|Ro, Irj-Hor, Iri(-Hor)|
Signs r-Ḥr inscribed on a large vessel from the tomb of Iry-Hor, Ashmolean Museum.
|Reign||Early to Late 32nd century BC (Dynasty 0)|
|Predecessor||Scorpion I ? Double Falcon ?|
|Successor||Uncertain, possibly Ka|
|Burial||Chambers B1, B2, Umm el-Qa'ab|
Iry-Hor or Ro (as read by the Egyptologist Flinders Petrie)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.
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.
Upper Egypt is the strip of land on both sides of the Nile that extends between Nubia and downriver (northwards) to Lower Egypt.
The 32nd century BC was a century which lasted from the year 3200 BC to 3101 BC.
Iry-Hor's name is written with the Horus falcon hieroglyph (Gardiner sign G5) above a mouth hieroglyph (Gardiner D21). While the modern reading of the name is "Iry-Hor", Flinders Petrie, who discovered and excavated Iry-Hor's tomb at the end of the 19th century, read it "Ro", which was the usual reading of the mouth hieroglyph at the time.Given the archaic nature of the name, the translation proved difficult and, in the absence of better alternative, Ludwig D. Morenz proposed that the literal translation be retained giving "Horus mouth". In the 1990s, Werner Kaiser and Günter Dreyer translate Iry-Hor's name as "Companion of Horus". Toby Wilkinson, who contested that Iry-Hor was a king, translated the signs as "Property of the king". Following the excavations at Abydos and the discovery of an inscription of Iry-Hor in the Sinai in 2012, Wilkinson's hypothesis is now rejected by most Egyptologists and Iry-Hor is widely accepted as a predynastic king of Egypt.
Günter Dreyer was an Egyptologist at the German Archaeological Institute. In southern Egypt, Dreyer discovered records of linen and oil deliveries which have been carbon-dated to between 3300 BCE and 3200 BCE, predating the Dynastic Period.
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.
The Egyptologists Jürgen von Beckerath and Peter Kaplony also initially rejected the identification of Iry-Hor as a king and proposed instead that the known inscriptions refer to a private person whose name is to be read Wer-Ra, wr-r3 (lit. "Great mouth"), i.e. reading the bird above the mouth-sign as the swallow hieroglyph G36 rather than the Horus falcon. They translated the name as "Spokesman" or "Chief".However, continuing excavations of Iry-Hor's tomb at Abydos by Günter Dreyer established that the tomb was of similar dimensions and layout as those of Ka and Narmer and must, therefore, have belonged to a king. This was consequently accepted by von Beckerath and Iry-Hor is now the first entry in the latest edition of von Beckerath's Handbook of Egyptian Pharaohs.
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.
Peter Árpád Kaplony was a Hungarian-born Swiss egyptologist.
The Ancient Egyptian Swallow hieroglyph is Gardiner sign listed no. G36 for swallow birds. The Sparrow hieroglyph appears similar in size and shape, but it is used to represent small, or bad items.
Until 2012, the name of Iry-Hor had not been found in or next to a serekh, so the identification of Iry-Hor as a king was controversial. Egyptologists Flinders Petrie,Laurel Bestock and Jochem Kahl nonetheless believed that he was indeed a real ruler. They pointed to the distinctive spelling of Iry-Hor's name: the Horus falcon holds the mouth hieroglyph in its claws. On several clay seals, this group of characters is found accompanied by a second, free-standing mouth hieroglyph. This notation is reminiscent of numerous anonymous serekhs held by a Horus falcon with individual hieroglyphs placed close to it rather than within the serekh, as would be expected. Finally, the serekh could have been a convention that started with Ka, whose name has been found both with and without a serekh. Therefore, they concluded that the argument that Iry-Hor was not a king because his name was never found in a serekh was insufficient.
A serekh was a specific important type of heraldic crest used in ancient Egypt. Like the later cartouche, it contained a royal name.
Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie, FRS, FBA, commonly known as Flinders Petrie, was an English Egyptologist and a pioneer of systematic methodology in archaeology and preservation of artefacts. He held the first chair of Egyptology in the United Kingdom, and excavated many of the most important archaeological sites in Egypt in conjunction with his wife, Hilda Petrie. Some consider his most famous discovery to be that of the Merneptah Stele, an opinion with which Petrie himself concurred.
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 BC. The length of his reign is unknown.
Supporters of the identification of Iry-Hor as a king, such as egyptologist Darell Baker, also pointed to the size and location of his tomb. It is a double tomb, as big as those of Ka and Narmer, located within a sequential order linking the older predynastic "U" cemetery with the First Dynasty tombs.Furthermore, Iry-Hor's name is inscribed on a large jar exhibiting the royal Horus falcon and is similar to those found in the tombs of other kings of this period.
Horus or Her, Heru, Hor in Ancient Egyptian, is one of the most significant ancient Egyptian deities who served many functions, most notably god of kingship and the sky. He was worshipped from at least the late prehistoric Egypt until the Ptolemaic Kingdom and Roman Egypt. Different forms of Horus are recorded in history and these are treated as distinct gods by Egyptologists. These various forms may possibly be different manifestations of the same multi-layered deity in which certain attributes or syncretic relationships are emphasized, not necessarily in opposition but complementary to one another, consistent with how the Ancient Egyptians viewed the multiple facets of reality. He was most often depicted as a falcon, most likely a lanner falcon or peregrine falcon, or as a man with a falcon head.
In contrast, some Egyptologists doubted Iry-Hor even existed, precisely because his name never appeared in a serekh, the Horus falcon being simply placed above the mouth sign. Ludwig D. Morenz and Kurt Heinrich Sethe doubted the reading of Iry-Hor's name and thus that he was a king. Morenz, for example, suspected that the mouth sign may simply have been a phonetic complement to the Horus falcon.Sethe understood the group of characters forming Iry-Hor's name as an indication of origin (of the content of a jar and other goods to which clay seals were usually attached). Toby Wilkinson dismissed the tomb attributed to Iry-Hor as a storage pit and the name as a treasury mark. Indeed, r-Ḥr may simply mean property of the king. Supporting his hypothesis, Wilkinson also noted that Iry-Hor was poorly attested and, until 2012, the only inscription of Iry-Hor outside of Abydos was located in Lower Egypt at Zawyet el'Aryan, while Ka and Narmer have many inscriptions located as far north as Canaan.
Lower Egypt is the northernmost region of Egypt, which consists of 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 major channels that flow through the delta of the Nile River.
Narmer was an ancient Egyptian king of the Early Dynastic Period, circa 3150-3100 BC. 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.
Canaan was a Semitic-speaking region and civilization in the Ancient Near East during the late 2nd millennium BC. The name Canaan appears throughout the Bible, where it corresponds to the Levant, in particular to the areas of the Southern Levant that provide the main setting of the narrative of the Bible: Phoenicia, Philistia, Israel, and other nations.
Dreyer's excavations of the necropolis of Abydos revealed that Iry-Hor was in fact well attested there with over 27 objects bearing his name and that his tomb was of royal proportions.Furthermore, in 2012 an inscription mentioning Iry-Hor was discovered in the Sinai, the inscription comprising furthermore an archaic empty serekh on the right of Iry-Hor's name. The inscription mentions the city of Memphis, pushing back its foundation to before Narmer and establishing that Iry-Hor was already reigning over it. Following this discovery, most Egyptologists, including G. Dreyer and the discoverers of the inscription, Pierre Tallet and Damien Laisney, now believe that Iry-Hor was indeed a king.
Iry-Hor was most likely Ka's immediate predecessorand thus would have reigned during the early 32nd century BC. He probably ruled from Hierakonpolis over Abydos and the wider Thinite region and controlled Egypt at least as far north as Memphis, since the Sinai rock inscription relates a visit of Iry-Hor to this city. The Egyptologists Tallet and Laisney further propose that Iry-Hor also controlled parts of the Nile Delta.
