Stone vase of Seth-Peribsen with the inscription "tribute of the people of Sethroë", National Archaeological Museum (France).
|Pharaoh of Egypt|
|Reign||length of reign unknown, 2nd Dynasty; around 2740 B.C.|
|Predecessor||uncertain; Wadjenes, Senedj or Sekhemib|
|Successor||uncertain; Senedj, Sekhemib or Khasekhemwy|
|Burial||Tomb 'P' at Abydos|
Peribsen (also known as Seth-Peribsen and Ash-Peribsen) is the serekh name of an early Egyptian king who ruled during the 2nd dynasty. Unlike many other pharaohs of this dynasty, Peribsen is well-attested in the archaeological records. Peribsen's royal name is a subject of interest for Egyptologists and historians alike as it differs from the traditional practice with its connection to the deity Seth instead of Horus. This is still the subject of debate and investigations as to why Peribsen chose this name. The details of Peribsen's life remain obscure and the duration of his reign is unknown.
- 1 Name sources
- 2 Name
- 3 Identity
- 4 Reign
- 5 Rulers of Lower and Upper Egypt
- 6 Tomb
- 7 References
- 8 External links
Peribsen´s serekh name was found pressed on earthen jar seals made of clay and mud and in inscriptions on vessels made of alabaster, sandstone, porphyry and black schist. The seals and vessels were found in Peribsen´s tomb and at Elephantine. One clay seal with Peribsen's name was found inside the mastaba tomb K1 at Beit Khallaf. Also two large tomb stelae made of dark grey granite were found at his burial site. Their shape is unusual, because it makes them look unfinished and rough. Egyptologists suspect that this was done deliberately, but the meaning behind this is unknown. A cylinder seal of unknown provenance shows Peribsen´s name inside a cartouche and gives the epithet Merj-netjeru (“beloved of the gods”). This arrangement leads Egyptologists and archaeologists to the conclusion that the seal must be of a much later date, because the royal cartouche was not yet in use during Peribsen´s lifetime. Another seal of the same material shows Peribsen´s name without a cartouche and with the royal title Nisut-Bity (“king of Lower- and Upper Egypt”).
Peribsen's name is unusual because it shows that Peribsen chose Seth as patron deity for his reign. This goes against an Egyptian tradition that a king had to choose the falcon-shaped deity Horus as his royal patron. This is clearly expressed in one of the king's names, the Horus name. Traditionally the Horus name of the king was written within a serekh, the image of the facade of the royal palace beneath a falcon representing the god Horus. Instead, Peribsen chose to have the Set animal representing Seth on his serekh. Like Horus, Seth was a popular deity during the early dynastic period. He became the god of darkness and chaos only during the much later Late Period. Although Peribsen is the only king to have the Set animal preside alone over his serekh, he is not the only king to associate himself with this deity. Examples include the 13th dynasty pharaoh Seth Meribre, the 19th dynasty rulers Seti I and Seti II and the 20th dynasty king Setnakhte.
Peribsen's unusual name together with him having ruled during the shadowy period of the mid 2nd dynasty led Egyptologists and historians to search for possible explanations for both his name and the seemingly troubled times he lived in. The following sections discuss some of the theories that they put forth.
A theory that was popular until the mid 20th century, supported by Egyptologists Percy Newberry, Jaroslav Černý, Cecil Mallaby Firth and Jean-Philippe Lauer, held that Peribsen was a heretic king who sought to introduce a new, monotheistic state religion to Egypt. Peribsen's actions were thought to be similar to those of the much later 18th dynasty pharaoh Akhenaten who had required Egyptians to serve only Aten. Newberry proposed that the priests of Horus and Seth fought each other “in the Manner of a war of the roses” during the second half of the 2nd dynasty.
The "heretic Peribsen" theory was based on three observations: a) the name “Peribsen” was excluded from later king lists; b) the king's tomb had been destroyed and plundered during antiquity; and c) the tomb stelae of Peribsen, which once clearly showed the Set animal, were badly scratched with the clear intend of removing any trace of the animal. Egyptologists perceived these facts as resulting from the actions of religious opponents to the sethian priest-caste. Lauer and Firth relied on the "heretic Peribsen" theory to explain the enormous quantity of stone vessels inscribed with the name of 1st and 2nd dynasty kings found beneath Djoser's pyramid in bags bearing seals of Khasekhemwy and Djoser. They proposed that Peribsen had plundered the tombs of his predecessors who were followers of Horus and scattered their funerary equipement. These vessels would then have been gathered in the royal treasury during Khasekhemwy's reign following his reunification of Egypt, and finally put beneath the step pyramid by Djoser, in an act of pious devotion.
