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unknown till unkown
3. Pharaoh of the 2. Dynasty
Pharaonic names:
Horus: Nynetjer, Ninetjer, Ninitjer
Golden Horus  

Nynetjer's Reign

The exact length of his reign is unknown. By restaurations of the Palermo and the Cairo Stones, egyptologists assume a time of about 43-35 years for his rulership. The Turin Canon gives him 96 years, which is entirely improbably while Manetho with 47 years is somewhat in the ballpark.
Even more unclear is, when those aboutish 45 years took place. According to different authors, Nynetjer ruled Egypt from c. 2850 BC to 2760 BC or later from c. 2760 BC to 2715 BC. And anything in between could, as far as archaeological material is considered be a possibility as well.
However, the Palermo Stone for the years 7 till 21 of his reign, lists a number of events and the Cairo Stone does the same for the years 36-44, but on the latter one, the surface is so damaged, that the events are illegible and only the fact, there are »some« event listed can be stated safely.
Interesting however are the entries on the Palermoe Stone:
  • 7th year: Escort of Horus (3rd cattle count), rest missing
    The cattle count happened usually all two years. So, to be this one the third, Nynetjer had to ascend to the throne AFTER the cattle count 7 years earlier. This would place his 1st cattle count in the year three of his reign, the second in the year five and now the 3rd in the year seven.
  • 8th year: Appearance of the king; »stretching the cords« for »Hor-Ren«. Flood level:1.57 metres.
    The stretching of the cords is a ceremony connected to the founding of a bigger construction project.
  • 9th year: Escort of Horus (4th cattle count). Flood level: 1.09 metres
    The flood level appears lower than usual.
  • 10th year: Appearance of the King of Lower- and Upper Egypt; »Race of the Apis bull« (p?rr ?p). Flood level: 1.09 metres.
    Noticeable is, that at this time, ten years into the reign of Nynetjer, a celebration of the Apis cult is already noted as kind of routine on what would be at the time, the Palermo Stone was written, would be considered »federal level«. Since the cult was made kingdom-wide only under his predecessor, this is an indicator for the speed with which the cult spread.
  • 11th year: Escort of Horus (5th cattle count). Flood level: 1.98 metres.
    Notice the higher flood level.
  • 12th year: Appearance of the king of Lower Egypt; second celebration of the Sokar feast. Flood level: 1.92 metres.
    There are two things notable about this entry. The first one is, the king is referred as king of Lower Egypt, Upper Egypt is not mentioned. The second details is the name of the god Sokar. Sokar was basically a falcon-style deity worshiped in the Memphis area and later, after the rise of Osiris to importance often equalized with him. But technically, Sokar, coming originally from the area of craftmanship, was during the 2nd Dynasty another deity starting to rise from a local deity to a nation wide cult. And like Apis, also Sokar was from Memphis, the capital of the 1st Nome of Lower Egypt. In other words, another deity formally of Lower Egyptian origin but in fact like his followers an inhabitant of the border area between Upper and Lower Egypt.
  • 13th year: Escort of Horus (6th cattle count). Flood level: 0.52 metres.
    Note the extreme low of the flood level this year.
  • 14th year: First celebration of "Hor-seba-pet" (Horus the star in heaven); Destruction/Foundation of the cities of "Schem-Re" (The sun has come) and "Ha" (The northern city)(The reading of this text passage is the subject of much discussion, since the hieroglyphic sign of a hoe as used here can mean either 'Destruction' or 'Foundation'.) Flood level: 2.15 metres.
    Now, that is a lot and therefore a lot for egyptologists to fight about. Lets be honest here, there were at least a dozen cities with names beginning with »ha« which basically means just »north« or »northern«. And to make it also clear, a city north of a certain place can still be in Upper, i.e. Southern Egypt if said certain place is there too. And »schem-re« alone doesn't say a thing, because the sun had at this time no deity status but there is the issue with the throne name Nebra, Nynetjer's predecessor bore. So … pure coincidentally, that the sun appears in an almost crest-like context in daddy's name and now the son founds or destroys a city with a son related name, he probably can't destroy in the first place, because as it seems, that city didn't even exist prior to that entry. So, it had to be »founding« and since not even the ancient egypts managed to build a statement »and didit A and B« with »didit« having two different meanings depending on A and B, it has probably to read »founded Shem-Re and Ha...«. Logic dictates pretty clearly, that nothing can be destroyed before it is built.
  • 15th year: Escort of Horus (7th cattle count). Flood level: 2.15 metres.
    This is now the second year with high flood level.
  • 16th year: Appearance of the king of Lower Egypt; second "Race of the Apis bull" (p?rr ?p). Flood level: 1.92 metres.
    And once more, the reference is only »King of Lower Egypt«. Interesting is the »Race of the Apis Bull« which appears to have been a repeat all five years. This indicates, the calendar for this race relied on the year count, not certain star constellations to each other.
  • 17th year: Escort of Horus (8th cattle count). Flood level: 2.40 metres.
    Good time, high flood meant more nile mud carried further out and therefor increasing the farming land and the harvest per square meter (or any other square unit).
  • 18th year: Appearance of the king of Lower Egypt; third celebration of the Sokar feast. Flood level: 2.21 metres.
    Sokar, Lower Egypt, the pattern repeats.
  • 19th year: Escort of Horus (9th cattle count). Flood level: 2.25 metres.
    Another high flood level.
  • 20th year: Appearance of the king of Lower Egypt; offering for the king's mother; celebrating of the "Feast of eternity" (a burial ceremony) Flood level 1.92 metres.
    So Nynetjer's mother died late in the 19th or early in the 20th year of his reign. Given the ages, at which Egyptian girls got often their first kids and the fact, that Nynetjer ruled already 20 years, we can assume, he came to the throne at a pretty early age.
