All posts for the month May, 2019

Shalmaneser V and Nebuchednezzar II were ‘camera-shy’?

Published May 27, 2019 by amaic
Tower of Babel tablet: A reconstruction of the tablet, right, showing what the images would have originally looked like before they faded


Damien F. Mackey



“… there is no known relief depiction of Shalmaneser V …”.



Such is the case according to the article, “Shalmaneser V and Sargon II”, at:

…. The revolt of Israel against Assyria during the days of King Hoshea, last king of Israel, brought on a siege by the Assyrians (1 Kings 17). The siege was led by Shalmaneser V, King of Assyria (there is no known relief depiction of Shalmaneser V). During the siege, he died. Sargon II replaced Shalmanezer V as King of Assyria, who finished the siege and sacked Samaria.


Whilst that may be surprising in itself, the fact is – I believe – that Shalmaneser (so-called V) was the same person as Tiglath-pileser (known as III) of whom there are plenty of depictions.


And the lack of apparent portraits of Nebuchednezzar II was part of Dr. I. Velikovsky’s reason for (rightly) seeking to find an alter ego for the Great King (though wrongly, I think, equating him with the Hittite emperor, Hattusilis). Velikovsky wrote in Ramses II and His Time, p. 184: “At Wadi Brissa in Lebanon, Nebuchadnezzar twice had his picture cut in rock; these are supposedly the only known portraits of this king”.



Similar lives, burials for Joash, Amaziah, Uzziah

Published May 24, 2019 by amaic
Image result for king ahaz


Damien F. Mackey


“Joash, Amaziah, and Uzziah’s reigns are all similar”.




Thus we read at biblegateway:;MSG&interface=amp


Joash, Amaziah, and Uzziah’s reigns are all similar.

Each begins by following God and being rewarded with a powerful reign. Then each sins and is punished with national struggles and an unusual death.

None are [sic] honored with burials among the former kings. These three men exemplify a common theme in Chronicles: you reap what you sow. When they are faithful to God, He is faithful to them. When they abandon God, He destroys them.

[End of quote]


Reign (Joash, Amaziah, Uzziah)

“Joash started off his reign in wonderful way, but in his later years when he should have grown wiser, turned away from the right path, to the great distress of his people. But the king paid dearly for his mistakes …. The masses of the people who had risked their lives for him and had loved him, turned away from him. When he fell ill, his servants joined in a conspiracy to get rid of the king who had betrayed them”.

As soon as Amaziah felt himself secure on the throne of Judea, he slew his father’s assassins. However, he abided strictly by the laws of the Torah. He punished only the guilty persons and not their children. In general Amaziah took care not to break any of the traditions and laws of the Jewish faith, although he personally was not up to the religious standards of the pious kings of the House of David.

…. through his rash campaign against Israel, Amaziah lost the prestige he had gained by his victory over Edom. Moreover, he abandoned the worship of G‑d and turned to idolatry. The disaffection among the people grew, and they formed a conspiracy against the king”.

“Uzziah himself was a pious man, and he observed religiously all the laws and commandments of the Torah, under the proper guidance of the prophets who had appeared in his time, among them, Isaiah, Amos, Hosea, and others. But at the height of his successful rule, he committed one unpardonable sin which cost him his name and throne.

In a moment of self-glorification and pride, Uzziah decided to imitate Jeroboam II, and to combine in his own person the supreme political and religious offices. He wanted to be High Priest as well as king. Although the idolatrous Israelites had permitted their king to act as high priest, the pious people of Judea refused to accept this violation of the Torah. Only members of the priestly family of Aaron were permitted to hold this office in the Holy Temple. Uzziah persisted in his demand, although the leading scholars and priests tried in vain to dissuade him. Finally Uzziah forced the issue. He entered the Holy Temple and, over the protest of the High Priest Azariah, started to offer incense on the golden altar. Presently the king was smitten with the most terrible of all maladies, leprosy. He had to leave Jerusalem at once and live in seclusion. Until his death, the stricken king dwelt in a house near the cemetery”.


