Jaime O
An alternative genealogy of the 21st Dynasty (Part I)
Wed Nov 30, 2016 18:35

Hi all,

some months ago, while discussing the 21st Dynasty period, I pointed out the existence of the Coptos Stele, in which Queen Henuttawy appears as 'royal mother' beside King Pinudjem. This seems to be neglected by most reconstructions of this period. Henuttawy's kingly husband and kingly son overlapped at some point, and I interpret this stele as prove of it. Problems however arise when we assume this king is HPA Pinudjem son of Piankh: his activity between Years 6-15 would have to cease in order for him to be king for at least 7-8 years, then his sons Masaharta and Menkheperre (and Djedkhonsuefankh?) assume the priesthood between Years 16-25. One will need to assume undocumented practices or huge gaps in the records in order for 1PA Pinudjem to be King Pinudjem: either the priest became king and induced his sons as co-priests (although he seems to be acting as priest in the Year 8 linen); or, by discarding this possibility, Years 16-25, and maybe 30-49, need to be attributed to another king, thus creating a gap in the data of the Theban priesthood which contrasts negatively with the assiduous records of HPA Pinudjem son of Piankh.


In order to solve these problems, and those with the genealogy of the 21st Dynasty, I've temporarily assumed and tested a scenario where Ad Thijs's theory is accepted: that King Pinudjem and the son of Piankh are not the same person. Although I haven't been able to read all his paper on the matter, some do raise some interesting questions. This accounts for the changes in the reliefs of the Temple of Khonsu as Thijs as pointed out: how come in some scenes King Pinudjem's image was changed to look more priestly than kingly? I add another point to the issue: Menkheperre claimed royal regalia and proudly called his father a king, and Pinudjem II treated his grandfather as monarch too, so how did these two (or at least Menkheperre) allowed their predecessor to be shamed this way? Menkheperre couldn't have been the perpetrator of such changes, as at some point he treated himself like a king, so it would have been beneficial to remember his father as king rather than priest. This is just the tip of the iceberg, some of Thijs's articles can be easily googled and found.


Now, Thijs argued for a major overlap between Dynasties 20-21. I discard this possibility, as it tangles even more the genealogy of the Tanite kings. I've worked a scenario where two Pinudjems can be kept and a short overlap between Dynasties 20-21 is allowed. As I'll argue, an overlap between the two dynasties might be preferable, so as to have Henuttawy's husband and son as kings at the same time and still keep the identification of King Pinudjem and Priest Pinudjem apart; but nothing major or NewChronologist-like.

Primarily, it has been pointed out that the Books of the Dead found with Queen Nodjmet's mummy never call their owner a King's Wife, only a King's Mother. This speaks volumes: if this queen was Herihor's wife and lived to see her husband ascended to the throne, why didn't anyone bother to call her a queen instead of queen-mother? To me, this Nodjmet is Nodjmet A, who mothered Herihor. She was daughter of Herher, herself wife of a High Priest and mother of a King; per Thijs, this priest is Amenhotep and their son is King Pinudjem. The most common conjuring of this family tree, i.e. Herher is Piankh's wife and mother of Nodjmet B and HPA Pinudjem, is possible, but doesn't solve the problem. Nodjmet B here poses as Herihor's queen, while the mummy and her Books of the Dead never actually call her the consort of a king. I'm not arguing for the existence of one Nodjmet only, but that the woman whose remains we have is the mother of Herihor, not his wife; Nodjmet B, the queen, was likelier than not a daughter of Nodjmet A by Piankh and HP Pinudjem's full-sister, or a very late-born daughter of King Smendes as we will see.

Nodjmet A was daughter of Herher and Amenhotep, who had a minor son by the name of Pinudjem. This son was later chosen by Ramses XI to succeed him, and in turn Herihor would succeed Pinudjem. Now, I can't actually understand whom Thijs believes Herihor's father to be, but I don't think he was Piankh. HPA Pinudjem was nice enough to list us three of his brothers plus a woman (likely his mother, whose name is lost), and these should be interpreted as Pinudjem's full brothers accompanied by their mother. Herihor was likely son of Nodjmet A by a preceding marriage. This alternative genealogy conjures that after divorcing or widowing a previous husband, Nodjmet A married Piankh and Ramses XI had him made High Priest of Amun above Amenhotep's sons. This speculative scenario is not invalid: given that Piankh was a military in the south during the times Thebes and Nubia were having problems of civil order, it isn't farfetched to think the Pharaoh wanted a man with power and experience to hold the second most important title in the kingdom. The birth of Pinudjem and his brothers likely happened during the short pontificate of Piankh, after which Herihor was chosen to succeed, as Piankh's sons were too young to do that. This is the most logical reason why Pinudjem was later allowed to temper with his royal namesake's images: because it was agreed that Pinudjem would succeed Herihor, as he didn't succeed his father directly.

