Ancient Egypt

         

Page by Anneke Bart




 

Kings and Queens

4th dynasty
Seneferu, Khufu, Khafre, Menkaure, Djedefre, etc.

11th dynasty
Kings named Mentuhotep and Intef

12th dynasty
Amenemhet I - IV,
Senusret I-III


18th dynasty
Amenhotep I-IV,
Tuthmosis I-IV, Akhenaten, Tutankhamen, Aye, Horemheb, etc.


19th dynasty
Sety I-II, Ramesses I-II, Merenptah, Amenmesses, Tawosret.

20th dynasty

Sethnakht, Ramesses III
Ramesses IV - XI




Cleopatra VII Philopator

Queens (D1-6)- Old Kingdom
Queens (D11-13) Middle Kingd.
Queens (D16-20)- New Kingdom
Queens (D21-29)- Late Period



 

Officials, Priesthood etc.
Viziers (New Kingdom)
High Priests of Amun
God's Wives of Amun
High Priests of Ptah
Viceroys of Nubia
Who's who of New Kingdom


Amarna Period
Akhenaten
Queen Nefertiti
inscriptions Queen Nefertiti.
Queen Kiya

Smenkhare
Tutankhamen
Tombs at Amarna
Houses at Amarna

 
Tombs:
Valley of the Kings,
Valley of the Queens
Theban Tombs,
Tombs at Abydos
Tombs at El Kab
Tombs in Aswan
Early dynastic Saqqara
New Kingdom Saqqara
The Unis Cemetary

 
Mastabas at the Giza Plateau
Giza Mastabas 1000 cemetary
Giza Mastaba 2000 cemetary
Giza Mataba 2300 cemetary
Giza Mastaba 4000 cemetary
Giza Mastaba 5000 cemetary
Giza Mastaba 6000 cemetary
Giza Mastaba 7000 cemetary
 

Mummy Caches
Tomb DB320
Tomb KV35



Links



Senusret (III) Khakaure 


Ca. 1872-1853 BC


Horus name: Netjerkheperu
Nebty name: Netjermesut
Golden Falcon name: Kheper
Prenomen: Khakaure
Nomen: Senusret

Burial place: Pyramid in Dahshur; tomb in Abydos

Son of Senusret II and Queen Khnemetneferhedjet I Weret.

Wives:

  • Sit-Hathor-Iunet: Daughter of Senusret II. Priobably married her brother Senusret III. Buried in Lahun in the funerary complex of her father. Titles: King’s Daughter (s3t-niswt), King’s Wife (hmt-nisw)
  • Meretseger: Depicted in Semna in a temple built by Tuthmosis III in honor of her husband. Titles: King’s Wife (hmt-nisw), Great King’s Wife (hmt-niswt-wrt)
  • Khnemetneferhedjet II Weret, Buried in Pyramid IX in Dashur. Known from statues. Her skeleton appears to be of a woman about seventy years old.
    Titles: King’s Wife (hmt-nisw), Great one of the hetes-sceptre (wrt-hetes).
  • Khnemet-nefer-hedjet-khered: Wife of Senwosret III.
    Khnemet-nefer-hedjet-“the child” is mentioned on a papyrus from Lahun. Possibly Khnemet-nefer-hedjet-khered II ?
    Titles: King’s Wife (hmt-nisw)
  • Khnemet-nefer-hedjet: Wife of Senwosret III. Possibly Khnemet-nefer-hedjet-khered II again? Known from a canopic jar and two scarabs. Titles: Hereditary Princess (iryt-p`t), King’s Wife (hmt-nisw), Mistress of the Two Lands (hnwt-t3wy)
  • Neferhenut, Buried in tomb II in Dashur. Titles: King’s Wife (hmt-nisw), United with the White Crown (khnmt-nfr-hdjt).

Son:
Amenemhat III

Daughters:

  • Khnemet[..], King's Daughter of his body. Known from her father's funerary complex in Dashur.
  • Menet, King's Daughter. Buried in Dashur
  • Mereret B, King's Daughter. Buried in Dashur
  • Senetsenbetes, King's Daughter. Buried in Dashur
  • Sithathor A. , King's Daughter. Buried in Dashur
           
Two more depictions of Senusret III.


