|Periods and Dynasties of Ancient Egypt|
All years are BC
The Abydos Dynasty is hypothesized to have been a short-lived local dynasty ruling over parts of Middle and Upper Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period in Ancient Egypt. The Abydos Dynasty would have been contemporaneous with the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Dynasties, from approximately 1650 to 1600 BC.It would have been based in or around Abydos and its royal necropolis might have been located at the foot of the Mountain of Anubis, a hill resembling a pyramid in the Abydene desert, close to a rock-cut tomb built for pharaoh Senusret III.
The existence of an Abydos Dynasty was first proposed by Detlef Frankeand later elaborated on by Kim Ryholt in 1997. Ryholt observes that two attested kings of this period, Wepwawetemsaf ( Wepwawet is his protection) and Pantjeny (He of Thinis), bore names in connection with Abydos: Wepwawet being an important Abydene god and Thinis being a prominent city, located a few miles north of Abydos. Additionally, Wepwawetemsaf, Pantjeny and Snaaib, another king of the period, are each known from single stelae discovered in Abydos, which could be a sign that this was their seat of power. Finally, Ryholt argues that the existence of an Abydos Dynasty would explain 16 entries of the Turin canon at the end of the 16th Dynasty. The Abydos Dynasty may have come into existence in the time lapse between the fall of the 13th Dynasty with the conquest of Memphis by the Hyksos and the southward progression of the Hyksos to Thebes.
The existence of the dynasty may have been vindicated in January 2014, when the tomb of the previously unknown pharaoh Senebkay was discovered in the southern part of Abydos, an area called "Anubis Mountain" in ancient times. If Senebkay indeed belongs to the Abydos Dynasty, his tomb might signal the royal necropolis of this dynasty, adjacent to the tombs of the Middle Kingdom rulers.Since then, excavations have revealed no less than eight anonymous royal tombs dating to the Second Intermediate Period similar in style and size to Senebkay's burial, as well as two tombs, possibly pyramids, dating to the mid 13th-Dynasty, S9 and S10, which may belong to Neferhotep I and his brother Sobekhotep IV.
The existence of an Abydos Dynasty is not agreed by all scholars. For example, Marcel Marėe observes that a workshop operating from Abydos and producing stelae for two kings associated with the Abydos Dynasty, Pantjeny and Wepwawetemsaf, also likely produced the stela of Rahotep of the 17th Dynasty. Thus if the Abydos Dynasty did exist, this workshop would have been producing stelae for two enemy dynasties, something which he judges to be rather unlikely.It remains unclear, however, whether these two dynasties coexisted at any one time: for instance, in Ryholt's reconstruction of the Second Intermediate Period, they are separated by c. 20 years.
Countering the argument in favor of the Abydos Dynasty based on the tomb of Senebkay, Alexander Ilin-Tomich argues that certain Middle Kingdom pharaohs, such as Senusret III and Sobekhotep IV, also have their tombs at Abydos, yet nobody places these kings into an Abydos-based dynasty. At the opposite, he wonders whether Senebkay might be a king of the Theban 16th Dynasty.
If the Abydos Dynasty was indeed a dynasty, the seat of its power would probably have been either Abydos or Thinis. A possible graffito of Wepwawetemsaf was discovered by Karl Richard Lepsius in the tomb BH2 of the 12th Dynasty nomarch Amenemhat at Beni Hasan, about 250 km North of Abydos, in Middle Egypt. If the attribution of this graffito is correct and if Wepwawetemsaf did belong to the Abydos Dynasty, then its territory might have extended that far north. Since the dynasty was contemporaneous with the 16th Dynasty, the territory under Abydene control could not have extended farther than Hu, 50 km south of Abydos.
