|Nisuteh, Nisut-Hu, Hu-en-nisut, Qahedjet ?, Kerpheris, Aches|
Pink granite head attributed to Huni, Brooklyn Museum
|Pharaoh of Egypt|
|Reign||24 years, starting ca. 2625 BC, 3rd Dynasty|
|Monuments||step pyramid at Meidum, fortress and ceremonial pyramid on Elephantine|
Huni (also read as Ni-Suteh, Nisut-Hu and Hu-en-nisut) was an ancient Egyptian king (pharaoh) of 3rd dynasty during the Old Kingdom reigning for 24 years starting ca. 2625 BC. His chronological position as the last king of the third dynasty is fairly certain but it is unclear under which Hellenized name the ancient historian Manetho could have listed him. Most possibly he is to be identified with the Hellenized name Aches. Many Egyptologists believe that Huni was the father and direct predecessor of king Sneferu, but this is still disputed today. The biggest problem with this ruler is the circumstance, that his name is only preserved as cartouche name and it still remains difficult to connect it with his contemporary horus name.
Huni was the father of Hetepheres I, the wife of Sneferu who was the first king of the Fourth Dynasty. Huni was succeeded by Sneferu according to the Papyrus Prisse ("The Instructions by Kagemni"), but it is not known if Sneferu was a son of Huni.
Huni is a well attested pharaoh, even though the only surviving monument firmly datable to his reign is a gray granite slab discovered in 1909 on the island of Elephantine. Huni is given a reign of 24 years by the Turin canon. The canon also mentions a fortress named Ṣmss-Ḥr ("Shemses Hor"), which Huni established to secure the southern border of Egypt at the First Cataract. Huni is also attested in mastaba L6 at Saqqara, attributed to the official Metjen and dating to the end of the 3rd Dynasty. There, an inscription was found with the name of a royal domain Hw.t-njswt.-hw ("Hut-nisut-hu") of Huni.
Huni is mentioned on the back of the Palermo stone in the section concerning the reign of the 5th Dynasty king Neferirkare Kakai. This pharaoh apparently had a mortuary temple built for the cult of Huni. This temple, however, has not yet been located.
Finally, Huni is attested in the famous papyrus Prisse, the Instructions of Kagemni, probably dating to the 13th Dynasty. The papyrus indicates that Huni's vizier was the sage Kagemni and gives an important indication about Huni's succession :
|“||Then the Majesty of King Huni of Upper and Lower Egypt died. The Majesty of King Snefru of Upper and Lower Egypt was raised up as beneficient King in this entire land.||”|
From this extract it is believed that Huni was the last king of the 3rd Dynasty and immediate predecessor of Snefru.
Huni is sometimes credited with building a great stepped pyramid at Meidum which was to be larger than that of Djoser. It was supposedly left unfinished at the time of his death, thus his successor Sneferu, it is said, completed it near the beginning of his reign. If this view arises from the desire amongst historians to have a significant monument attributed to Huni, there is no evidence that the Meidum pyramid was his burial place. The name of Sneferu, however, has been found at Meidum, and many of Sneferu's children, particularly princes Nefermaat and Rahotep, have been buried in mastabas at the Meidum necropolis. Thus it seems more likely that it was Sneferu who had the pyramid built and, later on during his reign, transformed it from the stepped pyramid into a true pyramid by having its sides smoothed. The pyramid has since collapsed, leaving only its core.
Another pyramid exists which was very likely built by Huni, but this is a small ceremonial pyramid. The ruins of this pyramid have been found at Elephantine. This pyramid was not a tomb, nor did it have a surrounding necropolis or temple complex. Its real function and religious significance remain unknown. However, many similar small, ceremonial, pyramids have been found, built by Old Kingdom pharaohs throughout Egypt.
Horus name 
The Horus name of Huni is not known with any confidence. In the late 1960s, the Louvre bought a relief showing a king whose Horus name is Qahedjet. For stylistical reasons the relief belongs to the Third Dynasty and it seems possible that it represents to Huni, whose Horus-name it provides.
Notes and references 
- Thomas Schneider: Lexikon der Pharaonen. Albatros, Düsseldorf 2002, ISBN 3-491-96053-3, page 99.
- Alan H. Gardiner: The royal canon of Turin. Griffith Institute, Oxford 1997, ISBN 0900416483, page 13 & table 2. Turin canon, column III, line 8.
- Ludwig Borchardt: König Hu. In: Zeitschrift für Ägyptische Sprache und Altertumskunde (ZÄS), volume 46, 1909, page 12.
- Hans Gödicke in: Zeitschrift für Ägyptische Sprache und Altertumskunde. vol. 81, 1956, page 18.
- Wolfgang Helck: Der Name des letzten Königs der 3. Dynastie und die Stadt Ehnas. In: Studien zur Altägyptischen Kultur (SAK), vol. 4. 1976, page 125-128.
- Dodson and Hilton, The Complete Royal Families of Ancient Egypt
- Winfried Barta: Mitteilungen des Deutschen Archäologischen Institut, Abteilung Kairo, 29, (1973), pp. 1–14.
- Wolfgang Helck, Der Name des letzten Königs der 3. Dynastie und die Stadt Ehnas, in: Studien zur Altägyptischen Kultur (SAK), 4, (1976), pp. 125-128.
- Original text and translation
- Nicolas Grimal: A History of Ancient Egypt, pp. 65–67.
- Toby Wilkinson: Early Dynastic Egypt, Routledge, London/New York 1999, ISBN 0-415-18633-1, page 104-105.
- Meidum: Site of the Broken Pyramid & Remnants of the First True Pyramid- Virtual-Egypt
- On pharaoh Huni