Burial (Joash, Amaziah, Uzziah)


Joash: 2 Chron. 24:25. “And when they were departed from [Joash], (for they left him in great diseases,) his own servants conspired against him for the blood of the sons of Jehoiada the priest, and slew him on his bed, and he died: and they buried him in the city of David, but they buried him not in the sepulchres of the kings”.

“[Amaziah’s] body was returned to Jerusalem and buried in the Royal cemetery”.

“Uzziah was not buried in the tomb of his ancestors, the kings of David’s house for he was a leper. He was buried in the royal burial ground, however”.



King Ahaz of Judah’s burial followed the same non usual pattern:


2 Chronicles 28:27: “Ahaz rested with his ancestors and was buried in the city of Jerusalem, but he was not placed in the tombs of the kings of Israel”.


What to make of all this?

Given our need for chronological shrinkage, and, more importantly, given that Matthew has omitted Joash and Amaziah of Judah (under those specific names, at least) from his Genealogy of Jesus Christ (1:8-9):


Jehoram the father of Uzziah,

 Uzziah the father of Jotham,

Jotham the father of Ahaz ….


I have to wonder if any (or even all) of the somewhat similar kings, Joash, Amaziah, Uzziah – and even, perhaps, Ahaz – may be duplicates.





King Nabonidus like an Assyrian monarch

Published May 22, 2019 by amaic
Image result for ashurbanipal


Damien F. Mackey



Nabonidus is an Assyrian king.

He adopts Assyrian titulature and boasts of having

the Assyrian kings as his “royal ancestors”.




This is what I wrote some years ago now to Johnny Zwick, sysop of the California Institute for Ancient Studies (then, regarding my projected realignment of late Judah with neo Assyro-Babylonia:


My connecting of Hezekiah of Judah with Josiah went down like a lead balloon amongst the few to whom I sent it. (See Pope’s valuable effort at:


[Comment: I have since re-done this properly in my article:


‘Taking aim on’ king Amon – such a wicked king of Judah

So here is the next phase. I would not actually call it a bombshell.

More like a Third World War.

Nabonidus is an Assyrian king. He adopts Assyrian titulature and boasts of having the Assyrian kings as his “royal ancestors”. There is nothing particularly strange about his supposed long stay in Teima in Arabia. This was a typical campaign region adopted by the neo-Assyrian kings. There is nothing particularly remarkable about his desire to restore the Ehulhul temple of Sin in Harran.

Ashurbanipal did that.


Nabonidus is said to have had two major goals, to restore that Sin temple and to establish the empire of Babylon along the lines of the neo-Assyrians. Once again, Ashurbanipal is particularly mentioned as being his inspiration.


Nabonidus was not singular in not taking the hand of Bel in Babylon for many years, due to what he calls the impiety of the Babylonians. Ashurbanipal (and now you will notice that he keeps turning up) could not shake the hand of Bel after his brother Shamash-shum-ukin had revolted against him, barring Babylon, Borsippa, etc. to him. He tells us this explicitly.


Nabonidus is not singular either in not expecting to become king. Ashurbanipal had felt the same.

So, basically Nabonidus is Ashurbanipal during his early reign. They share many Babylonian building works and restorations, too.


Now, if Nabonidus is Ashurbanipal (and I am now pretty much convinced that he must be), then Ashurbanipal of 41-43 years of reign (figures vary) can only be Nebuchednezzar II the Great of an established 43 years of reign.

Nebuchednezzar is the Babylonian face, while Ashurbanipal is the Assyrian face.

The great Nebuchednezzar has left only 4 known depictions of himself, we are told. Ridiculous! Add to this paltry number all of the depictions of Ashurbanipal.


The last 35 years of Nebuchednezzar are hardly known, they say. Add Ashurbanipal (whose lack also in places is supplemented in turn by Nebuchednezzar/Nabonidus).


