الأربعاء، 7 أكتوبر 2009

Second Intermediate Period (SIP)

Second Intermediate Period (SIP)
Dynasties 15 - 17
c. 1655 - 1547 BC (108 years)

By Ottar Vendel

A century of foreign rule

At the end of dynasty twelve a people, later to be known as the "Hyksos," settled down in the eastern delta.
The name originates from the Egyptian "heqa-khase", which means "rulers of foreign lands". They were basically living on cattle breeding and in Egypt they had to be used to the annual inundations which made them adopt agriculture. After a good hundred years another Hyksos wave came from the coast areas of Palestine and established themselves in a more organized way and founded the 15th dynasty. They made the fortified town of Avaris (Egyptian: Hatuaret) their capital (see map right).
The Egyptian dynasties 13 from Xois and 14 from Itj-tawy (se map) were now ended and the new rulers of Avaris were acting in a more expansive and military way and met just weak recistance from the Egyptians.
A big advantage in combat was the Hyksos introduction of horses, which was a new animal to the Egyptians.
At most the Hyksos had full control down to the town of Hermopolis (exept for a very short military raid reaching down to Thebes) and thus divided the country into two parts with the Egyptian dynasties 16 and 17 ruling the south.
They brought their own gods but never imposed these on the indigenous people and the language in the administration continued to be Egyptian. The only Egyptian god they took in to their religion was Set, who they identified as their own god of storms.
They seem to have adopted Egyptian manners and laws, and had trade relations with the Minoans and Babylonians. They were recognized by later Egyptians and listed as legitimate kings, but no tombs from these half a dozen rulers have been found and their names were all non-Egyptian. The few remains of graves from Hyksos-people have revealed their custom of the dead be followed by parts from cattle (bones and horns) in a crude shaft with no visible signs above ground. The six kings claimed themselves pharaohs with all the tradition attached to that title and for one hundred years they ruled in peace and prosperity.
No open hostility seems to have occured between the two parts of the country until the last 20 years of a century when the Egyptian kings from Thebes started a liberation war and drove out the Hyksos from the Nile Valley.

Dynasty 15
Six Hyksos kings ruled for 108 years c. 1655 - 1547 BC.

This is the pure Hyksos dynasty also called "The Great". Turin Canon has six lines with only fragments of figures from their reigns and a summation of 108 years. Manetho (Africanus) has also six names: Saites, Bnon, Pachnan, Staan, Archles and Aphophis. They are noted for very long reigns and a duration for the dynasty for 250 years, but today a figure around 100 years is generally agreed on.
One theory states that at least 3 of the first kings ruled for almost 30 years and were followed by Khyan and Apepi who hade reigns of about 40 years each. At the very end Khamudi should have been just a year on the throne before he was defeated by the Egyptian army and driven out of the country. The text below is a general proposal based upon conclusions from scholars over the years. In 1997 the Danish Egyptologist Kim Ryholt suggested a short chronology for the dynasty.

A small amulet of ivory showing an unnamed Hyksos(?) king with a hooked nose holding a small lying figure by the head.
This has been interpreted by some as meaning the occupants holding the Egyptians in slavery.


Sark (Salk)

Manetho writes that king Salitis (also called Saites) conquered Egypt when it was ruled by pharaoh Tutimaios, that is Dedumose I of dynasty 13. A king with the name Šamu- qenu appears in the Canon of Turin and he might be the same ruler, possibly.
When they founded the first Hyksos dynasty it is clear that this Asian people had been nomading in the country (the Delta) for a good many years. He resided in Memphis and is credited for making Avaris the new capital and fortified stronghold. This event was at hand at the ver middle of the 1600s BC, when he had been in office for about five years. The northern part of Egypt was now to be ruled by Hyksos until the end of their era some 110 years later. His reign is estimated to have been about 8 years around 1655-1647 BC.
Manetho gives him 19 years on the throne and he is usually identified with a king called Sark (or Salk) mentioned only once in a list made by priests from Memphis (cartouche above left). An attached throne name, Se-ha-en-Re (cartouche above right), means - "The one introduced by Re", might be his. Remnants from his reign are few, only his name written on three occasions on blocks of stone taken from larger monuments. Where these originally stood is not known.



Obscure king mentioned by Manetho and also called Beon, Baion and Bnon.
His throne name Maa-ib-re (seen within a cartouche in picture right) and meaning - "Seeing in the Heart of Re". Hundreds of physical evidence of his existence have been found throughout the Middle East: 394 scarab seals and 2 seal impressions. He is noted in Manetho's list as the second king of dynasty 15 and for a reign of 44 years, a duration that has been rejected by modern scholars. Today these figures are adjusted to a period in rule of 3 to 14 years depen- ding on who has come up with the theory.

Seal of Sheshi
A suggestion is around: 1646-1635 BC.
He is also put among the first kings of the 14th dynasty together with Ahotepre and Quare (Ryholt 1997). These two latter are also well attested for and have left dozens of scarab amulets from their reigns. Despite all remains none of the three rulers can be put in place with a hundred percent accuracy.



King Yakub-Her's throne name (seen within a cartouche in picture to the right) means - "Strong is the Love of Re".
Practically nothing is known from the reign of this king (sometimes called Yakobner) and it's doubtful if he has left any remain beside being mentioned in king list written 1500 years after his time on the throne.
His Aramean name is related to the biblical Jacob, and has made some groups see this as "evidence" that the Hyksos people were the Israelites. This theory has of course no scientific value. He is by some thought to fit into one of the gaps in the 14th dynasty along with some 11 other rulers with Hyksos names not present in the Canon of Turin. He seems in that case to place at the end of that dynasty, and if he is from dynasty 15 his reign might be 8 years around 1634-1626 BC. His remains are from scarab-seals only (about two dozens) found mostly in Egypt, but also a few from Palestine and a single one from Nubia in the south.



King Khyan's throne name (within the car- touche in the picture right) means - "[I am] Powerful Like Re", a self confident name.
His influence reached beyond the kingdom in Northern Egypt and his name is known from a wide area in the eastern part of the Mediterranean region. Greek name forms were: Yannas, Jannis, Iannes, Joannis etc. His reign: 25 years around 1625-1601 BC.
Manetho ascribes him a 50 year period. His name (in his own Hyksos language) means "Born in (the month of) Khiyar" and other forms are: Khiyaran, Khajran, Khayan.

Lion statuette and seal with Khyan's name.

His name with the title "Ruler over the foreign lands" has be- en found on at least 38 seals from scarabs plus some pieces of artefacts from remote places like Knossos in Crete, Bagdad in the great flood plain of Mesopotamia and Bogazkoy (capital of the Hittite people) in the mountains of Anatolia in today's southern Turkey.

Apepy (Apophis)


This ruler is well attested for and he was probably the one who had the longest reign of all Hyksos kings. Manetho (by Flavius) gives him a reign of a good 36 years and today's Egyptologist up to 42 around 1600-1559 BC. His personal nomen Apepy (Greek: Apopis) was possibly taken from the wicked Egyptian god Apep (a gigantic mean ser-pent) and his throne name (seen within a cartouche in the picture right) can be read - [I am] "Great and Powerful Like Re".
Apepi is mentioned in two papyri, a list from priests in Memphis and many pieces of architecture which give the names of his sisters Tani and Tcharydjet and daughter Harta. There is strong indications pointing to the fact that he was an usurper with no relation to the rulig line of Hyksos kings (his name was Egyptian) or domestic royalty. He is believed to have been a well educated ruler who got into war in his older days, possibly tricked by forces within his own government. He didn't improve his relationship with his southern neighbor the Egyptian king Tao II in Thebes by sending him a very provocative letter (today in the British Museum) where he has a complaint which was, so say the least, really odd.

Seal of Apepy

He wrote that he couldn't sleep at night because he was disturbed by the snoring and roaring from pharaoh Tao's hippopotami in Thebes 800 km to the south! After this message king Tao is believed to have taken up arms against him in a small scale and if the letter was intend as a provocation - it worked. Thereby the hostility was initiated and later escalated (when Apepy was dead) to a massive confrontation.
During his reign a change to the worse was probably at hand for the Egyptian public and the peaceful times ended. There are evidence that he (Ryholt 1997, pp. 145-148) looted pyramid tombs from the 12th and 13th dynasty and took the goods to Avaris. Furthermore, when retreating downstream his troops seem to have practiced the tactics of "the scorched earth" and by this turning the Egyptian population against the Hyksos for good.


It's possible that his power at the late state of his reign had shifted over to others and the rebellious attitude was a product of their will rather than his own.
For some unknown reason he changed all his titles three times during his long reign. Thus it's believed that he also is the ruler behind the name Neb-khepesh-re "Re is the lord of strength" (in the cartouche left), be-lieved to be from his first period in office, and (right) Aqenenre "The strength of Re is great" as being taken later during his reign. This made some scholars think some of these titles was from another Apepy (they called the 2nd), but it was the same ruler.



Khamudy was the king who concluded the Hyksos period in Egypt. Manetho calls him Assis (Aseth) or Archles, and gives him a rule of 49 years but today (2006) his reign is estimated to have been a period of 10-12 years around 1558-1547 BC.
He was militarily defeated and eventually had to withdraw his people from the Nile Valley after living there for generations.
His possible throne name was Ib-Hetep-Re, (as seen within a cartouche in picture left) and is not connected to him with certainty.
The Egyptian king Ahmose from Thebes started a full scale war against him in year 11 of his reign and after that the big town of Heliopolis was captured. He then saw the beginning of the end to the long Hyksos rule. In the year after Khamudy negotiated with the Egyptians about the withdrawal of the Hyksos army from his capital Avaris and most of the Delta, but the determined Egyptians didn't take his terms and concurred the town after a siege and three attacks.
Khamudy had foreseen what was coming and had moved his people along the coast up to southern Palestine in advance and the Egyptian military forces raided that area for several years afterwards to prevent a Hyksos comeback.
Many details from this dramatic scenario are found in contemporary documents and many of them (not to say all) were probably written under supervision of the victorious Egyptian king himself. Therefore a dose of skepticism is handy when valuing them.
Few large remains are left from Khamudy's reign, but an exception is an obelisk which he erected near Avaris where it was discovered under the sand.