Today this theory as well as Lauer and Firth conclusions are widely questioned. Archaeological evidence of Peribsen has only been found in Upper Egypt. In particular, his name does not appear in Lower Egyptian records surviving from that time. Therefore, it is argued that Peribsen cannot have ruled over all of Egypt and that he was not in a position to require all Egyptians to support a new form of state religion. Another piece of evidence that argues against the "heretic Peribsen" theory is the false door of the priest Shery at Sakkara. Shery held office during the early 4th dynasty. The inscription on the false door connects the name of Peribsen in one sentence with another shadowy king of the 2nd dynasty, Senedj. According to the addendum, Shery was "overseer of all wab-priests of king Peribsen in the necropolis of king Senedj, in his mortuary temple and at all other places". This implies that the funerary cult of Peribsen continued at least until the 4th dynasty, which is inconsistent with the theory that Peribsen was considered to be heretic. Additionally, Egyptologists such as Herman te Velde point out that Shery was not the only 4th dynasty priest participating in the funerary cult of Peribsen. Shery's possible brother or cousin Inkef also held the title of a 'supervisor of Ka-priests of Peribsen'. Moreover, seal impressions found in Peribsen's tomb at Abydos show several deities among which Ash, Min and Bastet, which must have been venerated during Peribsen´s time on the throne. This is further evidence against the theory that Peribsen tried to introduce a completely new state religion. The heretic theory of Newberry, Černý, Grdseloff and others was devised from the very limited archaeological information available during their lifetimes, which made the problem of understanding Peribsen's name widely open to speculations.
According to the Egyptologists Jean Sainte Fare Garnot and Herman te Velde the name of Peribsen includes an evidence concerning Peribsen's religious beliefs. Indeed, the name "Peribsen" alone (i.e. without any connection to a deity) literally means "He who comes forth by their will" or "His heart and will comes forth for them" and clearly reveals a plural writing. The Egyptian syllable sn means "them, their, those" and makes the Egyptologists wonder to whom Peribsen's name was addressed to. To use a plural makes no sense as long as only one deity (namely Seth) was addressed. Therefore te Velde and Garnot are convinced that Peribsen used the heraldic Seth animal as a serekh patron, but also linked his name to Horus. In sum it would prove that Peribsen worshipped Horus and Seth on an equal footing during his lifetime. Additionally, they point out that the pictographic ostentation of such religious ambiguity was not unusual in early dynasties. The use of the plural in Peribsen's name promotes the aspect that Peribsen was perceived as a living incarnation of both Horus and Seth in equal measure, just like his predecessors on the throne. Therefore Peribsen's name shows no break in this sacred tradition. To strengthen their line of arguments, the Egyptologists point to the titles of early dynastic queens, which were called "she who is allowed to see Horus and Seth" and "she who carries Horus and Seth". Similarly, the unusual serekh of king Khasekhemwy, the last ruler of 2nd dynasty, shows the deities Horus and Seth together atop the serekh. Horus wears the White Crown of Upper Egypt and Seth wears the Red crown of Lower Egypt. Both gods are depicted facing each other in a kissing gesture. This was clearly intended since this special name was meant to illustrate the dual reincarnation of a king as the representative of Horus and Seth and illustrate the power of the king over the whole of Egypt. Thus, Khasekhemwy's name can be interpreted as an advanced form of Peribsen's serekh name.
Finally, Egyptologists such as Ludwig David Morenz and Wolfgang Helck remark that the targeted gouging of Seth-animals did not occur until the New Kingdom. In particular, this means that the erasure of the Seth-animal on the tomb stelae of Peribsen did not happen shortly after Peribsen's death, as was thought earlier. In addition Dietrich Wildung points out that the necropolis of Abydos was not the only one plundered in antiquity: those of Saqqara and Giza were also ransacked. Thus, he concludes that any targeted action against one particular pharaoh can be excluded.
The earlier theories of Newberry, Černý and Grdseloff also held that the Egyptian state under Peribsen was suffering from several civil wars, which broke out when the king changed his name or were caused by economic problems. These civil wars could have been a reason why later king lists excluded Peribsen´s name since they made him responsible for the putative misery in the past.
