Rameses XI (1107–1077 BCE) moved his capital from Thebes to Tanis in the Nile Delta at the end of his reign, an acknowledgement of a collapse of control in Upper Egypt. The long Third Intermediate Period ensued; by the 24th Dynasty (732–720 BCE), Osorkon IV ruled little more than a city-state vying with others in the Delta for supremacy, and squeezed between the emergent powers of Cush (ancient Ethiopia) and Assyria. Unwisely, Osorkon joined an alliance led by Tefnakht of Sais bent on reconquering Upper Egypt. Memphis was seized and a Cushite vassal Nimlot of Hermopolis defected to the alliance, which besieged Herakleopolis, another vassal of Cush. Enough was enough: the Cushite king, Piye, marched north and forced the rebels to surrender and pay him homage. Piye was a lenient ruler, but his son Shabaka would respond to a further Sais-led rebellion by conquering the Delta, and having its instigator, Tefnakht’s son Bakhenranef, burned alive.
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