Dynasty 16
1663 - 1555 BC (108 years)
alt. 1660 - 1580 BC (80 years)

This dynasty is either thought to have been ruling as vassals to the Hyksos dyna-sty 15 and then located around the town of Pelusium in the eastern Delta (the traditional theory), or being an independent line of Egyptian kings ruling from Thebes in the far south and finally taken over by the Hyksos for a short period, (the more recent theory). The latter point of view combined with a parallel dyn-asty at the neighboring Abydos makes it possible to deal with more known kings as possible candidates. If the latest theory is correct the two rulers with foreign sounding names presented below should be put in another dynasty.
In 1997 the Danish scientist Kim Ryholt suggested a choronology for dynasty 16.

The Canon of Turin has 15 lines for this dynasty with 7 names partly visible and large gaps. Those readable are considered to be, in sequence:
Sekhemresementawy Djehuty, Sekhemresewosretawy Sobekhotep III, Sekhem-resankhtawy Neferhotep III, Sankhenre Menthotepi, Sewadjenre Nebiryraw I,
Nebiryraw II, Semenre, Sewoserenre Bebiankh, Sekhemreshedwaset.

Then follow five rows with lost names and in this position fits a group of kings well known but not placed. These are (according to the Abydos theory):
Dedumose I-II, Mentuemsaf, Mentuhotep VI, Senwosret IV.
These five names are pressed into the last less than ten years of the dynasty thought to have been around the 1560s BC. Manetho writes that the Hyksos invaded Egypt when king Tutimaios (Dedumose I) sat on the throne. When he studied the old files, 1 300 years had passed since the Hyksos era.

Kings with mixed names difficult to put in a curtain dynasty:

User-anat, Semqen, Zaket, Wasa, Qar, Pepi III, Nebmaatre, Nikare II, Aahotepre, Aaneterire, Nubankhre, Nubuserre, Khauserre, Khamure, Yoam, Amu
and possibly others.

Two rulers are presented below and they both have hyksos names.


The text in square right says: Heqa Khaswt Anat-Her, meaning "Ruler of the foreign (desert) lands - Anat-Her, (also Anat-Har).
The staff is the sign for rule and the three-topped mountains were for foreign (desert) countries. The two hieroglyphs at the far right in picture above mean "moun-tain" ("harru") in the Canaanite language transcribed to "her". It was common in Canaanite names in Egypt from the 12th dynasty through the first Intermediate period. It had a divine significance in the aspect of "great".
This inscription has only been found once on a scarab and his reign has been estimated as a short period perhaps 1585-1580 BC.
It's not quite sure if dynasty 16 is right place he should be put in to, because the title was used by kings in both the 14th and 15th dynasties. Possibly he can place into the gap in the Turin Canon right at the beginning of dynasty 14, where four rulers with similar name forms (among them Yakbim below) are thought to fit in. One name found has a similarity to his - Aper-Anati, possibly from the early dyna-sty 15 (Ryholt 1997).

Yakbim (Yacobaam)

This king had a West Semitic (Ammorite) name like his predecessor and there are different ways to transcribe the sounds. Two other suggestions: Yakbemu and Jacbaam. His name has not been found on bigger artifacts like stelae or rests of buildings, only on small scarab-seals. On the other hand they are as many as at least 112 with his name written on them and found in a wide geographical area from deep down in Lower Nubia in the south (2) to Palestine in the north (7). The remaining 103 are all of unknown provenance like the only cylinder seal known of him. A fair guess might be that the bulk of them have their origin in Egypt itself.
He's not on Manetho's list and has been identified, with rather fair accuracy, by the throne name (prenomen) Sekhaenre. His reign was of unknown duration in around 1560-1565 BC.
According to the modern theory that dynasty 16 was an Egyptian line of kings from Thebes, Yakbim with his foreign name must be placed elsewhere, maybe among the first five kings in the 14th dynasty where the Turin Papyrus seems to have a large piece missing.

The Abydos Dynasty
c. 1650-1630 (1575) BC.

This dynasty is suggested by the Danish Egyptologist Kim Ryholt in his study of SIP from 1997.
When the Hyksos captured Memphis around 1650s BC. and founded the 15th dynasty, the regions of Abydos and Thebes had their own (Abydos dynasty and 16). After 20 years records tell about clashes between Hyksos and Thebes indicating that the Abydos was conquered by the Hyksos just as Thebes later was, for a brief period.
Marionette kings might still have been in office there when Thebes (now as the 17th dynasty) started the libe-ration war against the Hyksos in about 1575 BC. This would have given the 16 presumed rulers short reigns just like indicated in the Turin Canon below.
Earlier works have usually ignored these kings, finding no proper place to put them, but three have left crude stelae in the Abydos area and their names clearly point to a local connection.
None of their tombs has been found so far (year 2002).

Abydos kings from the Turin Canon.
(line - name - reign)

1 Woser(...)re...
2 Woser(...)re ...
3-10 Names lost. ...
11 (...)hebre ...
12-14 Names lost. 2, 2, 4 years
15 (...)hebre? 3-4 years
16 (...)webenre 3-4 years

Kings known from archaeology
in the Abydos region.

1) Wepwawemsaf Sekhemreneferkhaw
2) Pantjeny Skhemrekhutawy
3) Snaaib Menkhawre

Dynasty 17
c. 1660-1560 BC. or c. 1580-1550 BC.

Dynasty 17 from Thebes probably started at the collapse of dynasties 13 and 14 when the Hyksos established their dynasty 15 in the delta and captured most parts of northern Egypt.
Manetho's (Eusebius) has 104 years and 4 kings: Saitis 19, Bnon 40, Archles 30 and Aphophis 14. Accordng to Africanus the time was 151 years and 43(!) kings, probably taking up rulers from other dynasties by mistake.

From Thebes the kings controlled southern Egypt independent of the Hyksos in the north. Between them might have been another line of rulers for some time (the Abydos Dynasty). It seems to have been peaceful period for most of a century until a 17th dynasty king started a war to "liberate" the rest of the country. This was achieved after campaigns in periods over about 20 years.
The pharaohs had new designed so called saff- or row-tombs in the hillside at Dra Abu el-Naga in Western Thebes, possibly with small (8-15 meters square) sharp agled pyramids built in the enclosed yards. Today (2001) almost nothing is left but crude remains of their grave chambers in the hillside.
In 1997 the Danish Egyptologist Kim Ryholt suggested a chronology for dynasty 17.

The nine kings below written in blue text are the ones most known.

Rahotep, Sobekemsaf I, Skehemre Sementowy Thuty, Sankhenre, Djehuti, Mentuhotep VII, Nebiryerawet I-II, Mentuhotep VI, Nebirau I-II,
Semenenre, Suserenre, Shedwast,
Antefs VI-VIII,
Sobekemsaf II, Tao I, Tao II, Kamose.



Rahotep (his throne name is seen within the cartouche left) was likely the one who found- ed the seventeenth dynasty at Thebes, when Egypt was ruled by multiple kings and dyna-sties governing different areas. The political situation was (simplified) that different weak Egyptian kings tried to maneuver against the recently invaded Hyksos. At the far south the area controlled by Thebes stood firm while the others gradually were overrun.
Rahotep is well known in this respect as the one who restored the damaged walls of the Temple of Abydos to increase the city's capa-bility to repel the expect attacks from the Hyksos advancing upstream from the north. A stele from Koptos tells that he also made restorations of the local Min temple. A private stele bears his name as do some scarab amulets. Historians have agreed on that this period, though its unstable politically situation, was a peaceful and rather flourishing period de- spite what some kings may have stated. This is probably following the tradition to make themselves great leaders (and bold warriors) like the kings from the past.

Sobekemsaf I

King Sobekemsaf the first (his throne name within a cartouche left) was one of the first kings of the 17th dynasty and likely to have ruled a good fifteen years around 1570 BC. He was the father of two kings to be - the Antefs VI-VII and grandfather to Antef VIII, a son of his daughter (whose name is not known).
Besides the truly great red granite statue at right from the British Museum, a fine statue of him is also at ex- hibition in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.
In addition a fine stele from Karnak in Thebes and two private ones from Thebes are from his reign and bears his name, and so does a relief from Abydos. In all a dozen remnants.
These objects are by far the most prominent finds of any king from this period which mostly has left questions intended for those studying this dusky part of Egyptian history.
Pharaoh Sobekemsaf was buried at Dra abu el-Naga in Western Thebes in a saff-tomb (see the Antefs of dynasty 11) and by coincidence we know a lot about it though it was empty (and with time reused by others) when it was entered in the late 1880s.
A papyrus referring to a trail in court concerning the Egyptian state against tomb robbers a good 450 years(!) after the king had died, gives a statement from one of the accused. He tells the court how he and a friend tunnelled through the bed- rock with their copper tools and finally reached the grave chamber where they robbed the king's and queen's mummies for gold items weighing 14.5 kg (32 lbs). The text with the verdict is regrettably lost, but the robbers were likely to have been decapitated.

