Sobekemsaf II

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Sobekemsaf II (or more properly Sekhemre Shedtawy Sobekemsaf) was an Egyptian king of the Seventeenth Dynasty of Egypt who reigned during the Second Intermediate Period, when Egypt was ruled by multiple kings (he was once thought to belong to the late Thirteenth Dynasty). His throne name, Sekhemre Shedtawy, means "Powerful is Re; Rescuer of the Two Lands." [2] It is now believed by Egyptologists that Sobekemsaf II was the father of both Sekhemre-Wepmaat Intef and Nubkheperre Intef based on an inscription carved on a doorjamb discovered in the ruins of a 17th Dynasty temple at Gebel Antef in the early 1990s which was built under Nubkheperre Intef. The doorjamb mentions a king Sobekem[saf] as the father of Nubkheperre Intef/Antef VII--(Antef begotten of Sobekem...) [3] He was in all likelihood the Prince Sobekemsaf who is attested as the son and designated successor of king Sobekemsaf I on Cairo Statue CG 386. [4]

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.

The Seventeenth Dynasty of Egypt is classified as the third dynasty of the Second Intermediate Period of Egypt. The 17th Dynasty dates approximately from 1580 to 1550 BC. Its mainly Theban rulers are contemporary with the Hyksos of the Fifteenth Dynasty and succeed the Sixteenth Dynasty, which was also based in Thebes.

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.


According to the Abbott Papyrus and the Leopold-Amherst Papyrus, which is dated to Year 16 of Ramesses IX, Sekhemre Shedtawy Sobekemsaf was buried along with his chief Queen Nubkhaes in his royal tomb.

Abbott Papyrus

The Abbott Papyrus serves as an important political document concerning the tomb robberies of the Twentieth Dynasty of Egypt during the New Kingdom. It also gives insight into the scandal between the two rivals Pawero and Paser of Thebes.

The ancient Egyptian document Amherst Papyrus, now known as the Leopold II and Amherst Papyrus, is part of the original court records dealing with the tomb robberies under Ramesses IX and dates to Year 16 of Ramesses IX. It contains the confessions of eight men who had broken into the tomb of Sobekemsaf II and a description of the reconstruction of the crime. It throws light on the practices followed at ancient Egyptian courts: eliciting confessions by beating with a double rod, smiting their feet and hands, reconstructing the crime on site, and imprisonment of suspects in the gatehouse of a temple. The document remains an important document for understanding the importance of burial and the afterlife in ancient Egypt as well as crime and punishment practices in Egypt during the 20th Dynasty.

Ramesses IX Egyptian pharaoh of the 20th dynasty

Neferkare Ramesses IX was the eighth pharaoh of the Twentieth dynasty of Egypt. He was the third longest serving king of this Dynasty after Ramesses III and Ramesses XI. He is now believed to have assumed the throne on I Akhet day 21 based on evidence presented by Jürgen von Beckerath in a 1984 GM article. According to Papyrus Turin 1932+1939, Ramesses IX enjoyed a reign of 18 years and 4 months and died in his 19th Year in the first month of Peret between day 17 and 27. His throne name, Neferkare Setepenre, means "Beautiful Is The Soul of Re, Chosen of Re." Ramesses IX is believed to be the son of Mentuherkhepeshef, a son of Ramesses III since Montuherkhopshef's wife, the lady Takhat bears the prominent title of King's Mother on the walls of tomb KV10 which she usurped and reused in the late 20th dynasty; no other 20th dynasty king is known to have had a mother with this name. Ramesses IX was, therefore, probably a grandson of Ramesses III.

Placement in the 17th Dynasty

The German Egyptologist Daniel Polz, who rediscovered Nubkheperre Intef's tomb at Dra Abu el Naga', strongly maintains that Nubkheperre Intef ruled very late in the 17th Dynasty, which means that Sekhemre Wadjkhau Sobekemsaf (I) cannot have intervened between the Intef line of kings and the Ahmoside family of kings: Senakhtenre, Seqenenre and Kamose. Polz's hypothesis that Nubkheperre Intef ruled late in the 17th Dynasty is supported "by the evidence of the box of Minemhat, who was governor of Coptos" in Year 3 of Nubkheperre Intef [5] "which was part of the funerary equipment of an Aqher who lived under Seqenenre [Tao]." [6] This discovery strongly suggests that the reigns of Nubkheperre Intef and Seqenenre Tao were separated by only a few years in time rather than 15 to 20 years at a time when few pharaohs enjoyed long reigns in the 17th Dynasty. The late Middle Kingdom German Egyptologist Detlef Franke (1952–2007) also supported this view in an article which was published in 2008—a year after his death—where he wrote:

Nubkheperre Intef Egyptian king of the Seventeenth dynasty of Egypt at Thebes during the Second Intermediate Period

Nubkheperre Intef was an Egyptian king of the Seventeenth dynasty of Egypt at Thebes during the Second Intermediate Period, when Egypt was divided by rival dynasties including the Hyksos in Lower Egypt. He is known to be the brother of Sekhemre-Wepmaat Intef—and this king's immediate successor—since he donated Louvre Coffin E3019 for this king's burial which bears an inscription that it was donated for king Sekhemre Wepmaat Intef "as that which his brother, king Antefgives", notes Kim Ryholt. As the German scholar Thomas Schneider writes in the 2006 book Ancient Egyptian Chronology :

Qift Place in Qena Governorate, Egypt

Qift is a small town in the Qena Governorate of Egypt about 43 km (27 mi) north of Luxor, situated under 26° north lat., on the east bank of the Nile. In ancient times its proximity to the Red Sea made it an important trading emporium between India, Punt, Felix Arabia and the North.It was important for nearby gold and quartzite mines in the Eastern Desert, and as a starting point for expeditions to Punt.

Seqenenre Tao pharaoh from the Seventeenth Dynasty of Ancient Egypt

Seqenenre Tao, called 'the Brave', ruled over the last of the local kingdoms of the Theban region of Egypt in the Seventeenth Dynasty during the Second Intermediate Period. He probably was the son and successor to Senakhtenre Ahmose and Queen Tetisheri. The dates of his reign are uncertain, but he may have risen to power in the decade ending in 1560 BC or in 1558 BC. With his queen, Ahhotep I, Seqenenre Tao fathered two pharaohs, Kamose, his immediate successor who was the last pharaoh of the seventeenth dynasty, and Ahmose I who, following a regency by his mother, was the first pharaoh of the eighteenth. Seqenenre Tao is credited with starting the opening moves in a war of revanchism against Hyksos incursions into Egypt, which saw the country completely liberated during the reign of his son Ahmose I.

"Contrary to Ryholt, I see no place for a king Sobekemsaf who ruled [Egypt] after Nubkheperra Antef." [7]

Ryholt believed that Sekhemre Wadjkhaw Sobekemsaf intervened between the line of Intef kings and the accession of Senakhtenre—the first 17th Dynasty kings from the Ahmoside family line. Polz argues that Sekemre Wadjkhaw Sobekemsaf was instead the father of Sekhemre Shedtawy Sobekemsaf (II) and the grandfather of the Intef kings since a statue of Sekhemre Wadjkhaw Sobekemsaf shows that his eldest son was also named Sobekemsaf as Anthony Spalinger notes. [8] This means that Sekhemre Wadjkhaw Sobekemsaf ruled on the throne before the Intef kings took power early in the 17th Dynasty—and that he would be Sobekemsaf I instead and the father of Sobekemsaf II. Since Sekhemre Shedtawy Sobekemsaf (II) himself is known to be the father of Nubkheperre Intef, this means that both he and Sobekemsaf I ruled Egypt before Sekhemre-Wepmaat Intef and Nubkheperre Intef assumed the throne. Sobekemsaf II would, therefore, be the son of Sobekemsaf I and the father of his two immediate successors: Sekhemre-Wepmaat Intef and Nubkheperre Intef.

Senakhtenre Ahmose seventh king of the Seventeenth dynasty of Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period

Senakhtenre Ahmose was the seventh king of the Seventeenth dynasty of Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period. Senakhtenre reigned for a short period over the Theban region in Upper Egypt at a time where the Hyksos 15th dynasty ruled Lower Egypt. Senakhtenre died c.1560 or 1558 BC at the latest.

Sobekemsaf I Pharaoh of Egypt

Sekhemre Wadjkhaw Sobekemsaf I was a pharaoh of Egypt during the 17th Dynasty. He is attested by a series of inscriptions mentioning a mining expedition to the rock quarries at Wadi Hammamat in the Eastern Desert during his reign. One of the inscriptions is explicitly dated to his Year 7. He also extensively restored and decorated the Temple of Monthu at Medamud where a fine relief of this king making an offering before the gods has survived.

Sekhemre-Wepmaat Intef Egyptian pharaoh (1600-1600)

Sekhemre-Wepmaat Intef was an Egyptian king of the Seventeenth Dynasty of Egypt, who lived late during the Second Intermediate Period, when Egypt was divided into two by Hyksos controlled Lower Egypt and Theban ruled Upper Egypt.

The Robbery of Sobekemsaf's Tomb

The Abbott and Leopold-Amherst Papyruses, which are dated to Year 16 of Ramesses IX, state that this king's royal pyramid tomb was violated and destroyed by tomb robbers. The confessions and tomb robbery trials of the men responsible for the looting of Sekhemre Shedtawy Sobekemsaf's tomb are detailed in the latter papyrus which is dated to Year 16, III Peret day 22 of Ramesses IX. This document relates that a certain Amenpnufer, son of Anhernakhte, a stonemason from the Temple of Amun Re "fell into the habit of robbing the tombs [of noblemen in West Thebes] in company with the stonemason Hapiwer" and mentions that they robbed Sobekemsaf's tomb along with six other accomplices in Year 13 of Ramesses IX. [9] Amenpnufer confesses that they

In his trial, Amenpnufer testifies that he and his companions dug a tunnel into the king's pyramid with their copper tools:

Amenpnufer states that the treasures taken from the two royal mummies amounted to "160 deben of gold" or 32 lbs (14.5 kg). [11] The document ends with the conviction of the thieves—with a probable death sentence—and notes that a copy of the official trial transcripts was dispatched to Ramesses IX in Lower Egypt. Amenpnufer himself would have been sentenced to death by impalement, a punishment which "was reserved for [only] the most heinous crimes" in Ancient Egypt. [12]

Lower Egypt northernmost region of Egypt

Lower Egypt is the northernmost region of Egypt, which consists of 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 major channels that flow through the delta of the Nile River.

Impalement A method of exacution or torture

Impalement, as a method of execution and torture, is the penetration of a human by an object such as a stake, pole, spear, or hook, often by the complete or partial perforation of the torso. It was particularly used in response to "crimes against the state" and regarded across a number of cultures as a very harsh form of capital punishment and recorded in myth and art. Impalement was also used during times of war to suppress rebellions, punish traitors or collaborators, and punish breaches of military discipline.

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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.

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The Twentieth Dynasty of Egypt is the third and last dynasty of the Ancient Egyptian New Kingdom period, lasting from 1189 BC to 1077 BC. The 19th and 20th Dynasties furthermore together constitute an era known as the Ramesside period.

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Sobekemsaf (queen) politician

Sobekemsaf(sbk-m-z3=f) was an ancient Egyptian queen of the 17th Dynasty. She was the wife of pharaoh Nubkheperre Intef and sister of an unidentified pharaoh, probably Sekhemre-Heruhirmaat Intef, Sobekemsaf II or Senakhtenre Ahmose.


  1. Flinders Petrie, A History of Egypt, vol. I, p. 223.
  2. Peter Clayton, Chronicle of the Pharaohs, Thames and Hudson Ltd, paperback 2006. p.94
  3. mentioned by Kim Ryholt: The Political Situation in Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period c.1800–1550 B.C, pp.266-270 394 File 17/4.6 & p.270
  4. Daniel Polz, Der Beginn des Neuen Reiches. Zur Vorgeschichte einer Zeitenwende. Sonderschriften des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts, Abteilung Kairo, 31. Berlin/New York: Walter de Gruyter, 2007. pp.49-50
  5. see the Coptos Decree
  6. Herbert Winlock, Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 10 (1924) 258 with n.1 & Thomas Schneider, "The Relative Chronology of the Middle Kingdom and the Hyksos Period (Dyns. 12-17)" in Erik Hornung, Rolf Krauss & David Warburton (editors), Ancient Egyptian Chronology (Handbook of Oriental Studies), Brill, 2006. p.187
  7. Detlef Franke, The Late Middle Kingdom (Thirteenth to Seveenth Dynasties): The Chronological Framework, Journal of Egyptian History, Vol.1 No.2 (2008) Koninklijke Brill, p.279
  8. Anthony Spalinger, LÄ, V, 1032.
  9. 1 2 Leonard Cottrell, The Lost Pharaohs, Pan Books, 8th printing:1977, p.135
  10. Cottrell, pp.135-36
  11. Peter Clayton, Chronicle of the Pharaohs, Thames & Hudson Ltd, 1994, p.171
  12. Anton Gill, "Ancient Egyptians: The Kingdom of the Pharaohs brought to Life," Harper Collins Entertainment, 2003. pp.176-77


Preceded by
Sobekemsaf I
Pharaoh of Egypt
Seventeenth Dynasty
Succeeded by
Sekhemre-Wepmaat Intef