|Biénechês, Óubiênthis, Víbenthis|
Restored tomb stele of Qa'a
|Reign||33 years, ca. 2910 BC (1st Dynasty)|
|Successor||Hotepsekhemwy (most likely) or Sneferka, Horus Bird|
|Father||Semerkhet (most likely) or Anedjib|
|Burial||Tomb Q, Umm el-Qa'ab|
Qa'a (also Qáa or Ka'a) was the last king of the First Dynasty of Egypt. He reigned for 33 years at the end of the 30th century BC.
The First Dynasty of ancient Egypt covers the first series of Egyptian kings to rule over a unified Egypt. It immediately follows the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt, possibly by Narmer, and marks the beginning of the Early Dynastic Period, a time at which power was centered at Thinis.
The 30th century BC was a century which lasted from the year 3000 BC to 2901 BC.
Manetho calls Qa'a Biénechês and gives him a reign of 26 years. Other versions of copies of Manetho's epitomes give Óubiênthis and Víbenthis as hellenized names.
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.
The parents of Qa'a are unknown, but it is thought that either his predecessor Anedjib or Semerkhet was his father, since it was tradition to leave the throne to the eldest son. If Manetho suggested correctly (remembering the tradition), Semerkhet was the father.
Anedjib, more correctly Adjib and also known as Hor-Anedjib, Hor-Adjib and Enezib, is the Horus name of an early Egyptian king who ruled during the 1st dynasty. The Egyptian historian Manetho named him "Miebîdós" and credited him with a reign of 26 years, whilst the Royal Canon of Turin credited him with an implausible reign of 74 years. Egyptologists and historians now consider both records to be exaggerations and generally credit Adjib with a reign of 8–10 years.
Semerkhet is the Horus name of an early Egyptian king who ruled during the first dynasty. This ruler became known through a tragic legend handed down by the ancient Greek historian, Manetho, who reported that a calamity of some sort occurred during Semerkhet's reign. The archaeological records seem to support the view that Semerkhet had a difficult time as king and some early archaeologists even questioned the legitimacy of Semerkhet's succession to the Egyptian throne.
There is not much known about Qa'a's reign, but it seems that he reigned for a long time (around 33 years). Several stone vessel inscriptions mention a second Sed festival for Qa'a, which points to at least 33 years of reign. The first festival was usually not celebrated before 30 years of reign, and subsequent festivals could be repeated every third year. The Palermo Stone only mentions the year of coronation and some usual cultic events that were celebrated under every king. The numerous ivory tags dating to his reign also mention only typical arrangements, such as depicting and counting burial offerings and personal possessions of the king. Several mastaba tombs of high officials date into Qa'a's reign: Merka (S3505), Henuka (burial unknown), Neferef (burial also unknown) and Sabef (buried in the royal necropolis of Qa'a).
The Sed festival was an ancient Egyptian ceremony that celebrated the continued rule of a pharaoh. The name is taken from the name of an Egyptian wolf god, one of whose names was Wepwawet or Sed.
The Palermo Stone is one of seven surviving fragments of a stele known as the Royal Annals of the Old Kingdom of Ancient Egypt. The stele contained a list of the kings of Egypt from the First Dynasty through to the early part of the Fifth Dynasty and noted significant events in each year of their reigns. It was probably made during the Fifth Dynasty. The Palermo Stone is held in the Regional Archeological Museum Antonio Salinas in the city of Palermo, Italy, from which it derives its name.
A coronation was an extremely important ritual in early and ancient Egyptian history, concerning the change of power and rulership between two succeeding pharaohs. The accession to the throne was celebrated in several ceremonies, rites and feasts.
Despite Qa'a's long and prosperous reign, evidence shows that after his death, a dynastic war between different royal houses began over the newly empty throne. In the tomb of the high official Merka, a stone vessel with the name of a king Sneferka was found. It is unclear whether "Sneferka" was an alternate name of Qa'a or if he was a separate, ephemeral ruler. Egyptologists such as Wolfgang Helck and Toby Wilkinson point to a further mysterious ruler named "Horus Bird", whose name was found on vessel fragments dating to the end of the first dynasty. It is postulated that Sneferka and Horus Bird fought for power and that Hotepsekhemwy ended the fight and finally ascended the throne of Egypt, thus starting the Second Dynasty. Strong clues to that theory are traces of grave robberies and arsons found in the royal tombs of Abydos. Clay seals of Hotepsekhemwy found in Qa'a's tomb suggest that he restored the tomb or buried Qa'a, maybe in an attempt to legitimize his rule.
