Shepseskare

Last updated

Shepseskare or Shepseskara (Egyptian for "Noble is the Soul of Ra") [15] was an Ancient Egyptian pharaoh, the fourth or fifth ruler of the Fifth Dynasty (2494–2345 BC) during the Old Kingdom period. Shepseskare lived in the mid-25th century BC and was probably the owner of an unfinished pyramid in Abusir, which was abandoned after a few weeks of work in the earliest stages of its construction.

Ra ancient Egyptian solar deity

Ra or Re is the ancient Egyptian deity of the sun. By the Fifth Dynasty in the 25th and 24th centuries BC, he had become one of the most important gods in ancient Egyptian religion, identified primarily with the noon sun. Ra was believed to rule in all parts of the created world: the sky, the Earth, and the underworld. He was the god of the sun, order, kings, and the sky.

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.

Contents

Following historical sources, Shepseskare was traditionally believed to have reigned for seven years, succeeding Neferirkare Kakai and preceding Neferefre on the throne, making him the fourth ruler of the dynasty. He is the most obscure ruler of this dynasty and the Egyptologist Miroslav Verner has strongly argued that Shepseskare's reign lasted only a few months at the most, after that of Neferefre. This conclusion is based upon the state and location of Shepseskare's unfinished pyramid in Abusir as well as the very small number of artefacts attributable to this king. Verner's arguments have now convinced several Egyptologists such as Darrell Baker and Erik Hornung.

Neferirkare Kakai Egyptian pharaoh

Neferirkare Kakai was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh, the third king of the Fifth Dynasty. Neferirkare, the eldest son of Sahure with his consort Meretnebty, was known as Ranefer A before he came to the throne. He acceded the day after his father's death and reigned for eight to eleven years, sometime in the early to mid-25th century BCE. He was himself very likely succeeded by his eldest son, born of his queen Khentkaus II, the prince Ranefer B who would take the throne as king Neferefre. Neferirkare fathered another pharaoh, Nyuserre Ini, who took the throne after Neferefre's short reign and the brief rule of the poorly known Shepseskare.

Neferefre Pharaoh of Egypt

Neferefre Isi was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh, likely the fourth but also possibly the fifth ruler of the Fifth Dynasty during the Old Kingdom period. He was very probably the eldest son of pharaoh Neferirkare Kakai and queen Khentkaus II, known as prince Ranefer before he ascended the throne.

Miroslav Verner Czech egyptologist and university educator

Miroslav Verner is a Czech egyptologist, who specializes in the history and archaeology of Ancient Egypt of the Old Kingdom and especially of the Fifth Dynasty of Egypt.

Shepseskare's relations to his predecessor and successor are not known for certain. Verner has proposed that he was a son of Sahure and a brother to Neferirkare Kakai, who briefly seized the throne following the premature death of his predecessor and probable nephew, Neferefre. Shepseskare may himself have died unexpectedly or he may have lost the throne to another of his nephews, the future pharaoh Nyuserre Ini. The possibility that Shepseskare was a short-lived usurper from outside the royal family cannot be totally excluded.

Sahure Egyptian pharaoh

Sahure was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh, the second ruler of the Fifth Dynasty, who reigned for about 12 years in the early 25th century BC. Sahure is considered to be one of the most important kings of the Old Kingdom of Egypt, his reign being a political and cultural high point of the Fifth Dynasty. He was probably the son of his predecessor Userkaf with queen Neferhetepes II, and was in turn succeeded by his son Neferirkare Kakai.

Nyuserre Ini Ancient Egyptian pharaoh of the 5th Dynasty

Nyuserre Ini was an Ancient Egyptian pharaoh, the sixth ruler of the Fifth Dynasty during the Old Kingdom period. He is credited with a reign of 24 to 35 years depending on the scholar, and likely lived in the second half of the 25th century BCE. Nyuserre was the younger son of Neferirkare Kakai and queen Khentkaus II, and the brother of the short-lived king Neferefre. He may have succeeded his brother directly, as indicated by much later historical sources. Alternatively, Shepseskare may have reigned between the two as advocated by Miroslav Verner, albeit only for a few weeks or months at the most. The relation of Shepseskare with Neferefre and Nyuserre remains highly uncertain. Nyuserre was in turn succeeded by Menkauhor Kaiu, who could have been his nephew and a son of Neferefre.

