Ameny Qemau

Ameny Qemau was an Egyptian pharaoh of the 13th Dynasty during the Second Intermediate Period. According to egyptologists Kim Ryholt and Darrell Baker, he was the 5th king of the dynasty, reigning for 2 years over most of Egypt, except perhaps the eastern Nile Delta, from 1793 BC until 1791 BC.[1][3]


The egyptologist Kim Ryholt notes that Ameny Qemau's name is essentially a filiative nomina, that is a name specifying the filiation of its holder. Indeed, Ameny Qemau could be read as "Ameny['s son] Qemau". Ryholt concludes that the Ameny in question was Qemau's predecessor Sekhemkare Amenemhat V and that Qemau was his son.[3] This opinion is shared by egyptologist Darrell Baker but not by Jürgen von Beckerath, who left Ameny Qemau's position within the 13th dynasty undetermined in his handbook of Egyptian pharaohs.[1][4] The successor of Ameny Qemau, Qemau Siharnedjheritef may have been his son as "Qemau Siharnedjheritef" may be read "The son of Qemau, Horus protects his father".


Beyond his pyramid in Dashur, Ameny Qemau is a poorly attested king: his name does not appear on the Turin canon and the only contemporary attestations of him are fragments of four inscribed canopic jars found in the pyramid. An additional plaquette of unknown provenance bears his name[2] but may be a modern forgery.[1] Ameny Qemau's identity is therefore uncertain and attempts have been made to identify him with better attested kings of the period, in particular with Sehotepibre, who appears on the Turin canon after Amenemhat V.[5] Ryholt however believes that Qemau's name was lost in a wsf lacuna of the Turin canon located just before Amenemhat V. A wsf (literally "missing") lacuna denotes a lacuna in the original document from which the canon was copied in Ramesside times.[3]


Ameny Qemau had a pyramid built for himself in the south of Dashur. The pyramid was discovered in 1957 by Charles Musès and only investigated in 1968. It originally measured 50 square meters at its base and stood 35 meters high but is now completely ruined due to stone robbing. The substructures have also been extensively damaged. The burial chamber of the king was made of a single large block of quartzite, similar to those found in the pyramid of Amenemhat III at Hawara, the Mazghuna pyramids and the recently discovered pyramid of Sekhemre Khutawy Sobekhotep in Abydos.[1][6][7][8][9][10] The block was hewn to receive the sarcophagus and canopic jars of the king but only fragments of these and unidentified bones where found onsite.[11]


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  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Darrell D. Baker: The Encyclopedia of the Pharaohs: Volume I - Predynastic to the Twentieth Dynasty 3300–1069 BC, Stacey International, ISBN 978-1-905299-37-9, 2008, p. 304
  2. 1 2 3 Goedicke, Hans (1959). "A Puzzling Inscription". Journal of Egyptian Archaeology. 45: 98–99.
  3. 1 2 3 4 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
  4. Jürgen von Beckerath: Hanbuch der agyptische Konigsnamen, Muncher. Agyptologische Studien 49, Mainz, (1999), p. 102-103
  5. Jürgen von Beckerath: Untersuchungen zur politischen Geschichte der zweiten Zwischenzeit in Ägypten. Glückstadt/ New York 1964, p. 41-42, 233, XIII. B
  6. Miroslav Verner: The Pyramids Their Archaeology and History, Atlantic Books, 2001, ISBN 1-84354-171-8
  7. Mark Lehner: The Complete Pyramids, London: Thames and Hudson (1997) p.185 ISBN 0-500-05084-8.
  8. "US diggers identify tomb of Pharoah Sobekhotep I". Times Live. South Africa. 6 January 2014. Retrieved 8 January 2014.
  9. "Archaeologists discover tomb of Pharoah Sobekhotep I in Egypt". Voice of Russia. 7 January 2014. Retrieved 8 January 2014.
  10. Stark, Florian (7 January 2014). "Pharaonengrab aus apokalyptischen Zeiten entdeckt". Die Welt (in German). Retrieved 8 January 2014.
  11. Nabil M. Swelim, Aidan Dodson: On the Pyramid of Ameny-Qemau and its Canopic Equipment, In: Mitteilungen des Deutschen Archäologischen Instituts, Abteilung Kairo 54 (1998), p. 319 - 334
Preceded by
Amenemhat V
Pharaoh of Egypt
Thirteenth Dynasty
Succeeded by
Qemau Siharnedjheritef
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