It is doubted whether Nebuchednezzar conquered Egypt as according to the Bible. Just add Ashurbanipal who certainly did conquer Egypt.


The many queries about whether an inscription belongs to Nebuchednezzar or Nabonidus now dissolves.


It was Nabonidus, not Nebuchednezzar, they say, who built the famous palace in Babylon.

Nabonidus’s well known madness (perhaps the Teima phase) is Nebuchednezzar’s madness.

Nabonidus calls Sin “the God of gods” (ilani sa ilani), the exact phrase used by Nebuchednezzar in Daniel 2:47 of Daniel’s God (“the God of gods”).


Looking for a fiery furnace? Well, Ashurbanipal has one. His brother dies in it.

“Saulmagina my rebellious brother, who made war with me, they threw into a burning fiery furnace, and destroyed his life” (Caiger, p. 176).



Sumerians merge into Chaldeans

Published May 22, 2019 by amaic
Image result for chaldeans

Lost Culture of

the Chaldeans


Part One (ii):

Sumerians merge into Chaldeans



Damien F. Mackey


“Why Berossos [Berossus] would draw on sources of the “Sumerians” to tell

Chaldean history remains as mysterious as the bewilderingly wanting scholarly and astronomical/astrological texts of the Chaldaeans whose erudition is famous all over Antiquity and “from whom the Greek mathematicians copy” (Flavius Josephus)”.

 Gunnar Heinsohn



In this series, I am following Dr. John Osgood’s most helpful synchronization of the ‘erudite’ Chaldean people, “famous all over Antiquity”, with the ‘Ubaid culture of archaeology.

Dr. Osgood wrote tellingly, in “A Better Model for the Stone Age Part 2”:


1.     Arphaxad – Al Ubaid, the Early Chaldees


Josephus13 identifies the descendants of Arphaxad as the Chaldeans and this seems to be consistent with the biblical statements concerning them, for Abraham was a descendant of Arphaxad (Genesis 10 verse 24 and 11 verses 10-31). Abraham left Ur of the Chaldees to eventually travel to the land of Canaan.


Now Ur of the Chaldees, that is, the southern Ur found in the region south of the Euphrates River, has been excavated by Woolley. Woolley found that the earliest layers in Ur were built by the Al Ubaid people. (Al Ubaid is the early pottery culture of this region.)


Now if the Al Ubaid people built Ur, then Ur would be an Al Ubaid city originally, and as it was known as Ur of the Chaldees, this allows us to equate the Chaldees with the Al Ubaid people. This fits what we know of the Chaldean people. Certainly, it was in that region of the world that the later Chaldeans were known to live. It is also clear that this area had an influence on the north by the naming of such cities as Harran associated with the same religions that were known in the region of Ur of the Chaldees.


It is certain that Joan Oates has shown the contemporaneity of northern Halaf and southern Ubaid, a fact that bears well with the Table of Nations in Genesis 10.14


The Al Ubaid culture of Southern Mesopotamia was centred around the cities of Ur and Eridu, and its earliest [manifestation] … the Hajj Muhammad pottery, appears to be the first culture on the soil of this area of southern Iraq:


‘At all sites so far investigated in the South the Ubaid rests directly on virgin soil, and there seems little doubt that the people who bore this culture were the first settlers on the alluvium of whom we have any trace.’15


From this region at a later epoch came the now famous Nebuchadnezzar II of Babylon, the Chaldean. ….

[End of quotes]

Professor Gunnar Heinsohn has added a further important (cultural) dimension to the Chaldean peoples by identifying them with the most ancient, and enigmatic, Sumerians:


Classical Historiography confirmed


The Chaldaean priest Berossos, around 278-290 B.C.E., writes, in Greek, a history of his homeland for the Macedonian/Seleucid king Antiochus I Soter (281 -261). The work becomes known under the title Babyloniaka of which fragments are preserved in ancient Greek writings. In his section on the Deluge, Berossos, surprisingly, calls the flood hero Xisuthros (Alexander Polyhistor) or Sisithrus (Abydenus). This is a Greek transliteration of Ziusudra. Yet, Ziusudra is the protagonist of the “Sumerian” version of the Flood. That Berossus does not leave us the Chaldean name of the flood hero has never stopped to stun Orientalists. After all, Berossos tells us nothing about the “Sumerians” who, since Jules Oppert’s coining of the term 1868, are thought to have created mankind’s first civilization in his very homeland. All ancient Greek writers who cite Berossos take him for a Chaldaean expert of Chaldean history.

