|Mencherês, Menkaouhor, Ikau, Ikaouhor, Hor-A-Kau|
|Reign||Eight to nine years of reign in the late-25th to early-24th century BC. (Fifth Dynasty)|
|Consort||Uncertain: Khuit I, Meresankh IV|
|Children||Conjectural: Raemka ♂, Khaemtjenent ♂|
|Father||Uncertain, possibly Neferefre or, less likely, Nyuserre Ini|
|Mother||Possibly Khentkaus III|
|Monuments||Sun temple Akhet-Ra|
Menkauhor Kaiu (also known as Ikauhor and in Greek as Mencherês, Μεγχερῆς)was an Ancient Egyptian pharaoh of the Old Kingdom period. He was the seventh ruler of the Fifth Dynasty at the end of the 25th century BC or early in the 24th century BC ( circa 2399-2390 BC ).
The ancient Greek language includes the forms of Greek used in Ancient Greece and the ancient world from around the 9th century BC to the 6th century AD. It is often roughly divided into the Archaic period, Classical period, and Hellenistic period. It is antedated in the second millennium BC by Mycenaean Greek and succeeded by Medieval Greek.
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 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.
Menkauhor ruled for possibly eight or nine years, following king Nyuserre Ini, and was succeeded in turn by Djedkare Isesi. Although Menkauhor is well attested by historical sources, few artifacts from his reign have survived. Consequently, his familial relation to his predecessor and successor is unclear, and no offspring of his have been identified. Khentkaus III may have been Menkauhor's mother, as indicated by evidence discovered in her tomb in 2015.
Nyuserre Ini was an Ancient Egyptian pharaoh, the sixth ruler of the Fifth Dynasty during the Old Kingdom period. He is credited with a reign of 24 to 35 years depending on the scholar, and likely lived in the second half of the 25th century BCE. Nyuserre was the younger son of Neferirkare Kakai and queen Khentkaus II, and the brother of the short-lived king Neferefre. He may have succeeded his brother directly, as indicated by much later historical sources. Alternatively, Shepseskare may have reigned between the two as advocated by Miroslav Verner, albeit only for a few weeks or months at the most. The relation of Shepseskare with Neferefre and Nyuserre remains highly uncertain. Nyuserre was in turn succeeded by Menkauhor Kaiu, who could have been his nephew and a son of Neferefre.
Djedkare Isesi was a pharaoh, the eighth and penultimate ruler of the Fifth Dynasty of Egypt in the late 25th century to mid-24th century BC, during the Old Kingdom. Djedkare succeeded Menkauhor Kaiu and was in turn succeeded by Unas. His relations to both of these pharaohs remain uncertain, although it is often conjectured that Unas was Djedkare's son, owing to the smooth transition between the two.
Khentkaus III, often called Khentakawess III by news media, was an ancient Egyptian queen who lived during the Fifth Dynasty, around 2450 BC.
Beyond the construction of monuments, the only known activity dated to Menkauhor's reign is an expedition to the copper and turquoise mines in Sinai. Menkauhor ordered the construction of a sun temple, called the "Akhet-Ra", meaning "The Horizon of Ra". The last ever to be built, this sun temple, known from inscriptions found in the tombs of its priests, is yet to be located. Menkauhor was buried in a small pyramid in Saqqara, which the Ancient Egyptians named Netjer-Isut Menkauhor, "The Divine Places of Menkauhor". Known today as the Headless Pyramid, the ruin had been lost under shifting sands until its rediscovery in 2008.
Copper is a chemical element with the symbol Cu and atomic number 29. It is a soft, malleable, and ductile metal with very high thermal and electrical conductivity. A freshly exposed surface of pure copper has a pinkish-orange color. Copper is used as a conductor of heat and electricity, as a building material, and as a constituent of various metal alloys, such as sterling silver used in jewelry, cupronickel used to make marine hardware and coins, and constantan used in strain gauges and thermocouples for temperature measurement.
Turquoise is an opaque, blue-to-green mineral that is a hydrated phosphate of copper and aluminium, with the chemical formula CuAl6(PO4)4(OH)8·4H2O. It is rare and valuable in finer grades and has been prized as a gemstone and ornamental stone for thousands of years owing to its unique hue. In recent times, turquoise has been devalued, like most other opaque gems, by the introduction onto the market of treatments, imitations and synthetics.
