Thursday, May 23, 2019

A Description of the Building of Sargon II’s City in the Book of Judith. Part Two


Part Two:

Were northern Israelite captives involved?





“The city of Halah, or Halahhu, in which Israelites were resettled was therefore located

just outside Sargon’s new capital city complex. Amazingly, in spite of this knowledge, apparently no one -- historian, scholar, or archaeologist -- has ever examined

this Halahhu city mound area. There seems to be no effort to trace lost Israel!”


Jory Steven Brooks





The only preliminary comment that I (Damien Mackey) would need to make regarding this interesting piece by Jory Steven Brooks: is that I may not necessarily accept the precise BC dates given therein.


The Book 2 Kings ch.17 v.6 reveals that one of the places to which Israel was transplanted was called, "Halah." Little has been written about this in Christian literature, and some scholars plead ignorance as to the correct location of this place of exile. However, the Anchor Bible Dictionary (III. 25) tells us that this word matches letter for letter with the Assyrian district of "Halahhu," except for the doubling of the last "h" and the addition of the characteristic Assyrian "u" case ending. The latter is not unusual, because the Biblical Haran (Genesis 11:32, 12:4-5, 28:10 & 29:4) appears in Assyrian as "Haranu", and Ur, the birthplace of Abraham (Genesis 11:28 and 31, 15:7 and Nehemiah 9:7), is written as Uru.


This district of Halahhu was located north-east of the city of Nineveh in northern Assyria. A map shown in the Rand-McNally Bible Atlas (1956) indicates that Halahhu covered all of the area from Nineveh to the Zagros Mountains to the north and north-east (p. 244-5). In the midst of this district, King Sargon II purchased land along the Khosr River from the inhabitants of the small non-Assyrian town of Maganuba to build a new capital city. This new city was named Dur-Sharrukin, the Fortress of Sargon; it is better known today as Khorsabad after the modern small village of that name built on part of the ruins.


Halahhu was also the name of a city as well as a district. The Rand-McNally Bible Atlas (p. 297-8), informs us,


"Halah lay northeast of Nineveh, which city at a slightly later day had a gate named the 'gate of the land of Halah' [Halahhu]. Since there is reason to believe that the city lay between Nineveh and Sargon’s new capital [Khorsabad], the large mound of Tell Abassiyeh has been nominated for it. ….."


The city of Halah, or Halahhu, in which Israelites were resettled was therefore located just outside Sargon’s new capital city complex. Amazingly, in spite of this knowledge, apparently no one -- historian, scholar, or archaeologist -- has ever examined this Halahhu city mound area. There seems to be no effort to trace lost Israel! Is it perhaps because of the popular myth in books and journals that no Israelites were ever exiled or lost?


The reasons why Sargon moved the capital of Assyria from Nimrud to the new city of Dur-Sharrukin has been a fertile subject for speculation among scholars. Historians believe that his predecessor, Shalmaneser V, was murdered in Palestine during the siege of Samaria. The exact date of Shalmaneser’s death is unknown, but it may have been in 721 BC, because Sargon claimed to be the conqueror of the capital of Israel. If Sargon was in some way involved in the conspiracy that enabled him to seize power (an obvious supposition), he may have disdained ruling in the palace of his predecessor. Another possibility is that Sargon wished to expand the borders of Assyria northward into the sparsely inhabited Zagros Mountains, its foothills and valleys, to strengthen his northern border.


Whatever the reasons, a marvellous palace complex came into being almost a mile square, twelve miles north-east of Nineveh along the Khosr River. It was a massive building project. Assyrian scholar William R. Gallagher tells us that in Assyrian terms, Dur-Sharrukin was 2,935 dunams in size, compared to the city of Jerusalem at only 600 dunams (Sennacherib’s Campaign, p. 263). Yet this accomplishment was in spite of the fact that Assyria had a massive labour shortage:



"At least two letters to Sargon indicate a shortage of manpower. In one letter the sender complained that the magnates had not replaced his dead and invalid soldiers. These amounted to at least 1,200 men. The second letter, probably from Taklak-ana-Bel, governor of Nasibina, reports a scarcity of troops" (ibid., p.266).


This labour shortage was partly due to the massive capital building project, but also because of a deadly epidemic resembling the bubonic plague that later raged across Europe in the fourteenth century AD. The Akkadian word for it was "mutanu", the plural of "mutu," meaning death. This epidemic struck not just once, but several times (802, 765, 759, and 707 BC) with deadly effect. Historical records indicate that this plague had so decimated the Assyrian army by 706 BC that they were unable to engage in any military missions at all that year (ibid., p. 267).