Attestations

Contemporaneous sources

Shepseskare was a king of Ancient Egypt, the fourth [16] or fifth [3] ruler of the Fifth Dynasty. Egypt was unified at the time, with its capital located at Memphis. [17] Shepseskare is the least-known king of the Fifth Dynasty as very few artefacts dating to his reign have survived to this day. Only two cylinder seals of Shepseskare are known: one, made of bronze, bears Shepseskare's Horus name and was uncovered in the ruins of Memphis in the early 20th century. [lower-alpha 2] [1] The second seal, of unknown provenance, is made of black serpentine and reads "Shepseskare beloved of the gods, Shepseskare beloved of Hathor". [18] [lower-alpha 3] Beyond these two seals the only surviving artefacts attributable to Shepseskare are five fragments of seal impressions on clay from Abusir [19] [20] and six further fragments discovered in the mortuary temple and Sanctuary of the Knife of the Pyramid of Neferefre, also in Abusir. [21] [22] These fragments probably come from three different seals and were most likely placed on the doors of magazine rooms in the temple. [23]

Memphis, Egypt Ancient capital of Inebu-hedj, Egypt

Memphis was the ancient capital of Inebu-hedj, the first nome of Lower Egypt. Its ruins are located near the town of Mit Rahina, 20 km (12 mi) south of Giza.

Cylinder seal form of seals

A cylinder seal is a small round cylinder, typically about one inch in length, engraved with written characters or figurative scenes or both, used in ancient times to roll an impression onto a two-dimensional surface, generally wet clay. Cylinder seals were invented around 3500 BC in the Near East, at the contemporary sites of Uruk in southern Mesopotamia and slightly later at Susa in south-western Iran during the Proto-Elamite period, and they follow the development of stamp seals in the Halaf culture or slightly earlier. They are linked to the invention of the latter’s cuneiform writing on clay tablets. They were used as an administrative tool, a form of signature, as well as jewelry and as magical amulets; later versions would employ notations with Mesopotamian cuneiform. In later periods, they were used to notarize or attest to multiple impressions of clay documents. Graves and other sites housing precious items such as gold, silver, beads, and gemstones often included one or two cylinder seals, as honorific grave goods.

Serpentine subgroup

The serpentine subgroup are greenish, brownish, or spotted minerals commonly found in serpentinite rocks. They are used as a source of magnesium and asbestos, and as a decorative stone. The name is thought to come from the greenish color being that of a serpent.

Drawing by Flinders Petrie of a scarab seal reading "Shepeskare" [sic] but probably dating to the Saite period. Shepseskare scarab.png
Drawing by Flinders Petrie of a scarab seal reading "Shepeskare" [sic] but probably dating to the Saite period.

Finally, there is a single scarab seal reading "Shepeskare" [sic] that the Egyptologist Flinders Petrie attributed to Shepseskare at the end of the 19th century. [25] Modern scholars doubt this attribution and rather believe the scarab to be a work of the much later Saite period (685–525 BC) executed in archaic style. [19] [20] Equally, the scarab could belong to Gemenefkhonsbak Shepeskare, an obscure kinglet of Tanis during the 25th Dynasty (760–656 BC). [19] [20]

Flinders Petrie English egyptologist

Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie, FRS, FBA, commonly known as Flinders Petrie, was an English Egyptologist and a pioneer of systematic methodology in archaeology and preservation of artefacts. He held the first chair of Egyptology in the United Kingdom, and excavated many of the most important archaeological sites in Egypt in conjunction with his wife, Hilda Petrie. Some consider his most famous discovery to be that of the Merneptah Stele, an opinion with which Petrie himself concurred.

The Twenty-sixth Dynasty of Egypt was the last native dynasty to rule Egypt before the Persian conquest in 525 BC. The dynasty's reign is also called the Saite Period after the city of Sais, where its pharaohs had their capital, and marks the beginning of the Late Period of ancient Egypt.

Gemenefkhonsbak Egyptian ruler

Gemenefkhonsbak was an ancient Egyptian ruler ("king") of Tanis during the 25th Dynasty.

Historical sources

The only [19] ancient Egyptian king list mentioning Shepseskare is the Saqqara Tablet (on the 28th entry). [26] The tablet was inscribed during the reign of Ramesses II (1279–1213 BC), around 1200 years after Shepseskare's lifetime, and records the dynastic succession Neferikare → Shepseskare → Neferkhare (a variant name of Neferefre). [27] Shepseskare is completely absent from another king list dating to the same period: the Abydos king list, written during the reign of Seti I (1294–1279 BC). He is also absent from the Turin canon (reign of Ramses II), although in this case a lacuna affects the papyrus on which the list is written at the place where Shepseskare and Neferefre's names should have been. [28] [lower-alpha 4] Of the two entries concerning Shepseskare and Neferefre on the king list, only one reign length is still legible and it has been variously read as one year, [30] eleven years [31] or one to four months. [29] The damaged state of the papyrus also makes it impossible to decide safely whose reign length this is. [19]

The Saqqara Tablet, now in the Egyptian Museum, is an ancient stone engraving surviving from the Ramesside Period of Egypt which features a list of pharaohs. It was found in 1861 in Saqqara, in the tomb of Tjenry, an official of the pharaoh Ramesses II.

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".

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.

