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Theban. Before 2000 B.C.
NEAR the middle of the obscure period now known as the XIIIth dynasty, the monuments commemorate the names of two women belonging to the family of Sebek-hetep II., twentieth king of his line. AUHET-ABU was his mother. She was not a king's wife, as her husband was “the divine father (or priest) Mentu-hetep." She is therefore called only “The Royal Mother” of Sebek-hetep.
NENNA, or ANNA,' was Sebek-hetep's queen, and appears as “Great Royal Wife joined to the Beautiful White Crown," and mother of two daughters called Auget-tatta and Auhet-abu. A stela in the Louvre, a tablet at Vienna, and some scarabs, are the sources from which the existence of these princesses of Sebek-hetep's family is established.
KEMA and SENB-Sen are recorded only as “The Royal Mother and Royal Wife,” respectively, of a King Neferhetep, whose father is named as "the divine father Haankh-f."5 One of the Sebek-heteps had also a Royal Mother Kema, and it is therefore supposed that these two kings were brothers, joint heirs of the Queen Kema, and that they perhaps reigned as co-regents. Such records as
· BUDGE, H.E., vol. iii, 95. 2 PRISSE, Monuments, viii.
exist regarding this family are found at Karnak, and on the water-worn rocks of the first cataract at Aswan and Sehel. The queen of Sebek-hetep III. appears as 2A-N on the fragment of an ebony box now in the Cairo Museum,' and on a piece of a blue-glazed vase in the Ashmolean Museum at Oxford. The inscription on this vase records a princess, “Nebt-ant-born of the Royal Wife Za-n, possessing the quality of worth.”
HA-ANKH-S is the name of a queen of whom no contemporary record is known. She is mentioned in an inscription of her great granddaughter Per-nub, whose father was son of “the royal courtier Amena, son of Queen Ha-ankh-s." This stela, found at Koptos, apparently dates from the reign of Sebek-hetep IV., and as it puts the queen back two or three generations earlier, she may have had some connection with that royal house to which Queen Kema also belonged.
NUB-EM-HAT is mentioned in the same inscription as the Great Royal Wife, probably the queen of Sebek-hetep IV. Her titles imply full royal inheritance, but nothing further is known of her beyond the fact that she was the mother of "The King's Daughter Sebek-em-heb,” also recorded in Per-nub's stela.
“ The Great Heiress; The Greatly
“ Crown." The princess who bore these titles was the queen of Sebek-em-sauf, a king dating from the end of the XIIIth dynasty. A stela in the Louvre gives her name and titles, besides an interesting genealogy of the family connection of the king and queen. 'Duat-nefert T Sebekdudu =(three other wives and had
2 Ibid., 1905.
· NEWBERRY, P.S.B.A., 1903. • P.'s H.E., vol. I, 218.
(King) Sebek-em-sauf F Nubkhaes (Queen)
(and six other
Duatnefert. From this table it appears that Nub-kha-es had eleven brothers and sisters ; that she married one of her brothers, and was herself the mother of three children. The Queen's father, Sebekdudu, was the chief of the judges ; and the first of his four wives Duat-nefert, who was her mother, probably inherited royal rights and transmitted them to her daughter. The titles of Nub-kha-es show her to have been one of the great heiress princesses of whom mention is so often found in Egypt.
She was buried with great splendour of sepulchral honours, by the side of her husband in a royal tomb at Thebes. It was situated in the Valley of the Tombs of the Kings, and is spoken of as a pyramid tomb. The burial place was securely sealed, and the entrance carefully hidden, that the royal occupants might sleep undisturbed for all time. After some generations had passed away, and in the XXth dynasty, thieves hunted out the secret burial place ; tunnelled a way through the protecting rock; stole all the gold and treasure ; tore open the mummies, and, having bereft them of their jewels, wantonly set fire to their bodies, which were entirely destroyed.
News of this, and of many other tomb robberies which had been going on for years, was brought to the knowledge of Ramses IX., who ordered an investigation to be made, in order to determine the damage that had been wrought upon the royal dead. This enquiry was carried out by a
" P., R., ii, 5.
special commission which examined the Pharaohs' tombs, and made an official report of all that had been brought to light, detailing the exact condition in which each tomb had been found. By a rare good fortune, these official reports still exist in two of the most interesting documents of antiquity, the Abbot' and Amherst Papyri. The first of these recounts the robbery of the tomb of King Sebek-emsauf and Queen Nub-kha-es. The Abbot Papyrus says: " It was found that the thieves had violated the tomb by
undermining the chamber of the ground-level of the Pyramid, from the great exterior chamber of the
sepulchre of the overseer of the granaries, Neb-Amen, " of the King Men-kheper-Ra. The place of sepulture of " the king was found to be void of its occupants, so was the “ place of sepulture of the principal royal spouse, Nub-kha"es, his royal wife; the thieves had laid hands on them."
Luckily for the modern reader's interest, the Amherst Papyrus here takes up the tale of this same investigation. Eight thieves were accused of the robbery, and being " examined with blows of sticks," one of them made a confession regarding the queen's tomb.
" It was surrounded,” he says, “ by masonry, closed up “ with stones, protected by rubble, covered with slabs, but
we penetrated them notwithstanding, and covered over " with ‘khesh-khesh' and demolished it with work, and we “ found it (i.e., the queen's mummy) resting likewise. We “ opened their coffins and their wrappings which were on "them and we found this noble mummy of this king. It " was found ; there were two swords, and things many of " amulets and necklaces of gold on his neck, his head was covered with gold upon it. The noble mummy of this king was adorned with gold throughout. Its wrappings were graven with gold and silver within and without, and
· B.M.; BIRCH, Papyri, vol. ii, 1-8 ; CHABAS, Mel., ii (3rd series). MASPERO, Une Enquéte, etc., 1871 ; R.P., xii, 106. 2 NEWBERRY, Am.P., 24.
“ covered with every precious stone. We tore off the gold " that we found on the noble mummy of this god, together “ with his amulets and necklaces, which were on his neck, " and the wrappings on which they rested. We found the "royal wife likewise. We tore off all that which we found " from it, likewise, and we set fire to their wrappings. We “ took their furniture which we found with them, gold and " silver and copper vases, and we divided, and we made this
gold which we found upon these two gods on their noble “ mummies, and the amulets and the necklaces and the " wrappings into eight parts."
One could wish that the confessing thief had stated some reason for having “burnt the noble mummies ” after robbing them. Their destruction was an act of sacrilege that ill-accorded with the highly reverential language of the confession.
If the usual habit was to bury the early dynasty kings in the gorgeous state described by the Abbot Papyrus ; if their mummies were “adorned with gold throughout,” rolled in gold and silver embroideries, covered with golden ornaments and jewelled "with every precious stone,” it is small wonder that the tombs of that age are always found rifled and empty.
A queen belonging to this period is KHENSU, “ The Great Royal Wife, who is united to the Beautiful White Crown." Queen Nub-kha-es was, as we have seen, the mother of a princess Khensu, who would certainly have inherited the queen's titles. It is possible, therefore, that this heiress daughter is the same person as the Queen Khensu, who is mentioned on two scarabs, published by Petrie and Newberry.
Lepsius records a tomb at el Kab, in which an inscription refers to the princess Khensu, married to a prince Ai.
' BUDGE, H.E., vol. iii, 128-129 ; NEWBERRY, Am.P., 25, 27. 2 P., H.Sc., 143.
3 N., Sc., xiv, 19. • L., D. Tomb, ir ; LIEBLEIN, R.C., 134-5 ; BRUGSCH, H., 180.