|Hudjefa II.?, Sedjes?, Huni?|
Serekh of Khaba on a stone bowl of unknown provenance, Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, UC 15800.
|Reign||duration unknown; ca. 2670 BC (Later 3rd Dynasty)|
|Predecessor||Sekhemkhet or Sanakht|
|Successor||Huni (if not identical to him), Sanakht, Qahedjet|
|Burial||Layer Pyramid at Zawyet el'Aryan|
Khaba (also read as Hor-Khaba) was a pharaoh of Ancient Egypt, active during the 3rd Dynasty of the Old Kingdom period. BC.The exact time during which Khaba ruled is unknown but may have been around 2670
King Khaba is considered to be difficult to assess as a figure of ancient Egypt. His name is archaeologically well-attested by stone bowls and mud seal impressions. Khaba's reign is securely dated to the Third Dynasty. Because of the contradictions within Ramesside king lists and the lack of contemporary, festive inscriptions, his exact chronological position within the dynasty remains disputed.These problems originate in part from contradictory king lists, which were all compiled long after Khaba's death, especially during the Ramesside era. It is also a matter of debate as to where Khaba might have been buried. Many Egyptologists and archaeologists propose that an unfinished Layer Pyramid at Zawyet el'Aryan belongs to him. Others believe instead that his tomb is a large mastaba close to the Layer Pyramid, where numerous stone vessels bearing Khaba's serekh have been found.
Khaba's name appears on nine polished stone bowls, variously made of magnesite, travertine, and diorite, which were found at the archaeological locales of Zawyet el'Aryan, Abusir, and Naga-ed-Deir. The bowls were found mostly intact; they show only the king's serekh name on their polished surfaces. As was conventional at the time they were made, they contain no additional inscriptions for context.
His name also appears on several mud seal impressions found at Quesna (in the Delta),Zawyet el'Aryan, Hierakonpolis, and Elephantine. Most of the mud seals were excavated at modern-day Elephantine; it is possible that more of them lie under the garden of the current museum of Elephantine. These seal impressions bear more inscriptions than the stone bowls, however most of the seals are only preserved as small fragments and their surfaces have been roughened over the years.
Only one seal bears a well-preserved complete row of names or titles; the seal, numbered UC-11755, is undated and is now on display in the Petrie Museum, London. The inscription alternates between Horus and Golden Horus names.
Khaba is known by his serekh and Golden Horus name only. His Nisut-Bity title and his Nebty name are unknown.Additionally, Khaba is one of the very few kings from Early Dynastic and Old Kingdom times with an archaeologically proven Gold name, a likely predecessor to the Golden Horus name, which Khaba may also have introduced. Aside from Khaba, the only kings with Gold names who lived before king Sneferu, founder of the 4th dynasty, were Djer, Den, Nynetjer, Khasekhemwy, and Djoser. From Snefru onward, the Golden Horus name became a fixed royal title to any ruling king, no matter how long the king ruled. Khaba's Golden Horus name can be found on several seal impressions, although its correct reading and translation are disputed. Peter Kaplony interprets it as Nub-iret or Nub iret-djedef, though he is unsure whether the syllable djedef was an inherent part of the name or an additional honorary title. Thomas Schneider and Jürgen von Beckerath, in contrast, see Khaba's Golden Horus as Netjer-nub, which means "golden falcon". Khaba's Gold name is the first to show the infinitive form of the royal Gold name.
Scholars face several problems in attempting to connect Khaba to royal names known from the Ramesside era (the Nineteenth and Twentieth Dynasties). Unfortunately, these lists offer no clear consensus about the number or names of the kings of the 3rd dynasty. The Abydos king list gives Nebka , Djoser , Teti , Sedjes , and Neferkarê, while the Turin Canon offers Nebka, Djoser, Djoserteti, Hudjefa , and Huni . The kinglist of Saqqara lists Djoser, Djoserteti, Nebkarê, and Huni. The ancient historian Manetho gives nine names: Necheróphes, Tosorthrós, Týreis, Mesôchris, Sôÿphis, Tósertasis, Achês, Sêphuris, and Kerpherês.Egyptologist Iorwerth Eiddon Stephen Edwards, for example, identifies Khaba with the Ramesside cartouche name Teti.
In contrast, Egyptologists Wolfgang Helck and Aidan Dodson suggest that Khaba could have been identical to the Ramesside names Sedjes and Hudjefa II. Both "names" are actually pseudonyms for a royal title that was illegible when the Ramesside scribes compiled the kinglists. This would match a king who ruled only a short time. The Turin Canon gives a short reign of 6 years for Hudjefa II.
