People > Amenemnisu


Egypt History - Egyptian Chapter Decoration


Amenemnisu, also known as Amenemnesu or Amenemhat, was a pharaoh of ancient Egypt during the 21st Dynasty, ruling from approximately 1047 to 1039 BCE. His reign is part of the Third Intermediate Period, a time characterized by political fragmentation and division of power between the pharaohs based in Tanis in the north and the High Priests of Amun in Thebes in the south. Here is an overview of Amenemnisu and his reign:


  1. 21st Dynasty:

    • The 21st Dynasty is also known as the Tanite Dynasty because its rulers were based in the city of Tanis in the Nile Delta.
    • This period followed the New Kingdom and was marked by a decline in centralized power, leading to the rise of regional authorities and high priests who wielded significant influence.
  2. Family and Lineage:

    • Amenemnisu was the son of Smendes I, the founder of the 21st Dynasty, and Queen Tentamun. He succeeded his father on the throne.
    • His exact relationship with his predecessor, Psusennes I, who is often considered his brother or close relative, is not entirely clear.

Reign of Amenemnisu

  1. Accession to the Throne:

    • Amenemnisu ascended to the throne around 1047 BCE after the death of his father, Smendes I. His reign was relatively short, lasting about eight years.
    • His rule was primarily focused on maintaining stability and continuity within the northern part of Egypt, particularly in the Nile Delta region.
  2. Political Context:

    • During Amenemnisu’s reign, Egypt was divided, with the northern region controlled by the Tanite rulers and the southern region dominated by the High Priests of Amun in Thebes.
    • This division often led to a delicate balance of power and the need for careful diplomacy and cooperation between the two regions.
  3. Administrative and Religious Activities:

    • Amenemnisu likely continued the administrative practices established by his father, ensuring the effective governance of his territories.
    • He supported traditional religious practices and maintained the royal patronage of the temples, particularly those dedicated to Amun and other major deities.

Challenges and Achievements

  1. Internal Stability:

    • Amenemnisu's reign was relatively uneventful in terms of major conflicts or significant upheavals, indicating a period of internal stability and continuity.
    • His efforts were focused on preserving the status quo and managing the relationships between various regional powers and religious institutions.
  2. Military and Foreign Relations:

    • There is limited evidence of significant military campaigns or foreign expeditions during Amenemnisu's reign. His focus was likely on maintaining internal stability rather than pursuing external conquests.

Death and Succession

  1. Death:

    • Amenemnisu died around 1039 BCE. The exact circumstances of his death are not well-documented, and his reign ended without major upheaval.
  2. Succession:

    • He was succeeded by Psusennes I, who had a longer and more influential reign. Psusennes I is known for his significant contributions to temple construction and the continuation of the policies established by his predecessors.


  1. Historical Significance:

    • Amenemnisu's reign is significant for its role in maintaining the stability and continuity of the 21st Dynasty during a time of political fragmentation.
    • His efforts to uphold the administrative and religious traditions of his father helped ensure the stability of the Tanite rule in northern Egypt.
  2. Cultural Impact:

    • Although his reign did not see significant cultural or architectural achievements, Amenemnisu’s support for traditional religious practices contributed to the preservation of Egypt’s cultural heritage during the Third Intermediate Period.
  3. Archaeological Evidence:

    • There are limited archaeological records specifically attributed to Amenemnisu. Most of what is known about his reign comes from later historical references and inscriptions.
    • His tomb has not been definitively identified, which is not uncommon for rulers of the Third Intermediate Period, a time when many royal tombs were later plundered or repurposed.


Amenemnisu, ruling from approximately 1047 to 1039 BCE, was a pharaoh of the 21st Dynasty during the Third Intermediate Period. His reign was marked by internal stability and continuity, focusing on maintaining the administrative and religious traditions established by his father, Smendes I. Despite the political fragmentation of the time, Amenemnisu successfully preserved the stability of the Tanite rule in northern Egypt. His legacy includes his role in upholding the cultural and religious heritage of ancient Egypt during a period of significant transition and division.

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