Important king of the Twelfth Dynasty. He led many campaigns against Nubia, and built a chain of forts to secure a new fixed southern border at the Second Cataract around Semna. There are fundamental changes during his reign in material culture and in the administration. There is a major overhaul of burial customs, with the disappearance of wooden models and an end to the custom of writing extensive rituals and other funerary literature on coffins. The country became more centralised; the provincial centres declined in importance, as is reflected in the cemeteries - great rock cut tomb chapels are no longer cut for the highest officials of the provinces; by contrast, cemeteries in the Fayum-Lisht region (around the Residence of the kings) grew in scale and wealth. (Text from Digitalegypt)


Building Program

Abydos: To the southeast of Sety I's temple stood a temple dedicated to Senusret III. Ruins of a cenotaph lie to the west of the temple. Some egyptologists believe that the king may have actually been buried here.

An excerpt from a piece written by John deWerd, based on a June 2, 2007 presentation at the Oriental Institute the Chicago chapter of ARCE by the Egyptologist Josef Wegner, Associate Professor of Egyptian Archaeology at the University of Pennsylvania.
See also: http://www.arcechicago.com/
This discussion is limited to the tomb itself, but the overall Senusret III complex at Abydos is extensive.  At the north end of the area is the mortuary temple. To the east of that is a modern town, adjacent to which are the ruins of the town that was built to service the complex of Senusret III. The ancient name for the town is Wah-Sut, which is an abbreviation for the name for the entire complex: Wah-Sut-Khakaure-maa-kheru-em-Abdju ("Enduring are the places of Khakaure True of Voice in Abydos," Khakaure of course being the prenomen for Senusret III). Much of the town remains to be excavated but some of the features explored inculde the main gatehouse and the large mayoral residence (click here for a schematic of the ruins). To the south end and abutting the towering cliffs of the mountain called Gebel is the entrance to the tomb and the features associated with it.
Just to the side of the funerary entrance are the ruins of two tombs called S9 and S10, and to this day scholars are not certain of the ownership of either. Most, including Aidan Dodson, are in agreement that they probably come from some point in Dynasty 13, most likely late in that dynasty, and therefore postdate the tomb of Senusret III.


Anubis Seal

Early on in the excavations, Wegner and his team found many clay seals bearing an impression of Anubis. The hieroglyphs on the seal spell "Mountain of Anubis," and it is generally agreed that this refers to the Gebel mountain. It would appear that "Mountain of Anubis" was another name for this location in South Abydos.
Senusret III was much involved with the cult of Osiris and sent officials to support, finance, and expand upon the rituals carried out for that god in his main cult center of Abydos, far to the south of Dashur. One of these officials, the treasurere Ikhernoftret, left a large stela at Abydos detailing how the king had sent him to renovate the temple complex of Osiris. The stela dates to Year 19 of the reign of Senusret III. It was in Year 19 or Year 20 that Senusret III began the preparations for his elaborate tomb complex at Abydos.
Senusret III's strong loyalty to the cult of Osiris is one thing which suggests that he was actually buried in Abydos and not Dashur.
The tomb complex had been identified as early as 1899 but the subterranean features were first explored by Arthur Weigall in 1902, on behalf of the Egypt Exploration Fund. This was at the start of Weigall's career, who would go on to become one of the great names in the early years of Egyptology, and it was a major find. He had hundreds of men working for him and they dug a pit about forty feet deep to find the actual entrance to the tomb. This massive pit was nicknamed the "Devil's punch bowl." Unfortunately for Weigall the subterranean areas were extremely hot, dank, and claustrophobic, and he did not last long at the site. He was replaced by Charles Currelly. Neither of the men performed a systematic and comprehensive investigation, and as modern excavations would prove, many of their notes and plans were inaccurate.

