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Titulary what's this?
Horus Name Semerkhet, "Thoughtful Friend", or "Companion of the Gods"
Nebty Name "The one who guards"
Manetho Semempses, Mempses
King Lists Semsem, Hu
Alternate Names Semerchet, Horus-Semerkhet
Dates what's this?
manetho 18 years
turin canon 72 years
palermo stone 9 years
piccione 2897 -- 2889 BCE
  2905-2890 BCE
krauss 2890/2870 BCE
von beckerath 2861-2853 BCE
malek 2826-2818 BCE
Predecessor Anedjib. May have usurped the throne and destroyed the name of Anedjib.
Successor Qa'a (possibly his son)
Associated People
Father Anedjib
Mother Queen Betrest
Son Qa'a
Prime Minister Henuka
Burial Place
Tomb U in Abydos, a single chamber brick-lined tomb with 68 subsidiary burials. 19.5 x 10.7 x 3.5 m.

Most egyptologists believe that Semerkhet ruled only for eight and a half years, since they have discovered very little about him except a large stela with his name carved on it., and the documentation of his entire reign on the Cairo stone showing each festival and ceremony.

There is some evidence that Semerkhet may have usurped the throne (although if it was his father, Anedjib, I'm not sure how that works) since he reused many of the same inscriptions and simply erased the previous name and entered his own. However, he was listed in the king lists, so there is some legitimacy for his reign.

His tomb shows more changes from his predecessors, too -- the retainers toms are attached directly to the main burial chamber, which some have interpreted to mean that the subsidiary burials were made at the same time as the king was buried, implying sacrifices. The whole complex was built as a single structure. With the earlier burials, the subsidiary graves were laid out in ranks around the kings tomb, and it was assumed that they were buried afterwards.

Notably, Semerkhet is the first king without a corresponding mastaba-tomb in Saqqara from his reign (or at least, they haven't been found yet). Most likely, his ministers and officials outlived him and went on to serve later kings.





Tomb U, Abydos