Twosret, also spelled Tawosret or Tausret (d. 1189 BC conventional chronology) the last known ruler and the final pharaoh of the Nineteenth Dynasty of Egypt.

She is recorded in Manetho’s Epitome as a certain Thuoris, who in Homer is called Polybus, husband of Alcandra, and in whose time Troy was taken. She have ruled Egypt for seven years, but this figure included the nearly six-year reign of Siptah, her predecessor. Twosret simply assumed Siptah’s regnal years as her own. While her sole independent reign would have lasted for perhaps one to one and a half years from 1191 to 1189 BC, this number now appears more likely to be two full years instead, possibly longer.

Excavation work by the University of Arizona Egyptian Expedition on her memorial temple (“temple of millions of years”) at Gournah strongly suggests that it completed and functional during her reign and that Twosret started a regnal year 9. Which means that she had two and possibly three independent years of rule, once one deducts the nearly six-year reign of Siptah. Her royal name, Sitre Meryamun, means “Daughter of Re, beloved of Amun.”

Twosret playing the sistrum at Amada Temple, Nubia

Twosret playing the sistrum at Amada Temple, Nubia

Family of Twosret

Twosret or Tausret’s birth date is unknown. She is a daughter of Merneptah, possibly a daughter of Takhat, thereby making her sister to Amenmesse.

Monuments and inscriptions

Expeditions conducted during her reign to the turquoise mines in Sinai and in Palestine and statues found of her at Heliopolis and Thebes. Her name also found at Abydos, Hermopolis, Memphis, and in Nubia.

Inscriptions with Twosret’s name appear in several locations:

  • The Bilgai Stela belonged to Twosret. It records the erection of a monument in the area of Sebennytos.
  • A pair statue of Tawosret and Siptah is now in the Staatliche Sammlung für Ägyptische Kunst Munich (no 122). Siptah shown seated on Twosret’s lap.
  • In the temple at Amada, Twosret depicted as a Great Royal Wife and God’s Wife.
  • A statue from Heliopolis depicts Twosret and her names inscribed with a mixture of male and female epithets. Twosret herself depicted as a woman.
  • A cartouche of hers believed to come from Qantir in the Delta found
  • Twosret and Siptah’s names found associated with the turquoise mines at Serabit el Khadim and Timna (in the Sinai & Palestine)..
  • Twosret constructed a Mortuary temple next to the Ramesseum. But it was never finished and was only partially excavated (by Flinders Petrie in 1897), although recent re-excavation by Richard H. Wilkinson and Pearce Paul Creasman shows it is more complex than first thought. The temple is being excavated by the Tausert Temple Project (2004 to present)