An accidental discovery of a stone tablet or stele dating back 2,600 years tells of a Pharaoh who was murdered by his subjects.
How was the stele uncovered?
The artifact, which was made from a sandstone slab, was about 91 inches tall and 41 inches wide. It was found by a farmer who was tilling the land in the Ismailia Governate, approximately 60 miles northeast of Cairo, reported the Daily Mail.
According to the secretary-general of the Egyptian Tourism and Antiquities Ministry Mostafa Waziri, the relic is a reference to a military campaign that was led by a pharaoh in eastern Egypt named Apries who reigned between 589 and 570 B.C., as per the Antiquities government.
A carving of a winged sun disk which could be related to the sun god Ra, a depiction of the Apries, and 15 lines of hieroglyphics could be seen at the top of the tablet.
Some archeologists in Egypt are scrutinizing the tablet in hopes to translate the stele's hieroglyphics. The initial translation showed how the last dynasty in Egypt would see changes in how people regarded the pharaoh.
Who is Apries?
When Apries' father Psamtik II died in 589 B.C., Apries occupied the throne and became a pharaoh. Unlike other dynasties, he was destined to be the last true Egyptian pharaoh.
However, his reign was not a perfect one. Apries encountered numerous dilemmas. Internal strife and military failures stained the reputation of his regime. King Zedekiah of Judah, who served as his aid, proved incompetent. Babylonians rummaged through Jerusalem where Apries' reign was severely affected.
But it was not all. This series of unfortunate events was followed by a mutiny among the military and a disastrous military defeat led by the Greeks in Libya, inciting the start of the Civil War.
After all these mishaps, Apries began losing his subordinates' trust. Many of his people expressed their support towards general Amasis II, a self-professed pharaoh in 570 B.C.
Some historians believe that Apries died in a battle, where he was trying to reclaim the throne from Amasis. It is this part of the last days of the real pharaoh that draws recorded accounts after his death.
Herodotus thinks it ended differently
Contrary to the belief of some historians, Herodotus, a Greek writer who is also known as the father of history, concluded that Apries' fate ended differently. As written in his text Inquiries, Herodotus claimed that Apries went back to Memphis, the ancient capital of Egypt, where his former subjects took revenge against him. Herodotus said they strangled Apries to death and they buried him with his father.
Apries ruled Egypt during the Late Period, which lasted from roughly 664 to 332 B.C.
Historians are trying to look for more proof of Apries' rule, but documentary evidence has been sparse compared to other well-known Egyptian rulers, which is why references to him are not enough to construct how times were in the last days, before the Ptolemaic dynasty.
His reign witnessed how Egypt ended as an independent empire after the conquest of Alexander the Great and the installation of the Ptolemaic dynasty from Macedonian Greece, beginning the age of Hellenistic Egypt.