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Neferkasokar (Ancient Egyptian Nefer-Ka-Seker; which means “beautiful soul of Sokar” or “the soul of Sokar is complete”) was an Ancient Egyptian king (pharaoh) who may have ruled in Egypt during the 2nd dynasty. Very little is known about him, since no contemporary records about him have been found. Rather his name has been found in later sources. [1]

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.


Name sources

Neferkasokar appears in the Saqqara king list from the tomb of the high priest Tjuneroy, where he is recorded as succeeding king Neferkare I and proceeds king Hudjefa I in the ninth cartouche. [2]

The Saqqara Tablet, now in the Egyptian Museum, is an ancient stone engraving which features a list of Egyptian pharaohs surviving from the Ramesside Period. It was found during 1861 in Egypt in Saqqara, in the tomb of Tjenry, an official of the pharaoh Ramesses II.

He also appears in the Royal Canon of Turin as the successor of a king Neferka and as the predecessor of king Hudjefa I. His cartouche can be found in column III, line 1. The Turin papyrus records him having a reign of 8 years and 3 months. [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.

Neferkara I ancient Egyptian ruler

Neferkara I is the cartouche name of a king (pharaoh) who is said to have ruled during the 2nd dynasty of Ancient Egypt. The exact length of his reign is unknown since the Turin canon lacks the years of rulership and the ancient Greek historian Manetho suggests that Neferkara´s reign lasted 25 years. Egyptologists evaluate his statement as misinterpretation or exaggeration.

Furthermore, Neferkasokar's name appears on a steatite cylinder seal of unknown provenance. The inscription bears the king's name twice within royal cartouches. The first cartouche shows the name of the god Sokar on top, whilst the second cartouche places the syllable Neferka above the god's name. A guiding inscription says Meri-netjeru, which means "beloved one of the gods". This titulary was common from the Middle Kingdom onwards, thus the cylinder seal is not likely to originate from the 2nd dynasty. Most Egyptologists date the object to the 13th dynasty. Some Egyptologists also question the authenticity of the seal. [4]

Seker Egyptian deity

Seker is a falcon god of the Memphite necropolis.

The Thirteenth Dynasty of ancient Egypt is often combined with Dynasties XI, XII and XIV under the group title Middle Kingdom. Some writers separate it from these dynasties and join it to Dynasties XIV through XVII as part of the Second Intermediate Period. Dynasty XIII lasted from approximately 1803 BC until approximately 1649 BC, i.e. for 154 years.

Neferkasokar also plays an important role in a papyrus originating from the Middle Kingdom. The text was translated around 237 BC into demotic language and is preserved in papyrus pWien D6319. The papyrus gives instructions on how to build temples and how the temple priests should perform their tasks.

Middle Kingdom of Egypt period in the history of ancient Egypt between about 2000 BC and 1700 BC

The Middle Kingdom of Egypt is the period in the history of ancient Egypt following a period of political division known as the First Intermediate Period. The Middle Kingdom lasted from around 2050 BC to around 1710 BC, stretching from the reunification of Egypt under the reign of Mentuhotep II of the Eleventh Dynasty to the end of the Twelfth Dynasty. The Eleventh Dynasty ruled from Thebes and the Twelfth Dynasty ruled from el-Lisht. Some scholars also include the Thirteenth Dynasty of Egypt wholly into this period as well, in which case the Middle Kingdom would finish around 1650, while others only include it until Merneferre Ay around 1700 BC, last king of this dynasty to be attested in both Upper and Lower Egypt. During the Middle Kingdom period, Osiris became the most important deity in popular religion. The Middle Kingdom was followed by the Second Intermediate Period of Egypt, another period of division that involved foreign invasions of the country by the Hyksos of West Asia.

Demotic (Egyptian) ancient Egyptian script

Demotic is the ancient Egyptian script derived from northern forms of hieratic used in the Nile Delta, and the stage of the Egyptian language written in this script, following Late Egyptian and preceding Coptic. The term was first used by the Greek historian Herodotus to distinguish it from hieratic and hieroglyphic scripts. By convention, the word "Demotic" is capitalized in order to distinguish it from demotic Greek.

The papyrus also includes a story that royal scribes under the supervision of prince Djedefhor had discovered an old document in a forgotten chamber which was sealed by king Neferkasokar. The discovered papyrus contained a report of a famine that affected Egypt for seven years and king Neferkasokar was instructed by a celestial oracle through a dream to restore all Egyptian temples. When the king finished his mission successfully, the Nile started flowing normally again. As a result, Neferkasokar issues a decree which is rediscovered by prince Djedefhor. [5]

Djedefhor or Hordjedef was a noble Egyptian of the 4th dynasty. He was the son of Khufu and his name means "Enduring Like Horus".