The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago carried out an archaeological excavation at the site of Dur-Sharrukin during the years 1930-33, and published an account of their discoveries in a volume written by Henri Frankfort which says the following:


"We know that Sargon used a considerable amount of forced labor in the building of his capital -- captives and colonists from other parts of the empire" (p. 89).


Assyrian scholar Gallagher adds:


"Sargon II’s cumbersome building projects at Dur-Sharrukin had placed a great strain on the empire...Much of the forced labor on Sargon‘s new city was done by prisoners of war. The conditions shown on Sennacherib’s palace wall reliefs for the transport of his bull colossi were undoubtedly the same as in Sargon‘s time. They show forced laborers under great exertion, some clearly exhausted, being driven by taskmasters with sticks" (ibid., p. 265).


Mackey’s comment re: “The conditions shown on Sennacherib’s palace wall reliefs for the transport of his bull colossi were undoubtedly the same as in Sargon’s time”.

Sargon II was Sennacherib:


Assyrian King Sargon II, Otherwise Known As Sennacherib



Jory Steven Brooks continues:


A text inscribed upon a carved stone bull at Dur-Sharrukin states,


"He [Sargon] swept away Samaria, and the whole house of Omri" (Records Of The Past, XI:18).


The "House of Omri" was the Assyrian designation for Israel, and was spoken with a guttural applied to the first vowel, so that it was pronounced "Khumri." Following Sargon’s terse statement was a notice of the building of the new Assyrian capital city. Construction of Dur-Sharrukin began in 717 BC, only four years after the fall of Samaria, and took over ten years, with ceremonies marking its completion in 706 BC.


Although there is no record of the exact date that the Assyrians marched the Israelite residents of Samaria eastward to Halah(hu), it is probable that Sargon knew from the beginning of his rule (or even before he became king) that he would build his palace in that location. Did he send the Israelites there in order to help build his new city, the capital of Assyria? If not, why were they there during these years of construction? Although proof does not exist at present, the correlation of location and dates, coupled with the great need for labourers, makes it highly probable that YEHOVAH’s people were involved.


And how appropriate was the symbolism resulting from this circumstance! Israel was called to build the Kingdom of YEHOVAH God on earth, but refused. They turned their hearts to false gods and worshipped the work of men’s hands. Because of this, YEHOVAH used the Assyrians, perhaps the foremost pagan idolaters, to punish his people. Those who had been offered the highest honour of building YEHOVAH’s earthly dominion instead were consigned the deepest dishonour of building the earthly dominion of the enemies of YEHOVAH God.


Many of the wall reliefs, stone idols, and other important finds from Dur-Sharrukin are now on display at the Oriental Institute in Chicago. Included is a massive stone winged bull termed in Assyrian, "Lamassu," that formerly stood at the doorway to King Sargon’s throne room. The carving and moving of several of these monstrous stone monuments was undoubtedly one of the most amazing feats of human labour. They were composite figures, with a human face, a body that was part bull, part lion, and wings of a bird. The king was thus symbolically empowered with the formidable qualities of speed, power, and intelligence.



Similar lives, burials for Joash, Amaziah, Uzziah

Image result for king ahaz

Damien F. Mackey

“Joash, Amaziah, and Uzziah’s reigns are all similar”.


Thus we read at biblegateway:

Joash, Amaziah, and Uzziah’s reigns are all similar.
Each begins by following God and being rewarded with a powerful reign. Then each sins and is punished with national struggles and an unusual death.
None are [sic] honored with burials among the former kings. These three men exemplify a common theme in Chronicles: you reap what you sow. When they are faithful to God, He is faithful to them. When they abandon God, He destroys them.
[End of quote]
Reign (Joash, Amaziah, Uzziah)

“Joash started off his reign in wonderful way, but in his later years when he should have grown wiser, turned away from the right path, to the great distress of his people. But the king paid dearly for his mistakes …. The masses of the people who had risked their lives for him and had loved him, turned away from him. When he fell ill, his servants joined in a conspiracy to get rid of the king who had betrayed them”.
As soon as Amaziah felt himself secure on the throne of Judea, he slew his father's assassins. However, he abided strictly by the laws of the Torah. He punished only the guilty persons and not their children. In general Amaziah took care not to break any of the traditions and laws of the Jewish faith, although he personally was not up to the religious standards of the pious kings of the House of David.
…. through his rash campaign against Israel, Amaziah lost the prestige he had gained by his victory over Edom. Moreover, he abandoned the worship of G‑d and turned to idolatry. The disaffection among the people grew, and they formed a conspiracy against the king”.