The Sinai Peninsula or simply Sinai is a peninsula in Egypt, and the only part of the country located in Asia. It is situated between the Mediterranean Sea to the north and the Red Sea to the south, and is a land bridge between Asia and Africa. Sinai has a land area of about 60,000 km2 (23,000 sq mi) and a population of approximately 600,000 people. Administratively, the vast majority of the area of the Sinai Peninsula is divided into two governorates: the South Sinai Governorate and the North Sinai Governorate. Three other governorates span the Suez Canal, crossing into African Egypt: Suez Governorate on the southern end of the Suez Canal, Ismailia Governorate in the center, and Port Said Governorate in the north.
The figure of Menkauhor was at the centre of a long lasting funerary cult until the end of the Old Kingdom period, with at least seven agricultural domains producing goods for the necessary offerings. The cult of a deified Menkauhor, then known by the titles "Strong Lord of the Two Lands, Menkauhor the Justified" reappeared during the New Kingdom period (c. 1550 – c. 1077 BC), and lasted until at least the Nineteenth Dynasty (c. 1292 – c. 1077 BC), some 1200 years after his death.
The New Kingdom, also referred to as the Egyptian Empire, is the period in ancient Egyptian history between the 16th century BC and the 11th century BC, covering the 18th, 19th, and 20th dynasties of Egypt. Radiocarbon dating places the exact beginning of the New Kingdom between 1570 BC and 1544 BC. The New Kingdom followed the Second Intermediate Period and was succeeded by the Third Intermediate Period. It was Egypt's most prosperous time and marked the peak of its power.
The Nineteenth Dynasty of Egypt is classified as the second Dynasty of the Ancient Egyptian New Kingdom period, lasting from 1292 BC to 1189 BC. The 19th Dynasty and the 20th Dynasty furthermore together constitute an era known as the Ramesside period. This Dynasty was founded by Vizier Ramesses I, whom Pharaoh Horemheb chose as his successor to the throne.
Menkauhor is attested by three hieroglyphic sources, all from the much later New Kingdom period. His name is given on the 31st entry of the Abydos King List, which was inscribed on the walls of a temple during the reign of Seti I (1290–1279 BC). He is also mentioned on the Saqqara Tablet (30th entry)and on the Turin canon (third column, 23rd row), both of which were written during the reign of Ramesses II (1279–1213 BC). The Turin canon credits Menkauhor with a reign of eight years. These sources indicate that Menkauhor succeeded Nyuserre Ini and preceded Djedkare Isesi on the throne, making him the seventh pharaoh of the Fifth Dynasty.
The Abydos King List, also known as the Abydos Table, is a list of the names of seventy-six kings of Ancient Egypt, found on a wall of the Temple of Seti I at Abydos, Egypt. It consists of three rows of thirty-eight cartouches in each row. The upper two rows contain names of the kings, while the third row merely repeats Seti I's throne name and nomen.
Menmaatre Seti I was a pharaoh of the New Kingdom Nineteenth Dynasty of Egypt, the son of Ramesses I and Sitre, and the father of Ramesses II. As with all dates in Ancient Egypt, the actual dates of his reign are unclear, and various historians claim different dates, with 1294 BC to 1279 BC and 1290 BC to 1279 BC being the most commonly used by scholars today.
The Saqqara Tablet, now in the Egyptian Museum, is an ancient stone engraving surviving from the Ramesside Period of Egypt which features a list of pharaohs. It was found in 1861 in Saqqara, in the tomb of Tjenry, an official of the pharaoh Ramesses II.
Menkauhor was likely mentioned in the Aegyptiaca , a history of Egypt written in the 3rd century BC during the reign of Ptolemy II (283–246 BC) by the Egyptian priest Manetho, but no copies of the text survive, and it is known only through later writings by Sextus Julius Africanus and Eusebius. Africanus relates that the Aegyptiaca mentioned a pharaoh "Mencherês" reigning for nine years as the seventh king of the Fifth Dynasty.Mencherês is believed to be a Hellenized form of Menkauhor, and Africanus' nine-year figure fits well with the eight years of reign given to Menkauhor on the Turin canon, the latter figure being considered by some Egyptologists, including Hartwig Altenmüller, as more likely than the former.