  • 21th year: Escort of Horus (10th cattle count) is missing.
    With that, the entries on the Palermo Stone referring to Nynetjer, end. Room indicates, there was once more, but time has rendered it illegible.
Nynetjer is mentioned also on the Cairo Stone. However, most of the events are illegible, except for the »birth« (creation) of an Anubis fetish and parts of a »Appearance of the king of Lower- and Upper Egypt«.
Now, we find here Anubis. And while everybody connects that name today of course with Egypt asn mummies, he was back in the 2nd Dynasty far from being a big shot. Just like Bastet and Apis, also Anubis was originally Lower Egyptian (his mother, Nephtys is connected with the Triad of Heliopolis, there are some different stories about who may would be his father). Heliopolis was the capital of the 13th Nome of Lower Egypt. So, with Bastet, Apis and now Anubis, we find three deities from Lower Egypt in the 2nd Dynasty's program to make more deities popular throughout the realm. What we have to keep in mind here is, we know only about those deities who actually got popular enough to be worshiped over the centuries to follow. Those who didn't gain traction are lost and where probably lost in oblivion already at the time of the 5th Dynasty when the Palermo and Cairo Stones (which is basically just a fragment of the same stone) were written.
So, adding this up, what we see is, that Nynetjer and in fact already his predecessor and most like father, started some action to promote deities from Lower Egypt. In fact, aside of continuing some construction activity, which documents, Egyptian economy was still taking up more speed, dealing in local Lower Egyptian second rank deities seems to be the main thing, those pharaohs did. Which begs the question, why?
Now, Egypt in ancient times was moving a little slower than we are used to in our modern world. Propaganda, history making, political power games were played out often in slower but much longer processes and especially with dynasties, things couldn't go fast in the first place. The first king didn't know, he was about to found a dynasty. What he did was ruling the kingdom, doing his job and raising his family. Like most men do who get promoted one way or the other. The second one in the line gets the idea, he is son of a king and his son will be king as well. So the real idea of dynastic thinking, especially in a culture which just had one dynasty in it's past at all, was something to get used to. With the raise of the 2nd Dynasty, this though became tangible. And it is safe to assume, not everyone liked it.
Now, pure egyptologists may disagree with me, I am not specialized in Egyptology and I come from an entirely different angle, from the behavioral side. But to me, there are several general mechanisms at work. Egyptologists claim, the power base of the 2nd Dynasty was in Upper Egypt and in fact, some circumstantial evidence points out, they came from there most likely. But look at this long list of events up there. Half of the time, the writers don't even bother to mention Upper Egypt anymore. The new deities propagated, and that appears in an extreme religious society like Egypt significant, were all of Lower Egyptian origin. They came from Memhpis, the Buto area and what was later the Heliopolis area. In short, they didn't come from just somewhere, they were local deities from the most important and influential places of Lower Egypt. So, those pharaohs, especially the second and now with Nynetjer the third in the dynasty must have been very popular in Lower Egypt. Which, by automatism made them at least with some parts of the Upper Egyptian population unpopular. Priesthoods for example, namely the priesthoods of the established main big guns Horus and Seth, who now had to share not only power but especially donations with those newer cults. And since power in Egypt was shared between pharaoh and priests, this concept of divide and conquer, which in itself is of course one of the oldest concepts of military thinking, hit the other pillar of power and it hit it hard. It must have, because there is no other possible outcome. And if the old Upper Egyptian priesthoods didn't like this dynasty, how would their old natural ally, the Upper Egyptian nobility, namely the princes of the Upper Egyptian Nomes felt about it?
The problem for nobility was always strength. As long as they get the people to follow them, they gain strength and can challenge for example a king. Basically the king becomes a formal ruler and bleeds power. But if nobility and priesthood bleed power and the population gathers behind the king, the king rules for real. We see regular cattle counts, city foundings, the propagation of deities with big feasts, in fact, we see a popularity program that in itself shows an amazing consistency. And endurance, because now, with Nynetjer, it was in the third generation and still gaining speed. Which on the behavioral side was to expect because why would king C change what worked so well under kings A and B?
There is another detail, in fact, one missing, that makes me think as well. There is not one mentioning, not one little hint on the existence of enemies from the outside or any military action. So, the usual suspects would be the Nubians, some nomadic tribes in the desert and maybe someone from the Arab peninsula. Now, the folks on the Arab peninsula and up to the Euphrates-Tigris regions, we can forget. They had some own problems to sort out. Ask assyriologists and specialists for Sumer and Akkad about that, that's another interesting story, however, it's a story that ate a lot of resources and therefore made any expansion to Northern Africa not only uninteresting but impossible.
The nomads never reached a high degree or organization and therefore were never able to threaten Egypt effectively. The danger form there would be by raids only. So even if the tried something stupid, the following campaign wouldn't be big enough to stay in memory of mankind for thousands of years.