“Uzziah himself was a pious man, and he observed religiously all the laws and commandments of the Torah, under the proper guidance of the prophets who had appeared in his time, among them, Isaiah, Amos, Hosea, and others. But at the height of his successful rule, he committed one unpardonable sin which cost him his name and throne.
In a moment of self-glorification and pride, Uzziah decided to imitate Jeroboam II, and to combine in his own person the supreme political and religious offices. He wanted to be High Priest as well as king. Although the idolatrous Israelites had permitted their king to act as high priest, the pious people of Judea refused to accept this violation of the Torah. Only members of the priestly family of Aaron were permitted to hold this office in the Holy Temple. Uzziah persisted in his demand, although the leading scholars and priests tried in vain to dissuade him. Finally Uzziah forced the issue. He entered the Holy Temple and, over the protest of the High Priest Azariah, started to offer incense on the golden altar. Presently the king was smitten with the most terrible of all maladies, leprosy. He had to leave Jerusalem at once and live in seclusion. Until his death, the stricken king dwelt in a house near the cemetery”.
Burial (Joash, Amaziah, Uzziah)
Joash: 2 Chron. 24:25. “And when they were departed from [Joash], (for they left him in great diseases,) his own servants conspired against him for the blood of the sons of Jehoiada the priest, and slew him on his bed, and he died: and they buried him in the city of David, but they buried him not in the sepulchres of the kings”.

“[Amaziah’s] body was returned to Jerusalem and buried in the Royal cemetery”.
“Uzziah was not buried in the tomb of his ancestors, the kings of David's house for he was a leper. He was buried in the royal burial ground, however”.

King Ahaz of Judah’s burial followed the same non usual pattern:

2 Chronicles 28:27: “Ahaz rested with his ancestors and was buried in the city of Jerusalem, but he was not placed in the tombs of the kings of Israel”.

What to make of all this?
Given our need for chronological shrinkage, and, more importantly, given that Matthew has omitted Joash and Amaziah of Judah (under those specific names, at least) from his Genealogy of Jesus Christ (1:8-9):
Jehoram the father of Uzziah,
 Uzziah the father of Jotham,
Jotham the father of Ahaz ….

I have to wonder if any (or even all) of the somewhat similar kings, Joash, Amaziah, Uzziah - and even, perhaps, Ahaz - may be duplicates.

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

King Nabonidus like an Assyrian monarch


Damien F. Mackey
Nabonidus is an Assyrian king.
He adopts Assyrian titulature and boasts of having
the Assyrian kings as his "royal ancestors".

This is what I wrote some years ago now to Johnny Zwick, sysop of the California Institute for Ancient Studies (then, regarding my projected realignment of late Judah with neo Assyro-Babylonia:
My connecting of Hezekiah of Judah with Josiah went down like a lead balloon amongst the few to whom I sent it. (See Pope’s valuable effort at:
[Comment: I have since re-done this properly in my article:

'Taking aim on' king Amon - such a wicked king of Judah
So here is the next phase. I would not actually call it a bombshell.
More like a Third World War.
Nabonidus is an Assyrian king. He adopts Assyrian titulature and boasts of having the Assyrian kings as his "royal ancestors". There is nothing particularly strange about his supposed long stay in Teima in Arabia. This was a typical campaign region adopted by the neo-Assyrian kings. There is nothing particularly remarkable about his desire to restore the Ehulhul temple of Sin in Harran.
Ashurbanipal did that.
Nabonidus is said to have had two major goals, to restore that Sin temple and to establish the empire of Babylon along the lines of the neo-Assyrians. Once again, Ashurbanipal is particularly mentioned as being his inspiration.
Nabonidus was not singular in not taking the hand of Bel in Babylon for many years, due to what he calls the impiety of the Babylonians. Ashurbanipal (and now you will notice that he keeps turning up) could not shake the hand of Bel after his brother Shamash-shum-ukin had revolted against him, barring Babylon, Borsippa, etc. to him. He tells us this explicitly.
Nabonidus is not singular either in not expecting to become king. Ashurbanipal had felt the same.
So, basically Nabonidus is Ashurbanipal during his early reign. They share many Babylonian building works and restorations, too.
Now, if Nabonidus is Ashurbanipal (and I am now pretty much convinced that he must be), then Ashurbanipal of 41-43 years of reign (figures vary) can only be Nebuchednezzar II the Great of an established 43 years of reign.
Nebuchednezzar is the Babylonian face, while Ashurbanipal is the Assyrian face.
The great Nebuchednezzar has left only 4 known depictions of himself, we are told. Ridiculous! Add to this paltry number all of the depictions of Ashurbanipal.
The last 35 years of Nebuchednezzar are hardly known, they say. Add Ashurbanipal (whose lack also in places is supplemented in turn by Nebuchednezzar/Nabonidus).
It is doubted whether Nebuchednezzar conquered Egypt as according to the Bible. Just add Ashurbanipal who certainly did conquer Egypt.
The many queries about whether an inscription belongs to Nebuchednezzar or Nabonidus now dissolves.
It was Nabonidus, not Nebuchednezzar, they say, who built the famous palace in Babylon.
Nabonidus's well known madness (perhaps the Teima phase) is Nebuchednezzar's madness.
Nabonidus calls Sin "the God of gods" (ilani sa ilani), the exact phrase used by Nebuchednezzar in Daniel 2:47 of Daniel's God ("the God of gods").
Looking for a fiery furnace? Well, Ashurbanipal has one. His brother dies in it.
“Saulmagina my rebellious brother, who made war with me, they threw into a burning fiery furnace, and destroyed his life” (Caiger, p. 176).

