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Sekhemre Khutawy Sobekhotep

Sekhemre Khutawy Amenemhat Sobekhotep was an Egyptian pharaoh of the early 13th Dynasty.

His chronological position is much debated. In literature, Sekhemre Khutawy Sobekhotep is known as Sobekhotep II and Amenemhat Sobekhotep. Kim Ryholt (1997) makes a strong case for Sekhemre Khutawy Sobekhotep as the founder of the dynasty, a hypothesis that is now dominant in Egyptology.[1][3] If so, he may be the first ruler with this name, making him Sobekhotep I. His double name may also be a filiation, Sobekhotep, son of Amenemhat.


Sekhemre Khutawy Amenemhat Sobekhotep is attested by contemporary sources dating to the early 13th Dynasty.[4][5]

In Year 1, he is attested on a papyrus at Lahun in the middle part of Egypt. Later, he is mainly attested by architectural elements in the 4th Nome of Thebes. His highest attested date is Year 4 according to Nile Level Records in Nubia.

Kahun Papyrus IV, Petrie Museum UC 32166

He is mentioned on the Kahun Papyrus IV.[6][7] Written in hieratic text, it contains "a census of the household of a lector-priest that is dated to the first regnal year" of the king.[8] The household includes a son of the lector-priest, and the papyrus records the birth of this son during a 40th regnal year of an unnamed king, "which can only refer to Amenemhat III."[9] This establishes that Sekhemre Khutawy Sobekhotep reigned close in time to Amenemhat III, with the son still part of the household of the lector-priest.


A number of architectural elements bearing Sobekhotep's titulary are known: a fragment of a Hebsed chapel from Medamud, three lintels from Deir el-Bahri and Medamud, an architrave from Luxor and a doorjamb from Medamud that is now in the Louvre.

Medamud, Temple of Montu

Deir el-Bahri, Temple of Mentuhotep II

Titulary of Sekhemrekhutawy Sobekhotep on a relief from the mortuary temple of Mentuhotep II, Deir el-Bahri.[10]

At Deir el-Bahri, Sekhemre Khutawy Sobekhotep added a relief to the Mortuarty Temple of Mentuhotep II.

Nile Level Records

Three Nile level records from Semna and Kumna in Nubia are also attributable to Sekhemre Khutawy Sobekhotep, the latest of which is dated to year 4, showing that he reigned for at least three complete years.[1][11]

At Semna, a nile level record was made in Year 2 and Year 3[12].[13] At Kumma, a nile level record was made in Year 4.[14]

Small finds

Smaller artifacts mentioning Sekhemre Khutawy Sobekhotep comprise a cylinder seal[15] from Gebelein, an adze-blade,[16] a statuette from Kerma and a faience bead, now in the Petrie Museum (UC 13202).[1][4][17]

Alleged tomb

His tomb was believed to have been discovered in Abydos in 2013, but its attribution is now questioned.[18] During a 2013 excavation in Abydos, a team of archaeologists led by Josef W. Wegner of the University of Pennsylvania discovered the tomb of a king with the name Sobekhotep. While Sobekhotep I was named as owner of the tomb on several press reports since January 2014,[19][20][21][22][23] further investigations made it more likely that the tomb belongs to king Sobekhotep IV instead.[18]

Chronological position

Drawing of a seal reading "The son of Ra, Sobekhotep Amenemhat, beloved of Sobek-Ra, Lord of Iu-miteru".[24]

There is some dispute in Egyptology over the position of this king in the 13th Dynasty. The throne name Sekhemre Khutawyre appears in the Turin King List as the 19th king of the 13th Dynasty. However, the Nile level records and his appearance on a papyrus found at Lahun indicate that he might date to the early 13th Dynasty. In both monument types only kings of the late 12th and early 13th Dynasty are mentioned.

In the Turin King List, Khutawyre appears as the first 13th Dynasty king. Egyptologist Kim Ryholt maintains that it is possible that the writer of the list confused Sekhemre Khutawy with Khutawyre, the nomen of Wegaf.[1]

The identification of any mention of Sekhemre Khutawy is difficult, as at least three kings are known to have had this name: Sekhemre Khutawy Sobekhotep, Sekhemre Khutawy Pantjeny and Sekhemre Khutawy Khabaw.