Manetho is believed to have been an Egyptian priest from Sebennytos who lived in the Ptolemaic Kingdom in the early third century BC, during the Hellenistic period. He authored the Aegyptiaca in Greek, a major chronological source for the reigns of the pharaohs of ancient Egypt. It is unclear if he wrote his work during the reign of Ptolemy I Soter or Ptolemy II Philadelphos, but no later than that of Ptolemy III Euergetes.
Sextus Julius Africanus was a Christian traveler and historian of the late second and early third centuries. He is important chiefly because of his influence on Eusebius, on all the later writers of Church history among the Church Fathers, and on the whole Greek school of chroniclers.
Eusebius of Caesarea, also known as Eusebius Pamphili, was a historian of Christianity, exegete, and Christian polemicist. He became the bishop of Caesarea Maritima about 314 AD. Together with Pamphilus, he was a scholar of the Biblical canon and is regarded as an extremely learned Christian of his time. He wrote Demonstrations of the Gospel, Preparations for the Gospel, and On Discrepancies between the Gospels, studies of the Biblical text. As "Father of Church History", he produced the Ecclesiastical History, On the Life of Pamphilus, the Chronicle and On the Martyrs. He also produced a biographical work on the first Christian Emperor, Constantine the Great, who ruled between 306 and 337 AD.
Relatively few attestations dating to Menkauhor's reign have survived compared to the other kings of the Fifth Dynasty. – possibly gifts from Menkauhor for the funerary cult of Neferefre – as well as a few sealings from the same temple and from an area known as "Djedkare's Family Cemetery" in Abusir. Cylinder seal impressions showing Menkauhor's Horus name or the name of his pyramid have also been unearthed in the mortuary complex of Nyuserre Ini, and in the necropolises of Giza and Gebelein.Nonetheless, Menkauhor's name is well attested in the names and titles of priests and officials of the Fifth Dynasty as well as in the names of the agricultural estates associated with his funerary cult. Surviving artefacts contemporaneous with Menkauhor's reign include two stone vessels inscribed with his name from the mortuary temple of Neferefre
A gold cylinder seal bearing Menkauhor's cartouche as part of the name of his pyramid together with the serekh of Djedkare Isesi is now on display at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.The seal, purportedly discovered near the Pactolus river valley in western Anatolia, could attest to wide-ranging trade-contacts during the Fifth Dynasty, but its provenance remains unverifiable.
The only secure depiction of the king dating to the Old Kingdom that has survived to this day is a rough, possibly unfinished, alabaster statuette showing Menkauhor enthroned and wearing the tight-fitting ceremonial robe of the Heb-sed .The statue was discovered in a cachette built during the late New Kingdom beneath the floor of a room to the west of the sacred lake at the temple of Ptah in Memphis. The Egyptologist Jocelyn Berlandini proposed that another statuette, usually attributed to Teti, belongs instead to Menkauhor Kaiu. Berlandini bases her hypothesis on stylistic grounds, noting the resemblance with Menkauhor's seated statue, as well as the location of the second statue, which was uncovered east of Teti's pyramid, in close proximity to Menkauhor's pyramid.
Monumental attestations of Menkauhor are limited to a rock inscription at the Wadi Maghareh in Sinai, showing his titulary and a rough stele inscribed with his cartouche from Mastaba 904 at Saqqara.
The name of Menkauhor is a departure from those of other kings of the Fifth Dynasty. Menkauhor, whose name means "Eternal are the Kas of Horus", is the first pharaoh in 80 years whose name does not refer to the sun god Ra.The name of Menkauhor instead finds its peers among the princes of the Fifth Dynasty with, for example, prince Khentykauhor "The forces of Horus are at the fore", a son of Nyuserre Ini, and prince Neserkauhor, a son of Djedkare Isesi.
Owing to the paucity of contemporaneous sources for Menkauhor, his relation to his predecessor, Nyuserre Ini, and to his successor, Djedkare Isesi, cannot be ascertained beyond doubt.Menkauhor may have been a son of Nyuserre Ini; indeed Nyuserre Ini is known to have fathered a prince Khentykauhor as shown by a relief mentioning the prince from the mortuary complex of queen Khentkaus II, the mother of Nyuserre Ini. The similarity of Khentykauhor's name to that of Menkauhor led the Egyptologists Miroslav Verner and Vivienne Callender to propose that the two are the same person, with Khentykauhor taking the name "Menkauhor" upon ascending the throne. This hypothesis is possibly contradicted by an inscription discovered in 2008 in the mastaba of Werkaure, the eldest son of an unnamed king. The inscription mentions a "Menkauhor", but does not ascribe any royal attributes to him. The Egyptologists Hana Vymazalová and Filip Coppens suggest this might refer to the future pharaoh Menkauhor Kaiu at a time when he was still a prince. They note that Menkauhor might have offered high-quality stone blocks for the construction of the tomb of his (possible) relative, which would explain the inscription. This contradicts the identification of Menkauhor with Khentykauhor; Vymazalová and Coppens theorize that Khentykauhor and Menkauhor were brothers and sons of Nyuserre Ini.
