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Titulary what's this?
Horus Name Hr Dr, Djer , "Horus who Succours"
Praenomen Djer
Nomen Itit
Manetho Kenkenes, Cencenes
King Lists Iti, Ateth, not listed in Turin
Alternate Names Horus Djer, Athothis II
Dates what's this?
manetho africanus ruled 31 years
manetho eusebius rules 39 years
Clayton 3016--2970 BCE
piccione 3016-2970 BCE
grimal 3100-3055 BCE
krauss 2980/2960 BCE
von Beckerath 2974-2927 BCE
malek 2939-2893 BCE
Predecessor father Horus Aha, Menes
Successor son Djet (Uadj) or daughter/consort Merneith
Associated People
Father Horus Aha/Menes
Mother Hent
Wife/Daughter Merneith
Son Djet, out of Merneith
Burial Place

Large tomb in Abydos (Tomb O), Umm el Ga'ab. The tomb was originally believed to hold the remains of Osiris and was the focus of pilgrimages. The tomb was excavated by Emile Amelineau in 1895 -- he was a very poor archeologist and cleared out the tomb between January 1 and January 12, keeping only the complete objects and discarding entire hoards of artifacts that he felt had "no value".  He found a small statue and a skull in one chamber of the tomb and quite arbitrarily decided that he had found the tomb of Osiris himself -- even though the skull was later identified as a woman, his view never changed.

The tombs were completely re-excavated by Petrie in 1900 and found many things that Amelineau had overlooked or discarded. The volumes he produced to document the excavation became the model for future archeological work.

There are some 300 subsidiary burials nearby. These burials of human servants and retainers would later be replaced by shabti burials.

According to Manetho, Djer ruled for 57 years from Memphis, the city that his father founded. There are inscriptions of his name as far south as the first Cataract of the Nile, which shows that he ruled most of the known lands at the time. Egypt was prosperous and the arts flourished. Djer himself was renowned as a physician and many of his writings about disease were still in use three millennia later.

Militarily, he ran successful campaigns in the Sinai and expanded Egyptian influence. 

His tomb is fundamentally the same as his predecessors, except for the huge number of subsidiary burials (nearly 300, the most of any pharaoh) and the creation of a large funeral enclosure around his tomb, which is the earliest precursor to the enormous mortuary temples and cult temples that were built in later dynasties.  (A nearby walled area may have belonged to his father, but it is not clear). Inscriptions throughout the subsidiary burials and the crumbled temple list titles and names of his court and have given egyptologists insight into the organization of the royal court and the distribution of power.

Few artifacts exist to attest to Djer's rule: a small wooden label that appears to show a human sacrifice (including a red-painted bowl to catch the blood of the victim) and a headless statue found near Elephantine Island may be attributed to him. His name -- or at least what everyone thinks is his name, "dr" (remember, vowels are not written in hieroglyphics) -- has also been found in Tura, Saqqara, and Helwan near Memphis. His name has never been found outside of Egypt.

This isn't that alarming, though. Remember that we're talking fragments of pottery, papyrus, wood, and bone that are five or six thousand years old. There simply isn't much that survived that long. The things most likely to identify us today -- film, papers, photos, etc,-- would not survive either.  Trying to reconstruct the rule of a king based only on the contents of his tomb and fragments of his name must be frustrating -- and fraught with error. A discovery could be made tomorrow that throws everything into chaos.






Tomb O, Abydos

relevant links

ivory and wooden labels
Tomb O