Hemaka was an important official during the long reign of the First Dynasty Egyptian pharaoh Den. One of his titles was that of "seal-bearer of the king of Lower Egypt", effectively making him chancellor and second in power only to the king.
The tomb of his chancellor Hemaka is larger than the king's own tomb, and for years was mistakenly thought of as belonging to Den. It was first excavated by Cecil Mallaby Firth in 1931 and work was continued under the supervision of Walter Bryan Emery starting in 1936.
This tomb, located in the northern part of Saqqara contained many grave goods from this era, including inlaid gaming discs and circular wooden box containing the earliest surviving piece of papyrus. The wealth of goods from this tomb as well as those of other officials from this time are thought to reflect the relative prosperity of Den's reign.
As seen from inscriptions on pottery seals, Hemaka was also responsible for maintaining one of the royal domains of king Den, a farm or vineyard for express use of the royal family and later to support the king's funerary cult. It seems likely that he began his service to the king in this position, succeeding to governing other domains until he rose to the position of chancellor.
- Wilkinson, Toby A. H. Early Dynastic Egypt. p. 112. Routledge, 1999. ISBN 0-203-20421-2
- Wilkinson, Toby A. H. Early Dynastic Egypt. p. 65. Routledge, 1999. ISBN 0-203-20421-2
- Clayton, Peter A. Chronicle of the Pharaohs: The Reign-by-Reign Record of the Rulers and Dynasties of Ancient Egypt. p. 24. Thames & Hudson. 2006. ISBN 0-500-28628-0
- W. B. Emery: Excavations at Saqqara: the tomb of Hemaka, Cairo: Government Press
- Wilkinson, Toby A. H. Early Dynastic Egypt. p. 9. Routledge, 1999. ISBN 0-203-20421-2
- Wilkinson, Toby A. H. Early Dynastic Egypt. p. 101. Routledge, 1999. ISBN 0-203-20421-2
- Wilkinson, Toby A. H. Early Dynastic Egypt. p. 124-125. Routledge, 1999. ISBN 0-203-20421-2