The identity of Menkauhor's mother is equally uncertain. In January 2015 the tomb of the "King's wife" and "King's mother", Khentkaus III, was discovered by a team of Czech archaeologists in the necropolis surrounding the pyramid of Neferefre in Abusir.Mud seals in the tomb indicate that Khentkaus III was buried during Nyuserre Ini's reign. Since Nyuserre Ini's own mother is known to have been Khentkaus II, the discovery suggests that she was Menkauhor Kaiu's mother. The position of her tomb close to the pyramid of Neferefre could indicate that she was this king's consort and thus that Neferefre was Menkauhor's father.
No queen consort of Menkauhor has been identified for certain. The Egyptologist Wilfried Seipel has proposed that Khuit I was a queen of Menkauhor.Based on the dating of the tombs surrounding Khuit's burial, Seipel argues that she lived during the mid-Fifth Dynasty. By the process of elimination, he attributes known queens to each king of the period, which leaves only Menkauhor as a candidate for her king. These arguments are criticized by the Egyptologist Michel Baud, who observes that pharaohs could have had more than one queen.
Queen Meresankh IV has also been suggested as a consort for Menkauhor based on the dating and location of her tomb in Saqqara.It is possible however that she was a wife of Djedkare Isesi.
There is no evidence either for or against the hypothesis that Menkauhor's successor Djedkare Isesi was his son. Two sons have been suggested for Menkauhor based on the dating and general location of their tombs in Saqqara: princes Raemkaand Kaemtjenent, both believed to be children of Meresankh IV. By the same reasoning, they could instead be sons of Djedkare Isesi.
Given the scarcity of contemporaneous attestations for Menkauhor, modern Egyptologists consider his reign to have been perhaps eight or nine years long, as indicated by the much later historical sources.The small seated statue of Menkauhor wearing the robe of the Sed festival might suggest a longer reign, since this festival was typically celebrated only after a ruler had spent 30 years on the throne. However, Egyptologist Hartwig Altenmüller deems this hypothesis unlikely. Mere depictions of the festival do not necessarily imply a long reign; for example, a relief showing pharaoh Sahure in the tunic of the Sed festival was found in his mortuary temple, although both historical sources and archaeological evidence suggest Sahure ruled Egypt for less than 14 full years.
Owing to the scarcity of artefacts and inscriptions relating to Menkauhor's reign, few of his activities are known. Menkauhor sent an expedition to Sinai to exploit the mines of turquoise and copper in the Wadi Maghareh.The expedition is evidenced by a damaged rock inscription showing Menkauhor's titulary which is one of the few attestations dating to his lifetime. The mines of Sinai had been exploited since the Third Dynasty (2686 BC–2613 BC), and both Menkauhor's predecessor Nyuserre Ini and successor Djedkare Isesi sent expeditions to the Wadi Maghareh.
Menkauhor Kaiu is known to have ordered the construction of two major monuments during his reign: a sun temple for the veneration of Ra and a pyramid for his burial, known today as the "Headless Pyramid".
|Sun temple of Menkauhor in hieroglyphs|
Following a tradition which started with Userkaf, the founder of the Fifth Dynasty, Menkauhor built a temple to the sun god Ra. He was the last pharaoh to do so.His successors, Djedkare Isesi and Unas, abandoned this practice as the cult of Ra declined at the expense of that of Osiris. Given the paucity of documents relating to Menkauhor's sun temple, it probably functioned for only a short time or was never completed.
Menkauhor's sun temple was called Akhet-Ra, which is variously translated as "The Horizon of Ra" or "The Place where Ra Issues Forth".The temple has yet to be located and could be lying under the sands of Saqqara or Abusir. Its existence is known thanks to inscriptions found in the tombs of Fifth and Sixth Dynasties officials who served as priests of Ra in the temple. These include Hemu, buried in Giza, and Neferiretptah and Raemankh, who were both buried in Saqqara-north. In addition to his service in the Akhet-Ra, Neferiretptah was a priest in Menkauhor's pyramid and held the office of "royal ornament", making him responsible for the precious items in the palace of the king.
