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Cleopatra's Daughter cover

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The Heretic Queen Q&A

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Pharaoh Ramesses II (The Great)


Ramesses II
Ramesses II is one of the most well-known and widely written-about kings of ancient Egypt. A copy of his treaty of Kadesh, written in cuneiform and discovered in Hattusas, hangs in the United Nations building in New York as the world’s earliest example of an international peace treaty. It is also believed that Ramesses is the Pharaoh responsible for some of the most visited sites in Egypt: Nefertari’s tomb, the Ramesseum, much of Pi-Ramesses, Luxor, the Hypostyle Hall at Karnak, and the stunning mortuary temples in Nubia (or modern-day Abu Simbel). Because he outlasted most of his children and lived into his nineties, entire generations grew up and died never having known a different Pharaoh. To them, Ramesses must have seemed like the eternal king. When his mummy was recovered in 1881, Egyptologists were able to determine that he had once stood five feet seven inches tall, had flaming red hair, and a distinctive nose that his sons would also inherit.



The Ramasseum
Here, Ramesses goes to war with the Hittites, wearing the blue kephresh crown of war and tying his horse's reigns around his waist. He depicted his most famous Battle of Kadesh as a victory for himself and Egypt, even though he nearly lost his empire and it ended a truce (and the famous Treaty of Kadesh)


Shasu Spies
Egyptians beat the Shasu spies who told Ramesses that the Hittites had fled the city of Kadesh.


The Treaty of Kadesh
A copy of this treaty hangs today in the United Nation building

Read Michelle Moran's Blog, History Buff.