Statue of Neferhotep I from the Faiyum, Archeological Museum of Bologna.
|Pharaoh of Egypt|
|Reign||11 years, 1742–1733 BC or 1705–1694 BC , 13th Dynasty|
|Successor||Sihathor as coregent, then Sobekhotep IV|
Reign and attestations
Neferhotep I is known from a relatively high number of objects found across all parts of Egypt and Egyptian-controlled Lower Nubia. In the Turin King List he was given a reign of eleven years, one of the longest of this period. He is also known from a relief found at Byblos.
It is not known under which circumstances Neferhotep I died after his reign of eleven years. His successor was his brother, Sobekhotep IV, and who is perhaps the most important ruler of the Thirteenth Dynasty. Another brother, Sihathor, appears in the Turin King List as successor, but it seems that he only reigned for a few months as coregent with Neferhotep I and never became an independent ruler. There are several monuments mentioning Neferhotep I, Sihathor and Sobekhotep IV together. This could mean that they may have reigned for some time together. Nevertheless the reigns of these three brothers in the Thirteenth Dynasty mark the peak of this otherwise rather shaky era. There are many private monuments datable under these kings, and especially in sculpture some remarkably high quality art works were produced.
The most important monument of the king is a large, heavily eroded stela dating to year two of the king’s reign, found at Abydos. The inscription on the stela is one of the few ancient Egyptian royal texts to record how a king might conceive of and order the making of a sculpture. There are also numerous inscriptions in the Aswan region mentioning Neferhotep I's name, as well as the names of family members and officials serving under this king.
Neferhotep I seems to have come from a military family of Thebes. His grandfather, Nehy, held the title ‘officer of a town regiment’. Nehy was married to a woman called Senebtysy. Nothing is known about her, other than that she held the common title ‘lady of the house’. Their only known son was called Haankhef. He always appears in the sources as ‘God’s father’ and his wife Kemi as 'King's mother'. That Haankhef is indeed the father of Neferhotep I is attested directly by scarab seals from El-Lahun. Haankhef is also explicitly recorded in the Turin canon as the father of Neferhotep I. He is the only non-royal father of a pharaoh mentioned on the list except for the father of Sobekhotep III. Finally, inscriptions from Aswan attest that a woman called Senebsen was Neferhotep I's wife and his children were Haankhef and Kemi.
Neferhotep I's brother, king Sobekhotep IV, on a stela that was placed during his reign in the temple of Amun at Karnak, states that he was born in Thebes. Neferhotep could have been born in Thebes as well; however, the main capital during the Thirteenth dynasty was still Itjtawy in the north, near the modern village of el-Lisht.
- Thomas Schneider: Lexikon der Pharaonen.
- Alan H. Gardiner: The royal canon of Turin. vol. 3
- W. Grajetzki: The Middle Kingdom of Ancient Egypt, London 2006 ISBN 978-0-7156-3435-6, 71
- Ryholt, The Political Situation in Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period, 298
- W. Grajetzki: The Middle Kingdom of Ancient Egypt, London 2006 ISBN 978-0-7156-3435-6, 73
- Ryholt, The Political Situation in Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period, 231
- 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).