Wahkare Khety

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Wahkare Khety was an Ancient Egyptian pharaoh of the 9th or 10th Dynasty during the First Intermediate Period.

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.

The Ninth Dynasty of ancient Egypt is often combined with the 7th, 8th, 10th and early 11th Dynasties under the group title First Intermediate Period. The dynasty that seems to have supplanted the 8th Dynasty is extremely obscure. The takeover by the rulers of Herakleopolis was violent and is reflected in Manetho's description of Achthoes, the founder of the dynasty, as 'more terrible than his predecessors', who 'wrought evil things for those in all Egypt".



The identity of Wahkare Khety is controversial. While some scholars believe that he was the founder of the 9th Dynasty, [2] many others place him in the subsequent 10th Dynasty. [3] [4] [5] [6]

9th Dynasty hypothesis

If Wahkare Khety was the founder of the 9th Dynasty, he may be identified with the hellenized king Achthoês, the founder of this dynasty according to Manetho. Manetho reports:

Hellenization historical spread of ancient Greek culture

Hellenization or Hellenisation is the historical spread of ancient Greek culture, religion and, to a lesser extent, language, over foreign peoples conquered by Greeks or brought into their sphere of influence, particularly during the Hellenistic period following the campaigns of Alexander the Great in the fourth century BC. The result of Hellenization was that elements of Greek origin combined in various forms and degrees with local elements; these Greek influences spread from the Mediterranean basin as far east as modern-day Pakistan. In modern times, Hellenization has been associated with the adoption of modern Greek culture and the ethnic and cultural homogenization of Greece.

Manetho Egyptian historian and priest from Ancient Egypt

Manetho is believed to have been an Egyptian priest from Sebennytos who lived during the Ptolemaic Kingdom in the early third century BC and authored the Aegyptiaca, a major chronological source for the reigns of the ancient pharaohs.

"The first of these [kings], Achthoês, behaving more cruel than his predecessors, wrought woes for the people of all of Egypt, but afterwards he was smitten with madness and killed by a crocodile." [1] [7]

Nile crocodile species of reptile

The Nile crocodile is an African crocodile, the largest freshwater predator in Africa, and may be considered the second-largest extant reptile and crocodilian in the world, after the saltwater crocodile. The Nile crocodile is quite widespread throughout sub-Saharan Africa, occurring mostly in the central, eastern, and southern regions of the continent, and lives in different types of aquatic environments such as lakes, rivers, and marshlands. Although capable of living in saline environments, this species is rarely found in saltwater, but occasionally inhabits deltas and brackish lakes. The range of this species once stretched northward throughout the Nile, as far north as the Nile delta. On average, the adult male Nile crocodile is between 3.5 and 5 m in length and weighs 225 to 750 kg. However, specimens exceeding 6.1 m (20 ft) in length and weighing up to 1,090 kg (2,400 lb) have been recorded. Sexual dimorphism is prevalent, and females are usually about 30% smaller than males. They have thick, scaly, heavily armored skin.

If this hypothesis is correct, Wahkare Khety may have been a Herakleopolitan prince who profited from the weakness of the Memphite rulers of the Eighth Dynasty to seize the throne of Middle and Lower Egypt around 2150 BC. This hypothesis is supported by contemporary inscriptions referring to the northern, Herakleopolitan kingdom as the House of Khety, [8] although that only proves that the founder of the 9th Dynasty was a Khety, but not necessarily Wahkare Khety.

Memphis, Egypt Ancient capital of Aneb-Hetch, Egypt

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

The Eighth Dynasty of ancient Egypt is a poorly known and short-lived line of pharaohs reigning in rapid succession in the early 22nd century BC, likely with their seat of power in Memphis. The Eighth Dynasty held sway at a time referred to as the very end of the Old Kingdom or the beginning of the First Intermediate Period. The power of the pharaohs was waning while that of the provincial governors, known as nomarchs, was very important, the Egyptian state having by then effectively turned into a feudal system. In spite of close relations between the Memphite kings and powerful nomarchs, notably in Coptos, the Eighth Dynasty was eventually overthrown by the nomarchs of Heracleopolis Magna, who founded the Ninth Dynasty. The Eighth Dynasty is sometimes combined with the preceding Seventh Dynasty, owing to the lack of archeological evidence for the latter which may be fictitious.

