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Anedjib, more correctly Adjib and also known as Hor-Anedjib, Hor-Adjib and Enezib, is the Horus name of an early Egyptian king who ruled during the 1st dynasty. The Egyptian historian Manetho named him "Miebîdós" and credited him with a reign of 26 years, [1] whilst the Royal Canon of Turin credited him with an implausible reign of 74 years. [2] Egyptologists and historians now consider both records to be exaggerations and generally credit Adjib with a reign of 8–10 years. [3]

Horus name

The Horus name is the oldest known and used crest of Ancient Egyptian rulers. It belongs to the "Great five names" of an Egyptian pharaoh. However, modern Egyptologists and linguists are starting to prefer the more neutral term: the "serekh name". This is because not every pharaoh had placed the falcon, which symbolizes the deity Horus, atop his serekh.

Pharaoh Ruler of Ancient Egypt

Pharaoh is the common title of the monarchs of ancient Egypt from the First Dynasty until the annexation of Egypt by the Roman Empire in 30 BCE, although the actual term "Pharaoh" was not used contemporaneously for a ruler until Merneptah, c. 1200 BCE. In the early dynasty, ancient Egyptian kings used to have up to three titles, the Horus, the Sedge and Bee (nswt-bjtj) name, and the Two Ladies (nbtj) name. The Golden Horus and nomen and prenomen titles were later added.

The First Dynasty of ancient Egypt covers the first series of Egyptian kings to rule over a unified Egypt. It immediately follows the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt, possibly by Narmer, and marks the beginning of the Early Dynastic Period, a time at which power was centered at Thinis.

Name sources

Cartouche name Merbiape from the Abydos King List Abydos KL 01-06 n06.jpg
Cartouche name Merbiape from the Abydos King List

Adjib is well attested in archaeological records. His name appears in inscriptions on vessels made of schist, alabaster, breccia and marble. His name is also preserved on ivory tags and earthen jar seals. Objects bearing Adjib's name and titles come from Abydos and Sakkara. [3] [4]

Archaeology, or archeology, is the study of human activity through the recovery and analysis of material culture. The archaeological record consists of artifacts, architecture, biofacts or ecofacts and cultural landscapes. Archaeology can be considered both a social science and a branch of the humanities. In North America archaeology is a sub-field of anthropology, while in Europe it is often viewed as either a discipline in its own right or a sub-field of other disciplines.

Schist Medium grade metamorphic rock with lamellar grain

Schist is a medium-grade metamorphic rock. Schist has medium to large, flat, sheet-like grains in a preferred orientation. It is defined by having more than 50% platy and elongated minerals, often finely interleaved with quartz and feldspar. These lamellar minerals include micas, chlorite, talc, hornblende, graphite, and others. Quartz often occurs in drawn-out grains to such an extent that a particular form called quartz schist is produced. Schist is often garnetiferous. Schist forms at a higher temperature and has larger grains than phyllite. Geological foliation with medium to large grained flakes in a preferred sheetlike orientation is called schistosity.

Alabaster Lightly colored, translucent, and soft calcium minerals, typically gypsum

Alabaster is a mineral or rock that is soft, often used for carving, and is processed for plaster powder. Archaeologists and the stone processing industry use the word differently from geologists. The former use is in a wider sense that includes varieties of two different minerals: the fine-grained massive type of gypsum and the fine-grained banded type of calcite. Geologists define alabaster only as the gypsum type. Chemically, gypsum is a hydrous sulfate of calcium, while calcite is a carbonate of calcium.


Adjib's family has only partially been investigated. His parents are unknown, but it is thought that his predecessor, king Den, may have been his father. Adjib was possibly married to a woman named Betrest. On the Palermo Stone she is described as the mother of Adjib's successor, king Semerkhet. Definite evidence for that view has not yet been found. It would be expected that Adjib had sons and daughters, but their names have not been preserved in the historical record. A candidate for being a possible member of his family line is Semerkhet. [5]

Betrest was a royal queen of Ancient Egypt. She lived during the First Dynasty.

Palermo Stone document

The Palermo Stone is one of seven surviving fragments of a stele known as the Royal Annals of the Old Kingdom of Ancient Egypt. The stele contained a list of the kings of Egypt from the First Dynasty through to the early part of the Fifth Dynasty and noted significant events in each year of their reigns. It was probably made during the Fifth dynasty. The Palermo Stone is held in the Regional Archeological Museum Antonio Salinas in the city of Palermo, Italy, from which it derives its name.

Semerkhet Egyptian pharaoh

Semerkhet is the Horus name of an early Egyptian king who ruled during the first dynasty. This ruler became known through a tragic legend handed down by the ancient Greek historian, Manetho, who reported that a calamity of some sort occurred during Semerkhet's reign. The archaeological records seem to support the view that Semerkhet had a difficult time as king and some early archaeologists even questioned the legitimacy of Semerkhet's succession to the Egyptian throne.


According to archaeological records, Adjib introduced a new royal title which he thought to use as some kind of complement to the Nisut-Bity-title: the Nebuy-title, written with the doubled sign of a falcon on a short standard. It means "The two lords" and refers to the divine state patrons Horus and Seth. It also symbolically points to Lower- and Upper Egypt. Adjib is thought to have legitimised his role as Egyptian king with the use of this title. [5] [6]

Lower Egypt northernmost region of Egypt

Lower Egypt is the northernmost region of Egypt: the fertile Nile Delta, between Upper Egypt and the Mediterranean Sea — from El Aiyat, south of modern-day Cairo, and Dahshur. Historically, the Nile River split into seven branches of the delta in Lower Egypt. Lower Egypt was divided into nomes and began to advance as a civilization after 3600 BC. Today, it contains two channels major that flow through the delta of the Nile River.

