Ba (pharaoh)

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Ba in hieroglyphs
Reign: unknown
Predecessor: unknown
Successor: unknown
Ba (pharaoh)
Ba (pharaoh)Ba (pharaoh)

Ba, also known as Horus Ba, is the serekh-name of an early Egyptian or ancient Egyptian king who may have ruled at the end of the 1st dynasty, the latter part of 2nd dynasty or during the 3rd dynasty. Neither the exact length of his reign nor his chronological position is known.


A serekh was a specific important type of heraldic crest used in ancient Egypt. Like the later cartouche, it contained a royal name.

Ancient Egypt ancient civilization of Northeastern Africa

Ancient Egypt was a civilization of ancient North Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in the place that is now the country Egypt. Ancient Egyptian civilization followed prehistoric Egypt and coalesced around 3100 BC with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under Menes. The history of ancient Egypt occurred as a series of stable kingdoms, separated by periods of relative instability known as Intermediate Periods: the Old Kingdom of the Early Bronze Age, the Middle Kingdom of the Middle Bronze Age and the New Kingdom of the Late Bronze Age.

Pharaoh Title of Ancient Egyptian rulers

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.


Name sources

The only sure name sources for a king "Ba" are a fragment of green schist, found in the underground galleries beneath the step pyramid of king Djoser at Sakkara, and the (6th dynasty) mastaba tomb of the high official Ny-Ankh-Ba. [1] [2]

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.

A step pyramid or stepped pyramid is an architectural structure that uses flat platforms, or steps, receding from the ground up, to achieve a completed shape similar to a geometric pyramid. Step pyramids are structures which characterized several cultures throughout history, in several locations throughout the world. These pyramids typically are large and made of several layers of stone. The term refers to pyramids of similar design that emerged separately from one another, as there are no firmly established connections between the different civilizations that built them.

Djoser ancient Egyptian pharaoh of the 3rd dynasty

Djoser was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh of the 3rd dynasty during the Old Kingdom and the founder of this epoch. He is also known by his Hellenized names Tosorthros and Sesorthos. He was the son of king Khasekhemwy and queen Nimaathap, but whether he also was the direct throne successor is still unclear. Most Ramesside Kinglists name a king Nebka before him, but since there are still difficulties in connecting that name with contemporary Horus names, some Egyptologists question the received throne sequence.


Serekh of Horus Ba. Sigil of Pharaoh Hor-Ba.png
Serekh of Horus Ba.

Very little is known about king Ba. The few archaeological evidences only assure the existence of such a ruler, but they give no further information.

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.

In 1899 scientist Alessandro Ricci published a drawing of a serekh with a single leg (Gardiner-sign D58) as hieroglyph inside. The picture was seen in Volume No. 35 of the Zeitschrift für Ägyptische Sprache und Altertumskunde series. According to Ricci the serekh was found in a rock inscription at Wadi Maghareh, Sinai. The egyptologists Jaroslav Černý and Michel Baude found out, that Ricci was referring to the rock inscription of (3rd dynasty) king Sanakht. Ricci simply had misinterpreted the signs used for Sanakht's name -an upright sign of a rope loop, the zig-zag shaped sign for water and a branch-sign below- as a single leg-symbol. [3]

Wadi Maghareh, is an archaeological site located in the southwestern Sinai Peninsula, Egypt. It contains pharaonic monuments and turquoise mines dating from the Old, Middle and New Kingdoms of Ancient Egypt. The Ancient Egyptians knew the site as "the Terraces of Turquoise."

Sinai Peninsula peninsula in the Red Sea

The Sinai Peninsula or simply Sinai is a peninsula in Egypt, and the only part of the country located in Asia. It is situated between the Mediterranean Sea to the north and the Red Sea to the south, and is a land bridge between Asia and Africa. Sinai has a land area of about 60,000 km2 (23,000 sq mi) and a population of approximately 1,400,000 people. Administratively, the Sinai Peninsula is divided into two governorates: the South Sinai Governorate and the North Sinai Governorate. Three other governorates span the Suez Canal, crossing into African Egypt: Suez Governorate on the southern end of the Suez Canal, Ismailia Governorate in the center, and Port Said Governorate in the north.

