added by archaeologs The 13th son of his long-lived father, Ramesses II, Merneptah was nearing 60 years of age at his accession in about 1213. Because of the extraordinary length of the reign of Ramesses II (1279-1213 BC), at least twelve of his sons died before him, including Khaemwaset, who was for several years the appointed heir. Early in Merneptah's reign, his troops had to suppress a revolt in Palestine by the cities of Ashqelon, Gezer, and Yenoam. Merneptah's greatest challenge, however, came from the Libyans who were encroaching on Egyptian lands. About 1209, Merneptah learned that some Sea Peoples were roving the Middle East, had joined and armed the Libyans, and with them were conspiring to attack Memphis and Heliopolis. He is responsible for the great victory over the Libyans and Sea Peoples, in which they lost nearly 9,400 men. Merneptah ordered the carving of four great commemorative texts in celebration. One of these, the famous Israel Stela refers to the suppression of the revolt in Palestine. It contains the earliest-known reference to Israel, which Merneptah counted among the peoples that he defeated. Hebrew scholars suggest that the circumstances agree approximately with the period noted in biblical books from late Exodus to Judges. A fragmentary stela from the Sudan also suggests that the king quelled a rebellion in Lower Nubia, probably after his Palestinian exploits.