Upper Egypt strip of land on the Nile valley between Nubia and Lower Egypt

Upper Egypt is the strip of land on both sides of the Nile that extends between Nubia and downriver (northwards) to Lower Egypt.

Clay seal impressions record the foundation of the new royal fortress Hor nebw-khet ("Horus, the gold of the divine community") and the royal residence Hor seba-khet ("Horus, the star of the divine community"). [7] Stone vessel inscriptions show that during Adjib's reign an unusually large number of cult statues were made for the king. At least six objects show the depicting of standing statues representing the king with his royal insignia. [4]

Seal impression of king Anedjib ClaySealImpressionWithNameOfAnedjib-BritishMuseum-August21-08.jpg
Seal impression of king Anedjib

Stone vessel inscriptions record that Adjib commemorated a first and even a second Hebsed (a throne jubilee), a feast that was celebrated the first time after 30 years of a king's reign, after which it was repeated every third or fourth year. [8] But recent investigations suggest that every object showing the Hebsed and Adjib's name together were removed from king Den's tomb. It would seem that Adjib had simply erased and replaced Den's name with his own. This is seen by egyptologists and historians as evidence that Adjib never celebrated a Hebsed and thus his reign was relatively short. Egyptologists such as Nicolas Grimal and Wolfgang Helck assume that Adjib, as Den's son and rightful heir to the throne, may have been quite old when he ascended the Egyptian throne. Helck additionally points to an unusual feature; All Hebsed pictures of Adjib show the notation Qesen ("calamity") written on the stairways of the Hebsed pavilion. Possibly the end of Adjib's reign was a violent one. [3] [6]

Sed festival

The Sed festival was an ancient Egyptian ceremony that celebrated the continued rule of a pharaoh. The name is taken from the name of an Egyptian wolf god, one of whose names was Wepwawet or Sed.

Tomb burial place

A tomb is a repository for the remains of the dead. It is generally any structurally enclosed interment space or burial chamber, of varying sizes.

Nicolas-Christophe Grimal is a French Egyptologist.


Adjib's burial site was excavated at Abydos and is known as "Tomb X". It measures 16.4 x 9.0 metres and is the smallest of all royal tombs in this area. Adjib's tomb has its entrance at the eastern side and a staircase leads down inside. The burial chamber is surrounded by 64 subsidiary tombs and simply divided by a cut-off wall into two rooms. [9] [10] Until the end of the 1st dynasty, it would seem to have been a tradition that the family and court of the king committed suicide (or were killed) and were then buried alongside the ruler in his necropolis. [11]

Finds associated to Anedjib

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  1. William Gillian Waddell: Manetho (The Loeb Classical Library, Volume 350). Harvard University Press, Cambridge (Mass.) 2004 (Reprint), ISBN   0-674-99385-3, page 33–37.
  2. Alan H. Gardiner: The Royal Canon of Turin. Griffith Institute of Oxford, Oxford (UK) 1997, ISBN   0-900416-48-3; page 15 & Table I.
  3. 1 2 3 Wolfgang Helck: Untersuchungen zur Thinitenzeit. (Ägyptologische Abhandlungen, Volume 45), Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden 1987, ISBN   3-447-02677-4, page 124, 160 - 162 & 212 - 214.
  4. 1 2 Toby A. H. Wilkinson: Early Dynastic Egypt. Routledge, London 1999, ISBN   0-415-18633-1, page 78, 79 & 275.
  5. 1 2 Iorwerth Eiddon Stephen Edwards: Early History of the Middle East (The Cambridge Ancient History; Vol. 1, Pt. 2). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2006, ISBN   0-521-07791-5, page 27–31.
  6. 1 2 Nicolas-Christophe Grimal: A History of Ancient Egypt. Wiley-Blackwell, London/New York 1994, ISBN   0-631-19396-0, page 53 & 54.
  7. Stan Hendrickx, Barbara Adams & K. M. Cialowicz: Egypt at its origins: studies in memory of Barbara Adams - proceedings of the international conference "Origin of the State, Predynastic and Early Dynastic Egypt. Peeters Publishers, Leuven 2004, ISBN   90-429-1469-6, page 1137.
  8. Jean Daniel Degreef: The Heb Set Festival, Sequence and pBrooklyn 47.218.50, in: Göttinger Miscellen, vol. 223 (2009); ISSN   0344-385X, page 27-34.
  9. Günter Dreyer: Zur Rekonstruktion der Oberbauten der Königsgräber der 1. Dynastie in Abydos (Mitteilungen des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts Kairo 47). von Zabern, Mainz 1991, page 56.
  10. Walter Bryan Emery: Ägypten, Geschichte und Kultur der Frühzeit, 3200-2800 v. Chr. Fourier, Wiesbaden 1964, ISBN   0-415-18633-1, page 16
  11. Walter Bryan Emery: Ägypten, Geschichte und Kultur der Frühzeit, 3200-2800 v. Chr. Fourier, Wiesbaden 1964, ISBN   0-415-18633-1, page 17.
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