Sekhem-kha (fl. 28th century b.c.e.) To Servants of the Place of Truth

Nobleman whose Saqqara tomb became famous

sekhem-kha’s tomb was designated at one time as the resting place of djet of the First Dynasty (2920-2770 b.c.e.). The tomb contains a burial chamber in which 300 bulls’ heads, fashioned out of clay and equipped with actual horns, are on display. A symbol of royalty, such a tomb decoration is unusual for a nobleman. sekhem-kha probably served Djet or den, Djet’s successor.

Sekhemkhare (fl. 25th century b.c.e.)

Princely vizier of the Fourth Dynasty

A royal prince, he was the son of khafre (Chephren; r. 2520-2494 b.c.e.). He did not inherit the throne but served as vizier for the pharaohs of his royal line. sekhemkhare also counseled the early rulers of the Fifth Dynasty (2465-2323 b.c.e.). In that dynasty the royal power was maintained by a policy of allowing only members of the royal family to hold the highest offices, and outsiders were relegated to minor roles in the court or government.

Sekhemkhet (Djoserti) (d. 2061 b.c.e.)

Third ruler of the Third Dynasty

He reigned from 2611 b.c.e. until his death. His name meant “Powerful in Body.” Sekhemkhet was the successor of djoser. His name was inscribed on a cliff near wadi maghara, indicating some military or expeditionary campaigns for the natural resources of the territory, the turquoise mines of the sinai.
Sekhemkhet built a pyramid at saqqara, southwest of the step pyramid. This tomb was designed by imhotep, the architect of the Step Pyramid, but was never completed. The masonry wall of the tomb was 27 feet deep, and the platform was 1700 feet on the north-south axis and 600 feet wide. An unused single black sarcophagus of alabaster was discovered in the pyramid, and a wooden coffin was also found. The sarcophagus was T-shaped and sealed but empty. A cache of funerary regalia was also discovered in the pyramid. This treasure trove held amulets, bracelets, a golden tube, and seals honoring sekhemkhet’s name.

Sekhemre-Wahkhau Rahotep (fl. c. 1640 b.c.e.)

Reportedly the founder of the Seventeenth Dynasty He ruled from 1640-? b.c.e., at Thebes, and he maintained peaceful relations with the hyksos, who ruled the Delta at the same time. Sekhemre-Wahkhau Rehotep’s territory included the southern nomes of Egypt.


This was a mystical island of the dead, a paradise awaiting the Egyptians found worthy of eternal bliss. The isle was believed to have existed in the Delta or at kharga, the southernmost oasis of Egypt.
Sekhmet she was a powerful war goddess of Egypt, the destroyer of pharaoh’s enemies, called “She Who Is Powerful.” Sekhmet was a lioness deity, the consort of ptah and the mother of nefertem and Imhotep in memphis.A daughter of the god re, Sekhmet struck at evildoers and spread plagues. She also healed the righteous. Her clergymen were physicians and magicians.
sekhmet had a popular role among the rulers of Egypt, as she was believed to bring about the conception of the pharaohs. in the form of a cobra she was called mehen, and she possibly came from nubia (modern Sudan) in the early eras. She was also called the “eye of re.”
Her statues normally depicted her as a woman with a lion’s head, and at times she wore a sun disk on her head. in this form she was a warrior manifestation of the sun, causing flames to devour the enemies of Egypt. in some eras, the gates of sekhmet’s temples were opened as a signal of the onset of a military campaign. amenemhet iii (r. 1844-1797 b.c.e.) included 700 statues of Sekhmet in his mortuary temple in dashur. She was also portrayed on the wall of the temple of sahure (r. 2458-2446 b.c.e.) at abusir. This portrait acquired a widespread reputation for its miraculous cures.

Seleucus I Nicator (d. c. 281 b.c.e.)

