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Sekhemkare Amenemhat Senebef

Sekhemkare Amenemhat Senebef (also Sonbef, Amenemhat Senbef; Senebef) was an Egyptian pharaoh of the early 13th Dynasty, often considered as the final part of the late Middle Kingdom or early Second Intermediate Period.


Sonbef is attested on column 7, line 6 of the Turin canon, where he appears as "Sekhemkare [Amenemhat Sonbe]f".[3]

Although, as a king of the early 13th Dynasty, Sonbef certainly reigned from Itjtawy in the Faiyum, the only contemporary attestations of him are from south of Thebes.[5] These include a scarab seal of unknown provenance, a cylinder seal from the Amherst collection and now in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.[1]

Upper Egypt

At El-Tod, two inscribed blocks has the prenomen "Sekhemkare".


Two Nile records are also attributable to him, one from Askut and dated to his year 3, and the other from Semna in Nubia, dated to his year 4.[3] A further, much damaged record from Semna and dated to a year 5 may also belong to him.[5] The ownership of these Nile records is still in doubt however, as they only bear the prenomen Sekhemkare, which Amenemhat V also bore. The Egyptologist and archaeologist Stuart Tyson Smith, who studied the records initially attributed them to Sonbef,[6] but later changed his opinion and attributed them to Amenemhat V.[7]


According to Egyptologists Kim Ryholt, Jürgen von Beckerath and Darrell Baker, he was the second king of the dynasty, reigning from 1800 BC until 1796 BC.[3][5][8][9]

Egyptologists debate whether Sekhemkare Sonbef is the same king as Sekhemkare Amenemhat V. Indeed, Sonbef called himself "Amenemhat Sonbef"; this can be a double name, but can also be a filiation Son of Amenemhat, Sonbef.

Both Ryholt and Baker consider Sonbef a son of Amenemhat IV and a brother of Sekhemre Khutawy Sobekhotep.[3][5] Thus, they see Sonbef and Amenemhat V as two different rulers, an opinion also shared by Jürgen von Beckerath.[3][5][8][9] Ryholt and Baker further posit that Sonbef's and Amenemhat's rules were separated by the ephemeral reign of Nerikare, while von Beckerath believes it was Sekhemre Khutawy Pantjeny who reigned between the two.[8][9] At the opposite Detlef Franke and Stephen Quirke believe that Amenemhat V and Sonbef are one and the same person.[10][11] Franke and others regard "Amenemhat Sonbef" as a double name. Indeed, double naming was common in Egypt and especially in the late 12th and 13th Dynasty.[12]


  1. ^ a b c Cylinder seal of Amenemhat Senbef at the MET Museum.
  2. ^ Flinders Petrie: Scarabs and cylinders with names (1917), available copyright-free here, pl. XVIII
  3. ^ 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
  4. ^ Alan H. Gardiner: The royal canon of Turin. Griffith Institute, Oxford 1997, ISBN 0900416483, Vol 3.
  5. ^ a b c d e f Baker, Darrell D. (2008). The Encyclopedia of the Pharaohs: Volume I - Predynastic to the Twentieth Dynasty 3300–1069 BC. Stacey International. pp. 457–458. ISBN 978-1-905299-37-9.
  6. ^ S. Smith: Askut and the Role of the Second Cataract Forts, in JARCE, vol XXVII
  7. ^ S. Smith: Askut in Nubia: The Economic and Ideology of Egyptian Imperialism in the Second Millennium B.C., Kegan Paul International, London and New York
  8. ^ a b c Jürgen von Beckerath: Untersuchungen zur politischen Geschichte der Zweiten Zwischenzeit in Ägypten, Glückstadt, 1964
  9. ^ a b c Jürgen von Beckerath: Chronologie des pharaonischen Ägyptens, Münchner Ägyptologische Studien 46. Mainz am Rhein, 1997
  10. ^ Detlef Franke: Zur Chronologie des Mittleren Reiches (12.-18. Dynastie) Teil 1 : Die 12. Dynastie, in Orientalia 57 (1988)
  11. ^ New arrangement of the 13th dynasty, on digital Egypt.
  12. ^ 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
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Sekhemkare Amenemhat Senebef
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