Senedj

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Senedj (also known as Sened and Sethenes) was an early Egyptian king (pharaoh), who may have ruled during the 2nd dynasty. His historical standing remains uncertain. His name is included in the kinglists of the ramesside era, although it is written in different ways: While the kinglist of Abydos imitates the archaic form, the Royal Canon of Turin and the kinglist of Sakkara form the name with the hieroglyphic sign of a plucked goose.

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.

Second Dynasty of Egypt dynasty of ancient Egypt

The Second Dynasty of ancient Egypt is the latter of the two dynasties of the Egyptian Archaic Period, when the seat of government was centred at Thinis. It is most known for its last ruler, Khasekhemwy, but is otherwise one of the most obscure periods in Egyptian history.

Ramesses II Egyptian pharaoh of the Nineteenth Dynasty of Egypt

Ramesses II, also known as Ramesses the Great, was the third pharaoh of the Nineteenth Dynasty of Egypt. He is often regarded as the greatest, most celebrated, and most powerful pharaoh of the New Kingdom. His successors and later Egyptians called him the "Great Ancestor".

Contents

It is unknown how long Senedj ruled over Egypt. The Royal Canon of Turin credits him with 70 years of rulership, [1] the ancient Greek historian Manetho states that Séthenes (as he calls Senedj) ruled for 41 years. [2]

Manetho Egyptian historian and priest from Ancient Egypt

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.

Name sources

The possibly only known contemporary inscription from Senedj's reign was found in 1909 by Egyptologist Uvo Hölscher, who assisted the excavations at the Khephren- and Menkaura temple at Giza. Hölscher found a small, thin-walled and polished diorite shard, which once belonged to a flat bowl. At the left brakeline an incised inscription gives the reading: "The king of Upper- and Lower Egypt, Senedj". The inscription goes from the right to the left and exceeds the breakline, but the king's name remains reconstructable. The precious artifact was published in 1912. [3] It was also examined by George Andrew Reisner, who mentioned it shortly in his book Mycerinus, the Temples of the Third Pyramid at Giza. [4] [5]

Giza City in Egypt

Giza is the third-largest city in Egypt and the capital of the Giza Governorate. It is located on the west bank of the Nile, 4.9 km (3 mi) southwest of central Cairo. Along with Cairo Governorate, Shubra El Kheima, Helwan, 6th October City and Obour, the six form the Greater Cairo metropolis.

Diorite Intermediate intrusive igneous rock composed principally of plagioclase feldspar

Diorite is an intrusive igneous rock composed principally of the silicate minerals plagioclase feldspar, biotite, hornblende, and/or pyroxene. The chemical composition of diorite is intermediate, between that of mafic gabbro and felsic granite. Diorite is usually grey to dark-grey in colour, but it can also be black or bluish-grey, and frequently has a greenish cast. It is distinguished from gabbro on the basis of the composition of the plagioclase species; the plagioclase in diorite is richer in sodium and poorer in calcium. Diorite may contain small amounts of quartz, microcline, and olivine. Zircon, apatite, titanite, magnetite, ilmenite, and sulfides occur as accessory minerals. Minor amounts of muscovite may also be present. Varieties deficient in hornblende and other dark minerals are called leucodiorite. When olivine and more iron-rich augite are present, the rock grades into ferrodiorite, which is transitional to gabbro. The presence of significant quartz makes the rock type quartz-diorite or tonalite, and if orthoclase is present at greater than 10 percent, the rock type grades into monzodiorite or granodiorite. A dioritic rock containing feldspathoid mineral/s and no quartz is termed foid-bearing diorite or foid diorite according to content.

George Andrew Reisner egyptologist

George Andrew Reisner Jr. was an American archaeologist of Ancient Egypt, Nubia and Palestine.

