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Name of Menkauhor
Menkauhor CG 40.jpg
Seated statue of Menkauhor, probably from Memphis ; Egyptian Museum , Cairo
Horus name
With permanent appearances
Gold name
T3 G5
The shining (brightly shining) golden hawk
Throne name
Hiero Ca1.svg
G5 Y5
Hiero Ca2.svg

With permanent Ka-powers of Horus
Proper name
Hiero Ca1.svg
G5 i D28 G43
Hiero Ca2.svg
Ikauhor / Horikau
(Ikau Hor / Hor ikau)
J.k3.w Ḥr / Ḥr j.k3.w
With Ka -forces of Horus
Hiero Ca1.svg
D28 i G43
Hiero Ca2.svg
Kaui / Ikau
K3.wj / J.k3.w
With Ka forces
Turin Royal Papyrus
V10A G5 G7 Y5
D28 Z1 G7 V11A G7

List of Kings of Abydos (Seti I) (No.31)
Hiero Ca1.svg
G5 Y5
Hiero Ca2.svg
List of Kings of Saqqara (No. 30)
Hiero Ca1.svg
G5 Y5
Hiero Ca2.svg
after Manetho


Menkauhor ( Men-kau-Hor ) was the seventh king ( pharaoh ) of the ancient Egyptian 5th dynasty in the Old Kingdom . He ruled roughly between 2420 and 2410 BC. Little is known about his exact relationship to the royal family of the 5th dynasty and about specific events from his reign. A pyramid building in the north of Saqqara can probably be assigned to him. In addition, Menkauhor's solar sanctuary is known from written sources , but this has not yet been proven archaeologically.

Origin and family

Menkauhor's origins and family relationships are largely in the dark. A relationship to his predecessor Niuserre has not yet been proven beyond doubt, but is suspected by some researchers. A clue for this is a relief fragment from the mortuary temple of Chentkaus II , the mother of Niuserre, on which a prince named Chentikauhor is depicted, who is probably a son of Niuserre. At times it was considered that he ascended the throne under the name of Menkauhor after the death of his father. More recent finds, however, suggest a different reconstruction: In the spring of 2008, an inscription was discovered in the mastaba of Prince Werkaure in Saqqara that contained the name Menkauhor, but not in the form of a royal statute. It is therefore assumed that Menkauhor's accession to the throne took place without an associated name change. Possibly he was a brother of Chentikauhor and thus another son of Niuserre.

Little is known about Menkauhor's wives and descendants either. A queen named Meresanch IV is considered to be his wife, two princes named Kaemtjenent and Raemka as his sons. The assignment of these three people to Menkauhor is very uncertain and is only based on the location and the dating of their graves.


Gilded seal of an official from the reign of the Menkauhor; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Only sources from a later period are available for determining the length of Menkauhor's reign. The royal papyrus Turin , which originated in the New Kingdom and is an important document on Egyptian chronology , gives eight years, which began in the 3rd century BC. Living Egyptian priest Manetho nine. Contemporary dates are not yet known. The information from the Turin Papyrus and Manethus are largely considered plausible in research.

The only known event from Menkauhor's reign is the dispatch of an expedition to Wadi Maghara on the Sinai Peninsula , which is attested by an inscription found there.

A gold-plated seal of an official from the time of Menkauhor ( Boston , Museum of Fine Arts , Inv.-No. 68.115) indicates trade relations with the Aegean .

Construction activity

Menkauhor's famous building activity included a pyramid called "Divine are the places of Menkauhor" and a solar sanctuary called "Horizon des Re ". Both could not yet be clearly identified.

The pyramid of Menkauhor

Main articles: Lepsius XXIX pyramid and Lepsius L pyramid

So far, two pyramids have been considered as the Menkauhor tomb. On the one hand, there is the pyramid Lepsius No. 29 (the so-called "headless pyramid") in Saqqara- North. The building has a side length of about 52 meters and is almost completely destroyed today, except for the substructure. There are numerous indications that the pyramid was built in the 5th dynasty. Teti II , for example , the first ruler of the 6th dynasty , seems to have taken this building into account when he had his own tomb built in the immediate vicinity , since the route is diverted to the southeast. The alignment of the excavation pit for the access corridor to the burial chamber is seen as further evidence: This does not run exactly in a north-south direction, but deviates slightly to the east. This peculiarity is typical of the pyramids of the 5th dynasty between Neferirkare and Djedkare . Other construction details also speak for this dating, which was confirmed again by the most recent excavations in 2006–2008.