In contrast, more modern theories now hold that the Egyptian kingdom was divided peacefully. Egyptologists such as Michael Rice, Francesco Tiradritti and Wolfgang Helck point to the once palatial and well preserved mastaba tombs at Sakkara and Abydos belonging to high officials such as Ruaben, Nefer-Setech and many others. These are all dated to the reigns of Nynetjer up to Khasekhemwy, the last ruler of 2nd dynasty. Egyptologists consider that the archaeological record of the mastabas' condition and the original architecture as proof that the statewide mortuary cults for kings and noblemen successfully took place during the whole dynasty. This circumstance is also inconsistent with the theory of civil wars and/or economic problems. Rice, Tiradritti and Helck think it rather possible, that Nynetjer decided to leave a divided realm because of private or political reasons and that the split up was of mere formal nature.
It is unclear when exactly the division of the Egyptian state occurred. It might have happened at the beginning of Peribsen´s rule or shortly before. Because Peribsen chose the deity Seth as his new throne patron, Egyptologists are of the view that Peribsen was a chieftain from Thinis or a prince of the Thinite royal house. This theory is based on Seth being a deity of Thinite origin, which would explain Peribsen´s choice: his name changing may have been nothing more than smart political (and religious) propaganda. Peribsen is thought to have gained the Thinite throne and ruled only Upper Egypt, whilst other rulers held the Memphite throne and ruled Lower Egypt.
Peribsen's identity is also the subject of debate by Egyptologists and historians. Egyptologists such as Walter Bryan Emery, Kathryn A. Bard and Flinders Petrie believe that Peribsen was identical to the king Sekhemib-Perenmaat, a ruler that had connected his name with the falcon-god Horus and who definitely ruled during the 2nd dynasty. Emery, Bard and Petrie pointed to several clay seals of Sekhemib found in the entrance of Peribsen's tomb to support this hypothesis. Sekhemib's tomb has not yet been found.
Egyptologists such as Hermann Alexander Schlögl, Wolfgang Helck, Peter Kaplony and Jochem Kahl instead believe that Peribsen was a different ruler to Sekhemib. They point out that the clay seals were only found at the entrance area of Peribsen's tomb and that none of them show Peribsen and Sekhemib's names together in one inscription. Furthermore, they remark that it was customary for a pharaoh to bury his predecessor and seal his tomb and thus compare the presence of Sekhemib's seals with the ivory tablets of king Hotepsekhemwy found at the entrance of king Qaa's tomb and the clay seals of Djoser found at the entrance of Khasekhemwy's tomb. Therefore Schlögl, Helck, Kaplony and Kahl are convinced that the discovery of Sekhemib's seals support the view that Sekhemib immediately succeeded Peribsen and buried him.
Egyptologists such as Toby Wilkinson and Helck believe that Peribsen and Sekhemib could have been related. Their theory is based on the stone vessel inscriptions and seal impressions that show strong similarities in their typographical and grammatical writing styles. The vessels of Peribsen for example show the notation "ini-setjet" ("tribute of the people of Sethroë"), whilst Sekhemib's inscriptions have the notation "ini-chasut" ("tribute of the desert nomads"). A further indication that Peribsen and Sekhemib were related is the serekh-name of both, as they both use the syllables "Per" and "ib" in their names.
It is not clear if the Ramesside king lists truly omit Peribsen. The false door inscription of Shery might indicate that Peribsen is identical with king Senedj ("Senedj" means "the frightening"″) and that this name was used in the king lists, for the seth name was not allowed to be mentioned. In contrast, Dietrich Wildung and Wolfgang Helck identify Peribsen with the ramesside cartouche name Wadjenes. They think it's possible that the name Per-ib-sen was misread because of sloppy hand writing due hieratic inscription into Wadj-sen.
Since archaeological records might support the view that the Egyptian state was divided during the reign of king Peribsen, it is the subject of debate by Egyptologists and historians as to why his predecessor Nynetjer decided to split the state.
Proponents of the divided-realm-theory
Egyptologists such as Wolfgang Helck, Nicolas Grimal, Hermann Alexander Schlögl and Francesco Tiradritti believe that king Nynetjer, the third ruler of 2nd dynasty and a predecessor of Peribsen, left a realm that was suffering from an overly complex state administration and that Nynetjer decided to split Egypt to leave it to his two sons (or, at least, two chosen successors) who would rule two separate kingdoms, in the hope that the two rulers could better administer the states. Archaeological evidences, such as the imprinted clay seals and inscribed jars, might point out that Peribsen ruled only in Upper Egypt, because they were only found in Abydos, Naqada and at Elephantine, but at each place in great number. Only one single clay seal bearing his name was found at Beit Khallaf (Lower Egypt). This makes several egyptologists think that Peribsen's realm would have extended from Naqada to the Isle of Elephantine, where it ended. The rest of Egypt would therefore have been controlled by a different, coexisting ruler.
