Khui

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Khui was an ancient Egyptian kinglet during the early First Intermediate Period. Khui may have belonged to the Eighth Dynasty of Egypt, as Jürgen von Beckerath has proposed, [2] or he may instead have been a provincial nomarch who proclaimed himself king.

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.

The Eighth Dynasty of ancient Egypt is a poorly known and short-lived line of pharaohs reigning in rapid succession in the early 22nd century BC, likely with their seat of power in Memphis. The Eighth Dynasty held sway at a time referred to as the very end of the Old Kingdom or the beginning of the First Intermediate Period. The power of the pharaohs was waning while that of the provincial governors, known as nomarchs, was increasingly important, the Egyptian state having by then effectively turned into a feudal system. In spite of close relations between the Memphite kings and powerful nomarchs, notably in Coptos, the Eighth Dynasty was eventually overthrown by the nomarchs of Heracleopolis Magna, who founded the Ninth Dynasty. The Eighth Dynasty is sometimes combined with the preceding Seventh Dynasty, owing to the lack of archeological evidence for the latter which may be fictitious.

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.

Contents

Attestation

Khui is not known from historical sources and the only certain attestation of his existence is a fragmentary relief on a stone block showing his cartouche which was published in 1912 by the egyptologist Ahmed Bey Kamal and later republished by Raymond Weill. The block was excavated from a mastaba tomb of the necropolis of Dara near Manfalut. [1] This necropolis is dominated by a massive funerary structure which was hastily attributed to this obscure king (the so-called Pyramid of Khui ), assuming that the block came from its almost disappeared mortuary temple. [3] [4]

Cartouche oval with inscriptions

In Egyptian hieroglyphs, a cartouche is an oval with a horizontal line at one end, indicating that the text enclosed is a royal name. They came into common use during the beginning of the Fourth Dynasty under Pharaoh Sneferu, but earlier examples date to the mid Second Dynasty on Cylinder Seals of Seth-Peribsen. While the cartouche is usually vertical with a horizontal line, if it makes the name fit better it can be horizontal, with a vertical line at the end . The Ancient Egyptian word for it was shenu, and it was essentially an expanded shen ring. In Demotic, the cartouche was reduced to a pair of brackets and a vertical line.

Ahmed Kamāl was Egypt’s first Egyptologist and pioneer in his own country. Kamal was of Turkish origin.

Mastaba type of ancient Egyptian tomb

A mastaba or pr-djt is a type of ancient Egyptian tomb in the form of a flat-roofed, rectangular structure with inward sloping sides, constructed out of mud-bricks. These edifices marked the burial sites of many eminent Egyptians during Egypt's Early Dynastic Period and Old Kingdom. In the Old Kingdom epoch, local kings began to be buried in pyramids instead of in mastabas, although non-royal use of mastabas continued for over a thousand years. Egyptologists call these tombs mastaba, from the Arabic word مصطبة (maṣṭaba) "stone bench".

Pharaoh or nomarch

Based on the cartouche surrounding Khui's name on the relief from Dara, Egyptologists including Jürgen von Beckerath have proposed that he was a king of the early First Intermediate Period, belonging to the Eighth Dynasty.

At the opposite, Egyptologists Barry Kemp and Toby Wilkinson believe it more likely that Khui was a nomarch, that is a provincial governor, who took advantage of the power vacuum following the collapse of the Old Kingdom and proclaimed himself king, in the same way of the coeval and neighboring Heracleopolite founders of the 9th Dynasty. [5] [6]

Barry John Kemp, CBE, FBA is an English archaeologist and Egyptologist. He is Professor Emeritus of Egyptology at the University of Cambridge and directing excavations at Amarna in Egypt. His widely renowned book Ancient Egypt: Anatomy of a Civilisation is a core text of Egyptology and many Ancient History courses.

Toby Wilkinson English 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.

A nomarch was a provincial governor in Ancient Egypt; the country was divided into 42 provinces, called nomes. A nomarch was the government official responsible for a nome.

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Pyramid of Khui smooth-sided pyramid

The pyramid of Khui is an ancient Egyptian funerary structure datable to the early First Intermediate Period and located in the royal necropolis of Dara, near Manfalut in Middle Egypt and close to the entrance of the Dakhla Oasis. It is generally attributed to Khui, a kinglet belonging either to the 8th Dynasty or a provincial nomarch proclaiming himself king in a time when central authority had broken down, c. 2150 BC. The pyramid complex of Khui included a mortuary temple and a mud brick enclosure wall which, like the main pyramid, are now completely ruined.

References

  1. 1 2 Kamal, Ahmed Bey (1912). "Fouilles à Dara et à Qoçéîr el-Amarna". Annales du Service des Antiquités de l'Égypte. p. 132.
  2. Jürgen von Beckerath, Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen, München-Berlin, Deutscher Kunstverlag, 1984, p. 60, ISBN   3422008322.
  3. Mark Lehner, The Complete Pyramids, Thames & Hudson, ISBN   978-0-500-28547-3, p. 164
  4. Egyptian History Dyn. 6-11
  5. Barry Kemp, Ancient Egypt: Anatomy of a Civilization, 2nd ed., New York, Routledge, 2006, pp. 338-339.
  6. Toby Wilkinson, The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt, New York, Random House, 2010, p. 123.

Bibliography

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The International Standard Book Number (ISBN) is a numeric commercial book identifier which is intended to be unique. Publishers purchase ISBNs from an affiliate of the International ISBN Agency.

Thomas Schneider is a German Egyptologist.