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Neferkauhor Khuwihapi was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh of the 7th/8th Dynasty during the early First Intermediate Period (2181–2055 BC), at a time when Egypt was possibly divided between several polities. Neferkauhor was the sixteenth and penultimate[3] king of the combined 7th/8th Dynasty and as such would have ruled over the Memphite region.[4][5] Neferkauhor reigned for little over 2 years[6] and is one of the best attested king of this period with eight of his decrees surviving in fragmentary condition to this day.[7]

Attestations on king lists

Neferkauhor is listed on the entry 55 of the Abydos King List, a king list redacted during the reign of Seti I, some 900 years after Neferkauhor's lifetime.[5] Neferkauhor is believed to have been listed on the Turin canon as well even though his name is lost in a lacuna affecting the 5 column, row 12 of the document (following Kim Ryholt's reconstruction).[5][6] The duration of his reign is however preserved and given as "2 years, 1 month and 1 day".[6]

The decrees of Neferkauhor

A total of eight[5] different decrees found in the temple of Min at Coptos are attributed to Neferkauhor and survive to this day in fragmentary condition.[8] Four of these decrees, inscribed on limestone slabs, were given in 1914 by the philanthropist Edward Harkness to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, where there are now on display in the Gallery 103.[9]

Seven out of the eight decrees were issued on a single day[5] of the first year of reign of Neferkauhor, perhaps on the day of his accession to the throne.[7] Interestingly, the year in question is given the name of "Year of Uniting the Two Lands". In the first decree Neferkauhor bestows titles to his eldest daughter Nebyet, wife of a vizier named Shemay. He attributes her a bodyguard, the commandant of soldiers Khrod-ny (also read Kha’redni[10]), and orders the construction of a sacred barque for the a god called "Two-Powers", perhaps the syncretized god Horus-Min.[7][10]

The second and best preserved of the decrees concerns the appointment of Shemay's son, Idy, to the post of governor of Upper Egypt, ruling over the seven southernmost nomes from Elephantine to Diospolis Parva:[1][7]

The third and fourth decrees are partially preserved on a single fragment. They record Neferkauhor giving Idy's brother a post in the temple of Min and possibly also informing Idy about it.[7] This last decree records why the decrees were found in the temple of Min:[1][7]

The remaining decrees concern the appointment of mortuary priests to the chapels of Nebyet and Shemay as well ordering inventories at the temple of Min.[5]

Beyond its decrees Neferkauhor is also attested by a single inscription on a wall of Shemay's tomb and dated to its first year of reign, Month 4 of Shemu, Day 2.[11]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Kurt Sethe: Urkunden des Alten Reichs (= Urkunden des ägyptischen Altertums. Abteilung 1). 1. Band, 4. Heft. 2., augmented edition, Hinrichs'sche Buchhandlung, Leipzig 1933, see p. 297-299, available online.
  2. Translation after Thomas Schneider: Lexikon der Pharaonen, Albatros, Düsseldorf 2002, ISBN 3-491-96053-3, p. 175.
  3. Jürgen von Beckerath: The Date of the End of the Old Kingdom, JNES 21 (1962), p.143
  4. Jürgen von Beckerath: Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen, Münchner ägyptologische Studien, Heft 49, Mainz : P. von Zabern, 1999, ISBN 3-8053-2591-6, available online see p. 68
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 5.5 Darrell D. Baker: The Encyclopedia of the Pharaohs: Volume I - Predynastic to the Twentieth Dynasty 3300–1069 BC, Stacey International, ISBN 978-1-905299-37-9, 2008, p. 271-272
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Kim Ryholt: "The Late Old Kingdom in the Turin King-list and the Identity of Nitocris", Zeitschrift für ägyptische, 127, 2000, p. 99
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 7.3 7.4 7.5 William C. Hayes: The Scepter of Egypt: A Background for the Study of the Egyptian Antiquities in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Vol. 1, From the Earliest Times to the End of the Middle Kingdom , MetPublications, 1978, pp.136-138, available online
  8. William C. Hayes: Royal Decrees from the Temple of Min at Coptos, JEA 32(1946), pp. 3–23.
  9. The fragments of the decrees on the catalog of the MET: fragment 1, 2 and 3.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Margaret Bunson: Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt, Infobase Publishing, 2009, ISBN 978-1438109978, available online, see p. 268 and p. 284 for Kha’redni.
  11. Nigel C. Strudwick, :Texts from the Pyramd Age, Writings from the Ancient World, Ronald J. Leprohon (ed.), Society of Biblical Literature 2005, ISBN 978-1589831384, available online, see pp.345-347; Maha Farid Mostafa: The Mastaba of SmAj at Naga' Kom el-Koffar, Qift, Vol. I, Cairo 2014, ISBN 978-977642004-5, p. 88
Preceded by
Neferkaure II
Pharaoh of Egypt
7th/8th Dynasty
Succeeded by