Shepseskare was also likely mentioned in the Aegyptiaca , a history of Egypt written in the 3rd century BC during the reign of Ptolemy II (283–246 BC) by the Egyptian priest Manetho. No copies of the Aegyptiaca have survived to this day and it is now known only through later writings by Sextus Julius Africanus and Eusebius. Africanus relates that the Aegyptiaca mentioned the succession "Nefercheres → Sisires → Cheres" for the mid Fifth Dynasty. Nefercheres and Cheres are believed to be the hellenized forms for Neferirkare and Neferkhare (that is Neferefre), respectively. Thus, "Sisires" is traditionally believed to be the Greek name of Shepseskare, making Manetho's reconstruction of the Fifth Dynasty in good agreement with the Saqqara tablet. [27] Furthermore, according to Africanus, Manetho credits Sisires with seven years of reign while other sources report Manetho's figure as nine years. [3]

Reign

Chronological position

Map of the necropolis of Abusir. The unfinished pyramid is attributed to Shepseskare. The red line points to Heliopolis. Abusir map 2.png
Map of the necropolis of Abusir. The unfinished pyramid is attributed to Shepseskare. The red line points to Heliopolis.

Both the relative chronological position and absolute dates of Shepseskare's reign are uncertain. The Saqqara Tablet records Shepseskare as the successor of Neferirkare Kakai and the predecessor of Neferefre, which became the traditional opinion among Egyptologists. [3] Following discoveries in the early 1980s, the Czech Egyptologist Miroslav Verner advocates the hypothesis that Shepseskare succeeded, rather than preceded, Neferefre. [35]

In support of this hypothesis, Verner first emphasizes the presence of several clay seal impressions bearing Shepseskare's Horus name "Sekhemkaw" (meaning "He whose apparitions are powerful") in the oldest part of Neferere's mortuary temple, which was not built "until Neferefre's death". [36] [37] This appears to suggest that Shepseskare ruled after—rather than before—Neferefre. [lower-alpha 5] [23] Verner's second argument concerns the alignment of pyramids of Sahure, Neferirkare Kakai and Neferefre: they form a line pointing to Heliopolis, just as the three pyramids of Giza do. [34] [lower-alpha 6] In contrast, Shepseskare's unfinished pyramid does not fall on the line to Heliopolis, which strongly suggests that Neferefre's pyramid had already been in place when Shepseskare started his. [29] Finally, Verner observes that Neferefre is known to have been Neferirkare's eldest son [29] and around 20 years old [38] when his father died so that he was in optimal position to inherit the throne. Shespeskare thus most likely took the throne after Neferefre. As Verner notes, while Shepseskare is noted as the immediate predecessor of Neferefre in the Saqqara tablet, "this slight discrepancy can ... be attributed to the [political] disorders of the time and its dynastic disputes." [37]

Duration

In two articles published in 2000 and 2001 [39] [40] Verner argues that, contrary to what Manetho indicates, Shepseskare must have reigned for a couple of months at the most, a hypothesis already proposed by the French Egyptologist Nicolas Grimal in 1988. [41] Verner's conclusion is based on the archeological record, in particular Shepseskare's intended pyramid at Abusir. Verner emphasizes that the progress of the pyramid, which is unfinished,

was interrupted [and] corresponds to the work of several weeks, perhaps no more than one or two months. In fact, the place was merely leveled and the excavation of the pit for the construction of the underground funerary apartment had only commenced. Moreover, the owner of the building obviously wanted to demonstrate by his choice of place (half-way between Sahure's pyramid and the sun temple of Userkaf) his relationship to either Sahure or Userkaf. Theoretically, only two kings of the Fifth Dynasty whose pyramids had not yet been identified can be taken into consideration – Shepseskara or Menkauhor. However, according to a number of contemporaneous documents, Menkauhor  ... probably completed [his] pyramid elsewhere, in North Saqqara or Dahshur. Shepseskara, therefore, seems to be the likelier owner of the unfinished platform for a pyramid in North Abusir. Anyway, the builder of the platform [viz., Shepseskare] must have reigned for a very short time. [42]

The rediscovery in 2008 of the Headless Pyramid in Saqqara and its subsequent attribution to Menkauhor Kaiu by the excavators under the direction of Zahi Hawass confirms Verner's attribution of the unfinished pyramid of Abusir to Shepseskare. [43] [44]

Unlike the other kings of the Fifth Dynasty, Shepseskare's name appears neither in the personal names of people of the time nor in the names of funerary estates. [45] [46] He is also absent from the titles and biographies of state officials. [2] [46] For example, the stela of the Fifth Dynasty official Khau-Ptah lists an uninterrupted sequence of kings whom he served under, namely Sahure, Neferirkare, Neferefre and Nyuserre. [47] [48] The omission of Shepseskare, be it between Neferirkare and Neferefre or between Neferefre and Nyuserre, [47] [48] indicates that his reign must have been very short. [36] Since Manetho's Aegyptiaca dates to the 3rd century BC, Khau-Ptah's contemporary account can be regarded as a more accurate indication of the political situation during the Fifth Dynasty.

