Ancient Egypt - Pharaoh Seti II

Merneptah's successor, Seti II, was a son of Isisnofret II. However, his accession to the throne was not unchallenged. A rival king, named Amenmesse, seized control of Upper Egypt and Kush during the middle of Seti II's reign. This rival king was most likely another son of Merneptah. Seti II was able to reassert his authority, but not before Amenmesse vandalized his tomb (KV15).

Tomb (KV15)

(KV15) was dug along a northwest to southwest axis, comprising of a short entry corridor followed by three corridor segments which terminated into a well room. The well was never cut into the floor. This then connected with a four-pillared hall and another stretch of corridor that was converted into a burial chamber. The walls and ceilings of the chamber were covered with plaster and painted with Anubis jackals and two rows of deities, representing the followers of Ra and Osiris. Wall paintings in the well room were more unusual and showed the king in shrines in a number of different manifestations, for instance on the back of a panther or on a papyrus skiff. After regaining control, Seti II returned the favor and destroyed Amenmesse's tomb (KV10).

Tomb (KV10)

(KV10) was constructed with an open entryway, followed by three corridors with a small chamber off to the right wall of corridor (B). No well shaft was cut into the floor of chamber (E) and the cutting of the side chamber (Fa) was never finished. Corridor (G), following the pillared chamber (F), was a vaulted ceiling. The next corridor (H) was unfinished, but would have led to a sarcophagus chamber. The tomb's decoration was later replaced with scenes for two royal women dating to the late 20th Dynasty.

Queen Twosret

Seti II had at least three Queens; Takhat II, Twosret (who was the mother of the eldest son and heir apparent, Seti-Merneptah) and Tiaa (who was the mother of Ramesses-Siptah). It seems the heir died before his father and the throne passed to the youngest son who took the name Siptah. Siptah, still a minor and possibly ill, needed a regent. His mummy reveals that he had a twisted leg indicative of cerebral palsy. The older Queen, Twosret, in effect ruled in her stepson's name.

Chancellor Bay

Initially Twosret was supported in her regency by the 'Chancellor of the Whole Land' Bay, a man whose unusual name implies that he may have been of Syrian descent. Bay's precise role is never made clear, but his claim to have 'established the king on his father's throne' indicates that he may have played a crucial role in installing and maintaining the young Siptah and Twosret as king. He was granted permission by the king to build a tomb in the Valley of the Kings, an unprecedented privilege for a commoner. Bay is first revealed as Seti II's butler and personal scribe. By the time of Seti II's death, Bay had risen to the post of chancellor and played the role of 'Kingmaker'. Bay's status was so great at Siptah's court that on several of the young king's monuments the chancellor is shown on the same scale. This is the earliest occasion in which a commoner was depicted in such a manner. For four years Bay was the dominant figure in Egyptian politics; then, like Senenmut before him, he vanished.

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