Tutankhamun's throne. However, the aged Vizier Ay
Ay
Ay was the penultimate Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt's 18th dynasty. He held the throne of Egypt for a brief four-year period , although he was a close advisor to two and perhaps three of the pharaohs who ruled before him and was the power behind the throne during Tutankhamun's reign...

 managed to sideline Horemheb's claim to the throne and instead succeed Tutankhamun. Having pushed Horemheb aside, Ay proceeded to nominate a military officer named Nakhtmin
Nakhtmin
Nakhtmin held the position of generalissimo during the reign of Pharaoh Tutankhamun of the eighteenth dynasty of Ancient Egypt. His titles during the reign of Tutankhamun included "the true servant who is beneficial to his lord, the king's scribe", "the servant beloved of his lord", "the fan-bearer...

 who was possibly Ay's son or adopted son, to succeed him rather than Horemheb.

After Ay's reign which lasted for an unknown number of years, however, Horemheb managed to seize power presumably from his position as Commander of the Army to assume what he must have perceived to be his just reward for having ably served Egypt under Tutankhamun and Ay. Horemheb quickly removed Naktmin's rival claim to the throne and arranged to have Ay's WV23
WV23
Tomb WV23, located at the end of the Western Valley of the Kings near modern-day Luxor, was the final resting place of Pharaoh Ay of the 18th Dynasty....

 tomb desecrated by smashing the latter's sarcophagus into several pieces, systematically chiselling out Ay's name and figure out of the tomb walls and probably destroying Ay's mummy. However, he spared Tutankhamun's tomb from vandalism presumably because it was the Boy King who had promoted his sudden rise to power and chosen him to be this king's successor. Horemheb also usurped and enlarged Ay's mortuary temple at Medinet Habu
Medinet Habu (temple)
Medinet Habu is the name commonly given to the Mortuary Temple of Ramesses III, an important New Kingdom period structure in the location of the same name on the West Bank of Luxor in Egypt...

 for his own use and erased Ay's titulary on the back of a 17 foot colossal statue by carving his own titulary in its place.

Internal reform



Upon his accession, Horemheb initiated a comprehensive series of internal transformations to the power structures of Akhenaten
Akhenaten
Akhenaten also spelled Echnaton,Ikhnaton,and Khuenaten;meaning "living spirit of Aten") known before the fifth year of his reign as Amenhotep IV , was a Pharaoh of the Eighteenth dynasty of Egypt who ruled for 17 years and died perhaps in 1336 BC or 1334 BC...

's reign, due to the preceding transfer of state power from Amen's priests to Akhenaten's government officials. Horemheb "appointed judges and regional tribunes...reintroduced local religious authorities" and divided legal power "between Upper Egypt
Upper and Lower Egypt
Ancient Egypt was divided into two regions, namely Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt. To the north was Lower Egypt where the Nile stretched out with its several branches to form the Nile Delta. To the south was Upper Egypt, stretching to Syene. The two kingdoms of Upper and Lower Egypt were united c....

 and Lower Egypt
Upper and Lower Egypt
Ancient Egypt was divided into two regions, namely Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt. To the north was Lower Egypt where the Nile stretched out with its several branches to form the Nile Delta. To the south was Upper Egypt, stretching to Syene. The two kingdoms of Upper and Lower Egypt were united c....

" between "the Vizier
Vizier (Ancient Egypt)
The vizier was the highest official in Ancient Egypt to serve the king, or pharaoh during the Old, Middle, and New Kingdoms. Vizier is the generally accepted rendering of ancient Egyptian tjati, tjaty etc, among Egyptologists...

s of Thebes
Thebes, Egypt
Thebes is the Greek name for a city in Ancient Egypt located about 800 km south of the Mediterranean, on the east bank of the river Nile within the modern city of Luxor. The Theban Necropolis is situated nearby on the west bank of the Nile.-History:...

 and Memphis
Memphis, Egypt
Memphis was the ancient capital of Aneb-Hetch, the first nome of Lower Egypt. Its ruins are located near the town of Helwan, south of Cairo.According to legend related by Manetho, the city was founded by the pharaoh Menes around 3000 BC. Capital of Egypt during the Old Kingdom, it remained an...

 respectively."