Verner's arguments together with the scarcity of artefacts attributable to Shepseskare have now convinced many Egyptologists, such as Darrell Baker and Erik Hornung, that Shepseskare's reign was indeed ephemeral. [3] [4]

Family

In view of the scarcity of sources concerning Shepseskare, nothing is known for certain about his relation to his predecessors. He was most likely a member of the royal family, [38] [49] although the possibility that he was a usurper unrelated to his predecessors cannot be totally excluded. [50]

Silke Roth has proposed that Shepseskare was a son of Neferirkare Kakai and a brother of both Neferefre and Nyuserre Ini. [51] Instead, Verner has proposed that Shepseskare was a son of Sahure who managed to briefly seize power after the premature death of Neferefre. [42] This would explain the proximity of Shepseskare's unfinished pyramid to that of Sahure. Lending credence to this theory is the discovery by Verner and Tarek El Awady in 2005 of reliefs from the causeway of Sahure's pyramid complex showing him, his wife Meretnebty and their two sons Ranefer and Netjerirenre. [52] The relief gives both sons the title of "king's eldest son", indicating that they were possibly twins. The relief further indicates that Ranefer took the throne as "Neferirkare king of Upper and Lower Egypt". [52] Verner and Awady thus speculate that while Ranefer and his son Neferefre became kings, Netjerirenre could have attempted to seize the throne at the death of the latter. In this hypothesis Shepseskare would be the throne name of Netjerirenre. [53] Verner had however himself written in 1997 that Shepseskare could equally be a son of Shepseskaf, last pharaoh of the Fourth Dynasty, or of Userkaf or Neferirkare Kakai as Roth suggested: so few are the actual evidences pertaining to the problem that all possibilities are just speculations. [54] In yet another hypothesis, Jaromír Krejčí believes that Shepseskare was Neferefre's son. [55]

Shepseskare's reign may have been cut short by his unexpected death or his claim to the throne could have been thwarted by Nyuserre Ini, Neferefre's younger brother and the younger son of King Neferirkare and Queen Khentkaus II. Khentkaus II's pivotal role in Nyuserre's eventual accession to the throne might explain her high esteem in Egyptian folklore and "the additional enlargement and upgrading of her mortuary temple" by Nyuserre. [56] Nyuserre also seemed to have been favored by powerful courtiers and officials, foremost among whom was Ptahshepses, who would become Nyuserre's son-in-law and vizier. [57]

Building activities

Pyramid

An unfinished pyramid located in north Abusir, between the sun temple of Userkaf and the Pyramid of Sahure, is believed to belong to Shepseskare. The structure was discovered in 1980 by a Czechoslovakian archaeological team led by Miroslav Verner [58] and seems to have been abandoned after no more than a few weeks or months of work. A square area of roughly 100 m2 (1,100 sq ft) was leveled and the digging of a T-shaped ditch was just started in its center. [59] This ditch was to be left open during the pyramid construction to allow for simultaneous works on the pyramid filling and its substructures. This construction technique is common to all pyramids of the Fifth Dynasty and can directly be seen in the case of the Pyramid of Neferefre, which was also left unfinished. [59] This technique as well as the location of the unfinished pyramid in the royal necropolis of the Fifth Dynasty indicates that it belonged in all likeliness to Shepseskare, [59] the pyramids of the other kings of the dynasty being already known. If finished according to the established pattern, the pyramid would have reached 73 m (240 ft) high, similar to the Pyramid of Neferirkare. [60]

Analyzing the fragments of clay seals bearing Shepeseskare's name, the Swiss Egyptologist Peter Kaplony has proposed that the ancient name of Shepseskare's pyramid could be reconstructed as Rsj-Špss-k3-Rˁ, reading "Resj-Shespeskare" and meaning "The awakening of Shepseskare". [61] Verner rejects this hypothesis, and he contests the reading of certain signs and their interpretation as the name of a pyramid. [62] [63]

Sun temple

Kaplony has proposed that Shepseskare started to build a sun temple named Ḥtp-jb-Rˁ, reading "Hotepibre" and meaning "Satisfied is the heart of Ra". [64] Although all the kings of the early to mid-Fifth Dynasty, from Userkaf to Menkauhor Kaiu, did build sun temples, Verner regards Kaplony's hypothesis as "sheer speculation" since it is based on the tentative reconstruction of a single clay seal. [46] [63] Verner first argues that this seal is not inscribed with Shepseskare's name but rather bears traces of a Horus name which could equally well be that of Djedkare Isesi. [lower-alpha 7] [65] Second, Verner notes that the name of a sun temple is rarely found with that of the king who built it: more often it is found with the name of another king during whose reign the seal was made. [65] Finally, he doubts that the sign reading Ḥtp, "Hotep", is really part of the name of a sun temple. Instead, he believes it is more probable that the seal either refers to the sun temple of Neferirkare, named St-jb-Rˁ.w, that is "Setibraw"; or to that of Nyuserre, which was called Šsp-jb-Rˁ, "Shesepibraw". [65]