The next source referring to king Senedj dates back to the beginning or middle of the 4th dynasty. The name, written in a cartouche, appears in the inscription on a false door belonging to the mastaba tomb of the high priest Shery at Sakkara. Shery held the title “overseer of all wab-priests of king Peribsen in the necropolis of king Senedj”, “overseer of the ka-priests of king Senedj” and “god´s servant of Senedj”. Senedj's name is written in archaic form and set in a cartouche, which is an anachronism, since the cartouche itself was not used until the end of 3rd dynasty under king Huni. [6] [7] Egyptologist Dietrich Wildung points to two further priests and possible relatives of Shery, who both also participated the funerary cult of Senedj, Inkef and Siy. [8]

Cartouche oval with inscriptions

In Egyptian hieroglyphs, a cartouche is an oval with a horizontal line at one end, indicating that the text enclosed is a royal name. They came into common use during the beginning of the Fourth Dynasty under Pharaoh Sneferu, but earlier examples date to the mid Second Dynasty on Cylinder Seals of Seth-Peribsen. While the cartouche is usually vertical with a horizontal line, if it makes the name fit better it can be horizontal, with a vertical line at the end . The Ancient Egyptian word for it was shenu, and it was essentially an expanded shen ring. In Demotic, the cartouche was reduced to a pair of brackets and a vertical line.

False door

A false door is an artistic representation of a door which does not function like a real door. They can be carved in a wall or painted on it. They are a common architectural element in the tombs of Ancient Egypt and Pre-Nuragic Sardinia. Later they also occur in Etruscan tombs and in the time of Ancient Rome they were used in the interiors of both houses and tombs.

Mastaba type of ancient Egyptian tomb

A mastaba or pr-djt is a type of ancient Egyptian tomb in the form of a flat-roofed, rectangular structure with inward sloping sides, constructed out of mud-bricks. These edifices marked the burial sites of many eminent Egyptians during Egypt's Early Dynastic Period and Old Kingdom. In the Old Kingdom epoch, local kings began to be buried in pyramids instead of in mastabas, although non-royal use of mastabas continued for over a thousand years. Egyptologists call these tombs mastaba, from the Arabic word مصطبة (maṣṭaba) "stone bench".

Senedj is also mentioned in papyrus P. Berlin 3038, which contains medical prescriptions and therapies for numerous diseases. One of these gives instructions for treating foot cramps, and closes with the claim that the recipe for the ointment originates from a "book of vessels". This book is claimed to originate from the time of king Usáphais (identical with king Horus Den of Dynasty I). King Senedj allegedly received the book as an inheritance gift. [9]

Cramp Pathological, often painful, involuntary muscle contraction

A cramp is a sudden, involuntary muscle contraction or overshortening; while generally temporary and non-damaging, they can cause significant pain and a paralysis-like immobility of the affected muscle. Onset is usually sudden and it resolves on its own over a period of several seconds, minutes, or hours. Cramps may occur in a skeletal muscle or smooth muscle. Skeletal muscle cramps may be caused by muscle fatigue or a lack of electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, or magnesium. Cramps of smooth muscle may be due to menstruation or gastroenteritis.

Den (pharaoh) Horus name of an early Egyptian king

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.

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 latest mention of Senedj's name appears on a small bronze statuette in the shape of a kneeling king wearing the White Crown of Upper Egypt and holding incense burners in its hands. Additionally, the figurine wears a belt which has Senedj's name carved at the back. [10] [11]

Bronze metal alloy

Bronze is an alloy consisting primarily of copper, commonly with about 12–12.5% tin and often with the addition of other metals and sometimes non-metals or metalloids such as arsenic, phosphorus or silicon. These additions produce a range of alloys that may be harder than copper alone, or have other useful properties, such as stiffness, ductility, or machinability.

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.

Egyptologist Peter Munro has written a report about the existence of a mud seal inscription showing the cartouche name Nefer-senedj-Ra, which he thinks to be a version of “Senedj”. [12] But since the finding was never photographed nor drawn and the alleged object meanwhile got lost, Munro's claim is highly questioned by many scholars. [11]

