For nearly a century, historians have attempted to identify all of the children of Ramesses II, arguably the greatest of Egypt's pharaohs (reigned 1279 BCE – 1213 BCE). This has proven difficult, for apart from mere passage of time and deterioration of records, Ramesses is believed to have sired near to one hundred children. The recent discovery sheds new light on a personage once thought forever lost to history.
Much of what is known of Ramesses’s progeny comes down to us from monuments erected during the pharaoh’s lifetime. Of the known sons, only one has remained a mystery. Experts knew of his existence from his depiction on monuments, but had no way to identify him personally. This proved vexing, as Egyptians were meticulous at keeping records. That a son of the most revered pharaoh in Egypt’s history should not be identified in a monument indicated two things: loss to history by natural forces, or intentional defacement.
This dark comedy, written in the style of an article in a history journal, celebrates a huge find. Egyptologists unlock a three thousand year old mystery when they unearth a tablet identifying Nebmahket, the forgotten son of Pharaoh Ramesses II. They soon learn why the ancient Egyptians were quick to cover up Nebmahket’s existence – the angry young man ate nine babies in his lifetime, two of which were his own children.