Mortuary temple of Neferefre

It is possible that Shepseskare continued the construction of the funerary complex of his predecessor. [3] As Neferefre had died after a short reign, his pyramid complex was far from finished and neither the burial chamber nor the mortuary temple had been built. [2] The planned pyramid was thus hastily [2] changed into a square mastaba representing a stylized primeval hill [2] and the accompanying mortuary temple was completed during the reign of Nyuserre. [66] The presence of seals of Shepseskare in the oldest part of Neferefre's mortuary temple could indicate that the former also undertook construction works there. [3] The evidence for such works is uncertain: these seals could have been placed on boxes which were later moved into the magazine rooms of the temple. For example, seals of Userkaf, Sahure and Neferirkare Kakai were also found in the temple, while these three pharaohs died before Neferefre's reign. [67]

Notes

  1. Proposed dates for Shepseskare's reign: 2482–2475 BC, [10] 2467–2460 BC, [11] 2463–2456 BC, [12] 2455–2448 BC, [13] [6] [7] 2438–2431 BC, [8] [14] 2403 BC. [4]
  2. The seal is now in the Cairo Museum under the catalog number JE 45041.
  3. The seal is now in the G. Mikhailides collection.
  4. The lacuna is on the third column, entries 20 and 21. [29] Because of the lacuna, it cannot be ascertained whether the canon listed Shepseskare before or after Neferefre.
  5. Three facts are mentioned concerning these seals: 1) they were found in a temple that was built only after Neferefre's death, i.e. the seals too were placed there after Neferefre's death. 2) Such seals would exist only if Shepseskare's was or had already been king at the time of their deposition in Neferefre's temple. 3) The seals were found in the oldest part of Neferefre's temple, but the temple is known to have been completed by Nyuserre. The simplest explanation that Verner has proposed for these facts is that Shepseskare lived after (and not before) Neferefre, and that he placed offerings (in boxes bearing the seals) in Neferefre's temple, which was then very small, being unfinished. In other words, Verner sees Shespeskare as building a small part of Neferefre's temple, filling it with offering bearing his seals, then dying only to be succeeded by Nyuserre who completed the temple.
  6. Heliopolis housed the main temple of Ra, which was the most important religious center in the country at the time. [34] The temple was visible from both Abusir and Giza [38] and was probably located where the lines from the Abusir and Giza necropolises intersected. [34]
  7. The Horus name of Djedkare Isesi is Djedkhau.

Related Research Articles

The 25th century BC was a century which lasted from the year 2500 BC to 2401 BC.

The Fifth Dynasty of ancient Egypt is often combined with Dynasties III, IV and VI under the group title the Old Kingdom. The Fifth Dynasty pharaohs reigned for approximately 150 years, from the early 25th century BC until the mid 24th century BC.

Userkaf Ancient Egyptian Pharaoh

Userkaf was an Egyptian pharaoh, founder of the Fifth Dynasty, who reigned for seven to eight years in the early 25th century BC. He belonged, in all probability, to a branch of the Fourth Dynasty royal family, although his parentage remains uncertain and the identity of his queen is in doubt. Userkaf may have been the son of Khentkaus I marrying Neferhetepes. He had at least one daughter and very probably a son who succeeded him as pharaoh Sahure.

Menkauhor Kaiu Pharaoh of Egypt

Menkauhor Kaiu was an Ancient Egyptian pharaoh of the Old Kingdom period. He was the seventh ruler of the Fifth Dynasty at the end of the 25th century BC or early in the 24th century BC.

Abusir Village in Giza Governorate, Egypt

Abusir is the name given to an Egyptian archaeological locality – specifically, an extensive necropolis of the Old Kingdom period, together with later additions – in the vicinity of the modern capital Cairo. The name is also that of a neighbouring village in the Nile Valley, whence the site takes its name. Abusir is located several kilometres north of Saqqara and, like it, served as one of the main elite cemeteries for the ancient Egyptian capital city of Memphis. Several other villages in northern and southern Egypt are named Abusir or Busiri. Abusir is one relatively small segment of the extensive "pyramid field" that extends from north of Giza to below Saqqara. The locality of Abusir took its turn as the focus of the prestigious western burial rites operating out of the then-capital of Memphis during the Old Kingdom 5th Dynasty. As an elite cemetery, neighbouring Giza had by then "filled up" with the massive pyramids and other monuments of the 4th Dynasty, leading the 5th Dynasty pharaohs to seek sites elsewhere for their own funerary monuments.

Khentkaus II politician

Khentkaus II was a royal woman who lived in Ancient Egypt. She was a wife of Egyptian king Neferirkare Kakai of the fifth dynasty. She was the mother of two kings, Neferefre and Nyuserre Ini.

Pyramid of Neferirkare Second pyramid to be built at the necropolis site of Abusir

The Pyramid of Neferirkare was built for the Fifth Dynasty pharaoh Neferirkare Kakai – referred to as Neferirkare – in the 25th century BC. It was the tallest structure located on the highest site at the necropolis of Abusir – found between Giza and Saqqara – and still towers over the necropolis today. The pyramid is also significant because its evacuation led to the discovery of the Abusir papyri.