These deeds are recorded in a stela which the king erected at the foot of his Tenth Pylon at Karnak. Occasionally called The Great Edict of Horemheb, it is a copy of the actual text of the king's decree to re-establish order to the Two Lands and curb abuses of state authority. The stela's creation and prominent location emphasizes the great importance which Horemheb placed upon domestic reform.

Horemheb also reformed the Army and reorganized the Deir el-Medinah
Deir al-Madinah
Deir el-Medina is an ancient Egyptian village which was home to the artisans who worked on the tombs in the Valley of the Kings during the 18th to 20th dynasties of the New Kingdom period The settlement's ancient name was "Set Maat" , and the workmen who lived there were called “Servants in the...

 workforce in his 7th Year while Horemheb's official, Maya, renewed the tomb of Thutmose IV
Thutmose IV
Thutmose IV was the 8th Pharaoh of the 18th dynasty of Egypt, who ruled in approximately the 14th century BC...

, which had been disturbed by tomb robbers in his 8th Year. While the king restored the priesthood of Amun, he did not permit the Amun priests from forming a stranglehold on power by deliberately reappointing priests who mostly came from the Egyptian army since he could rely on their personal loyalty.
Horemheb was a prolific builder who erected numerous temples and buildings throughout Egypt during his life-time. He constructed the Second, Ninth and Tenth Pylons
Pylon (architecture)
Pylon is the Greek term for a monumental gateway of an Egyptian temple It consists of two tapering towers, each surmounted by a cornice, joined by a less elevated section which enclosed the entrance between them. The entrance was generally about half the height of the towers...

 of the Great Hypostyle Hall
Great Hypostyle Hall, Karnak
The Great Hypostyle Hall of Karnak, located within the Karnak temple complex, in the Precinct of Amon-Re, is one of the most visited monuments of Ancient Egypt. The design was initially instituted by Hatshepsut, at the North-west chapel to Amun in the upper terrace of Deir el-BahriThe hall covers...

, in the Temple at Karnak
Karnak
The Karnak Temple Complex—usually called Karnak—comprises a vast mix of decayed temples, chapels, pylons, and other buildings, notably the Great Temple of Amun and a massive structure begun by Pharaoh Ramses II . Sacred Lake is part of the site as well. It is located near Luxor, some...

 using recycled talatat
Talatat
Talatat are stone blocks of standardized size used during the reign of Akhenaton in the building of the Aton temples at Karnak and Akhetaten. The standardized size and their small weight made construction more efficient Their use may have begun in the second year of Akhenton's reign...

 blocks from Akhenaten's
Akhenaten
Akhenaten also spelled Echnaton,Ikhnaton,and Khuenaten;meaning "living spirit of Aten") known before the fifth year of his reign as Amenhotep IV , was a Pharaoh of the Eighteenth dynasty of Egypt who ruled for 17 years and died perhaps in 1336 BC or 1334 BC...

 own monuments here, as building material for the first two Pylons.

Because of his unexpected rise to the throne, Horemheb had had two tombs constructed for himself: the first
Tomb of Horemheb (Memphis)
The Memphite tomb of Horemheb is located in the Saqqara necropolis, near Memphis, Egypt. It was constructed before Horemheb ascended to the throne, and was never used for his burial. His two wives Mutnedjmet and Amenia were buried within the structure....

 – when he was a mere nobleman – at Saqqara
Saqqara
Saqqara is a vast, ancient burial ground in Egypt, serving as the necropolis for the Ancient Egyptian capital, Memphis. Saqqara features numerous pyramids, including the world famous Step pyramid of Djoser, sometimes referred to as the Step Tomb due to its rectangular base, as well as a number of...

 near Memphis
Memphis, Egypt
Memphis was the ancient capital of Aneb-Hetch, the first nome of Lower Egypt. Its ruins are located near the town of Helwan, south of Cairo.According to legend related by Manetho, the city was founded by the pharaoh Menes around 3000 BC. Capital of Egypt during the Old Kingdom, it remained an...