In addition, Russian egyptologist Dimitri B. Proussakov points to the notations at the famous Palermo stone concerning the year events of king Nynetjer. From the 12th year event onward, the regular event "The king of Upper- and Lower Egypt appears" is now suddenly called "The king of Lower Egypt appears". Proussakov sees this as a strong indication that Nynetjer's power over Egypt had started to shrink. Egyptologists compare the situation to that of king Qa'a, one of the last rulers of the 1st dynasty. When Qa'a died, some obscure rulers appeared and struggled for the throne of Egypt. The struggles peaked in the plundering of the royal cemetery of Abydos, whereupon the cemetery was abandoned and Saqqara became the new burial site for kings. The throne fightings were ended by king Hotepsekhemwy, the founder of the 2nd dynasty.
In contrast, Egyptologists such as Barbara Bell believe that an economic catastrophe such as a famine or a long-lasting drought affected Egypt. Therefore, to better address the problem of feeding the Egyptian population, Nynetjer split the realm into two and his successors founded two independent realms, until the famine came to an end. Bell points to the inscriptions of the Palermo stone, where, in her opinion, the records of the annual Nile floods show constantly low levels during this period. Bell´s theory is refuted today by Egyptologists such as Stephan Seidlmayer, who corrected Bell´s calculations. Seidlmayer has shown that the annual Nile floods were at usual levels at Nynetjer´s time up to the period of the Old Kingdom. Bell had overlooked that the heights of the Nile floods in the Palermo stone inscription only take into account the measurements of the nilometers around Memphis, but not elsewhere along the river. Any long-lasting drought can therefore be excluded.
Opponents of the divided-realm-theory
Not all Egyptologists argue with the theory of an divided realm. Scholars such as Herman TeVelde, Winfried Barta, I. E. S. Edwards and Toby Wilkinson point to the inscriptions of the famous Annal stone of 5th dynasty, a black olivin-basalt slabstone displaying a very detailed king list. On the stone the kings are named by their Horus name, their gold name (in case they had one, that is) and their cartouche name. The name list of each king ends with the name of their royal mother. The king lists themselves contain rectangular windows presenting year events from the day of king's coronation up to the calendaric accurate date of their death. The most famous fragments of the Annal stone are called Palermo Stone and Cairo Stone. On the Cairo stone, in line IV, the nine last years of king Nynetjer are preserved (but most of the year windows are illegible). The -now damaged- date of Nynetjer's death is followed by a new king, whom is of highest interest to Egyptologists and historians. Newest investigations reveal that the serekh of that new king is surmounted by a four-legged animal, not by the Horus-falcon. Since the only four-legged heraldic serekh animal in early Egypt was that of the god Seth, it is passionately disputed whose name was inscribed in the serekh. The only certain king of the 2nd dynasty, who was named after Seth, was king Peribsen. Therefore he is one candidate for being the successor of Nynetjer on the Annal stone. Egyptologists such as TeVelde, Barta and Edwards are not assured of this theory and published the intriguing idea, that Peribsen might have not been the only king with a Seth-name. Their idea is based on the observation, that already under Nynetjer the mentioning of shrines and statues for Seth were increasing with the year events. This clearly contradicts the theory of surprising change in the religious traditions of the state. The cult of Seth was therefore gaining influence over time, not all of a sudden. Thus the upcoming of a Seth-king was nothing but a matter of time and the Annal stone seems to prove this theory. TeVelde, Barta and Edwards think that instead of Peribsen, kings such as Wadjenes, Nubnefer or Sened might have been Seth-kings as well and that one of them was the true direct successor of Nynetjer. Additionally, they point out, that the comparatively great amount of archaeological finds from Peribsen's government time contradict the estimated length of rulership of 10 – 12 years, as presented on the Annal stone.
Wilkinson and TeVelde prefer king Peribsen as the direct successor of Nynetjer and they also point out, that the Annal stone gives absolutely no hint of a division of the Egyptian realm. Therefore, Barta, TeVelde, Wilkinson and Edwards wonder, if the theory of state division is still tenable at all. They think that, if there actually was some kind of division, it might have concerned at most the administrative titles of contemporary officials and priests, not of the whole state itself.
