Mummy of Ramesses II

Ramses II, also known as Ramesses II or Ramses the Great, was one of the most powerful and influential pharaohs of ancient Egypt. He ruled during the New Kingdom period from around 1279 to 1213 BC, and his reign is considered to be one of the most significant in the history of ancient Egypt. He ascended the throne around the age of 14 and would go on to reign for more than six decades, making him one of the longest-reigning Egyptian pharaohs.

The mummy of Ramesses II is one of the most famous mummies from ancient Egypt. The pharaoh was mummified according to traditional Egyptian practices, which involved removing his internal organs and covering his body with linen bandages. His body was then placed in a series of nested coffins, which were placed inside a massive sarcophagus made of red granite.

The mummy of Ramesses II was discovered in 1881 in the tomb of the pharaohs in the Valley of the Kings by a team of archaeologists led by French archeologist and Egyptologist Gaston Maspero. The mummy was in a poor state of preservation, having suffered damage from insects and humidity over the centuries. However, Maspero and his team were able to identify the mummy as that of Ramesses II based on the inscriptions on the sarcophagus and the details of the mummification process.

Today, the mummy of Ramesses II is on display at the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. It is housed in a special room designed to control temperature and humidity levels to help preserve the fragile remains. The mummy provides valuable insights into the life and death of one of the most famous pharaohs in ancient Egyptian history.

Read More: 10 Most Famous Ancient Egyptian Pharaohs

Actual place of where Ramesses II’s mummy was discovered

The name of the tomb where Ramesses II’s mummy was found is called the Royal Cachette at Deir el-Bahari near Luxor in southern Egypt. The mummy was discovered along with those of more than 50 kings and ancient Egyptian nobles.

Why was the mummy of Ramesses II flown to Paris in the 1970s?

Almost a century after the discovery Ramesses II’s mummy, researchers and museum officials at the Egyptian museum began to notice that fungal infection was spreading rapidly on the body. The decision was made that the mummy of the Egyptian king be flown to Paris, France, where it would be treated and restored.

The mummy even received full military honors befitting a king. After that it was sent to a laboratory at the Musée de l’Homme, where the restoration began.

An Egyptian passport for Ramesses II

Before the mummy of Ramesses II was flown to Paris in 1974, an Egyptian passport was issued to the deceased king. At the “occupation” part of the passport, it was written “king (deceased)”. A photo of the pharaoh’s ancient face was used on the passport.

The Pharaohs’ Golden Parade

In April 2021, Egyptian museum authorities moved the mummy from the Egyptian Museum to the National Museum of Egyptian Civilization in Cairo. The mummy was moved there along with mummies of 17 other kings and 4 queens during the spectacular even called the Pharaohs’ Golden Parade.

Did you know…?

The linens that covered his body was inscribed with his name and royal epithets.

His nostrils were filled with resin and seeds in order to ensure that the nose could hold its shape.

Ramesses II’s mummy was originally buried in a tomb (KV7) in the Valley of the Kings. However, having been desecrated by tomb robbers for sometime, the mummy was later transferred by priests to the tomb of Queen Ahmose Inhapy. Seven decades later, it was once again moved to the tomb of high priest Pinedjem II.

The movement of Ramesses II’s mummy by the ancient Egyptians was recorded (in hieroglyphics) on the linen that covered the body.

X-ray scans of the mummy revealed that the Egyptian pharaoh suffered a number of battle wounds. And in his last two decades, he was plagued by old fractures and severe arthritis. He also suffered from some dental problems.

Other interesting facts about Ramesses II of ancient Egypt

Aside from the numerous colossal structures that he built, Ramesses II is best known for fathering over 100 children. As a matter of fact, its said that he fathered more children than any Egyptian king.]

Having died either in his late 80s or early 90s, he obviously outlived many of his wives and children. this point is given further credence due to the fact that the life expectancy at the time was very short.

He engaged in a relentless propaganda program that exalted him to the status of “ruler of rulers”. This explains why his successors referred to him as the “Great Ancestor”.

After his death, nine additional ancient Egyptian pharaohs took his name. This explains why he came to be known as Ramesses the Great.

He was the first known ruler in world history to sign a peace treaty. Known as the Egyptian-Hittite peace treaty (or the Eternal Treaty or the Silver Treaty), the peace agreement came after the Battle of Kadesh in mid-13th century BC. The battle pitted ancient Egypt against the Hittites, an Anatolian empire (located in modern-day Turkey).

Read More: Life and Major Accomplishments of Ramesses II

To the ancient Greeks, Ramesses II was known as Ozymandias. And some of the known epithets his subjects gave him were: “Chosen of Ra”, “Ras is the one who bore him”, and “The Ma’at of Ra is powerful”. In ancient Egypt, Ra and Ma’at were deities of the sun and order, respectively.

Researchers have noted that Ramesses II had red hair. This point would make perfect sense as his father, Seti I, had the epithet “Follower of Seth”. In ancient Egypt, people with redheads were associated with the deity Set, the Egyptian god of chaos and the jealous deity who killed his brother, Osiris.

Read More: List of all the major ancient Egyptian gods and goddesses