Necho I

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Necho I (sometimes Nekau, Greek: Νεχώς Α' or Νεχώ Α') (672 BC–664 BC) was the prince or governor of the Egyptian city of Sais. He was the first attested local Saite king of the twenty-sixth dynasty of Egypt who reigned for 8 years, according to Manetho's Epitome. Egypt was reunified by his son Psamtik I. Necho I is primarily known from Assyrian documents but is now also attested in one contemporary Egyptian document from his reign. He was officially "installed" at Sais by Assurbanipal around 670 BC, but he already ruled Egypt as a local king prior to this event. According to historical records, Necho was killed by an invading Kushite force in 664 BC under Tantamani for being an ally of Assyria. The Nubian invasion into the Egyptian Delta was subsequently repelled by the Assyrians who proceeded to advance south into Upper Egypt and sack Thebes.

Necho I's Year 2 is now attested on a privately held donation stela that was first published by Olivier Perdu.[2] The stela records a large land donation to the Osirian triad of PerHebyt (modern Behbeit el-Hagar near Sebennytos) by the "priest of Isis, Mistress of Hebyt, Great Chief... son of Iuput, Akanosh."


According to a papyrus from Tebtunis, Necho I was the son of a king named Tefnakht, presumably Tefnakht II.[3]

Necho married Istemabet, and they were the parents of Psamtik I and his sister.[4]


  1. ^ a b Nekau I
  2. ^ Olivier Perdu, 'De Stéphinatès à Néchao ou les débuts de la XXVIe dynastie (From Tefnakht II to Necho and the start of the 26th Dynasty)', CRAIBL 2002, pp. 1215-1244
  3. ^ Kim Ryholt, ‘King Necho I son of king Tefnakhte II’, Von Theben nach Giza. Festmiszellen für Stefan Grunert zum 65. Geburtstag, edited by F. Feder, L. Morenz, and G. Vittmann, Göttinger Miszellen Beihefte 10, Göttingen 2011, pp. 123-127.
  4. ^ Nos ancêtres de l'Antiquité, 1991, Christian Settipani, p.153, 160, 161 and 162