Antef VI (the Great)

Antef the Great

The capstone from the pyramid of Antef VI from Dra Abu el-Naga in Western Thebes.
Antef VI was a son of Sobek-emsaf I and reigned under the name Sekhemre Wep-maat (at bottom right) for probably just a few number of years around 1565 BC.
The brothers Antefs VI and VII both had small pyramids made at the west bank of the Nile right across the Karnak temple at Thebes. Judging from the very steep angle from the found capstone (in the picture above right) the monuments would have had a base of just eight to nine meters. They were placed in the yard of their saff-tombs going into the mountain side, where a handful of kings were buried at the end of the 17th dynasty, a tradition originating at the end of the 11th dynasty 400 years earlier.

Sekhemre Wepmaat
None of these small pyramids had any sub-structure since the tombs with the burial chambers of the kings were cut into the rock at the end of the yard, where the rest of the royal family also had their tombs in a rather si- milar size as the pharaoh's.
This tradition of chambers in the bedrock was passed on to the next dynasty when royalties made their tombs hidden in uninhabited valleys in the wilderness. Though very few remains (around six) of Antef's have survived, half of them are quite substantial. Besides his pyramid capstone (above), both his sarcophagus and canopy chest are today at the Louvre Museum in Paris. He may have been just the second oldest son to Sobekemsaf I since his follower (and brother) on the throne called himself (or was called by others) "The Elder".

Antef VII (the Elder)

Antef VII's mummy coffin.

Antef VII was a son of king Sobekemsaf I and brother to Antef VI. The mummy coffin of his from the Luovre Museum in Paris France is shown in the picture left.
His throne name Nubkhep-erre (seen within the car-touche right) says: "Golden is the Manifesta-tion of Re".
The middle sign is a neck-lace, meaning gold and the scarab at the bottom (cre-ator god Kheper) was to be very popular and used by almost every king in the dynasty to come next. Using the throne name is the best way to separate all Antefs since there are different ways of numbering them.
His burial coffin is today seen in the British Museum transported from his saff-tomb at Dra Abu el-Naga in West Thebes, where he also had a small pyramid for decoration in the courtyard. His reign would have been five years around 1571-1566 BC.
His name has been found on several architectural elements in Abydos cut in as reliefs in columns, stelae, and blocks. Two obelisks from a small pyramid outside his tomb were lost in the Nile while transported, but his sarcophagus was saved and is now in the British Museum.
During this short period of time the royal family included Sobekemsaf I and his sons Antefs VI-VII plus Antef VIII who was a son of a sister to those whose name isn't known. The Egyptologist Beckerath suggest that Antef VII could have been murdered, but by whom and or for what reason we do not know. If a struggle for the throne was the motif we can expect his namesake below (a son of his sister's) to be among the suspected, but this is pure speculation.

Antef VIII

Antef VIII?
Pharaoh Antef VIII is attested for just twice, and one of them is his well pre-served rather simple made mummy coffin which today is on display in the Louvre Museum in Paris France (see picture left).
His long throne name Sekhemre Her-whor Maat, meaning “The Powerful Re Who Is Satisfied, Maat", is seen within the cartouche right. This was added to the coffin text in an different hand writing after the personal no-men, indicating that the box original-ly had belonged to another Antef.
He might thus have been buried in a rock cut tomb made for someone else at Dra Abu el-Naga in west Thebes.
Knowledge about his reign is almost nothing except that he clearly had a short period of around a year on the throne.
The Danish Egyptologist Kim Ryholt has put forward that he possibly was a co-regent to his predecessor (and uncle) Antef VII since an inscription on a block of stone from Koptos seems to contain both their names in a pharaohnic fashion. The Egyptologist Beckerath tells that he might have been murdered, if so a rare way of death for a pharaoh. In short: he was an insignificant ruler and the brief remains of his are subject for a debate among scholars and interpreted in diff-erent ways.

Sobekemsaf II


Sobekemsaf II
(head reconstructed)
This king's birth name Sobekemsaf (in the picture right) means: "His Protection is Sobek". It can also spelt with ending -zaf and the beginnings Sebek- or Sobk-.
His throne name, Sekh-em-re Shed-tawy (seen within a cartouche in the picture right) means: "Powerful is Re, rescuer of the Two Lands".
When he sat on the throne is uncertain, but an estimation from scholars of today points to a period in office of about six to seven years around 1566-1559 BC.
He is very well attested for from around twenty remnants and among others is a fine small statue(tte) of him (headless but reconstructed in picture left). A relief at the base of a temple in Karnak is depicting him paying tribute ny making offerings to the war god Mentu-Re.
He has several rock inscriptions at the Wadi Hammamat passage in the Eastern Mountains, plus scarabs and two small obelisks of which one has an unknown location today (year 2002) and the other one is at exhibition in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.

At the same place can also be seen a small statue of the king with his small son (having his father's first name) standing between his legs. There is a possibility though that it is his namesake (# 1) who is depicted here, because no text for true identification (like his Horus name) is present on the sculpture.

Tao I (Siamun?)

Tao I

The birth name of king Tao (in picture left) is by some scholars questioned to be his, but his throne name Sa-nakht-en-re (within the cartouche in the right picture) is clearly established. It means: "[I am] Perpetuated like Re".
The name form Táa is used by Egyptolo-gists since the 1980s but if it's proper for this king is far from sure, but the name sound-ing like Siamun plus his name to the right is clear. Thus it's quite possible that there never was a Tao the 1st and the only pha- raoh who held this name is the well att- ested follower below. If this ruler was re- lated (some say father) to the king Tao II coming next, is anybody's guess. Those in favor have a queen to him called Tetisheri who then would be the mother to a new ruling family, unrelated to the Antefs.
Not very much (i.e. nothing) is known from his rule but three remnants are known where two are giving his name:
1) A stamp seal found at Abu el-Naga. 2) His throne name Senakhtenre within a cartouche written on an offering table from Thebes and now exhibited in the Archaeological Museum in Marseilles. 3) A depiction of him within a tomb at Thebes and probably from after his time.
The duration of his reign is not clear, but his time in office is likely to have taken place around the years 1559-1558 BC and possibly lasted for about a year.

Tao II (the Brave)

Tao II

Tao II is a well known king from the late 17th dynasty. His throne name right, Seqen-en-re, [He] Who Strikes Like Re" is well found as he was a warrior king who started a rebellion against the Hyksos in Avaris. Maybe he was provoked by a letter from their old king Apepy who complained and stated that his sleep was disturbed by the snoring from king Tao's hippopotami down in Thebes 800 km to the south(!).
He was foolish enough to take this bate (if it was meant to be) and thus started a military campaign northwards up the Nile, though it seems that he was not at all prepared for such a bold task. He was just ruling a short strip of the Nile north and south of Thebes, and the rest of the country was under the administration from Avaris in the delta, and in the south Nubia was indepen-dent. The Egyptians have had a prosperous time for generations back with no wars, and the cities had military garrisons loyal to the government up north. Thus Tao's military ambitions to be the pharaoh over the whole of Egypt wasn't a success and he obviously was killed during a battle within the first two years of this struggle.
He (or more likely his son) had put the additional "the brave" to his name, and he surely was in a way, with a big dose of presumption.
His mummy was found at Thebes and shows that he had a violent dead in some way. King Tao's about four years in office are rather well known and positioned in time around the years 1558-1554 BC. The military struggle was continued by his son who became the next pharaoh. Remnants from his own life time are about a dozen and the best known are his sarcophagus from Thebes and a statue of him, now in the Louvre Museum in Paris. From after his death his name has been found on stelae and literary remains which all tell about his (in reality very modest) deeds as supreme commander in the start of the war against the Hyksos.



King Kamose's throne name Wadj-kheper-re (the picture right) means: "Flourishing is the Manifestation of Re". He picked up the battle axe from his supposed father Tao's war against the Hyksos king residing in the delta up north as the Nubians had power south of Aswan. Motivating the people to break this condition was a hard task and the fighting spirit was low among the Egyptians who did not clearly see the "re- pression" they were to be liberated from.

The old Hyksos king Apepy tried to make an alliance with the Nubians in the south and engage Kamose in a two-front war but it didn't work out as planned since his letter was picked up by the Egyptians. Khamose's progress in his military maneuvers was substantial as territory was concerned, and he reach as far north in the Nile Valley as the Faijum basin after three years. There he halted and sent the snatched letter back to the Hyksos king, and withdraw back to Thebes for some reason. Maybe it was because of his own health, because he died the next year in about 1550 BC after just four years in power. He was buried in a simple tomb at Thebes and the course of his death is not known.
The war of "liberation" was hard to fulfill since the Egyptians in general north of the Theban territory, above the modern town of Quena, were quite satisfied with there life and had no hostility against the Hyksos king far up north. This might explain why it took at least a further 12 years before it all was over during the next pharaoh, and "civil war" is a better term for this twenty year long atrocity.

Kamose made several stelae telling about his victories on the battlefield, and is attested for by items in his secondary tomb at Dra Abu el-Naga, like a famous ceremonial axe head, scarabs seals, pedants and jewelry among other things.
His follower on the throne was his brother (or possibly nephew) Ahmose I who "liberated" Egypt after an additional dozen years of combat.
This ruler was the founder of a new dynasty (the 18th), and he would start the golden era in Egyptian history called - The New Kingdom but that's another story.

on dynasties 13-17

This period is by far the most dusky in Egyptian history and many attempts have been made to stow all kings (names) from dynasties 13-14 into the limited space of time available. It's tempting to suggest more parallel dynasties to swallow them all up like Ryholt in 1997 suggesting an Abydos dynasty. But he claims dynasties 16 and 17 to have been in succession and no exra space is thus given.
Many names are still (year 2008) not possible to put in sequence or dynasty, and various king lists made by scholars have their own solutions. Suggestions (mostly from early Egyptology in the late 1800s) have tried to eliminate many kings by claiming them to be fictional, or dead ancestors(!) to the invading Hyksos.
Notable is that later Egyptians accepted these names as real kings alongside the great pharaohs of the past and put them into the official king lists.
In the dynasties 13 and 14 put together, the last 45 years are shared by 50(!) kings, making their reigns an average 10 months. This is of course not believable, and no theory has so far given an explanation to this odd fact.
Hopefully coming archaeology, computerized calculations etc. will spread more light over this shadowy period.