Political activities under Peribsen
During his time on the throne, Peribsen founded a new administrative centre called "The white house of treasury" as well as a new royal residence, called the "protection of Nubty", and located near Kom Ombo ("nubty" being the Ancient Egyptian name of Naqada). The administrative titles of scribes, seal-bearers and overseers were adjusted in correspondence with the new political situation of a divided bureaucratic state administration. For example, titles like "sealer of the king" were changed into "sealer of the king of Upper Egypt", making clear, that the power of such administrative officials was limited to Upper Egypt. At the same time, officials bearing titles with "...of the king of Lower Egypt" are known to have conducted their offices in Lower Egypt only. This bureaucratic reform may point to a try by Peribsen to limit the power of these officials, surely because of problems concerning the influence of the king over an unmanageable state administration since the time of Nynetjer.
The administration system from Peribsen and Sekhemib shows a clear and well identified hierarchy; an example: Treasury house → pension office → property → vineyards → private vineyard. King Khasekhemwy, the last ruler of 2nd dynasty, was able to re-unify the state administration of Egypt and therefore unite the whole of Ancient Egypt. He brought the two treasury houses of Egypt under the control of the "House of the King", bringing them into a new, single administration centre.
Peribsen also founded new royal houses such as Per-nubty ("house of Ombos") and Per-Medjed ("house of meetings") and he founded several cities of economic importance. Their names are mentioned on numerous clay seals alongside Peribsen's serekh, often preceded by the mention "visit of the king at...". Those cities were Afnut ("city of the headdress-makers"), Nebj ("protector's city"), Abet-desheret ("city of the red granite jars") and Huj-setjet ("city of the Asians"). Inscriptions on stone vessels also mention a "ini-setjet" ("tribute of the people of Sethroë"), which might indicate that Peribsen founded a cult centre for the deity Seth in the Delta. This would however assume that Peribsen ruled over the whole of Egypt, or, at least, that he was accepted as king across all of Egypt during his lifetime.
One official from Peribsen´s reign is known to Egyptologists by his stela: Nefer-Setekh ("Seth is beautiful"). The inscription on his stele is evaluated as an important witness of the popularity of the deity Seth and the king during the 2nd dynasty. Nefer-Setekh was "wab-priest of the king".
In the tomb of Peribsen at Abydos clay seals were found which show the first complete sentence in Egyptian history. The inscription says: "The golden one/He of Ombos hath unified/handed over the two realms for/to his son, the king of Lower and Upper Egypt, Peribsen". The title "The golden one", also read as ″He of Ombos″, is considered by Egyptologists to be a religious form of address to the deity Seth.
Religious activities under Peribsen
As mentioned before, several deities were worshipped under Peribsen. Numerous clay seal impressions and jar inscriptions mention deities including Ash, Seth, Horus, Nekhbet, Min, Bastet and Kherty. The high amount of depictions of these deities contradicts the theory, that Peribsen could have tried to introduce a monotheistic form of state religion. The depictions of the deities are often guided by the name of the place or town where they had their most important cult center. In case that Peribsen was recorded on the cairo stone, the stone slab credits a statue of Ash and a fetish of Seth to him, complementing the clay seal impressions. Interestingly, several seal impressions show a sun disc over the seth animal atop the royal serekh. Archaeological proofs show that the sun god Ra wasn't yet existent at this early time, but the increasing appearance of a sun disc might indicate an increasing sun cult and an advancing change in cosmic beliefs. The sun disc appears always in connection to one of the state patrons, under Peribsen's predecessor Raneb the sun was connected with Horus, under Peribsen it was connected with Seth. Under king Khasekhemwy the sun finally received its own name (ra) and at the time of throne change between Khasekhemwy and his follower Djoser several priests and officials connected their name with Ra.
Rulers of Lower and Upper Egypt
As already mentioned, Egyptologists and historians such as Helck, Tiradritti, Schlögl, Emery and Grimal are convinced that Peribsen had to shared the throne of Egypt with other kings. Surviving artefacts from Peribsen's lifetime seem to indicate that he and his successor Sekhemib-Perenmaat ruled only over Upper Egypt. It is subject of ongoing investigation as to who were the contemporary kings ruling over Lower Egypt. The Rammesside king lists differ in their order of royal names from king Senedj onward. A reason may be that the royal table of Sakkara and the royal canon of Turin reflect Memphite traditions, which only allowed Memphite rulers to be mentioned. The Abydos king list reflects instead the Thinite traditions and therefore only Thinite rulers appear on that list. Until king Senedj, all the king lists are in agreement. After him, the Sakkara list and the Turin list mention three kings as successors: Neferkara I, Neferkasokar and Hudjefa I. The Abydos king list skips these kings and jumps forward to Khasekhemwy, calling him “Djadjay”. The discrepancies are considered by Egyptologists to be the result of the division of Egypt during the 2nd dynasty.
