V, Dynasty, Neferefre, Menkauhor, Djedkare, Unas,








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Pharaoh, Userkaf, Sahure, Neferirkare, Shepseskare, Niuserre


Pharaoh Userkaf: Userkaf, traditionally the first ruler of the 5th Dynasty is, like most of the other kings of the dynasty, not well attested. We are even uncertain of his father, though he may have been a priest. His mother was probably Neferhetep, making him the grandson of Djedefre who succeeded Khufu.


We believe he was married to Khentkaues I, who is buried at Giza. This marriage may have legitimized his claim to the throne. We believe that Khentkaues I was probably Menkaure's daughter and perhaps a half sister of Shepseskaf. Oddly, nowhere in her tomb is Userkaf mentioned.


There was apparently another queen (possibly), who's pyramid lies close to the pyramid of Userkaf's at Saqqara. It should be noted that resources on Userkaf are rather confusing. Some allow Neferhetep to be his wife, rather then mother, while others even ascribe to Khentkaues I being his mother, rather then his wife. However, the majority seem to suggest the relationships as first set out above. Top left and right: Userkaf Fifth Dynasty 2,500 B.C.E. Userkaf did not build his pyramid at Giza but at Saqqara, as Shepseskaf, last king of the Fourth Dynasty had done. Bottom left and right: Group portrait of Sahura with the local god of Coptos Fifth Dynasty 2,490 B.C.E. Sahura's pyramid is in Abusil, and his sun temple has not yet been rediscovered.



Userkaf was the kings birth name, meaning "His Soul is Powerful. He was also known as Weserkaf and may possibly be known in some literature as Ouserkaf, or Oeserkaf. His Horus name was Iry-maat, meaning "He who puts Maat into Practice".


It is interesting to note that having chose this Horus name, he was burdening himself with the maintenance of the whole of creation. He may have come to the throne as an older man, for we are told his reign only lasted seven years, though as usual, the actual dates of his reign very from Egyptologist to Egyptologist. His seven year reign is attested to in the Turin King list and seems to be confirmed on the Palermo Stone.

5th Dynasty 2504 - 2347 B.C.E.

  • Userkaf 2504-2496 B.C.E.

  • Sahure 2496-2483 B.C.E.

  • Neferirkare 2483-2463 B.C.E.

  • Shepseskare 2463-2456 B.C.E.

  • Neferefre 2456-2445 B.C.E.

  • Niuserre 2445-2414 B.C.E.

  • Menkauhor 2414-2405 B.C.E.

  • Djedkare 2405-2367 B.C.E.

  • Unas 2367-2347 B.C.E.

Pharaoh Sahure: Sahure was the second ruler of ancient Egypt's 5th Dynasty. His birth name means "He who is Close to Re". His Horus name was Nebkhau, and we believed he ruled Egypt from around 2487 to 2475 B.C.E.


The Turin King List gives him a reign of twelve years. His pyramid complex was the first built at Abusir (though Userkaf had probably already built his solar temple there) and marks the decline of pyramid building, both in the size and quality, though many of the reliefs are very well done. It provides us most of the information we know of this king. We believer that he was the first of two sons of queen Khentkaues I to hold the throne, and that his father was probably Userkaf. It is probable that Khentkaues I was the character of Redjedet in the Papyrus Westcar, who according to the magician Djedi, was destined to give birth to the children of Ra and the first kings of the 5th Dynasty.




Below left: Seated statue of Queen Ankhnesmerire II with her son Pepi II Sixth Dynasty 2270 B.C.E. Queen Ankhnesmerire II, from a local princely family of Abydos, ruled for her son while he was under age. Middle: Neferefre Fifth Dynasty, 2,450 B.C.E. Because his reign was so short, Neferefre's pyramid never rose above the first courses of stones. His mortuary temple was completed in brick. Right: Left: Tedji Sixth Dynasty 2,347 B.C.E.


Pepy I

But if Khentkaues I was his mother, a scene in her tomb at Giza showing her with the royal uraeus and beard might indicate that she may have acted as a regent for Sahure. Most foreign relations during the reign of Sahure were economic, rather than combative. In one scene, we find great ships with Egyptians and Asiatics on board.


They are returning, we believe, from the port of Byblos in Lebanon with huge cedar trees. For this, we have collaborating evidence in the form of his name on a piece of thin, gold stamped to a chair, as well as other evidence of 5th Dynasty king's cartouches found in Lebanon on stone vessels. Other scenes in his temple depict what we are told are Syrian bears. We also have the first documented expedition to the land of Punt, which apparently yielded a quantity of myrrh, along with malachite and electrum, and because of this, Sahure is often credited with establishing an Egyptian navy. There is also scenes of a raid into Libya which yielded various livestock and showed the king smiting the local chieftains. The Palermo Stone also collaborates some of these events.

Pharaoh Neferefre: Neferefre was born as the son of the successor Neferirkare and his spouse queen Khentkaus II. Neferirkare's successor Niuserre was Neferefre's brother. It is unknown whether Neferefre had any children or wives.


VI, 6th, Dynasty, 2547 - 2216 B.C.E.


The tomb of Khentkaus III, discovered by archaeologists from the Czech Institute of Egyptology in January 2015, might be the tomb of his wife.


This queen was also king's mother, perhaps of Menkauhor, making Neferefre the father of that king.


A limestone relief from Abusir confirms that Neferefre's name as crown prince was Ranefer, until he changed it in the course of his accession.


The relationship with his relative Shepseskare, who reigned in a short period between Neferefre and Niuserre, is unknown.


The Egyptologist Silke Roth considers that Shepseskare may have been the brother of Neferefre.


Miroslav Verner, however, believes that Shepseskare was rather the son of Sahure and, therefore, the uncle of Neferefre.




6th Dynasty 2347 - 2216 B.C.E.




Pepy I