Userkare ("The Soul of Ra is Strong") was the second king of the Sixth Dynasty. He is generally seen as one of the leaders who opposed his predecessor, Teti's royal line and was most likely an usurper to the throne. Alternatively Jánosi and Callender thought Userkare could be the son of Teti and Queen Khuit but there is no compelling evidence to back this hypothesis.
Userkare may have been a royal claimant from the Fifth dynasty but he was certainly a rival to Teti for the throne. Since Manetho claims that Teti was killed by his bodyguards, theories of conspiracy have been put forward that Userkare was the leader of this conspiracy who then proceeded to seize the throne. The recently discovered South Saqqara Stone document from Pepi II's reign confirms his existence and assigns him a reign of between two to four years. Teti's son, Pepi I, eventually managed to oust Userkare and succeed his murdered father. In the Turin King List, there is a lacuna between Teti and Pepi I Meryre, large enough to have fit an entry for Userkare. Userkare is apparently mentioned in several king-lists.
Userkare started work on some larger building projects, as shown by an inscription mentioning his workforce. However, no pyramid-complex has been identified for him presumably because of the brevity of his reign.
- ^ Nicolas Grimal, A History of Ancient Egypt, (Blackwell Books; 1992), p.81
- ^ Verner, The Pyramids, 1994
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