The Middle Kingdom

The Middle Kingdom
Dynasties 12-14
c. 1991 - 1640 BC (c. 470 years)

By Ottar Vendel

Dynasty 12
Manetho's list

1991 - 1783 BC (208 years)

This dynasty should bring back the values from the Old Kingdom with
divine kingship, but all in the minds of the pharaohs themselves.
Its glory lies in the fact that the rulers were able leaders
developing agricultural methods and exploiting
the Faiyum. They all tried to imitate the
great pharaohs from the passed.
Egypt was prosperous and
the era saw at least
seven more

Amenemhet I


Amenemhet (meaning: "Amon is at the Head") was vizier and first military commander under king Mentuhotep III whom he probably over- threw in a peaceful coup to access power.
Thus he was not of royal stock, and this had effect on the historical documents he and his offspring produced for the next couple of hun-dreds years to come.
As pharaoh he took the Horus name Wehem- mesut (in the serek right) meaning "Repeated of Births". An inscription at Thebes tells that he probably was the son of the woman Nofret from Elephantine, and the priest Senwosret, a name he gave his son, who was Egypt's first co-regent as pharaoh and was given practice in military matters and other duties.
He restored the broken diplomatic contacts with big trade center Byblos in today's Lebanon, reintroduced conscription to the armed forces and reorganized the admin-istration of the country to a centralized ruled state.
A remarkable event was that he abandoned his home town and capital Thebes in the south and built a new one at the edge of the Fayum in the north to get better control of tha part of the country. It was named "Itj-tawy", which means, "Seizer of the Two lands", meaning the king himself. Its exact location has not yet been dis- covered but it is probably in the area around the modern town of el Lisht.

 The pyramid complex of king Amenemhet I, at Lisht.
The pyramid complex of Amenemhet I at Lisht also has five mastabas (brown), underground galleries and 22 burial shafts (left) for royal women. Pharaoh's grave chamber (red) was placed at the bottom of a vertical shaft (green) in the very center deep under the monument.

Few monuments of his are located at Thebes and he abandoned his completed tomb there for a pyramid at the new capital. The reason for this is a mystery to Egypto- logists and would later in history have a partial parallel during the New Kngdom.
His pyramid (name: Amenemhet is high and pleasant) imitated the architecture from the ones of the Old Kingdom, but his means were far from those of the great pyramid builders. Thus his monument was a construction with a core of rough cut stone with filling in between of rubble and then cased with smooth limestone. To some extent the material was taken from older ruined monuments in Giza and Sakkara. Only the inner core is left today.
After campaigning the people in the Middle East in his first years, he built the so called "Walls-of-the-Ruler", as series of fortifications along Egypt's north-eastern frontier. But as late as in his 24th year of rule, inscriptions tell of expeditions against the "sand-dwellers" in southern Palestine.
 Amenemhet I shown on a relief from his mortuary temple.
Amenemhet I shown on a relief from his mortuary temple.
He is wearing a short wig, false beard and carrying a flail.

In his 29th ruling year he strengthened trading and quarrying in Nubia to get raw materials and metals and drove his army possibly as far south as the second cataract. He founded a fortress at Semna in the same region.
Amenemhet started several building projects. Besides the many fortresses he also built or restored religious monuments at Babastis, el-Khatana, Tanis, Karnak, Koptos, Abydos, Dendera and at the old capital Memphis, where he built a temple to the big local god Ptah.
He appears to have been a wise leader, though hard, eager to protect Egypt's borders from intruders. A literary work from the time of his successor tells that he was brutally murdered in a harem plot. This way to depart from earthly life was unique for Egyptian pharaohs and he must have been an old man by then.

Senwosret I


King Senwosret took office by the Horus name Ankh-mesut meaning "Living Of Births", as seen in the serek in picture right, He went to swift action right after his father's assassination by executing the plotters and making his will public for everyone to see, an unusual way of addressing ordinary people.
It was called "Instructions of Amenemhet" and is a classic piece in Egyptian literature.
He captured Lower Nubia and built over a dozen fortresses as far south as the second cat-aract like the large stronghold at Buhen whose remains now are forever lost under the water of Lake Nasser.
The economic importance of the region lay in its mineral mines with quarrying of gold, amethyst and gneiss. Expeditions were also sent through the path Wadi Hammamat to the Red Sea during his reign which was a time of stability and development.
 Old drawing of the obelisk of Senwosret I in Heliopolis. From surviving letters we know that a famine took place during his reign and along with this news we also are got increased insight into the life of the common Egyptians. He expanded the cult of Osiris making him the god of the people. He set up a program to build monuments in every main cult city in Egypt and remnants are stated from over thirty sites from the Mediterranean Sea in the north to Lower Nubia in the south.
He remodelled the temple of Khentiamentiu and Osiris at Abydos and constructed two new shrines at Karnak and Heliopolis. In the latter he erected two 20 meter (121 tons) red granite obelisks for the jubilee of his 30th year in office and one is still standing as the oldest obelisk in Egypt (see also drawing left).
He built his pyramid at Lisht close to the Fayum basin (name: "Senwosret Looks Down on the Two Lands") and today it's just a ruin. Local limestone was used in the core and it was built as a framework of walls radiating from the corners and filled with stone debris, sand and waste material.

 Wooden statue (59 cm high) of Senwosret I, from Metropolitan Museum in New York. The valley temple is not exactly located and the long causeway, now hidden under the sand, still awaits a proper investigation.
The inner enclosure wall was built of limestone and had panels every five meters decorated with reliefs. A total of 150 were originally pre-sent topped with the king's names. The mortuary temple was almost completely ruined when excavated in 1894. Its court yard had 24 pillars and there was found a granite altar with inscriptions and reliefs. In its rear came to light the feet of a statue that originally had shown the king about 2.7 meters tall.
Eight standing large statues, and a catch with ten more than life-size statues of pharaoh sitting on a square block, have been found here.
The entrance to the pyramid's interior is located below the pavement of a little chapel on the north side where a corridor made of granite goes down to the grave chamber passing a barrier of huge blocks weighing 20 tons a piece.
This construction is today below ground water level and has never been entered by modern archaeologists. In parallel corridor made by robbers, some items were found in the 1880s including parts of wooden boxes, alabaster containers, a gold dagger sheath etc.

The complex of Senwosret I at Itj-tawy (Lisht) was built within two enclosed areas with ten minor pyramids of which nine were tombs of his consorts.
The interior was simple and the single burial chamber was entered from the north side by a corridor starting from a little chapel. The mortuary temple was constructed very close, a style from the fifth dynasty.
 Plan of the pyramid area of king Senwosret I.

All subsidiary pyramids did not receive burials because some lack a grave chamber. These tombs probably all belong to members of the royal family and some cases the owner has been identified. One of these - Nofret I, the king's first queen and sister, had her name written within a cartouche. This was the first time in Egyptian history that another person but the pharaoh had this privilege.

Amenemhet II


Amenemhet II started his reign by taking the Horus name Hekenenmaat, meaning "The One Who is Praised By Maat" seen in the serek in picture right.
He chose to build his pyramid at Dahshur in a lone- ly pyramid field from the 4th Dynasty.
His monument was called "The Mighty Pyramid" and was placed east of the Red Pyramid of Snofru. Today it's called "The White Pyramid" and is in a ruined state and the side is estimated to have been about 53 meters.
The broad causeway is probably not investigated at all and the valley temple is yet to be found at the old bank of the Nile just 250 meters from the complex. The mortuary temple is almost com-pletely destroyed and has not been properly examined.
Two tower-like structures like pylons are visible in the temple's east facade (see picture below). The core of the pyramid was built much like that of his father's but here the filling in-between the rough blocks was only sand.

Great phinx of Amenemhet II
length: 4,8 m. (The Louvre).
The construction is a mixture of Old Kingdom architectural design and contemporary fashion. The innermost rooms are built in different levels and at the west wall of the burial chamber was found a sarcophagus made of quartzite.
West of the pyramid were found tombs of the king's children, one son and four daughters. In two tombs of the females were found magnificent jewelry in 1895 by the French archaeologist De Morgan and today this treasure can be seen in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.
No military campaigns are recorded from Amen- emhet's reign, but he sent an expedition to the Red Sea through the east mountains and then south to the land of Punt.
He was also a pioneer in developing the Faiyum marshlands to something more productive, a task that many of his predecessors would continue to do.

 Plan of the pyramid of king Amenemhet II.
The pyramid of Amenemhet II at Dahshur was built within a narrow rectang-ular enclosure wall of third dynasty style. The massive pylons (green) were of fifth dynasty fashion and west of the building are underground tombs for his wifes and children (grey i the picture above and all plundered long ago).

His trade with foreign countries reach all over the known parts of the Wadj-wer (Great Green) as the Egyptians called the Mediterranean Sea.
Pottery and commodities coming all the way from Crete and the Minoan islands are thus found from his time in tombs and temples.
Though he wasn't making any military actions northwards, he kept his army in shape and had a good watch for potential hostilities from Mesopotamia. Lucky for him the Babylonian state in the south was engaged in a prolonged conflict to the north with a growing tribe later to be a real threat to Egypt - The Assyrians.

