|Also written Ramses and Rameses|
|Pharaoh of Egypt|
|Reign||1130–1129 BC, 20th Dynasty|
Usermare Akhenamun Ramesses VIII (also written Ramses and Rameses) or Ramesses Sethherkhepshef Meryamun ('Set is his Strength, beloved of Amun') (at 1130-1129 BC, or simply 1130 BC as Krauss and Warburton date his reign), was the seventh Pharaoh of the Twentieth Dynasty of the New Kingdom of Ancient Egypt and was one of the last surviving sons of Ramesses III.
Ramesses VIII is the most obscure ruler of this Dynasty and the current information from his brief kingship suggests that he lasted on the throne for one year at the most. Some scholars assign him a maximum reign of two years. The fact that he succeeded to power after the death of Ramesses VII—a son of Ramesses VI—may indicate a continuing problem in the royal succession. Ramesses VIII's prenomen or royal name, Usermaatre Akhenamun, means "Powerful is the Justice of Re, Helpful to Amun." Monuments from his reign are scarce and consist primarily of an inscription at Medinet Habu, a mention of this ruler in one document—Berlin stela 2081 of Hori at Abydos—and one scarab. His only known date is a Year 1, I Peret day 2 graffito in the tomb of Kyenebu at Thebes. According to Erik Hornung in a 2006 book, the accession date of Ramesses VIII has been established by Amin Amer to an 8 month period between I Peret day 2 and I Akhet day 13.
The tomb inscription notes that it took 3.5 months from Year 1, I Akhet day 13 of Ramesses VIII to start work and paint scenes on a tomb chapel in Kyenebu's tomb up until Year 1, I Peret day 2 to complete the work. Since no year change occurs in this time interval, the accession date for Ramesses VIII must fall outside this period of this text, "ie. within I Peret 3 to I Akhet 12."
He is the sole pharaoh of the Twentieth Dynasty whose tomb has not been definitely identified in the Valley of the Kings, though some scholars have suggested that the tomb of Prince Mentuherkhepshef, KV19, the son of Ramesses IX, was originally started for Ramesses VIII but proved unsuitable when he became a king in his own right. An all-Egyptian team of researchers headed by Afifi Rohiem under the supervision of Dr. Zahi Hawass were looking for the pharaoh's tomb.
- Peter Clayton, Chronicle of the Pharaohs, Thames & Hudson Ltd, 2006 paperback, p.167
- "Chronological Table for the Dynastic Period" in Erik Hornung, Rolf Krauss & David Warburton (editors), Ancient Egyptian Chronology (Handbook of Oriental Studies), Brill, 2006. p.493
- Nicolas Grimal, A History of Ancient Egypt, (Blackwell Books: 1992), pp.288-289
- Clayton, p.169
- Grimal, op. cit., p.289
- Clayton, p.167
- Tomb No.113: see P.M. I, i (1960), pp.230-231
- Erik Hornung, "The New Kingdom" in Erik Hornung, Rolf Krauss & David Warburton (editors), Handbook of Ancient Egyptian Chronology (Handbook of Oriental Studies), Brill: 2006, p.216
- A. Amer, A Unique Theban Tomb Inscription under Ramesses VIII, GM 49, 1981, pp.9-12
- Amer, p.9
- Amer, p.10
|Pharaoh of Egypt