By the time that Den came to the throne, the First Dynasty was well secured and the prosperity of the country was advancing with great rapidity. The quality of decorative and utilitarian objects as much as architecture, was now very fine, anticipating the highest standards achieved, for example, during the height of the Old Kingdom. It was also a time of innovation when many of the elements which were to become familiar parts of the rituals, titles and ceremonies associated with the kingship were first introduced.In later times Den had a reputation as a magician, who introduced some of the spells later assumed into the Book of the Dead, and also as a physician; Manetho asserted that medical treatises said to have been written by the king, were extant in his day. Den may have been a child when he succeeded; certainly he appears to have reigned for a long time and to have celebrated his jubilee. He was served by two notable ministers, Hemaka, whose probable tomb at Saqqara produced a great mass of finely made artifacts, and Ankh-ka. Den was entombed at Abydos and even this aspect of his history was innovative, for his tomb possessed a granite floor, the first evidence of the use of stone in Egyptian architecture.
Back to Who's Who of Ancient Egypt
Last Updated: June 20th, 2011