A minority of modern Egyptologists think that Khaba might be identical to a Ramesside cartouche name known as Huni. This name can be credited to a king who is handed down by the Ramesside scribes as the last ruler of the 3rd dynasty. Rainer Stadelmann, Nicolas Grimal, Wolfgang Helck, and Toby Wilkinson point to a step pyramid at Zawyet el'Aryan, called the Layer Pyramid. This monument is assigned to Khaba (see section below) and since Stadelmann and Wilkinson hold that the pyramid was finished, they believe that a long-reigning king, such as king Huni, would have been necessary to oversee the project. Huni is attested in the Turin Canon to have reigned for 24 years. In addition, Stadelmann points to the seal impressions found at Elephantine: they come from a site very close to a stepped pyramid which is said to have been built by Huni.
It is also unknown under which Hellenized name the ancient historian Manetho listed Khaba. He might have been the same person as the listed Mesôchris or Sôÿphis,but this in turn is doubted by Wolfgang Helck and Eberhard Otto. They connect both names with king Sanakht.
Because of the contradictions within Ramesside king lists and the lack of contemporary, festive inscriptions, the exact chronological position of Khaba remains disputed.Egyptologist Nabil Swelim believes that Khaba could have been the direct successor to King Khasekhemwy, the last ruler of the 2nd dynasty. He bases his assumptions on similarities between the two's names: both begin with the syllable kha. As a comparison, he points to the names Netjerikhet (Djoser) and Sekhemkhet (Djoserteti), which also display such similarity and are widely assumed to have ruled back-to-back.
However, Swelim's theory is not widely accepted.Grimal, Helck, Wilkinson and Stadelmann point out that during the 3rd dynasty it became a fashion that royal stone bowls with polished surfaces showed only Horus names, without any guiding inscriptions. This is also the case for the stone bowls of king Khaba. This decor style was practiced still under Sneferu, the founder of the 4th dynasty. Thus, Khaba is thought to have reigned close to the end of the Third Dynasty.
The correct duration of Khaba's reign is also unknown. Should he be identical to the Ramesside cartouche names Sedjes (meaning "omitted") and Hudjefa (meaning "erased"), he might have ruled for six years, as the Turin Canon suggests. If Khaba was identical to king Huni, he might have ruled for 24 years.
The current archaeological situation allows no closer evaluation of Khaba's reign. The seal impressions from Elephantine only prove that this island seems to have been an important place to visit in Khaba's time. The inscriptions reveal that the seals and their belonging vessels originated from Thinis and that they were registered by the governor of Elephantine. Other seals show the depiction of the goddess Bastet. The Hierakonpolis seal was found in early dynastic ruins of a local Horus temple. It shows traces of the image of a god, possibly Ash.
Khaba is commonly thought to have built the Layer Pyramid, located at Zawyet el'Aryan, about 8 km south-west of Giza. The pyramid's construction is typical of Third Dynasty masonry with mudbricks arranged in layers around a core made of rough blocks from the local bedrock. The pyramid was planned to be about 42 to 45 metres (138 to 148 ft) tall, but is now only 17 metres (56 ft). It is unclear whether part of the pyramid has been eroded over time or its construction was never finished. While there are no inscriptions directly relating the pyramid to Khaba, his serekh appears on stone bowls that were discovered in a nearby mastaba, known as Mastaba Z500.
Alternatively, Khaba could have been interred in the aforementioned mastaba, which is located about 200 m (660 ft) north of the pyramid. Indeed, excavations of the mastaba yielded several stone bowls inscribed with Khaba's Horus name as well as two seal fragments of him. Although this is generally taken as a proof that Khaba was the pyramid owner, it could equally imply that the mastaba was Khaba's tomb and the pyramid that of another, yet unknown king.
Only two large mastaba tombs can be securely dated into Khaba's reign. The first one is known as Mastaba Z500, which is located at Zawyet el'Aryan. It lies around 200m north of the Layer Pyramid and has a south-north-orientation.The mastaba ist made of mudbricks, its outer wall is niched and it contains only two large chambers without any typical tomb architecture elements. Because of this, Egyptologists such as Nabil Swelim believe that Mastaba Z500 was in fact a mortuary temple, belonging to the funerary complex of the Layer Pyramid. The datation of the building into Khaba's reign is based on numerous diorite and dolomite vessels and mud seal fragments, bearing the serekh name of king Khaba.
In 2010, an unknown mudbrick mastaba was discovered in Quesna, an archaeological site located in the Monufia Governorate (in the Nile Delta). The mastaba was once 14m in length and 6m in width. Its substructure contains a 3m wide corridor chapel, divided into three architectural sections: the first (northern) section is filled with rubble, the second (central) section contains a double room as the burial chamber and the third (southern) section has a burial shaft in its center. In 2014, a tiny mud seal fragment with the king's name was discovered inside. The true owner of the tomb, however, is unknown and archaeological excavations are still on-going.