, and the other – in the Valley of the Kings
Valley of the Kings
The Valley of the Kings , less often called the Valley of the Gates of the Kings , is a valley in Egypt where, for a period of nearly 500 years from the 16th to 11th century BC, tombs were constructed for the Pharaohs and powerful nobles of the New Kingdom .The valley stands on the west bank of...

, in Thebes
Thebes, Egypt
Thebes is the Greek name for a city in Ancient Egypt located about 800 km south of the Mediterranean, on the east bank of the river Nile within the modern city of Luxor. The Theban Necropolis is situated nearby on the west bank of the Nile.-History:...

, in tomb KV57
KV57
Tomb KV57, located in the Valley of the Kings in Egypt, was used for the burial of Horemheb, the last Pharaoh of the Eighteenth dynasty.The tomb was located by Edward Ayrton in February 1908, who was working for Theodore Davis...

, as king. His chief wife was Queen Mutnedjmet
Mutnedjmet
Mutnedjmet an Ancient Egyptian queen, the Great Royal Wife of Horemheb, the last ruler of the Eighteenth Dynasty...

, who may have been Nefertiti
Nefertiti
Nefertiti was the Great Royal Wife of the Egyptian Pharaoh Akhenaten. Nefertiti and her husband were known for a religious revolution, in which they started to worship one god only...

's younger sister, but she failed to bear him a successor. He is not known to have any children by his first wife Amenia
Amenia, Wife of Horemheb
Amenia was an Egyptian noble woman and the first wife of Horemheb, the last ruler of the Eighteenth Dynasty.Very little is known about her, and she seems to have died during the reign of Ay, before Horemheb ruled as pharaoh. She was buried in the Memphite tomb of Horemheb, alongside his second wife...

 who died before Horemheb assumed power.

Reign length: 26/27 years or 14 years?


This pharaoh's reign length is a matter of debate among scholars. Horemheb's highest clearly known dates are a pair of Year 13 and Year 14 wine labels from this king's wine estates which were found in his royal tomb in the Valley of the Kings
Valley of the Kings
The Valley of the Kings , less often called the Valley of the Gates of the Kings , is a valley in Egypt where, for a period of nearly 500 years from the 16th to 11th century BC, tombs were constructed for the Pharaohs and powerful nobles of the New Kingdom .The valley stands on the west bank of...

. It is traditionally believed that Horemheb's highest year-date is likely attested in an anonymous hieratic
Hieratic
Hieratic refers to a cursive writing system that was used in the provenance of the pharaohs in Egypt and Nubia that developed alongside the hieroglyphic system, to which it is intimately related...

 graffito
Graffito (archaeology)
A Graffito , in an archaeological context, is a deliberate mark made by scratching or engraving on a large surface such as a wall. The marks may form an image or writing...

 written on the shoulder of a now fragmented statue from his mortuary temple in Karnak which mentions the appearance of the king himself, or a royal cult statue representing the king, for a religious feast. The ink graffito reads Year 27, first Month of Shemu day 9, the day on which Horemheb, who loves Amun and hates his enemies entered the temple for this event. (JNES 25[1966], p. 123) Donald Redford, in a BASOR 211(1973) No.37 footnote observes that the use of Horemheb's name and the addition of a long "Meryamun" (Beloved of Amun) epithet in the graffito suggests a living, eulogised king rather than a long deceased one.

The Egyptologist Rolf Krauss, in a DE 30(1994) paper, has argued that this date may well reflect Horemheb's accession where a Feast or public holiday was traditionally proclaimed to honour the accession date of a deceased or a current king. Krauss supports his hypothesis with evidence from Ostraca
Ostracon
An ostracon is a piece of pottery , usually broken off from a vase or other earthenware vessel. In archaeology, ostraca may contain scratched-in words or other forms of writing which may give clues as to the time when the piece was in use...

