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Titulary what's this?
Horus Name Unknown
Nebty Name unknown
Golden Horus Name unknown
Praenomen unknown
Nomen Hu, Huni "The Smiter"
Manetho Kerpheris, Aches
King Lists Huni
Alternate Names Houni, Hoeni
Dates what's this?
manetho reigned 26 years
turin kinglist reigned 24 years
swelim reigned 24 years
piccione 2654--2630 BCE
egyptsite 2599--2575 BCE
malek 2597-2573 BCE
redford 2673-2649 BCE
allen 2599-2575 BCE
shaw & nicholson 2637-2613 BCE
Predecessor Khaba
Successor Son Sneferu, out of Meresankh I
Associated People
Wife Queen Meresankh I
Son Sneferu
Vizier Kagemi
Burial Place
unknown, possibly Maidum
Pyramid at Maidum (finished by Sneferu)
Elephantine Island Fort

Huni's titles are mostly unknown, and he is attested to by the king lists of Saqqara and of Turin, but he is not listed in the Abydos list. An inscription with his name is found in Aswan, and another form of eh name recognized as his is found on the Palermo stone. There is a tentative link between a king with the Horus name Qa-Hedjet, but it is not supported by the archeological record. But, not a single image of the king has been found -- no statues, no inscriptions, no drawings

Huni is responsible for several small pyramids that are scattered throughout Egypt mostly small step pyramids in remote areas These pyramids have no known purpose, but may be markers for royal estates or boundaries. At least one of the pyramids -- the Seila Step Pyramid, which we visited -- is attributed to his son, Sneferu.

The collapsed pyramid of Maidum is often attributed to Huni -- with the assumption that his son, Sneferu, finished it before beginning his own monumental building projects, but there is little evidence of this. It may be wishful thinking on the part of Egyptologists to attribute a monument to this king, when those before him had the step pyramids and his son has three possible pyramids in Dashur and Maidum. His name does not appear anywhere on the monument.

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The Pyramid at Maidum is a big step forward for pyramid builders -- it is the first to be planned from the beginning with smooth sides, even though it was built as a series of vertical layers leaning against a core, like the layers of an onion, instead of flat layer built up row by row. Some of the original casing still remains, although the bottom of the pyramid is buried in rubble and sand.

The debris around the pyramid certainly looks as if it is the outer layer of the pyramid that collapsed down around the core -- but, frankly, there is simply too much of it to be all rubble from the collapse. Tradition says that the pyramid collapsed either during it's construction, or shortly afterwards. A better guess is that the rubble is part of the ramp used to either put the smooth limestone casing in place, or to remove it in later years. 

Because of the way it was built -- each layer apparently finished and smoothed before the next was leaned against it -- it was hard to remove the limestone casing and thus much of it remains.

Regardless of whether Huni finished the pyramid or not, it is notable for it's location. Huni and his son Sneferu broke with tradition and moved their monuments far to the south of Saqqara proper (about 90 km) Of course, there is no sign of Huni being buried here, as the burial chamber was empty and no traces remain of a burial in it.

Another pyramid that may be attributed to him is the small brick pyramid in Abu Rowash, north of Giza. It is just south of the pyramid of Djedefre and appears to be dated to the mid-third Dynasty. The mud brick used for the construction would be unique for the third Dynasty, however.

A number of other structures have been attributed to Huni, as well. Seven small step pyramids dating from this period are scattered around Egypt. They are small -- two or three steps -- and contain no internal chambers, so they are not tombs. They may be false tombs (cenotaphs) for queens, or they may be shrines, or they may be simply markers. They are mostly on the west bank of the Nile.

See the Seila Step Pyramid for more information about these seven pyramids.






Seila Step Pyramid
Maidum Pyramid
Step Pyramids:
Lepsius Pyramid I
Zawijet el-Meititin