|Date of birth, Place:
|1303 BCE (supposedly)
|Date of death, Place:
|A tomb in the Valley of the Kings;his body was later moved to a royal cache where it was discovered in 1881, and is now on display in the Cairo Museum
Ramesses II or Ramses II (also known as Ramesses The Great) was the third Egyptian pharaoh of the Nineteenth dynasty. He was the second longest-ruling Pharaoh. Ramesses II was born to Queen Tuy and his father Sety I. He had a harem of wives, of whom Nefertari was his special wife, and it was presumed that he had over one hundred children with all his wives. He is often regarded as Egypt’s greatest, most celebrated, and most powerful pharaoh. His successors and later Egyptians called him the “Great Ancestor.”
Being powerful and ambitious, he expanded Egypt’s empire a vast deal.The early part of his reign was focused on building cities, temples and monuments. He had more monuments and temples erected than any other Pharaoh. He established the city of Pi-Ramesses Aa-nakhtu, meaning “Domain of Ramesses II, Great in Victory”, as his new capital in the Nile delta and main base for his campaigns in Syria. Although Pi-Ramesses was mentioned and named in the Bible, as a site where the Israelites were forced to work hard for the pharaoh, for more than 3,000 years it was lost and considered nothing more than a myth. For a time it was misidentified as being in Tanis, due to the amount of statuary and other material from Pi-Ramesses found there. But after 20 years of excavation, it was finally found in the eastern Delta. Its foundations lie hidden several feet beneath lush farmland. The colossal feet of the statue of Ramesses are almost all that remains above ground today, the rest is buried in the fields. The ancient city was dominated by huge temples and the king’s vast residential palace, complete with its own zoo.
Ramses II was a prolific ruler who fought to reclaim territory in Africa and Middle-East. During his reigning period as Pharaoh, he led many military campaigns against the Libyans and the Nubians and he also attacked Syria about half a dozen times. Although known for his military might, Ramses II also lived a life of extreme wealth and in addition he showed his need for divine architecture. Abu Simbel, probably Ramses II’s most impressive structure was carved from a sandstone cliff that faced to the east. This was located in ancient Nubia.
Egyptian domestications attempts included many different kinds of native wild ruminants and carnivores. These animals were fattened on bread dough, as were many kinds of birds. A variety of birds were kept in domestic flocks, particularly geese and ducks, but also swans, doves and cranes. Wealthy Egyptians at all times kept menageries, in which they brought up the animals taken by the lasso or by the dogs in the desert, as well as those brought into Egypt by way of commerce or as tribute. Egyptians particularly liked to tame as many of these species as possible. Ramesses II had a tame lion that not only accompanied him into battle, but also guarded the royal tent at night.
Ramesses II had like other pharaohs an extensive animal collection, primarily supplied with exotic African species that were brought back as result of the Punt expeditions. These expeditions to the Land of Punt, nowadays known as Somalia, were first organised under the rule of Hatchepsut, the only female pharaoh. Items brought back to Egypt for example were myrrh trees, incense, gold, silver, ivory, ebony, slaves and live animals like monkeys, apes, leopards, rhinoceroses and giraffes.