Electronic Theses and Dissertations




Kevin Johnson



Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy




Ancient Egyptian History

Committee Chair

Peter J. Brand

Committee Member

Suzanne L. Onstine

Committee Member

Kent F. Schull

Committee Member

Shaul Bar


The transitional period between the Nineteenth and Twentieth Dynasties is a period in Egyptian history about which little is understood, as scant archaeological evidence from this period survives to the present, certainly when compared to the embarrass de richesses we find from the first half of the former dynasty. It is, however, one of the more fascinating chapters of Egypt’s past, featuring Siptah, a young handicapped king of uncertain royal background, Bay, a non-royal official, who wields unprecedented power and ultimately seems to have paid the consequences for overreaching, and culminating with Tausret, a female, one of only a handful of women to rise to the throne in Egypt’s three thousand years of pharaonic history. Upon her death, a man named Sethnakht, whose genealogical and occupational background remains a mystery, ushers in a new dynasty.Given the limited amount of material we have for this period, each surviving piece of the historical puzzle has increased importance and meaning attributed to it as we attempt to gain insight into the latter part of this pivotal epoch. How one interprets such evidence, therefore, can have a profound impact on the reconstruction of events from this period. It is the goal of this dissertation to critically examine the evidence (both old and new) for the reigns of Siptah, Tausret, and Sethnakht in order to gain a better understanding of this approximately ten-year span of time. Problems to be considered include the genealogy of these individuals, the extent of foreign activity during their respective reigns, chronological issues, and the myriad ways these monarchs attempted to present themselves as legitimate.


Data is provided by the student.

Library Comment

Dissertation or thesis originally submitted to the local University of Memphis Electronic Theses & dissertation (ETD) Repository.