Nubia … now, that's another story. Someone may have heard of the Kingdom of Kush or Meroe … well, that was much later. At the time before the 2nd Dynasty, in the area of today's Sudan, tribes had busily intermingled with Egyptians. Technically, there hadn't been even a border stone for the first few thousand years of neighborhood. So, ethnically, the Southern parts of Egypt and the Northern parts of the Butana plain were similar in a lot of aspects. Technically, Nubia was about to develop the same cultural main lines as Egypt, only in smaller scale and adapted to a land, that had much more water, much more food, much more plant growth. Egypt was rich, Egypt produced, thanks to the Nile enough food to enter the history books as corn chamber of the Antiquity. Nubia however had food growing the moment someone didn't look. And other plants. Nubia is still the most viable suspect for being the legendary country of Punt, that meant incense. Speaking of things more valuable than gold. Nubia also had mineral resources. Not that much copper and brass short under the surface, but enough to develop like Egypt some bronze industry. However, the real blast came later with iron. Much later, about the time of the 25th Dynasty of Egypt.
Bottom line, Nubia was strong and Nubia had much more than Egypt a kind of warrior tradition (anthropologists followed that traditions up till relative modern tribal traditions and back to the 8th millenium BC). So, Nubia, long before the famed Kingdom of Kush, meant trouble and trouble backed up by some power. They came over raiding all Egyptian history. But during the early 2nd Dynasty we have exactly one note about that and even that doesn't sound too exciting. So, not much happened at the Souther border either. Why? The Nubians cam again and again to Egypt to plunder. Even during the New Kingdom, much later, the most successful warleader-kings got annoyed by them. Only during the 2nd Dynasty … zilch! There are only two possible explanations. Either the Nubians had already what they wanted, as in the southermost Nomes were paying tributes, which is unlikely because such tributes would appear in the archeological records of the Butana plain, or they couldn't get what they wanted and knew any attempt would be very painful to them. Which would translate to military strength combined with a rather homicidal temper on the Egyptian side of the border. That strength couldn't be produced by Upper Egypt alone. But with the help of Lower Egypt, under the protection of a pharaoh, they didn't like but needed, also Upper Egypt could flourish while alone the idea to provoke the Egyptian King carried the promise of murder and mayhem enough to hold the usual suspects on their side of the borders. And why not, because in the end, everybody would profit. All those new cults, how much incense would they have burned in their temples? Tons and tons. Nubia, if really the legendary Punt, could have made more money (or rather wares) by trade than they could hope to carry home in raids. On the other hand, all those new cults used incense, ostrich feathers, ostrich eggs were popular as a sign of fertility and so on and so on. So also Egypt's economy would have profited a lot from this situation. So everybody got richer and wealth means, there are overhang resources to develop more technologies. One may say, need is the second cousin of invention, but the first cousin of invention is someone who pays the bill and allows someone to sit around for a time and develop things instead of working day by day for the immediate needs.
So, like the reigns of the two prior pharaohs, also Nynetjer's reign was signified by economic success based on political stability and an untraditional approach that included obviously to leave enough capital in the economy to make development possible. The result, aside of increasing income on the people's side, was a variety of new technologies we find in the gallery tombs (new tool marks, better understanding of mining shaft supports) in paintings (notable is the appearance of new colors in fashion, which basically means, someone figured out how to make them), a general raise in the height of buildings, bigger ships and so on. The list is effectively too long for the space here.
However, there is no light without darkness. The event »Escort of Horus« was replenished by a secondary event »cattle count«. Now up to this point, this meant the same and was the tax collection. The Escort of Horus event was later abandoned during the 3rd Dynasty. But for the 2nd Dynasty, changes like that indicate changes in administrative procedures. We have to understand, while Egypt actually didn't grow, the population, the economy and the society did. Alone the number of buildings to administrate mushroomed and therefore obviously the number of officials aka papyrus pushers.
The ancient Greek historian Manetho called Nynetjer Binôthrís and said that during this ruler's reign "women received the right to gain royal dignity", meaning that women were allowed to reign like a king. Some egyptologists assume that this reference was an obituary to the queens Meritneith and Neithhotep from the early 1st Dynasty, both of whom are believed to have held the Egyptian throne for several years because their sons were too young to rule by themselves. Or, maybe he had more daughters than sons and was for a time scared, he wouldn't have a male heir at the end of his life. Or … or … or … well, the point is a different one. New laws call for more people keeping an eye on people to abide to them. This means more justice system, more people in basic law enforcement roles, more people to adminsitrate those again. And the more people worked for the government, the more people had to be fed by the government. People back then weren't paid in money. They were paid in jewelry, nice vases, wooden fakedoors for their tombs and most basic in wheat and beer and, very important, the very popular Egyptian onions. So, somewhere had to go and measure out for each of them some pound wheat, some amphorae of beer (and make sure, it fulfilled the necessary quality requirements) and so on and so on.
A number of egyptologists think, at the end of Nynetjer's reign, the country suffered from an over complex bureaucracy or administration. Now, we don't even know for sure, but either Nynetjer or his successor intentionally split the kingdom again. Not as result of a civil war or a riot, but as it looks as some kind of administrative act. There are of course several theories as to why.

Theory A: A famine came up and the king split his kingdom in two to make it easier to feed the people. Followers of this theory point out, the flood levels mentioned on the Palermo Stone were low at the end of Nynetjer's reign.
Now, this is b.u.l.l. In more than one aspect. First of all, the Palermo Stone mentiones only the flood levels of one nilometer at Memphis, not of others along the river. Which is as far as the egyptologist-critics of this theory have already figured … now, lets use a little math here. You have one steak and two people at one table … so each gets half a steak. Now you take those two guys and sit them down on different tables, how much steak will each one get? Well, mathematically there are two possible solutions. Both could get still half a steak. Or one, the one at the right table, would get the whole steak ad the other one starves. And every possibility in between. There is in fact one thing, that won't happen: There will not be more than one steak. Splitting the kingdom wouldn't have increased the amount of food! If anything at all, splitting the kingdom and therefore invent a new border food had to cross would have made the problem more difficult. So bottom line: It's unlikely there was a famine and if there was one, splitting the kingdom wouldn't have helped at all.

Theory B: The kigdom was split to simplify the administration. Now, I admit, I love it! It's so modern in thinking. We have to many papyrus pushers, so invent another border that has to be controlled, make trade harder because with the border come more rules and restrictions about trade … in short, you have too many papyrus pushers to feed, so higher some thousand more to solve the problem. Well, that is very modern in thinking.
Unfortunately, from the behavioral side, Nynetjer has proven too often as too smart for such rubbish. He may split his kingdom, but surely not to simplify administration. Because the same pragmatic way of thinking, that made him transport new deities all over the place to profit politically would have held him back. Thusm the only thing theory B does is to point out good reasons not to split the kingdom … unless the reasons to do so would outweigh the problems it would cause.

Theory C: That is the one, you won't hear from an egyptologist. It's my own and then it is not. Basically it is just what other kings in other cultures did. Nynetjer (or his successors, egyptologists are not sure who actually did the split) had two sons. He loved both. Both wanted to be king. So, like for example the German emperor would do 33 centuries later, he splits between them. Like Assyrian kings about ten centuries later would do, he would split his kingdom. Like the original kings of Wales would do about 31 centuries later, he would split his kingdom. Like … oh well, you get the gist!
Now, there is something funny in this. Father would split during human history their lands and fortunes so very often and if said fathers were rulers, they all somehow expected, the brothers still would work together on the whole to make it better. It rarely worked out. In fact, as we will see, it worked out exactly one time in human history as far as I know: This time. And even then only temporary and certainly not as anyone would have expected.
My main problem is, egyptologists supect Nynetjer to have split the kingdom. But their evidence, the king lists of Saquarra, Abydos and Turin, indicate that the split occurred two generations later at the end of his grandson's, Senedj's, reign. So, obviously, since such a separation of cause and effect would be really hard to explain, the reasons for this time delay have to be searched somewhere else.