Lower Egypt northernmost region of Egypt

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

10th Dynasty hypothesis

Many scholars believe instead that Wahkare Khety was a king of the 10th Dynasty, identifying him with the Khety who was the alleged author of the famous Teaching for King Merikare , thus placing him between Neferkare VIII and Merikare. In this reconstruction, Wahkare is the last Herakleopolitan king bearing the name Khety, and the cruel Achthoês founder of the 9th Dynasty is identified with Meryibre Khety, and the House of Khety must refer to him instead.
From the Instructions, it is known that Wahkare Khety, in alliance with the nomarchs of Lower Egypt, managed to repel the nomad "Asiatics" who for generations roamed in the Nile Delta. Those nomarchs, although recognizing Wahkare's authority, ruled de facto more or less independently. The expulsion of the Asiatics allowed the establishment of new settlements and defense structures on the northeastern borders, as well as the reprise of trades with the Levantine coast. [9] Wahkare, however, warned Merikare not to neglect guarding these borders, as the "Asiatics" still were considered a danger. [10]

Neferkare VIII was the second pharaoh of the 10th Dynasty of ancient Egypt.

Merikare Egyptian pharaoh

Merikare was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh of the 10th Dynasty who lived toward the end of the First Intermediate Period. His name cannot be recognized in the Turin King List. The dates of his reign are uncertain and debated among scholars.

Meryibre Khety Egyptian pharaoh

Meryibre Khety, also known by his Horus name Meryibtawy, was a pharaoh of the 9th or 10th Dynasty of Egypt, during the First Intermediate Period.

In the south, Wahkare and the faithful nomarch of Asyut Tefibi retook the city of Thinis, previously captured by the Thebans led by Intef II; however, the troops of Herakleopolis sacked the sacred necropolis of Thinis, a serious crime which was sadly reported by Wahkare himself. This crime caused the immediate reaction of the Thebans, who later finally captured the Thinite nomos . After those events Wahkare Khety decided to abandon this bellicose policy and begin a phase of peaceful coexistence with the southern kingdom, which endured until part of the reign of his successor Merikare, who succeeded the long reign – five decades – of Wahkare. [11]


There is no contemporary evidence bearing his name. His cartouches appears on a 12th Dynasty wooden coffin inscribed with coffin texts and originally made for a steward named Nefri, was found in Deir el-Bersha and now is in the Cairo Museum (CG 28088). [12] [13] On it, Wahkare Khety's name was found once in place of Nefri's, but it is unknown if the texts were originally inscribed for the king, or if they were simply copied later from an earlier source. [14] His name is maybe also attested in the Royal canon of Turin. [14]

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Hyksos Asian invaders of Egypt, established 15th dynasty ca. 1650-1550 BC

The Hyksos were a people of diverse origins, possibly from Western Asia, who settled in the eastern Nile Delta some time before 1650 BC. The arrival of the Hyksos led to the end of the Thirteenth Dynasty and initiated the Second Intermediate Period of Egypt. In the context of Ancient Egypt, the term "Asiatic" may refer to people native to areas east of Egypt.

First Intermediate Period of Egypt period in ancient Egyptian history after end of the Old Kingdom

The First Intermediate Period, often described as a "dark period" in ancient Egyptian history, spanned approximately one hundred and twenty-five years, from c. 2181–2055 BC, after the end of the Old Kingdom. It comprises the seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth, and part of the eleventh dynasties. Very little monumental evidence survives from this period, especially towards the beginning of the era. The First Intermediate Period was a dynamic time in history where rule of Egypt was roughly divided between two competing power bases. One of those bases resided at Heracleopolis in Lower Egypt, a city just south of the Faiyum region. The other resided at Thebes in Upper Egypt. It is believed that during this time, the temples were pillaged and violated, their existing artwork was vandalized, and the statues of kings were broken or destroyed as a result of this alleged political chaos. These two kingdoms would eventually come into conflict, with the Theban kings conquering the north, resulting in reunification of Egypt under a single ruler, Mentuhotep II, during the second part of the eleventh dynasty. This event marked the beginning of the Middle Kingdom of Egypt.

The Eleventh Dynasty of ancient Egypt is a well-attested group of rulers. Its earlier members before Pharaoh Mentuhotep II are grouped with the four preceding dynasties to form the First Intermediate Period, whereas the later members are considered part of the Middle Kingdom. They all ruled from Thebes in Upper Egypt.

Mentuhotep I Egyptian pharaoh

Mentuhotep I may have been a Theban nomarch and independent ruler of Upper Egypt during the early First Intermediate Period. Alternatively, Mentuhotep I may be a fictional figure created during the later Eleventh dynasty, which rose to prominence under Intef II and Mentuhotep II, playing the role of a founding father.

