Imyremeshaw

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Smenkhkare Imyremeshaw was an Egyptian pharaoh of the mid 13th dynasty during the Second Intermediate Period. Imyremeshaw reigned from Memphis, starting in 1759 BC [1] or 1711 BC. [2] The length of his reign is not known for certain; he may have reigned for 5 years and certainly less than 10 years. [1] Imyremeshaw is attested by two colossal statues now in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo.

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.

Memphis, Egypt Ancient capital of Aneb-Hetch, Egypt

Memphis was the ancient capital of Aneb-Hetch, the first nome of Lower Egypt. Its ruins are located near the town of Mit Rahina, 20 km (12 mi) south of Giza.

Contents

Attestations

Imyremeshaw is attested on the Turin canon, on column 7, line 21 (Alan Gardiner's entry 6.21) as [Smenkh]kare Imyremeshaw. The main contemporary attestations of Imyremeshaw are a pair of colossi dedicated to Ptah "He who is south of his wall, Lord of Ankhtawy" (rsy-snb=f nb ˁnḫt3wy), a Memphite epithet indicating that the statues must originally have been set up in the temple of Ptah in Memphis. [1] The colossi were later usurped by the 15th dynasty Hyksos ruler Aqenenre Apepi who had his name inscribed on the right shoulder of each statue with a dedication to "Seth, Lord of Avaris" and had the statues placed in his capital, Avaris. Later, the colossi were moved to Pi-Ramesses by Ramses II who also had his name inscribed on them, together with a further dedication to Seth. Finally, the statues were moved to Tanis during the 21st dynasty where the colossi remained until the 1897 excavations under the direction of Flinders Petrie. [1] [3] [4] The two statues are now in the Egyptian Museum and are numbered JE37466 and JE37467.

Turin King List ancient Egyptian manuscript

The Turin King List, also known as the Turin Royal Canon, is an ancient Egyptian hieratic papyrus thought to date from the reign of Pharaoh Ramesses II, now in the Museo Egizio in Turin. The papyrus is the most extensive list available of kings compiled by the ancient Egyptians, and is the basis for most chronology before the reign of Ramesses II.

Sir Alan Henderson Gardiner was an English Egyptologist, linguist, philologist, and independent scholar. He is regarded as one of the premier Egyptologists of the early and mid-20th century.

Ptah Egyptian deity

In Egyptian mythology, Ptah is the demiurge of Memphis, god of craftsmen and architects. In the triad of Memphis, he is the husband of Sekhmet and the father of Nefertum. He was also regarded as the father of the sage Imhotep.

The only other contemporary attestation of Imyremeshaw is a white steatite bead bearing the inscription "The good god, Smenkhkare, beloved of Sobek, Lord of Shedyt". The bead is now in the British Museum, numbered BM EA74185. [3] [5] Although the provenance of the bead is unknown, egyptologists Darrell Baker and Kim Ryholt propose that the reference to Shedyt, a town close to Memphis, on the bead could indicate that the bead originates from this location.

Soapstone type of metamorphic rock

Soapstone is a talc-schist, which is a type of metamorphic rock. It is largely composed of the mineral talc, thus is rich in magnesium. It is produced by dynamothermal metamorphism and metasomatism, which occur in the zones where tectonic plates are subducted, changing rocks by heat and pressure, with influx of fluids, but without melting. It has been a medium for carving for thousands of years.

Sobek, in Greek, Suchos (Σοῦχος) and from Latin Suchus, was an ancient Egyptian deity with a complex and fluid nature. He is associated with the Nile crocodile or the West African crocodile and is represented either in its form or as a human with a crocodile head. Sobek was also associated with pharaonic power, fertility, and military prowess, but served additionally as a protective deity with apotropaic qualities, invoked particularly for protection against the dangers presented by the Nile.

British Museum National museum in the Bloomsbury area of London

The British Museum, in the Bloomsbury area of London, United Kingdom, is a public institution dedicated to human history, art and culture. Its permanent collection of some eight million works is among the largest and most comprehensive in existence, having been widely sourced during the era of the British Empire. It documents the story of human culture from its beginnings to the present. It was the first public national museum in the world.

Finally, W. Davies has proposed that the torso of a statuette discovered in the ruins of a 13th dynasty pyramid at Saqqara south and dating "to [a] close successor of Khendjer" may belong to Imyremeshaw. The fragment however is uninscribed and Davies' identification of the owner of the statuette as Imyremeshaw is based solely "on grounds of provenance". [3] [6] The statuette is now in the Egyptian Museum, JE54493.

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.

