Rock inscription from Qustul
|Reign||Naqada III (Predynastic Egypt)|
Elephant (maybe read as Pen-abu) is the provisional name of a Predynastic ruler in Egypt. Since the incarved rock inscriptions and ivory tags showing his name are either drawn sloppily, or lacking any royal crest, the reading and thus whole existence of king "Elephant" are highly disputed.
The prehistory of Egypt spans the period from the earliest human settlement to the beginning of the Early Dynastic Period around 3100 BC, starting with the first Pharaoh, Narmer for some Egyptologists, Hor-Aha for others, with the name Menes also possibly used for one of these kings. This Predynastic era is traditionally equivalent to the final part of the Neolithic period beginning c. 6000 BC, and corresponds to the Naqada III period.
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.
Ivory is a hard, white material from the tusks and teeth of animals, that consists mainly of dentine, one of the physical structures of teeth and tusks. The chemical structure of the teeth and tusks of mammals is the same, regardless of the species of origin. The trade in certain teeth and tusks other than elephant is well established and widespread; therefore, "ivory" can correctly be used to describe any mammalian teeth or tusks of commercial interest which are large enough to be carved or scrimshawed. It has been valued since ancient times in art or manufacturing for making a range of items from ivory carvings to false teeth, fans, dominoes and joint tubes. Elephant ivory is the most important source, but ivory from mammoth, walrus, hippopotamus, sperm whale, killer whale, narwhal and wart hog are used as well. Elk also have two ivory teeth, which are believed to be the remnants of tusks from their ancestors.
The proposed existence of Elephant is based on Gunter Dreyer's and Ludwig David Morenz's essays. They are convinced that Elephant was a local king who ruled at the region of Qustul. According to Dreyer, Elephant's name appears in incised rock inscriptions at Qustul and Gebel Sheikh-Suleiman, where the hieroglyphs are put inside a royal serekh. On ivory tags found at Abydos, the Elephant appears without any other royal crest. Dreyer sees a cube-shaped throne seat and a walking elephant beneath it and reads Pen-abu ("Great one from the (throne) seat").Morenz thinks alike but is highly uncertain about the reading of the name. He prefers to use the neutral provisional name "King Elephant". Alternatively, he proposes a rhinoceros as a royal animal. Morenz points out that it became a remarkable fashion during the Naqada III epoch to choose dangerous and unpredictable animals (such as lions, crocodiles, elephants and rhinoceroses) for building up royal names.
Ludwig David Morenz is German professor in Egyptology at the University of Bonn. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Leipzig and Habilitation from the University of Tübingen. His fields of research include the origins of Egyptian writing, Ancient Egyptian literature, ancient Egyptian society, and Renaissance and Baroque-era European studies on ancient Egypt.
Qustul is an archaeological cemetery located on the eastern bank of the Nile in Lower Nubia, just opposite of Ballana near the Sudan frontier. The site has archaeological records from the A-Group culture, the New Kingdom of Egypt and the X-Group culture.
A serekh was a specific important type of heraldic crest used in ancient Egypt. Like the later cartouche, it contained a royal name.
Other egyptologists, such as Peter Kaplony and Toby Wilkinson, are not so sure and propose different readings. Whilst Wilkinson sees a throne seat and the hieroglyph for "border", Kaplony sees a seat and a stand full of wine jars, the sign for "praised". Kaplony also mentions that the name of a certain 1st-dynasty palatinate named Hor-Sekhentydjw was also written with the wine-jar holder symbol. He believes that the name of the palatinate was created out of King Elephant's name.
Egyptology is the study of ancient Egyptian history, language, literature, religion, architecture and art from the 5th millennium BC until the end of its native religious practices in the 4th century AD. A practitioner of the discipline is an "Egyptologist". In Europe, particularly on the Continent, Egyptology is primarily regarded as being a philological discipline, while in North America it is often regarded as a branch of archaeology.
Peter Árpád Kaplony was a Hungarian-born Swiss egyptologist.
Toby A. H. Wilkinson is an English Egyptologist and academic. He is the Head of the International Strategy Office at the University of Cambridge, a fellow of Clare College, Cambridge, and was previously a research fellow at Christ's College, Cambridge and Durham University. He was awarded the 2011 Hessell-Tiltman Prize.
Elephant might have ruled during the early Naqada III epoch. His tomb is unknown.
Naqada III is the last phase of the Naqada culture of ancient Egyptian prehistory, dating approximately from 3200 to 3000 BC. It is the period during which the process of state formation, which had begun to take place in Naqada II, became highly visible, with named kings heading powerful polities. Naqada III is often referred to as Dynasty 0 or the Protodynastic Period to reflect the presence of kings at the head of influential states, although, in fact, the kings involved would not have been a part of a dynasty. They would more probably have been completely unrelated and very possibly in competition with each other. In this period, those kings' names were inscribed in the form of serekhs on a variety of surfaces including pottery and tombs.
Narmer was an ancient Egyptian king of the Early Dynastic Period. He probably was the successor to the Protodynastic king Ka, or possibly Scorpion. Some consider him the unifier of Egypt and founder of the First Dynasty, and in turn the first king of a unified Egypt.
