This is the mummy of Ramesses III.

His life came to a bitter end when he was murdered by members of his own establishment.

Including his wife.

In what is considered the first conspiracy in history, The Harem Conspiracy ended the reign of Ramesses III in a gruesome, bloody assassination.

One of Ramesses’ wives, Tiye, plotted to kill her husband so that her son Pentawere would assume the throne instead of Ramesses’ other son, Ramesses IV. So how did it all go down?

Tiye enlisted the help of several people within the inner circle. They plotted to kill the king with the use of strategic messages and by casting spells that the conspirators believed would make the pharaoh more vulnerable and easier to assassinate.

For many years it was thought that the most likely method of assassination was through poison, either on his food or drink.

However, more recent studies show that his throat was cut. So the jury is still out.

There are some documents that suggest Ramesses was alive during the trial for the attempt on his life. It is possible that he survived the initial plot and then a second attempt on his life was made during the trial for the first conspiracy. Examinations of his mummy show that one of his toes is missing - probably amputated with an axe.

Either way, the conspiracy was a success.

BUT. The conspirators were unable to muster the support needed to achieve the goal of appointing Pentawere as heir to the throne. Ramesses IV was able to take control quickly and deliver swift justice to twenty-seven men and six women who were charged with high treason and executed.

A bloody affair.