Sekhemkhet, Pharaoh of Egypt (b. - -2643) MP

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Birthplace: Egypt
Death: Died
Managed by: Bjørn P. Brox
Last Updated:
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About Sekhemkhet, Pharaoh of Egypt

parental relation with Djoser isn't sure -------------------- Sekhemkhet was a Pharaoh in Egypt during the Third dynasty. According to the Manethonian tradition, a king known as Tyris (which may be compared to the Turin Canon's "Djoser-ti") reigned for a relatively brief period of seven years, and modern scholars believe Djoserty and Sekhemkhet are the same person. While the Turin Canon gives Sekhemkhet a reign of 6 years.[1], Toby Wilkinson's reconstruction of the Dynasty 5 Palermo Stone Annal document assigns a reign of 7 years to this king based on the number of year register preserved for him in Cairo Fragment One, register V.[2] Wilkinson states that "this figure is fairly certain, since the [king's] titulary begins immediately after the dividing line marking the change of reign."[3] Hence, the Manethonian tradition appears to be correct. His reign is thought to have been from about 2648 BC until 2640 BC.[1] Sekhemkhet's name means "Powerful in Body."

Sekhemkhet's wife was Queen Djeseretnebti.

While there was a known successor to Djoser, Sekhemkhet's name was unknown until 1951, when the leveled foundation and vestiges of an unfinished Step Pyramid were discovered at Saqqara by Zakaria Goneim. Only the lowest step of the pyramid had been constructed at the time of his death. Jar seals found on the site were found inscribed with this king's name. From its design and an inscription from his pyramid at Saqqara, it is thought that Djoser's famous architect Imhotep had a hand in the design of this pyramid. Imhotep's name appears in a graffito on the enclosure wall surrounding Sekhemkhet's unfinished step-pyramid which suggests that this official outlived Djoser and went on to serve under king Sekhemkhet.[5]Archaeologists believe that Sekhemket's pyramid would have been larger than Djoser's had it been completed. Today the site, which lies southwest of Djoser's complex, is mostly concealed beneath sand dunes and is known as the Buried Pyramid.

A shell shaped container made of gold was found in Sekhemkhet's unfinished pyramid by an Egyptian Antiquities Service excavation team in 1950.[6] The object has a length of 5.3 centimetres and is currently located in Room 4 of the Cairo Museum.

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