Merdjefare

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Merdjefare was an Ancient Egyptian pharaoh of the 14th Dynasty of Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period c. 1700 BC. [2] As a king of the 14th Dynasty, Merdjefare would have reigned from Avaris over the eastern Nile Delta and possibly over the western Delta as well. [2]

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.

The Fourteenth Dynasty of Egypt was a series of rulers reigning during the Second Intermediate Period over the Nile Delta region of Egypt. It lasted between 75 and 155 years, depending on the scholar. The capital of the dynasty was probably Avaris. The 14th dynasty existed concurrently with the 13th dynasty based in Memphis. The rulers of the 14th dynasty are commonly identified by Egyptologists as being of Canaanite (Semitic) descent, owing to the distinct origins of the names of some of their kings and princes, like Ipqu, Yakbim, Qareh, or Yaqub-Har. Names in relation with Nubia are also recorded in two cases, king Nehesy and queen Tati.

Contents

Attestation

Merdjefare is one of only four pharaohs of the 14th Dynasty to have left any attestation beyond the Turin canon, a king list compiled in the early Ramesside period. [3] Indeed, Merdjefare is mentioned on the stele of a royal seal-bearer and treasurer named Ranisonb. The stele, discovered in 1988-89, shows Merdjefare making offerings to Sopdharsopd and probably originates from Ranisonb's tomb at Saft el-Hinna in the southeastern Nile Delta. The stele is now in the private Krief collection. [1] [2] [3]

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.

Nineteenth Dynasty of Egypt Egyptian dynasty from -1295 to -1186

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.

The Treasurer in Ancient Egypt is the modern translation of the title imi-r ḫtmt. The office is known since the end of the Old Kingdom, where people with this title appear sporadically in the organization of private estates.

Chronological Position

Merdjefare's relative position in the 14th Dynasty is somewhat secured by the Turin canon, which mentions him in column 9, line 5. According to this king list, Merdjefare reigned for 3 to 4 years, one of the longest reigns of the 14th Dynasty, and was preceded by Sehebre and succeeded by Sewadjkare III. [2]

Sehebre was a ruler of the 14th Dynasty of Egypt ruling for 3 to 4 years c. 1700 BC during the Second Intermediate Period. According to egyptologists Kim Ryholt, Jürgen von Beckerath and Darrell Baker, he was the 5th king of the dynasty. As such he would have ruled from Avaris over the eastern Nile Delta and possibly over the Western Delta as well.

Sewadjkare III was an Egyptian pharaoh of the 14th Dynasty of Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period c. 1700 BC. As a king of the 14th dynasty, Sewadjkare III would have reigned from Avaris over the eastern Nile Delta and possibly over the western Delta as well.

At the opposite, Merdjefare's absolute chronological position is debated. According to egyptologists Kim Ryholt and Darrell Baker, Merdjefare was the tenth king of the 14th Dynasty, reigning c. 1700 BC for 3 to 4 years. [2] Ryholt's reconstruction of the early 14th Dynasty is controversial however and other specialists, such as Manfred Bietak and Jürgen von Beckerath, believe that the dynasty started shortly before Nehesy c. 1710 BC rather than c. 1805 BC as proposed by Ryholt. In this case, Merdjefare would only be the fifth king of the dynasty. [4] [5]

Kim Steven Bardrum Ryholt is a professor of Egyptology at the University of Copenhagen and a specialist on Egyptian history and literature. He is director of the research center Canon and Identity Formation in the Earliest Literate Societies under the University of Copenhagen Programme of Excellence and director of The Papyrus Carlsberg Collection & Project.

Manfred Bietak is an Austrian archaeologist. He is professor emeritus of Egyptology at the University of Vienna, working as the Principal investigator for an ERC Advanced Grant Project “The Hyksos Enigma” and Editor in Chief of the Journal “Egypt and the Levant” and of four series of the Austrian Academy of Sciences, Institute of Oriental and European Archaeology (2016-2020).

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.

Identity

Since only Merdjefare's prenomen is known, attempts at attributing him any given nomen remain conjectural. Ryholt however proposed that Merdjefare's nomen may have been either Wazad or Sheneh. Indeed, according to Ryholt, a seriation of 14th Dynasty seals shows that both Wazad and Sheneh reigned after Nehesy. Since furthermore "only few of the kings who ruled between Nehesy and Yaqub-Har are attested by contemporary sources", Ryholt posits that Wazad may be identifiable with one of the successors of Nehesy with the longest reign, either Sehebre or Merdjefare.

Wazad Egyptian pharaoh

Wazad was an Egyptian pharaoh during the Second Intermediate Period. According to the egyptologists Kim Ryholt and Darrell Baker, Wazad was a member of the 14th Dynasty of Egypt reigning c. 1700 BC. As a king of the 14th dynasty, he would have reigned from Avaris over the eastern Nile Delta and possibly over the western Delta as well. The Memphis-based 13th Dynasty reigned over Middle and Upper Egypt at the same time. Alternatively, according to Jürgen von Beckerath and Wolfgang Helck, Wazad was a ruler of the 16th Dynasty and a vassal of the Hyksos 15th Dynasty. This view is debated in egyptology, in particular because Ryholt and others have argued that the 16th Dynasty was an independent Theban kingdom rather than a vassal dynasty of the Hyksos.

Sheneh (pharaoh) Egyptian pharaoh

Sheneh was a ruler of some part of Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period, possibly during the 17th century BC, and likely belonging to the 14th Dynasty. As such he would have ruled from Avaris over the eastern Nile Delta and possibly over the Western Delta as well. His chronological position and identity are unclear.

In archaeology, seriation is a relative dating method in which assemblages or artifacts from numerous sites, in the same culture, are placed in chronological order. Where absolute dating methods, such as carbon dating, cannot be applied, archaeologists have to use relative dating methods to date archaeological finds and features. Seriation is a standard method of dating in archaeology. It can be used to date stone tools, pottery fragments, and other artifacts. In Europe, it has been used frequently to reconstruct the chronological sequence of graves in a cemetery.

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References

  1. 1 2 3 Jean Yoyotte, "Le roi Mer-Djefa-Rê et le dieu Sopdu, Un monument de la XIVe dynastie", Bulletin de la Société française d'égyptologie 114 (1989), pp.17-63
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 6 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.
  3. 1 2 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. 203-204
  4. Jürgen von Beckerath: Untersuchungen zur politischen Geschichte der Zweiten Zwischenzeit in Ägypten, Glückstadt, 1964
  5. Jürgen von Beckerath: Chronologie des pharaonischen Ägyptens, Münchner Ägyptologische Studien 46, Mainz am Rhein, 1997
Preceded by
Sehebre
Pharaoh of Egypt
Fourteenth Dynasty
Succeeded by
Sewadjkare III