People > Ramesses VIII

Ramesses VIII

Egypt History - Egyptian Chapter Decoration


Ramesses VIII, also known as Usermaatre Akhenamun or Irmaatenre, was the seventh pharaoh of the 20th Dynasty of ancient Egypt. His reign, which occurred around 1129–1127 BCE, is one of the least documented and least understood of the New Kingdom period. Despite the scarcity of records, here is an overview of what is known about Ramesses VIII and his reign:


  1. 20th Dynasty:

    • The 20th Dynasty marked the final phase of the New Kingdom, a period characterized by both great achievements and eventual decline.
    • Ramesses VIII succeeded Ramesses VII but left behind few inscriptions or monuments, making his reign one of the most obscure among the pharaohs of this period.
  2. Family and Lineage:

    • Ramesses VIII was likely a member of the extended royal family, possibly the son of Ramesses III or a close relative. The exact details of his lineage remain uncertain due to the lack of detailed records.

Reign of Ramesses VIII

  1. Duration and Chronology:

    • Ramesses VIII's reign was very brief, estimated to have lasted only about one to two years. This short duration contributed to the scarcity of records and monuments associated with his rule.
    • His reign falls between the better-documented reigns of Ramesses VII and Ramesses IX.
  2. Economic and Political Context:

    • The period of Ramesses VIII’s reign was marked by ongoing economic difficulties and administrative challenges. The central authority was weakening, and the state faced significant resource shortages and internal unrest.
    • The administrative structure struggled with inefficiencies and corruption, which exacerbated the economic problems of the time.
  3. Lack of Major Monuments and Records:

    • Unlike his predecessors and successors, Ramesses VIII did not leave behind significant building projects or inscriptions. This lack of monumental architecture and detailed records makes it difficult to assess the specific policies or achievements of his reign.
    • His absence from many contemporary records suggests that his reign may have been overshadowed by more prominent members of the royal family or that he ruled during a particularly turbulent period.

Burial and Legacy

  1. Tomb and Burial:

    • No known tomb has been conclusively identified as belonging to Ramesses VIII. It is possible that his tomb, if built, has not yet been discovered or was later usurped by another ruler.
    • The absence of a known tomb further contributes to the mystery surrounding his reign and his place in Egyptian history.
  2. Historical Significance:

    • Despite the lack of information, Ramesses VIII’s reign is an important link in the succession of the 20th Dynasty. His brief rule reflects the challenges faced by the late New Kingdom pharaohs in maintaining stability and prosperity.
    • The lack of substantial achievements or records from his reign highlights the broader context of decline and fragmentation during this period.
  3. Cultural and Religious Impact:

    • While there is little direct evidence of Ramesses VIII's contributions to religious and cultural life, the continued support for traditional practices by his successors indicates that the religious institutions remained influential despite the political instability.


Ramesses VIII, who ruled around 1129–1127 BCE, was the seventh pharaoh of the 20th Dynasty. His reign is one of the least documented of the New Kingdom period, with few surviving records or monuments. The brevity of his reign and the lack of significant achievements or construction projects make it challenging to assess his impact. Despite this, his reign is a crucial part of the succession sequence in the 20th Dynasty, reflecting the broader challenges faced by late New Kingdom rulers in maintaining economic and political stability. The absence of a known tomb and detailed records further contributes to the mystery surrounding Ramesses VIII and his place in ancient Egyptian history.

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