He was buried in the royal cemetery of Umm el-Qa'ab near Ka, Narmer and the First Dynasty kings. Iry-Hor's name appears on clay vessels from his tomb in Abydos and a clay seal with the hieroglyphs for r-Ḥr was found in Narmer's tomb and may refer to Iry-Hor. In total no less than 22 pottery jars incised with Iry-Hor's name have been in Abydos as well as at least 5 ink-inscribed fragments and a cylinder seal.A similar seal was also found far to the north in the tomb Z 401 of Zawyet el'Aryan in Lower Egypt. An incision on a spindle whorl found in Hierakonpolis during James E. Quibell and Petrie excavations there in 1900 may refer to him. Finally, the discovery of a rock inscription of Iry-Hor in the Sinai constitutes his northernmost attestation. The inscription shows the name of Iry-Hor on a boat, next to the word Inebu-hedj meaning "white walls", the ancient name of Memphis.
Iry-Hor's tomb is the oldest tomb of the Abydos necropolis B in the Umm el-Qa'ab.It comprises two separate underground chambers B1 (6m × 3.5m) and B2 (4.3m × 2.45m) excavated by Petrie in 1899 and later by Werner Kaiser. A further chamber, now known as "B0", was uncovered during re-excavations of Iry-Hor's tomb in the 1990s. These chambers have a size similar to those found in the tombs of Ka and Narmer. No superstructure, if there ever was one, survives to this day. Chamber B1 yielded jar fragments incised with his name. Chamber B2 produced another incised jar fragment, a seal impression, several ink inscriptions and vessel fragments bearing the names of Ka and Narmer. Parts of a bed were also found onsite.
Menes was a pharaoh of the Early Dynastic Period of ancient Egypt credited by classical tradition with having united Upper and Lower Egypt and as the founder of the First Dynasty.
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.
Hor-Aha is considered the second pharaoh of the First Dynasty of Egypt by some Egyptologists, others consider him the first one and corresponding to Menes. He lived around the 31st century BC and is thought to have had a long reign.
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.
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.
Umm El Qaʻāb is a necropolis of the Early Dynastic Period kings at Abydos, Egypt. Its modern name means "Mother of Pots" as the whole area is littered with the broken pot shards of offerings made in earlier times. The cultic ancient name of the area was (w-)pkr or (rꜣ-)pkr "District of the pkr[-tree]" or "Opening of the pkr[-tree]", belonging to tꜣ-dsr "the secluded/cleared land" (necropolis) or crk-hh "Binding of Eternity".
Nebra or Raneb is the Horus name of the second early Egyptian king of the 2nd dynasty. The exact length of his reign is unknown since the Turin canon is damaged and the year accounts are lost. The ancient Greek historian Manetho suggests that Nebra's reign lasted 39 years, but Egyptologists question Manetho's view as a misinterpretation or exaggeration of information that was available to him. They credit Nebra with either a 10- or 14-year rule. According to different authors, Nebra ruled Egypt c. 2850 BC, from 2820 BC to 2790 BC, 2800 BC to 2785 BC or 2765 BC to 2750 BC.
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.
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.
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 placed the falcon, which symbolizes the deity Horus, atop his serekh.
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.
Sneferka is the serekh-name of an early Egyptian king who may have ruled at the end of the 1st dynasty. The exact length of his reign is unknown, but thought to have been very short and his chronological position is unclear.
Horus Bird, also known as Horus-Ba, is the serekh-name of a pharaoh who may have had a very short reign between the 1st dynasty and 2nd dynasty of Egypt.
Double Falcon was a ruler of Lower Egypt from Naqada III. He may have reigned during the 32nd century BCE. The length of his reign is unknown.
The Nebty name was one of the "great five names" used by Egyptian pharaohs. It was also one of the oldest royal titles. The modern term "Two-Ladies-name" is a simple derivation from the translation of the Egyptian word nebty.
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.
Elephant 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.
Scorpion I? Double Falcon?
| King of Thinis |