Nehesy

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Nehesy Aasehre (Nehesi) was a ruler of Lower Egypt during the fragmented Second Intermediate Period. He is placed by most scholars into the early 14th Dynasty, as either the second or the sixth pharaoh of this dynasty. As such he is considered to have reigned for a short time c. 1705 BC [1] and would have ruled from Avaris over the eastern Nile Delta. Recent evidence makes it possible that a second person with this name, a son of a Hyksos king, lived at a slightly later time during the late 15th Dynasty c. 1580 BC. It is possible that most of the artefacts attributed to the king Nehesy mentioned in the Turin canon, in fact belong to this Hyksos prince.

Lower Egypt northernmost region of Egypt

Lower Egypt is the northernmost region of Egypt: the fertile Nile Delta, between Upper Egypt and the Mediterranean Sea — from El Aiyat, south of modern-day Cairo, and Dahshur. Historically, the Nile River split into seven branches of the delta in Lower Egypt. Lower Egypt was divided into nomes and began to advance as a civilization after 3600 BC. Today, it contains two channels major that flow through the delta of the Nile River.

Avaris Archaeological site in Egypt

Avaris was the capital of Egypt under the Hyksos. It was located at modern Tell el-Dab'a in the northeastern region of the Nile Delta, at the juncture of the 8th, 14th, 19th and 20th Nomes. As the main course of the Nile migrated eastward, its position at the hub of Egypt's delta emporia made it a major administrative capital of the Hyksos and other traders. It was occupied from about 1783 to 1550 BC, or from the Thirteenth Dynasty of Egypt through the Second Intermediate Period of Egypt until its destruction by Ahmose I, the first Pharaoh of the Eighteenth dynasty. The name in the Egyptian language of the 2nd millennium BC was probably pronounced *Ḥaʔat-Wūrat 'Great House' and denotes the capital of an administrative division of the land. Today, the name Hawara survives, referring to the site at the entrance to Faiyum. Alternatively, Clement of Alexandria referred to the name of this city as "Athyria".

Nile Delta delta formed in Northern Egypt where the Nile River drains into the Mediterranean Sea

The Nile Delta is the delta formed in Northern Egypt where the Nile River spreads out and drains into the Mediterranean Sea. It is one of the world's largest river deltas—from Alexandria in the west to Port Said in the east, it covers 240 km (150 mi) of Mediterranean coastline and is a rich agricultural region. From north to south the delta is approximately 160 km (99 mi) in length. The Delta begins slightly down-river from Cairo.

Contents

Family

In his review of the Second Intermediate Period, egyptologist Kim Ryholt proposed that Nehesy was the son and direct successor of the pharaoh Sheshi with a Nubian Queen named Tati. [1] Egyptologist Darrell Baker, who also shares this opinion, posits that Tati must have been Nubian or of Nubian descent, hence Nehesy's name meaning The Nubian. [2] The 14th dynasty being of Canaanite origin, Nehesy is also believed to be of Canaanite descent. [2]

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.

Sheshi Egyptian pharaoh

Maaibre Sheshi was a ruler of areas of Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period. The dynasty, chronological position, duration and extent of his reign are uncertain and subject to ongoing debate. The difficulty of identification is mirrored by problems in determining events from the end of the Middle Kingdom to the arrival of the Hyksos in Egypt. Nonetheless, Sheshi is, in terms of the number of artifacts attributed to him, the best-attested king of the period spanning the end of the Middle Kingdom and the Second Intermediate period; roughly from c. 1800 BC until 1550 BC. Hundreds of scaraboid seals bearing his name have been found throughout Canaan, Egypt, Nubia, and as far away as Carthage, where some were still in use 1500 years after his death.

Nubians are an ethnolinguistic group of Africans indigenous to present-day Sudan and southern Egypt who originate from the early inhabitants of the central Nile valley, believed to be one of the earliest cradles of civilization. They speak Nubian languages, part of the Northern Eastern Sudanic languages.

Four scarabs found, including one from Semna in Nubia and three of unknown provenance, point to a temporary coregency with his father. Furthermore, one scarab mentions Nehesy as King's son and a further 22 as Eldest king son. Ryholt and Baker thus hold the view that Nehesy became the heir to the throne after the death of his elder brother, Prince Ipqu. [1] [2]

Manfred Bietak and Jürgen von Beckerath believe that Nehesy was the second ruler of the 14th dynasty. Bietak further posits that his father was an Egyptian military officer or administrator, who funded an independent kingdom centered on Avaris. The kingdom controlled the northeastern Nile Delta, at the expense of the concurrent 13th dynasty.

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.

Attestation

Scarab of Nehesy, now in the Petrie Museum. NehesyScarabPetrie.png
Scarab of Nehesy, now in the Petrie Museum.

In spite of a very short reign of around a year, Nehesy is the best attested ruler of the 14th dynasty. According to Ryholt's latest reading of the Turin canon, Nehesy is attested there on the 1st entry of the 9th column (Gardiner, entry 8.1) and is the first king of the 14th dynasty whose name is preserved on this king list.

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.

Nehesy is also attested by numerous contemporary artefacts, foremost among which are scarab seals. In addition, a fragmentary obelisk from the Temple of Seth in Raahu bears his name together with the inscription "king's eldest son". A seated statue, later usurped by Merneptah, is believed to have originally belonged to Nehesy. It is inscribed with "Seth, Lord of Avaris" and was found in Tell el Muqdam.

