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”:
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”.
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: http://www.touregypt.net/featurestories/smendes.htm
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.
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:
|Osorkon the Elder
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.