People > Shoshenq II

Shoshenq II

Egypt History - Egyptian Chapter Decoration


Shoshenq II was a lesser-known pharaoh of the 22nd Dynasty during the Third Intermediate Period of ancient Egypt. His reign is often overshadowed by other more prominent members of his dynasty, such as Shoshenq I. However, Shoshenq II's reign and burial provide interesting insights into the period's political and cultural landscape. Here is an overview of Shoshenq II and his reign:


  1. 22nd Dynasty:

    • The 22nd Dynasty, also known as the Libyan Dynasty, was founded by Shoshenq I and was characterized by rulers of Libyan descent.
    • The dynasty's capital was in Tanis, in the Nile Delta, and it controlled Lower Egypt, while Upper Egypt often operated more autonomously under the influence of powerful high priests of Amun in Thebes.
  2. Political Context:

    • The Third Intermediate Period was marked by political fragmentation and regionalism, with multiple centers of power and frequent conflicts for dominance.

Reign of Shoshenq II

  1. Chronology and Identity:

    • Shoshenq II's reign is somewhat ambiguous, with some scholars debating the exact dates and duration. He likely reigned around 887-885 BCE, though some sources suggest a shorter reign.
    • There is some debate among Egyptologists regarding whether Shoshenq II was a coregent with another pharaoh or ruled independently.
  2. Family and Lineage:

    • Shoshenq II was likely a son of Osorkon I and may have been a coregent with his father or ruled after him.
    • His parentage places him firmly within the royal lineage of the 22nd Dynasty, linking him to prominent predecessors like Shoshenq I.
  3. Political and Military Activities:

    • Due to the brevity and uncertainty surrounding his reign, there is limited information about his political or military achievements.
    • Shoshenq II's impact on the broader political landscape of Egypt remains unclear, and he is not noted for significant military campaigns or major political reforms.

Burial and Tomb

  1. Discovery of the Tomb:

    • Shoshenq II's tomb was discovered in Tanis, in the royal necropolis. His burial is one of the few intact royal burials found from this period.
    • The tomb contained a wealth of grave goods, including jewelry, a silver coffin, and a golden mask, indicating his royal status and the wealth of the 22nd Dynasty.
  2. Significance of the Burial:

    • The intact state of Shoshenq II's tomb has provided valuable insights into the funerary practices and material culture of the 22nd Dynasty.
    • The quality and craftsmanship of the grave goods reflect the continuity of traditional Egyptian burial practices despite the political fragmentation of the period.


  1. Historical Significance:

    • While Shoshenq II did not have a long or particularly impactful reign, the discovery of his tomb has contributed significantly to our understanding of the 22nd Dynasty and the Third Intermediate Period.
    • The tomb provides evidence of the wealth and resources available to the Libyan rulers of Egypt and offers a snapshot of royal burial customs during this era.
  2. Cultural Impact:

    • The artifacts from Shoshenq II's tomb are valuable for their artistic and cultural significance, showcasing the high level of skill in jewelry and metalwork during his time.
    • The burial practices observed in his tomb highlight the religious and cultural continuity in ancient Egypt, even during times of political instability.


Shoshenq II was a pharaoh of the 22nd Dynasty during the Third Intermediate Period of ancient Egypt. His reign is not well-documented, and there is some debate about the specifics of his rule. However, the discovery of his intact tomb in Tanis has provided significant insights into the burial practices, wealth, and material culture of the period. Shoshenq II's legacy is primarily defined by his well-preserved burial, which offers a glimpse into the royal life and traditions of the 22nd Dynasty.

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