General and ally of Egypt

He had been a governor in the service of Alexander iii the great (r. 332-323 b.c.e.) and took control of Babylon when Alexander died. seleucus i Nicator allied himself with ptolemy i soter (r. 304-284 b.c.e.) to defeat Antigonus at Ipsus and to secure their holdings. He proved an unreliable agent of ptolemy i, however, and was murdered.

Selket (Serqset)

The scorpion goddess of Egypt associated with the osiris-isis-horus cult, Selket was worshiped as early as the First Dynasty (2920-2770 b.c.e.), possibly even earlier. she was originally part of the cult of nun, the deity of the dark water abyss. In the pyramid texts, Selket was invoked in the mortuary rituals and was declared the protectoress of qebehsennuf, the guardian of the canopic jars holding human intestines. she also guarded the royal coffin and the canopic chests. A strikingly beautiful statue of selket, fashioned out of gold and depicting a young woman with a scorpion on her head, was discovered in the tomb of tut’ankhamun (r. 1333-1323 b.c.e.). Selket also protected the goddess isis and the child horus, and her spells cured stings and bites.


An ancient Egyptian amulet designed to protect the lungs and windpipes, the name was translated as “to join.” The amulet was worn by the living and was placed in the wrappings of mummies during the mortuary rituals.

Semerkhet (Semempses) (fl. c. 2700 b.c.e.)

Sixth ruler of the First Dynasty

His actual date of reign is undocumented. His name meant “Thoughtful Friend.” manetho, the Ptolemaic Period (304-30 b.c.e.) historian, listed Semerkhet as Semempses. He was mentioned in the Palermo stone but not on the Saqqara king list. Possibly a usurper, he erased the name of his predecessor on jubilee vases. Many disasters apparently took place during his reign.
He was buried in abydos, but no Saqqara tomb has been discovered. A stela of black quartz with ivory labels was found in his tomb. An ebony plaque of the sokar boat was also found in his tomb. In some lists he is identified as the son of ‘adjib and Queen tarset. Semerkhet’s son and heir was qa’a.


It was a sacred vessel used in ceremonies of the cult of the god re in Egyptian temples. The semktet was the symbol of the evening boat used by Re in his solar journeys each day.


This was an important military site at the second cataract in nubia (modern Sudan), where the Egyptians erected a fortress and a temple complex. Semna marked the southern border of Egypt throughout much of the Middle Kingdom (2040-1640 b.c.e.). A stela made of red granite discovered on the site records that senwosret iii (r. 1878-1841 b.c.e.) made the original foundation of the fortress of semna. This fortress had served as a trading settlement in previous eras. A second stela, discovered in the temple complex, dedicated the shrine to the Nubian god dedun. khnum was also venerated at semna.
semna’s fortress overlooked the semna Gorge and was opposite the fortress of Kemna. in time another fortress, called semna south, was erected in the region.
Yet another fortress, uronarti, was also built nearby. Detailed reports were sent to thebes, called the Semna Dispatches, about tracking operations. The medjay, some of whom were in the service of the Egyptians as Nubian mercenaries, were in the territory. senwosret iii campaigned at semna in his 12th regnal year. This region of Nubia had been conquered by senwosret i (r. 1971-1926 b.c.e.) earlier in the dynasty

Se’n Ba Stela

A commemorative monument discovered in abydos in a chamber adjoining the cenotaph of djer (r. c. 2900 b.c.e.), the second ruler of the First Dynasty, the stela demonstrates the prolonged use of writing in Egypt, starting at an earlier time than previously believed. considered one of the most beautiful stone monuments of the period, the se’n Ba stela set the standard for later hieroglyphic commemoratives.


This was a clan dating to the old Kingdom period of Egypt and known for faithful service to the rulers of the nation. Inti Sendjemib served izezi (r. 2388-2356 b.c.e.) as an administrator. He also had a lake drained and formed for izezi’s personal use. inti send-jemib’s son, Mehi, built a tomb at giza for his father and carried on the tradition of courtly service.