Not much is known. No names of wives, no explicit names of sons or daughters. So all we have is actually a collection of king lists. Basically all of those lists, Saquarra, Turin, Abydos, list a king named Wadjenes as his successor. And after Wadjenes, they list Senedj. Only after Senedj, the lists differ. The canons of Turin and Saquarra mention as successor for Senedj Neferka I, Neferkasokar and Hudjefa I. After that follows Khasekhemwy, who is identifies also as Djadjay.
Opposite to that, the Abydos list mentions instead Sekhemib and Peribsen and end up with Djadjay also identified with Khasekhemwy.
Putting this together, it would mean, that at least for a time, a part of the Dynasty ruled in Upper Egypt with Sekhemib and Peribsen and another part of it in Lower Egypt as Neferka I, Neferkasokar and Hudjefa I. The whole was re-uinted then again by Khasekhemwy/Djadjay. But that would place the split of the kingdom to two generations after Nynetjer!
So, lets do math again. We know, Nynetjer's mother died in the 19th or 20th year of Nynetjer's reign. So, her age when she got him would be somewhere between 12 and 16, this was the usual age for the first kids and gives even some spare time if he was just the first surviving one. He had to be at least 14 to 16 years old when ascending to the throne or someone would have ruled instead of him. Probably even older. At this time, he would be also married and father, given the usual ages in Egyptian culture. So, twenty years later, when his mother died, he would have been about 34-36 years old and his oldest children would have been already 18 to 20 years old and parents themselves. Bottom line: Senedj for example had met his grandfather because he would have been born around Nynetjer's 18th to 20th year of reign and therefore been easily 20 or more himself when Nynetjer died. There was enough time to imprint his ideas and thoughts on the next two, even three generations of his family! Any plan Wadjenes or Senedj executed could have been as well hedged by Nynetjer and vice versa. Because they met each other and neither of them was a stupid.
But that is of course only, if things went well and they actually lived that long. Penicillin wasn't invented, inocculations weren't invented and with a good appendicitis, you were as good as dead. The same can be thought about most other problems. Now, pharaohs had sometimes surprising long lives. But they lived effectively at the top of the food chain and the next three or four levels of the food chain had nothing to do but to hold them alive. And still, not all of them had as long lives as Nynetjer or much later Ramses II. Some of them died pretty young. And if that could happen to a pharaoh, it could happen to his family members as well. So there is no guarantee any of them lived long, except for Nynetjer himself, because we know, he made it till over 40 years of reign. And as soon, as there appears a gap, because someone died too early, someone pops up to fill the gap. So, was Wadjenes actually a king or a steward for a too young king? And if, was Senedj this too young king? One of those two had to be a son of Nynetjer, regardless how one looks at it. So, here is some riddle to solve!

The mysterious Wadjenes and the parallel kings

Now, you may already noticed, I have Wadjenes not put in the king list on this website. More, I didn't add Neferka I, Neferkasokar and Hudjefa I. Basically, I followed the line of Peribsen, Sekhemib to Khasekhemwy. One can argue, the other line is the legit one or both are. So, I try instead, to get some order in here because Nynetjer is definitive the last confirmed node in this.
The name means »fresh of tongue«. Which makes no sense at all and therefore is clearly no Horus name. So, while he appears in all kings lists, which are from the Ramesside era, as direct successor of Nynetjer, we can't actually identify him by a king's name as usual.
So, egyptologists have some different ideas, who he may could have been:
Weneg, aka Weneg-Nebti, is a king comtemporary documented with black ink on alabaster vases, but otherwise pretty unknown. The main reason to suspect him is, that both names are written with a very rarely used hieroglyphic symbol, the Weneg-flower. My problem with this is, that most black ink inscribed alabaster vases are from the 4th an fifth dynasty, thus, a lot later, and therefore are not exactly contemporary. Technically they are on the time line much nearer to the Palermo Stone than the 2nd Dynasty. And the Weneg-flower itself wasn't used again till King Teti in the 6th Dynasty and at this time, appears to have some connection to the Egyptian Sun&Death cult.
Also about his reign is not much known. Extensive reconstruction of the Cairo fragment of the Palermo Stone seem to indicate, he ruled, if he ruled at all, about 12 years. All events connected to him appear to have been rather routine events as to expect from every ruler, however, the ames of those festivities appear to place him on the time line near to Nynetjer, which would be consistent with the king lists.

Another theory is, that Wadjenes or Weneg are names additionally used by Nynetjer. The only evidence for this theory is a badly preserved shard which, due to the fact, that the inscription everything rests on is virtually gone, leaves a lot of possible interpretations. So, if there isn't more, it is hard to say anything about this theory.
Senedj is also not a Horus name and therefore unidentified, a figment of the imagination of some scribes or maybe an alternative writing for Seth-Peribsen who, allegedly, wasn't allowed in the king lists with the Seth-prefix in his name.