Besides these inscriptions, a single sealbearing the name of the Akhet-Ra is known from the tomb of princess Khamerernebti, located near the mortuary temple of Niuserre in Abusir. The seal was placed on a large vessel indicating that provisions for the tombs of members of the royal family were dispatched from Menkauhor's temple to Niuserre's pyramid complex.
Menkauhor Kaiu built a pyramid in North-Saqqara, thereby abandoning the royal necropolis of Abusir, where kings of the Fifth Dynasty had been buried since the reign of Sahure, some 80 years earlier.The reason for this choice may be that the Abusir plateau had become overcrowded by the beginning of Menkauhor's reign.
Originally named Netjer-isut-Menkauhor by the Ancient Egyptians, meaning "The divine places of Menkauhor", the pyramid is known today as Lepsius XXIXafter the number given to it by the archaeologist Karl Richard Lepsius who discovered the pyramid in 1843. Owing to the ruined state of the structure, it is known in Arabic as the "Headless Pyramid", a name that has been retained. The pyramid was lost under shifting sands in the early 20th century and its attribution to Menkauhor was consequently debated. Instead, it was proposed that the Headless Pyramid was that of Merikare, a structure dating to the First Intermediate Period and which has yet to be found. In 2008, the structure identified by Lepsius was rediscovered by a team of archaeologists under the direction of Zahi Hawass, and excavations at the site quickly established a Fifth Dynasty date as indicated by the construction techniques used in its making. Although the excavations failed to yield the name of the king who built the pyramid, Menkauhor was the last pharaoh of the dynasty whose pyramid remained undiscovered. Thus, proceeding by elimination, archeologists and egyptologists have formally recognized the Headless Pyramid as that of Menkauhor.
The pyramid is estimated to have been around 50–60 m (160–200 ft) at the base, so that the edifice would have stood 40–50 m (130–160 ft) high at the time of its construction, making it one of the smallest royal pyramids of the Old Kingdom. There is evidence that Menkauhor had the time to complete his pyramid, whose small dimensions are thus consistent with his short eight to nine years of reign.
On the north side lies the entrance to the underground chamber system, which was sealed by two granite portcullises indicating that a burial took place. A broken sarcophagus lid of blue-grey basaltwas found in the burial chamber by Cecil Mallaby Firth during his brief excavations of the pyramid in 1930.
After his death Menkauhor enjoyed a funerary cult centered on his pyramid complex. The cult lasted at least until the second half of the Sixth Dynasty, nearly 150 years later. Provisions for this cult were produced in dedicated agricultural domains that were established during Menkauhor's lifetime.Products of these domains were delivered to Menkauhor's sun and mortuary temples and distributed to the priests of the cult, who could use them for their sustenance or their own funerary cults. Personified representations of Menkauhor's agricultural domains are depicted bringing offerings on the walls of the mastabas of these priests. Most of the depictions are located in Saqqara North, near the pyramid complex of Djoser. This area comprises the tombs of Neferiretptah, Raemankh, Duare, Iti, Sekhemnefer, Snofrunefer, Akhethotep, Ptahhotep and Qednes, all priests of the funerary cult of Menkauhor. Further tombs of priests of this cult are found to the north, in Abusir South, with the mastaba of Isesiseneb and Rahotep and in Giza.
The complete names of at least seven domains of Menkauhor are known:"Ikauhor is perfect in favor" and "the favor of Ikauhor", both mentioned in the tombs of Ptahhotep and Akhethotep; "Ikauhor is perfect of life", from the tomb of Ptahhotep II; "Horus Qemaa causes Ikauhor to live"; "Ikauhor is strong"; "Seshat loves Ikauhor" and "Matyt loves Ikauhor" from the tombs of viziers Senedjemib Inti, Senedjemib Mehi and Hemu in Giza. In addition the Ḥwt domain of the king, which comprises the land holdings of the mortuary temple of Menkauhor, was named "Menkauhor is perfect of appearances".