Thijs doesn't seem to be aware of the consequences of his thesis on the genealogy of this period, other than Herihor becoming HPA Pinudjem's older half-brother and thus both from the same generation, contra Jansen-Winkeln, who has them as stepfather and stepson. But assuming that there was no major overlap between Dynasties 20-21 (not sustained by any hard evidence) and that King Pinudjem is not HPA Pinudjem son of Piankh, things become more clear. Evidences show Duathathor-Henuttawy was a King's Wife, King's Daughter and Daughter of the Great Royal Wife Tentamun. The best candidates for these people are King Khaperkhare Pinudjem, son of Herher and Amenhotep, and Tentamun, Smendes' wife in Wenamun's Report. In this scenario, I maintain that Duhathor-Henuttawy was daughter of Smendes and Tentamun, but not married to Pinudjem son of Piankh. Duathathor-Henuttawy was actually married to King Pinudjem, the brother of Nodjmet A.


The scenario I conjure has Ramses XI's Whm Mswt beginning in Year 9, the only date explicitly synchronized with Year 1 of Whm Mswt. However, this does not account for Year 19 = Year 1; this dates is in a formula similar to Year 9 = Year 1, but it's not associated to the Whm Mswt era, so it must have another meaning. It has been variously interpreted as a succession date, but this is not how succession was usually displayed. Year X corresponding to Year Y tends to show synchronism, not sequence. A possibility is that there was a very short coregency between Ramses IX and Ramses X. However, this can't be corroborated by anything, and it isn't the only option. Some have postulated the possibility of Year 19 belonging to the Whm Mswt and to the rise of another king.

Because I don't think there were two parallel dating systems under Ramses XI after Year 9, Year 27 from the Abydos Stele must be part of the Whm Mswt era and thus, RXI's highest known date; these premises obligate me to assume there was an overlap of two kings. But who was the second king? Herihor is the most unlikely of candidates, as he portraits himself always as Priest under Ramses XI. The most plausible candidate is Hedjkheperre Nesubanebdjed, or Smendes. All of this can't be backed by hard evidence, but logic may prove it feasible.

Manetho attributed Smendes a reign of 26 years, which is anomalous as almost nothing from this king survives. One might blame the Delta climate alone, for Psusennes I suffered a similar fate, but more can be said about this. If Smendes was reigning in the Delta in a time of social unrest and with a parallel elite in the south, then we shouldn't discard the possibility of a shorter reign for Smendes. I'll follow the proposal of some scholars by lowering the number of 26 years to [1]6 years. I am not fond of these corrections (although some might think so), but not only it fits the lack of explicit documentation from his reign, in time we will see it will allow the overlap hinted in the Coptos Stele.


As some might know, Thijs dates the narrative of Wenamun's Report in a Year 5 to the reign of King Khaperkhare. I'm following him on this detail. In this story, Smendes is not a king and Tentamun is not a queen, although we should expect otherwise if he was already a king by the beginning of Pinudjem's reign. I suggest that this narrative was written with a religious agenda: its scope was to claim Amun the only king of the universe in a chaotic time when Egypt had many 'magnates'. Not only this accounts for Smendes and his wife being stripped of royal regalia, it also accounts as to why no actual king is named although a year-date is used. It also fits the pious tone of the Report (Smendes himself receives orders from Amun-Ra, not from anyone else, as he states: "I will do (it), I will do (it) according to that which Amon-Re, king of gods, our lord, saith"). After Ramses XI died, authority was polarized in Egypt, Tanis and Thebes were divided between two amicable kings but more men rose to power (whether kinglets or just local chieftains is open to debate); in Wenamun's narrative, Amun-Ra is the king of the universe, he is above all these mortal kings and lords. And this is evidenced when Wenamun says "For the money belongs to Amon-Re, king of gods, the lord of the lands; it belongs to Nesubenebded, and it belongs to Hrihor, my lord, and the other magnates of Egypt". Note how he mentions Amon-Ra first, before anyone else. The need to treat Egyptian kings and princes as anonymous or non-royal entities serves the purpose of evidencing the monarchy of the god Amun.

