authority established during the Archaic Period, at the beginning of the Old
Kingdom resulted in an increase of Egyptian Empire. The sequence of the IIIrd
Dynasty rulers, although very probable, is not completely certain. Actually,
only the pharaoh Djoser-Neterierkhet is well known to
us. Scholars’ opinions vary as to the beginnings of this dynasty. It is
known to us a Horus name sA discovered on stone jars from Djoser’s pyramid.
Some egyptolgists (P. Kaplony, D. Wildung, J von Beckerath) assign this name
to Sanakht, other (W. Helck) regard it as a Horus name of
Weneg of dynasty II. Most reasonable seems to be the theory of J.
Vercoutter identifying Horus Sanakht with king Nebka. To him should also be
ascribed the abovementioned Horus name
Hr sA. All in all it seems that
dynasty III overtook the rule without problems.
With no doubt the list of pharaohs of dynasties II-III
is still not complete and unfinished royal tomb structure Gisr el-Mudir in
western Saqqara that N. Swelim assigned to king Sa would support this
thesis. To view the transcription of kings titulary properly,
download and install transliteration font.
Hr sA-n-xt Horus Sanakht (The Victorious Protector)
Horus Sanakht (The Protector)
nb-kA Nebka (Lord Of The Ka)
Canon assigns to him 19 years of rule. It is generally believed that he was
both elder brother and brother-in-law of Djoser. Nebka’s wife was Initkaes –
daughter of Khasekhemui by Nimaathapi. Some scholars believe that Horus
Sanacht and king Nebka were two different pharaohs of this dynasty. The
Palermo Stone mentions building of a temple in year 13 of his rule, statue
of Khasekhemui in year 16 and construction of a ship in year 18. Many
seal-prints are preserved which belonged to Nebka. His burial place is
possibly either the mud-brick structure surrounded with brick-wall at Abu Rawash,
or - according to W. Helck – unfinished funerary complex west of the Djoser’
Fragment of sandstone relief from the Wadi Maghara in Sinai.
(The Two Ladies, Divine Of Body)
(Golden Horus Name)
(The Golden One)
(The Golden Falcon)
... Dsr sA Djoser Sa
Djoser Nebu(Golden Djoser)
Dsr-it ... Djoser It
name of Djoser appears only in times of dynasty XII. Today with no doubt
he is identified with Hor Netjererkhet, known thanks to numerous relics.
He was the son (or brother) of Khasekemwi,
might have been also younger brother of Sanakht (Vercoutter) or his son
(Beckerath and Grimal). According to W. Helck, Djoser was Khasekhemwi’s
son-in-law by his marriage with Hetephernebti. At the beginning of his
rule he resided near Abydos where he started building of a tomb at Bet
Challaf. However later on he moved the capital near Memphis. His vizier
and architect – Imhothep – built for him at Sakkara the first monumental
stone building – the Step
Pyramid. He made expeditions to Sinai and
according to “stela of hunger”, the rock inscription on the island of
Sehel dated to the Ptolemaic Period (Ptolemy V) and referring to a
hardship which affected Egypt during the dynasty III, he conquered Nubia
or at least part of it. Turin Canon assigns to Djoser 19 years and 1
month, while Manetho – 29 years of rule.
Canon assigns to him 6 years of rule. His name is found on two rock
reliefs at Wadi Maghara at Synai. Inscription on an ivory plate coming
from area of Sekhemkhet’s pyramid contains a name that is variously
interpreted by different scholars. N. Swelim believes it is the Nebti
name and should be read as Djeseti-ankh. R. Stadelman in turn claims it
is a name of queen Djesernebti-ankh while in opinion of W. Helck it is
neme of queen Djeseretnebti. He started building so called
„unfinished” pyramid at Saqqara which size was supposed to match the
one erected by his predecessor – Djoser. After death he was worshipped
and cult of Sekhemkhet can be traced up to the Late Period or even as
late as to the Ptolemaic Period.
Ruin of pyramid of Sekhemkhet.
Relief in the Wadi Maghara.
The deep sloping trench on the north face of the
unfinished pyramid leads down to the pyramid entrance.
Turin Canon it is a misinterpretation of unreadable name. Table of
Abydos includes a form Sedjes. Both of them were formed
from a mark that primary royal names have been recognized as
destructed and unreadable.
Canon assigns to him a rule of 6 years. It is believed that Hor Khaba and Neferkare were two
distinct rulers of this dynasty and that Khaba was identified with
Nebka, the first ruler of this dynasty. In 1985 there was a cylinder
seal-print of Khaba discovered on
Elephantine. He might have been the builder of the south
pyramid at Zawijet el-Aryan, the one, although never completed,
became probably burial place of the ruler.
Canon gives 24 years (of rule?). Apart from Table of Saqqara he is also
mentioned in papyri with precepts of Kagemni and Ptahhotep.
In the Museum of Louvre there is E25982 stele presenting
(Hor Kaihedjet) together with god Horus, in J. Vandier’s opinion Horus
with Great White Crown
belonged just to the king Huni.
Presumably he was an owner of seven small step pyramids at
Edfu, Abu Rawash, Sinki,
el-Kuhla and on
Elephantine where he also erected
fortresses as confirmed by artifacts bearing his name. His wife, queen Meresankh
I was the mother of Snofru. He held the rule supported by vizier Kagemni. Burial
place – presumably
pyramid at Maidum, ascribed to his son, the pharaoh