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.
Hotepsekhemwy is the Horus name of an early Egyptian king who was the founder of the Second Dynasty of Egypt. The exact length of his reign is not known; the Turin canon suggests an improbable 95 years while the ancient Egyptian historian Manetho reports that the reign of "Boëthôs" lasted for 38 years. Egyptologists consider both statements to be misinterpretations or exaggerations. They credit Hotepsekhemwy with either a 25- or a 29-year rule.
Sanakht was an ancient Egyptian king (pharaoh) of the Third Dynasty during the Old Kingdom. His chronological position is highly uncertain, and it is also unclear under which Hellenized name the ancient historian Manetho could have listed him. Many Egyptologists connect Sanakht with the Ramesside cartouche name Nebka. However, this remains disputed because no further royal title of that king has ever been found; either in contemporary source or later ones. There are two relief fragments depicting Sanakht originally from the Wadi Maghareh on the Sinai Peninsula.
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.
Sekhemkhet was an ancient Egyptian king (pharaoh) of the 3rd dynasty during the Old Kingdom. His reign is thought to have been from about 2648 BC until 2640 BC. He is also known under his later traditioned birth name Djoser-tety and under his Hellenized name Tyreis. He was probably the brother or eldest son of king Djoser. Little is known about this king, since he ruled for only a few years. However, he erected a step pyramid at Saqqara and left behind a well known rock inscription at Wadi Maghareh.
Huni was an ancient Egyptian king and the last pharaoh of the Third Dynasty of Egypt during the Old Kingdom period. Following the Turin king list, he is commonly credited with a reign of 24 years, ending c. 2613 BC.
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.
Senedj was an early Egyptian king (pharaoh), who may have ruled during the 2nd dynasty. His historical standing remains uncertain. His name is included in the kinglists of the Ramesside era, although it is written in different ways: While the kinglist of Abydos imitates the archaic form, the Royal Canon of Turin and the kinglist of Sakkara form the name with the hieroglyphic sign of a plucked goose.
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.
Zawyet El Aryan is a town in the Giza Governorate, located between Giza and Abusir. To the west of the town, just in the desert area, is a necropolis, referred to by the same name. Almost directly east across the Nile is Memphis. In Zawyet El Aryan, there are two pyramid complexes and five mastaba cemeteries.
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.
The Layer Pyramid is a ruined step pyramid dating to the 3rd Dynasty of Egypt and located in the necropolis of Zawyet El Aryan. Its ownership is uncertain and may be attributable to pharaoh Khaba. The pyramid architecture, however, is very similar to that of the Buried Pyramid of king Sekhemkhet and for this reason is firmly datable to the 3rd Dynasty.
Qahedjet could be the horus name of an Ancient Egyptian king (pharaoh) who may have ruled during the 3rd dynasty or could be a voluntarily archaistic representation of Thutmose III. Since the only artifact attesting to the ruler and his name is a small stela made of polished limestone of uncertain origin and authenticity, Egyptologists are discussing the chronological position and historical figure of Qahedjet.
Nebka is the throne name of an Ancient Egyptian pharaoh of the Third Dynasty during the Old Kingdom period, in the 27th century BCE. He is thought to be identical with the Hellenized name Νεχέρωχις recorded by the Egyptian priest Manetho of the much later Ptolemaic period.
The Third Dynasty of ancient Egypt is the first dynasty of the Old Kingdom. Other dynasties of the Old Kingdom include the Fourth, Fifth and Sixth. The capital during the period of the Old Kingdom was at Memphis.
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.
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.
Horus Bird, also known as Horus-Ba, is the serekh-name of a pharaoh who may have had a very short reign between the First and Second Dynasty of Egypt.
Horus Sa was a possible early Egyptian pharaoh who may have reigned during the Second or Third Dynasty of Egypt. His existence is disputed, as is the meaning of the artifacts that have been interpreted as confirming his existence.
The Unfinished Northern Pyramid of Zawyet El Aryan, also known as Pyramid of Baka and Pyramid of Bikheris is the term archaeologists and Egyptologists use to describe a large shaft part of an unfinished pyramid at Zawyet El Aryan in Egypt. It is dated by mainstream scholars to the early or the mid-4th Dynasty during the Old Kingdom period. The pyramid owner is not known for certain and most Egyptologists, such as Miroslav Verner, think it should be a king known under his hellenized name, Bikheris, perhaps from the Egyptian Baka. On the contrary, Wolfgang Helck and other egyptologists doubt this attribution.