Since all other rulers of the period in question could already be assigned a grave complex, Menkauhor is now favored by the majority as the builder of the "Headless Pyramid". Direct written evidence of this has not yet been found, but there are indirect ones: there are several graves of funeral priests of Menkauhor in northern Saqqara and southern Abusir.

The unfinished pyramid Lepsius No. 50 in Dahshur was seen as a further candidate for Menkauhor's grave complex , but the evidence for this is far more sparse: based on ceramic finds, the building can be dated to the 4th or 5th dynasty, but were on site no written evidence was found pointing to Menkauhor. The basis for this assignment was a text passage in a protective decree by King Pepis I , according to which the Menkauhor grave complex appeared to be near the pyramids of Sneferu , but this passage is now interpreted differently.

The sun sanctuary of Menkauhor

Main article: Sun sanctuary of Menkauhor

The location of the Menkauhor solar sanctuary is so far completely unknown. It has so far only been handed down through a few priestly titles and unwinding seals and does not seem to have been in operation very long after the ruler's death. Menkauhor was the last ruler to build such a solar sanctuary.


The only known round plastic image of Menkauhor is a seated statue of unknown origin (probably Memphis ), which is now in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo (Inv.No. CG 40 = JdE 28579). The statue is made of alabaster and has a height of 47.5 cm. It shows the king in the Sedfest cloak and with the white crown of Upper Egypt. The statue has make-up strips around the eyes. A goatee can be seen, but like the nose it is badly damaged. The king can be identified by a name engraved to the right of the feet.

Menkauhor in memory of ancient Egypt

Menkauhor enjoyed a cult of the dead , for the supply of which numerous agricultural goods ( domains ) were set up. Several funeral priests are known for their graves, which are located in Saqqara-North and Abusir-South. Menkauhor's cult of the dead seems to have been practiced in the New Kingdom as well , which is evidenced by several grave reliefs : depictions of Menkauhor from the graves of Ameneminet and Thuthu in Saqqara-Nord are known from the 18th dynasty .

A relief block in the Egyptian Museum in Berlin, which is said to come from a grave in Saqqara, comes from the Ramesside period. It depicts five enthroned kings of the Old Kingdom: The name of the first is no longer preserved, but it can probably be reconstructed to Snefru on the basis of old photographs; it is followed by Radjedef , Mykerinos , Menkauhor and Pepi II. (Neferkare). The image section preserved on this block can be reconstructed as a worship scene in which the grave owner stands in front of the kings.

A very similar scene shows a lintel from the chapel of the Mahy in Saqqara-Nord: There four deified kings of the Old Kingdom are depicted, who all had their pyramids built in Saqqara: Djoser , Teti , Userkaf and Menkauhor.



  • Darrell D. Baker: The Encyclopedia of the Egyptian Pharaohs, Volume I: Predynastic to the Twentieth Dynasty (3300-1069 BC). Bannerstone Press, Oakville 2008, ISBN 978-0-9774094-4-0 , pp. 198-199.
  • Thomas Schneider : Lexicon of the Pharaohs. Albatros, Düsseldorf 2002, ISBN 3-491-96053-3 , pp. 154-155.
  • Hana Vymazalová , Filip Coppens: King Menkauhor. A little-known ruler of the 5th Dynasty. In: Sokar No. 17 , 2008, pp. 32-39.

To names

To the pyramid

To the sun sanctuary

  • Miroslav Verner : The Sun Sanctuaries of the 5th Dynasty . In: Sokar. No. 10, 2005, p. 48.
  • Susanne Voss: Investigations into the sun sanctuaries of the 5th dynasty. Significance and function of a singular temple type in the Old Kingdom. Hamburg 2004 (also: Dissertation, University of Hamburg 2000), pp. 155–158, ( PDF; 2.5 MB ).