His double name Amenemhat Sobekhotep may be a filiation meaning "Sobekhotep, son of Amenemhat". It has been suggested that Sobekhotep was a son of the penultimate pharaoh of the 12th Dynasty, king Amenemhat IV. Therefore, Sobekhotep may have been a brother of Sekhemkare Sonbef, the second ruler of the 13th Dynasty.[25] Other Egyptologists read Amenemhat Sobekhotep as a double name, these being common in the Twelfth and Thirteenth Dynasty.[26]


  1. ^ a b c d e f K. S. B. Ryholt, The Political Situation in Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period, c.1800–1550 BC, Carsten Niebuhr Institute Publications, vol. 20. Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press, 1997.
  2. ^ Thomas Schneider after Detlef Franke: Lexikon der Pharaonen, p. 255
  3. ^ 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. 443
  4. ^ a b "Sekhemre Khutawy Sobekhotep, the Petrie Museum". Retrieved 10 January 2014.
  5. ^ Ryholt 1997:315
  6. ^ London, Petrie Museum UC32166
  7. ^ Kahun papyrus IV, Petrie Museum
  8. ^ "UC 32166 | Persons and Names of the Middle Kingdom".
  9. ^ Ryholt 1997:315
  10. ^ Édouard Naville: The XIth dynasty temple at Deir el-Bahari, PART II, (1907)available copyright-free online
  11. ^ Nicolás Grimal: A History of Ancient Egypt, Wiley-Blackwell, 1994, pp 183–184
  12. ^ Sudan National Museum 34370
  13. ^ Elsa Yvanez (2010) Rock Inscriptions from Semna and Kumma
  14. ^ Elsa Yvanez (2010) Rock Inscriptions from Semna and Kumma
  15. ^ New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art MMA 30.8.319
  16. ^ Egyptian Museum at Cairo, JE 67944; forgery? Ali Hassan Eid (2022) The Journey from Authenticity to Forgery: A Case-study on an Adze-blade (Egyptian Museum Cairo JE 67944) of the Thirteenth Dynasty
  17. ^ Faience bead of Sekhemre Khutawy, Petrie Museum
  18. ^ a b Josef W. Wegner: A Royal Necropolis at Abydos, in: Near Eastern Archaeology, 78 (2), 2015, p. 70
  19. ^ "Giant Sarcophagus Leads Penn Museum Team in Egypt To the Tomb of a Previously Unknown Pharaoh". Penn Museum. Retrieved 17 January 2014.
  20. ^ "King Sobekhotep I Tomb discovered in Sohag". State Information Services. 7 January 2014. Retrieved 8 January 2014.
  21. ^ Stephen Adkins (7 January 2014). "Pennsylvania Researchers Discover Tomb of Egypt's First King of 13th Dynasty". University Herald. Retrieved 8 January 2014.
  22. ^ "US diggers identify tomb of Pharoah [sic] Sobekhotep I". Times Live. South Africa. 6 January 2014. Retrieved 8 January 2014.
  23. ^ Stark, Florian (7 January 2014). "Pharaonengrab aus apokalyptischen Zeiten entdeckt". Die Welt (in German). Retrieved 8 January 2014.
  24. ^ Percy Newberry (1908): Scarabs an introduction to the study of Egyptian seals and signet rings, available online copyright free see plate XLIII num 3
  25. ^ Dodson, Aidan and Hilton, Dyan. The Complete Royal Families of Ancient Egypt. Thames & Hudson, 2004. ISBN 0-500-05128-3
  26. ^ Stephen Quirke: In the Name of the King: on Late Middle Kingdom Cylinders, in: Timelines, Studies in Honour of Manfred Bietak, Leuven, Paris, Dudley, MA. ISBN 90-429-1730-X, 263-64

Further reading

  • K. S. B. Ryholt, The Political Situation in Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period, c.1800–1550 BC, (Carsten Niebuhr Institute Publications, vol. 20. Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press, 1997), 336, File 13/1.
Preceded byuncertain Sobekneferu or Sedjefakare Pharaoh of Egypt Thirteenth Dynasty Succeeded byuncertain Sonbef or Khendjer
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Sekhemre Khutawy Sobekhotep
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