Senwosret II


King Senwosret II called himself Seshemutaui, which means ("Horus) Who Leads The Two Lands", seen in the serek in the picture right.
The reign of is considered to have been a peaceful period of slightly over a dozen years. A main task of his was to keep the balance of power between the regional leaders (governors) and the central govern-ment. If loyal to him these provincial leaders could gain a considerable wealth and political influence.
He was interested in carrying out practical matters within Egypt and used diplomacy rather than war-making against his neighbors.
In the Faiyum basin his projects of development turned large areas of marshes into land for cultivation by building dams and digging canals. These vast commitments spent over generations and became a tradition for the kings.
 Statue of Senwosret II. He built his pyramid at Lahun (Illahun) close to the Faiyum and it differed in some ways compared to similar monu-ments. Its innermost core is an adjusted natural limestone rock which was completed with masonry of mud brick. The entrance was not at the traditional north side (see picture below), but hidden under the pavement to the south. At the same side are four shaft tombs belonging to members of the king's family. Three of them were found robbed when excavated in 1914, but the fourth revealed a first class sensation.
When digging down the vertical shaft a recess came to light at one side. It was one meter high, going in to the bedrock and sealed with mud. When this was removed it was found to be a treasury of unexpected wealth.
It belonged to the king's daughter princess Sit-Hathor-Unut and this was the intact storage of her personal jewelry of bracelets necklaces and finger rings.
In total the archaeologists found: 9.500 beads of different stone material, 110 rings of gold, bracelets and anklets of gold, a golden crown and her toilet razor of copper.

 Plan of the pyramid area of king Senwosret I.
Pyramid of Senwosret II
at Lahun

Eight mastabas (brown) and a minor pyramid was situated by the north side and instead of a mortuary temple to the east a small chapel was placed there. Causeway and valley temple have not been found so far (2002) but may have once been there and was later dismantled for reusing, like the pyramid's casing of fine smooth white limestone.

Another unique find was made when a place by the river bank 1 km east of the pyra- mid was excavated. It turned out to be the location of an ancient so called pyra- mid-town just north of the kings mortuary temple by the Nile shore. These sites were built during the construction and were communities of workmen, craftsmen, admin- istrators etc. who were involved in the ongoing pyramid project.
Its name was Hetepsenwosret (Senwosret is at ease) and was the first of its kind to be found and it was not abandoned when the work was done, but flourished for another almost two centuries hosting a mayor and the priesthood working in the cult of the dead pharaoh. Today it's known as Kahun.
The place had remarkably many objects left in the houses and seems to have been abandoned in a haste. Science was here provided with a lot of information about daily life and housing conditions of different classes.

Senwosret III


Senwosret III took office with the Horus name which means "Horus Divine of Shape", seen in the serek in picture right. He had a long and prosperous time on the throne and he was military active during most of his reign. He is well attested for in many surviving statues that during the Middle Kingdom were realistic how the king should be portrayed. Thus we can se the pharaoh like he really was - a mature man with an introvert and somewhat arrogant look on his face seeming almost tired of all the responsibility his high position has put on his shoulders (picture below left).
He initiated a series of five campaigns into Nubia and protected the trading routes and mineral resources and to make transport-ation easy he extended an Old Kingdom bypass canal around the first cataract at Aswan. In Semna he erected a stele bragging about how he killed the male population, enslaved their women and children, burnt their crops and poisoned their wells.

He personally lead a campaign into Syria, described on a private stele by a participant as an invasion of plunder.
Senwosret III built a temple to the old Theban war god Mentu north of Karnak and divided the country into three administrative regions. This was to weaken the power of the local governors who were a constant threat to central power during most all the Middle Kingdom. As a side effect of this the middle class grew larger and more politically influential.

He built his pyramid at Dahshur. It was the largest of the 12th dynasty pyramids and had a mud brick core cased by limestone. The entrance was hidden under the courtyard pavement west of the pyramid and the burial chamber does not lie close to the vertical axes (see illu- stration below). Due to its position (like the one in his father's pyramid) there is a slight possibility that the found chamber was for the first queen and the king's is yet to be found. When entered in the 1890s it contained a big empty granite sarco-phagus by its west wall and the only objects found were a few vases and pieces of a bronze dagger with an ivory handle.
The location of the valley temple has never been retrieved and the causeway ap-proaching from the southeast, has not yet been investigated (year 2002).

 Plan of the pyramid of king Senwosret III.
The pyramid of Senwosret III at Dahshur. At first a mortuary temple was built by the east side (top) later to be replaced by a new and bigger within the expanded enclosured area to the south. Its plan has not been reconstructed.

In the lower galleries under the small pyramids to the north 300 pieces of jewelry were found belonging to princess Sit-Hathor, probably the king's sister and possibly also his wife. From the western most of the tombs at the south side a tunnel leads to a burial chamber with a granite sarcophagus under the corner of the king's pyramid (see illustration above). This was found in 1994 and belonged to his mother Weret.
If Senwosret ever was buried in his pyramid is doubtful because he also had a tomb at Abydos with a similar layout as a pyramid complex. From a valley temple a 900 metre long causeway leads to the mortuary temple within an enclosure area. The huge underground tomb was once considered the largest in Egypt. To the south a town was built to support this huge funerary complex.

Amenemhet III


Amenemhet took the Horus name Aabau, meaning "(Horus) Great Of Power", seen within the serek in the picture right.
He continued the irrigation program of the Faiyum by building dams and canalling water from the Nile to Egypt's only real lake - Qarun. An estimated area of 620 square km (153.000 acres) of new fertile land was reclaimed in this way.
He erected two colossal 12 metre high statues of himself at today's Biyahmu and statues of Sobek, Hathor and an unusual palm goddess have also come to light.
His long 44-year reign was peaceful and perhaps the peak of the Middle Kingdom with growing wealth and quarrying for minerals and metals all over the country.
Three major construction works of his, besides two pyramids were, in the Fayum: a Temple to Sobek at Shedet and a chapel to Ernutet (the goddess of harvest) at Medinet Madi. In the Nile Valley: an expansion of the temple of Ptah at Memphis.

Amenemhet III
as a young man
He kept good foreign relations without too much military force and was said to be praised by commoners from Nubia in the south to Syria in the north.
This might be true because he welcomed many foreign workers, peasants, soldiers and craftsmen to Egypt and once he provided the Nubians with food to appease the effects of a famine. However, by possibly a series of low Nile floods the fragile economic back-bone was damaged and standard fell rapidly by the end of his reign.
Amenemhet III built two pyramids and the first one at Dahshur was a disaster. Today it's sometimes called the "Black Pyramid" and it's surely a dark chapter in the his- tory of pyramid building. For some reason his architects built it on the hard subsoil, not the bedrock and further- more in a low spot that made the groundwater leak in and damage the structure.
Soon after the pyramid was completed (after about fifteen years of work) cracks appeared in the chambers and corridors.
Its inner architecture is very elaborated and differs totally from earlier pyramids of the Middle Kingdom (picture below). Besides the king's burial chamber are others and one them was for the burial of his first queen.
The now destroyed mortuary temple was relatively small and its original layout is hard to establish. A broad causeway flanked by two brick walls led to the valley temple that was a simple construction, with two open courts built in terraces.
At the north side of the causeway just outside the pyramid was found mud brick settlements for priests participating in the cult of the dead pharaoh.

 The pyramid of king Amenemhet III at Dahshur
The Dahshur pyramid has two entrances. The grave chamber (red) was never used for a burial and held the king's empty pink granite coffin. Two queens were buried within the pyramid (blue) and the other family members had tombs by the north side. One of them (green) was later used by king Hor from the 13th dynasty.

The king decided to build another pyramid to replace the cracked one, and chose the location Hawara just at the entrance to great Faiyum basin.
It was also built in typical 12th Dynasty fashion with a mud brick core and a casing of white limestone but was technically different to the one at Dahshur.
The whole complex was oriented north-south and surrounded by an enclosure wall covering some 28,000 square meters, the largest from the Middle Kingdom. The valley temple and the causeway, have not been investigated seriously.
The huge mortuary complex (now gone) was once called "the Labyrinth" and well known to tourists during the Greco-Roman era and is said to have been the prototype for its namesake later built for king Minos in Crete. Historian Strabo tells the halls were as many as the provinces in Egypt (42), each honoring its main god. Underground galleries for the local crocodile deity Sobek is also mentioned, but they have never been found.

 The pyramid at Hawara is today a ruined pile of mudbrick
Pyramid at Hawara

After the dismantling of the fine white casing stones the whole Hawara pyramid has decayed to a pile of mud brick rubble.
Under the sand are the scanty remains of the attraction that brought tourists here already in Roman times - The Labyrinth.
This was the mortuary temple.

In 1889 the
burial chamber was entered, but was found only to contain an empty sarcophagus. Within the nearby antechamber was found duck shaped bowls, a wooden coffin and an alabaster offering table inscribed with the name of a princess. Slabs of quartzite were placed to prevent intrusion to the king's mummy and could be put in position by the first known sand lowering device. The construction has great similarities to those of two later pyramids at Mazghuna.