In a nutshell, I propose that Nesubanebdjed/Smendes reigned for 16 years, beginning in Year 19 of Whm Mswt. Thus, Ramses XI's Years 19-27 Whm Mswt = Smendes's Years 1-9. King Pinudjem's Year 1-8 = Smendes's 9-17, Psusennes I's 1.


The scenario I'm assuming is based on Ad Thijs's research, but doesn't allow a major overlap between Dynasties 20-21. Things seem to get more confusing when this happens; I allow Pinudjem son of Piankh to be HPA but never King, appropriating a previous like-named monarch's reliefs, as he hoped he would one day succeed Herihor on the throne, but I don't think it's feasible a major overlap between Ramses XI and Psusennes I. I've suggested above a lighter overlay of the reigns of Ramses XI and Smendes I.

Of course, if Pinudjem usurped images of a namesake, then Duathathor-Henuttawy couldn't have been his wife, at least he wasn't her first husband. Duathathor-Henuttawy, by this scheme, was a generation older than HPA Pinudjem, and the same generation as HPA Piankh. In this scenario, I maintain that Akheperre Psusennes I is Henuttawy's son, but fathered by King Pinudjem. And the two kings overlapped for about 3 years, as the Coptos Stele obligates us to postulate. I still maintain that Duathathor Henuttawy is Akheperre Psusennes's mother, identical to Henuttawy KM named on a bracelet of that king. The fact that this woman is only KM on that object doesn't necessarily mean she is not identical to the wife of Khaperkhare, given that a bracelet doesn't allow space for many titles and names at once; even HP Smendes B was modest enough to not title his father Menkheperre on another bracelet of Akheperre Psusennes. The priest (and presumably generalissimo) that was also Henuttawy's son, by this scenario, is Djedkhonsuefankh, whom I place between Years 15-16, between the death of HP Pinudjem and HP Masaharta.

This family in a nutshell: Amenhotep and Herher sired Khaperkhare Pinudjem and Nodjmet A together. By two different men, an unknown partner and Piankh, Nodjmet A was mother to Herihor and future HP Pinudjem. Khaperkhare Pinudjem married Duathathor-Henuttawy, daughter of Tentamun and Smendes, who later became king at Tanis and founded the 21st Dynasty. Smendes and Tentamun also sired Maatkare, who later became God's Wife of Amun, and the priestess Nodjmet, who may or may not be identical to Herihor's wife, Nodjmet B. Duhathor-Henuttawy and King Pinudjem fathered together powerful individuals such as Djedkhonsuefankh, Psusennes I and Mutnodjmet; Masaharta and Menkheperre are Pinudjem's sons by previous and later spouses of the monarch, respectively.


This timetable might allow us to answer as to why Mehetemweskhet's son Osorkon interfered with the 21st Dynasty succession and was included by Manetho without starting a new regal bloodline. By tearing King Pinudjem apart from the same-named priest, we should have the follow generations with the follow individuals:

1st Generation - Herher, Amenhotep, Smendes, Tentamun
2nd Generation - KPinudjem, Nojdmet A, DHenuttawy, Piankh, Maatkare A, Nodjmet B?
3rd Generation - Psusennes I, Mutnodjmet, Djedkhonsuefankh, Herihor, Pinudjem son of Piankh, Menkheperre, Masaharta
4th Generation - Amunemnisu, Amenemope, Smendes B, Pinudjem IIa
5th Generation - Psusennes III, Psusennes II (?)
6th Generation - Maatkare B, Pinudjem IIb (son of King Psusennes), Osorkon I
7th Generation - HP Shoshenq