Therefore, they list his records under headings like “Chaldaean History” (Alexander Polyhistor), “Of the Chaldaean Kings” (Apollodorus) or “Of the Chaldaean Kings and the Deluge” (Abydenus).


Like Berossos, ancient Greek authors never give the slightest hint of a “Sumerian” civilization though Greek transliterations of cuneiform texts, called “Sumerian” by modern scholars, are produced as late as the 2nd or even 3rd century AD (so called Graeco-Babyloniaca). Thus, ancient Greeks are able to read and write “Sumerian” for nearly half a millennium but fail to recognize the “Sumerian” people not to speak of a “Sumerian” cradle of civilization. What they know is a Chaldean civilization with some 900 larger and smaller settlements which supposedly did not leave a single grave, brick or even potsherd.


Why Berossos would draw on sources of the “Sumerians” to tell Chaldean history remains as mysterious as the bewilderingly wanting scholarly and astronomical/ astrological texts of the Chaldaeans whose erudition is famous all over Antiquity and “from whom the Greek mathematicians copy” (Flavius Josephus). This enigma is aggravated by the fact that the “Sumerians” themselves, who have left countless astronomical/astrological texts, never employ the word “Sumer” or “Sumerians”. In their own cuneiform writing they call their country Kalam (e.g., Sumerian Kinglist) and its inhabitants people of Kalam (e.g., the Nippur poem Praise of the Pickax).


Yet, not only the term Kalam fits Chaldea well—as do the Mitanni fit the Medes or the Martu the Mardoi­—but also its stratigraphic location just two strata groups below Hellenism where one would look for the predecessors of the Akhaemenids in Babylonia. ….


Damien Mackey’s comment: For my own take on Medo-Persian (or Achaemenid) archaeology, see my article:


Persian History has no adequate Archaeology

Professor Heinsohn continues:


Therefore, beginning in 1987, this author has been suggesting that certain empires of the ancient near east did not really exist, and should therefore be removed from modern textbooks (in English see Heinsohn 1991. 1996 and 1998). At the same time realms and empires well-known since antiquity should be restored to the place they once held in the history and chronology of the ancient world.


Damien Mackey’s comment: Sometimes Heinsohn goes rather too far in all this I believe.

He continues, here beginning with a very true and important statement:


The logical basis for this proposal is that in order for great empires and civilizations that appear in modern textbooks to be accepted as genuine there must be evidence of their existence in the archaeological layers of the earth.

If textbook empires are without such layers, then there are two possibilities: (1.) these empires should disappear from the pages of modern textbooks. (2.) the existence of these empires must be affirmed by using archaeological layers that are currently assigned to other empires, thus causing these latter empires to disappear.


The author prefers a conservative solution, i.e. possibility 2. Otherwise we would have to throw out teachings and empires that have dominated historical writings for two and a half millennia. We would have to punish thus countless authors of antiquity—Jews, Greeks, Romans and Armenian—by calling them liars, without being able to explain why, in their own time, they had no doubt that the realms described by them were real. Despite their rather quarrelsome dispositions they were united in agreement about the imperial succession—starting, quite in tune with proven Chinese chronology, around -1000—of Assyrians, Medes (with Chaldeans and Scythians), Persians and Macedonians: “Assyrii principes omnium gentium rerum potiti sunt, deinde Medi, postea Persae, deinde Macedones” (Aemilius Sura, -2nd century). ….