Sneferka is the serekh-name of an early Egyptian king who may have ruled at the end of the 1st dynasty. The exact length of his reign is unknown, but thought to have been very short and his chronological position is unclear.
Toby A. H. Wilkinson is an English Egyptologist and academic. He is the Head of the International Strategy Office at the University of Cambridge, a fellow of Clare College, Cambridge, and was previously a research fellow at Christ's College, Cambridge and Durham University. He was awarded the 2011 Hessell-Tiltman Prize.
Hotepsekhemwy is the Horus name of an early Egyptian king who was the founder of the 2nd dynasty. The exact length of his reign is not known; the Turin canon suggests an improbable 95 years while the Ancient Egyptian historian Manetho reports that the reign of "Boëthôs" lasted for 38 years. Egyptologists consider both statements to be misinterpretations or exaggerations. They credit Hotepsekhemwy with either a 25- or a 29-year rule.
Qa'a had a fairly large tomb in Abydos which measures 98.5 X 75.5 feet or 30 X 23 meters.A long reign is supported by the large size of this ruler's burial site at Abydos. This tomb was excavated by German archaeologists in 1993 and proved to contain 26 satellite (i.e. sacrificial) burials. A seal impression bearing Hotepsekhemwy's name was found near the entrance of the tomb of Qa'a (Tomb Q) by the German Archaeological Institute in the mid-1990s. The discovery of the seal impression has been interpreted as evidence that Qa'a was buried, and therefore succeeded, by Hotepsekhemwy, the founder of the second dynasty of Egypt, as Manetho states. The beautiful tomb stela of Qa'a is now on display at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.
Abydos is one of the oldest cities of ancient Egypt, and also of the eighth nome in Upper Egypt. It is located about 11 kilometres west of the Nile at latitude 26° 10' N, near the modern Egyptian towns of el-'Araba el Madfuna and al-Balyana. In the ancient Egyptian language, the city was called Abdju. The English name Abydos comes from the Greek Ἄβυδος, a name borrowed by Greek geographers from the unrelated city of Abydos on the Hellespont.
The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology—commonly called the Penn Museum—is an archaeology and anthropology museum that is part of the University of Pennsylvania. It is located on Penn's campus in the University City neighborhood of Philadelphia.
The tomb of one of Qa'a's state officials at Saqqara—a certain nobleman named Merka—contained a stele with many titles. There is a second Sed festival attested. This fact plus the high quality of a number of royal steles depicting the king implies that Qa'a's reign was a fairly stable and prosperous period of time.
A number of year labels have also been discovered dating to his reign at the First Dynasty burial site of Umm el-Qa'ab in Abydos. Qa'a is believed to have ruled Egypt around 2916 BCE. A dish inscribed with the name and titles of Qa'a was discovered in the tomb of Seth-Peribsen (Tomb P of Petrie).
Djoser was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh of the 3rd dynasty during the Old Kingdom and the founder of this epoch. He is also known by his Hellenized names Tosorthros and Sesorthos. He was the son of king Khasekhemwy and queen Nimaathap, but whether he also was the direct throne successor is still unclear. Most Ramesside Kinglists name a king Nebka before him, but since there are still difficulties in connecting that name with contemporary Horus names, some Egyptologists question the received throne sequence.
Sanakht was an ancient Egyptian king (pharaoh) of the Third Dynasty during the Old Kingdom. His chronological position is highly uncertain, and it is also unclear under which Hellenized name the ancient historian Manetho could have listed him. Many Egyptologists connect Sanakht with the Ramesside cartouche name Nebka. However, this remains disputed because no further royal title of that king has ever been found; either in contemporary source or later ones. There are two relief fragments depicting Sanakht originally from the Wadi Maghareh on the Sinai Peninsula.
Djer is considered the third pharaoh of the First Dynasty of ancient Egypt in current Egyptology. He lived around the mid-thirty-first century BC and reigned for c. 40 years. A mummified forearm of Djer or his wife was discovered by Flinders Petrie, but was discarded by Émile Brugsch.
