Sheneh (pharaoh)

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Sheneh was a ruler of some part of Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period, possibly during the 17th century BC, and likely belonging to the 14th Dynasty. [2] [3] As such he would have ruled from Avaris over the eastern Nile Delta and possibly over the Western Delta as well. His chronological position and identity are unclear.

Egypt Country spanning North Africa and Southwest Asia

Egypt, officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a country spanning the northeast corner of Africa and southwest corner of Asia by a land bridge formed by the Sinai Peninsula. Egypt is a Mediterranean country bordered by the Gaza Strip and Israel to the northeast, the Gulf of Aqaba and the Red Sea to the east, Sudan to the south, and Libya to the west. Across the Gulf of Aqaba lies Jordan, across the Red Sea lies Saudi Arabia, and across the Mediterranean lie Greece, Turkey and Cyprus, although none share a land border with Egypt.

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.

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Attestations

Sheneh is one of the few attested kings of the 14th Dynasty with three scarabs attributable to him. None of those scarabs are of known provenance however, [3] which hampers research on Sheneh's kingdom. One scarab is currently in the British Museum, another in Aberdeen, catalogue number 21048, and the third one is in Moscow cat. nu. 2258. [2] [4]

British Museum National museum in the Bloomsbury area of London

The British Museum, in the Bloomsbury area of London, United Kingdom, is a public institution dedicated to human history, art and culture. Its permanent collection of some eight million works is among the largest and most comprehensive in existence, having been widely sourced during the era of the British Empire. It documents the story of human culture from its beginnings to the present. It was the first public national museum in the world.

The Moscow scarab of Sheneh exhibits a type of border decoration with representation of a rope, which was in use only in scarabs of officials of the 13th Dynasty and for king Sheshi and his son Ipqu of the early 14th Dynasty. [3] Thus Sheneh may have ruled in the early 14th Dynasty as well, under an unknown prenomen which could be listed in the Turin canon.

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.

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.

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.

Identity

Scarab of Sheneh, now in the British Museum BM EA 32392. Sheneh scarab 2.png
Scarab of Sheneh, now in the British Museum BM EA 32392.

Sheneh is comparatively well attested for a 14th Dynasty ruler and the egyptologist Kim Ryholt consequently proposes that he may be identifiable to either Sehebre or Merdjefare. [2] Indeed Sehebre and Merdjefare reigned for 3–4 years each, the longest reigns of the dynasty, and are otherwise poorly attested.

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.

Sehebre was a ruler of the 14th Dynasty of Egypt ruling for 3 to 4 years c. 1700 BC during the Second Intermediate Period. According to egyptologists Kim Ryholt, Jürgen von Beckerath and Darrell Baker, he was the 5th king of the dynasty. As such he would have ruled from Avaris over the eastern Nile Delta and possibly over the Western Delta as well.

Merdjefare Egyptian pharaoh

Merdjefare was an Ancient Egyptian pharaoh of the 14th Dynasty of Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period c. 1700 BC. As a king of the 14th Dynasty, Merdjefare would have reigned from Avaris over the eastern Nile Delta and possibly over the western Delta as well.

The name of Sheneh has sometimes been translated as Shenes due to a misreading of the signs for given life, an epithet commonly given to kings. [3]

See also

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References

  1. Percy E. Newberry: Scarabs, an introduction to the study of Egyptian seals and signet rings, with forty-four plates and one hundred and sixteen illustrations in the text, A. Constable and Co., ltd. in London, 1906, available online, see p. 124 and pl. X, num. 28.
  2. 1 2 3 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.
  3. 1 2 3 4 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. 358-359
  4. Olga Tufnell: Studies on Scarab Seals, vol. II, Aris & Philips, Warminster, 1984
  5. Harry Reginald Hall: Catalogue of Egyptian scarabs, etc., in the British museum, 1913, n. 208 p. 50, available online copyright free