The following 16 entries of the Turin canon are attributed to the Abydos Dynasty by Kim Ryholt:
|Prenomen of the King||Entry of the Turin canon||Transliteration|
|Woser[...]re||Col 11. Line 16||Wsr-[...]-Rˁ|
|Woser[...]re||Col 11. Line 17||Wsr-[...]-Rˁ|
|Eight kings lost||Col 11. Lines 18-25|
|[...]hebre||Col 11. Line 26||[...]-hb-[Rˁ]|
|Three kings lost||Col 11. Lines 27-29|
|[...]hebre (uncertain)||Col 11. Line 30||[...]-ḥb-[Rˁ]|
|[...]webenre||Col 11. Line 31||[...]-wbn-[Rˁ]|
Some of the above rulers may identify with the four attested kings tentatively attributable to the Abydos Dynasty, given here without regard for their (unknown) chronological order:
|Name of king||Image||Comment|
|Sekhemraneferkhau Wepwawetemsaf||May belong to the late 16th Dynasty|
|Sekhemrekhutawy Pantjeny||May belong to the late 16th Dynasty|
|Menkhaure Snaaib||May belong to the late 13th Dynasty|
|Woseribre Senebkay||Perhaps identifiable with a Woser[...]re of the Turin canon|
Hyksos is a term which, in modern Egyptology, designates the kings of the Fifteenth Dynasty of Egypt. The seat of power of these kings was the city of Avaris in the Nile delta, from where they ruled over Lower and Middle Egypt up to Cusae. In the Aegyptiaca, a history of Egypt written by the Graco-Egyptian priest and historian Manetho in the 3rd century BC, the term Hyksos is used ethnically to designate people of probable West Semitic, Levantine origin. While Manetho portrayed the Hyksos as invaders and oppressors, this interpretation is questioned in modern Egyptology. Instead, Hyksos rule might have been preceded by groups of Canaanite peoples who gradually settled in the Nile delta from the end of the Twelfth Dynasty onwards and who may have seceded from the crumbling and unstable Egyptian control at some point during the Thirteenth Dynasty.
The Second Intermediate Period marks a period when ancient Egypt fell into disarray for a second time, between the end of the Middle Kingdom and the start of the New Kingdom. The concept of a "Second Intermediate Period" was coined in 1942 by German Egyptologist Hanns Stock.
Khasekhemre Neferhotep I was an Egyptian pharaoh of the mid Thirteenth Dynasty ruling in the second half of the 18th century BC during a time referred to as the late Middle Kingdom or early Second Intermediate Period, depending on the scholar. One of the best attested rulers of the 13th Dynasty, Neferhotep I reigned for 11 years.
Khaneferre Sobekhotep IV was one of the more powerful Egyptian kings of the 13th Dynasty, who reigned at least eight years. His brothers, Neferhotep I and Sihathor, were his predecessors on the throne, the latter having only ruled as coregent for a few months.
Merhotepre Sobekhotep was an Egyptian king of the 13th Dynasty during the Second Intermediate Period. According to egyptologist Kim Ryholt he was the thirtieth pharaoh of the dynasty, while Darrell Baker believes instead that he was its twenty-ninth ruler. In older studies, Jürgen von Beckerath and Detlef Franke identified Merhotepre Sobekhotep with Merhotepre Ini, thereby making him Sobekhotep VI and the twenty-eighth ruler of the 13th Dynasty.
Sekhemre Khutawy Sobekhotep was an Egyptian pharaoh of the 13th Dynasty during the Second Intermediate Period, who reigned for at least three years c. 1800 BC. His chronological position is much debated, Sekhemre Khutawy Sobekhotep being either the founder of the dynasty, in which case he is called Sobekhotep I, or its twentieth ruler, in which case he is called Sobekhotep II. In his 1997 study of the Second Intermediate Period, the Egyptologist Kim Ryholt makes a strong case for Sekhemre Khutawy Sobekhotep as the founder of the dynasty, a hypothesis that is now dominant in Egyptology. His tomb was believed to have been discovered in Abydos in 2013, but its attribution is now questioned.
Sekhemre Sankhtawy Neferhotep III Iykhernofret was the third or fourth ruler of the Theban 16th Dynasty, reigning after Sobekhotep VIII according to Egyptologists Kim Ryholt and Darrell Baker. He is assigned a reign of 1 year in the Turin Canon and is known primarily by a single stela from Thebes. In an older study, Jürgen von Beckerath dated Neferhotep III to the end of the 13th Dynasty.
Seankhenre Mentuhotepi was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh during the fragmented Second Intermediate Period. According to egyptologists Kim Ryholt and Darrell Baker, he was the fifth king of the 16th Dynasty reigning over the Theban region in Upper Egypt. Alternatively, Jürgen von Beckerath sees him as the fifth king of the 17th Dynasty.
Menwadjre Sihathor was an ephemeral ruler of the 13th Dynasty during the late Middle Kingdom. Sihathor may never have enjoyed an independent reign, possibly only ruling for a few months as a coregent with his brother Neferhotep I. According to Egyptologist Kim Ryholt, Sihathor died in 1733 BC while Detlef Franke dates his short reign to 1694 BC. His tomb is likely to be the unfinished one located between the tombs of his brothers S9 and S10, in Abydos.