Questions of detail

  • Jürgen von Beckerath: Chronology of the pharaonic Egypt. von Zabern, Mainz 1994, ISBN 3-8053-2310-7 , pp. 27, 39, 153, 155, 188.
  • Jocelyne Berlandini: La pyramide 'ruinée' de Saqqara-Nord et le roi Ikaouhor-Menkaouhor. In: Revue d'Égyptologie. (RdE) No. 31, Paris 1979, pp. 3-28.
  • Aidan Dodson, Dyan Hilton: The Complete Royal Families of Ancient Egypt. The American University in Cairo Press, London 2004, ISBN 977-424-878-3 , pp. 62-69.
  • Wolfgang Helck : Considerations on the outcome of the 5th dynasty. In: Communications from the German Archaeological Institute, Cairo Department. (MDAIK) Vol. 47, von Zabern, Mainz 1991, pp. 163-168.
  • Peter Kaplony: The cylinder seals of the Old Kingdom. Fondation Egyptologique, Brussels 1977/82, pp. 295–307 and plate 84.
  • Miroslav Verner: Archaeological Remarks on the 4th and 5th Dynasty Chronology. In: Archives Orientální. Vol. 69, Prague 2001, pp. 363-418 ( PDF; 31 MB ).

Web links

Commons : Menkauhor  - collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. after M. Verner: The pyramids. Reinbek 1997, pp. 358-359.
  2. ^ Alan H. Gardiner: The royal canon of Turin. Panel 2; The presentation of the entry in the Turin papyrus, which differs from the usual syntax for hieroboxes, is based on the fact that open cartridges were used in the hieratic . The alternating time-missing-time presence of certain name elements is due to material damage in the papyrus.
  3. Year numbers according to Schneider: Lexicon of the Pharaohs. Düsseldorf 2002.
  4. H. Vymazalová, F Coppens: King Menkauhor. A little-known ruler of the 5th Dynasty. 2008, pp. 37-38.
  5. ^ A. Dodson, D. Hilton: The Complete Royal Families of Ancient Egypt. London 2004, pp. 64-69.
  6. ^ M. Verner: Archaeological Remarks on the 4th and 5th Dynasty Chronology. Prague 2001, p. 405.
  7. Darrell D. Baker: The Encyclopedia of the Egyptian Pharaohs, Volume I: Predynastic to the Twentieth Dynasty (3300-1069 BC). Oakville 2008, p. 198; Erik Hornung , Rolf Krauss , David A. Warburton (eds.): Ancient Egyptian Chronology. (= Handbook of Oriental Studies. Section 1: The Near and Middle East. Volume 83). Brill, Leiden / Boston 2006, ISBN 978-90-04-11385-5 , p. 491.
  8. ^ T. Schneider: Lexicon of the Pharaohs. Düsseldorf 2002, p. 154.
  9. ^ Wolfgang Helck: Aegean and Egypt. In: Wolfgang Helck (Hrsg.): Lexikon der Ägyptologie (LÄ). Volume I, Harrassowitz, Wiesbaden 1975, ISBN 3-447-01670-1 , Sp. 69.
  10. M. Verner: The pyramids. Reinbek 1997, p. 359.
  11. a b H. Vymazalová, F Coppens: King Menkauhor. A little-known ruler of the 5th Dynasty. 2008, p. 35.
  12. a b H. Vymazalová, F Coppens: King Menkauhor. A little-known ruler of the 5th Dynasty. 2008, p. 36.
  13. ^ S. Voss: Investigations on the sun sanctuaries of the 5th dynasty. Hamburg 2004, pp. 155–156.
  14. ^ Ludwig Borchardt: Catalog Général des Antiquités Égyptienne du Musée du Caire. Nos. 1-1294. Statues and statuettes of kings and individuals in the Cairo Museum. Part 1 . Reichsdruckerei, Berlin 1911, pp. 37–38 ( PDF; 80 MB )
  15. H. Vymazalová, F Coppens: King Menkauhor. A little-known ruler of the 5th Dynasty. 2008, pp. 36-37.
  16. Dietrich Wildung : The role of Egyptian kings in the consciousness of their posterity. Part I. Posthumous sources on the kings of the first four dynasties. In: Munich Egyptological Studies. (MÄS) Vol. 17, Deutscher Kunstverlag, Munich / Berlin 1969, pp. 197–198.
  17. H. Vymazalová, F Coppens: King Menkauhor. A little-known ruler of the 5th Dynasty. 2008, p. 37.
predecessor Office successor
Niuserre Pharaoh of Egypt
5th Dynasty
This article was added to the list of articles worth reading on March 28, 2012 in this version .