People > Ramesses VI

Ramesses VI

Egypt History - Egyptian Chapter Decoration


Ramesses VI was the fifth pharaoh of the 20th Dynasty of ancient Egypt, ruling from approximately 1145 to 1137 BCE. His reign was marked by economic challenges, internal unrest, and significant contributions to the monumental architecture of Egypt, particularly in the Valley of the Kings. Despite the difficulties faced during his rule, Ramesses VI sought to maintain stability and continue the legacy of his predecessors. Here is an overview of Ramesses VI and his reign:


  1. 20th Dynasty:

    • The 20th Dynasty was part of the New Kingdom period, a time of both great achievements and eventual decline in ancient Egypt.
    • Ramesses VI was the son of Ramesses III, a powerful and successful pharaoh, and likely the brother or uncle of his predecessor, Ramesses V.
  2. Ascension to the Throne:

    • Ramesses VI ascended to the throne after the relatively short and troubled reign of Ramesses V. His rise to power may have been influenced by internal court politics and the need to stabilize the kingdom.

Reign of Ramesses VI

  1. Economic and Administrative Challenges:

    • The reign of Ramesses VI was marked by significant economic difficulties, including a decline in agricultural productivity, administrative inefficiencies, and increasing corruption.
    • These challenges were exacerbated by external threats and the depletion of state resources, which had begun during the later years of Ramesses III’s reign.
  2. Building Projects:

    • Tomb KV9: One of the most notable contributions of Ramesses VI is his tomb (KV9) in the Valley of the Kings. This tomb, originally started by Ramesses V, was expanded and completed by Ramesses VI. The tomb is renowned for its extensive and well-preserved wall decorations, which include scenes from the Book of Gates and the Book of Caverns.
    • Restorations: Ramesses VI continued to maintain and restore important religious monuments and temples. These efforts were aimed at preserving the cultural and religious heritage of Egypt, despite the economic constraints of his reign.
  3. Religious Activities:

    • Ramesses VI supported the traditional religious institutions and the powerful priesthood of Amun. He made offerings to temples and participated in religious ceremonies to legitimize his rule and gain the support of the religious elite.
    • His reign saw the continuation of traditional religious practices, which were vital for maintaining the social and cultural stability of Egypt.

Internal and External Challenges

  1. Internal Unrest:

    • Ramesses VI faced internal unrest, including labor strikes and social discontent. The economic difficulties and administrative challenges contributed to a decline in central authority.
    • Despite these issues, Ramesses VI attempted to maintain stability through his building projects and support for religious institutions.
  2. External Threats:

    • Egypt faced increasing threats from external forces, including incursions by Libyan tribes and pressure from the Sea Peoples. The weakened state of the economy and military made it difficult to effectively counter these threats.
    • The loss of Egyptian influence in the Levant and Nubia during this period further strained the resources and stability of the kingdom.

Death and Burial

  1. Death:

    • Ramesses VI died after an eight-year reign, around 1137 BCE. The exact cause of his death is not well-documented, but he was succeeded by his son, Ramesses VII.
  2. Burial:

    • Ramesses VI was buried in tomb KV9 in the Valley of the Kings. This tomb, known for its elaborate and extensive decorations, is one of the key sources of information about his reign and religious beliefs.
    • The tomb includes detailed inscriptions and scenes from important funerary texts, which were intended to guide the pharaoh in the afterlife.


  1. Historical Significance:

    • Ramesses VI’s reign is significant for its attempts to maintain stability and continuity during a period of economic and administrative decline. His efforts to support traditional religious practices and monumental architecture reflect the enduring cultural values of ancient Egypt.
    • Despite the challenges, his reign marked the continuation of the 20th Dynasty and the preservation of key aspects of Egyptian civilization.
  2. Archaeological Evidence:

    • The tomb of Ramesses VI (KV9) is a major source of archaeological and historical information. The well-preserved decorations and inscriptions provide valuable insights into the religious beliefs, funerary practices, and artistic achievements of the period.
    • Other inscriptions and records from his reign offer glimpses into the economic and administrative conditions of Egypt during his rule.
  3. Cultural Impact:

    • Ramesses VI’s support for religious institutions and traditional practices helped to maintain the cultural and religious continuity of Egypt, despite the increasing challenges of his time.
    • His contributions to monumental architecture, particularly his tomb, continue to be significant for the study of ancient Egyptian history and culture.


Ramesses VI, the fifth pharaoh of the 20th Dynasty, ruled from approximately 1145 to 1137 BCE. His reign was marked by economic challenges, internal unrest, and efforts to maintain stability through building projects and support for traditional religious practices. Despite the difficulties, he contributed significantly to the monumental architecture of Egypt, particularly through his elaborately decorated tomb (KV9) in the Valley of the Kings. Ramesses VI’s legacy includes his attempts to preserve the cultural and religious heritage of ancient Egypt during a period of decline, providing valuable insights into the late New Kingdom period.

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