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Preceded by:
Pharaoh of Egypt
13th Dynasty
Succeeded by:

Upper part of a statue of Khendjer from his pyramid complex. Cairo Museum, JE 53368.

c. 1765 BC (at least 4 years
and 3 months)
Praenomen Userkare
The Soul of Re is Strong
Nomen Khendjer
Consort(s) Senebhenas
Burial Pyramid of Khendjer

Userkare Khendjer was the twenty-first Pharaoh of the Thirteenth Dynasty of Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period.[1] Khendjer possibly reigned for four to five years, archaeological attestations show that he was on the throne for at least three or four years three months and five days. Several absolute dates have been proposed for his reign, depending on the scholar: 1764—1759 BC as proposed by Ryholt and Baker,[2] 1756—1751 BC as reported by Redford,[3] and 1718—1712 BC as per Schneider. Khendjer had a small pyramid built for himself in Saqqara and it is therefore likely that his capital was in Memphis.


The name Khendjer is poorly attested in Egyptian.[4] Khendjer "has been interpreted as a foreign name hnzr and equated with the Semitic personal name h(n)zr, [for] 'boar'" according to the Danish Egyptologist Kim Ryholt.[5] The scholar notes that this identification is confirmed by the fact that the name h(n)zr is written as hzr in a variant spelling of this king's name on a seal from this king's reign.[5] Ryholt states that the word boar is attested as huzīru in Akkadian, hinzīr in Arabic, hazīrā in Aramaic, hazīr in Hebrew (the name is attested as hēzīr in I Chron. 24:15, Neh. 10:20) hu-zi-ri in the Nuzi texts, hnzr in Ugarit, and perhaps hi-zi-ri in Amorite."[5]

Reign Length[]

The latest attested date for his reign is the fourth month of the season of Akhet (inundation), day 15 in his fifth Regnal Year. Kim Ryholt notes that two dated from control notes on stone blocks from his unfinished pyramid complex give him a minimum reign of 4 Years 3 Months and 5 days.[6] The two aforementioned control notes are dated to "Year 1 I Akhet day 10" and "Year 5 IV Akhet day 15" of his reign. [7]

Khendjer is mainly known from his pyramid complex excavated by G. Jequier at Saqqara which was perhaps completed as a pyramidion was found[8]. He is also known from inscriptions and movable objects bearing his name. These include a fragment of a Canopic Jar found at Saqqara, which offers a partial name for his wife, Seneb ... (K.S.B. Ryholt restores this as "Sonbhenas"). A stela from Abydos records building works of the king at the Osiris temple at Abydos and names the vizier Ankhu. A stela once in Liverpool (destroyed in World War II), provides the name of the king's son Khedjer. He might be a son of the king. [9] Other objects with his name, according to the list provided by Ryholt, include three cylinder-seals from Athribis, a tile found near el-Lisht, Scarab seals, and an axe blade.


  1. Baker 2008, p. 181.
  2. Ryholt 1997.
  3. Redford 2001.
  4. The name Khedjer for private individuals appears on only two monuments: Stela Marischal Museum, University of Aberdeen ABDUA 21642 and on stela Liverpool M13635, see Ian Ralston: The Stela of Ibi son of Iiqi in the Marischal Museum, University of Aberdeen, In Discovering Egypt from the Neva, The Egyptologcial Legacy of Oleg D Berlev, edited by S. Quirke, Berlin 2003, p. 107-110, pl. 6 and W. Grajetzki: Two Treasurers of the Late Middle Kingdom, Oxford 2001, p. 28, pl. 2. Both monuments date to around the time of king Khendjer and the individuals there might have called themself after the king.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Ryholt 1997, p. 220
  6. Ryholt 1997, p. 193.
  7. Ryholt 1997, p. 193-195.
  8. Jequier 1933, S. 3-35.
  9. Grajetzki 2001, p. 28, pl. 2.


  • Baker, D.D., 2008: The Encyclopedia of the Pharaohs: Volume I - Predynastic to the Twentieth Dynasty 3300–1069 BC. Stacey International.
  • Grajetzki, W., 2001: Two Treasurers of the Late Middle Kingdom. Oxford.
  • Jequier, G., 1933: Deux pyramides du Moyen Empire. Imprimerie de l'Institut français d'archéologie orientale, Cairo.
  • Redford, D.B., (ed.), 2001: Egyptian King List. The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt, Vol. 2. Oxford University Press.
  • Ryholt, K., 1997: The Political Situation in Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period c.1800-1550 B.C. Museum Tuscalanum Press.

Copyright Images[]

  • Khendjer.jpg by Gustave Jéquier 1933: Deux pyramides du Moyen Empire (= Fouilles à Saqqarah.). Imprimerie de l'Institut français d'archéologie orientale, Cairo.
Pharaoh of Egypt
13th Dynasty