Neferirkare Kakai

Neferirkare Kakai in Tour Egypt

NEFERIRKARE KAKAI BY JIMMY DUNN. Documenting kings of ancient Egypt can be daunting, particularly with those such as Neferirkara Kakai. We actually know more about one of his officials named Ty, who was the overseer of the pyramid complexes and sun temples under both Neferirkara and other kings, then we do about Neferirkara himself. Much more is known about Neferirkare's brother, Sahure, who ruled Egypt just prior to Neferirkare, and to Shepseskare, who ruled just after him. He was probably the son of Userkaf, the first king of the 5th Dynasty, and a Queen Khntkawes, who's pyramid is situated next to Neferirkara's at Abusir. His immediate successors were also buried at Abusir. However, Neferirkare's pyramid complex remained unfinished, and its valley temple and causeway were later incorporated by Nyuserra into his own pyramid complex. We also know that he built a Sun Temple, a trend begun by Userkaf. However, no remains of this temple have so far been discovered. His throne name was Nefer-ir-ka-re (Beautiful is the Soul of Re) while his birth name was Kakai. He was the third king of the Old Kingdom 5th dynasty, ruling from about 2477 until 2467 BC, obviously a very short reign, though Egyptologists argue both the dates for his reign as well as the length of his reign. Neferirkara is notable for two very specific reason. He was the first king to have employed both a prenomen and nomen (he had two names and two cartouches), a custom that later kings would follow. Also, papyrus found in his pyramid complex were written in ink and are the earliest known documents in hieratic script, a cursive form of hieroglyphics. The hieratic papyrus found at his pyramid complex are probably his most notable contributions to Egyptology. They were originally discovered in 1893 by local farmers and consist of 300 papyrus fragments. They remained unpublished for some seventy-five years, even as the first archaeologists were excavating Abusir. Only later did a Czech mission, which explored the site in 1976, take full advantage of these documents. The Neferirkara archive reveals a world of detailed and very professional administration. Elaborate tables provide monthly rosters of duty: for guarding the temple, for fetching the daily income (or 'offerings') and for performing ceremonies including those on the statues, with a special roster for the important Feast of Seker. Similar tables list the temple equipment, item by item and grouped by materials, with details of damage noted at a monthly inspection. Other records of inspection relate to doors and rooms in the temple building. The presentation of monthly income is broken down by substance, source and daily amount. The commodities are primarily types of bread and beer, meat and fowl, corn and fruit. They also mention a mortuary temple of a little-known king, Raneferef, who's tomb was yet to be discovered but thanks to these papyrus, is now known and has yielded significant discoveries.

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Neferirkare Kakai in Wikipedia

Neferirkare Kakai was the third Pharaoh of Egypt during the Fifth dynasty. His prenomen, Neferirkare, means "Beautiful is the Soul of Ra."[2] His Horus name was Userkhau,[3] his Golden Horus name Sekhemunebu and his Nebti name Khaiemnebty. It is not known with any certainty who Neferirkare's parents were. Some Egyptologists see him as a son of Userkaf and Khentkaus I.[4] Scenes discovered in Sahure's funerary domains may indicate however that Neferirkare may have the son of pharaoh Sahure and Queen Neferetnebty.[5] One theory holds that Neferirkare may have been known as Prince Rahotep when he was young, and had a (twin?) brother named Netjerirenre, who may have taken the throne under the name of Shepseskare.[5] Neferirkare married Queen Khentkaus II and had 2 sons who both became pharaoh: Ranefer-under the name Neferefre--and Niuserre.[4] Reign Little is known about his reign. Manetho's Kingslist assigns Neferirkare a reign of 20 years but verso 5 of the damaged Palermo Stone preserves the Year of his 5th Cattle Count (Year 9 on a biannual count).[6] His following years were lost in the missing portion of the document. The Czech Egyptologist Miroslav Verner maintains, however, that it cannot have been as long as 20 years due to the unfinished state of Neferirkare's Abusir pyramid complex. Since the annals in the Palermo stone terminate around Neferirkare’s rule, some scholars have suggested that they might have been compiled during his reign. However, evidence from the other side of the stela implies that the document covered the reigns of later Old Kingdom kings. Hence, it is possible that these Annals were composed during the time of Nyuserre Ini who had a long reign and was the third successor to Neferirkare, after the ephemeral Shepseskare Isi and the short-lived Neferefre. A decree, exempting personnel belonging to a temple from undertaking compulsory labour, shows that taxation was imposed on everybody as a general rule. An important cache of Old Kingdom administrative papyri, the Abusir Papyri, was discovered in Neferirkare's mortuary temple between 1893 and 1907. This cache dates primarily from the reigns of Djedkare Isesi and Unas. One of the documents is a letter from king Djedkare to the temple priests provisioning Neferirkare's funerary temple. Mortuary complex From the large size of his mortuary complex at Abusir, he was an important king, but since the Palermo stone fragments after his rule, little is actually known about his reign. The Pyramid of Neferirkare Kakai (burial place) of the king was initially designed as a 6-step pyramid 52 m high, but later it was extended to the form of a typical pyramid and it reached a height of 72 m. The mortuary complex is unfinished, and only part of the lower mortuary temple was completed before, it is supposed, the abandonment of the project. Personality Neferirkare's reign was unusual for the significant number of surviving contemporary records which describe him as a kind and gentle ruler. When Rawer, an elderly nobleman and royal courtier, was accidentally touched by the king's mace during a religious ceremony-a dangerous situation which could have caused this official's death or banishment from court since the Pharaoh was viewed as a living God in Old Kingdom mythology-Neferirkare quickly pardoned Rawer and requested that no harm should occur to the latter for the incident.[7] As Rawer gratefully states in an inscription from his Giza tomb: " Now the priest Rawer in his priestly robes was following the steps of the king in order to conduct the royal costume, when the sceptre in the king's hand struck the priest Rawer's foot. The king said, "You are safe". So the king said, and then, "It is the king's wish that he be perfectly safe, since I have not struck at him. For he is more worthy before the king than any man."[8] " Similarly, Neferirkare gave the Priest of Ptah Ptahshepses the unprecedented honor of kissing his feet.[9] Finally, when the Vizier Weshptah suffered a stroke while attending court, the king quickly summoned the palace's chief doctors to treat his dying Vizier. When Weshptah died, Neferirkare was reportedly inconsolable and retired to his personal quarters to mourn the loss of his friend.The king then ordered the purification of Weshptah's body in his presence and ordered an ebony coffin made for the deceased Vizier. Weshptah was buried with special endowments and rituals courtesy of Neferirkare.[10] The records of the king's actions are inscribed in Weshptah's tomb itself and emphasize Neferirkare's humanity towards his subjects.

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