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Osorkon I



 Relief from the gateway of Shoshenq I at Karnak, it shows Osorkon I being suckled by the goddess Hathor. As she suckles Hathor she says; "My son of my body, my beloved, Osorkon, I have raised you as a great ruler of Egypt, as the lord of the circuit of the sun disk".

These scenes were added by Osorkon after the death of Sheshonq I.

Soon after Osorkon I took the throne his brother Iuput, High Priest of Amun, died and was buried in a large tomb at Abydos. Osorkon I appointed his eldest son Sheshonq C to become the new High Priest at Thebes - who was later to become co-regent with his father for a short while.

For the first 4 years of his reign, Osorkon I gave many gifts of silver and gold to the temples of the major deities of Egypt (Re-Harakhte, Hathor-Nebethetepet, Mut, Arsaphes, possibly all of the gods at Heliopolis, to Thoth at Hermopolis, Bast of Bubastis and others). - The record of this survives on a small temple of the sun-god Atum near Bubastis. In the main temple of the goddess Bast, Osorkon I built extensively (a whole series of reliefs, a hypostyle hall).

Elsewhere in Lower Egypt Osorkon I is found to have little interest in building apart from Heliopolis and Memphis (in Memphis a shrine to Bast was built - remains found today suggest that it was of some considerable size).

   Torso from a statue of Osorkon I
(Byblos; sandstone; H 60cm, W36 cm _ Louvre)
This statue was foundat Byblos - where a local ruler had also added a dedication text to the goddess of the city 'the Lady of the Byblos' (Phoenician alaphabetic script).
There has been a question over if this Egyptian statue, (showing an Egyptian pharaoh wearing a style of wig popular at the time of the Amarna Period and yet haviing the name of Osorkon I on the chest (very unusual for a royal statue)), meant that Osorkon borrowed the style from the late 18th Dynasty or he re-used an earlier statue.

In Middle and Upper Egypt, Osorkon I added to the temple of Isis at Atfih, and added to his father's temple at El Hibeh. A new military stronghold was founded near the entry to the Fayum: Pi-Sekhemkheperre, 'Estate of Osorkon I', probably to guard the passage between Middle Egypt and the Fayum.

 Statue of Osorkon I

Quartzite statue of the god Hapy but given the features of Osorkon I, Sheshonq II is shown in relief on the left side of the statue.

Height - 2.2m


Near the end of his reign Osorkon I made his son Sheshonq C (the then High Priest of Amun at Thebes) his co-regent, however, this co-regency was to last very long - within a short time Shoshenq II was dead. Osorkon I gave his son a splendid burial at Tanis, burying him in a solid-silver falcon-headed coffin.

Within a short while after the death of his co-regent, Osorkon I himself died , leaving his throne to his second son - Takelot I.