By Jacqueline Engel
Sky goddess Nut on sarcophagus of Pharaoh Merenptah, Ramses II’s son.
He ruled Egypt for almost ten years, from late July or early August 1213 BC until his death on May 2, 1203 BC, according to contemporary historical records.
He was the thirteenth son of Ramesses II, only coming to power because all his older brothers had died, including his full brother Khaemwaset or Khaemwase.
By the time he ascended to the throne, he was probably around seventy years old. He is perhaps best known for his victory stele, featuring the first known mention of the name Israel.
His throne name was Ba-en-re Mery-netjeru, which means “The Soul of Ra, Beloved of the Gods”.