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Khaemwaset, was the fourth son of Ramesses II and the high priest of Ptah in Memphis. He is well-known through a series of inscriptions on pyramids of the Old and the Middle Kingdom (about 2025-1700 BC), giving the impression that he renovated these old monuments. New research makes it more likely that he was responsible for the dismantling of buildings (as a source of stone for the temple of his father); he had inscriptions (on still standing parts of the building) cut in order to keep alive the name of himself, his father and the king of the dismantled monument. In this way, and perhaps by perpetuating the cult of the ancient king in the new Ramesside temples, Khaemwaset met his obligations on Ancient Egyptian terms, but this is far from the agenda of contemporary archaeology or early modern antiquarianism.

The inscriptions and perhaps the deeds of Khaemwaset did, though, have resonance for the Ancient Egyptians too: in later Egyptian literature, 'Setne Khaemwaset' ('setne' from setem, a title of the high priest of Ptah) is a prominent figure in tales of the supernatural, compositions known principally from manuscripts of the Roman Period.

fragment of statue
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