Once we superimpose the bloodline of the Libyans with the 21st Dynasty genealogy as I've reconstructed, we actually can see generations aligning with a perfect match. Osorkon I and Maatkare B are the 6th Gen; Tyetkheperre Psusennes and Shoshenq B are the 5th; Nimlot A, King Osorkon and Pinudjem IIa are the 4th; and Herihor, Mehetemweskhet and Shoshenq A are the 3rd. Is it a coincidence that Herihor had a 'son' by the name of Osorkon? And could this prince actually be King Akheperre Osorkon who succeeded Amenemope? Although I can't make a solid case for this, I allow the possibility of Mehetemweskhet originally being a minor wife of Herihor in the time he was king, mothering Osorkon with him; then Herihor died, and she married Shoshenq A, with him she had Nimlot A. Jansen-Winklen as proposed recently that Ankhefenmut buried in the Tanis necropolis is identical to Herihor's like-named prince; I haven't read his work, but if this bears a strong likelihood, then it is equally feasible that Herihor had sons who outlived him and were influent at Tanis, or favored by the northern kings. This is probably the most speculative part of this post, but if a wild guess would be permitted, then I dare to say that Akheperre Osorkon might have been a son of Herihor by a minor Libyan wife who remarried a chieftain after the king died; Osorkon the Elder would be Amenemope's cousin twice-removed (if the latter was Psusennes I's son).

To continue...

    • (...) TIMELINE Numbers will probably facilitate the picture I'm suggesting for this period. I stick to the idea the dates between Years 6-25, from Pinudjem to Menkheperre, all belong to Herihor, who... more
      • (...) Below, I offer my approximated ages for all these individuals. The cornerstone is Psusennes I's estimated age, which was recently given as 'close to 80'. I begin by giving him c78 years at... more
      • Pinudjem I and MasahartaMarianne Luban, Wed Nov 30 19:30
        "C - The priests - Ramses XI, 1064-1029 - Amenhotep, c1070-1050 - Piankh , 1050-1044 - Herihor, 1044-(995) - Pinudjem Ib, 1019-1004 - Djedkhonsuefankh, 1004-1003 - Masaharta, 1003-995 - Menkheperre,... more
        • Re: Pinudjem I and MasahartaTory, Fri Dec 2 01:48
          An anonymous year date with the mention of a king within the very same date formula is technically not anonymous. The Egyptians were not ignorant. Shouldn't the default assumption be that the year... more
          • Re: Pinudjem I and MasahartaJaime O, Fri Dec 2 06:51
            Hi Tory, I appreciate your reply to this thread. "An anonymous year date with the mention of a king within the very same date formula is technically not anonymous. The Egyptians were not ignorant.... more
            • Re: Pinudjem I and MasahartaAnonymous, Fri Dec 2 10:04
              My question relates to the year date not the identity of the HP. I will rephrase. Unless these HPs were trying to be misunderstood they had a default assumption they expected readers of their linens, ... more
              • Re: Pinudjem I and MasahartaJaime O, Sat Dec 3 07:50
                Hi Tory, thank you for the reply. "My question relates to the year date not the identity of the HP." My point is this: 'Menkheperre son of King Pinudjem' is an epithet, in no way related to the date. ... more
                • Re: Pinudjem I and MasahartaTory, Thu Dec 8 23:13
                  Jaime: "My point is this: 'Menkheperre son of king Pinudjem' is an epithet, in no way related to the date." Actually "son of X" is a patronymic not an epithet. Epithets can be earned, acquired, and... more
                  • Re: Pinudjem I and MasahartaJaime O, Sun Dec 11 17:33
                    Hi Tory, thank you for the reply. "Actually "son of X" is a patronymic not an epithet. Epithets can be earned, acquired, and taken away. Patronymics cannot." Yes. you're right. By 'epithet' I had an... more
        • Re: Pinudjem I and MasahartaJaime O, Thu Dec 1 06:30
          Hi Marianne. I appreciate a lot your reply. "Queen Meryetamun's burial was "restored" in Year 19 of Pinudjem I, 3rd month of Peret, day 19. The linen for the re-wrapping contained the name of HP... more
          • Re: Pinudjem I and MasahartaMarianne Luban, Thu Dec 1 12:27
            Dodson and Hilton, "The Complete Royal Families of Ancient Egypt" [page 207] still have HP Masaharta as being a son of Pinudjem I. They also state that Masaharta was responsible for the restoration... more
            • Re: Pinudjem I and MasahartaJaime O, Thu Dec 1 15:51
              Hi Marianne, thank you for the reply. "Dodson and Hilton, "The Complete Royal Families of Ancient Egypt" [page 207] still have HP Masaharta as being a son of Pinudjem I." Because they: a) are not... more
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