The Abydos tomb sat unexplored for the next 100 years and the relentless desert reburied everything under countless tons of sand. Josef Wegner and his team came along in 2004 to begin new excavations. In his lecture at the O.I. Wegner related how he prefers to work with small teams of excavators, but at Abydos he had to revise his usual techniques. The work to be done was so daunting that he had to hire around 200 laborers just to reopen the Devil's punch bowl and gain access to the tomb. It took three months to dig out the sand bowl, and Wegner said that many of the laborers were convinced there was nothing to find. He overheard them mumbling, "The director is crazy. There is nothing here." But finally they did find the entrance, and it's easy to imagine the celebration that followed.
Wegner's team dug out the massive pit to much larger dimensions than Weigall did 100 years earlier; he wanted to be sure it would not fill in again. (If you scroll back to the Google Earth image of the detail of the funerary enclosure, you can see how truly large Wegner's pit ended up becoming.) In the process, and while removing what remained of retaining walls Weigall's men had put there, Wegner discovered the ruins of the original Dynasty 12 staircase that had led down to the tomb entrance.

The Tomb Construct

The subterranean corridors and chambers of Sensuret III's tomb lie between 80 feet and 100 feet below ground. Here is a plan of the tomb:



Wegner stresses that there is a great deal of excavating left to do, but to this point they've learned a lot about the tomb and its layout. Like other Middle Kingdom tombs it is uninscribed, but its layout is intriguing. Not only is it the first hidden royal tomb in Egyptian history, but its configuration and sweeping arc are strikingly similar to the plans of numerous Dynasty 18 tombs in the Valley of the Kings. For example, here is a plan of KV34, the tomb of Tuthmosis III, which would be built almost 400 years later. Also similar is the double well shaft in Senusret III's tomb, which reminds one of the deep well shafts so common in the tombs in the Valley of the Kings. Tuthmosis III's tomb provides a further interesting comparison, albeit indirect, and we shall see that momentarily.
The excavation of Senusret III's tomb has been extremely difficult. As Weigall found out the hard way back in 1902, those corridors and chambers deep beneath the earth are stultifyingly hot, humid, and caked with dust. Wegner related how he and his wife had to bring down half a dozen changes of clothing every time they went down there, because they would be soaked with sweat and coated with dirt. Two aspects of excavation have proved particularly difficult. The first was the initial clearing of the entrance, which was packed full of sand and debris. If you examine the tomb plan above, you'll see there are two entrances at the bottom of the Devil's punch bowl: a long and sloping descending passage, and a vertical shaft at the foot of the descending passage. Wegner had hoped to clear the vertical shaft and just use that to enter the tomb, but it didn't work. Every time they dug down to the floor of the shaft, the tons of sand packed into the descending passage behind it would flow down and block their way. In the end the workers had to clearly every last bit of sand from both shaft and passage. This was completed in the 2005 season.
The other difficulty is that the Abydos tomb of Senusret III was thoroughly and savagely ransacked in antiquity. Most of the corridors and chambers were carefully lined with well-cut, perfectly fitted, huge blocks of beautiful limestone and quartzite. In their attempt to look for treasure, the ancient tomb robbers smashed many of these huge stones and pulled them from the walls and floors. As a result, many of the corridors and chambers are choked with this stone debris, some of which weighs many tons, and it takes a great deal of work to clear it. Just imagine how hard a job it was for the tomb builders 3,800 years ago to get all of those big blocks 80 feet down into the tomb!
On a side note, Wegner posits that the men who robbed Senusret III's tomb were extremely well organized and equipped, and to carry out the thorough job of pillaging that they performed, they had to have had logistical support and financing from the administrative government of their time. It's not clear yet, however, when most of the pillaging occurred.
As an example of the hard work to which the tomb robbers subjected themselves, return to the diagram of the tomb above and note the central descending passage that leads to the burial chamber. This descending passage was carefully closed off with a series of around fourteen massive, carefully aligned granite blocking stones. It is clear the tomb builders carefully prepared the tomb with difficult security measures. Nevertheless, the tomb robbers just carved their way through the bottoms of the granite blocking stones, creating a small and narrow tunnel all the way to the burial chamber. Wegner mentioned that crawling through this ancient robbers' tunnel is one of the most unpleasant and unnerving experience in the exploration of the tomb, but they have no choice but to use the tunnel (removing the huge blocking stones is out of the question).There are many such granite blocking stones throughout the tomb. Below is a photo of one of them, which the tomb robbers had managed to topple from its position high up in one of the chambers:



The person in the photo is Jennfier, Wegner's wife. You get a good idea of the size of the stones with her standing there.
The burial chamber was particularly ravaged. It seems the tomb robbers didn't at first recognize it for what it was because they couldn't find anything in there, and pushed on into the remaining corridor and chambers. Eventually, however, they came back and found what they were looking for. As another security measure the tomb builders had actually built the sarcophagus and canopic chest into the walls of the chamber, and then concealed them behind dressed blocks of limestone. The tomb robbers pulled out the dressed stones and freed the sarcophagus and canopic equipment from their concealed niches.
Past the burial chamber is where the tomb starts to arch, and it ends up swinging back and pointing easterly. At the center of the arch is another chamber and at the end, the final chamber. Both chambers are dressed in quartzite but it's not clear what may have been placed within them; to this point no artifacts have been found in either.
But the shape of the tomb is intriguing. As I mentioned earlier, it is similar to the shapes of numerous Dynasty 18 royal tombs in the Valley of the Kings, but there's something more that might explain why Senusret III's tomb is shaped this way.
Egyptologists believe that Middle Kingdom royal tombs are uninscribed because for his burial the king would've been provided funerary texts on papyrus. Papyrus is of course a perishable material, so this might be why kings at the start of the New Kingdom, in Dynasty 18, started to have royal netherworld texts painted or inscribed on the walls of their tombs.
The netherworld text scholars call the Amduat is of particular importance here. It describes how the solar god Re (and the king thus associated with him) and the god Osiris unite in the netherworld to regenerate each other. This unification of the gods occurs in the sixth hour, in the middle of the text in the land of Osiris, and from there Re proceeds on his journey to rise in the east, reborn, in the twelfth and final hour.
Returning to KV34 in the Valley of the Kings, the tomb of Tuthmosis III, we see the Amduat painted on the walls of the burial chamber. This particular tomb is a good example because of the odd, stick-like composition of the figures featured in the text. Click here for an example. It is generally agreed that the figures in the text look like this because the paintings in the burial chamber are meant to represent one huge papyrus scroll that has been unwound and affixed to the walls. Recall again that it is believed kings back in the Middle Kingdom were provided funerary texts on actual papyrus.
Josef Wegner is one of a growing number of scholars who believes the Abydos tomb of Senusret III is meant to be a physical representation of the Amduat, which would explain its shape. It's fascinating to think that the Amduat existed as far back as the Middle Kingdom, but there's no record of it because the perishable scrolls on which it had been written, disintegrated to dust long ago.
Compare the layout of Senusret III's tomb to the hours of the Amduat. At the center of the tomb is the burial chamber, representing the realm of Osiris and equating to the sixth hour of the Amduat. Here is where Re (and the king) will unite with Osiris for regeneration. The tomb proceeds in its arc and loops back to the east, ending in a chamber that can be equated with the twelfth hour of the Amduat, where Re (and the king) are reborn.


This is one of the corridors within the tomb, and you can see how high the depositis of sand are. This is what Wegner and his team have had to face all the way through, together with the piles of huge, toppled blocking stones. At the far end you can see the top of a doorway peeking out. And note the ceiling, carved in limestone to resemble log-hewn rafters. [courtesy J. deWerd]



Dashur: The Pyramid complex of  Senusret III is the northern-most complex at Dashur. A small mortuary temple was built on the east face of the pyramid.

Early in his reign Senusret III built a complete pyramid complex at Dashur, south of Cairo, and many scholars believe this is where he was buried. This is a view of the east side of the Dashur pyramid, and here is a schematic of the entire complex. The complex included a mortuary temple, causeway, valley temple, boat pits, cult pyramid, and subsidiary tombs for queens. Family members were definitely buried here, and the complex is complete, so why say that the king himself wasn't buried here?
One of the most compelling arguments is the state in which the burial chamber beneath the main pyramid was found. Here is a terrific photo of it, with a view of the sarcophagus. The burial chamber is in absolutely pristine condition and was clearly never disturbed. There is no sign that anything (or anyone) was ever placed in the chamber and it seems never to have been used. Tomb robbers never ravaged the chamber for signs of hidden rooms--even they didn't bother with it, so it would appear they knew there was nothing to find. [text by John deWerd]

Ezbet Rushdi: A temple was founded by Amenemhat I and expanded during the reign of Senusret III. This site is located a little to the North of Tell el-Daba. The temple was built according to common Middle Kingdom designs. It had a small pillared court before a tripartite sanctuary. The structure was made mainly from mud-brick with some stone elements (doorways and colums for instance).

