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December 18 2012

Study reveals that Pharaoh’s throat was cut during royal coup


Conspirators murdered Egyptian king Ramesses III by cutting his throat, concludes a study in the Christmas issue published on bmj.com today.

Ramesses III - the second Pharaoh of the 20th dynasty - is believed to have reigned from 1186 to 1155 BC. The discovery of papyrus trial documents show that in 1155 BC members of his harem made an attempt on his life as part of a palace coup. The conspiracy was led by Tiye, one of his two known wives, and her son Prince Pentawere, over who would inherit the throne, but it is not clear whether the plot was successful or not.

The fate of Ramesses III has therefore long been the subject of debate among Egyptologists.

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