Identity

The horus name of Senedj remains unknown. The false door inscription of Shery might indicate that Senedj is identical with king Seth-Peribsen and that the name "Senedj" was brought into the kinglists, because a seth-name was not allowed to be mentioned. [13] [14] Other Egyptologists, such as Wolfgang Helck and Dietrich Wildung, are not so sure and believe that Senedj and Peribsen were different rulers. They point out that the false door inscription has the names of both strictly separated from each other. Additionally, Wildung thinks that Senedj donated an offering chapel to Peribsen in his necropolis. [15] [16] This theory in turn is questioned by Helck and Hermann A. Schlögl, who point to the clay seals of king Sekhemib found in the entrance area of Peribsen´s tomb, which might prove that Sekhemib buried Peribsen, not Senedj. [17]

Reign

Egyptologists such as Wolfgang Helck, Nicolas Grimal, Hermann Alexander Schlögl and Francesco Tiradritti believe that king Ninetjer, the third ruler of 2nd dynasty, left a realm that was suffering from an overly complex state administration and that Ninetjer decided to split Egypt to leave it to his two sons (or, at least, two chosen successors) who would rule two separate kingdoms, in the hope that the two rulers could better administer the states. [18] [19] In contrast, Egyptologists such as Barbara Bell believe that an economic catastrophe such as a famine or a long lasting drought affected Egypt. Therefore, to better address the problem of feeding the Egyptian population, Ninetjer split the realm into two and his successors founded two independent realms until the famine came to an end. Bell points to the inscriptions of the Palermo stone, where, in her opinion, the records of the annual Nile floods show constantly low levels during this period. [20]

Bell´s theory is refuted today by Egyptologists such as Stephan Seidlmayer, who corrected Bell's calculations. Seidlmayer has shown that the annual Nile floods were at usual levels at Ninetjer's time up to the period of the Old Kingdom. Bell had overlooked that the heights of the Nile floods in the Palermo stone inscription only takes into account the measurements of the nilometers around Memphis, but not elsewhere along the river. Any long-lasting drought can therefore be excluded. [21]

It is also unclear if Senedj already shared his throne with another ruler, or if the Egyptian state was split at the time of his death. All known kinglists such as the Sakkara list, the Turin canon and the Abydos table list a king Wadjenes as predecessor of Senedj. After Senedj, the kinglists differ from each other in respect of the successors. While the Sakkara list and the Turin canon mention the kings Neferka(ra), Neferkasokar and Hudjefa I as immediate successors, the Abydos list skips them and lists a king Djadjay (identical with king Khasekhemwy). If Egypt was already divided when Senedj gained the throne, kings like Sekhemib and Peribsen would have ruled Upper Egypt, whilst Senedj and his successors, Neferka(ra) and Hudjefa I, would have ruled Lower Egypt. The division of Egypt was brought to an end by king Khasekhemwy. [22]

Tomb

It is unknown where Senedj was buried. Toby Wilkinson assumes that the king might have been buried at Sakkara. To support this view, Wilkinson makes the observation that mortuary priests in earlier times were never buried too far away from the king for whom they had practised the mortuary cult. Wilkinson thinks that one of the Great Southern Galleries within the Necropolis of King Djoser (3rd dynasty) was originally Senedj's tomb. [23]

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Seth-Peribsen ancient Egyptian ruler

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Sekhemib-Perenmaat Egyptian pharaoh

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Neferkara I ancient Egyptian ruler

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Nebka Ancient Egyptian king

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Hudjefa is the pseudonym for a 2nd dynasty pharaoh as reported on the Turin canon, a list of kings written during the reign of Ramses II. Hudjefa is now understood to mean that the name of the king was already missing from the document from which the Turin canon was copied. The length of the reign associated to Hudjefa on the canon is 11 years. Because of the position of Hudjefa on the Turin list, he is sometimes identified with a king Sesochris reported in the Aegyptiaca, a history of Egypt written by the Egyptian priest Manetho in the 3rd century BC. Manetho credits this pharaoh with 48 years of reign. Egyptologists have attempted to relate Hudjefa with archaeologically attested kings of the period, in particular Seth Peribsen.

Nubnefer is the birth name of a king (pharaoh) who may have ruled during the 2nd dynasty of Ancient Egypt. The exact length of his reign is unknown and his chronological position is unclear.

