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The Mortuary Temple of Ramesses III

Dynasties of Ancient Egypt
Predynastic Period
Protodynastic Period
Early Dynastic Period
1st 2nd
Old Kingdom
3rd 4th 5th 6th
First Intermediate Period
7th 8th 9th 10th
11th (Thebes only)
Middle Kingdom
11th (All Egypt)
12th 13th 14th
Second Intermediate Period
15th 16th 17th
New Kingdom
18th 19th 20th
Third Intermediate Period
21st 22nd 23rd 24th 25th
Late Period
26th 27th 28th
29th 30th 31st
Graeco-Roman Period
Alexander the Great
Ptolemaic Dynasty


The Twentieth Dynasty of ancient Egypt was founded by Setnakhte, but its only important member was Ramesses III, who modelled his career after Ramesses II the Great. This dynasty is considered to be the last one of the New Kingdom, and was followed by the Third Intermediate Period.

The period of these rulers is notable for the beginning of the systematic robbing of the Royal Tombs. Many surviving administrative documents from this period are records of investigations and punishment for these crimes, especially in the reigns of Ramesses IX and Ramesses XI.

As happened under the Nineteenth Dynasty had, this struggled under the effects of the bickering between the heirs of its strongest ruler, a group whom Diodorus Siculus described as "confirmed sluggards devoted only to indulgence and luxury," without "any deed worthy of historical note." However, at this time Egypt was increasingly beset by a series of droughts, below-normal flooding levels of the Nile, famine, civil unrest and official corruption – all of which would limit the managerial abilities of any king. The power of the last king, Ramesses XI, grew so weak that in the south the High Priests of Amun at Thebes became the effective defacto rulers of Upper Egypt, while Smendes controlled Lower Egypt even before Ramesses XI's death. Smendes would found the Twenty-first dynasty at Tanis.

Twentieth Dynasty timeline

Ramesses XIRamesses XRamesses IXRamesses VIIIRamesses VIIRamesses VIRamesses VRamesses IVRamesses IIISetnakhte

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