Egyptian sun temple

Egyptian sun temples were ancient Egyptian temples to the sun god Ra. The term has come to mostly designate the temples built by six or seven pharaohs of the Fifth Dynasty during the Old Kingdom period. However, sun temples would make a reappearance a thousand years later under Akhenaten in the New Kingdom with his building of the Karnak Temple in Thebes.

Pyramid of Sahure Pyramid complex of the second pharaoh of the Fifth Dynasty of Egypt, inaugural pyramid at Abusir

The Pyramid of Sahure was built in the 24th century BC for the Egyptian pharaoh Sahure, the second king of the Fifth Dynasty. It the first pyramid built in the necropolis of Abusir, Egypt. Sahure's pyramid is part of a larger mortuary complex comprising a temple on the shores of Abusir lake, a causeway from this temple to the mortuary temple located against the main pyramid and a separate cult pyramid for the Ka of the king.

Pyramid of Neferefre Unfinished pyramid

The Pyramid of Neferefre, also known as the Pyramid of Raneferef, is an unfinished Egyptian pyramid from the Fifth Dynasty, located in the necropolis of Abusir, Egypt. After the early death of Pharaoh Neferefre, the unfinished building was reconstructed into a geometric mastaba, becoming the burial place of the deceased king. Despite the demolition of the actual pyramid, the complex was augmented through extensive construction of temples by Neferefre's successors.

Thamphthis is the hellenized name of an ancient Egyptian ruler (pharaoh) of the 4th dynasty in the Old Kingdom, who may have ruled around 2500 BC under the name Djedefptah for between two and nine years. His original Egyptian name is lost, but it may have been Djedefptah or Ptahdjedef according to William C. Hayes. Thamphthis is one of the shadowy rulers of the Old Kingdom, since he is completely unattested in contemporary sources. For this reason, his historical figure is discussed intensely by historians and egyptologists.

Khentkaus I Queen of Ancient Egypt during the 4th dynasty

Khentkaus I, also referred to as Khentkawes, was a royal woman who lived in ancient Egypt during the Fourth and the Fifth Dynasties. She may have been a daughter of king Menkaure, the wife of both king Shepseskaf and king Userkaf, the mother of king Sahure, and perhaps, in her own right, the king of Upper and Lower Egypt. Her mastaba at Giza – tomb LG100 – is located very close to Menkaure's pyramid complex. This close connection may point to a family relationship. Although the relationship is not clear, the proximity of the pyramid complex of Khentkaus to that of king Menkaure has led to the conjecture that she may have been his daughter.

Meretnebty was a Queen of Egypt as a wife of Pharaoh Sahure. She lived during the 5th dynasty and was named after Two Ladies, a pair of Egyptian goddesses who protected the pharaoh.

Reptynub was a Queen during the Fifth Dynasty of Egypt. She was the wife of King Nyuserre Ini. She was possibly a mother of Menkauhor Kaiu.

Unfinished Pyramid of Abusir Smooth-sided pyramid

The Unfinished Pyramid of Abusir is an ancient Egyptian royal tomb which was probably abandoned shortly after the start of construction in the 5th Dynasty, which is located in the necropolis of Abusir. Shepseskare, a Pharaoh about whom almost nothing is known, who is known only from a single roughly contemporary seal impression from the mortuary temple of Neferefre, has been suggested as the pyramid's builder.

Pyramid of Nyuserre Pyramid complex of the last pharaoh to be buried at Abusir

The Pyramid of Nyuserre is a mid 25th century BC pyramid complex built for the Egyptian pharaoh Nyuserre Ini of the Fifth Dynasty. During his reign, Nyuserre had the unfinished monuments of his father, Neferirkare Kakai, mother, Khentkaus II, and brother, Neferefre, completed, before commencing work on his personal pyramid complex. He chose a site in the Abusir necropolis between the complexes of Neferirkare and Sahure, which, restrictive in area and terrain, economized the costs of labour and material. Nyuserre was the last king to be entombed in the necropolis, whilst his successors chose to be buried elsewhere.