…. The 2nd option produces the following results:



(C) The more than 900 cities and towns of Chaldaea, known to the Greeks as “the cradle of civilization” but seen as non-retrievable by modern Assyriologists, returns to the textbooks. To Chaldaea are given the archaeological layers that not until 1868 began to be called “Sumer” (albeit Kalam in its own language), which disappears accordingly.





Merenptah completes Seti

Published May 16, 2019 by amaic
Image result for merenptah


Damien F. Mackey



  “Merenptah’s involvement with the Osireion raises some questions,

not least, how did he gain access when the brick arch appears

to have been blocked up by Seti?

 Keith Hamilton



The somewhat poorly known pharaoh Merenptah – generally thought to have been the son and successor of Ramses II – needs, it seems, to be filled out with his supposed grandfather, Seti (the father of Ramses II), whom I have multi-identified in e.g. my series:


Seti I and Seti II Merenptah


See especially:


Seti I and Seti II Merenptah. Part Three: Seti I and II Merenptah and Merenptah

Merenptah’s relative obscurity (qua Merenptah) is apparent from the following quotes:

“Greatly overshadowed by his dominant and long-lived father, Merneptah never had a chance to become a famous pharaoh and he was almost unknown for most of his life”.


Note, in the next quote, the sequence: “probably”, “likely”, “presumed”, “possibly”.

“Merneptah was probably the fourth child of Isetnofret I, the second wife of Ramesses II, and he was married to Queen Isetnofret II, his royal wife, who was likely his full sister bearing the name of their mother. It is presumed that Merneptah was also married to Queen Takhat and one of their sons would succeed him as Seti II. They also were the parents of Prince Merenptah and possibly the usurper, Amenmesse, and Queen Twosret, wife of Seti II and later pharaoh in her own right”.

“He left few monuments, but in his conduct of Egypt’s defense and diplomacy he was at least the equal of his father”.

“His original works are comparatively few and insignificant. His name is constantly found on the monuments of his father …”.


Merenptah is thought to have “decorated” (in some cases, “largely”) monuments of Seti, even though he is considered to have been separated from Seti by the almost seven decades of reign of Ramses II.

“The Osireion is located behind the Abydos temple and may have been intended to be a ‘cenotaph’ (empty tomb.) The architecture of the Osireion is particularly unusual: a rectangular ‘island’ surrounded by a channel of water was constructed in the middle of the hall on which large pillars were built. This design may have represented the primeval waters and mound which began all of creation. Although the structure was built by Seti I it was largely decorated by his grandson, Merenptah with scenes from ‘The Book of Gates’, images of the journey to the underworld, texts relating to astronomy and depictions of gods and goddesses”.


Click to access The-Osireion-A-Laymans-Guide.pdf

“When Murray discovered and excavated the two chambers at the end of the entrance passage, she found them decorated with texts; she states,


“The cartouche of Merenptah appeared in every place where it could be inserted, and we therefore had to consider the possibility of its being his tomb.”24


It seems clear therefore, that a lot of the preliminary laying out of the texts was accomplished by Seti, and that these texts were utilised by Merenptah, who only had to sculpt the walls and replace Seti’s name with his own; though his workers appeared to have missed Seti’s name on two occasions.


There are indications that Ramesses II did likewise in the adjacent temple, when he completed Seti’s work; though there is no evidence that Ramesses did any work on the Osireion.


Merenptah’s involvement with the Osireion raises some questions, not least, how did he gain access when the brick arch appears to have been blocked up by Seti? Frankfort makes no comment on it, other than to question Strabo’s access; he states, Ingress could not be obtained by the arch at the north end of the entrance passage, because we found it still bricked up with Seti’s bricks,..”25


But if this logic is good for Strabo, what about Merenptah? Merenptah was Seti’s grandson and he ruled after his long lived father Ramesses II, who ruled about 66 years: Merenptah would not be so fortunate and his reign is believed to be a more modest 10 years. It would seem therefore, that Merenptah took an unusual interest in the subterranean Osireion some 66 years after Seti bricked up the arch. If Merenptah had used this entrance, might not he have used bricks with his own name on it? So how did he gain access? ….