Tell el-Qirqafa: A small pillared temple was constructed between the reigns of Amenemhet I and Senusret III. A granite entrance gate still exists today.

Semna: At this Nubian site a temple was dedicated to the deified king Senusret III and the Nubian god Dedwen.
The Museum of Ireland has an offering table in its collection.  The Global Egyptian Museum mentions:
"This offering table is arguably the most important historical item in the NMI Egyptian collection, as part of the evidence for the military and building activity of king Senwosret III in Nubia. Royal offering tables are rare, and generally in the hardest materials, as in this case granite. Offerings were placed upon a reed mat, reproduced in stone as the offering tables of the dynastic periods. Here the hieroglyph hetep 'offering' is written on the surface. The sign comprises a bound reed mat with a domed offering-loaf. Around the upper edge runs a symmetrical hieroglyphic text, giving the five royal titles and names of Senwosret III with the epithets 'beloved of Khnum lord of the Cataract area and of Satet lady of Elephantine' and 'beloved of Dedwen foremost of Nubia'. The offering table may have stood originally in a temple built by Senwosret III in his frontier fortress at Semna on the Second Cataract." (GEM) (Image)




Offering Table Inscription (Semna)
Life (to) the Horus divine of forms, he of the Two Ladies Divine of births, the Golden Horus who has come into being, Dual King Khakaura, son of Ra Senwosret
 beloved of Dedwen lord of the Land of the bow, given life stability and power like Ra eternally
beloved of Khnum lord of the cataract and of Satet (?) lady of Elephantine, given life like Ra eternally
(Translation from GEM)


Lintel from Karnak showing the name of Senusert III 


The Cult of King Senusret III:

Centuries later Tuthmosis III built a small rock-cut temple at el-Lessiya. The chapel consists of only one room and is now on display in the museum of Turin.

Scenes include Tuthmosis III before the Nubian god Dedwen and the deified Senusret.

 




Government
Sobekemhat
, Vizier
Neb-it , Vizier
Khnumhotep , Vizier
Ikhernofret, Chief Treasurer, Wearer of the Royal Seal, etc. Known from inscriptions at Abydos.
Sisatet, Master of the Double Cabinet (Assistant to Ikhernofret). Son of Ameni and Sitameni (possibly a relative of Ikhernofret?)
Djehutyhotep,  Nomarch of the Hare Nome. He lived during the reigns of Amenemhat II (1922-1878 BC), Senwosret II (1880-1874 BC) and Senwosret III (1874-1855 BC). The tomb of his physician Gua was also found (Info from British Museum). Djehutyhotep was the son of Key and Teti, and grand-son of Nehri (possibly the Vizier Nehri from an earlier period).

Palace Officials
Khui
  (born of Hapi), Real King’s Confidant, Steward of the storehouse of the leader of the works, etc.
Sehetepibre-ankh, Steward. Buried near Senwosret I, but finds in the mastaba indicate Sehetepibre-ankh lived on until the reign of Sesostris III. (Statue in the Metropolitan Museum)


Army
Sebek-khu named Djaa
,  Commander of the king’s personal troops, etc. Known from a stela at Abydos.
Ameni,  “Magnate of the South”. An officer commissioned to do work on the fortress of Elephantine.



Bibliography / Suggested Reading

  1. Breasted, J.H., Ancient Records of Egypt, Vol I, The First through the Seventeenth Dynasties, 2001 (originally appeared in 1906)
  2. Dodson, A., Hilton, D., The Complete Royal Families of Ancient Egypt, Thames & Hudson, 2004.
  3. Wilkinson R.H., The Complete Temples of Ancient Egypt, Thames & Hudson, 2000.
  4. Digitalegypt.








Comments: email barta@slu.edu