References

  1. 1 2 3 Daressy 1915, p. 94.
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 Verner 2001, p. 400.
  3. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Baker 2008, pp. 427–428.
  4. 1 2 3 Hornung 2012, p. 491.
  5. Grimal 1988, p. 92.
  6. 1 2 Shaw 2000, p. 480.
  7. 1 2 Rice 1999, p. 190.
  8. 1 2 von Beckerath 1999, p. 283.
  9. Hayes 1978, p. 58.
  10. Hawass & Senussi 2008, p. 10.
  11. Clayton 1994, p. 60.
  12. Strudwick 2005, p. xxx.
  13. Lloyd 2010, p. xxxiv.
  14. Arnold 1999.
  15. Clayton 1994, p. 61.
  16. von Beckerath 1999, pp. 56–57, king number 4.
  17. Altenmüller 2001, pp. 597601, entry "Fifth Dynasty".
  18. Verner 2000, p. 583.
  19. 1 2 3 4 5 Verner 2001, p. 396.
  20. 1 2 3 Verner 2000, p. 582.
  21. Verner 2000, pp. 584–585 & fig. 1 p. 599.
  22. Kaplony 1981, A. Text pp. 289–294 and B. Tafeln, 8lf.
  23. 1 2 Verner 2000, p. 585.
  24. Petrie et al. 1905, p. 74, fig. 43.
  25. Petrie 1976, pl. 1.
  26. Malek 1982, pp. 21–28.
  27. 1 2 Verner 2000, p. 581.
  28. Verner 2000, pp. 581–582.
  29. 1 2 3 4 Verner 2000, p. 587.
  30. Gardiner 1988, pl. 2.
  31. von Beckerath 1997, p. 153.
  32. Verner 2000, p. 602.
  33. Lehner 2008, p. 142.
  34. 1 2 3 4 Verner 2000, p. 586.
  35. Verner 2000, p. 597.
  36. 1 2 Verner 2003, p. 58.
  37. 1 2 Verner 2002, p. 310.
  38. 1 2 3 Verner 2001, p. 397.
  39. Verner 2000.
  40. Verner 2001.
  41. Grimal 1988.
  42. 1 2 Verner 2001, p. 399.
  43. Wright 2008.
  44. Kratovac 2008.
  45. Jacquet-Gordon 1962.
  46. 1 2 3 Verner 2000, p. 588.
  47. 1 2 O'Mara 1997, p. 51.
  48. 1 2 Mariette 1889, p. 295.
  49. Verner 2000, pp. 589–590.
  50. Verner 2000, pp. 596–597.
  51. Roth 2001, p. 106.
  52. 1 2 El Awady 2006, pp. 208–213.
  53. El Awady 2006, pp. 213–214.
  54. Verner 1997, p. 114.
  55. Krejčí, Arias Kytnarová & Odler 2015, p. 40.
  56. Verner 2001, pp. 399–400.
  57. Verner 2000, p. 596.
  58. Verner 1982, pp. 75–78.
  59. 1 2 3 Lehner 2008, pp. 146–148.
  60. Verner 1999, pp. 341–342.
  61. Kaplony 1981, A. Text p. 293 and B. pls. 82,5.
  62. Verner 2000, p. 588, footnotes 29 & 30.
  63. 1 2 Verner 2001, p. 397, footnote 267.
  64. Kaplony 1981, A. Text p. 242 and B. pls. 72,8.
  65. 1 2 3 Verner 2000, pp. 588–589, footnote 30..
  66. Verner 2000, p. 586, footnote 15d.
  67. Verner 2000, p. 585, footnote 14.

