Tag Archive: tomb

King Khasekhem

Khasekhem “the powerful is crowned” who was a native of Hierakonpolis. On the occasion of his coronation, Khasekhem made a temple offering of several objects commemorating his victory over northern Egypt, comprising inscriptions on stone vases and two statues (one of schist and one of limestone) showing him seated on a low-backed chair.

At the base of both statues: we find the number of enemies or captives captured in his wars against the Northerns that he led to reunite the country. The number inscribed is 47,209 which may be an exaggeration.

No tomb has been found for this king neither at Abydos, nor at Sakkara. Khasekhem was back to follow and support the cult of Horus, and we are not sure about his relation with Peribsen (whether he was his son, or prince or one of his commanders who had to put down the rebellions in the north resulting from Peribsen’s policy).

It is thought likely that the victory over the north was the reason why he later changed his name to Khasekhemwy “the two powers are crowned” placing both Horus & Seth over the serekh, to satisfy the northerns and southerns. At the same time, he chose “the two Mistresses are at peace through Him” for his name as king of Upper & Lower Egypt.

His establishment of control over Egypt and apparently the reunification of the country were accompanied by an energetic building policy that led to advances in architecture. Khasekhemwy built in stone at El Kab, Hierakonpolis and Abydos, where his tomb is the largest of the second dynasty. He also had a cenotaph at Sakkara to satisfy the Northerns (for the dual nature of the land).

There are family links between the second and third dynasties: one of Khasekhemwy’s wives was the princess Ny-Maat-heb (Ny-Maat-Apis) who was eventually to be the mother of Djoser. It is clear however that the late second dynasty was already more of a Memphite than of a Thinite monarchy.

The reign of Khasekhemwy simply brought an end to political opposition of the north and south and established the basic economic, religious and political systems of the dynastic period. His reign was the beginning of a great epoch during which Egyptian civilization reached a level of artistic skill and perfection.

King Djer

The reign of Djer was characterized by further developments in foreign policy, including expeditions into Nubia, Libya and Sinai.

He also set the economic and religious organization of the country, building a a palace at Memphis and a tomb for himself at Abydos, where he may even have been the historical prototype of Osiris.

Two breat tombs belonging to Djer were found at Abydos and Sakkara. For more reason, the ancient Egyptians in a later period thought that Djer’s tomb at Abydos was the tomb of Osiris, they performed pilgrimage to it and presented offerings until it was assured that it is the tomb of Djer by the discoveries of Amelineau.

He was buried along with the rest of his court, although this doesn’t necessarily mean, that his courtiers were obliged to die violently to accompany their sovereign into the grave. However, this was the first case of the Pharaoh’s recognition of the funerary needs of his subordinates. Judging from the funerary furniture in the private tombs of his contemporaries, the reign of Djer was the time of great prosperity.

Djer continued Hor-Aha’s wars against the Nubians and established his rule as far up river as the second cataract. This important event is engraved on a sandstone slab which was found on Gebel Sheikh Suliman, about 11 km south of Wadi Halfa. This slab has been cut and transferred to Khartoum where it is now in the garden of the new museum. This shows that the kings of the 1st dynasty were interested to secure the southern borders of Egypt and to invade the areas to the south of the first cataract for the movement of the commerce with Sudan.

Recent excavations at Sakkara have brought to light a large tomb belonging to Her-Neith who might have been his wife.