The uncovering of a shadow dynasty?

A 3600 year old “mummy” (or skeleton as a more accurate description) has been discovered at a site in Abydos, an ancient Egyptian cemetery.

The ancient human remains are believed to have belonged to a somewhat obscure Pharaoh named Woseribre Senebkay. Little is known about him or his dynasty, and the remains of his tomb as well as a cartouche which identifies him are really the only things which attest for his existence.

The site at Abydos is being hailed as the new Valley of the Kings, with the potential to find up to 20 more Kings from the time of Senebkay. The tombs are modest and despite the site being known to Flinders Petrie, the father of Egyptology, the site had not been excavated until recently.

So, who is Senebkay?

Pharaoh Senebkay hieroglyphicsCartouche of Senebkay (

Senebkay is thought to have lived and ruled a central area of Egypt during the 2nd Intermediate period, and his dynasty would be the third ruling faction in Egypt at that time, meaning the country and the political stability was even more fractious than was previously thought. Senebkay’s dynasty would be contemporary to the sixteenth and seventeenth dynasties, the two previously known.

The existence of the so-called Abydos Dynasty was first proposed by Detlef Franke and later further developed by Egyptologist Kim Ryholt in 1997, however, there was previously not enough evidence to sustain this theory.

I know I certainly await more news on the developments unfolding in Abydos. It is exciting to think that even now after many great discoveries, Egypt still has more to give!

All the best,

Ankh Nfr

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