“Children:  Little information about his children but it is believed that his son Seti-Merneptah became Pharaoh Seti II”.



Can Sargon II’s Si’be be tied up with the biblical pharaoh ‘So’?

Published May 9, 2019 by amaic
Image result for shabaka egypt

Part One: Tying up, all together, So, Si’be and Shabaka



Damien F. Mackey


Others, though, claim that Si’be equates to Shabaka of the 25th Ethiopian dynasty ….

Boutflower had in fact looked to tie up, all together, ‘So’, Sibe and Shabaka ….



The 25th so-called ‘Ethiopian’ dynasty (c. 745 – 655 BC, conventional dating) is part of the nightmare that is Egypt’s so-called Third Intermediate Period (TIP). And though certain Egyptologists have breathed a sigh of relief when they arrived at discussion of the 25th dynasty, even that dynasty, as I attempted to explain in my article:


Piankhi same as Bible’s Tirhakah? Part Two: 25th (Ethiopian) Dynasty not clear cut


is “not clear cut”.

The whole thing is, however (I suspect), a nightmare more of the making of the Egyptologists than of the actual reality. It is most unlikely, for instance, that Piankhi (Piye) was running about as early as c. 745 BC where convention has so early placed him.

If I am correct (following Sir Flinders Petrie), then:


Piankhi [is the] same as Bible’s Tirhakah


It would certainly be nice if we could get some sort of co-ordinating perspective on such things.

Well perhaps, if we take notice of Charles Boutflower and Sir Alan Gardiner, we may be able to tie up, all at once (i) a 25th dynasty pharaoh, (ii) an Egyptian encountered by neo-Assyria, and (iii) a biblical king.

This is what I wrote about such an intriguing possible situation (or era) in my university thesis:


A Revised History of the Era of King Hezekiah of Judah

and its Background




(Volume One, pp. 377-378):


When next Assyria encounters Egypt, in c. 720 BC in the reign of Sargon II, no pharaoh is initially referred to, but Egypt’s Turtan, Si’be.[1] Gardiner had in fact identified the latter with ‘So’, claiming that scholars are in agreement with this[2] (see next page). Whilst chronologically I might be able to accept this conclusion, it would not explain why a ‘King So’ has all of a sudden become a mere Turtan (Si’be). Kitchen, however, had argued that Si’be should instead read Re-e (in the Akkadian) and Ria’a (in the Egyptian).[3] Clapham has seized upon this as being an opportunity to identify the Turtan of the Egyptian armies with a Ramesside (‘Ramses’ = Ria’a) – late 19th dynasty as applicable to his own revision.[4]

Others, though, claim that Si’be equates to Shabaka of the 25th Ethiopian dynasty.[5] Boutflower had in fact looked to tie up, all together, ‘So’, Sibe and Shabaka.[6]

According to Gardiner, however, a connection between Si’be and Shabaka is unlikely:[7]


Scholars are agreed to identify this So with Sib’e, turtan of Egypt, whom the annals of Sargon state to have set out from Rapihu (Raphia …) together with Hanno … of Gaza …. Sargon tells us that Sib’e, ‘like a shepherd whose flock has been stolen, fled alone and disappeared …’. For phonetic and probably also chronological [sic] reasons So and Sib’e cannot be … Shabako, so that these names are supposed to have been those of a general. This seems the more probable since the Assyrian text goes on to say “I received the tribute from Pir’u of Musru …” which can hardly mean anything but ‘from the Pharaoh of Egypt’.


Finally, Rohl has made the suggestion that would appear to have at least real phonetic value, that “we might find the true identity of Si’be in the 21st Dynasty king Psibkhenno, more commonly known by the classical name of Psusennes”.[8]


[End of quotes]


For my revised view of Psusennes, see my article:


Smendes and Shoshenq I. Part Three: May Psusennes I and II be the actual same person?