The cult of Menkauhor enjoyed a revival during the New Kingdom period (1550–1077 BC).At this point Menkauhor had been deified as a local god of the Saqqara necropolis acting as a divine intercessor, and qualified of "Strong Lord of the Two Lands, Menkauhor the Justified". This cult is evidenced by reliefs showing Menkauhor in the tombs of the "Chief of the artisans and jewelers" Ameneminet and of the physician Thuthu in Saqqara-North, both of whom lived at the time of the late Eighteenth Dynasty (1550–1292 BC), during the reigns of Tutankhamun, Ay and Horemheb.
An inscribed block dating to the later Ramesside period (1292–1077 BC) and now in the Egyptian Museum of Berlin,was uncovered by Lepsius in a house in Abusir and shows Menkauhor enthroned beside four other deified kings of the Old Kingdom: the name of the first, partially lost, but probably Sneferu is then followed by Djedefre, Menkaure, Menkauhor and finally Neferkare. The owner of the tomb stands before the kings, in worship. Another relief dating to the same period shows a similar scene. It was inscribed on the lintel of the tomb chapel of Mahy buried in Saqqara North. Four deified kings of the Old Kingdom are shown, all of whom built their pyramids at Saqqara: Djoser, Teti, Userkaf and Menkauhor.
The persistence of the cult of Menkauhor during the late Eighteenth to Nineteenth Dynasty possibly results from the location of his pyramid, which stood on the way to the necropolis of the Apis bulls, which later became the Serapeum.
Unas or Wenis, also spelled Unis, was a pharaoh, the ninth and last ruler of the Fifth Dynasty of Egypt during the Old Kingdom. Unas reigned for 15 to 30 years in the mid-24th century BC, succeeding Djedkare Isesi, who might have been his father.
The Fifth Dynasty of ancient Egypt is often combined with Dynasties III, IV and VI under the group title the Old Kingdom. The Fifth Dynasty pharaohs reigned for approximately 150 years, from the early 25th century BC until the mid 24th century BC.
The Sixth Dynasty of ancient Egypt along with Dynasties III, IV and V constitute the Old Kingdom of Dynastic Egypt.
Userkaf was an Egyptian pharaoh and the founder of the Fifth Dynasty. He reigned for seven to eight years in the early 25th century BC, during the Old Kingdom Period. He belonged, in all probability, to a branch of the Fourth Dynasty royal family, although his parentage remains uncertain. He could have been the son of queen Khentkaus I. He had at least one daughter and very probably a son with his consort Neferhetepes. This son succeeded him as pharaoh Sahure.
Neferirkare Kakai was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh, the third king of the Fifth Dynasty. Neferirkare, the eldest son of Sahure with his consort Meretnebty, was known as Ranefer A before he came to the throne. He acceded the day after his father's death and reigned for eight to eleven years, sometime in the early to mid-25th century BCE. He was himself very likely succeeded by his eldest son, born of his queen Khentkaus II, the prince Ranefer B who would take the throne as king Neferefre. Neferirkare fathered another pharaoh, Nyuserre Ini, who took the throne after Neferefre's short reign and the brief rule of the poorly known Shepseskare.
Neferefre Isi was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh, likely the fourth but also possibly the fifth ruler of the Fifth Dynasty during the Old Kingdom period. He was very probably the eldest son of pharaoh Neferirkare Kakai and queen Khentkaus II, known as prince Ranefer before he ascended the throne.
Shepseskare or Shepseskara was an Ancient Egyptian pharaoh, the fourth or fifth ruler of the Fifth Dynasty during the Old Kingdom period. Shepseskare lived in the mid-25th century BC and was probably the owner of an unfinished pyramid in Abusir, which was abandoned after a few weeks of work in the earliest stages of its construction.
Abusir is the name given to an Egyptian archaeological locality – specifically, an extensive necropolis of the Old Kingdom period, together with later additions – in the vicinity of the modern capital Cairo. The name is also that of a neighbouring village in the Nile Valley, whence the site takes its name. Abusir is located several kilometres north of Saqqara and, like it, served as one of the main elite cemeteries for the ancient Egyptian capital city of Memphis. Several other villages in northern and southern Egypt are named Abusir or Busiri. Abusir is one relatively small segment of the extensive "pyramid field" that extends from north of Giza to below Saqqara. The locality of Abusir took its turn as the focus of the prestigious western burial rites operating out of the then-capital of Memphis during the Old Kingdom 5th Dynasty. As an elite cemetery, neighbouring Giza had by then "filled up" with the massive pyramids and other monuments of the 4th Dynasty, leading the 5th Dynasty pharaohs to seek sites elsewhere for their own funerary monuments.