Sendji (Sened) (fl. c. 2750 b.c.e.)

Ruler of the Second Dynasty

His name meant “the Fearful One.” Sendji was included in some king lists, and a Fourth Dynasty (2575-2465 b.c.e.) noble named Shery inscribed a document in his tomb stating that he was the overseer of the ka of sendji’s tomb. it is believed that sendji was buried under one of the galleries of the step-pyramid at saqqara.
No monuments have been discovered from sendji’s reign, but his cult was observed for many centuries. A bronze statue was made of him in the Twenty-sixth Dynasty (664-525 b.c.e.). His name was also found on a stone fragment in the mortuary temple of khafre (Che-phren; r. 2520-2494 b.c.e.) in Giza.

Senebsen (fl. 18th century b.c.e.)

Royal woman of the Thirteenth Dynasty

She was the consort of neferhotep i (r. c. 1741-1730 b.c.e.) and was depicted with symbols of her rank on an abydos stela. Senebsen was not the mother of the heir.

Senebtisy (fl. 20th century b.c.e.)

Royal woman of the Twelfth Dynasty

She was possibly the consort of amenemhet i (r. 1991-1962 b.c.e.). Her tomb at el-LiSHT was one of many vandalized and robbed by local thieves of the era. Her mummified remains, however, had been interred in three gilded coffins and were untouched. senebtisy’s remains were adorned with fine jewelry pieces that were recovered. in some records senebtisy is listed as the daughter of the vizier Senuseret, serving possibly as a lesser-ranked wife of Amenemhet i.

Senedjim (fl. 13th century b.c.e.)

Artisan official of the Nineteenth Dynasty

He served ramesses ii (r. 1290-1224 b.c.e.) as a supervisor of the workers in the tombs of the valley of the kings. These were the servants of the place of truth, who lived in deir el-medina. Senedjim resided in Deir el-Medina and was buried there, as these workers were allowed to fashion elaborate tombs for themselves and their families.

Senenmen (Sen Men, Sonimen) (fl. 15th century b.c.e.)

Expeditionary official of the Eighteenth Dynasty He served tuthmosis ii (r. 1492-1479 b.c.e.) and was originally identified as the brother of senenmut but now is considered an unrelated fellow official of the powerful favorite. senenmen was the leader of an expedition to punt, accompanied by Senenmut, Nehesy, and thuity, all ranking officials of the court.

Senenmut (fl. 15th century b.c.e.)

Favorite court official of the Eighteenth Dynasty

He served as a chief counselor of hatshepsut (r. 1473-1458 b.c.e.) and as tutor to Princess NEFERU-RE.Ten surviving statues depict him with Neferu-Re. He also provided needed support and counsel to the queen-pharaoh. Senenmut came from erment, possibly, and he was the son of Ramose and Hatnofer. His sisters were ‘A’ Ahotep and Nofrethor. His brothers were also active in the court, including a Senenmen, Minhotep, and Hatnufer.
senenmut started his career in an earlier era and earned many titles in the temple of amun by the reign of tuthmosis II (1492-1479 b.c.e.). He was the Prophet of the Bark of Amun; Overseer of the Prophets of montu in Erment; chief steward of Amun, overseer of the Granaries, storehouses, Fields, cattle, and slaves; controller of the Hall of Amun; Overseer of the Works of Amun; and Overseer of All of the Works of the King in the Temple of Amun. senenmut was also honored for his architectural skills. He was involved in the various building projects of Hatshepsut, including the temple of deir el-bahri on the western shore of the Nile at Thebes and the karnak temple. A statue depicts him as a master architect.
He amassed more than 80 titles as an official and administrator in the royal court and worked with hapuseneb and other supporters of Hatshepsut’s reign. Many legends concerning senenmut have arisen over the years. The many titles and favors bestowed upon him have given rise to much speculation. What is known is the fact that senenmut dared to attempt to link his own tomb with that of the queen-pharaoh. This or some other transgression brought about his fall from power. He never occupied the tomb that he constructed and never used the red quartzite sarcophagus prepared for him. A statue in the shrine of Tuthmosis III (r. 1479-1425 b.c.e.) at Deir el-Bahri, however, called Djeser-Akhet, reportedly was given to Senenmut. A shrine at gebel el-silsileh depicts senenmut making offerings to the local deity and an aswan inscription also credits him with quarrying obelisks for Hatshepsut.
His sudden death or disappearance in the 19th year of Hatshepsut’s reign left the queen-pharaoh vulnerable. A mummified horse was discovered in senenmut’s tomb. He had fashioned two tombs actually, one in sheikh abd’ el-qurna and the uncompleted one at Deir el-Bahri.

