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Titulary what's this?
Horus Name "The Two Powers are Satisfied"
Nebty Name "The Two Ladies are Satisfied"
Golden Horus Name unknown
Praenomen Hetepsekhemwy "The Two Might Ones are at Rest"
Nomen Bedjatau
Manetho Boethos, Bochos, Bochus
King Lists Bedjataw, Bedjaw, Baw-netjer, Neter-Bau
Alternate Names Hetesekhemwi, Hetepsekhemoui, Hotepsekhemoui, Hetepsechemwi
Dates what's this?
manetho 38 years, although modern sources say 15-25
turin canon 95 years
palermo stone no time
piccione 2857 -- ? BCE
egyptSite 2845 -- 2825 BCE
  2860-2837 BCE
krauss 2850-? BCE
von beckerath 2828-2800 BCE
malek 2973-2765 BCE
redford 2850-2820 BCE
Predecessor Father Qa'a
Successor Reneb (son or brother)
Associated People
Father Qa'a
Brother or son Reneb
Burial Place
Saqqara, in Gallery-B tomb, beneath a ramp leading to the funerary chamber of Unas.

There is no reason given by Manetho (who designed the dynasty system we follow today) for the change from Dynasty I to Dynasty II, although it may be because of the shift in royal power back to Memphis. It is unknown how he came to power, and it is possible that he married into the royal family and assumed the throne. Thus, he may be a son-in-law to Qa'a, not a natural son.


His name means "The two Mighty Ones are at Ease" and is though to refer to the ongoing rivalry between the followers of Seth and the followers of Horus that had divided Egypt politically and socially for years. It is supposed that the struggle was over, or at least better than in previous reigns. Of course, there were other problems: an earthquake occurred near Bubastis in the delta, and his brother may have started a military coup to overthrow him.

Hetepsekhemwy broke with the traditions of the earlier kings by moving his burial place to Saqqara and abandoning the necropolis at Abydos. Saqqara is the vast necropolis of Memphis, the capitol city. It was probably a political move. He also built a new kind of tomb, an underground complex of galleries cut into the bedrock with more than 20 chambers-- a totally new form of building. The tomb was found by accident in 1902 and is a bit south of the complex of Djoser. The tomb was mostly empty, but the name of the king was found in several places. There is no existing superstructure above ground and it is unknown if there was ever any building above the tomb. Part of the funerary complex of Unas in the fifth dynasty was built over the existing subterranean tombs.

Part of the galleries are under the Pyramid of Unas (leading us to believe that the builders of the 5th Dynasty pyramid did not know it was here) and is labeled with the seals of both Hetepsekhemwy and his successor, Reneb. The tomb was either built for Hetepsekhemwy and the seal of Reneb was left when the funerary offerings were sealed in, or the tomb was built for Hetepsekhemwy and usurped by Reneb.

This is the oldest second dynasty tomb that has been found, and it is assumed that it was for a royal person simply because of it's size. Even the largest of the non-royal tombs that were built later are smaller than this. The entrance to the tomb is from the north -- a feature that would be common in Old Kingdom royal tombs -- and the entrance is a long trench roofed in slabs of stone. Long corridors on the east and west are accessed by doorways. The burial chamber, some 110 meters in, was found empty.

The tomb was measured and then closed up and remains closed.




Reneb (Nebre)
Hudjefa I


Gallery B tomb, Saqqara