Huni was an ancient Egyptian king and the last pharaoh of the 3rd dynasty during the Old Kingdom period. Following the Turin king list, he is commonly credited with a reign of 24 years, ending c. 2600 BC.
Scorpion II, also known as King Scorpion, refers to the second of two kings or chieftains of that name during the Protodynastic Period of Upper Egypt.
Iry-Hor or Ro was a predynastic pharaoh of Upper Egypt during the 32nd century BC. Iry-Hor's existence was debated, with the Egyptologist Toby Wilkinson contesting the reading and signification of his name. However, continuing excavations at Abydos in the 1980s and 1990s and the discovery in 2012 of an inscription of Iry-Hor in the Sinai confirmed his existence. Iry-Hor is the earliest ruler of Egypt known by name and possibly the earliest-living historical person known by name.
Weneg, also known as Weneg-Nebty, is the throne name of an early Egyptian king, who ruled during the second dynasty. Although his chronological position is clear to Egyptologists, it is unclear for how long King Weneg ruled. It is also unclear as to which of the archaeologically identified Horus-kings corresponds to Weneg.
Seth-Peribsen is the serekh name of an early Egyptian monarch (pharaoh), who ruled during the Second Dynasty of Egypt. His chronological position within this dynasty is unknown and it is disputed who ruled both before and after him. The duration of his reign is also unknown.
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, whilst the Royal Canon of Turin credited him with an implausible reign of 74 years. Egyptologists and historians now consider both records to be exaggerations and generally credit Adjib with a reign of 8–10 years.
Sekhemib-Perenma´at, is the horus name of an early Egyptian king who ruled during the 2nd dynasty. Similar to his predecessor, successor or co-ruler Seth-Peribsen, Sekhemib is contemporarily well attested in archaeological records, but he does not appear in any posthumous document. The exact length of his reign is unknown and his burial site has yet to be found.
Ka, also (alternatively) Sekhen, was a Predynastic pharaoh of Upper Egypt belonging to Dynasty 0. He probably reigned during the first half of the 32nd century BCE. The length of his reign is unknown.
The Gebel el-Arak Knife is an ivory and flint knife dating from the Naqada II d period of Egyptian prehistory, starting circa 3450 BC, showing Mesopotamian influence. The knife was purchased in 1914 in Cairo by Georges Aaron Bénédite for the Louvre, where it is now on display in the Sully wing, room 20. At the time of its purchase, the knife handle was alleged by the seller to have been found at the site of Gebel el-Arak, but it is today believed to come from Abydos.
Neithhotep or Neith-hotep was an ancient Egyptian queen consort living and ruling during the early First Dynasty. She was once thought to be a male ruler: her outstandingly large mastaba and the royal serekh surrounding her name on several seal impressions previously led Egyptologists and historians to the erroneous belief that she may have been an unknown king.
Nubnefer is the birth name of a king (pharaoh) who may have ruled during the 2nd dynasty of Ancient Egypt. The exact length of his reign is unknown and his chronological position is unclear.
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.
The Sayala Mace or Seyala Mace is a ceremonial mace made of gold plated wood and stone, from Predynastic Egypt. It was found by Cecil Mallaby Firth in 1910/11 at Sayala in Lower Nubia and subsequently kept in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo until it was stolen in 1920. Its later fate is unknown. The mace is especially significant for the detailed depictions of animals on its handle.
Crocodile is the provisional name of a predynastic ruler, who might have ruled during the late Naqada III epoch. The few alleged ink inscriptions showing his name are drawn very sloppily, and the reading and thus whole existence of king "Crocodile" are highly disputed. His tomb is unknown.
The Pyramid of Elephantine is part of a group of seven very similar small step pyramids, along with the pyramids at Edfu South, el-Kula, Naqada, Saujet el-Meitin, Seila, and Sinki. All of these were built far from the main centres of Egypt and are very poorly understood. The Pyramid of Elephantine is located in the northwest part of the Old Kingdom city on the south end of the island of Elephantine in the Nile. The structure was discovered in 1907, but it could only be identified as a pyramid after excavations by the German Archaeological Institute in 1978/9.
The Edfu South Pyramid is part of a group of seven very similar small step pyramids which were all built far from the main centres of Egypt and about which very little is known, along with the pyramids of Elephantine, el-Kula, Naqada, Saujet el-Meitin, Sinki and Seila. It is located about five kilometres south of Edfu near Naga el-Ghoneimeya. It was first identified as a pyramid in 1979, when the German archaeologists Günter Dreyer and Werner Kaiser were leading a survey of Edfu after a tip off from the inspector. Further investigation and surveys of the surrounding area have been undertaken since 2010 by the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago.
Hermann Parzinger is a German historian who is a specialist in the culture of the Scythians. He has been president of the Prussian Cultural Heritage Foundation since 1 March 2008.
The Pyramid of Naqada, also called the Pyramid of Ombos, is part of a group of seven very similar small step pyramids, which were all erected far from the major centres of Egypt and about which very little is known. It is located about 300 metres north of the ruins of the ancient site of Ombos, near the modern city of Naqada in Upper Egypt. The first excavation was undertaken in 1895 by Flinders Petrie and James Edward Quibell.