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It is with Peribsen, or Seth-Peribsen, that the kingship seems to have resolved down to one person again. He succeeded Ninetjer, but also seems to have succeeded Sened, Neferkare, and Neferkaseker who may have ruled in the north during the same time as Ninetjer. Note that other chronologies have these three kings as successors to Peribsen.
Chances are, he was not the legitimate heir of Ninetjer, and may in fact have been an outsider who staged a coup to overthrow the sitting king. He is most noted for breaking with the royal tradition of associating himself with the god Horus and instead put Seth, the jackal, on top of his serekh. There had been political and religious conflict between the follows of these two gods for many years, and Peribsen made an obvious political statement about it by changing his name.
The king Sekhemib-Merenmaat, or Sekhemib, may have been a separate king, but most likely is the name of Peribsen before he changed his name. Labels with the name Sekhemib have been found inside and outside the tomb of Peribsen in Saqqara. His name was also found in a tomb in Saqqara from a few hundred years later, from a retainer charged with venerating the king Sened and Peribsen.
There is a lot of opposition to the idea that Sekhemib and Peribsen are the same king, mostly based on the idea that dropping the Horus name was such a huge deal. Grimal and Helck are among those who believe that Sekhemib was the successor of Seth-Peribsen, and ruled from roughly 2743-2732 BCE.
When he became king, it may have been after a civil war between Upper and Lower egypt, and it is very likely that his opponent was Sened and his successors, with each of them ruling a part of the country. When Peribsen won, he took over the whole country as the single ruler, which is shown on an inscription from his tomb in Abydos that shows him victorious and receiving tribute from the North.
Peribsen is the first king to write his name in a cartouche, which was found on a cylinder seal in Saqqara.