was a famous pharaoh who reigned from about 1290 -1224
BC. Ramses came to the throne at an early age. He served
as co-ruler with his father for a short time before he
began his own long reign.
Ramses the Great ascended to the throne at the age of 25.
The son of Seti 1 and Queen Tuya he was the third king of
the 19th Dynasty. In his 67-year reign he undertook an
unparalleled building program. No other pharaoh built so
many temples or erected so many colossal obelisks and
statues. It seems that everything was done on a grand
During the early part of his reign, Ramses tried to end
Hittite control of Syria. About 1285 BC. He fought a
battle against the Hittites at Kadesh and claimed a great
victory. But about 1269 BC. Ramses made a treaty with the
Hittite king, which divided Syria between them.
Ramses devoted a vast number of buildings like the new
capital in the Nile delta. He finished the columned great
hall in the temple of Amon-re at Karnak. At Abu Simbel he
built the rock temple and took credit for many of his
Ramses tomb was in the Valley of Kings. He had 60
children with his wives and mistresses including
Nefertari, who was his most loved wife.
After years of war the Hittites made peace with
Egyptians, and in 1270b.C, a Hittite princess married
Ramses. They also signed a treaty -the first
international treaty for with we have the terms. About 70
years later, the Hittite empire was wiped out by new
invaders called the sea people, who probably came from
the Mediterranean islands. They brought their families
with them to look for new homes. Some Hittite refuges
escaped to the south until the Assyrians conquered it.
Two of Ramses
II's projects, on the west bank of the Nile that
cut deep into the cliffs at Abu Simbel, are
perhaps the most famous. These temples,
considered Ramses' greatest achievements, were
erected in honor of Egypt's major gods and their
local variants. After ordering the artisans to
carve impressive images of him onto the facade
and pillars of these temples, King Ramses'
perception of himself changed forever. The
temples' scenes of the gods were ordered to be
re-carved to include the great king, and he
gained eminence equal to that of his fellow gods.
In the end, Abu Simbel became a temple dedicated
to Ramses the Great, earning the name "The
House of Ramses, Beloved of Amun." Amazingly
in the 1960's the monument was dismantled and
moved over 200 feet to higher ground where it was
reconstructed. This saved it from the rising
waters of the Aswan Dam was built to create Lake
Nassar. The moving of this temple and the smaller
temple that RAMSES built for his favorite Queen,
the beautiful Nefertari with took four years.
Completed with help from around the world, both
financial and technical, the final cost was more
than 40 million US dollars.
Aged 12. June 1999.