Jaroslav Černý was a Czech Egyptologist. From 1929 to 1946 he was a lecturer and docent at Charles University in Prague, from 1946 to 1951, the Edwards Professor of Egyptology at the University College, London. From 1951 to 1965, he was Professor of Egyptology at University of Oxford.

Egyptologists such as Černý and Peter Kaplony think that king Ba might be identical to the likewise sparsely attested king "Horus Bird". This ruler wrote his name with the sign of a goose-like bird, but since the depiction of the bird-sign in question lacks artistic details allowing any identification, Egyptologists are disputing the correct reading and meaning of "Bird's" name. Černý and Kaplony think that both king's names have the same transcription: "Ba". In this case Horus Ba and Horus Bird would be the same historical figure. Černý and Kaplony's theory is not commonly accepted. [4]

Peter Árpád Kaplony was a Hungarian-born Swiss egyptologist.

In contrast, Egyptologists such as Nabil Swelim think that Horus Ba was an immediate successor of 2nd dynasty king Nynetjer. He points to the name form of Nynetjer in the Abydos kinglist, which begins with the same hieroglyphic sign (a ram; Gardiner-sign E11) like the serekh name of Horus Ba. Swelim therefore believes that the Horus name of Ba was erroneously intermingled with the birth name of Nynetjer. [5]

Nynetjer Egyptian pharaoh

Nynetjer is the Horus name of the third pharaoh of the Second Dynasty of Egypt. The length of his reign is unknown. The Turin Canon suggests an improbable reign of 96 years and Egyptian historian Manetho suggested that Nynetjer's reign lasted 47 years. Egyptologists question both statements as misinterpretations or exaggerations. They generally credit Nynetjer with a reign of either 43 years or 45 years. Their estimation is based on the reconstructions of the well known Palermo Stone inscription reporting the years 7–21, the Cairo Stone inscription reporting the years 36–44. According to different authors, Nynetjer ruled Egypt from c. 2850 BC to 2760 BC or later from c. 2760 BC to 2715 BC.

Abydos King List

The Abydos King List, also known as the Abydos Table, is a list of the names of seventy-six kings of Ancient Egypt, found on a wall of the Temple of Seti I at Abydos, Egypt. It consists of three rows of thirty-eight cartouches in each row. The upper two rows contain names of the kings, while the third row merely repeats Seti I's throne name and nomen.

Sheep Domesticated ruminant bred for meat, wool and milk

Domestic sheep are quadrupedal, ruminant mammals typically kept as livestock. Like most ruminants, sheep are members of the order Artiodactyla, the even-toed ungulates. Although the name sheep applies to many species in the genus Ovis, in everyday usage it almost always refers to Ovis aries. Numbering a little over one billion, domestic sheep are also the most numerous species of sheep. An adult female sheep is referred to as a ewe, an intact male as a ram or occasionally a tup, a castrated male as a wether, and a younger sheep as a lamb.

Ba's burial site is unknown.

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  1. Nabil Swelim: Some Problems on the History of the Third Dynasty - Archaeological and Historical Studies; Volume 7. The Archaeological Society of Alexandria, Alexandria 1983, page 27–32, 180 und 219.
  2. Carl Richard Lepsius: Koenigsbuch der Alten Aegypter. Besser, Mainz 1858, page 18 & Obj. no. 906.
  3. Míchel Baude: Djéser et la IIIe dynastie: Les Grands pharaons. Pygmalion, Paris 2007, ISBN   2-7564-0147-1, page 20.
  4. Peter Kaplony: Horus Ba?. In: Mitteilungen des Deutschen Archäologischen Institut Kairo. Volume 20. von Zabern, Mainz 1965, page 3 & 4.
  5. Nabil Swelim: Some Problems on the History of the Third Dynasty - Archaeological and Historical Studies Band 7. The Archaeological Society of Alexandria, Alexandria 1983, page 27–32, 180 & 219.