Statue of Sobekhotep IV. (Louvre)
|Pharaoh of Egypt|
|Reign||About 10 years, 13th Dynasty|
|Predecessor||Neferhotep I or perhaps an ephemeral king named Sahathor|
Khaneferre Sobekhotep IV was one of the most powerful Egyptian kings of the 13th Dynasty. He was the son of the 'god's father' Haankhef and of the 'king's mother' Kemi. His brother, Neferhotep I, was his predecessor on the throne.
He states on a stela found in the Amun temple at Karnak that he was born in Thebes. Some sources indicate that under his reign, a military campaign against Nubia occurred (the Jewish writer Artapanus mentions a king Chenephres (=Khaneferre) under whom the Moses story took place and who invaded Nubia). However, the preservers of Artapanus, such as Bar Hebraeus, make it clear that Chenephres [or Kanpara] did not exist until after the rule of the 15th Dynasty "shepherds", who probably began around 1650 BCE.
The king is believed to have reigned for around 10 years. He is known by a relatively high number of monuments, including stelae, statues, many seals and other minor objects. There are attestations for building works at Abydos and Karnak.
Sobekhotep IV's rule over a divided Egypt with the Hyksos
While Sobekhotep IV was one of the most powerful 13th dynasty rulers and his control over Memphis, Middle Egypt and Thebes is well attested by historical records, it is now known that he did not rule over a united Egypt and that by his time on the throne parts of the Delta were already ruled by the Hyksos king Khyan. In a recently published article of Egypt and the Levant, Volume 21 (2011), Nadine Moeller, Gregory Marouard and N. Ayers discuss the discovery of an important early 12th dynasty (Middle Kingdom) administrative building in Tell Edfu, Upper Egypt, which was continuously in use from the early Second Intermediate Period until it fell out of use during the 17th dynasty, when its remains were sealed up by a large silo court. Fieldwork by Egyptologists in 2010 and 2011 into the remains of the former 12th dynasty building which was still in use at the time of the 13th dynasty led to the discovery of a large adjoining hall which proved to contain 41 sealings showing the cartouche of the Hyksos ruler Khyan together with 9 sealings naming the 13th dynasty king Sobekhotep IV.
As Moeller, Marouard and Ayers write: "These finds come from a secure and sealed archaeological context and open up new questions about the cultural and chronological evolution of the late Middle Kingdom and early Second Intermediate Period." These finds suggest that 1. Khyan was actually one of the earlier Hyksos kings and may not have been succeeded by Apophis—who was the second last king of the Hyksos kingdom—2. the 15th Hyksos dynasty was already in existence by the mid-13th dynasty period since Khyan controlled a part of northern Egypt at the same time as Sobekhotep IV ruled the rest of Egypt as a pharaoh of the 13th dynasty.
This find confirms the remarks of the 2nd century BCE historian, Artapanus, that under a king named Chenephres or Chanephres (ie. Khaneferre Sobekhotep IV here), Egypt was already divided into various kingdoms.
- Nadine Moeller, Gregory Marouard & N. Ayers, Discussion of Late Middle Kingdom and Early Second Intermediate Period History and Chronology in Relation to the Khayan Sealings from Tell Edfu, in: Egypt and the Levant 21 (2011), pp.87-121 online PDF
- Moeller, Marouard & Ayers, Egypt and the Levant 21, (2011), pp.87-108
- Moeller, Marouard & Ayers, Egypt and the Levant 21, (2011), p.87
- Thomas Schneider, Ausländer in Ägypten während des Mittleren Reiches und der Hyksoszeit I, 1998, pp.158-59
- 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).
|Pharaoh of Egypt
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