 IFAO 1254 which was initially published by Jac Janssen in a BIFAO 84(1984) paper under the title "A Curious Error." The ostraca records the number of days on which an unknown Deir el-Medinah
Deir al-Madinah
Deir el-Medina is an ancient Egyptian village which was home to the artisans who worked on the tombs in the Valley of the Kings during the 18th to 20th dynasties of the New Kingdom period The settlement's ancient name was "Set Maat" , and the workmen who lived there were called “Servants in the...

 workman was absent from work and covers the period from Year 26 III Peret day 11 to Year 27 II Akhet day 12 before breaking off. The significant fact here is that a Year change occurred in the ostraca from Year 26 to Year 27 around the interval IV Peret day 28 and I Shemu day 13. The Year 27 date of Horemheb is located within this interval and would reflect Horemheb's accession date, Krauss suggests. Ay's accession date occurred somewhere in the month of III Peret. Since Manetho gives Ay reign of 4 years and 1 month, this ruler would have died sometime around the month of IV Peret or the first half of I Shemu at the very latest. This is precisely the time period noted in Ostraca IFAO 1254. The fact that the ostraca records the case of only one worker rather than an entire group of workmen means the necropolis scribe cannot be presumed – at first glance – to have committed a dating error in altering the unknown king's Year date in the interval between IV Peret 28 and I Shemu 13.
Janssen, in his original BIFAO paper, noted the curious fact that no known New Kingdom pharaohs who reigned for a quarter of a century including Ramesses II
Ramesses II
Ramesses II , referred to as Ramesses the Great, was the third Egyptian pharaoh of the Nineteenth dynasty. He is often regarded as the greatest, most celebrated, and most powerful pharaoh of the Egyptian Empire...

 and Ramesses III
Ramesses III
Usimare Ramesses III was the second Pharaoh of the Twentieth Dynasty and is considered to be the last great New Kingdom king to wield any substantial authority over Egypt. He was the son of Setnakhte and Queen Tiy-Merenese. Ramesses III is believed to have reigned from March 1186 to April 1155 BCE...

 had their accession date in this time frame and suggests the Year change was an error committed on behalf of the scribe. He then attributed the ostraca to Ramesses III, whose accession date was I Shemu day 26 and expressed his view that the scribe may have inadvertently implemented the Year change two weeks early instead. Janssen also observed that the palaeography of the ostraca suggests a date in the 20th Dynasty partly because it followed the later New Kingdom form of writing and due to its provenance in the Grand Putit region, which features numerous Dynasty 20 ostracas. However, this form of writing is also attested in monuments of Ramesses II and it would, therefore, not be unexpected to find it in a document from the very late 18th Dynasty since the transition from the Early New Kingdom to the Late New Kingdom Form of writing had already occurred prior to the end of Horemheb's reign, as Frank Yurco once noted. Indeed, Janssen's palaeographical reference for his paper–Prof. Georges Posener–himself suggested a date in the 19th Dynasty
Nineteenth dynasty of Egypt
The Nineteenth Dynasty of ancient Egypt was one of the periods of the Egyptian New Kingdom. Founded by Vizier Ramesses I, whom Pharaoh Horemheb chose as his successor to the throne, this dynasty is best known for its military conquests in Palestine, Lebanon, and Syria.The warrior kings of the...

 due to the form of the wsf (absent) and akhet (inundation
Season of the Inundation
The Season of the Inundation is the first season in the ancient Egyptian calendar and corresponds roughly with early September to early January....

) text. As Janssen himself writes, a few 19th Dynasty ostracas have been found in the Grand Putit area prior to the 20th Dynasty's intensive exploitation of this region. This does not exclude some late 18th Dynasty work here either. Secondly, both Janssen and Krauss stress in their papers that the relative scarcity of the hieratic text in Ostraca IFAO 1254 precludes a clear dating of the document to Ramesses III's reign and that palaeography, in general, does not give a precise date for a document's creation. Hence, a dating of the ostraca to Horemheb's reign on the basis of the Year change is eminently plausible. On other matters, a damaged wall fragment painting from the Petrie Collection mentions Horemheb's 15th or 25th Year.