Thursday, May 16, 2019

Dynastic patterns for Ay[e] and Horemheb

Image result for ay opening of mouth

Damien F. Mackey
The Ay[e] and Horemheb combination seems to recur approximately
half a dozen times between the C14th and C11th’s BC, conventional dating.
[Dates given below are only approximate, favouring round figures]
We begin with:
  1. Ay and Horemheb (c. 1325-1290 BC)
The pair is generally considered to have concluded Egypt’s Eighteenth Dynasty.
Ay was the penultimate Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt's 18th dynasty. He held the throne of Egypt for a brief four-year period (probably 1323–1319 BC or 1327–1323 BC, depending on which chronology is followed), although he was a close advisor to two and perhaps three of the pharaohs who ruled before him and was said to be the power behind the throne during Tutankhamun's reign. Ay's prenomen or royal name—Kheperkheperure—means "Everlasting are the Manifestations of Ra" while his birth name Ay it-netjer reads as 'Ay, Father of the God.'
Records and monuments that can be clearly attributed to Ay are rare, not only due to his short length of reign, but also because his successor, Horemheb, instigated a campaign of damnatio memoriae against him and other pharaohs associated with the unpopular Amarna Period.
[End of quote]
  1. Ramses I and Seti I (c. 1290-1280 BC)
The pair is generally considered to have inaugurated Egypt’s Nineteenth Dynasty.
Like Ay, “who rose from the ranks of the civil service and the military …”:
the similarly brief-reigning Ramses I “came from a long line of soldiers …”.
  1. Amenmesse and Seti II (c. 1200-1195 BC)
This pair has been situated (wrongly, I believe) towards the end of the Nineteenth Dynasty.
Amenmesse’s short reign length is compatible with that of Ay. Also compatible with Ay’s subsequent damnatio memoriae is the fact that Amenmesse “was later considered a usurper”. Thus N. Grimal (A History of Ancient Egypt, p. 269): “According to Papyrus Salt 124, Amenmesse reigned for five years, but since he was later considered a usurper it is somewhat difficult to trace his career …”.
Meanwhile, Seti (“Sethos”) II is lacking records of the military and building exploits of which he boasted (these to be found in the records of Seti I). N. Grimal again (ibid., pp. 269-270): “Sethos II claims to have undertaken an extensive building campaign, but there is little indication that his words were transformed into actions”.
  1. Bay and Siptah (c. 1190 BC)
This pair has been situated (wrongly, I believe) right at the end of the Nineteenth Dynasty.
Ay probably rears his ugly head here again as Chancellor Bay, he likewise (as with Ramses I) “also called Ramesses”:
Did Bay, like Ay, suffer damnatio memoriae, like Amenmesse as a ‘usurper’?
That is likely, since he was “an usurper” according to phouka:
“Chancellor Bay is a shadowing figure who was coregent for Siptah along with Tawosret. He may have ruled by himself for a year or so after Tawosret's death in 1185 or so, accoridng to Piccione. Most egyptologists relegate him to the background, ruling from behind the throne while Tawosret sat in it. He was originally a scribe, and is referred to as "The Kingmaker" and "The self-made Man", which may imply that he was an usurper”.
Bay’s epithet, “The Kingmaker”, is also a perfect description of Ay.
But it may even be that the ‘usurper’ was, not just exiled, but executed by the new pharaoh: 
“According to the information in Ostraca IFAO 1864, which is composed of two inscribed potsherd fragments that were reunited in February 2000, Bay was executed on or shortly before Year 5, III Shemu day 27 of Siptah, on the king's orders. The recto of the ostracon is essentially a public announcement to the workmen of Deir el-Medina and reads thus:
Year 5 III Shemu the 27th. On this day, the scribe of the tomb Paser came announcing 'Pharaoh LPH, has killed the great enemy Bay.(sm3 Pr-‘3 ‘.w.s. khrw ‘3 B3y)'[10]
[End of quotes]
Pharaoh Siptah has also, for his part, the names ‘Merenptah’ and ‘Ramses’, the first of which we have met in the combination, Seti Merenptah, and the second of which we shall encounter again in 7. below, with ‘Ramses-Psusennes’.
  1. ‘Usurper’ and Seti-nakhte (c. 1185 BC)
Conventional Egyptology does it all over again, with Seti (here Seti-nakhte) and ‘the usurper’ here emerging at the very beginning of the so-called Twentieth Dynasty:
“Sethnakhte is relatively unknown, with only a few written records attesting to his reign. He ruled over a chaotic period in Egypt, after the (possible) reign of Chancellor Bay, an usurper to the throne. Sethnakhte claims to have "Driven out the usurper", and he restored law and order to Egypt. It is possible that he took the throne directly from Tawosret”.
The little known Seti-nakhte (Setnakhte), a hero to his successors, was, like Horemheb, like Seti I, a reformer, one who had “restored law and order to Egypt” – and he becomes far better known when he is properly attached to his alter egos (Horemheb and Seti).
“Setnakhte”, according to Grimal (op. cit., p. 271), “kept Hori son of Kama in office as Viceroy of Kush”.
This “Hori” may perhaps be an important connection with the renowned Herihor (see next).
  1. Amenhotep and Ramses XI (c. 1100-1070 BC)
The Twentieth Dynasty has, like the Nineteenth, a ‘Seti’ type at its beginning (Seti-nakhte) and one at the end (Ramses XI), the latter’s being another restorative period including whm mswt. I tentatively suggest that the “chief priest Amenhotep sent into exile” (Grimal, op. cit., p. 291) was the same as the too-big-for-his boots Ay:
“Ay is wearing the Leopard skin worn by Egyptian High Priests”.
Herihor, “an Egyptian army officer and High Priest of Amun at Thebes (1080 BC to 1074 BC) during the reign of Pharaoh Ramesses XI” (, may possibly be the same person as Setnakhte’s high official, Hori, as already mentioned.
  1. Amenemnisu and ‘Ramses-Psusennes’ (c. 1050-1000 BC)
Now in the so-called Third Intermediate Period, the Twenty-First Dynasty, we encounter a name, Amenemnisu, very similar to that of our ‘usurper’ in 3., Amenmesse.
The reign length of Amenemnisu, “4 years”, is the same as that estimated for Ay, and very close to the “five years” given for Amenmesse. Nor are we surprised to read of his close association with another of our ‘Seti’ types, Psusennes:
Amenemnisu was the second ruler of the Twenty-first Dynasty. He is though to have ruled for 4 years possibly as the co-regent with Psusennes I.
Our ‘Dynastic patterns for Ay[e] and Horemheb’ span (c. 1325- 1000 BC) a massive 325 years.
And that is without our yet even including Psusennes so-called II (= I?) (d. 940 BC).

Conventional fudging has Seti occupying centuries


 Egyptian Temple relief

Damien F. Mackey
In the case of the so-called Twentieth Dynasty, Seti-nakhte, the heroic dynastic founder
who drove out the usurper, and who is Seti, rears up again in the guise of Ramses XI
at the end of that dynasty.
The characteristic feature of the early reign of Horemheb, of Seti, is restoration (and lawgiving) after a period of chaos and usurpation. Hence the institution of a new era, whm mswt (‘Repetition of Births’).
This connection between the Nineteenth Dynasty and, supposedly, the era the preceded it, is picked up again with Ramses XI, also (like Seti) named Menmare, with his new era of restoration, whm mswt.
Ramses XI is supposed to have reigned, like Horemheb, for 28 years.
Topsy-turvy Egyptian dynasties, as we noted elsewhere, with a dynasty’s beginning re-emerging at its end.
Thus, in the case of the so-called Twentieth Dynasty, Seti-nakhte, the heroic dynastic founder who drove out the usurper, and who is Seti (supporting the strong tradition of a “Sethos” as dynastic founder), rears up again in the guise of Ramses XI at the end of that dynasty. 
That is already a chronological stretch from c. 1320 BC (Horemheb) - 1070 BC (Ramses XI).
250 years for he who I consider to be the one pharaoh: Seti the Great.
And this does not yet take into account possible further extensions of Seti, via Psusennes I (=II) and on even into the 25th dynasty.

