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Egypt: Qa'a, The Last King of the First Dynasty, or Was He?


Qa'a, The Last King of the First Dynasty, or Was He?

by Jimmy Dunn

Most scholars believe that Qa'a was the last king of the 1st dynasty. We may also see his name as Kaa, or several other variations. Though Egyptologists often disagree on dating, our current best guess is that he lived from about 3100 to 2890 BC.


Horus Qaa

While this information on Qa'a is highly limited, until Dreyer and Kaiser analysis their data and provide us with more information, little else is known of this early Egyptian Pharaoh.. He was probably buried in Tomb Q at Abydos, where two typical royal funerary stelae bearing his name were found on the east side of the tomb. This tomb has been excavated on a number of different occations, first by Emile Amelineau in the 1890s, then Flinders Petrie and in 1991, by Gunther Dreyer and Werner Kaiser. The work done by this later German team revealed many small artifacts and architectural details that had been overlooked by earlier excavations. These include thirty inscribed labels that describe the delivery of oil, probably made from berries or tree resins, and probably from the Syria-Palestine area.

Qa'a's tomb

Seal impressions and artifacts have also been discovered in Tomb Q with the name of Hetepsekhemwy, the first pharaoh of the second dynasty. This suggests that Hetepsekhemwy completed Tomb Q, and that there was no real break between the first and second dynasties of Egypt. The change in dynasties from the first to the second was originally reported by Manetho without explanation.

We also know of four tombs in Saqqara that date to this kings reign. The lower part of two wooden statues were found in one of these tombs in a set of rooms on the north side. Some scholars believe this may have been an offering chapel, and that the mortuary temple in pyramid complexes may have evolved from this structure.

Egyptologists have also discovered the stelae of two of Qa'a's officials, Merka and Sabef. These stelae have more complex inscriptions then earlier hieroglyphics, and may have signaled in increasing sophistication in the use of this writing.

References:

Title

Author

Date

Publisher

Reference Number

Chronicle of the Pharaohs (The Reign-By-Reign Record of the Rulers and Dynasties of Ancient Egypt)

Clayton, Peter A.

1994

Thames and Hudson Ltd

ISBN 0-500-05074-0

History of Ancient Egypt, A

Grimal, Nicolas

1988

Blackwell

None Stated

Monarchs of the Nile

Dodson, Aidan

1995

Rubicon Press

ISBN 0-948695-20-x

Oxford History of Ancient Egypt, The

Shaw, Ian

2000

Oxford University Press

ISBN 0-19-815034-2

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