Amenemhet IV


Amenemhet IV had the Horus name Kheperkheperu which means "Horus (is) the Multiple Transformer", seen within the serek in picture right.
He was probably a son of his predecessor and had a brief period as pharaoh of about ten years at the most.
He was married to his half sister (below) and poss- ibly built a pyramid at Mazghuna. No name of his has been found at the site and the estimated age of the monument has been made by looking at the architectural and technical details.
We do not know anything about his relatives like the names of his mother, sisters and brothers, or for that matter the true confirm- ation of the identity of his father. There is a possibility that his pre- decessor on the throne was his uncle or even his grandfather.
He is known to have completed several temples and other buildings which were under construction when he entered office. In Nubia rock inscriptions confirm that he was able to hold the territory that was captured by the Egyptian army almost a hundred years earlier, during the reign of king Senwosret III.
Nothing is known of a heir of his (if there was one) and the fact that he was suc-ceeded by his widow indicates that he had no son to put on the throne.
An example from the sparse remains of his is a magnificent piece of jewelry shown in the illustration below.

 golden plaque of king Amenemhet IV
A small golden plaque of unknown provenance showing Amenemhet IV (to the right in the picture) off-ering to the creator god Atum.
It is a so called openwork cutting made from a single sheet of gold. It measures only 3 by 2,8 cm and the details are made with a bril-liant technique showing even the tiny feathers of the owl sitting in the center.
Its purpose is not known but it was likely for decoration on a small jar containing ointment or perfumed oil or on the lid to a jewelry box.

Up to now (year 2002) no depictions in paintings and reliefs etc. has been found showing the looks of Amenemhet IV. Nor is there any statue or statuette that can be attested to him with certainty. His tomb has not been found but it's possible that a pyramid at Mazghuna South (one of a pair) is a monument of his. The location is 100 km north of the Faiyum and 15 km south of Sakkara.



Sobeknefrure (sometimes Neferusobek) had the Horus name Merire which means "Horus, [who is] Beloved by Re", seen in the serek in picture right. Her throne name (seen within the cartouche left) means "Three times Beautiful is Sobek", by this praising the crocodile god from the Faiyum. The two hieroglyphs at the bottom mark that this is a name of a woman.
She was most likely a daughter of Amenemhet III and is mentioned in Manetho's text, in the Karnak and Sakkara lists but not noted in the canon from Abydos temple wall.
She was probably the sister or half sister to her husband Amenemhet IV whose title and occu-pation she took over shortly after his death. Often her name app- ears with the addition Shedty, meaning "from Shedet" and this might indicate that she was involved in a religious movement in this town in Faiyum. This cult praised the crocodile god Sobek and it's possible, though not confirmed, that priests of this old local deity were the ones who backed her up as a national leader though their power (and hers) obviously was limited. This would also explain her break of tradition by taking the name aof the crocodile god Sobek as pharaoh for the first time in Egyptian history. After her a row of kings did so due to the upraise of this animal from the swamps of Faiyum where it was more common than along the shores of the Nile itself.
 A life-size tosrso of queen Sobeknefru added with fictive head and arms.
Sobeknefru reconstructed

The economic importance of Faiyum had been increased since much land for cultivation had been reclaimed from the marshes during the reigns of several kings.
Physical evidence from her reign are scant but inscriptions at the second cataract, a cylinder seal with her names and texts associating her with her father, have survived. She completed her father's mortuary temple where her name appears many times (and that of Amenemhet IV - not at all).
An apparent remain are three fragmentary life-size basalt statues of her found at the site Tell el Dab'a (former Avaris) in the eastern delta. One of them is shown in the picture left with a fictive addition giving an impression of what it once might have looked like. Note that the statue fragment has breasts and does not have a false beard and thus once clearly showed Sobeknefru as a real female pharaoh.
Her tomb has not yet been found, but there is a hardly begun pyramid at Mazghuna North that might be a remnant of hers.
If this is the case she seems to have left the Faiyum area for the more traditional administra- tive and religious centres up north like Memphis and Heliopolis. Where she actually had her residence is not known.
So far (year 2002) no depiction of her has appeared in paintings or 3D form. A possible exception is a small statue from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York mentioned in an article edited by C.J. Eyre published in: Orientalia Lovaniensia Analecta, nr. 82 (p 227-236). It is an intact depiction of a female pharaoh with an unusual crown on her head and wearing a Hebsed cloak. The assumption that it is of her is made purely on stylistic grounds and without written (hieroglyphic) backup.
Her reign concluded the 12th dynasty, a prosperous period in Egyptian history.
She was one of very few women (probably one of two in 3000 years) to achieve the rank of pharaoh over Egypt.

Post Scriptum to dynasty 12

The kings of the 12th dynasty tried to bring back the old values from the times of the great pyramid builders. They could not reach the status of gods like the old pha-raohs, but in some fields they were successful, like in arts, where the quality in paintings and sculpture became just as good as during the Old Kingdom, or almost.
With time their pyramids became technically more advanced and showed a great variety in their substructures like positions of the grave chambers, entrances etc.
The written language reached its peak and the "Middle Kingdom language" was to set standard for all future and fine pieces of literature have survived.

Dynasty 13
1802 - 1649 BC (Ryholt) (c. 140 years)

Dynasty 13 started the Second Intermediate Period (SIP) (some makes the start at dynasty 15) and this era bears many unsolved problems.
The first two kings were sons of the last male monarch of dynasty 12 and Upper Egypt was under control at least through the reign of Sobekhotep IV some 120 lyears later. The capital was Itj-tawy and a traditional belief is that after half the dynasty they kings were forced to move south, but no evidence confirms this. The territory reached north to Bubastis and the borders does not seem to have been changed over the years to the parallel dynasty 14 which controlled the rest of the delta.
In the south dynasty 13 seems to have control as far as the second cataract though- out its existence. Dynasties 13 and 14 seem to have been getting along quite well but a big question is how all entries for dynasty 13 in the Turin Canon should be explained (around 60 kings) making an average reign of 1,5 years for the first couple of dozen rulers. One of many theories is that the ruling class apointed marionette-kings and sacked them when they felt like it. Turin Canon has 57 rows with names and fragment of 50 rulers plus 12 possibly to be put in the rows 15-19 and 49-55. The duration for the dynasty is estimated to c. 150 years (1802 to 1649 BC) making an average rule for all kings of about three years.
This curious fact goes for dynasty 14 as well with around 56 kings over 150 years.

Known only from Upper Egypt and NOT present in the Turin Canon are:
Mentuhotep VI, Djehuty, Neferhotep III, Nebiryraw I, Smenre, Bebiankh, Snaaib, Monthemsaf, Senwosret IV, Nebmaatre, Dedumose I-II, Wepwawemsaf, Pantjeny.

Based upon the Canon of Turin and other sources the
Danish Egyptologist Kim Ryholt has in 1997
published a suggestion for a

Sobekhotep I


The founder of the dynasty is well attested for and he was the first (male) pharaoh to include Faiyum's crocodile god into his name. He was the son of king Amenemhet IV of dynasty 12 and is incorrectly noted as king number 19 in the Turin Canon, obvious interchanged with king Wegaf in position #21 who was ruling in about forty years later.
The duration of his reign is gone from the damaged list, but a probable figure is estima-ted for at least three a period of years around 1800-1797 BC. His prenomen (seen within the cartouche in picture right) means: "Life of Re is Appearing", made by the hieroglyphs: sun- rise (which means "appear"), ankh (meaning "life") and the sun, standing for the solar god Re. His name occurs on at least a dozen remnants from buildings of stone plus some papyrus inscriptions and an axe blade of unknown provenance.

Sekhemkare Sonbef

King Sekhemkare Sonbef was a son of Amenemhet III and by some considered identical to Amenemhet V (see below) and confusion is at hand ordering these insignificant rulers correctly with one thing in common: short periods in high office.

Amenemhet Sonbef


This king is listed as number two in the Royal Canon of Turin, where he possibly succeeded his paternal brother Sobekhotep I.
He thus was the son of the king Amenemhet IV of the dynasty before. His nomen was Sonbef, as written by the last three hieroglyphs at right in the cartouche above.
His throne name was "Mighty is the soul of Re", (within a cartouche left), and his Horus-name in the serek right means: "Horus, the one who makes the Two Lands live".
Another find is a stele (below) with his names (center and left) and at right the Nile god Hapi kneeling with offerings on a plate. A cylinders seal with his name (right) was used during his short reign of about 3 years around 1795 BC.

Amenemhet V


King Amenemhet V had a reign of about three years at least and possibly identical to king Sekhemkare Sonbef above. His reign would have started around 1783 BC. and according to the Turin Canon he was the third king of the dynasty and is noted for a reign of 5-6 years. His throne name was "Sekhem-ka-Re" in the cartouche to the right and means: "Powerful is the Soul of Re", which was a quite common name. His Horus name is seen in the serek to the left and it means: (Horus is) the one who makes the two lands live". There are no mon-uuments found from his reign, nor are there any scarab-seals or cylinder seals with his name. The only remain of him is his name written on papyrus and a statue (3/4 of man size) divided into two parts. They are today (year 2002) on exhibition in Das Kunsthistorische Museum (The Art History Museum) in Vienna, which holds fragments

from the body, and the Nubian Museum at Aswan (in the picture left). In the latter place this statue, made of hard grey-green stone, was once found in the temple area on the old fortified island of Elephantine in the modern town of Aswan. A positive identifi-cation was made as late as in the 1990s when his name was found written on some of half a dozen fragments from the body which were found fitting the upper part. The artistic style adopted during dynasty twelve is clearly visible in this fragmentary statue (with the exception of the normally big ears). His expression seems also to be more joyful than the grim faces of some of the giants from the dynasty before. Excluding the reconstructed part (in brown) the measures are - height: 35 cm and width: 17,5 cm.


