Siamun; the lesser king who brought development to Egypt on diverse fronts

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Among the lesser-known Pharaohs of Egypt that were inaugurated Siamun from Kamite Dynasty 21 about 3 millennium years ago, reign is one that would forever go down in the history of Egypt. Although they were referred to as kings before Siamun was enthroned, it was during his reign that Egyptians started using Pharaoh as a title for their kings. Siamun was also known as Neterkheperre or Netjerkheperre-setepenamun Siamun, who was the sixth pharaoh of Egypt during the 21 dynasty.

He constructed extensively in Lower Egypt for a king of the Third Intermediate Period and was referred to as one of the most powerful rulers after Psusennes I. In Egyptian Siamun’s prenomen, Netjerkheperre-Setepenamun, means “Like a God is The Manifestation of Re, Chosen of Amun” while the meaning of his name his ‘son of Amun.’

Initially, Siamun was said to have reigned for nine years by a priest and historian named Manetho. However, other historians have falsified such reports as he is now credited with a reign of Nineteen years.

It was during the reign of Siamun that a significant paleographical development is observed when for the first time in Egyptian recorded history, the word pharaoh gets used as a title and added directly to a king’s royal name: as in Pharaoh Siamun here.

Henceforth, references to Pharaoh Psusennes II (Siamun’s successor), Pharaoh Shoshenq I, Pharaoh Osorkon I among others became popular. Before Siamun’s coronation and all throughout the Middle and New Kingdom, the word pharaoh was used only in the office of the king.

According to the French Egyptologist Nicolas Grimal, Siamun built twice the size of the Temple of Amun at Tanis and started various works at the Temple of Horus at Mesen. He also built at Heliopolis and at Piramesse where an ancient surviving stone block bears his name. Siamun built and dedicated a new temple to Amun at Memphis with 6 stone columns and doorways which was named after him.

Finally, he bestowed various favors onto the Memphite Priests of Ptah. In Upper Egypt, he generally appears eponymously on a few Theban monuments also.

Historians report that one of the fragmentary but well known surviving triumphal relief scenes from the Temple of Amun at Tanis symbolize an Egyptian pharaoh striking his enemies with a mace. The king’s name is explicitly given as Neterkheperre Setepenamun) Siamun, beloved of Amun in the relief and arguably the person was Siamun as the eminent British Egyptologist, Kenneth Kitchen stresses.

Under Siamun reign, Egypt embarked upon an active foreign policy.

Nonetheless, Siamun’s original royal tomb was never found, scholars are of the opinion that he is one of “two completely decayed mummies in the antechamber of NRT-III (Psusennes I’s tomb)” on the basis of shabtis found on them which bore this king’s name. Siamun’s original tomb may have been flooded by the Nile which compelled a reburial of this king in Psusennes I’s tomb.

Africh Royale

Africh Royale

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