The project aims at reconstructing parts of the late history of Pi-Ramesse by analyzing aspects of the material culture unearthed during the excavations and combining the evidence with written sources from the 12th and 11th centuries BC.
The end of the Late Bronze Age in the Eastern Mediterranean (first half of the 12th century BC) is characterized by the collapse of states and their international networks which had existed for centuries. One of the major centres in this time is Pi-Ramesse, the capital of Ramesside Egypt. The city had been founded by Ramesses II. in the early 13th century BC. The large scale of the settlement and its architecture as well as the ostentative assiciation with traditional centres of Egypt (Thebes, Heliopolis and Memphis) bear witness to the intention of founding a permanent centre of power. However, even though the city survived the first phase of the profound changes at the end of the Late Bronze Age, it is given up at in the 11th century BC.