Thursday, January 31, 2008

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. 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 their existens. The two dynasties (13th and 14th) seem to have been getting along quite well but a big question is how all entries in the Turin Canon should be explained. The number of kings (around 60) points to an average reign of 1,5 years for the first couple of dozen rulers and this can hardly be a reflection of a historical fact. One theory (among others) is that the ruling class gave office to marionette-kings and sacked them when they felt like it.

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 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 theese hieroglyphs: sunrise (which means "appear"), ankh (mean- ing "life"), and the sun (meaning the solar god). His name occures on at least a dozen building remnants 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 and by some concidered 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.

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", (wihin 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 stela (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- uments 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) devided into two parts.

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 Elefantine 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.



King Amenyqemau had a reign of a few years around 1790 BC. and came to be known better 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 pyramid, until then unknown to science.

The owner was soon identified as king Ameny Kemau (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 king by the name Se-hotep-ib-Re with a noted reign of just one year, which may be him. Another sug- gestion is that he was the son of (his prede- cessor?) 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. 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 entrance and the design of the substructure was made in the line of fashion from the mid thirteenth dynasty architectural design. 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 (pictures at top).

The pyramid of Amenyqemau was one of the last monumental pyramids 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 was possibly 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. 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.


Hor I

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 depicing 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 symbolised 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 colour 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 stelas 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 Elefantine 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 stela and a statuette (stela 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 stela, 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 stela found at Sakkara and the one mentioned in the Canon of Turin. His Horus name "Djed Kheperu" (firm is the god Kheper) is seen within a serek to the right, and his reign would have lasted circa 4 years around 1757 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 (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 . The rather well preserved capstone of the pyramid was found at the east side, 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 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 below) 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 from the bedrock. The huge blocks sealing it from the top were 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, just like from the pyramid at Mazghuna South attributed to Amenemhet IV.

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 queen. Within the area are also shaft tombs most likely belonging to other family members. All of it was in an unfinished state and never used for burials. An inscription on the sarco- phagus 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 him is 3 statuettes, 3 cylinder seals, a few scarab seals and a stela.


Sobekhotep III

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 devine 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.

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 recided in the main capital from witch the king ruled the country - Itjtawy near Lisht by the Fayum in middle Egypt.

He was the son of a temple priest in Abydos. His father's position helped him to gain the royal image as the king because he did not have any royal blood in his family. Neferhotep is inspirited on some stones discovered near Byblos. Also, they found other stones in Aswan that were carved with texts which documents all his reign. It seems that all his power reached the Delta in the north and the Nubian Nome in the south.

Scarab seal and statue of Neferhotep I

Knowledge about his deeds could be better but artefacts 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 2nd and 4th 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 youger 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 concidered 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 diversed 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 remnent 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 inluence possibly next to control over this remote region known for its own identity and struggle for independence throughout the long Egyptian history.



Pharaoh Wahibre (meaning "Re Is Strong Of Heart") had the personal nomen Iaib (also Ibiaw) 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 ent- ered the throne as number 33 in succsession.

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 Wahibrewhich 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 stela of unknown provenance now in the British Museum.


Aya (Ay, Ai)

The throne name of king Aya - Merneferre (seen within the cartouche right) means: "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 proved by substantial evidence and on the contrary - the border between the two neighboring 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 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 surtainty. A candidate to be his last resting place is a never finished and rather big anonymous monument (and what's left of it) situated southwest of Khendjer's tomb in South Sakkara.


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 reason he is not present in the Turin Canon and only attested for by remains from Upper Egypt, but this does not mean that the historical scenario told above 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.

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.

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 stela 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 stela 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. 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. 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.

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 stela.


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 (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 (north east delta). 2) Two stelas at Tell Habwe. 3) A column at Tanis with his mother's name. 4) At least 23 seals mostly from scarab amulets with his name carved into the flat bottom. In the Turin Canon he is listed as the first pharaoh of the dynasty, 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 a rather long reigns compared with 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 can't give him more than half a year in office. 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.