Ameni Kemau

King Amenyqemau had a reign of a few years around 1790 BC. and came to be known better some 3,750 years later - in 1957.
While working at South Dashur an American expedition tried their luck by excavating a low structure of mud brick rubble never worked on before. Soon they discovered a substructure that made them determine that this was a true pyramid, until then unknown to science.
The owner was soon identified as king Ameny Kemau (usualy today written Amenyqemau), a little known ruler from the 13th dynasty, and hard to place in the long line of minor regents from this dusky period. In the Turin Canon appears a pharaoh called Se-hotep-ib-Re with a noted reign of just one year, which may be him. Another suggestion is that he was the son of (and perhaps predecessor to) pharaoh Amenemhet V, but this has not been confirmed, but it might be possible.
His name (in the picture right) clearly confirms his status by the signs at the very bottom (the goose and the sun) which says: "Son of Re", meaning nobody but the king. And in the picture left his personal name is seen within a royal cartouche.
Today (year 2002) the place of his pyramid is hard to determine as man made, and looks more like natural formation in the landscape.
The details of the superstructure have almost totally vanished, but it likely was a construction made of a mud brick core cased by limestone. The complex probably didn't have an enclosure wall and any subsidiary tombs has not been found.
The remains below surface have been preserved in a better way and are well docu- mented from a second investigation made in the late 1960s.
 The pyramid of Amenyqemau at South Dahshur.
Pyramid of Amenyqemau
The entrance to the substructure was made in a fashion well known from the mid dynasty 13.
A huge block of stone (green) was a stopper at the threshold of the buri- al chamber (red).
Nothing was found of any mortuary temple, causeway or valley temple. It's doubtful if there ever were any built and if the pyramid itself was ever finished.
The base side was originally about 52 meters and the height about 35.
The entrance corridor (picture above) was at the east side, and had two stairways before entering the large antechamber outside the grave chamber holding a huge block of quartzite stone. Into this craftsmen had cut two niches for the storage of the king's mummy coffin and the chest containing four jars with his embalmed inner organs. After the burial a big stone slab outside the door was put into place blocking the entrance to pharaoh's final resting place.
Despite these precautions taken by the architect, the monument was entered by grave robbers who ransacked it of its valuable things leaving only fragments of the canopy chest behind. Luckily for the afterworld it was on these pieces of stone that the king's name was found some 3,700 years later (the serek-pictures above left).
The pyramid of Amenyqemau was one of the last monumental pyramid for a king's final resting place to be built in Egypt, and as such it is a valuable object for studying the long development of this famous type of tomb.

Sobekhotep II

King Sobekhotep II was possibly the pharaoh in office just before the brief reign of king Hor and may have been the son of his namesake Sobekhotep I who had ruled about a dozen years earlier. He was the second in a row of at least seven kings to bear this crocodile name with the meaning: "Sobek is Beautiful and Pleasing". The duration of his time in office is today generally agreed on to have been two to four years around 1778 BC. and he is identified in the Turin Canon as listed between the little known about king Amenemhet VII (Sedjefkare) and the far better known king Khendjer.
At Deir el Bahri (western Thebes) and Medamud eight km northeast of Luxor, he made additions to the old temples of Mentuhotep I, which were built almost two centuries earlier.
A statue (picture right) made of red granite, shows him sitting on his throne and this piece is today (year 2002) at exhibition in the British Museum. His throne name (within the cartouche in picture upper left) means: "The Powerful Re Rules and Protects the Two Countries".
His name has also been found on a block of stone from a chapel and an altar from Abydos. At Karnak a fundament from a statue of his is known and in the Petrie Museum in London his name is present on a fragment from a column. Where and in what sort of tomb (pyramids were on their way out) he was buried is yet (year 2008) to be found.

Hor I

 Life size wooden statue of king Hor.
King Hor

King Hor I has been very well known and his throne name is shown here written within a cartouche in the illustration right. It means: "Re Succours the Heart".
At Hawara by the north side of the pyramid of Amnemhet III a small tomb was found to be his last resting place. Among other things it also contained a wooden statue of him.
This life size (1.7 m) sculpture is today a masterpiece of its kind in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo (picture left).
The statue is depicting the king's Ka (an invi-sible follower) which walked beside every human being in life as well as after death.
It was thought to take possession of the mummified body and was symbolized and shown in hieroglyphic writing as two up-reached arms, and now placed upon his head.
The eyes are made of white and blue glass, a rare color of the eyes of the Egyptians. The tomb was untouched by robbers and also contained his mummy within a wooden coffin plus some items of the funerary equipment including a wooden chest.
Some indications in the tomb may point to the fact that a later king - Khendjer, took part in his funeral, but opinions among Egyptologists are divided in this matter. Pharaoh Hor had a brief reign (7 months to 2-3 years) around 1776 BC.



Pharaoh Wegaf (also spelt Ugaf) is in most lists put in first position of the dynasty with a reign of about a good two years around 1765 BC. The Turin Canon gives him - two years, three months and twenty-seven days on the throne.
He is likely to have ruled from the capital Itj-tawy as the first in a row of about ten kings who had rather stable rules. His throne name (within cartouche right) means: "Re Protects the Two Lands", and sometimes the signs at row three and at the bottom are left out. At left his per-sonal name Wegaf is seen written with phonetic hieroglyphs.
His remains are rather few (7) and just a single scarab-seal is documented from his time as the senior commander of Egypt's military forces before he became pharaoh.
He is also known from two stelae in Karnak and Lower Nubia in the vicinity of the second cataract (drawing in picture left) and from a statuette in the Museum of Khartoum in Sudan.
In the early 1980s a former anonymous statuette on display in the Egyptian Museum was reattributed and determined as being his.
A find of an Ostracon (single piece with temporary drawing/writing) from the island of Elephantine in Aswan shows his name together with the nomen of king Senwosret, (which one is unclear). In total half a dozen physical remnants of his are known including a statue (a the Egyptian Museum in Cairo) plus a stele and a statuette (stele seen in drawing left), now both in the museum in Khartum, Sudan.


Nothing is known of the deeds of this pharaoh. His fame comes from his mortuary complex with his pyramid which was discovered at far south in the burial ground of Sakkara in 1929, and was identified as his two years later.
His name was known before, from a stele, but here another throne name was used. For some time the question was if there were two kings called Khendjer, but soon scientists agreed on that it was one and the same pharaoh from the stele found at Sakkara and the one possibly mentioned in the Canon of Turin. His Horus name "Djed Kheperu" (firm is Kheper) is seen within a serek right, and his reign would have lasted circa 4 years around 1750 BC.
The whole pyramid area of his had once been enclosed by two walls, the outer made of mud brick. The inner one was of limestone and had niches and panels and remains indicated it apparently had replaced an unusual wavy wall, just like the one surrounding the pyramid at Mazghuna South from king Amenemhet IV around half a century earlier (see above).
The mortuary temple was located on the east side between the walls and the only remains were bits of reliefs and parts of the pavement from the court yard. Luckily fragments from columns were inscribed with his name, and thereby identifying the constructions as his. Investigations of the fragmentary pyramid lead to the conclu-sion that it once had a base side of 53 meters and a height of about 37. After having been quarried away over the years it is considerably reduced in height today (2002). Compared to what it once had looked like in its prime.
Many fragments of the black granite pyramidon (capstone) was found in a rather well preserved condition at the east side and is now reconstructed (put together). It's inscribed with the king's throne name - Userkare.
A chapel to the north was built against the pyramid's facade. It stood on a platform and was reached by two stairways.

 The pyramid of king Khendjer at Sakkara South
The pyramid complex of Khendjer once had two enclosure walls and the mortuary temple was placed in between (striped area).
Huge stoppers (green) blocked the way to the grave chamber (red).

Fragments of reliefs that once adorned the walls have been found, depicting scenes of offerings and other well known motifs. The entrance was at the west side (picture above) with a stairway leading down to a portcullis that never was engaged and 39 steps further down was a room with stopper number two. Prior to the superstructure the grave chamber was built in a shaft cut out in the bedrock. Huge blocks were sealing it from the top and lowered to their final position by a devise making them fall into place when the sand they temporary lay on was drained out from below through small channels. This technically advanced method is also known from the pyramid remains at Mazghuna South attributed to Amenemhet IV (see above).
Just outside the inner wall at the north west corner are the underground remains of a small (c. 20 m square) subsidiary pyramid possibly built for his first queen. Within the area are also shaft tombs most likely belonging to other family members. All of it was found in an unfinished state when it was discovered in the late 1920s, and poss-ibly never used for burials. An inscription on the sarcophagus in the grave chamber below the queen's pyramid, gives an indication of the duration of the king's short reign - four years. Apart from his tomb all remains left of pharaoh Khendjer are three statuettes of him, three cylinder seals with his name, a few scarab seals and a stele.
If Khendjer was coming from outside Egypt (and his Semitic name indicates this) he may have been the first recognised Pharaoh of non-Egyptian origin.

Sobekhotep III

Sobekhotep I

Pharaoh Sobekhotep III is placed in the Royal canon of Turin as number 19 in the long row of rulers. His reign is noted in the kings' to have been three years and two months, but the two marks for "years" are so separated that another in the middle is likely to once have been written there. His reign was thus possibly 3-4 years starting around 1749 BC. His throne name Sekhemre (right) have the sign for divine power "sekhem" as a staff of a commander on top under the solar symbol of the god Re.
The whole meaning is: "Powerful is Re, Who Makes Two Lands Flourish". He was not of royal stock and his parents (noted in a temple inscription) were commoners. Despite his quite short reign a lot artifacts from his reign are know and among them over 30 scarab seals.

Scarab seal
of Sobekhotep

Sebekhotep III in low relief.
His (none royal) family is well attested for and the names of two of his queens are known - Senebhenas and Neni. From the latter he fathered the daughter Jewetibaw whose name has been found within a cartouche, an honour given a princess just once before in Egyptian history.
Remnents of monuments of his are found in el Kab (a small chapel) and Lisht. A few cylinder seals are known and many scarab seals (see picture right). An altar on Sehel Island at Aswan bears his name, and so does an axe handle and a small gold ball, possibly from a necklace. He can be seen as a stone sphinx (Egyptian Museum) and has a statue dedicated to the creator god Khnum exhibited in the Medelhavsmuséet in Stockholm Sweden.