Another important text, The Inscription of Mes, records that a court case decision was rendered in favour by a rival branch of Mes' family in Year 59 of Horemheb. Since the Mes inscription was composed during the reign of Ramesses II
Ramesses II
Ramesses II , referred to as Ramesses the Great, was the third Egyptian pharaoh of the Nineteenth dynasty. He is often regarded as the greatest, most celebrated, and most powerful pharaoh of the Egyptian Empire...

 when the Amarna-era Pharaohs were struck from the official king-lists, the Year 59 Horemheb date certainly includes the nearly 17 year long reign of Akhenaten, the 2 year independent reign of Neferneferuaten, the 9 year reign of Tutankhamun and the 4 year reign of Ay. Once all these rulers reigns are deducted from the Year 59 date, Horemheb would still have easily enjoyed a reign of 26–27 years.

At a well known 1987 Conference from Gothenburg
Gothenburg
Gothenburg is the second-largest city in Sweden and the fifth-largest in the Nordic countries. Situated on the west coast of Sweden, the city proper has a population of 519,399, with 549,839 in the urban area and total of 937,015 inhabitants in the metropolitan area...

 Sweden
Sweden
Sweden , officially the Kingdom of Sweden , is a Nordic country on the Scandinavian Peninsula in Northern Europe. Sweden borders with Norway and Finland and is connected to Denmark by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund....

, Kenneth Kitchen
Kenneth Kitchen
Kenneth Anderson Kitchen is Personal and Brunner Professor Emeritus of Egyptology and Honorary Research Fellow at the School of Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology, University of Liverpool, England...

 astutely noted that any attempt to explain away the Year 59 Horemheb date as a "scribal error" fails to consider the long and volumnious listed series of court trials and legal setbacks which Mes' family endured in order to win back control over certain valuable lands which had been stolen from his family's line. Indeed, Mes likely ordered the protracted legal dispute, which is presented as a series of court depositions and testimonies of various plaintiffs and witnesses, to be inscribed on his tomb walls in order to create a permanent ('carved in stone') record of his family's ultimately victorious struggle to win back these lands. Mes, hence, could hardly be expected to forget the beginning of his family's legal tribulations in Year 59 of Horemheb. Kitchen also observes in his paper that Horemheb's extensive building projects at Karnak supported the theory of a long reign for this Pharaoh and stressed that "a good number of the undated 'late 18th Dynasty' private monuments that are in both Egypt and the world's Museums must, in fact, belong to his reign." Horemheb, hence, probably was assumed to have died after a minimum reign of 27 or, at most, 28 years.

Horemheb's new reign length


However, the most recent archaeological evidence from 3 excavation seasons conducted under G.T. Martin in 2006 and 2007 establishes that Horemheb most likely died after a maximum reign of 14 years based on a massive hoard of 168 inscribed wine sherds and dockets recently discovered below densely compacted debris in a great shaft (called Well Room E) in this king's royal KV57
KV57
Tomb KV57, located in the Valley of the Kings in Egypt, was used for the burial of Horemheb, the last Pharaoh of the Eighteenth dynasty.The tomb was located by Edward Ayrton in February 1908, who was working for Theodore Davis...

 tomb. Of the 46 wine sherds with year dates, 14 have nothing but the year date formula, 5 dockets have Year 10+X, 3 dockets have Year 11+X, 2 dockets preserve Year 12+X and 1 docket has a Year 13+X. Meanwhile, 22 dockets "mention Year 13 and 8 have Year 14 [of Horemheb]" but none mention a higher date for Horemheb.

The full text of the docket reads are identical and reads as:


Meanwhile, the Year 14 dockets, in contrast, are all individual and and mention specific wines such as "very good quality wine" or, in one case "sweet wine" and the location of the vineyard is identified. A general example is this text on a Year 14 wine docket:


Other Year 14 dockets mention Memphis (?), the Western River while their wintners are named as Nakhtamun, [Mer-]seger-men, Ramose and others.

