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Djet, also known as Wadj, Zet, and Uadji (in Greek possibly the pharaoh known as Uenephes or possibly Atothis), was the fourth pharaoh of the First Dynasty. Djet's Horus name means "Horus Cobra" [2] or "Serpent of Horus".

Greek language Language spoken in Greece, Cyprus and Southern Albania

Greek is an independent branch of the Indo-European family of languages, native to Greece, Cyprus and other parts of the Eastern Mediterranean and the Black Sea. It has the longest documented history of any living Indo-European language, spanning more than 3000 years of written records. Its writing system has been the Greek alphabet for the major part of its history; other systems, such as Linear B and the Cypriot syllabary, were used previously. The alphabet arose from the Phoenician script and was in turn the basis of the Latin, Cyrillic, Armenian, Coptic, Gothic, and many other writing systems.

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.

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.



Djet's queen was his sister Merneith, who may have ruled as a pharaoh in her own right after his death. There is a possibility that a lady called Ahaneith was also one of his wives. Djet and Merneith's son was Den, and their grandson was Anedjib.

Merneith ancient Egyptian queen

Merneith was a consort and a regent of Ancient Egypt during the First Dynasty. She may have been a ruler of Egypt in her own right, based on several official records. If this was the case, she may have been the first female pharaoh and the earliest queen regnant in recorded history. Her rule occurred around 2950 BC for an undetermined period. Merneith’s name means "Beloved by Neith" and her stele contains symbols of that ancient Egyptian deity. She may have been Djer's daughter and was probably Djet's senior royal wife. The former meant that she would have been the great-granddaughter of unified Egypt's first pharaoh, Narmer. She was also the mother of Den, her successor.

Ahaneith was an Ancient Egyptian woman, who lived during the first dynasty. She was named after goddess Neith.

Den (pharaoh) Horus name of an early Egyptian king

Den, also known as Hor-Den, Dewen and Udimu, is the Horus name of a pharaoh of the Early Dynastic Period who ruled during the First Dynasty of Egypt. He is the best archaeologically-attested ruler of this period. Den is said to have brought prosperity to his realm and numerous innovations are attributed to his reign. He was the first to use the title "King of Lower and Upper Egypt", and the first depicted as wearing the double crown. The floor of his tomb at Umm El Qa'ab near Abydos is made of red and black granite, the first time in Egypt this hard stone was used as a building material. During his long reign he established many of the patterns of court ritual and royalty used by later rulers and he was held in high regard by his immediate successors.


Ita, cartouche name of Djet in the Abydos king list. Abydos KL 01-04 n04.jpg
Ita, cartouche name of Djet in the Abydos king list.

How long Djet ruled is unknown. Only one Seker festival is attested by ivory labels dating to his reign, whose duration is estimated to be anywhere between six and ten years. According to Wolfgang Helck he reigned 10 years. [3] From a calendar entry, Djer is known to have died on 7 Peret III while Djet began his reign on 22 Peret IV. The reason for the 45 days of interregnum is unknown.

Seker falcon god in Egyptian religion linked to Ptah and Osiris in the underworld

Seker is a falcon god of the Memphite necropolis.

Hans Wolfgang Helck was a German Egyptologist, considered one of the most important Egyptologists of the 20th century. From 1956 until his retirement in 1979 he was a Professor at the University of Hamburg. He remained active after his retirement and together with Wolfhart Westendorf published the German Lexikon der Ägyptologie, completed in 1992. He published many books and articles on the history of Egyptian and Near Eastern culture. He was a member of the German Archaeological Institute and a corresponding member of the Göttingen Academy of Sciences.

Djer ancient Egyptian pharaoh of the 5th Dynasty of the Middle Empire

Djer is considered the third pharaoh of the First Dynasty of ancient Egypt in current Egyptology. He lived around the mid-thirty-first century BC and reigned for c. 40 years. A mummified forearm of Djer or his wife was discovered by Flinders Petrie, but was discarded by Émile Brugsch.

Details of Djet's reign are lost in the lacunas of the Palermo Stone. However, finds of vessel fragments and seal impressions prove that there were intense trading activities with Syria and Palestine at the time. Graves at Tarkhan and Saqqara dating to his reign yielded pottery from Palestine. [4] Other activities can be inferred from the only two known years tablets of the ruler, one of which is preserved in two copies. The reading of the events described on the tablets is highly problematic. Helck translated: "Year of the planning of the underground/basement (?) of the dual plant, birth of lotus buds, standing in the crown shrine of the two Ladies." [5] The other year tablet mentions a victory, the production (birth) of a statue and perhaps the creation of a fortress. [6] Finally, in Masra Alam in Nubia, the short inscription "Hemka" below "Djet" was discovered. [7]

Palermo Stone Fragment of a stele known as the Royal Annals of the Old Kingdom of Ancient Egypt

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.

Tarkhan is an ancient Central Asian title used by various Turkic peoples, Indo-Europeans, and by the Hungarians and Mongols. Its use was common among the successors of the Mongol Empire.

