Nehesy

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Nehesy Aasehre (Nehesi) was a ruler of the early 14th Dynasty of Egypt, either the second or the sixth pharaoh of this dynasty, who reigned for a short time c. 1705 BC during the Second Intermediate Period.[1] He ruled from Avaris over the eastern Nile Delta.


Family[edit]

In his review of the Second Intermediate Period, egyptologist Kim Ryholt proposed that Nehesy was the son and direct successor of pharaoh Sheshi with a queen named Tati.[1] Egyptologist D. Baker, who also shares this opinion, posits that Tati must have been Nubian or of Nubian descent, hence Nehesy's name meaning The Nubian.[2] The 14th dynasty being of Canaanite origin, Nehesy is also believed to be of Canaanite descent.[2]

Four scarabs found, including one from Semna in Nubia and three of unknown provenance, point to a temporary coregency with his father. Furthermore, one scarab mentions Nehesy as King's son and a further 22 as Eldest king son. K. Ryholt and D. Baker thus hold the view that Nehesy became the heir to the throne after the death of his elder brother, Prince Ipqu.[1][2]

Manfred Bietak and Jürgen von Beckerath believe that Nehesy was the second ruler of the 14th dynasty. Bietak further posits that his father was an Egyptian military or administrator, who funded an independent kingdom centered on Avaris and controlling the northeastern Nile Delta at the expense of the concurrent 13th dynasty.

Attestation[edit]

Drawing of the obelisk of pharaoh Nehesy from Raahu.

In spite of a very short reign of around a year, Nehesy is the best attested ruler of the 14th dynasty. Accoding to Ryholt's latest reading of the Turin canon, Nehesy is attested there on 1st entry of the 9th column (Gardiner, entry 8.1) and is the first king of the 14th dynasty whose name is preserved on this king list.

Nehesy is further attested by numerous scarabs and a pair of steles bearing his name, originally at Tell Habwe. Additionally, a fragmentary obelisk from the Temple of Seth in Raahu bears his name together with the inscription "king's eldest son". Finally, a seated statue, later usurped by Merenptah, is believed to have originally belonged to Nehesy. It is inscribed with "Seth, Lord of Avaris" and is now in Tell el Muqdam.

Reign[edit]

According to the Austrian egyptologist Manfred Bietak, Nehesy's 14th dynasty kingdom started during the late 13th Dynasty, around or just after 1710 BC, as a result of the slow disintegration of the 13th Dynasty. After this event, "no single ruler was able to control the whole of Egypt" until Ahmose I captured this city.[3] Alternatively, egyptologist K. Ryholt believes that the 14th dynasty started a century before Nehesy's reign, c. 1805 BC during Sobekneferu's reign. Since the 13th dynasty was the direct continuation of the 12th, he proposes that the birth of the 14th is the origin of the distinction between the 12th and the 13th in the Egyptian tradition.[1]

Nehesy's authority may have"encompassed the eastern Delta from Tell el-Muqdam to Tell el-Habua (where his name occurs), but the universal practise of usurpation and quarrying of earlier monuments complicates the picture. Given that the only examples that were certainly found at the sites where they once stood are those from Tell el-Habua and Tell el-Daba, his kingdom may actually have been much smaller."[4]

After Nehesy's death, the 14th dynasty continued to rule in the Delta region of Lower Egypt with a number of ephemeral or short-lived rulers until 1650 BC when the Hyksos 15th Dynasty conquered the Delta.[5] Nehesy seems to have been remembered long after his death as several locations in the eastern Delta bore names such as "The mansion of Pinehsy" and "The Place of the Asiatic Pinehsy", Pinehsy being a late Egyptian rendering of Nehesy.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d e 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.
  2. ^ a b c 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. 277
  3. ^ Janine Bourriau, "The Second Intermediate Period (c.1650-1550 BC)" in Ian Shaw (ed.) The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt, Oxford University Press, 2000. pp.190, 192 & 194
  4. ^ Bourriau in The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt, p.191
  5. ^ Bourriau in The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt, p.194
Preceded by
Sheshi
Pharaoh of Egypt
Fourteenth Dynasty
Succeeded by
Khakherewre