IX & X Dynasty:
Due to the scarcity of the sources received, it is not easy to clearly distinguish these two last dynasties ” IX & X Dynasty “, that reign at the end of the First Intermediate Period.
From the new aggregation center at the capital of the 20th century of Upper Egypt, Ha- Ninsu, (Heracleopolis in Greek, current name Ihnasya el-Medina), and which are commonly called “Eracleopolitane”.
Quoting Manetone, Giulio Sesto Africano writes: “……. nineteen kings of Heracleopolis who ruled for 409 years ……”.
A statement deemed untrustworthy as untrustworthy is held to be Eusebius of Caesarea when he states that the 9th dynasty includes five pharaohs who reigned a century.
In the lists of Abydos and Saqqara, nothing is quoted while the Turin papyrus, very incomplete in that space, presents an interruption capable of containing eighteen names, (between the 9th and 10th dynasty), but only seven have been preserved.
It is even less possible to venture the duration of the kingdoms for which it is assumed that the duration of the two dynasties was about a century, from 2160 to 2055 BC.
As for the 10th dynasty we have only Manetone who states: “…….. nineteen kings of Heraclesopolis who reigned for 185 years …….”.
It seems certain that some of these rulers were superimposed on the first pharaohs of the XI dynasty that arose at Thebes.
Surely these two centers of power, in an attempt to expand, will have clashed, the winners will give life to what is called “ The Middle Kingdom“.
Even with regard to the tombs of the entire First Intermediate Period, the greatest uncertainty reigns as no real burials have been found that can be dated to this period.
With the exception of the destroyed pyramid of Qakara Ibi, only one significant tomb was found in Dara, a place in Middle Egypt near present-day Manfalut, about thirty kilometers from Asyut where a necropolis of the First Intermediate Period is located.
The tomb, of which it is not clear whether it is a pyramid or a stepped mastaba, was investigated by the French archaeologist Raymond Weill in the second half of the ’40s but with unsatisfactory results.
The tomb is oriented roughly in the north-south direction and has a square plan with rounded corners, the substructure strangely recalls the great brick mastaba of the III dynasty located in Beit Challaf.
The entrance is located to the north and gives access to a long horizontal corridor, first opened, to then enter a descending tunnel with a vaulted ceiling.
The chamber, covered with roughly worked limestone blocks, was sacked in the past and completely devastated, and no burial signs were found inside.
The remains are so few and worn out that it is difficult to determine whether the situation is attributable to looting or whether it was never originally completed.
In the absence of anything, it is difficult to establish who was the owner, from the excavations in the nearby tombs was found a cartouche bearing the name of what might have been a local ruler called Khui.
With this, we too close the First Intermediate Period and move towards what will be the “Middle Kingdom“.
By: Piero Cargnino
Sources and bibliography:
Franco Cimmino, “Dictionary of Pharaonic dynasties”, Bompiani, Milan 2003
Guy Rachet, “Larousse dictionary of Egyptian civilization”, Gremese Editore, 2002
Miroslav Verner, “The mystery of the pyramids” Newton & Compton editor, 2002
Edda Bresciani, “Great illustrated encyclopedia of ancient Egypt”, De Agostini
Weill Raymond, “Dara; Campaigns de 1946-1948 “, Government Press, Cairo, 1958)