Miroslav Verner is a Czech egyptologist, who specializes in the history and archaeology of Ancient Egypt of the Old Kingdom and especially of the Fifth Dynasty of Egypt.
The Pyramid of Unas is a smooth-sided pyramid built in the 24th century BC for the Egyptian pharaoh Unas, the ninth and final king of the Fifth Dynasty. It is the smallest Old Kingdom pyramid, but significant due to the discovery of Pyramid Texts, spells for the king's afterlife incised into the walls of its subterranean chambers. Inscribed for the first time in Unas's pyramid, the tradition of funerary texts carried on in the pyramids of subsequent rulers, through to the end of the Old Kingdom, and into the Middle Kingdom through the Coffin Texts that form the basis of the Book of the Dead.
The Pyramid of Neferirkare was built for the Fifth Dynasty pharaoh Neferirkare Kakai – referred to as Neferirkare – in the 25th century BC. It was the tallest structure located on the highest site at the necropolis of Abusir – found between Giza and Saqqara – and still towers over the necropolis today. The pyramid is also significant because its evacuation led to the discovery of the Abusir papyri.
Egyptian sun temples were ancient Egyptian temples to the sun god Ra. The term has come to mostly designate the temples built by six or seven pharaohs of the Fifth Dynasty during the Old Kingdom period. However, sun temples would make a reappearance a thousand years later under Akhenaten in the New Kingdom with his building of the Karnak Temple in Thebes.
The Pyramid of Neferefre, also known as the Pyramid of Raneferef, is a 25th century BC unfinished pyramid complex built for the Egyptian pharaoh Neferefre of the Fifth Dynasty. Neferefre's unfinished pyramid is the third and final one built on the Abusir diagonal – a figurative line connecting the Abusir pyramids with Heliopolis – of the necropolis, sited south-west of Neferirkare's pyramid.
The Pyramid of Djedkare Isesi is a late 25th to mid 24th century BC pyramid complex built for the Fifth Dynasty pharaoh Djedkare Isesi. The pyramid is referred to as Haram el-Shawwâf, by locals. It was the first pyramid to be built in South Saqqara.
Neserkauhor was an Ancient Egyptian prince, son of pharaoh Djedkare Isesi, during the second half of Fifth Dynasty. Neserkauhor was buried in Abusir, in an area known today as "Djedkare's family cemetery".
Reptynub was a Queen during the Fifth Dynasty of Egypt. She was the wife of King Nyuserre Ini. She was possibly a mother of Menkauhor Kaiu.
Minnefer was an Ancient Egyptian official in the reign of king Nyuserre Ini. He bears the titles of a vizier and was therefore the highest official at the royal court, second only to the king. He was also overseer of all royal works, a title often held by viziers. Minnefer is known from different sources. He is depicted in the funerary temple of king Nyuserre Ini at Abusir providing firm evidence for his dating under this king. He is named on a short quarry-mark painted on a stone that was found in a wall around the pyramid complex of king Neferirkare Kakai. He is mentioned in papyri found at Abusir, that dates under Djedkare Isesi. He is also known from his sarcophagus that is now in the Rijksmuseum van Oudheden in Leiden. His mastaba was found at Saqqara. It is not yet published. The quarry marks on the pyramid of Neferirkare Kakai indicate that he helped building his pyramid. Neferirkare Kakai ruled before Nyuserre. That means that Minnefer was either very long in office, or that the pyramid complex was finished under Nyuserre. The reference under king Djedkare Isesi refers to a phyle named after Minnefer. That might indicate that the vizier was later honored, perhaps with the cult of a statue.
The Pyramid of Nyuserre is a mid 25th century BC pyramid complex built for the Egyptian pharaoh Nyuserre Ini of the Fifth Dynasty. During his reign, Nyuserre had the unfinished monuments of his father, Neferirkare Kakai, mother, Khentkaus II, and brother, Neferefre, completed, before commencing work on his personal pyramid complex. He chose a site in the Abusir necropolis between the complexes of Neferirkare and Sahure, which, restrictive in area and terrain, economized the costs of labour and material. Nyuserre was the last king to be entombed in the necropolis, whilst his successors chose to be buried elsewhere.
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