Famine widespread scarcity of food followed by regional malnutrition, starvation, epidemic, and increased mortality

A famine is a widespread scarcity of food, caused by several factors including war, inflation, crop failure, population imbalance, or government policies. This phenomenon is usually accompanied or followed by regional malnutrition, starvation, epidemic, and increased mortality. Every inhabited continent in the world has experienced a period of famine throughout history. In the 19th and 20th century, it was generally Southeast and South Asia, as well as Eastern and Central Europe that suffered the most deaths from famine. The numbers dying from famine began to fall sharply from the 2000s.

Nile River in Africa and the longest river in the world

The Nile is a major north-flowing river in northeastern Africa, and is the longest river in Africa and in the world, though some sources cite the Amazon River as the longest. The Nile, which is about 6,650 km (4,130 mi) long, is an "international" river as its drainage basin covers eleven countries, namely, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea, South Sudan, Republic of the Sudan and Egypt. In particular, the Nile is the primary water source of Egypt and Sudan.

Egyptologist and linguist Joachim Friedrich Quack later gave this treatise the name “Book of the Temple”. [6]


Very little is known about Neferkasokar's reign. Egyptologists such as Iorwerth Eiddon Stephen Edwards and Walter Bryan Emery think that Neferkasokar ruled only in Lower Egypt, since his name appeared in the Sakkara king list, but is missing from the Abydos king list while the Sakkara king lists reflect Memphite traditions. Neferkasokar is also thought to have ruled in Lower Egypt around the same time that kings such as Peribsen and Sekhemib-Perenmaat ruled in Upper Egypt. This assumption would be consistent with the view of a number of Egyptologists that at that time Egypt was divided into two parts. The theory of a divided realm since the end of king Ninetjer´s reign is based on a study of the name of king Peribsen, whose name is connected to the Ombite deity Seth to show that he came from Ombos and ruled an area that included Ombos. Peribsen himself is contemporaneously documented in materials found in the Thinite region, but was excluded from documentation associated with the Memphites. His case is therefore corresponding to Neferkasokar´s case, but for Lower Egypt. Neferkasokar´s predecessors may have been king Senedj and king Neferkara I, his successor may have been king Hudjefa I. [7] [8] [9] [10]

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Sedjes is an Ancient Egyptian cartouche name of a king (pharaoh), who is said to have ruled during the 3rd dynasty. The name appears only once, in the Abydos King List, as cartouche No.18. It is presented as the direct follower of king Sekhemkhet and as the direct predecessor of king Neferkare I..


  1. Thomas Schneider: Lexikon der Pharaonen. Albatros, Düsseldorf 2002, ISBN   3-491-96053-3, page 175.
  2. Jan Assmann, Elke Blumenthal, Georges Posener: Literatur und Politik im pharaonischen und ptolemäischen Ägypten. Institut français d'archéologie orientale, Paris/Kairo 1999, ISBN   2-7247-0251-4, page 277.
  3. Alan H. Gardiner: The Royal Canon of Turin. Griffith Institute of Oxford, Oxford (UK) 1997, ISBN   0-900416-48-3; page 15 & Table I.
  4. Jürgen von Beckerath: Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen. Deutscher Kunstverlag, München-Berlin 1984, ISBN   3-422-00832-2; page 29.
  5. Martin A. Stadler: Weiser und Wesir: Studien zu Vorkommen, Rolle und Wesen des Gottes Thot im ägyptischen Totenbuch. Mohr Siebeck, 2009, ISBN   3-16-149854-2; page 84 & 85.
  6. Joachim Friedrich Quack: Ein ägyptisches Handbuch des Tempels und seine griechische Übersetzung. Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik 119, 1997, S. 297–300.
  7. Iorwerth Eiddon Stephen Edwards: The Cambridge ancient history Vol. 1, Pt. 2: Early history of the Middle East, 3. Ausgabe (Reprint). Cambridge University Press, Cambridge 2006, ISBN   0-521-07791-5; page 35.
  8. Wolfgang Helck: Untersuchungen zur Thinitenzeit. Otto Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden 1987, ISBN   3-447-02677-4 page 35.
  9. Walter Bryan Emery: Ägypten, Geschichte und Kultur der Frühzeit, 3200-2800 v. Chr. Fourier, Munic 1964; page 19.
  10. Herman Alexander Schlögl: Das Alte Ägypten. Beck, Hamburg 2006, ISBN   3-406-54988-8; page 77 - 78.
Preceded by
Neferkara I
Pharaoh of Egypt Succeeded by
Hudjefa I