A further problem are the Horus and nebty names of kings discovered in the Great Southern Gallery of the necropolis of the (3rd dynasty) king Djoser at Sakkara. Stone vessel inscriptions mention kings such as Nubnefer, Weneg-Nebty, Horus Ba, Horus “Bird” and Za, but each of these kings is mentioned only a few times, which makes Egyptologists think that they did not reign for very long. King Sneferka might be identical with king Qa´a or an ephemeral successor of his. King Weneg-Nebty might be identical with the Ramesside cartouche name Wadjenes. But kings such as “Nubnefer”, “Bird” and “Za” remain a mystery. They never appear anywhere else but at Sakkara and the number of objects surviving from their lifetimes is very limited. Schlögl, Helck and Peter Kaplony postulate, that Nubnefer, Za and Bird were contemporaries of Peribsen and Sekhemib and ruled over Lower Egypt, whilst the latter two ruled Upper Egypt.
Peribsen was buried in the tomb P of the royal cemetery at Umm el-Qa'ab near Abydos. The first excavations of the tomb started in 1898 under the supervision of French archaeologist and egyptologist Émile Amélineau. They were followed by excavations in 1901 and 1902 under the supervision of British archaeologist and egyptologist Sir William Matthew Flinders Petrie. The last excavations of the tomb were undertaken in 1928 by the Swiss egyptologist Edouard Naville.
The tomb is of ordinary construction and, compared to the size of other royal tombs in the same area, surprisingly small. Its design model was the tomb of king Djer (third pharaoh of the 1st dynasty), which was thought to be the 'Tomb of Osiris' since the Middle Kingdom. The architectural outlines of Peribsen's tomb are similar to that of the residential palace of the king. The tomb measures 16 metres (52 ft) x 13 metres (43 ft) and comprises three independent structures nested into one another: in the center is the main burial chamber, measuring 7.3 metres (24 ft) x 2.9 metres (9.5 ft), and which is made of mud bricks, reed and wood. On the North, East and West sides the burial chamber is surrounded by 9 small storage rooms leading into one another, while on the South side is a long antechamber. Between this ensemble and the outer wall is a passageway.
Excavations under the supervision of the Deutsches Archäologisches Institut Kairo (DAIK) in 2001 and 2004 revealed that the tomb had been erected and completed in a great hurry. The building works took place in a single phase, the walls were plastered roughly and the monument had collapsed several times over the decades. Then, during the Middle Kingdom, Peribsen's tomb was restored at least twice together with the tomb of Djer, which was thought to be that of Osiris, and the many other royal burials at Abydos.
The tomb had been extensively plundered by tomb robbers during antiquity, yet numerous stone vessels and earthen jars from Peribsen's time on the throne were found. Some of the stone vessels had copper-coated rims and are similar to the better known finds from tomb of Khasekhemwy, a later 2nd dynasty pharaoh. Vessels from preceding rulers such as Nynetjer and Raneb were also found. Furthermore several beads and bracelets made of fayence and carnelian and tools made of copper were excavated. Special findings include a silver needle with the name of king Hor Aha and clay seal fragments with the name of king Sekhemib. Outside the tomb entrance were two large tomb stelae, as was customary during the 1st and early 2nd dynasty. These are now on display in two different museums.
Royal funerary enclosure
Close to Peribsen´s tomb a royal funerary enclosure made of mud bricks was found. Clay seals with Peribsen´s serekh name on them were found near the eastern entrance and inside a destroyed offering shrine. The findings support the view that the building was part of Peribsen´s burial site. The funerary enclosure is today commonly known as “Middle Fort”. First excavations started in 1904 under the supervision of Canadian archaeologist Charles Trick Currelly and British egyptologist Edward Russell Ayrton. The enclosure wall was located at the north-west site of Khasekhemwy´s funerary enclosure “Shunet ez Zebib” (“raisin barn”). The one of Peribsen measures 108 metres (354 ft) x 55 metres (180 ft) and housed only a few cult buildings. The enclosure has three entrances: one to the east, one to the south and one to the north. A small shrine, measuring 12.3 metres (40 ft) x 9.75 metres (32.0 ft) was located at the south-east-corner of the funerary enclosure. It once comprised three small chapels. No subsidiary tombs were found.
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