Neferhotep I


Neferhotep is the first king in a row of several bearing this rather odd name meaning "Beauty and satisfaction" and he was an elder brother to the next king: Sobekhotep IV.
The hieroglyph for satisfaction is a loaf of bread on a reed mat (cartouche left) indicating the seriousness the Egyptians had in their relation to food.
He is listed as number 27 in the Turin Canon and noted to have been in office almost a dozen years around 1742-1731 BC.
His throne name (within the cartouche in the picture right) means: "Mighty is the Appear- ance of Re". Neferhotep I came from a military family of none royal stock (at least on his father's side) and possibly from Thebes. His queen's name was Senebsen and they likely resided in the main capital from witch the king ruled the country - Itjtawy near Lisht by the Fayum in middle Egypt.

Scarab seal and statue of Neferhotep I
Knowledge about his deeds could be better but artifacts from his reign are many and on Sehel island at Aswan his name is cut into the rocks in seven occasions. He has left two stelae from Abydos made in his second and forth year in office and another has been found at Byblos in Lebanon. His scarab-seals are more than 60 (one of them is shown in picture above) and two cylinders seals are known. Three statues of him have survived - one at Elefantine in Aswan and two from the Karnak temple area at Thebes. His successor was his younger brother Sobekhotep IV (below) and they might have ruled together because many monument have both their names inscribed.

Sobekhotep IV

In the Turin Canon Sobekhotep IV is listed in position 21. His throne name (within the cartouche in the picture right) was Kha- ineferre meaning: "Beautiful is the App- earance of Re".
He was one of the most powerful kings of the dynasty and is known to have secured the southern frontier by sending troops down into Nubia.
His reign (and his brother's before him) can be considered as the peak of the 13th dynasty, which was a rather shaky and politically troublesome period. Luckily there is a fine unbroken statue left of him showing his looks (picture left). He is sitting on his throne and his face is made in typical Middle Kingdom style with big ears pointing out. This unique piece is today to be seen at the Louvre Museum in Paris.
He was a younger brother to Neferhotep I whom he succeed- ed on the throne. Their father was a priest and their mother was possibly of royal stock and if so possibly a (grand?) grandchild of Amenemhet III from dynasty 12. His queen was called Tjan and has left an inscription (probably made after her husbands death) where she tells how he went to Heliopolis and studied the old scripts and took a statue of the god Osiris in a procession. It ended in the old capital down at Abydos in the so called "Osiris' Tomb", where the priests performed the well known story of his deeds. The duration of his reign is not noted in the Turin Canon, but is estimated to have been a dozen years around 1732-1720 BC. During his reign the Hyksos made their first appearance, and took control of the town of Avaris in the Delta around 1720 BC, and started their conquest of the week and split up Egypt.

Sobekhotep VI

Pharaoh Sokbekhotep VI had the throne name Khahotep Re (within the cartouche right), with the meaning: Perfect In (His) Appearence is Re". He was a ruler from Thebes and probably the son of his predecessor with the same name (and number 5) who is known to have a son bearing this name.
His time in office was not very long and his reign as ruler number 25 of this dyna- sty is estimated to a period of about five years (Turin Canon says four) around the years 1720-1715 BC.
Little to nothing is known about his deeds and the only remnant of substance left from his time on the throne besides some (10) scarab seals, (including impressions and a cylinder ditto), is a statuette found in Kerma in Nubia, now in the Museum in Berlin (seen in picture left). This find indicates that Egypt though week, had influence possibly next to control over this remote region known for its own identity and struggle for independence throughout the long Egyptian history.


Iaib (Ibiaw)

Pharaoh Wahibre (meaning "Re Is Strong Of Heart") had the personal nomen Iaib (also Ib- iaw) as seen in the cartouche right. He is noted in the Turin Canon as the 29th ruler and with a possible additional four king in a damage part of the papyrus earlier in the dynasty, he may have entered the throne as number 33 in suc-cession.
With his successor Aya he is ending a line of kings with well attested rather long reigns and the followers all are estimated for very short periods on the throne.
From his almost eleven years in office (10 years, 8 months and 29 days in Turin Canon) around the years 1712-1701 BC. some remains are left that confirms his existence and they are: 1) Nine scarab-seals of

Seal of Wahibre
which one was found in Byblos (Lebanon). 2) Three cylinder-seals. 3) A bead and stamp seal(?) with his name found at Lisht. 4) A cup from Kahun. 5) A stele of unknown provenance now in the British Museum.

Aya (Ay, Ai)

Aya (Ay)

The throne name of king Aya was Merneferre (seen within the cartouche right) meaning: "Beautiful is the Desire of Re".
The Turin Canon has Aya in position 33 and he is the king from the dynasty with the longest reign noted - almost 24 years. One theory says that the Hyksos rulers expanded southwards and had captured Memphis by then, making Aya flee to the south from his capital Itj-twy, (which hasn't been found for sure by modern archaeology).
Ryholt claims 1997 that nothing of this scenario can be proven by substantial evidence and on the contrary the border between the two neigh- boring dynasties 13 and 14 seems to have been quite stable throughout the times.
His reign was for 23 and 3/4 of a year (according to the Royal Canon of Turin) and it likely occurred during the years

Seal of king Aya
around 1701-1677 B.C. He has left a lot of remains, among them over 60 scarab-seals (one of them shown in picture left), one cylinder seal, a stone jar with his name and the capstone (top) from his pyramid, found at Khatana (in the north east delta). It's likely to have come from Sakkara where this tomb probably was situated, but today it's not identified with certainty. A candidate for his last resting place might be an unfinished rather big anonymous pyramid (today in a ruined state) situated south west of Khendjer's tomb in South Sakkara. No hard evidence are found for a clear identification of its owner, but it's no doubt one of the last pyramids to be built. Traces of a mortuary temple or a procession road to a valley temple are lacking.

Dedumes I (Dedumose I)


King Dedumose I had the throne name Djed-hotep-Re (within the cartouche left) meaning: "The One Bringing Lasting Peace".
He is known from Manetho's historical work as the king who had to give up his country to the attacking Hyksos people. In this chronicle he is given his Greek name Totemaios.
For some unknown reason he is not present in the Turin Canon and i only attested for by re- mains from Upper Egypt, but this doesn't mean that the invasion scenario told about him (start-ing in Lower Egypt) is not a fact.
Another king with the same name and given the number II has initiated a discussion about his true position in the 13th dynasty.
The Egyptologist Kim Ryholt has (1997) in his work about this period put him in the 16th dynasty in a place not to be determined in the sequence of names.
This lack of agreement among the experts is due to the fact that at least three (by some scholars up to five) dynasties were operating at the same time in the split up Egypt. (See textlink "Second Intermediate Period" at dynasty 13 above).
One possibility might be that Dedumose had to capitulate to the foreign enemies and his followers were marionette rulers, but this is just a suggestion of many from this politically very complicated period.
Remnants of his are scant and apart from his names and titles found in single inscriptions, a remarkable stele has been found at Edfu made by an unnamed official giving himself the title "the king's son", and tells Dedumose's all titles and names and among them his Horus-name within a serek (left). It was Wadj-chau, meaning "Fresh at feature" un-derlining his physical fitness necessary to do his job properly in the eyes of the people. This stele is now in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo.

Dynasty 14
1750 - c. 1670 BC. (c. 85 years)

Egypt was now split up and dynasty 14 (parallel at least to the mid 13th) was ruling from Xois in the north eastern delta and was (at least indicated by some names) of Asiatic (Hyksos) origin. The Canon of Turin note 32 names in a list which has space (rows) for about 60. Several lists and theories are at hand, like suggestions that they were province leaders, vassals, made up, or ancestors(!) to the living pharaohs.
Schloars of today (year 2002) distribute some names among all dynasties 13-15.
Manetho (through Africanus) writes that 76 kings ruled for 184 years.
The duration of their reigns indicate about two years each on the throne in average, and these unlikely figures still awaits an explanation.

Based upon the Canon of Turin and other sources the
Danish Egyptologist Kim Ryholt has in 1997
published a suggestion for a

Just a few kings from dynasty 14 are known from seals in shapes of scarabs (see picture), and besides Nehesy's below the only remain of substance is a stone stele.



From Nehesy's reign are left documents where he states that he is the son of a pharaoh, but curi-ously he doesn't say who his father was, which possibly indicates that his statement isn't true. One theory advocates that his father might have been an Egyptian civil servant or a military commander who usurped royal rule in the delta. The throne name of his - Aa-seh-Re (the cartouche in picture right) means: "Great in Council is Re".
Nehesy has left a row of remnants from his reign: 1) An obelisk at the temple of Seth at Raahu (in the north east delta). 2) Two stelae at Tell Habwe. 3) A column at Tanis holding his mother's name: Peret. 4) At least 23 seals mostly being scarab amulets with his name carved into the flat bottom. In the Turin Canon he is listed as the first pharaoh of dynasty fourteen, but a great gap in the papyrus indicates a row of about five kings (see list above) who probably ruled before him. Estimations have been made indicating that these had rather long periods in office compared to most later kings, which makes the time when Nehesy was in charge to have possibly occurred around the year 1705 BC.
The damage Turin papyrus cannot give him more than half a year in office, at most.
His name Nehesy means "Nubian" in the Egyptian language and may indicate his origin and background, since soldiers from the south by tradition were a great part of the Egyptian military forces. Despite this he seems to have belonged to the ex- treme opposit part of Egypt - the Delta in the far north.