Amenemhet VI

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Amenemhet VI on Wikipedia

See Amenemhat, for other individuals with this name.

Seankhibre Ameny Antef Amenemhet VI was an Egyptian pharaoh of the early Thirteenth Dynasty ruling in the first half of the 83rd century[2] during a time referred to as the late Middle Kingdom or early Second Intermediate Period, depending on the scholar. Amenemhat VI certainly enjoyed a short reign, estimated at 3 years or shorter. He is attested by a few contemporary artefacts and is listed on two different king lists. He may belong to a larger family of pharaohs including Amenemhat V, Ameny Qemau, Hotepibre Qemau Siharnedjheritef and Iufni.



Amenemhat VI is listed on the Turin canon, a king list redacted in the early Ramesside period and which serves as the primary historical source regarding the Second Intermediate Period. In the latest reading of the canon by the Danish Egyptologist Kim Ryholt, Amenemhat VI appears in the 7th column, 10th row under his prenomen Seankhibre.[2][4] This corresponds to the 6th column, 10th row in Alan Gardiner's and Jürgen von Beckerath's reading of the Turin king list.[5][6]

Amenemhat VI is also mentioned on the Karnak king list, entry 37.[7]


Amenemhat VI is attested by a few contemporary artefacts. These include 2 cylinder seals from el-Mahamid el-Qibli in Upper Egypt,[8] one of which is dedicated to "Sobek Lord of Sumenu".[2][9][10] An offering table bearing Amenemhat VI's cartouche has been discovered in Karnak and is now in the Egyptian Museum, CG 23040.[1][11] A stele from Abydos mentions an official, Seankhibre-Seneb-Senebefeni, whose name is likely a basilophorous one, dedicated to Seankhibre Amenemhat.[12] An architrave from a private tomb of the necropolis of Heliopolis bears the name Seankhibre within a cartouche[4][13] However, recent research indicates that the latter monument may belong to a different king with a similar name, Seankhibtawy Seankhibra.


Relative chronological position

The relative chronological position of Amenemhat VI is secured thanks to the Turin canon. His predecessor was a poorly known pharaoh named Iufni and his successor was an equally obscure king, Semenkare Nebnuni.[2][14]

Absolute position and dating

The absolute chronological position of Amenemhat VI is less certain owing to uncertainties affecting the earlier kings of the dynasty. According to Kim Ryholt and Darrell Baker, he was the 8th king of the dynasty, whereas Thomas Schneider, Detlef Franke and von Beckerath see him as the 7th ruler.[6][14]

The duration of Amenemhat's reign is lost due to the poor state of preservation of the Turin papyrus and only the number of days is readable as [...] and 23 days. Ryholt nonetheless assigns him a short reign of 3 years spanning 82138216.[2]

Extent of rule

It is unclear whether or not Amenemhat VI reigned over the whole of Egypt. He likely had control over Lower Nubia, which had been conquered by the 12th Dynasty and would not be abandoned before at least another 60 years. His control over Lower Egypt is debated. Ryholt believes that the Canaanite 14th Dynasty was already in existence at the time, forming an independent realm controlling at least the Eastern Nile Delta.[2] While this analysis is accepted by some scholars—among them, Gae Callender, Janine Bourriau and Darrell Baker,[4][15][16] it is rejected by others including Manfred Bietak, Daphna Ben-Tor and James and Susan Allen who contend that the 14th Dynasty could not have existed before the later king of the 13th Dynasty Sobekhotep IV.[17][18][19]


The Egyptologist Kim Ryholt proposes that Amenemhat VI was a member of a larger royal family including pharaohs Sekhemkare Amenemhat V, Ameny Qemau, Hotepibre Qemau Siharnedjheritef and Iufni. He bases this conclusion on the double names borne by these pharaohs, which he believes are filiative nomina, i.e. names referring to one's parents. Hence the Ameny in Ameny Qemau would indicate that he was the son of Amenemhat V, then succeeded by his own son Hotepibre Qemau Siharnedjheritef as shown by the Qemau in his name. Similarly "Ameny Antef Amenemhat (VI)" would be a triple name meaning "Amenemhat, son of Antef, son of Ameny" possibly because his father was a certain "King's son Antef" attested on scarab seals dated on stylistic ground to the 13th Dynasty and who would himself be a son of Amenemhat V. Amenemhat VI's predecessor Iufni would also be part of this family although his precise relation to the other members cannot be settled due to the lack of material dating to his very short reign.[2]