The crux here is, that also Senedj is mentioned as direct successor of Nynetjer. While others see him as successor of Wadjenes. In other words, it depends on who you ask. So, I do, what I usually do and look at the details, that can tell me something on the behavioral side.
In fact, we have some things, we can work with:
  • Nynetjer lived and ruled a long time. He wasn't surprised by an untimely death before he had time to think about the throne succession.
  • As pointed out, neither the theory of splitting the kingdom to easy administrative problems nor the idea of a famine forcing the split make any sense.
  • The Weneg-flower and the papyrus are looking in their hieroglyphic form very similar, especially if they are on some thousand year old shards of a stone and damaged anyway. But reading the papyrus instead of the Weneg-flower would make Weneg to Wadjenes.
  • The Weneg flower is in the 6th Dynasty already connected to a Sun&Death cult. But as pointed out with Nebra earlier, the appearance of the sun as royal reference dates to the 2nd Dynasty and was in this time definitively rather a threat of destruction and death to political enemies. Basically exactly, what was later connected to the Weneg-flower. So, on a behavioral and symbolic level, there is a connection from the 2nd Dynasty to the symbolism hidden behind the Weneg-flower, which makes it appearance plausible in this time period of inventing new traditions to distinct themselves from the 1st Dynasty.
  • However, who, if anyone, would get the family symbol in his name? The older or the younger brother?
  • The chances of a younger brother to outlive his older brother when subject to the same level of care, servants and luxury, are bigger than vice versa. That is no guarantee, only simple statistics.
  • There are only two technical possibilities for two persons to be mentioned next to the throne in such a short time frame: Either one died soon and the other one became the successor or the throne was already split but not the kingdom. But since the Weneg flower would indicate, Wadjenes was the older, Senedj had to be the younger one and therefore the successor.
    Fun part is, in both of those scenarios, the surviving brother would appear behind the older one in the king lists. Simply because those records were mostly based on tombs. Who dies later has the later tomb. No surprise there. The difference would not be in the records about those two kings, the difference would be in the records about their successors. Because suddenly, two royal lines would ave legit claims on a half throne each.
  • So, Nynetjer would maybe have made two of his sons sharing the throne, especially if recognizing a full kingdom split wouldn't bring any advantages. And maybe, this would have worked out between them. But what if one of them died? What would his oldest heir claim? The throne for himself and his line of the family? Half of the kingdom? Would he trust his counterparts, who now wouldn't be siblings anymore, but cousins? Or, maybe even grad cousins already, if the age difference was bis enough between the brothers? Here we reach actually the situation, it could become necessary to completely split the kingdom to avoid to get at the same result in a more violent way.

The beauty of this theory is, it is consistent with what egyptologists know and what we know about the behavior of the involved parties. There are of course variants of this theory possible. For example that Nynentjer decided to share the throne because Wadjenes was already ill and despite his rights on the throne, nobody would have expected him to have a heir. But surprise, that part he managed.
There is one give away, that can serve as some kind of acid test. Any theory has to explain, why Horus, who had already made the way to one of the two big gun gods all over Egypt suddenly is so unpopular that the next Upper Egyptian king has to chose Seth as his patron god. No problem with Seth. He was Upper Egyptian, he was quite destructive, he was before also one of the two major deities, all is fine, no problem with Seth. However, to make such an abrupt cut would betray a very strict mindset on behalf of the king who did that. And there, we are at Seth-Peribsen.
King of Upper Egypt. He performs the abrupt cut from the traditions of the 2nd Dynasty and in this, he proves himself as a true descendant of exactly that family mindset. Basically he does the same thing as his grand-grand-father Hotepsekhemwy did as soon as he climbed the first time on the throne: Define a new tradition to distinct his house from the one ruling before. Only this time, it was directed against the 2nd Dynasty itself.
Neferka I
King of Lower Egypt. Also Nefer-Ka-Ra I. Egyptologists doubt the Ra-part of the name since the sun wasn't a divine body at the time of the 2nd Dynasty. Which is funny because we have with Nebra, Weneg and now Neferkara (or also read as -re) already three sun references they have to doubt or ignore … personally, I find 60% his quota too much to dismiss it as coincidence.
Actually, we don't know much about his reign except, that Manetho wrote, “the Nile was flowing with honey for eleven days” which probably only attempted to express economical prosperity … not an unknown thing during the 2nd Dynasty.

Sekhemib King of Upper Egypt. Also known as Sekhemib-Perenmaat. Some egyptologists seem to think, he was identical with Seth-Peribsen, but it appears, their number is decreasing. Not much is known about him. He invented a byname as first Egyptian pharaoh and that one refers to Ma'at, Goddess of Justice. Big claim, but there is nothing indicating, he would have lived up to it.
King of Lower Egypt. The name means »Beautiful soul of Sokar« but then, this is the usual reading of egyptologists and includes, that »ka« wasn't exactly what we would understand as »soul«. Since the Ka of a person had some protective aspects but isn't something that can be one-word translated into English, just keep that part in mind.
Otherwise, we don't know too much except that things were good in Lower Egypt in his time.

Hudjefa I
King of Lower Egypt. In fact, »Hudjefa« isn't a personal name, the word means only »erased«. So it is widely assumed, his name wasn't readable anymore at the time the king lists were compiled and a scribe just noted »erased«, but then, and sice the erased person was a pharaoh, still painted a cartouche around it.
According to the Turin Canon, he ruled for 11 years, Manetho gave him 48 years, but modern egyptologists assume a maximum reign of only 2 years.
It appears as if Khasekhemwy started out as Khasekhem in Upper Egypt, which would make him a successor of Sekhemib. He is known for some military campaigns, one of them referring to a victory over the Northerners. Of course, egyptologists like to find the hair in the soup, there are not many details, but there is a very limited choice of Northerners seen from Upper Egypt, is there? And maybe it has something to do with the last king of Lower Egypt called »Erased« after a reign of maximal 2 years? And definitively we know, Khasekhem changed his name to Khasekhemwy ("The Two Powerful Ones Appear"), garnished his seal with Seth and Horus and ruled further on over a re-united Egypt. Lets just for a moment assume, Khasekhemwy, definitively one of Egypt's great military leaders, conquered Lower Egypt and ended the separation and with it, the not too promising career of »King Erased«.