Name

The nomen of Imyremeshaw is a well attested name in use during the Second Intermediate Period and means "Overseer of troops" or "General". For this reason, it has been assumed without further evidence that Imyremeshaw was a general before becoming king. Following this hypothesis, egyptologists Alan Gardiner and William Hayes translated the entry of the Turin canon referring to Imyremeshaw as "Smenkhkare the General", i.e. understanding Imyremeshaw as a title rather than a name. [3] Jürgen von Beckerath proposes that Imyremeshaw was of foreign origin and had a foreign name that could not be understood by the Egyptians and thus became known to them by his military title. [1] [7] Furthermore, Imyremeshaw did not use any filiative nomina—that is, he was apparently not related to his predecessor Khendjer and certainly of non-royal birth. [1] Thus, scholars suggested that he may have come to power by orchestrating a military coup against his predecessor Khendjer. [3]

Jürgen von Beckerath was a German Egyptologist. He was a prolific writer who published countless articles in journals such as Orientalia, Göttinger Miszellen (GM), Journal of the American Research Center in Egypt (JARCE), Archiv für Orientforschung (AfO), and Studien zur Altägyptischen Kultur (SAK) among others. Together with Kenneth Kitchen, he is viewed as one of the foremost scholars on the New Kingdom and the Third Intermediate Period of Egypt.

In Ancient Egyptian grammar, a filiative nomen is a name, typically of a pharaoh, that incorporates the name(s) of the person's father and possibly grandfather.

Khendjer Egyptian pharaoh

Userkare Khendjer was the twenty-first pharaoh of the Thirteenth Dynasty of Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period. Khendjer possibly reigned for 4 to 5 years, archaeological attestations show that he was on the throne for at least 3 or 4 years 3 months and 5 days. Several absolute dates have been proposed for his reign, depending on the scholar: 1764—1759 BC as proposed by Ryholt and Baker, 1756—1751 BC as reported by Redford, and 1718—1712 BC as per Schneider. Khendjer had a small pyramid built for himself in Saqqara and it is therefore likely that his capital was in Memphis.

Baker and Ryholt contest this hypothesis. They point to the lack of evidence for a military coup as one cannot rule out an usurpation by political means. Additionally, they note that Imyremeshaw was a common personal name at the time. Similar common names based on titles include Imyrikhwe (literally "Overseer of cattle"), Imyreper ("Steward") and Imyrekhenret ("Overseer of the compound"). [1] For these reasons, Stephen Quirke suggests that the name of Imyremeshaw may simply reflect a family tradition and Ryholt adds that it could indicate a family with a military background. [1] [8]

Stephen Quirke is an Egyptologist. He is the current Edwards Professor of Egyptian Archaeology and Philology at University College London. He has worked at the British Museum (1989–1998) and since 1999 at the Petrie Museum in London. He published several books, some of them translated into other languages.

Chronological position and reign length

The exact chronological position of Imyremeshaw in the 13th dynasty is not known for certain owing to uncertainties affecting earlier kings of the dynasty. According to the Turin canon, Imyremeshaw was the immediate successor of Khendjer. Baker makes him the twenty-second king of the dynasty, Ryholt sees him as the twenty-third king and Jürgen von Beckerath places him as the eighteenth pharaoh of the dynasty.

The exact duration of the reign of Imyremeshaw is mostly lost in a lacuna of the Turin canon and cannot be recovered, except for the end: "[and] 4 days". Ryholt proposes that the combined reigns of Imyremeshaw and his two successors Sehetepkare Intef and Seth Meribre amount to about 10 years. Another piece of evidence concerning the reign of Imyremeshaw is found in the 13th dynasty Papyrus Boulaq 18 which reports, among other things, the composition of a royal family comprising ten king's sisters, an unspecified number of king's brothers, three daughters of the king, a son named Redienef and a queen named Aya. Even though the king's name is lost in a lacuna, Ryholt's analysis of the papyrus only leaves Imyremeshaw and Sehetepkare Intef as possibilities. [1] This is significant because the papyrus reports a year 3 and a year 5 dates for this king. Additionally, a date "regnal year 5, 3rd month of Shemu, 18th day" is known from the unfinished pyramid complex neighboring that of Khendjer known as Southern South Saqqara pyramid, which may thus have been built by the same person, perhaps Imyremeshaw. [1]

The exact circumstances of the end of Imyremeshaw's reign are unknown but the fact that his successor Sehetepkare Intef did not use filiative nomina points to a non-royal birth. Consequently, Ryholt proposes that Intef may have usurped the throne. [1]

See also

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References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 K.S.B. Ryholt, The Political Situation in Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period, c.1800–1550 BC, Carsten Niebuhr Institute Publications, vol. 20. Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press, 1997, excerpts available online here.
  2. 1 2 Thomas Schneider following Detlef Franke: Lexikon der Pharaonen, Albatros, 2002
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 Darrell D. Baker: The Encyclopedia of the Pharaohs: Volume I - Predynastic to the Twentieth Dynasty 3300–1069 BC, Stacey International, ISBN   978-1-905299-37-9, 2008, p. 134
  4. Flinders Petrie: A history of Egypt from the earliest times to the 16th dynasty, pp. 209-210, 1897, available online
  5. British Museum database
  6. W. Davies: A royal statue reattributed, British Museum occasional paper 28, London, 1981
  7. Jürgen von Beckerath: Untersuchungen zur politischen Geschichte der zweiten Zwischenzeit in Ägypten, Glückstadt, 1964, p. 52
  8. Stephen Quirke in Middle Kingdom Studies, S. Quirke editor, SIA publishing, 1991, p. 131
Preceded by
Khendjer
Pharaoh of Egypt
Thirteenth Dynasty
Succeeded by
Sehetepkare Intef