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The Nineteenth Dynasty (1320-1200BC)

Was established by the Horemheb's wazir, or minister, Ramses I who reigned for two years. Ramses and his descendants were warrior kings who recaptured territories lost under Akhenaten. His successor Seti I regained controls over Egypt's eastern colonies in Palestine, Nubia and the Near East. Seti I also began construction on a majestic temple at Abydos, which was completed by his son Ramses II who reconquered Asia Minor.

Ramses also constructed monumental structures like the Ramesseum in Thebes and the sun temples of Abu Simbel. His son Merneptah spent much of his reign driving back invaders from Libya and the Mediterranean but he is believed to be the biblical Pharaoh described in Exodus. Seti II was the last king of the Nineteenth Dynasty.

     The Twentieth Dynasty (1200-1085BC) was to be the last of the New Kingdom and was first established by Sethnakhte. By the reign of his successor Ramses III, the kingdom was occupied with defending itself against Libyan and "Sea People" invasions. Ramses III constructed the enormous palace temple of Medinet Hebu but the empire had begun to disintegrate with strikes, assassination attempts and provincial unrest. 

 His successors, who were all named Ramses, presided over the decline of their empire until Ramses XI withdrew from active control over his kingdom, delegating authority over Upper Egypt to his high priest of Amun, Herihor, and of Lower Egypt to his minister Smendes. These two rulers were the last of the New Kingdom.

    



   

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