So, in a way, this whole story of the 2nd Dynasty makes sense. The split began with sharing a throne, develops into actually parting the country in two independent kingdoms, but over time, the claim of each line to the reign of whole Egypt and the competition, two Egyptian kingdoms would be to each other made the situation straight hostile. So, as circumstantial evidence hints, when Khasekhem came back from teaching the Nubians a lesson about why not to start riots in his realm, he just marched through and took on the other side of his kingdom the neighbor: Lower Egypt.
The question is not really, what happened, but why? Of course, Khasekhem would have had reasons on a logic level. Alone the unification of the resources would be one of them. And of course, dynastic thinking would make Lower Egyptian worth a consideration. But all of that would have been valid as well for Sekhemib and before him for Peribsen. So, something changed. Either Upper Egypt had become under Khasekhem military stronger in relation to Lower Egypt or there was the last provocation that broke the camel's back. Let King Erased come to the idea, it would be smart to raid something on the border because Khasekhem is busy on the other end of his realm. Maybe he is young, maybe stupid, maybe too much inbreeding in the Northern branch of the 2nd Dynasty had demanded it's toll. But whenever, a king in Egyptian history ended up »erased«, it meant, another king was really really pissed. Since Khasekhemwy was obviously the winner in this conflict, he was the one who was really pissed. And that made Hudjefa the Erased One the one who did something that made Khasekhemwy more sour than usual. Think about it, a Nubian rioter had good chances to get away with a slap on the wrist but a fellow Egyptian King, a blood relative, protected by one of the oldest laws of Roayality not to spread royal blood to give not legitimation to others to spread the own royal blood – that one ends up dead and »erased«. Now, the scribe I mentioned initially, he found that name on a stone that was carved during the 5th Dynasty. A lot later. But think about it, can it be, this King Erased was already erased earlier. Somewhere those masons, who carved the king names in the Palermo Stone, had to find the names in the first place.
And now, weird things happen. The 2nd Dynasty ends … and his son Djoser ascends to the throne to become one of Egypt's greatest kings!

... back
Tue, May 17, 2016
12:00 AM CT

Daniel Lee Siebert
Daniel Lee Siebert is now also in our serial killer collection. A more or less garden variety strangler type who got away longer than necessary bacause some big PDs dropped the ball ... and left it to smaller ones, to get the job done.

Fri, Dec 18, 2015
12:00 AM CT

Christman Genipperteinga
THe legendary robber along the wine road Trier-Cologne made it finally into our collection. With a total of 970 victim, including six of them his own children, he is currently the most prolific serial killer in the Collection.

Thu, Oct 22, 2015
12:00 AM CT

Gerard John Schaefer
The allegedly most prolific Florida Serial Killer, "Killer Cop" Gerard Schaefer, finally also made his way into out collection.

Thu, Sep 24, 2015
12:00 AM CT

Royal Russel Long
Long was quite messed up in the investigation of the Wyoming Rodeo Murders, but details show, he was another kind of animal, y typeless pedophile serial killer. Now his file is in our collection.

Mon, Aug 17, 2015
12:00 AM CT

The Wyoming Rodeo Murders
A story of misperceptions and midnless cabinet cleaning by police authorities that ended up with someone getting away with at least two murders on young women. Now in our collection.

Wed, Jul 15, 2015
12:00 AM CT

Joseph Vacher, the French Ripper
Now new in our collection: Joseph Vacher, the French Ripper. The first case, blood spatter analysis was used in a court trial world wide!

Sat, Jun 20, 2015
12:00 AM CST

No new addition in June
Usually, we try to bring another case up in our serial killer collection every month, but this month, we simply had no time. Between working open cases and other activities, it was just not possible. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Sat, May 16, 2015
12:00 AM CT

The Beauty Queen Killer
New in the serial killer collection: Christopher Wilder, the Beauty Queen Killer. A case that shows how nonsensical the disctinction between serial and spree killers really is.

Thu, Apr 16, 2015
12:00 AM CT

Burton W. Abbott
Abbott killed only one victim, a case that caused some public attention in 1955. But he showed all hallmarks of a fledgling serial killer and thus, we added him to our collection.

Mon, Mar 16, 2015
12:00 AM CT

Darren Deon Vann
Ha is basically the usual garden variety strangler case if it wouldn't be for the early warnings statistical data cretated about serial killer activity in Gary/Indiana. Now he is in our collection.

Wed, Mar 4, 2015
12:00 AM CT

Due to technical problems, the March article was up late. Take my apologies for this glitch.

