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Inichnum in hieroglyphics
E10 W9 M18

Inichnum (Ini Chnum)
Jjj n (.j) ẖnmw
Chnum comes to me
1st title

Member of the elite
2nd title

the king's valet
Functional title
s m

Stone vase fragment with the name of Inichnum

Inichnum (also Khnum-Ini ) was an important ancient Egyptian official of the late 2nd dynasty or the early 3rd dynasty , the exact time of his work is unclear. Therefore it is also open which kings he served.

supporting documents

His name appears on numerous fragments of calcite - alabaster vessels found in the Great Galleries of the Djoser Complex in Saqqara . Other finds come from two private graves in Saqqara and from the pyramid complex of King Sechemchet . These are short vessel inscriptions made of black ink , which were executed in italics ( hieratic ).

Term of office

The inscriptions on the vessel show that Inichnum held the titles of “valet of the king”, “member of the elite” ( Iripat ) and “ Sem priest ”. These are typical rank and function titles of royal family members of the early days. Associated inscriptions such as “Overseer of the offerings to the Hut-Ka ” and “Presents for the king's house during the Hebsed ” also show that Inichnum mainly participated in a Sedfest ( Hebsed ) and for the care and maintenance of a Ka house ( Hut-Ka ) was responsible. He shared these tasks with his counterpart Maapermin .


Ilona Regulski and Peter Kaplony mention Inichnum's term in office during the reigns of Chasechemui and Netjerichet . Ilona Regulski also refers to comparisons of the ink inscription of Inichnum with that on finds from Abydos in the tomb of Chasechemui. Regulski rejects earlier assumptions on the part of Wolfgang Helck , who dated the ink inscriptions during the reign of King Ninetjer , on the grounds that certain fonts and spellings, as they appear in Inichnum's inscriptions, were not yet developed and in use during Ninetjer’s lifetime. You pay particular attention to the note "17th time of the cattle count". The spelling in which the note was recorded appears for the first time under King Netjerichet. The problem with this is the fact that the cattle census as a ceremonial , state tax collection only took place every two years. Thus a 34th year of reign would be recorded for the ruler under which Inichnum had officiated. Such a long reign has so far only been attested for King Ninetjer. Ilona Regulski is therefore wondering whether either Chasechemui or Djoser could have ruled longer than previously assumed.

As a further clue, Regulski draws on certain hieroglyphs and their spelling in the hieratic script . The zigzag-shaped hieroglyph N35 (waterline; sound value "n") was still clearly zigzagged in italics under Ninetjer, from King Peribsen it also appears in a simplified form as a straight line with thickened ends. This is exactly the case with the inscriptions of the Inichnum. Another hieroglyph, namely Aa1 ( placenta ; sound value "ch"), was still represented under Ninetjer as a simple ring or circle, under King Sechemib it appears for the first time with the familiar, horizontal hatching , according to Sechemib this is the rule. In italics, it was represented as a circle with a thick slash or a horizontal line. This is also the case in the inscriptions of the Inichnum. Based on these comparison results, the ink inscriptions are now dated to the time of the kings Chasechemui to Sechemchet .

Significance for Egyptology

The inscriptions on the vessels of the Inichnum are of some importance to Egyptologists and historians. They not only provide valuable information and insights into the development of hieratic writing during the early days, they also contain possible evidence of a particularly obscure rulers, namely Horus Sa . The aforementioned Ka house that Inichnum looked after and looked after could have belonged to Horus Sa. However, since Sa's name never appears in a royal serech , its existence is already controversial and a reliable chronological assignment to the 2nd or 3rd dynasty has not yet been made.


Inichnum's grave is unknown, Wolfgang Helck and J. Spencer suspect the mastabas S2429 and S3009 as possible resting places.

See also


  • Peter Kaplony: The inscriptions of the early Egyptian period. Volume I, Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden 1963.
  • Pierre Lacau, Jan-Phillip Lauer: La Pyramide a Degrees. Volume IV: Inscriptions Gravees sur les Vases: Fouilles à Saqqarah. Service des antiquités de l'Égypte, Cairo 1936.
  • Dilwyn Jones: An Index of ancient Egyptian titles, epithets and phrases of the Old Kingdom. Archaeopress, Oxford 2000, ISBN 1-84171-069-5 .
  • Ilona Regulski: Second dynasty ink inscriptions from Saqqara paralleled in the Abydos material from the Royal Museums of Art and History in Brussels . In: Stan Hendrickx, RF Friedman, Barbara Adams & KM Cialowicz: Egypt at its origins. Studies in memory of Barbara Adams. Proceedings of the international conference "Origin of the State, Predynastic and Early Dynastic Egypt", Kraków, August 28th - September 1st, 2002 (= Orientalia Lovaniensia analecta . Vol. 138). Peeters Publishers, Leuven (NL) 2004, ISBN 90-429-1469-6 , ( PDF file; 196 kB ).

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Dilwyn Jones: An Index of Ancient Egyptian Titles, Epithets and Phrases of the Old Kingdom . P. 788, No. 2874.
  2. ^ Pierre Lacau, Jan-Phillip Lauer: La Pyramide a Degrees V. Fig. 7.
  3. ^ Pierre Lacau, Jan-Phillip Lauer: La Pyramide a Degrees. IV. Volume, p. 70.
  4. a b c d e f Wolfgang Helck : Investigations on the Thinite Age (= Ägyptologische Abhandlungen. (ÄA) Vol. 45). Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden 1987, ISBN 3-447-02677-4 , p. 398.
  5. a b c d e Ilona Regulski: Second dynasty ink inscriptions from Saqqara paralleled in the Abydos material from the Royal Museums of Art and History in Brussels . Pp. 953-959.