Merneptah Fourth pharaoh of the 19th Dynasty of Egypt

Merneptah or Merenptah was the fourth pharaoh of the Nineteenth Dynasty of Ancient Egypt. He ruled Egypt for almost ten years from late July or early August 1213 BC until his death on May 2, 1203 BC, according to contemporary historical records. He was the thirteenth son of Ramesses II and only came to power because all his older brothers, including his full brother Khaemwaset or Khaemwase, had died. By the time he ascended to the throne, he was probably around seventy years old. His throne name was Ba-en-re Mery-netjeru, which means "The Soul of Ra, Beloved of the Gods".

Leontopolis Archaeological site in Egypt

Leontopolis was an Ancient Egyptian city located in the Nile Delta, Lower Egypt. It served as a provincial capital and Metropolitan Archbishopric, which remains a Latin Catholic titular see. The archaeological site and settlement are known today as Kafr Al Muqdam.

Nehesy is also attested by two relief fragments inscribed with the names of the king, which were unearthed in Tell el-Dab'a in the mid 1980s. [3] Finally, two further stelae are known from Tell-Habuwa (ancient Tjaru): one bearing Nehesy's birth name, the other one the throne of the king Aahsere. [4] Thanks to these stelae it was possible to connect the name Nehesy with the throne name Aahsere ˁ3-sḥ-Rˁ. Before this discovery, Aasehre was regarded as a Hyksos king.

In 2005 a further stele of Nehesy was discovered in the fortress city of Tjaru, once the starting point of the Way of Horus, the major road leading out of Egypt into Canaan. The stele shows a king's son Nehesy offering oil to the god Banebdjedet and also bears an inscription mentioning the king's sister Tany . [5] A woman with this name and title is known from other sources around the time of the Hyksos king Apophis, who ruled at the end of the Second Intermediate Period c. 1580 BC. [6] Daphna Ben-Tor, who studied the scarabs of Nehesy, concludes that those referring to the king's son Nehesy are different in style from those referring to Nehesy as a king. She thus wonders whether the king's son Nehesy might be a different person from the better known king of the same name. In this situation, king Nehesy would still be an early 14th Dynasty ruler, however some of the attestations attributed to him would in fact belong to a Hyksos prince. [7]

Reign

According to the Austrian egyptologist Manfred Bietak, Nehesy's 14th dynasty kingdom started during the late 13th Dynasty, around or just after 1710 BC, as a result of the slow disintegration of the 13th Dynasty. After this event, "no single ruler was able to control the whole of Egypt" until Ahmose I captured this city. [8] Alternatively, Ryholt believes that the 14th dynasty started a century before Nehesy's reign, c. 1805 BC during Sobekneferu's reign. Since the 13th dynasty was the direct continuation of the 12th, he proposes that the birth of the 14th is the origin of the distinction between the 12th and the 13th in the Egyptian tradition. [1]

Nehesy's authority may have "encompassed the eastern Delta from Tell el-Muqdam to Tell el-Habua (where his name occurs), but the universal practise of usurpation and quarrying of earlier monuments complicates the picture. Given that the only examples that were certainly found at the sites where they once stood are those from Tell el-Habua and Tell el-Daba, his kingdom may actually have been much smaller." [9]

After Nehesy's death, the 14th dynasty continued to rule in the Delta region of Lower Egypt with a number of ephemeral or short-lived rulers until 1650 BC when the Hyksos 15th Dynasty conquered the Delta. [10] Nehesy seems to have been remembered long after his death as several locations in the eastern Delta bore names such as "The mansion of Pinehsy" and "The Place of the Asiatic Pinehsy", Pinehsy being a late Egyptian rendering of Nehesy.

See also

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References

  1. 1 2 3 4 5 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.
  2. 1 2 3 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. 277
  3. Manfred Bietak: Zum Königreich des ˁ3-sḥ-Rˁ, in: Studien zur altägyptischen Kultur 11 (1984), pp. 59-75
  4. M. Abd el-Maqsoud: Un monument du roi ˁ3-sḥ-Rˁ Nehsy à Tell-Habua (Sinaï Nord), ASAE 69 (1983), 3-5
  5. News of the discovery together with a photograph of the stele here Archived 2010-07-31 at the Wayback Machine .
  6. Mohamed 'Abd El-Maksoud, Dominique Valbelle: Tell Héboua-Tjarou. L'apport de l'épigraphie, in: Revue d'Égyptologie, 56 (2005), 2005, p. 1-44
  7. Daphna Ben-Tor: Scarabs, Chronology, and Interconnections, Egypt and Palestine in the Second Intermediate Period, OBO, Series Archaeologica 27, Fribourg, Göttingen 2007, ISBN   978-3-7278-1593-5, p. 110
  8. Janine Bourriau, "The Second Intermediate Period (c.1650-1550 BC)" in Ian Shaw (ed.) The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt, Oxford University Press, 2000. pp.190, 192 & 194
  9. Bourriau in The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt, p.191
  10. Bourriau in The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt, p.194
Preceded by
Sheshi
Pharaoh of Egypt
Fourteenth Dynasty
Succeeded by
Khakherewre