Ramses III (1186-1155 BC) is considered the last of Egypt’s great Pharaohs during the New Kingdom. He won two great battles against invading Sea Peoples from the Aegean, but these wars took a strain on the Egyptian treasury which even led to the first recorded labor strike in history. In the end Ramses III apparently died from a deep cut to his throat at the behest of his wives, one of whom didn’t approve of his choice of successor, but these in turn found themselves caught and executed. To reflect that he ruled during the twilight of New Kingdom Egypt, I’ve chosen to give Ramses III a rather melancholy expression.
Ramses III’s mummy would go down in history as the inspiration for Boris Karloff’s character in the original Mummy movie from 1932. In addition Ramses III may be the only Pharaoh thus far whose Y-chromosome haplogroup has been identified. He was Haplogroup E-V38, or E1b1a, which originated in East Africa 30,000 years ago. Curiously only 1-8% of Egyptian people today carry this haplogroup, but it is among the most widespread haplogroups south of the Sahara, most of all West and Central Africa.