Saqqara village in Giza Governorate, Egypt

Saqqara, also spelled Sakkara or Saccara in English, is a vast, ancient burial ground in Egypt, serving as the necropolis for the Ancient Egyptian capital, Memphis. Saqqara features numerous pyramids, including the world-famous Step pyramid of Djoser, sometimes referred to as the Step Tomb due to its rectangular base, as well as a number of mastabas. Located some 30 km (19 mi) south of modern-day Cairo, Saqqara covers an area of around 7 by 1.5 km.

Clay seals prove that the official Amka begun his career under king Djer, as manager of the "Hor-sekhenti-dju" estate. Under Djet, Amka became royal steward. In the early years of the king's successor Amka died after he was appointed to regional responsibilities in the western Nile Delta. [8] Other senior officials under Djet were Sekhemkasedj and Setka.

Amka was the name of an ancient Egyptian senior official who served the Pharaohs Djer, Djet and Den during the First Dynasty of Egypt. He is the first early Egyptian official whose career can be traced almost continuously.


Fragment of an object bearing the serekh of Djet and the name of a court official Sekhemkasedj, Egyptian Museum. Djet label.jpg
Fragment of an object bearing the serekh of Djet and the name of a court official Sekhemkasedj, Egyptian Museum.

Djet's tomb is located at Abydos in Petrie's Tomb Z. It is located west of his father, King Djer's tomb. Surrounding Djet's tomb are 174 subsidiary burials most of them being retainers that were sacrificed upon Djet's death to serve him in the afterlife. Found within Djet's tomb was a stele. This stele was a snake surmounted by a falcon (Horus) and could be interpreted to mean "Horus the snake". Also found within the tomb was an ivory comb with the name of Djet on it, along with a picture of the stele. Copper tools and pottery were also found in the tomb, a common find in Egyptian tombs. There is evidence that Djet's tomb was intentionally burned, along with other tombs at Abydos from this time period. The tombs were later renovated because of the association with the cult of Osiris.

Djet owes his fame to the survival, in well-preserved form, of one of his artistically refined tomb steles. It is carved in relief with Djet's Horus name, and shows that the distinct Egyptian style had already become fully developed at that time. This stela was discovered in 1904 by Émile Amélineau and is today on display at the Louvre museum. Another artistic landmark dated to Djet's reign is his ivory comb [9] now housed in the Egyptian Museum. It is the earliest surviving depiction of the heavens symbolised by the outspread wings of a falcon. The wings carry the bark of Seker, below the celestial bark Djet's serekh is surrounded by two Was scepters and one Ankh-sign.

Stele Stone or wooden slab erected for funerals or commemorative purposes

A stele, or occasionally stela, when derived from Latin, is a stone or wooden slab, generally taller than it is wide, erected in the ancient world as a monument. Grave stelae were often used for funerary or commemorative purposes. Stelae as slabs of stone would also be used as ancient Greek and Roman government notices or as boundary markers to mark borders or property lines.

Émile Amélineau French archaeologist

Émile Amélineau was a French Coptologist, archaeologist and Egyptologist. His scholarly reputation was established as an editor of previously unpublished Coptic texts. But his reputation was destroyed by his work as a digger at Abydos, after Flinders Petrie re-excavated the site and showed how much destruction Amélineau had wrought.

Egyptian Museum History museum in Cairo, Egypt

The Museum of Egyptian Antiquities, known commonly as the Egyptian Museum or Museum of Cairo, in Cairo, Egypt, is home to an extensive collection of ancient Egyptian antiquities. It has 120,000 items, with a representative amount on display, the remainder in storerooms. Built in 1901 by the Italian construction company Garozzo-Zaffarani, the edifice is one of the largest museums in the region. As of March 2019, the museum is open to the public. In 2020 the museum is due to be superseded by the new Grand Egyptian Museum at Giza.

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  1. Alan H. Gardiner: The royal canon of Turin
  2. Peter Clayton, Chronicle of the Pharaohs, Thames & Hudson Ltd, 2006 paperback, p.16
  3. Wolfgang Helck: Untersuchungen zur Thinitenzeit (Agyptologische Abhandlungen), ISBN   3447026774, O. Harrassowitz (1987), p. 124
  4. Toby A. H. Wilkinson: Early Dynastic Egypt, Routledge; New edition (2001), ISBN   0415260116
  5. Wolfgang Helck: Untersuchungen zur Thinitenzeit (Agyptologische Abhandlungen), ISBN   3447026774, O. Harrassowitz (1987), p. 124
  6. G. Dreyer: Mitteilungen des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts, Abteilung Kairo. (MDAIK) Nr. 59. (2003), p. 93
  7. Z. Zaba: The Rock Inscriptions of Lower Nubia, p. 239-41, Nr. A30
  8. Toby A. H. Wilkinson: Early Dynastic Egypt - Strategy, Society and Security, p. 146
  9. Picture


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