People > Psusennes I

Psusennes I

Egypt History - Egyptian Chapter Decoration


Psusennes I, also known as Pasebakhaenniut I, was a pharaoh of the 21st Dynasty of ancient Egypt, ruling from approximately 1047 to 1001 BCE during the Third Intermediate Period. His reign is notable for its political stability, extensive building projects, and the rich treasures found in his tomb. Psusennes I was one of the few pharaohs of the period to be buried in a tomb that remained relatively intact until its discovery. Here is an overview of Psusennes I and his reign:


  1. 21st Dynasty:

    • The 21st Dynasty was characterized by a division of power between the Tanite kings in Lower Egypt and the High Priests of Amun in Thebes (Upper Egypt).
    • Psusennes I ruled from Tanis, the capital of the 21st Dynasty, which was located in the northeastern Delta.
  2. Family and Lineage:

    • Psusennes I was the son of Pinedjem I, the High Priest of Amun who also proclaimed himself pharaoh, and Queen Henuttawy, a daughter of Ramesses XI.
    • His brother, Menkheperre, served as High Priest of Amun in Thebes, maintaining the division of power between Upper and Lower Egypt within the family.

Reign of Psusennes I

  1. Political Stability:

    • Psusennes I's reign is noted for its relative political stability, despite the challenges of the Third Intermediate Period. He maintained strong control over Lower Egypt and worked to strengthen diplomatic and familial ties with the Theban priesthood.
    • His reign saw efforts to balance power between the pharaoh in Tanis and the High Priests of Amun in Thebes, ensuring cooperation and reducing conflict.
  2. Building Projects:

    • Psusennes I undertook extensive building projects in Tanis, transforming it into a significant religious and administrative center. He constructed and restored temples, palaces, and other monumental structures.
    • Notable constructions include the Temple of Amun at Tanis, which he expanded and enriched with decorations and inscriptions.
    • He also relocated and reused materials from older monuments, such as those from Pi-Ramesses, reflecting a practical approach to building and resource management.
  3. Religious Contributions:

    • Psusennes I continued to support traditional religious practices and the powerful priesthood of Amun. He made significant offerings to temples and participated in religious ceremonies to legitimize his rule.
    • His close relationship with the Theban priesthood, particularly his brother Menkheperre, reinforced the connection between the northern and southern regions of Egypt.

Tomb and Burial

  1. Discovery of the Tomb:

    • Psusennes I’s tomb was discovered by French archaeologist Pierre Montet in 1940 in the royal necropolis of Tanis. The tomb (designated as NRT III) was remarkably well-preserved, containing a wealth of treasures and artifacts.
    • The discovery of his tomb provided significant insights into the burial practices and material culture of the 21st Dynasty.
  2. Burial Treasures:

    • The tomb of Psusennes I contained an array of treasures, including a solid silver sarcophagus, gold funerary mask, jewelry, and other luxury items. These artifacts highlight the wealth and craftsmanship of the period.
    • The burial goods also included canopic jars, shabtis, and various amulets and protective charms, reflecting traditional Egyptian beliefs in the afterlife.
  3. Mummy and Sarcophagus:

    • Psusennes I was buried in a solid silver sarcophagus, which is unique and suggests his high status and the resources available to him. The silver sarcophagus was nested within a series of stone sarcophagi.
    • His mummy was poorly preserved due to the high humidity in the Delta region, but the funerary mask and other items were found in excellent condition.


  1. Historical Significance:

    • Psusennes I's reign is significant for its relative stability and the consolidation of power in Lower Egypt. His effective governance and building projects contributed to the cultural and political heritage of the 21st Dynasty.
    • The rich treasures found in his tomb provide valuable insights into the art, craftsmanship, and burial practices of the period.
  2. Cultural and Religious Impact:

    • Psusennes I’s support for traditional religious practices and the priesthood of Amun helped maintain cultural continuity during the Third Intermediate Period.
    • His building projects in Tanis and contributions to religious institutions reinforced the importance of the city as a religious and political center.
  3. Archaeological Evidence:

    • The discovery of Psusennes I's tomb is one of the most significant archaeological finds of the 20th century, offering a rare glimpse into the wealth and artistry of the 21st Dynasty.
    • Artifacts from his tomb, including the silver sarcophagus and gold funerary mask, are among the finest examples of ancient Egyptian craftsmanship and have been displayed in museums around the world.


Psusennes I was a significant pharaoh of the 21st Dynasty, ruling from approximately 1047 to 1001 BCE. His reign was marked by political stability, extensive building projects, and strong support for traditional religious practices. The discovery of his well-preserved tomb in Tanis provided valuable insights into the burial practices, wealth, and craftsmanship of the period. Psusennes I's legacy includes his contributions to the cultural and political heritage of the 21st Dynasty and the enduring impact of his reign on ancient Egyptian history.

Sabalico Logo
Sabalytics Logo
World Map Logo
rStatistics Logo
Time Zone Logo
Galaxy View Logo
Periodic Table Logo
My Location Logo
Weather Track Logo
Sprite Sheet Logo
Barcode Generator Logo
Test Speed Logo
Website Tools Logo
Image Tools Logo
Color Tools Logo
Text Tools Logo
Finance Tools Logo
File Tools Logo
Data Tools Logo
History of Humanity - History Archive Logo
History of Humanity - History Mysteries Logo
History of Humanity - Ancient Mesopotamia Logo
History of Humanity - Egypt History Logo
History of Humanity - Persian Empire Logo
History of Humanity - Greek History Logo
History of Humanity - Alexander the Great Logo
History of Humanity - Roman History Logo
History of Humanity - Punic Wars Logo
History of Humanity - Golden Age of Piracy Logo
History of Humanity - Revolutionary War Logo