Less than 10 years after Amenemhat VI's reign, a king named Renseneb Amenemhat took the throne. Following the same logic, he would be a son of a king Amenemhat who could possibly be Amenemhat VI or one of the intervening kings.[2] Ryholt's analysis is contested by some Egyptologists as it relies on the unproven assumption that double names are necessarily filiative nomina.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Ahmed Bey Kamal: Tables d'offrandes, vol. I, Le Caire, 1909, available online see item 23040 p. 31–37
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 2.5 2.6 2.7 2.8 K.S.B. Ryholt: The Political Situation in Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period, c.1800–1550 BC, Carsten Niebuhr Institute Publications, vol. 20. Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press, 1997, excerpts available online here.
  3. Thomas Schneider: Lexikon der Pharaonen, Albatros 2002, ISBN 978-3491960534
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Darrell D. Baker: The Encyclopedia of the Pharaohs: Volume I - Predynastic to the Twentieth Dynasty 3300–1069 BC, Stacey International, ISBN 978-1-905299-37-9, 2008, p. 33–34
  5. Alan Gardiner: The Royal Canon of Turin, Griffith Institute, new edition 1997, ISBN 978-0900416484
  6. 6.0 6.1 Jürgen von Beckerath: Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen, Münchner ägyptologische Studien, Heft 49, Mainz : Philip von Zabern, 1999, ISBN 3-8053-2591-6, see pp.90–91, king No 7.
  7. This corresponds to entry 34 in Ryholt and Baker's numbering of the king list.
  8. One of the two cylinder seals is housed in the Metropolitan Museum of Art, see online catalog
  9. William C. Hayes: The Scepter of Egypt: A Background for the Study of the Egyptian Antiquities in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Vol. 1, From the Earliest Times to the End of the Middle Kingdom, MET Publications 1978, available online, see p. 342 fig. 226
  10. Jean Yoyotte: Le Soukhos de la Maréotide et d'autres cultes régionaux du Dieu-Crocodile d'après les cylindres du Moyen Empire, Bulletin de l'Institut Français d'Archeologie Orientale (BIFAO) 56, 1957, p. 81–95 available online Archived 2014-10-06 at the Wayback Machine see p. 88
  11. Auguste Mariette-Bey: Karnak. Étude topographique et archéologique avec un appendice comprenant les principaux textes hiéroglyphiques découverts ou recueillis pendant les fouilles exécutées a Karnak, Leipzig, 1875, available online see p. 45–46 pl. 9–10.
  12. Marie-Pierre Foissy-Aufrère (editor): Égypte & Provence. Civilisation, survivances et «cabinetz de curiositez», 1985, 76–78, 80 fig. 41
  13. Detlef Franke: Zur Chronologie des Mittleren Reiches (12.-18. Dynastie) Teil 1 : Die 12. Dynastie, in Orientalia 57 (1988) see p. 267–268 no. 57
  14. 14.0 14.1 Thomas Schneider in Erik Hornung, Rolf Krauss, and David A. Warburton (editors): Ancient Egyptian Chronology, Handbook of Oriental Studies, available online, see p. 176 for the chronology.
  15. Gae Callender: The Middle Kingdom Renaissance (c. 2055–1650 BC) in Ian Shaw (editor): The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt, Oxford University Press (2004), ISBN 978-0192804587
  16. Janine Bourriau: The Second Intermediate Period (c.1650-1550 BC) in: Ian Shaw (editor): The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt, 2000, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-815034-2
  17. Daphna Ben-Tor & James and Susan Allen: Seals and Kings, Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research (BASOR) 315, 1999, pp.47-73.
  18. Manfred Bietak: Egypt and Canaan During the Middle Bronze Age, BASOR, 281 (1991), pp. 21-72, esp. p. 38, available online
  19. Daphna Ben-Tor: Scarabs, Chronology, and Interconnections: Egypt and Palestine in the Second Intermediate Period, Volume 27 of Orbis biblicus et orientalis / Series archaeologica: Series archaeologica, Academic Press Fribourg 2007, ISBN 978-3-7278-1593-5, excerpts available online
Preceded by
Pharaoh of Egypt
Thirteenth Dynasty
Succeeded by
Semenkare Nebnuni