Neferkauhor

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Neferkauhor Khuwihapi was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh of the Eighth Dynasty during the early First Intermediate Period (2181–2055 BC), at a time when Egypt was possibly divided between several polities. Neferkauhor was the sixteenth and penultimate [3] king of the Eighth Dynasty and as such would have ruled over the Memphite region. [4] [5] Neferkauhor reigned for little over 2 years [6] and is one of the best attested kings of this period with eight of his decrees surviving in fragmentary condition to this day. [7]

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 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.

Contents

Attestations on king lists

Neferkauhor is listed on entry 55 of the Abydos King List, a king list redacted during the reign of Seti I, some 900 years after Neferkauhor's lifetime. [5] Neferkauhor is believed to have been listed on the Turin Canon as well even though his name is lost in a lacuna affecting column 5, row 12 of the document (following Kim Ryholt's reconstruction). [5] [6] The duration of his reign is, however, preserved and given as "2 years, 1 month and 1 day". [6]

Abydos King List

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.

Seti I second pharaoh of the 19th dynasty in ancient egypt

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.

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.

The decrees of Neferkauhor

A total of eight [5] different decrees found in the temple of Min at Coptos are attributed to Neferkauhor and survive to this day in fragmentary condition. [8] Four of these decrees, inscribed on limestone slabs, were given in 1914 by the philanthropist Edward Harkness to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where there are now on display in Gallery 103. [9]

Min (god) Egyptian deity

Min is an ancient Egyptian god whose cult originated in the predynastic period. He was represented in many different forms, but was most often represented in male human form, shown with an erect penis which he holds in his left hand and an upheld right arm holding a flail. As Khem or Min, he was the god of reproduction; as Khnum, he was the creator of all things, "the maker of gods and men".

Qift Place in Qena Governorate, Egypt

Qift is a small town in the Qena Governorate of Egypt about 43 km (27 mi) north of Luxor, situated under 26° north lat., on the east bank of the Nile. In ancient times its proximity to the Red Sea made it an important trading emporium between India, Punt, Felix Arabia and the North.It was important for nearby gold and quartzite mines in the Eastern Desert, and as a starting point for expeditions to Punt.

Philanthropy means the love of humanity. A conventional modern definition is "private initiatives, for the public good, focusing on quality of life", which combines an original humanistic tradition with a social scientific aspect developed in the 20th century. The definition also serves to contrast philanthropy with business endeavors, which are private initiatives for private good, e.g., focusing on material gain, and with government endeavors, which are public initiatives for public good, e.g., focusing on provision of public services. A person who practices philanthropy is called a philanthropist.

Seven out of the eight decrees were issued on a single day [5] of the first year of reign of Neferkauhor, perhaps on the day of his accession to the throne. [7] The year in question is given the name of "Year of Uniting the Two Lands". In the first decree Neferkauhor bestows titles to his eldest daughter Nebyet, wife of a vizier named Shemay. He attributes her a bodyguard, the commandant of soldiers Khrod-ny (also read Kha’redni [10] ), and orders the construction of a sacred barque for a god called "Two-Powers", perhaps the syncretized god Horus-Min. [7] [10]

Vizier (Ancient Egypt) highest rank of official in Ancient Egypt

The vizier was the highest official in Ancient Egypt to serve the pharaoh (king) during the Old, Middle, and New Kingdoms. Vizier is the generally accepted rendering of ancient Egyptian tjati, tjaty etc., among Egyptologists. The Instruction of Rekhmire, a New Kingdom text, defines many of the duties of the tjaty, and lays down codes of behavior. The viziers were often appointed by the pharaoh. During the 4th Dynasty and early 5th Dynasty, viziers were exclusively drawn from the royal family; from the period around the reign of Neferirkare Kakai onwards, they were chosen according to loyalty and talent or inherited the position from their fathers.

Shemay Ancient Egyptian vizier

Shemay was an ancient Egyptian official and later vizier toward the end of the 8th Dynasty during the First Intermediate Period, mainly known for being the beneficiary of most of the Coptos Decrees. His career has been interpreted as a glaring sign of the extreme weakness of the central power, forced to bestow great privileges to maintain the loyalty of powerful local governors. Shemay is buried in a mudbrick mastaba just south of Coptos.

Horus Egyptian war deity

Horus or Her, Heru, Hor in Ancient Egyptian, is one of the most significant ancient Egyptian deities who served many functions, most notably god of kingship and the sky. He was worshipped from at least the late prehistoric Egypt until the Ptolemaic Kingdom and Roman Egypt. Different forms of Horus are recorded in history and these are treated as distinct gods by Egyptologists. These various forms may possibly be different manifestations of the same multi-layered deity in which certain attributes or syncretic relationships are emphasized, not necessarily in opposition but complementary to one another, consistent with how the Ancient Egyptians viewed the multiple facets of reality. He was most often depicted as a falcon, most likely a lanner falcon or peregrine falcon, or as a man with a falcon head.