Now, what if we could tie up, all together, So and Si’be with pharaonic names from two supposed TIP dynasties: Psibkhenno/Psusennes and Shabaka?


That would give us even more chronological space in which to manoeuvre.





[1] D. Luckenbill, Ancient Records of Assyria and Babylonia, vol. II, # 5. Luckenbill gives the name here as Sib’u.

[2] Op. cit, p. 342.

[3] Op. cit, p. 373.

[4] Op. cit, p. 3.

[5] E.g. K. LeFlem, ‘Amenophis, Osarsiph and Arzu’, p. 15.

[6] Op. cit, p. 126.

[7] Op. cit, ibid.

[8] ‘Comments by David Rohl’, p. 19.

Smendes and Shoshenq I

Published May 5, 2019 by amaic
Image result for smendes


Damien F. Mackey



With “Shishak” properly identified by Dr. I. Velikovsky … with Thutmose III,

the mighty pharaoh of Egypt’s Eighteenth Dynasty … then pharaoh Shoshenq I

must needs be lifted right out of the C10th BC and located some centuries later.



Conventional dates for Smendes, considered to have been the first ruler of the 21st Dynasty, are c. 1069-1043 BC.

Conventional dates for Shoshenq I, considered to have been the first ruler of the 22nd Dynasty, are c. 945-924 BC.


In terms of biblical chronology, Smendes would probably have been a younger contemporary of Samuel; whilst Shoshenq I has famously been identified (e.g. by Jean François Champollion) as the biblical “Shishak king of Egypt” at the time of King Rehoboam (I Kings 4:25-26).


However, I have – along with other revisionists – rejected Champollion’s view of Shoshenq I as “Shishak”:


Shoshenq I.

A (i): Who Shoshenq I was not

With “Shishak” properly identified by Dr. I. Velikovsky (as I believe) with Thutmose III, the mighty pharaoh of Egypt’s Eighteenth Dynasty:

Thutmose III best candidate for “Shishak”

then pharaoh Shoshenq I must needs be lifted right out of the C10th BC and located some centuries later.

So significant a chronological shift must also impact upon Smendes who would also need to be lowered down the time scale.

But then we start to get that awful crush of Third Intermediate Period (TIP) dynasties, 21-25, with which revisionists have to contend.


The Third Intermediate Period usually refers to the time in Ancient Egypt from the death of Pharaoh Ramesses XI (reign 1107–1078/77 BC) during the Twentieth Dynasty to the foundation of the Twenty-Sixth Dynasty by Psamtik I in 664 BC, following the expulsion of the Nubian rulers of the Twenty-Fifth Dynasty.


Smendes, apart from being considered as the founder of the 21st dynasty, is also thought to have been the first ruler of TIP.


A possible solution to early TIP would be to identify Smendes with Shoshenq I of supposedly a century later.

That there was a degree of similarity between Smendes and Shoshenq I is apparent from this quote from N. Grimal (A History of Ancient Egypt, Blackwell 1994, p. 332): “Shoshenq I immediately sought to prove that his claim to the throne went back to the preceding dynasty, and did so by adopting a set of titles based on those of Smendes I”.


Names shared: Meryre; Sekhempehti; Hedjkheperre-setpenre


Similarity can – but does not always – mean identity.

However, it is at least worth considering that Smendes and Shoshenq I were one and the same, with the possibility of aligning dynasty 21 with 22 to overcome at least some of the dynastic crushing of TIP.


Part Two: Smendes so poorly attested


“… most of what we know of Smendes predates his rise to the throne”.

“… we can only guess at Smendes’ origins”.

“… there is a great deal of confusion concerning the origin of Smendes”.

 Jimmy Dunn


Statements like the above from Jimmy Dunn (Tour Egypt) would suggest that pharaoh Smendes, said to have reigned for as many as 26 years, may be sorely in need of an alter ego – with Shoshenq I being my suggestion for another face of Smendes.


