Neferkare Pepiseneb

Neferkare Pepiseneb (also Neferkare Khered Seneb and Neferkare VI) was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh of the 7th/8th Dynasty during the early First Intermediate Period (2181–2055 BC). According to the egyptologists Kim Ryholt, Jürgen von Beckerath and Darell Baker he was the twelfth king of the combined 7th/8th Dynasty.[1][2][3]


The name Neferkare Pepiseneb is attested on the Abydos King List (number 51), but not elsewhere. However, Jürgen von Beckerath has proposed that Neferkare Pepiseneb is to be identified with a "Neferkare Khered Seneb" appearing on the Turin canon.[4] As such, Neferkare Pepiseneb would be the first king of the 7th/8th Dynasty, following Ntyiqrt (who might be Neitiqerty Siptah) whose name appears on the Turin canon, a large lacuna in the document affecting the intervening kings of the dynasty.[1][2] Both of these sources are dated to long after the eighth dynasty, to the 19th dynasty and later and there are no contemporary attestations of this period.


The epithet Khered given to Neferkare Pepiseneb in the Turin canon means "child" or "young". Consequently, "Neferkare Khered Seneb" is variously translated as Neferkare The Child is Healthy, Neferkare the Younger is Healthy or Neferkare Junior is Healthy.[2]

Baker and Ryholt propose that the epithet "Khered" is the result of an error made by the copyist who wrote the Turin canon, confusing "Pepiseneb" with "Khered Seneb", as the hieratic forms of "pepi" and "khered" can resemble each other if damaged.[1] Thus this error might be due to some damage affecting the earlier document from which the canon was being copied in the Ramesside period.[2]

Another hypothesis explaining "Khered" and which Ryholt deems more likely is that this epithet is in this context synonymous with "Pepi". Indeed, the "Pepi" of "Pepiseneb" could be Pepi II Neferkare, last great pharaoh of the Old Kingdom of Egypt and who may have had the longest reign of any monarch in history with 94 years on the throne (2278 – 2184 BC). Furthermore, this pharaoh, who must have been well remembered so close to his reign, accessed the throne as a child, when he was only around 6. Ryholt thus proposes that the "child" ("Khered") referred to in Neferkare Pepiseneb's name on the Turin canon is Pepi II. Since additionally, Pepi II's nomen was Neferkare, Neferkare Seneb, Khered Seneb and Pepiseneb all could refer to Pepi II and mean "Pepi II is healthy". This hypothesis is possibly vindicated by the divine determinative (Gardiner sign G7) attached to the epithet "Khered" on the Turin canon. This is normally reserved for the names of kings and gods and might indicate that the epithet "Khered" was understood as referring to a specific pharaoh.[1]


According to Ryholt's latest reading of the Turin canon, Neferkare Pepiseneb reigned at least one year and some months and days.[1][2]


  1. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Kim Ryholt: "The Late Old Kingdom in the Turin King-list and the Identity of Nitocris", Zeitschrift für ägyptische, 127, 2000, p. 91
  2. 1 2 3 4 5 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. 268-269
  3. Jürgen von Beckerath: Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen,Münchner ägyptologische Studien, Heft 49, Mainz : P. von Zabern, 1999, ISBN 3-8053-2591-6, available online
  4. Jürgen von Beckerath: The Date of the End of the Old Kingdom of Egypt, JNES 21 (1962) pp. 144-145
Preceded by
Pharaoh of Egypt
7th/8th Dynasty
Succeeded by
Neferkamin Anu
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