The "quality and consistency of the KV57 dockets strongly suggest that Horemheb was buried in his Year 14, or at least before the wine harvest of his Year 15 at the very latest." This evidence is consistent "with the Horemheb dockets from Deir el-Medina which mention Years 2, 3, 4, 6, 13 and 14, but again no higher dates"....while a docket ascribed to Horemheb from Sedment has Year 12." The lack of dated inscriptions for Horemheb after his Year 14 also explains the unfinished state of Horemheb's royal KV57 tomb--"a fact not taken into account by any of those [scholars] defending a long reign [of 26 or 27 years]. The tomb is comparable to that of Seti I in size and decoration technique, and Seti I's tomb is far more extensively decorated than that of Horemheb, and yet Seti managed to virtually complete his tomb within a decade, whereas Horemheb did not even succeed in fully decorating the three rooms he planned to have done, leaving even the burial hall unfinished. Even if we assume that Horemheb did not begin the work on his royal tomb until his Year 7 or 8,...it remains a mystery how the work could not have been completed had he lived on for another 20 or more years." Therefore, Horemheb's reign has been determined and accepted today by most scholars to be 14 years and 1 month--Manetho had assigned him a reign of 4 years in his Epitome and 1 month--based on the clear evidence of the wine jar labels and the lack of dates beyond his Year 14 but this figure should be raised by a decade. As for the Year 27 hieratic graffito at Horemheb's Funerary temple at Medinet Habu and the Year 59 date from the inscription of Mes, Van Dijk argues that the first date likely inaugurated a statue of Horemheb during Year 27 of Ramesses II or III in Horemheb's temple while the latter date of Mes "can hardly be taken seriously, and indeed is not taken at face value by even the staunchest supporters of a long reign" for Horemheb since there was no standard Egptian practise of including the years of all the rulers between Amenhotep III and Horemheb as Wolfgang Helck makes clear.

Succession



Under Horemheb, Egypt's power and confidence was once again restored after the internal chaos of the Amarna period
Amarna
Amarna is an extensive Egyptian archaeological site that represents the remains of the capital city newly–established and built by the Pharaoh Akhenaten of the late Eighteenth Dynasty , and abandoned shortly afterwards...

; this situation set the stage for the rise of the 19th Dynasty under such ambitious Pharaohs like Seti I
Seti I
Menmaatre Seti I was a Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt , the son of Ramesses I and Queen Sitre, and the father of Ramesses II...

 and Ramesses II
Ramesses II
Ramesses II , referred to as Ramesses the Great, was the third Egyptian pharaoh of the Nineteenth dynasty. He is often regarded as the greatest, most celebrated, and most powerful pharaoh of the Egyptian Empire...

. Horemheb is believed to have unsuccessfully attempted to father an heir to the throne since the mummy of his second wife was found with a fetus
Fetus
A fetus is a developing mammal or other viviparous vertebrate after the embryonic stage and before birth.In humans, the fetal stage of prenatal development starts at the beginning of the 11th week in gestational age, which is the 9th week after fertilization.-Etymology and spelling variations:The...

 in it. Geoffrey Martin in his excavation work at Saqqara states that the burial of Horemheb's second wife Mutnedjmet
Mutnedjmet
Mutnedjmet an Ancient Egyptian queen, the Great Royal Wife of Horemheb, the last ruler of the Eighteenth Dynasty...

 was located at the bottom of a shaft to the rooms of Horemheb's Saqqara tomb. He notes that "a fragment of an alabaster vase inscribed with a funerary text for the chantress of Amun and King's Wife Mutnodjmet, as well as pieces of a statuette of her [was found here]...The funerary vase in particular, since it bears her name and titles would hardly have been used for the burial of some other person."
Expert analysis subsequently showed that the bones represented part of the skull and other portions of the body, including the pelvis, of an adult female who had given birth several times. Furthermore, she had lost all her teeth early in life, and was therefore only able to eat soft foods for much of the time. She died in her mid-forties, perhaps in childbirth, for with her bones were those of a foetus or newborn child. The [tomb] plunderers had evidently dragged the two mummies, mother and child, from the burial chamber below, and broken them open in the pillared hall above. The balance of probability, taking into account the evidence of the objects inscribed for Mutnodjmet, is that the adult bones are those of the queen herself and that she died in attempting to provide her husband the Pharaoh with an heir to the throne.


Since Horemheb remained childless, he appointed his Vizier
Vizier (Ancient Egypt)
The vizier was the highest official in Ancient Egypt to serve the king, or pharaoh during the Old, Middle, and New Kingdoms. Vizier is the generally accepted rendering of ancient Egyptian tjati, tjaty etc, among Egyptologists...

