April 9, 2012

Ancient Egyptian 13 and 14 Dynasties Pharaohs 1782 - 1650 BC

Dynasty 13
1782 - 1650 BC

  • Wegaf (Khutawyre) : 1782-1778
  • Ameny Intef IV (Amenemhet V) Sanlchibre :  (?)-1760
  • Hor (Auyibre) : c.1760
  • Sobekhotep II (Amenemhet VI) : Sekhemre Khutawy c.1750
  • Khendjer (Userkare) : c.1747
  • Sobekhotep III (Sekhemre Sewadjtawy)  : c. 1745
  • Neferhotep I (Khasekhemre) 1741 - 1730 BC
  • Sobekhotep IV (Khaneferre) : 1730 - 1720 BC
  • Ay (Merneferre) : c. 1720
  • Neferhotep II (Sekhemre Sankhtaw)


    Dynasty 14
    Nehesy (Aasehre)

    The transition to the 13th Dynasty seems to have been a smooth one, despite the successional difficulties suggested by the presence of a woman on the throne at the end of the 12th Dynasty. Ten kings are listed for the new dynasty, which lasted for about 70 years, and they appear to have kept a degree of control over both Upper and Lower Egypt, still ruling from Itj-tawy near the Faiyum, until the reign of the penultimate king, Merneferre Ay (c. 1720 BC). Indeed, the internal chaos ascribed to the period in earlier literature is not so extreme as was once thought: central government was sustained during most of the dynasty and the country remained relatively stable. Evidence in the shape of inscriptions recording the Nile levels during some of the 13th Dynasty reigns indicates that a presence was maintained in the south, which says much for the strength of monarchical authority to the north.

    The true chronology of the 13th Dynasty is rather hard to ascertain since there are few monuments dating from the period; many of the kings' names are known only from an odd fragmentary inscription or, a little later in the period, from scarabs. Merneferre Ay was the last king of the dynasty to be mentioned by name on monuments in Upper and Lower Egypt, and it seems that the eastern Delta broke away under its own petty kings about the time of his death. The confusion that followed is evident from the tales of woe in the contemporary papyri.

    Our knowledge of the first few monarchs is rather scanty, but the burial of Hor, the third king, was found at Dahshur near the pyramid of Amenemhet III. This site was presumably chosen to indicate solidarity and continuity with the previous dynasty. According to the fragmentary Royal Canon of Turin papyrus, Hor's reign lasted only a matter of months, and his burial was relatively poor and low-key. Nevertheless it was intact and yielded a wooden shrine enclosing an impressive life-size wooden ka statue of the king (p. 92).

    At Saqqara there are four small, originally limestone-cased, brick pyramids ascribed to kings of the period, one at least to be identified with the fifth ruler Khendjer Userkare. Gustave Jequier, the Swiss excavator, found very well-preserved internal arrangements within this pyramid. Its entrance passage, from the west face, was protected by two great quartzite portcullises, after which a complicated system of small passages eventually led to the burial chamber which had been hollowed out of a monolithic block of quartzite.

    Despite all these precautions, the robbers succeeded in reaching the chamber and effecting a small entry through the hard stone, although it is unclear whether there had ever been a burial within it. The identity of the builder was only revealed when fragments of palm-shaped columns found in the nearby mortuary temple produced cartouches of Khendjer. Jequier also found the king's inscribed black granite pyramidion, badly smashed, in the temple ruins. Within a nearby enclosure were three burial shafts leading to underground rooms, each with a roughly finished quartzite sarcophagus, and there was also a small brick-core pyramid. All were, no doubt, intended for royal ladies, but were apparently never used. Graffiti on some blocks indicated a reign of four years for King Khendjer.

    Around the middle of the dynasty three brothers - Neferhotep I, Sobekhotep IV and Sihathor seem to have reigned, although the last may not actually have been a king, but merely a prince. Evidence of overseas connections is furnished by inscriptions and a relief from Byblos of Neferhotep with his vassal, Yantin Prince of Byblos, seated before him; there are also records of an expedition to the mines of the eastern desert. Neferhotep's son, Wahneferhotep, is known from a wooden ushabti found at Lisht (now in New York), but he presumably predeceased his father. Several large red granite statues of Sobekhotep survive, three of them found at Tanis in the Delta where they were probably taken either from Memphis or Avaris (Tell el-Daba) later in the 21st or 22nd Dynasty.

    Coincidental with the last years of the 13th Dynasty, the obscure 14th Dynasty ruled from the eastern Delta. It lasted for some 57 years, although only two kings are known from contemporary monuments.

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