Taharqa, also spelled Taharka or Taharqo was a pharaoh of the Twenty-fifth Dynasty of Egypt and qore (king) of the Kingdom of Kush (present day Sudan), from 690 to 664 BC. He was one of the “Black Pharaohs” who ruled over Egypt for nearly a century.
King Taharqa’s reign can be dated from 690 BC to 664 BC. Evidence for the dates of his reign is derived from the Serapeumstele, catalog number 192. This stela records that an Apis bull born and installed (fourth month of Season of the Emergence, day 9) in year 26 of Taharqa died in Year 20 of Psamtik I (4th month of Shomu, day 20), having lived 21 years. This would give Taharqa a reign of 26 years and a fraction, in 690–664 BC.
King Taharqa explicitly states in Kawa Stela V, line 15, that he succeeded his predecessor (generally assumed to be Shebitku but now established to be Shabaka instead) after the latter’s death with this statement: “I received the Crown in Memphis after the Falcon flew to heaven”. The reference to Shebitku was an attempt by Taharqa to legitimise his accession to power. However, Taharqa never mentions the identity of the royal falcon and completely omits any mention of Shabaka’s intervening reign between Shebitku and Taharqa possibly because he ousted Shabaka from power.
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