Hor-Aha is considered the second pharaoh of the First Dynasty of Egypt by some Egyptologists, others consider him the first one and corresponding to Menes. He lived around the 31st century BC and is thought to have had a long reign.
Nynetjer is the Horus name of the third pharaoh of the Second Dynasty of Egypt. The length of his reign is unknown. The Turin Canon suggests an improbable reign of 96 years and Egyptian historian Manetho suggested that Nynetjer's reign lasted 47 years. Egyptologists question both statements as misinterpretations or exaggerations. They generally credit Nynetjer with a reign of either 43 years or 45 years. Their estimation is based on the reconstructions of the well known Palermo Stone inscription reporting the years 7–21, the Cairo Stone inscription reporting the years 36–44. According to different authors, Nynetjer ruled Egypt from c. 2850 BC to 2760 BC or later from c. 2760 BC to 2715 BC.
Djet, also known as Wadj, Zet, and Uadji, was the fourth pharaoh of the First Dynasty. Djet's Horus name means "Horus Cobra" or "Serpent of Horus".
Den, also known as Hor-Den, Dewen and Udimu, is the Horus name of a pharaoh of the Early Dynastic Period who ruled during the First Dynasty of Egypt. He is the best archaeologically-attested ruler of this period. Den is said to have brought prosperity to his realm and numerous innovations are attributed to his reign. He was the first to use the title "King of Lower and Upper Egypt", and the first depicted as wearing the double crown. The floor of his tomb at Umm El Qa'ab near Abydos is made of red and black granite, the first time in Egypt this hard stone was used as a building material. During his long reign he established many of the patterns of court ritual and royalty used by later rulers and he was held in high regard by his immediate successors.
Merneith was a consort and a regent of Ancient Egypt during the First Dynasty. She may have been a ruler of Egypt in her own right, based on several official records. If this was the case, she may have been the first female pharaoh and the earliest queen regnant in recorded history. Her rule occurred around 2950 BC for an undetermined period. Merneith’s name means "Beloved by Neith" and her stele contains symbols of that ancient Egyptian deity. She may have been Djer's daughter and was probably Djet's senior royal wife. The former meant that she would have been the great-granddaughter of unified Egypt's first pharaoh, Narmer. She was also the mother of Den, her successor.
Khaba was a pharaoh of Ancient Egypt, active during the 3rd dynasty of the Old Kingdom period. The exact time during which Khaba ruled is unknown but may have been around 2670 BC.
Nebra or Raneb is the Horus name of the second early Egyptian king of the 2nd dynasty. The exact length of his reign is unknown since the Turin canon is damaged and the year accounts are lost. The ancient Greek historian Manetho suggests that Nebra's reign lasted 39 years, but Egyptologists question Manetho's view as a misinterpretation or exaggeration of information that was available to him. They credit Nebra with either a 10- or 14-year rule. According to different authors, Nebra ruled Egypt c. 2850 BC, from 2820 BC to 2790 BC, 2800 BC to 2785 BC or 2765 BC to 2750 BC.
Seth-Peribsen is the serekh name of an early Egyptian monarch (pharaoh), who ruled during the Second Dynasty of Egypt. His chronological position within this dynasty is unknown and it is disputed who ruled both before and after him. The duration of his reign is also unknown.
Sekhemib-Perenma'at, is the horus name of an early Egyptian king who ruled during the 2nd dynasty. Similar to his predecessor, successor or co-ruler Seth-Peribsen, Sekhemib is contemporarily well attested in archaeological records, but he does not appear in any posthumous document. The exact length of his reign is unknown and his burial site has yet to be found.
Horus Bird, also known as Horus-Ba, is the serekh-name of a pharaoh who may have had a very short reign between the 1st dynasty and 2nd dynasty of Egypt.
Horus Sa was a possible early Egyptian pharaoh who may have reigned during the 2nd or 3rd dynasty of Egypt. His existence is disputed, as is the meaning of the artifacts that have been interpreted as confirming his existence.
The Nebty name was one of the "great five names" used by Egyptian pharaohs. It was also one of the oldest royal titles. The modern term "Two-Ladies-name" is a simple derivation from the translation of the Egyptian word nebty.
|Pharaoh of Egypt||Succeeded by|