, Paramesse as his chosen successor before his death both to reward Paramesse's loyalty and because the latter had both a son and grandson to secure Egypt's royal succession. Paramesse employed the name Ramesses I
Ramesses I
Menpehtyre Ramesses I was the founding Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt's 19th dynasty. The dates for his short reign are not completely known but the time-line of late 1292-1290 BC is frequently cited as well as 1295-1294 BC...

 upon assuming power and founded the 19th Dynasty
Nineteenth dynasty of Egypt
The Nineteenth Dynasty of ancient Egypt was one of the periods of the Egyptian New Kingdom. Founded by Vizier Ramesses I, whom Pharaoh Horemheb chose as his successor to the throne, this dynasty is best known for its military conquests in Palestine, Lebanon, and Syria.The warrior kings of the...

 of the New Kingdom. While the decorations of Horemheb's KV57
KV57
Tomb KV57, located in the Valley of the Kings in Egypt, was used for the burial of Horemheb, the last Pharaoh of the Eighteenth dynasty.The tomb was located by Edward Ayrton in February 1908, who was working for Theodore Davis...

 tomb walls was still unfinished upon his death, this situation is not unprecedented: Amenhotep II
Amenhotep II
Amenhotep II was the seventh Pharaoh of the 18th dynasty of Egypt. Amenhotep inherited a vast kingdom from his father Thutmose III, and held it by means of a few military campaigns in Syria; however, he fought much less than his father, and his reign saw the effective cessation of hostilities...

's tomb was also not fully completed when he was buried but this ruler enjoyed a reign of 26 Years.

Fictional representations

  • Horemheb appears as a major character in P. C. Doherty's trilogy of historical novels, An Evil Spirit Out of the West, The Season of the Hyaena and The Year of the Cobra.
  • Horemheb appears as a major character in Pauline Gedge
    Pauline Gedge
    Pauline Gedge is a Canadian novelist best known for her historical fiction trilogies, Lords of the Two Lands and The King’s Men. She also writes science fiction, fantasy and horror. Her 13 novels have sold more than six million copies in 18 languages. -Life and career:Pauline Gedge was born...

    's historical novel The Twelfth Transforming.
  • He is a minor character in the novel Nefertiti by Michelle Moran. Also mentioned in the sequal, The Heretic Queen
  • Horemheb is also a minor character in the Japanese graphic novel, Red River
    Red River (manga)
    , also known as Anatolia Story, is a historical fantasy shōjo manga series by Chie Shinohara. It is published in Japan by Shogakukan in Sho-Comi and collected in 28 volumes. It is published in English in North America by VIZ Media, with 25 volumes released as of April 2009 and the remaining 3...

    centered around ancient Anatolia and ancient Egypt.
  • Horemheb was also a major character in Mika Waltari's historical fiction international bestseller, Sinuhe, The Egyptian
    The Egyptian
    The Egyptian is a historical novel by Mika Waltari. It was first published in Finnish in 1945, and in an abridged English translation by Naomi Walford in 1949. It was adapted into a film in 1954....

    . He was portrayed by Victor Mature
    Victor Mature
    Victor John Mature was an American stage, film and television actor.-Early life:Mature was born in Louisville, Kentucky to an Italian-speaking father from the town Pinzolo, in the Italian part of the former County of Tyrol , Marcello Gelindo Maturi, later Marcellus George Mature, a cutler,...

     in the film adaptation The Egyptian
    The Egyptian (film)
    The Egyptian is an American 1954 epic film made in CinemaScope by 20th Century Fox, directed by Michael Curtiz and produced by Darryl F. Zanuck. It is based on Mika Waltari's novel and the screenplay was adapted by Philip Dunne and Casey Robinson...

    (1954).
  • He is a minor character in Lucile Morrison's 1937 teen novel The Lost Queen of Egypt. He is portrayed as Tutankhamon's mentor, whose first concern is holding the kingdom together, although he supports Akhenaten and his religion while Akhenaten is alive.

External links