Mon, Feb 16, 2015
12:00 AM CT

Affaire of the Poisons
We have added the infamous Affaire of the Poisons to our collection. With more than 80 offenders, it breaks a little the format, but well, it's one of the biggest cases of "organized" crime ever, so how can we let it out?

Mon, Dec 8, 2014
12:00 AM CT

Joseph Bryan
Once he made the FBI Ten Most Wanted list, now nobody remembers the case anymore. Nevertheless, the father of all allegedly schizophrenic serial killers has entered our collection.

Fri, Nov 7, 2014
12:00 AM CT

The Trailside Killer
David Joseph Carpenter has now become also part of the Serial Killer Collection ... complete with profile.

Tue, Oct 7, 2014
12:00 AM CT

The Vampire of Duesseldorf
Peter Kuerten aka The Vampire of Duesseldorf roamed the city at the River Rhine for more than two years and left behind a trail of bodies-

Fri, Sep 12, 2014
12:00 AM CT

The Grim Sleeper
Lonnie Franklin aka The Grim Sleeper has been added to our serial killer collection

Thu, Aug 14, 2014
12:00 AM CT

Michael Lee Lockhart
... and with a little delay, another serial made it into the serial killer collection. Michael Lee Lockhart, not so much interesting for his "achievements" but because his case appears as if he became a psychopath only after a serious head injury.

Tue, Aug 12, 2014
12:00 AM CT

A Game of Daggers
Diane's new novel A GAME OF DAGGERS is now available at Amazon for Kindle. A story of murder, mayhem and political intrigue set up in the year of the Lord 1096.
Pope Urban II has called for a crusade, but this news has yet to reach Cornwall. And people there have anyway to deal with other problems from storms to wreckers on their coast and when some murdered men are discovered on the beach, nobody guesses, this is only the prelude to much greater events coming to the so remote shores ...

Sat, Jul 5, 2014
12:00 AM CT

Ivan Hill
Ivan Hill, as the first of the many serial killers, who haunted Los Angeles in the 80s and 90s, is now added to our serial killer collection.

Sun, Jun 8, 2014
12:00 AM CT

Raya and Sakina
The famous Egyptian serial killers have become part of our collection. And as so often, things are not as simple as the urban legend tries to tell us.

Thu, May 1, 2014
12:00 AM CT

Dagmar Overbye
The infamous Danish baby farmer has been added to our Serial Killer Collection.

Thu, May 1, 2014
12:00 AM CT

Pharaoh Djoser added to the Egyptian Collection
I finally came around to add a new pharaoh to our collection: Djoser, 1st Pharoh of the 3rd Dynasty.

Fri, Apr 4, 2014
12:00 AM CT

The Green River Killer
This month, we added Gary Ridgway to our serial killer collection, a case, not so much interesting for the profiling but for the lessons about case organization to be learned from it.

Tue, Mar 4, 2014
12:00 AM CT

Manson Family
The "Manson Family&quo; has been added to our serial killer collection. Especially interesting for those who think, brain washing isn't possible.

Fri, Feb 7, 2014
12:00 AM CT

Hans van Zon
Dutch serial killer Hans van Zon joined our serial killer collection. Not entirely voluntarily though.

Mon, Jan 6, 2014
12:00 AM CT

The Syracuse Dungeon Master
John T. Jamelske aka the Syracuse Dungeon Master has been added to our Serial Killer Collection. While not a seria killer but a serial rapist, Jamelske represents a similar psychopathology as some OCD type serial killers, for example Dahmer and therefore is some valuable object for studies.

Thu, Jan 2, 2014
12:00 AM CT

The last of the 2nd dynasty pharaohs, the man who re-united Egypt, is now also in the Egyptian collection.

Thu, Dec 12, 2013
12:00 AM CT

Pharaoh Sekhemib added to the Egyptian Collection
I finally came around to add Pharaoh Sekhemib to the collection, the sixth of the 2nd Dynasty. So, with some luck, I can finish this year the 2nd dynsty, only one, Khasekhemwy is left.

Tue, Dec 10, 2013
12:00 AM CT

The Riha disappearance
In 1969, Dr. Thomas Riha disappeared and in the subconsequent series of events, Gloria Tannenbaum was arrested for forgery and under suspicion of two other homicides. She plead not guilty by reason of insanity and got away with it. The case has now been added to our serial killer collection.

Mon, Nov 4, 2013
12:00 AM CT

Richard N. Clarey jr.
Clarey is one of the lesser known serial killers, skirting the definition a little. Still, for some reasons an interesting case.

Wed, Oct 2, 2013
12:00 AM CT

Now in the collection: William E. Cosden
A garden variety sexual predator, notable only because his existence shows, how wrong the idea of 1 monster at 1 time in 1 area is.

Copyright if not otherwise mentioned Peter and Diane Brendt 2010-. All copies, also in parts, demand the written consent of the copyright holders