Jimmy Dunn has written:


Smendes, the First King of the 21st Dynasty

and the Third Intermediate Period



Smendes (Smedes), who we believe founded the 21st Dynasty, ending the New Kingdom at the beginning of the Third Intermediate Period, is a very difficult individual with almost intractable origins and affiliations. His reign, which Manetho assigns 26 years, produced only a tiny handful of monuments and we have never discovered either his tomb or his mummy (though many believe his tomb to be NRT-I at Tanis, this structure offers up no clues concerning Smendes).


Smendes is a Greek rendering of this king’s name. His birth name and epithet were Nes-ba-neb-djed (mery-amun), meaning “He of the Ram, Lord of Mendes, Beloved of Amun”. His throne name was Hedj-kheper-re Setep-en-re, meaning “Bright is the Manifestation of Re, Chosen of Re”.


In fact, most of what we know of Smendes predates his rise to the throne. From the Report of Wenamun, dating to Year 5 of the “Renaissance Era” during the last decade of the reign of Ramesses XI, we learn much of what we know of this future king. While on the way to Lebanon to obtain wood for the renewal of the divine barque of Amun-Re, Wenamun stopped at Tanis, which he describes as “the place where Smendes and Tentamun are”. Smendes is specifically described as being the one to whom Wenamun gave his letters of credence from Herihor, the High-Priest of Amun and a powerful general in the south. Wenamun was then sent in a ship by Smendes to Syria. Smendes, along with Herihor and others, was cited as having contributed money to this expedition.


Smendes, together with Tentamun, are therefore shown to be of great importance in Egypt’s Delta, equals at least of the High-Priest of Amun in the south. Consider the fact that Ramesses XI at this time presumably lived at Piramesses, only about 20 kilometers to the southwest of Tanis, and yet Wenamun came to Smendes for assistance rather than to the king. In fact, Herihor assumed some royal titles even while Ramesses XI was still alive, and the implication would seem to be that Smendes had a similar standing in the north.


Part Three:

May Psusennes I and II be the actual same person?


“On the Dakhleh Stela of the Twenty-second Dynasty reference is made to

the 19th year of ‘Pharaoh Psusennes’. …. As Gardiner observes, one cannot determine

from this statement whether Psusennes I or II is intended”.

Beatrice L. Goff



If our suspicion in this series that Smendes of the 21st Egyptian dynasty was the same pharaoh as Shoshenq I of the 22nd (Libyan) dynasty, then this is going to assist in the necessary curtailing of the troublesome Third Intermediate Period (TIP), so-called, of Egyptian history.


It will the open the door for further shrinkage, enabling, for instance, for the Psusennes I at the time of Smendes to have been the same as the Psusennses II at the time of Shoshenq I – as some have already suspected. Conventionally, the 21st dynasty is set out something like this:


Years BCE
Smendes 1069-1043
Amenemnisu 1043-1039
Psusennes 1 1039-991
Amenemope 993-984
Osorkon the Elder 984-978
Siamun 978-959
Psusennes 2 959-945

About three decades separate Psusennes I from Psusennes II.


Then follows the 22nd dynasty, commencing with Shoshenq I, a known younger contemporary of Psusennes (so-called II).


According to the following site:

some have been suggesting an identification of Psusennes I and II:


While some authors, including New Chronology followers claim that Psusennes I may actually be identical with Psusennes II, this is impossible because Psusennes II is clearly distinguished from Psusennes I by Manetho and is given an independent reign of 15 years in the author’s Epitome. Moreover, Psusenness II’s royal name has been found associated with his successor, Shoshenq I in a graffito from tomb TT18, and in an ostracon from Umm el-Qa’ab. This shows that Shoshenq I was Psusennes II’s successor. In contrast, Psusennes I died almost 40-45 years before Shoshenq I’s appearance as Chief of the Ma, let alone King of Egypt.

[End of quote]


“Psusennes I died almost 40-45 years before Shoshenq I …” according to the conventional calculations.

But that would no longer apply if Smendes were Shoshenq I, and Psusennes I and II were also the same person.