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Menmaatre Seti I (also called Sethos I after the Greeks) was a Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt (Nineteenth dynasty of Egypt), the son of Ramesses I and Queen Sitre, and the father of Ramesses II. As with all dates in Ancient Egypt, the actual dates of his reign are unclear, and various historians claim different dates, with 1294 BC – 1279 BC and 1290 BC to 1279 BC being the most commonly used by scholars today.
The name Seti means "of Set", which indicates that he was consecrated to the god Set (commonly "Seth"). As with most Pharaohs, Seti had several names. Upon his ascension, he took the prenomen mn-m3‘t-r‘, which translates as Menmaatre in Egyptian,which means " Eternal is the Justice of Re." His better known nomen, or birth name is technically transliterated as sty mry-n-ptḥ, or Sety Merenptah, meaning "Man of Set, beloved of Ptah". Manetho incorrectly considered him to be the founder of the 19th dynasty.
The greatest achievement of Seti I's foreign policy was the capture of the Syrian town of Kadesh and neighboring territory of Amurru from the Hittite Empire. Kadesh had been lost to Egypt since the time of Akhenaten. Tutankhamun and Horemheb had both failed to recapture the city from the Hittites.
Seti I was successful in defeating a Hittite army that tried to defend the town. He entered the city in triumph together with his son Ramesses II and erected a victory stela at the site. Kadesh, however, soon reverted to Hittite control because the Egyptians did not or could not maintain a permanent military occupation of Kadesh and Amurru which were close to the Hittite homelands.
It is unlikely that Seti I made a peace treaty with the Hittites or voluntarily returned Kadesh and Amurru to them but he may have reached an informal understanding with the Hittite king Muwatalli on the precise boundaries of the Egyptian and Hittite Empires. Five years after Seti I's death, however, his son Ramesses II resumed hostilities and made a failed attempt to recapture Kadesh. Kadesh was, henceforth, effectively lost to the Hittites even though Ramesses temporarily occupied the city in his 8th year.
Seti I Tomb (KV17)
located in Egypt's Valley of the Kings and also known by the names "Belzoni's tomb", "the Tomb of Apis", and "the Tomb of Psammis, son of Nechois", is the tomb of Pharaoh Seti I of the Nineteenth Dynasty. It is one of the best decorated tombs in the valley, but now is almost always closed to the public due to damage.
It was first discovered by Giovanni Battista Belzoni on 16 October 1817. When he first entered the tomb he found the wall paintings in excellent condition with the paint on the walls still looking fresh and some of the artists’ paints and brushes still on the floor.
The longest tomb in the valley, at 137.19 meters, it contains very well preserved reliefs in all but two of its eleven chambers and side rooms. One of the back chambers is decorated with the Ritual of the Opening of the Mouth, which stated that the mummy's eating and drinking organs were properly functioning. Believing in the need for these functions in the afterlife, this was a very important ritual.
A very long tunnel (corridor K) leads away deep into the mountainside from beneath the location where the sarcophagus stood in the burial chamber. Recently, the excavation of this corridor was completed. There was no 'secret burial chamber' or any other kind of chamber at the end. Work on the corridor was abandoned upon the burial of Seti.
The sarcophagus removed on behalf of the British consul Henry Salt is since 1824 in the Sir John Soane's Museum in London. KV17 was damaged when Jean-François Champollion, translator of the Rosetta Stone,removed a wall panel of 2.26 x 1.05 m in a corridor with mirror-image scenes during his 1828-29 expedition. Other elements were removed by his companion Rossellini or the German expedition of 1845. The scenes are now in the collections of the Louvre, the museums of Florence and Berlin.
The tomb became known as the "Apis tomb" because when Giovanni Belzoni found the tomb a mummified bull was found in a side room off the burial hall.
A number of walls in the tomb have collapsed or cracked due to excavations in the late 50s and early 60s causing significant changes in the moisture levels in the surrounding rocks.