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Sehetepibre on Wikipedia

Sehetepibre Sewesekhtawy (also Sehetepibre I or Sehetepibre II depending on the scholar) was an Egyptian pharaoh of the 13th Dynasty during the early Second Intermediate Period, possibly the fifth[1] or tenth[2] king of the Dynasty.

Chronological position

The position of Sehetepibre Sewesekhtawy within the 13th Dynasty is not entirely clear. In the Turin canon, a king list redacted in the early Ramesside period, two kings are listed with the name "Sehetepibre", both in Column 7[3] (which mainly lists kings of the 13th Dynasty). The first "Sehetepibre" appears as the fourth king of the Dynasty, and the other as its eighth. Therefore, the exact chronological position of Sehetepibre Sewesekhtawy cannot be ascertained using only the Turin canon. According to the Egyptologists Kim Ryholt and Darrell Baker, Sehetepibre Sewesekhtawy was in fact the tenth king of the Dynasty, reigning for 2 years from 8218 until 8220.[2][4] They believe that the first "Sehetepibre" is an error resulting from the corruption of the name of Hotepibre Qemau Siharnedjheritef. They further propose that the author of the list did not include two kings, Nerikare and Ameny Qemau, thereby artificially making Sehetepibre Sewesekhtawy the eighth king when he was the tenth.[2] On the other hand, Detlef Franke and Jürgen von Beckerath see Sehetepibre Sewesekhtawy as the first "Sehetepibre" listed in the Turin canon and thus as fifth king of the Dynasty. Franke and von Beckerath both identify the second "Sehetepibre" with Hotepibre Qemau Siharnedjheritef.[5][6][7]


For a long time, Sehetepibre was known only from the Turin canon and from a single lapis lazuli cylinder seal. The seal, of unknown provenance, was bought by a private collector in Cairo and finally sold in 1926 to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where it is now on display.[8] The seal bears Sehetepibre's prenomen and is dedicated to "Hathor, Lady of [Byblos]".[2] The seal is further inscribed with the name in cuneiform of a governor of Byblos named Yakin-Ilu.[4] The archaeologist William F. Albright has tentatively identified Yakin-Ilu with a governor Yakin, attested on a stele discovered in Byblos and depicting his son, Yantinu, seated on a throne next to Neferhotep I's cartouches.[2][9] If Albright's hypothesis is correct, then Sehetepibre would be one generation removed from Neferhotep I.

The principal contemporary attestion of Sehetepibre is a stela published in 1980 and discovered earlier at Gebel Zeit, by the Red Sea, where galena mines were located. The stela bears the name of a king Sehetepibre together with the Horus name Sewesekhtawy. This stela, contemporary with his reign, further confirms the existence of this king.[4][10]

In addition, two scarab-seals found in debris from the north pyramid cemetery at el-Lisht bear the name Sehetepibre, written without a cartouche or royal title.[11] A virtually identical scarab was also found at Tell el-ʿAjjul in a Middle Bronze Age context (paralleling the Second Intermediate Period in Egypt).[12] Whether these refer to the same individual is not certain.


  1. Thomas Schneider: Ancient Egyptian Chronology - Edited by Erik Hornung, Rolf Krauss, And David a. Warburton, available online, see p. 176
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 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. Position within the papyrus: Column 7, line 8 and 7.12 - The column starts with rulers of the Twelfth Dynasty
  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. 359-360
  5. Detlef Franke: Zur Chronologie des Mittleren Reiches (12.-18. Dynastie) Teil 1 : Die 12. Dynastie, in Orientalia 57 (1988)
  6. Jürgen von Beckerath: Untersuchungen zur politischen Geschichte der Zweiten Zwischenzeit in Ägypten, Glückstadt, 1964
  7. Jürgen von Beckerath: Chronologie des pharaonischen Ägyptens, Münchner Ägyptologische Studien 46. Mainz am Rhein, 1997
  8. Seal of Sehetepibre at the MMA, picture and context.
  9. W. M. F. Albright: An Indirect Synchronism between Egypt and Mesopotamia, cir. 1730 BC, BASOR 99 (1945)
  10. P. Mey, G. Castel, J.-P. Goyon: Installations rupestres du moyen et du nouvel empire au Gebel Zeit (près de Râs Dib), In: Mitteilungen des deutschen Archäologischen Institutes Kairo 36 (1980), 303-305, fig. 1 [1], pl. 80 [a]
  11. MMA 09.180.1203, 09.180.1204; see Ben-Tor, Daphna (2007). Scarabs, Chronology, and Interconnections: Egypt and Palestine in the Second Intermediate Period. Friburg: Academic Press. p. 111, Pl. 49:5-61.
  12. Petrie, William Flinders; Mackay, Ernest J. H .; Murray, Margaret A. (1952). City of Shepherd Kings and Ancient Gaza V. London: British School of Egyptian Archaeology, University College. Pl. V:124.CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
Preceded by
Semenkare Nebnuni
Pharaoh of Egypt
Thirteenth Dynasty
Succeeded by