Woseribre Senebkay was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh during the Second Intermediate Period. The discovery of his tomb in January 2014 supports the existence of an independent Abydos Dynasty, contemporary with the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Dynasties during the Second Intermediate Period. He might also appear in the Turin Canon, where there appear two kings with the throne name "Weser... re". A further possible object with his name is a magical wand bearing the name Sebkay. The wand was found at Abydos but could refer to one or possibly two kings of the earlier 13th Dynasty. The existence of the so-called Abydos Dynasty was first proposed by Detlef Franke and later further developed by Kim Ryholt in 1997.
Sekhemraneferkhau Wepwawetemsaf was an Egyptian pharaoh during the Second Intermediate Period. According to the Egyptologists Kim Ryholt and Darrell Baker, he was a king of the Abydos Dynasty, although they leave his position within this dynasty undetermined. Alternatively, the Egyptologist Jürgen von Beckerath sees Wepwawetemsaf as a king of the late 13th Dynasty, while Marcel Marée proposes that he was a king of the late 16th Dynasty.
Menkhaure Snaaib was an Egyptian pharaoh during the Second Intermediate Period. According to Egyptologists Kim Ryholt and Darrell Baker he was a king of the Abydos Dynasty, although they leave his position within the dynasty undetermined. Alternatively, Jürgen von Beckerath sees Snaaib as a king reigning near the end of the 13th Dynasty.
Sekhemrekhutawy Pantjeny was an Egyptian pharaoh during the Second Intermediate Period. According to the Egyptologists Kim Ryholt and Darrell Baker, he was a king of the Abydos Dynasty, although they leave his position within this dynasty undetermined. Alternatively, Pantjeny could be a king of the late 16th Dynasty. According to Jürgen von Beckerath, Pantjeny is to be identified with Sekhemrekhutawy Khabaw, whom he sees as the third king of the 13th Dynasty.
Wazad was an Egyptian pharaoh during the Second Intermediate Period. According to the Egyptologists Kim Ryholt and Darrell Baker, Wazad was a member of the 14th Dynasty of Egypt reigning c. 1700 BC. As a king of the 14th Dynasty, he would have reigned from Avaris over the eastern Nile Delta and possibly over the western Delta as well. The Memphis-based 13th Dynasty reigned over Middle and Upper Egypt at the same time. Alternatively, according to Jürgen von Beckerath and Wolfgang Helck, Wazad was a ruler of the 16th Dynasty and a vassal of the Hyksos 15th Dynasty. This view is debated in Egyptology, in particular because Ryholt and others have argued that the 16th Dynasty was an independent Theban kingdom rather than a vassal dynasty of the Hyksos.
Sekhemrekhutawy Khabaw was an Egyptian pharaoh of the early 13th Dynasty during the Second Intermediate Period. According to the egyptologist Kim Ryholt, he was the sixteenth king of the dynasty, reigning for three years, from 1775 BC until 1772 BC. Thomas Schneider, on the other hand, places his reign from 1752 BC until 1746 BC. Alternatively, Jürgen von Beckerath sees him as the third king of the dynasty. As a ruler of the early 13th Dynasty, Khabaw would have ruled from Memphis to Aswan and possibly over the western Nile Delta.
Sewahenre Senebmiu is a poorly attested Egyptian pharaoh of the late 13th Dynasty during the Second Intermediate Period. According to Egyptologist Jürgen von Beckerath, he was the forty-first king of the 13th Dynasty. Alternatively, Darrell Baker proposes that he may have been its fifty-seventh ruler. Kim Ryholt only specifies that Senebmiu's short reign dates to between 1660 BC and 1649 BC.
Sebkay was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh during the Second Intermediate Period. For a long time his position created problems and he was most often placed into the 13th Dynasty. However, the discovery of the tomb of a king with the name Senebkay make it very likely that Sebkay is identical with the latter and the writing of the name Sebkay is just a misspelling of the name.
Khuiqer was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh known only for a limestone lintel bearing part of his royal titulary, found in Abydos by Flinders Petrie at the beginning of the 20th century, and now located at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. His datation is extremely uncertain since he was tentatively placed in both the First and the Second Intermediate Period.
Amenemhat, often reported with his short form Ameny (Jmnjj), was an ancient Egyptian "Overlord of the Oryx nome" and chief priest during the reign of pharaoh Senusret I of the 12th Dynasty.