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References

  1. Alan H. Gardiner: The Royal Canon of Turin. Griffith Institute of Oxford, Oxford (UK) 1997, ISBN   0-900416-48-3, p. 15 & table I.
  2. William Gillian Waddell: Manetho (= The Loeb Classical Library, Vol. 350). Harvard University Press, Cambridge (Mass.) 2004, ISBN   0-674-99385-3, p. 37-41.
  3. Uvo Hölscher, Georg Steindorff: Das Grabdenkmal des Königs Chephren (= Veröffentlichungen der Ernst von Sieglin Expedition in Ägypten, 1st Volume). Hinrischs'sche Buchhandlung, Leipzig 1912. page 106ff.
  4. George Andrew Reisner: Mycerinus, the Temples of the Third Pyramid at Giza. Harvard University Press, Boston 1931, page 105.
  5. Toby Wilkinson: Early Dynastc Egypt. Routledge, London 2002, ISBN   1134664206, p. 74 & 75.
  6. Auguste Mariette: Les mastabas de l’Ancien Empire. Paris 1885, page 92–94
  7. Werner Kaiser: Zur Nennung von Sened und Peribsen in Sakkara, In: Göttinger Miszellen, no. 122, (1991), page 49–55.
  8. Dietrich Wildung: Die Rolle ägyptischer Könige im Bewußtsein ihrer Nachwelt (= Münchener Ägyptologische Studien. Bd. 17). Deutscher Kunstverlag, München/ Berlin 1969, p. 44-47.
  9. Wolfhart Westendorf: Erwachen der Heilkunst: die Medizin im alten Ägypten. Artemis & Winkler, 1992, ISBN   3760810721, p. 48.
  10. Wolfgang Helck: Untersuchungen zur Thinitenzeit. (Ägyptologische Abhandlungen, Volume 45), Otto Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden 1987, ISBN   3-447-02677-4, page 103-106
  11. 1 2 Dietrich Wildung: Die Rolle ägyptischer Könige im Bewusstsein ihrer Nachwelt. Part I (Münchener Ägytologische Studien 17). Deutscher Kunstverlag, München/Berlin 1969, page 45
  12. Peter Munro: Nefer-Senedj-Ra, In: Orientalia; Band 57 (1988); page 330.
  13. Kenneth Anderson Kitchen: Ramesside Inscriptions. page 234–235
  14. Jürgen von Beckerath: Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen.. Deutscher Kunstverlag, München/Berlin 1984, ISBN   3-422-00832-2, page 171.
  15. Wolfgang Helck: Untersuchungen zur Thinitenzeit. page 105-106.
  16. Dietrich Wildung: Die Rolle ägyptischer Könige im Bewusstsein ihrer Nachwelt. page 45.
  17. Hermann Alexander Schlögl: Das Alte Ägypten. page 77-78 & 415.
  18. Nicolas Grimal: A History of Ancient Egypt. Wiley-Blackwell, Weinheim 1994, ISBN   978-0-631-19396-8, page 55.
  19. Francesco Tiradritti & Anna Maria Donadoni Roveri: Kemet: Alle Sorgenti Del Tempo. Electa, Milano 1998, ISBN   88-435-6042-5, page 80–85.
  20. Barbara Bell: Oldest Records of the Nile Floods, In: Geographical Journal, No. 136. 1970, page 569–573; M. Goedike: Journal of Egypt Archaeology, No. 42. 1998, page 50.
  21. Stephan Seidlmayer: Historische und moderne Nilstände: Historische und moderne Nilstände: Untersuchungen zu den Pegelablesungen des Nils von der Frühzeit bis in die Gegenwart. Achet, Berlin 2001, ISBN   3-9803730-8-8, page 87–89.
  22. Hermann Alexander Schlögl: Das Alte Ägypten: Geschichte und Kultur von der Frühzeit bis zu Kleopatra. Beck, Hamburg 2006, ISBN   3-406-54988-8, page 77-78 & 415.
  23. Toby Wilkinson: Early Dynastic Egypt. Routledge, London/New York 1999, ISBN   0-415-18633-1, page 88 - 89.
Preceded by
Wadjenes
Pharaoh of Egypt Succeeded by
Seth-Peribsen