Intef I 11th dynasty (Theban) Pharaoh

Sehertawy Intef I was a local nomarch at Thebes during the early First Intermediate Period and the first member of the 11th Dynasty to lay claim to a Horus name. Intef reigned from 4 to 16 years c. 2120 BC or c. 2070 BC during which time he probably waged war with his northern neighbor, the Coptite nomarch Tjauti. Intef was buried in a saff tomb at El-Tarif, known today as Saff el-Dawaba.

Intef II Egyptian Pharaoh

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The Tenth Dynasty of ancient Egypt is often combined with the 7th, 8th, 9th and early 11th Dynasties under the group title First Intermediate Period.

Thinis Lost city in Nome VIII of Upper Egypt, Ancient Egypt

Thinis or This was the capital city of the first dynasties of ancient Egypt. Thinis is, as yet, undiscovered but well attested to by ancient writers, including the classical historian Manetho, who cites it as the centre of the Thinite Confederacy, a tribal confederation whose leader, Menes, united Egypt and was its first pharaoh. Thinis began a steep decline in importance from Dynasty III, when the capital was relocated to Memphis which thought to be the first true and stable capital after unification of old Egypt by Menes, this is despite of the power of the southern city Thinis and its kings. Its location on the border of the competing Heracleopolitan and Theban dynasties of the First Intermediate Period, and its proximity to certain oases of possible military importance, ensured Thinis some continued significance in the Old and New Kingdoms. This was a brief respite and Thinis eventually lost its position as a regional administrative centre by the Roman period.

Instructions of Amenemhat literary work

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Setut or Senen... was a pharaoh of the 9th Dynasty of ancient Egypt.

Meryhathor Egyptian pharaoh

Meryhathor or Meryt-Hathor, was a pharaoh of the 10th Dynasty of Egypt, during the First Intermediate Period.

Nebkaure Khety Egyptian pharaoh

Nebkaure Khety was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh of the 9th or 10th Dynasty, during the First Intermediate Period.

Khety II (nomarch) ancient Egyptian nomarch

Khety II was an ancient Egyptian nomarch of the 13th nomos of Upper Egypt during the reign of pharaoh Merykare of the 10th Dynasty.

Tefibi Egyptian nomarch

Tefibi was an ancient Egyptian nomarch of the 13th nomos of Upper Egypt during the 10th Dynasty. In addition, he also was hereditary prince, count, wearer of the royal seal, sole companion and high priest of Wepwawet. The main source about his life came from his biography, inscribed on the "tomb III" in Asyut.

Khety I was an ancient Egyptian nomarch of the 13th nomos of Upper Egypt during the 10th dynasty. Like many other local governors, he also was a priest of the native deity Wepwawet.

Baqet III Egyptian nomarch

Baqet III was an ancient Egyptian official and Great Chief of the Oryx nome during the 11th Dynasty in the 21st century BCE. Apart from the position of governor of the entire nome, Baqet III also held the titles haty-a, treasurer of the king of Lower Egypt, confidential friend, true royal acquaintance, and mayor of Nekheb.


  1. 1 2 William Gillian Waddell: Manetho (= The Loeb classical library. Bd. 350). Harvard University Press, Cambridge (Mass.) 2004 (Reprint), ISBN   0-674-99385-3, p. 61.
  2. Jürgen von Beckerath, Handbuch der Ägyptischen Königsnamen, 2nd edition, Mainz, 1999, p. 74.
  3. William C. Hayes, in The Cambridge Ancient History , vol 1, part 2, 1971 (2008), Cambridge University Press, ISBN   0-521-077915, p. 996.
  4. Nicolas Grimal, A History of Ancient Egypt, Oxford, Blackwell Books, 1992, p. 144–47.
  5. Michael Rice, Who is who in Ancient Egypt, 1999 (2004), Routledge, London, ISBN   0-203-44328-4, p. 7.
  6. Margaret Bunson, Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt. Infobase Publishing, 2009, ISBN   1438109970, p. 202.
  7. Margaret Bunson, op. cit., p. 355.
  8. Stephan Seidlmayer, Ian Shaw, The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt, ISBN   978-0-19-280458-7, p. 128.
  9. William C. Hayes, op. cit., p. 466.
  10. William C. Hayes, op. cit., p. 237.
  11. William C. Hayes, op. cit., pp. 466–67.
  12. Pierre Lacau, Sarcophages antérieurs au Nouvel Empire, tome II, Cairo, 1903, pp. 10–20.
  13. Alan Gardiner, Egypt of the Pharaohs, an introduction. Oxford University Press 1961, p. 112
  14. 1 2 Thomas Schneider, Lexikon der Pharaonen. Albatros, Düsseldorf 2002, ISBN   3-491-96053-3, p. 172.