Pepi I.

Written by Felgr Pavel on .

Pepi I.

Egyptologists supposed for a long time that the 6th dynasty was the beginning of the First Intermediate Period, the decline period, which lasted till re-unification of the Upper and Lower Egypt under Mentuhotep II. rule around the year 2,060 BC. Actually rules of eminent Pharaoh of the 6th dynasty (Teti, Pepi I. and Pepi II.) still belong to the Old Kingdom period, because Egypt further expanded at that time.

Tumultuous beginning of Pepi I. rule seemed to adumbrate other frequent turns that happened under his rule. Pepi I. came to the throne still as a youth. As a Horus name he chose "He whom both Lands love", that indicates an effort of soothing the situation. So we can suppose that the riots stopped then.

Builder Pepi I.

As well as all significant Pharaohs of the Old Kingdom Pepi I. did large structural works in sanctuaries in Dendera, Abydos and Elephantine. He strengthened Egyptian control over the Sinai Peninsula and he brought his army all the way to south Syria. He continued with the minig in Sinai and he opened quarries in Nubia, where stone was mined for building of his pyramid in southern Saqqara. He also did structural works with the support of his loyal secretary Weni in Tell Basta (Lower Egypt).

Weni served the first three Pharaoh of the 6th dynasty. Curriculum Vitae of this man, whose existence was proved, is and example of Pharaoh's officer carreer. He left the state administration and joined the army, then he was nominated for a head of all royal structural works and by virtue of this position he managed the mining in royal quarries and excavation of a canal at the first cataract.

Pepi I. married two daughters of magnate Khui from Abydos. One of Khui's sons became a vizier of Pepi II. The first son of Pepi I. Merenre ruled only for a short period after his father. Then came Pepi II. to the throne at the age of 6. According to the royal chronologies, the new ruler ruled for more than ninety years, it would mean the longest rule in Egyptian history ever! But too long rule resulted in troubled First Intermediate period.

New cospiracy of the court

Pepi I.Pepi I. wasn't spared of intrigues in his surroundings. The proof of it is a text found in chantry chapel sacred to Weni in Abydos. As usual in Egypt Pepi as a loyal dignitary let inscribed his autobiography into its walls. It especially tells about a conspiracy in the palace that was plotted against the king in harem. The consequence of the conspiracy was banishing guilty wife and son, who was its cause:

"A secret trial took place with the queen Weret-yamtes in royal harem. (...) Nobody in my position has heard the secret of royal harem yet, but His Majesty wanted me to hear it, because in His Majesty's opinion I was more capable than all his judges, dignitaries and servants."

The conspiracy occured in the twenty-first year of Pepi I. rule. The Pharaoh subsequently married two daughters of the magnate Khui from Abydos briefly before. Both women get the name Ankhesenpepi at the wedding and both gave birth to several children of the Pharaoh. The first wife became mother of prince Merenre and princess Neith. Neith married her half-brother Pepi II., who was son of Pepi I and Ankhesenpepi II. The conspiracy might be related just with this wedding.

Userkare

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Userkare

Userkare was the second king of the Sixth Dynasty. He is generally seen as one of the leaders who opposed his predecessor, Teti's royal line and was most likely an usurper to the throne.

Userkare was certainly a rival to Teti for the throne. Since Manetho claims that Teti was killed by his bodyguards, theories of conspiracy have been put forward that Userkare was the leader of this conspiracy who then proceeded to seize the throne.

Teti's son, Pepi I, eventually managed to oust Userkare and succeed his murdered father. In the Turin King List, there is a lacuna between Teti and Pepi I Meryre, large enough to have fit an entry for Userkare. Userkare is apparently mentioned in several king-lists.

Userkare started work on some larger building projects, as shown by an inscription mentioning his workforce. However, no pyramid-complex has been identified for him presumably because of the brevity of his reign.

Teti

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Teti

The explanation of new dynasty beginning could probably be only the fact, that its founder Teti wasn't a son of Pharaoh Unas, but his son-in-law. The length of his reign is not known, but Manetho set it for 30 years in his lists.

We don’t know much about Teti’s reign and his actions. Teti provided privileges to the temple in Abydos (Abdju) and took part in expansion of goddess Hathor worshipping in Dendera.

Teti’s pyramidal complex in Saqqara

Teti let build his pyramidal complex in northern Saqqara, several hundred of meters from known step pyramid of the King Djoser. Teti’s pyramid was quite small, it measured about 43 meters with the base of size 64 x 64 meters. Only a mound of rocks and grit preserved from it till the present.

Teti’s pyramid was built from not thoroughly worked blocks of granite. The remains of its inner part are extensively damaged by both, the burglars and ravages of time. But a great part of the Pyramid Texts was preserved, by which the pyramid was decorated. Surprisingly the Teti’s sarcophagus was preserved as well.

Most of the Teti’s period dignitaries is buried around his pyramid. Some of the pyramids were destroyed intentionally still at the time of the ruler’s reign. This can be a sign of a fact, that Teti settled accounts hard with his opposition, because such a punishment meant no after death existence of the dissents.

Teti

Teti

Pharaohs 6th dynasty, 2423 - 2300 BC

Written by Felgr Pavel on .

Best known ruler of the 6th dynasty is Pepi I.. Built several temples, married the daughter of a high dignitary of Abydos and as a second wife chose her sister. With these two sisters had sons who took over the government.

Just like his forerunners he was interested in Nubia. Pepi I. undertook many forays into Asia. He ruled for nearly forty years. His son Merenre I. reigned only a few years. Continued the policy of Pepi I. Nubian and got deep in the first cataract, where he submitted Sudanese.

He was succeeded on the throne by his then six-year old half-brother Pepi II., who ruled whopping ninety-four years. Now the reign of the pharaoh, which was the longest in Egyptian history, held its first business trip to Byblos (Foinície) and the land of Punt. Title Nomarch, ie administrator nome, became hereditary.

During the reign of Pepi II. began the decline of the Old Kingdom. High age and inability to forcefully dominate a vast empire meant the end of unparalleled prosperity.

Pharaoh Reign Significant events
6th dynasty (2,423 - around 2,300 BC)
Teti 12 years collaps of the state
Userkare 1 year rising power of monarchs
Pepi I 49 years  
Merenre I 14 years incursions into Asia
Pepi II 94 years business with the Land of Punt
Merenre II 1 year Sargon I established the Akkadian Empire in Mesopotamia, that extended from Iran to Mediterranean
Nitocris 2 years  

Pharaohs 6th dynasty

Message from the Nile

  • History of Czech institution of egyptology

    The Czech egyptology founder is Frantisek Lexa, the author of up to now evaluated work about ancient Egypt magic and Demotic grammar. Seminar for egyptology started thanks to him in Faculty of Philosophy and Arts of Charles University in Prague in 1925. Two years later Lexa became the first regular professor of egyptology in then Czechoslovakia.

  • Abusir - outstation of Czech egyptology expedition

    Abusir is an archaeological locality in Egypt named after nearby recent village Abusir. It is situated on western Nile bank on the edge of Libyan tableland approximately 20 kilometers to the south-west of Cairo. The name of this locality is derived from ancient Egypt god Osiris, from Per Usir (Busiris), "(cult) place of Osiris" (Busiris in Greek).

  • Researches in Western desert

    Czech egyptology is successful in researching not only on pyramidal fields in Abusir recently, but also in supporting and organizing smaller expeditions into egyptian Western desert. Czech expedition has been working even in slowly evanescent oasis El-Hajez since 2003, which is situated about 400 km to the south-west from Cairo.

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