April 1, 2012

Sekhemkhet Pharaoh

( 2649-2643 BC)

Relief in the Wadi Maghara with three representations of Sekhemkhet proceeding to the right. Two of them wear the tall White Crown and have their names in a serekh before their faces,- the middle king wears the Red Crown.
According to Manetho, the remaining six kings of the 3rd Dynasty were of no account, although he gave them a combined total of around 157 regnal years. Little is actually known of these kings, now generally thought to have been only three in number and with a joint reign span of about 36 years.

Prior to 1951 virtually nothing was known of Djoser's successor, Sekhemkhet. A relief in the Wadi Maghara in Sinai bears his name (although it had formerly been mistakenly attributed to Semerkhet, last but one king of the 1st Dynasty) and evidences the military interest of the 3rd Dynasty pharaohs in the area. The last king in the relief is engaged in the age-old motif of grasping foes by the hair with his left hand and bringing a pear-shaped mace crashing down on them with his upraised right hand. The 'icon' of 'smiting' the dwellers in the desert, the bedu, had already appeared in the 1st Dynasty and this is just one more instance of it (p. 24).

Information about Sekhemkhet increased dramatically, however, in 1951, when an Egyptian archaeologist named Zakaria Goneim discovered an unfinished step pyramid at Saqqara attributed to the king.

Sekhemkhet King and his Pyramid :


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