Wednesday, May 15, 2019

Merenptah completes Seti

Reliefs of Amenhotep III found in the temple

Damien F. Mackey
“Merenptah’s involvement with the Osireion raises some questions,
not least, how did he gain access when the brick arch appears
to have been blocked up by Seti?
Keith Hamilton
The somewhat poorly known pharaoh Merenptah - generally thought to have been the son and successor of Ramses II - needs, it seems, to be filled out with his supposed grandfather, Seti (the father of Ramses II), whom I have multi-identified in e.g. my series:
Seti I and Seti II Merenptah
See especially:
Seti I and Seti II Merenptah. Part Three: Seti I and II Merenptah and Merenptah
Merenptah’s relative obscurity (qua Merenptah) is apparent from the following quotes:
“Greatly overshadowed by his dominant and long-lived father, Merneptah never had a chance to become a famous pharaoh and he was almost unknown for most of his life”.
Note, in the next quote, the sequence: “probably”, “likely”, “presumed”, “possibly”.
“Merneptah was probably the fourth child of Isetnofret I, the second wife of Ramesses II, and he was married to Queen Isetnofret II, his royal wife, who was likely his full sister bearing the name of their mother. It is presumed that Merneptah was also married to Queen Takhat and one of their sons would succeed him as Seti II. They also were the parents of Prince Merenptah and possibly the usurper, Amenmesse, and Queen Twosret, wife of Seti II and later pharaoh in her own right”.
“He left few monuments, but in his conduct of Egypt’s defense and diplomacy he was at least the equal of his father”.
“His original works are comparatively few and insignificant. His name is constantly found on the monuments of his father …”.
Merenptah is thought to have “decorated” (in some cases, “largely”) monuments of Seti, even though he is considered to have been separated from Seti by the almost seven decades of reign of Ramses II.
“The Osireion is located behind the Abydos temple and may have been intended to be a 'cenotaph' (empty tomb.) The architecture of the Osireion is particularly unusual: a rectangular 'island' surrounded by a channel of water was constructed in the middle of the hall on which large pillars were built. This design may have represented the primeval waters and mound which began all of creation. Although the structure was built by Seti I it was largely decorated by his grandson, Merenptah with scenes from 'The Book of Gates', images of the journey to the underworld, texts relating to astronomy and depictions of gods and goddesses”.
“When Murray discovered and excavated the two chambers at the end of the entrance passage, she found them decorated with texts; she states,
“The cartouche of Merenptah appeared in every place where it could be inserted, and we therefore had to consider the possibility of its being his tomb.”24
It seems clear therefore, that a lot of the preliminary laying out of the texts was accomplished by Seti, and that these texts were utilised by Merenptah, who only had to sculpt the walls and replace Seti’s name with his own; though his workers appeared to have missed Seti’s name on two occasions.
There are indications that Ramesses II did likewise in the adjacent temple, when he completed Seti’s work; though there is no evidence that Ramesses did any work on the Osireion.
Merenptah’s involvement with the Osireion raises some questions, not least, how did he gain access when the brick arch appears to have been blocked up by Seti? Frankfort makes no comment on it, other than to question Strabo’s access; he states, Ingress could not be obtained by the arch at the north end of the entrance passage, because we found it still bricked up with Seti’s bricks,..”25
But if this logic is good for Strabo, what about Merenptah? Merenptah was Seti’s grandson and he ruled after his long lived father Ramesses II, who ruled about 66 years: Merenptah would not be so fortunate and his reign is believed to be a more modest 10 years. It would seem therefore, that Merenptah took an unusual interest in the subterranean Osireion some 66 years after Seti bricked up the arch. If Merenptah had used this entrance, might not he have used bricks with his own name on it? So how did he gain access? ….
“Children:  Little information about his children but it is believed that his son Seti-Merneptah became Pharaoh Seti II”.