Ancient Egypt Wiki
Preceded by:
Intef VII (?)
Pharaoh of Egypt
17th Dynasty
Succeeded by:
Ahmose I (?)
Tao I
Tao the Elder
Thut-Aa, Djehuty-Aa
c. 1560 BC (?)
The Lord of Ma'at is Re
Djehuty-Aa (Tao)
Thoth the Great
Issue Ahmose I (?)
Burial Unknown
Not to be confused with Tao II.

Nebmaatre Tao I, also Thut-Aa or Djehuty-Aa (transliteration: ḏḥwty-ꜤꜢ, meaning: "Thoth the Great"), is the speculative merge of the nomen Tao ("the Elder"), who is mentioned in the Abbott Papyrus as a 17th Dynasty Pharaoh during the Second Intermediate Period, with the prenomen (or throne name) Nebmaatre of an unknown 17th Dynasty ruler.



The prenomen Nebmaatre is attested on a bronze axe-head discovered in a tomb at Mostagedda in Middle Egypt and now in the British Museum under the catalog number BM EA 63224. The same prenomen is inscribed on a black steatite amulet representing a lion of unknown provenance and now in the Petrie Museum under the catalog number 11587. A degree of uncertainty affects the ownership of these artifacts since Amenhotep III's prenomen was Nebmaatre as well. However, the axe-head can be dated to the late Second Intermediate Period based on stylistic grounds and provenance while according to Flinders Petrie the amulet is of too rough a workmanship to be attributable to Amenhotep III.[1][2] Instead Petrie suggested that the amulet be attributable to Ibi, an obscure ruler of the late 13th Dynasty whose prenomen is partially preserved in the Turin canon as "[...]maatre". However, Kim Ryholt's recent study of the Turin canon precludes this identification as a vertical stroke in the lacuna just prior to "maatre" rules out the hieroglyph for "neb".[1]

The chronological position of Nebmaatre in the Second Intermediate Period is highly uncertain. The Egyptologist Jürgen von Beckerath proposes that Nebmaatre was a ruler of a compounded 15th–16th Dynasty, which he sees as an entirely Hyksos line of kings.[3] Alternatively, Kim Ryholt put forth the hypothesis that Nebmaatre was a king of the 17th Dynasty, although he left his position in the dynasty unspecified.[4] Ryholt's datation is based on the observation that the axe-head bearing Nebmaatre's name was found in a tomb belonging to the Pan-grave culture.[5] The Pan-grave people were Nubian mercenaries employed by rulers of the 17th Dynasty in their fight against the Hyksos foe.[1] Egyptologist Darrell Baker points out that the Theban rulers of the period might indeed have provided such weapons to their mercenaries.[1]

Nebmaatre Tao[]

The Abbott Papyrus mentions two different Tao's belonging to the 17th Dynasty and there seems to be no reason to suggest this was an error. Seqenenre Tao is definitely one of them. While Senakhtenre Ahmose was previously believed to be the other, often called "Tao the Elder", untill his nomen was discovered to be Ahmose instead in 2012.[6] After that, the idea of there being two kings with the nomen Tao seems to have been abandoned.

However, since an unknown Pharaoh with the prenomen Nebmaatre is thought to belong to the 17th Dynasty,[4] his missing nomen, given the current evidence regarding this dynasty, is most likely the other Tao mentioned in (Column III, 1.10) of the Abbott Papyrus as a king of this dynasty. However, this remains highly speculative since more new nomens and prenomens may theoretically still be found belonging to this dynasty.


Tao I's relationships are unknown, but given his nomen, he might belong to the Amosside royal line. He could be the father of Ahmose I, grandfather of Tao II and great-grandfather of Ahmose II. Kings calling their sons after their fathers is seen being repeated over generations in the paternal family line of the early 19th Dynasty kings as well; with the names Seti and Ramesses.


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Baker 2008, p. 244.
  2. Flinders Petrie 1978.
  3. Von Beckerath 1999, p. 118-119.
  4. 4.0 4.1 Ryholt 1997.
  5. Bietak 2013.
  6. Biston-Moulin 2012, p. 61-71.


  • Baker, D.D., 2008: The Encyclopedia of the Pharaohs: Volume I - Predynastic to the Twentieth Dynasty 3300–1069 BC. Stacey International.
  • Beckerath, J. von, 1999: Handbuch der agyptische Konigsnamen. Muncher. Agyptologische Studien, Vol. 49, Mainz.
  • Bietak, M., 2013: The Pan-Grave Culture. Archived 2013-10-24 at the Wayback Machine.
  • Biston-Moulin, S., 2012: Le roi Sénakht-en-Rê Ahmès de la XVIIe dynastie. ENiM 5.
  • Flinders Petrie, W., 1978: Scarabs and Cylinders with Names. Aris & Philips, London. (reprint of the 1917 original edition published by BSAE).
  • Ryholt, K., 1997: The Political Situation in Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period c.1800-1550 B.C. Museum Tuscalanum Press.
Intef VII (?)
Pharaoh of Egypt
17th Dynasty
Ahmose I (?)