Chancellor Bay

Male, Deceased Person

– 1969


Who was Chancellor Bay?

Chancellor Bay also called Ramesse Khamenteru was an important Asiatic official in ancient Egypt, who rose to prominence and high office under Seti II Userkheperure Setepenre and later became an influential powerbroker in the closing stages of the 19th Dynasty. He is generally identified with Irsu mentioned in the Great Harris Papyrus, although no contemporary source connects Bay with Irsu. However, an IFAO Ostracon no. 1864 found at Deir el-Medina dated to Year 5 records that 'Pharaoh LPH has killed the great enemy, Bay'.[8] Because Chancellor Bay died at least 3 years before this 'Irsu', he can no longer be considered a plausible candidate for the historical figure mentioned in thr Great Harris Papyrus. The name Irsu may have been a derogatory epithet, meaning in Egyptian the 'self-made man'.

Bay's importance is emphasized by the fact that he was given permission, possibly by Seti but more probably by Siptah, to construct his own tomb in Egypt's Valley of the Kings. His tomb was clearly constructed as part of a triad of tombs, including that of the Pharaoh Siptah and Queen Twosret. This was an unprecedented privilege, the likes of which were rarely accorded to a commoner, let alone a foreigner. It is possible that Bay was accorded this tomb because he was a relation of Siptah's mother, a Canaanite concubine of Seti II, or perhaps even of Amenmesse. His tomb was later usurped under the Twentieth Dynasty by prince Mentuherkhepshef, a son of Ramesses IX.

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Dec 31, 1969

on July 23, 2013


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