Ancient Egypt: The Old Kingdom – Second Dynasty II (Nynetjer, Peribsen & Khasekhem ).



During ancient Egyptian times, there is some debate to the names and number of pharaohs that ruled during the early Dynasties. This is because some rulers may have changed their names following a significant event in history. The late Second Dynasty saw this in the existence of Khasekhem and Khasekhemwy, who may or may not have been the same pharaoh.


There is a possibility that the next pharaoh was the son of Raneb. Evidence of Nynetjer’s rule has been captured on the Palermo Stone – a record of kings that served from the First to Fifth Dynasty. Mud seals were also located on an underground gallery at Saqqara, which may have served as his tomb. Since many objects from his reign have survived, it is thought that he enjoyed a rather lengthy and victorious rule.


Peribsen ruled Egypt for 17 years and has a bit of controversy surrounding his existence. For some, they are not sure if he was one person or represented two different people listed in ancient records. There is evidence to suggest that he may have been called Sekhemib-Perenmaat in Egyptian records because the two names were created at the same time to refer to a single king. Another theory is that the king took on a different name when he became older (Horus Sekhemib versus Seth Peribsen).

Archeologists uncovered Peribsen’s tomb in Umm el-Qa’ab in Abydos, where a seal impression offered a full sentence written in hieroglyphs. Today, you can see Peribsen’s burial stelae, which is on display at the British Museum. This object shows a Seth-creature – breaking from the most traditional Horus images. Some believe that this indicates that the king did not rule over Egypt as a whole.


Khasekhem (also known as Khasekhemwy) is known as the fifth and last king of the Second Dynasty. While the pharaoh is responsible for leading several important military campaigns and was responsible for constructing many different monuments, not much is recorded of Khasekhem’s rule.

Historic records typically place Khasekhem as the successor to Seth-Peribsen, but there is some debate to this. Some Egyptologists feel that another pharaoh ruled in between the two kings. Others believe that Khasekhem and Khasekhemwy were the same person and not two separate pharaohs. There is a possibility that Khasekhem changed his name to Khasekhemwy following the reunification of Upper and Lower Egypt. A civil war had broken out during that time that involved the followers of the gods Horus and Set.

Khasekhemwy has an interesting place in Egyptian history because he wore both the symbols of Horus and Set. Some researchers feel that this was a move to unify Upper and Lower Egypt during times of conflict. However, after his death, Set was permanently dropped from the serekh. Another milestone regarding the pharaoh was that he was the earliest Egyptian king known to have erected statues in his own likeness.

When Egypt was once again unified, Khasekhemwy made it his business to build many monuments and other structures. Stone construction attributed to his rule has been found at el-Kab, Hierakonpolis, and Abydos.


Posted by : Yasmine Aladdin

Memphis Tours Egypt since 1955.

Categories: Ancient Egypt, Cultural Tourism, Discoveries in Egypt | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Post navigation

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: