Deadly Family Spats Through the Centuries

Ramesses III’s mummy. Pintrest

29. Ramesses III Was Murdered by One of His Wives and Sons

As was common with Egyptian Pharaohs, Ramesses III had multiple wives and many sons. His designated heir was his son Ramesses IV. But one of his minor wives, Queen Tiye, wanted her son Pentawer to take the throne instead. She enlisted a group of palace officials in a conspiracy to assassinate the pharaoh. In 1155 BC, while the pharaoh was relaxing amidst the royal harem in a palace near Luxor, the plotters struck and killed Ramesses III by slashing his throat.

‘The Screaming Mummy’ of Prince Pentawer, who was executed for killing his father Ramesses III. Ancient Origins

However, while the plotters managed to assassinate the pharaoh, they failed in their ultimate goal of installing Pentawer on the throne. Ramesses IV rallied his supporters, secured the throne, rounded up the plotters, and had 28 of them executed. Pentawer was either strangled to death or buried alive. His mummy was discovered, bearing an agonized expression, which led to its getting designated as “The Screaming Mummy”. Other plotters had their ears and noses cut off. Queen Tiye’s punishment is not recorded.

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