Bibliography

Arnold, Dorothea (July 19, 1999). "Old Kingdom Chronology and List of Kings". Metropolitan Museum of Art . Retrieved January 31, 2015.
Baker, Darrell (2008). The Encyclopedia of the Pharaohs: Volume I - Predynastic to the Twentieth Dynasty 3300–1069 BC. Stacey International. ISBN   978-1-905299-37-9.
von Beckerath, Jürgen (1997). Chronologie des pharaonischen Ägypten (in German). Münchner ägyptologische Studien, Band 46, Verlag Phillip von Zabern in Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft. ISBN   978-3-8053-2310-9.
von Beckerath, Jürgen (1999). Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen (in German). Münchner ägyptologische Studien, Heft 49, Mainz : Philip von Zabern. ISBN   978-3-8053-2591-2.
Clayton, Peter (1994). Chronicle of the Pharaohs. Thames & Hudson. ISBN   978-0-500-05074-3.
Daressy, Georges Émile Jules (1915). "Cylindre en bronze de l'ancien empire". Annales du Service des Antiquités de l'Égypte. 15.
El Awady, Tarek (2006). "The royal family of Sahure. New evidence.". In Bárta, Miroslav; Krejčí, Jaromír (eds.). Abusir and Saqqara in the Year 2005. Proceedings of the Conference Held in Prague (June 27 – July 5, 2005). Prague: Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Oriental Institute. p. 198–203. ISBN   978-80-7308-116-4.
Gardiner, Alan (1988). Royal Canon of Turin. Griffith Institute, new edition. ISBN   978-0-900416-48-4.
Grimal, Nicolas (1988). Histoire de l'Egypte ancienne (in French). Fayard. ISBN   978-2-7028-2142-8.
Hawass, Zahi; Senussi, Ashraf (2008). Old Kingdom Pottery from Giza. American University in Cairo Press. ISBN   978-977-305-986-6.
Hayes, William (1978). 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. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art. OCLC   7427345.
Hornung, Erik; Krauss, Rolf; Warburton, David, eds. (2012). Ancient Egyptian Chronology. Handbook of Oriental Studies. Leiden, Boston: Brill. ISBN   978-90-04-11385-5. ISSN   0169-9423.
Jacquet-Gordon, Helen (1962). Les noms des domaines funéraires sous l'ancien empire égyptien (in French). Le Caire : Imprimerie de l'Institut français d'archéologie orientale. OCLC   18402032.
Kaplony, Peter (1981). Die Rollsiegel des Alten Reiches. Katalog der Rollsiegel II. Allgemeiner Teil mit Studien zum Köningtum des Alten Reichs II. Katalog der Rollsiegel A. Text B. Tafeln (in German). Bruxelles: Fondation Egyptologique Reine Élisabeth. ISBN   978-0-583-00301-8.
Kratovac, Katarina (June 6, 2008). "Archaeologists Uncover 4,000-Year-Old Missing Egyptian Pyramid" (Press release). Associated Press. Archived from the original on 2016-01-16. Retrieved 2015-01-31.
Krejčí, Jaromír; Arias Kytnarová, Katarína; Odler, Martin (2015). "Archaeological excavation of the mastaba of Queen Khentkaus III (Tomb AC 30)" (PDF). Prague Egyptological Studies. Czech Institute of Archaeology. XV: 28–42.
Lehner, Mark (2008). The Complete Pyramids. Thames & Hudson. ISBN   978-0-500-28547-3.
Lloyd, Alan (2010). Lloyd, Alan (ed.). A Companion to Ancient Egypt. Volume I. Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN   978-1-4051-5598-4.
Malek, Jaromir (1982). "The special features of the "Saqqara king list"". Journal of the Society for the Study of Egyptian Antiquities (JSSEA). 12: 21–28.
Mariette, Auguste (1889). Maspero, Gaston (ed.). Les Mastabas de l'Ancien Empire, Fragments du Dernier Ouvrage d'Auguste Édouard Mariette (in French). Paris. OCLC   2654989.
O'Mara, Patrick (1997). "Manetho and the Turin Canon: A Comparison of Regnal Years". Göttinger Miszellen. 158: 49–61.
Petrie, Flinders (1976). Historical scarabs: a series of drawings from the principal collections, arranged chronologically (Reprint of the 1889 ed. published by D. Nutt, London ed.). Chicago: Ares Publishers. OCLC   3114020.
Petrie, Flinders; Mahaffy, J. P.; Milne, J. G.; Lane-Poole, S. (1905). A History of Egypt, Volume I. From the Ist to the XVIth Dynasties. London: Methuen & Co. OCLC   27060979.
Altenmüller, Hartwig (2001). "Fifth Dynasty". In Redford, Donald B. (ed.). The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt, Volume 2. Oxford University Press. ISBN   978-0-19-510234-5.
Rice, Michael (1999). Who is who in Ancient Egypt. Routledge London & New York. ISBN   978-0-203-44328-6.
Roth, Silke (2001). Die Königsmütter des Alten Ägypten von der Frühzeit bis zum Ende der 12. Dynastie. Ägypten und Altes Testament. 46. Wiesbaden: Harrassowitz. ISBN   978-3-447-04368-7.
Shaw, Ian, ed. (2000). The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt. Oxford University Press. ISBN   978-0-19-815034-3.
Strudwick, Nigel (2005). Texts from the Pyramid Age. Society of Biblical Literature, annotated edition. ISBN   978-1-58983-138-4.
Verner, Miroslav (1982). "Excavations at Abusir. Season 1980/1981 - Preliminary Report". Zeitschrift für ägyptische Sprache und Altertumskunde. 109: 75–78.
Verner, Miroslav (1997). "Further thoughts on the Khentkaus problem" (PDF). Discussions in Egyptology. 38. pp. 109–117. ISSN   0268-3083.
Verner, Miroslav (1999). Die Pyramiden (in German). Rowohlt, Reinbek. ISBN   978-3-499-60890-2.
Verner, Miroslav (2000). "Who was Shepseskara, and when did he reign?". In Bárta, Miroslav; Krejčí, Jaromír (eds.). Abusir and Saqqara in the Year 2000 (PDF). Prague: Academy of Sciences of the Czech Republic, Oriental Institute. pp. 581–602. ISBN   978-80-85425-39-0. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-02-01.Cite uses deprecated parameter |deadurl= (help)
Verner, Miroslav (2001). "Archaeological Remarks on the 4th and 5th Dynasty Chronology" (PDF). Archiv Orientální. 69 (3): 363–418.
Verner, Miroslav (2002). The Pyramids: The Mystery, Culture, and Science of Egypt's Great Monuments. Grove Press. ISBN   978-0-8021-3935-1.
Verner, Miroslav (2003). Abusir: The Realm of Osiris. The American University in Cairo Press. ISBN   978-977-424-723-1.
Wright, Jonathan (June 5, 2008). "Eroded pyramid attributed to early pharaoh" (Press release). Reuters. Retrieved February 7, 2015.
Preceded by
Neferefre or
Neferirkare Kakai
Pharaoh of Egypt
Fifth Dynasty
Succeeded by
Nyuserre Ini or
Neferefre