The second and best preserved of the decrees concerns the appointment of Shemay's son, Idy, to the post of governor of Upper Egypt, ruling over the seven southernmost nomes from Elephantine to Diospolis Parva: [1] [7]

Idy (vizier) ancient Egyptian vizier

Idy was an important Ancient Egyptian official in the Eighth Dynasty, at the beginning of the First Intermediate Period. He was the son of Shemay who is also known from several monuments and decrees from Koptos. His mother was the king's daughter Nebet. Idy appears on many royal decrees found at Koptos. There he bears the important title of a vizier, but was also overseer of Upper Egypt and overseer of priest and count. The decrees are dated under king Neferkauhor and Neferirkare. One decree is addressed to Shemay and dates under Neferkauhor. It reports the appointment of Idy to the overseer of Upper Egypt. A second one mentions affairs in the temple of Min at Koptos. In a third decree Idy bears the titles of a vizier. In the decree, the king protects the statues and the funerary cult of Idy. The decree is dated under king Neferirkare, who was the successor of Neferkauhor. It seems that Idy took over many positions that his father hold before.

Upper Egypt strip of land on the Nile valley between Nubia and Lower Egypt

Upper Egypt is the strip of land on both sides of the Nile that extends between Nubia and downriver (northwards) to Lower Egypt.

A nome was a territorial division in ancient Egypt.

Reunited Coptos decrees P and Q, addressed to Idy and his brother. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (Acc. No. 14.7.12) Coptos decrees p-q Met.jpg
Reunited Coptos decrees P and Q, addressed to Idy and his brother. Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (Acc. No. 14.7.12)

The third and fourth decrees are partially preserved on a single fragment. They record Neferkauhor giving Idy's brother a post in the temple of Min and possibly also informing Idy about it. [7] This last decree records why the decrees were found in the temple of Min: [1] [7]

The remaining decrees concern the appointment of mortuary priests to the chapels of Nebyet and Shemay as well as ordering inventories at the temple of Min. [5]

Other attestations

Beyond the decrees Neferkauhor is also attested by two inscriptions on a wall in Shemay's tomb. They are dated to the first year of his reign, Month 4 of Shemu, Day 2. [11] The inscriptions report the bringing of stone from the Wadi Hammamat (Coptos is the starting point for expeditions to this Wadi). The inscriptions are partly destroyed, but seem to mention that the work was done within 19 days. From the Wadi Hammamat are known three rock inscriptions reporting the bringing of a stone. One of the texts is dated under year one of an unnamed king. In two of the inscriptions an Idy is also mentioned. If this Idy is identical to the one known from the decrees, the inscriptions also refer to this expedition under the king. [12]

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References

  1. 1 2 3 4 Kurt Sethe: Urkunden des Alten Reichs (= Urkunden des ägyptischen Altertums. Abteilung 1). 1. Band, 4. Heft. 2., augmented edition, Hinrichs'sche Buchhandlung, Leipzig 1933, see p. 297-299, available online.
  2. Translation after Thomas Schneider: Lexikon der Pharaonen, Albatros, Düsseldorf 2002, ISBN   3-491-96053-3, p. 175.
  3. Jürgen von Beckerath: The Date of the End of the Old Kingdom, Journal of Near Eastern Studies 21 (1962), p.143
  4. Jürgen von Beckerath: Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen, Münchner ägyptologische Studien, Heft 49, Mainz : P. von Zabern, 1999, ISBN   3-8053-2591-6, available online see p. 68
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 6 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. 271-272
  6. 1 2 3 Kim Ryholt: "The Late Old Kingdom in the Turin King-list and the Identity of Nitocris", Zeitschrift für ägyptische, 127, 2000, p. 99
  7. 1 2 3 4 5 6 William C. Hayes: The Scepter of Egypt: A Background for the Study of the Egyptian Antiquities in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Vol. 1, From the Earliest Times to the End of the Middle Kingdom , MetPublications, 1978, pp.136-138, available online
  8. William C. Hayes: Royal Decrees from the Temple of Min at Coptos, JEA 32(1946), pp. 3–23.
  9. The fragments of the decrees on the catalog of the MET: fragment 1, 2 and 3.
  10. 1 2 Margaret Bunson: Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt, Infobase Publishing, 2009, ISBN   978-1438109978, available online, see p. 268 and p. 284 for Kha’redni.
  11. Nigel C. Strudwick, :Texts from the Pyramid Age, Writings from the Ancient World, Ronald J. Leprohon (ed.), Society of Biblical Literature 2005, ISBN   978-1589831384, available online, see pp.345-347
  12. Maha Farid Mostafa: The Mastaba of SmAj at Naga' Kom el-Koffar, Qift, Vol. I, Cairo 2014, ISBN   978-977642004-5, p. 88-111
Preceded by
Neferkaure II
Pharaoh of Egypt
Eighth Dynasty
Succeeded by
Neferirkare