Senheb (fl. 24th century b.c.e.)

Dwarf textile official of the Sixth Dynasty

He was a dwarf who supervised the royal textile works and was honored for his skills and knowledge. senheb married a princess and raised two normal sized children. Buried in giza, Senheb was honored with a statue depicting him, his wife, and their two children.

Senisonbe (Seniseb) (fl. 15th century b.c.e.)

Royal woman of the Eighteenth Dynasty

She was the mother of tuthmosis i (r. 1504-1492 b.c.e.), having royal lineage from a collateral side of the royal family of ‘ahmose (r. 1550-1525 b.c.e.). She was probably married to another royal personage. senisonbe received many honors in Tuthmosis I’s reign.

Sennacherib (d. 681 b.c.e.)

Assyrian king and enemy of Egypt

He ruled from c. 704 b.c.e. until his death and was a contemporary of shabaka (r. 712-698 b.c.e.). A series of confrontations between the Egyptians and the Assyrians took place in Palestine. In 701 b.c.e., Sennacherib met the Egyptian army and was defeated, ending his plans for occupying Egypt.

Sennufer (fl. 15th century b.c.e.)

Nome prince and official of the Eighteenth Dynasty

He served amenhotep ii (r. 1427-1401 b.c.e.) as mayor of thebes. He probably held the rank of “Royal Seal Bearer” for tuthmosis iii (r. 1479-1425 b.c.e.), and he was also the supervisor of the gardens of amun’s temple. Sennufer was a hereditary prince of his nome.
Sennufer’s tomb at sheikh abd’ el-qurna on the western bank of the Nile at Thebes is elaborately painted with scenes depicting his career. His wife, senetney, was listed as “the King’s nurse.” There is some indication that Sennufer’s tomb was originally prepared for tuthmosis ii (r. 1492-1479 b.c.e.) but was abandoned by the ruler.
canopic jars and other funerary regalia were discovered in the tomb. The antechamber depicts an arbor of vines and grapes and religious scenes. Family portraits also decorate the walls. The actual burial chamber was subterranean.

Sennuwy (Sennuity) (fl. 20th century b.c.e.)

Royal woman of the Twelfth Dynasty, known for her beautiful portrait statue

She was the wife of Prince hepzefa, in the reign of sen-wosret i (1971-1926 b.c.e.). Her statue was discovered in the fortress of kermeh at the third cataract of the Nile in nubia (modern Sudan). Prince Hepzefa was perhaps commander of the fort territory. The statue of Sennuwy depicts a beautiful young woman and is considered one of the finest examples of Egyptian sculpture from the Middle Kingdom.

Sentseneb (Sent-Senbet, Sent-senbes) (fl. 19th century b.c.e.)

Royal woman of the Twelfth Dynasty She was a daughter of senwosret iii (r. 1878-1841 b.c.e.) and was buried in the royal necropolis of dashur.


This was the Egyptian name for flagstaffs positioned on the facades of temples. Such flagstaffs were important elements of temple entrances, displaying royal pennants when the pharaoh was in residence and serving as stations for the emblems of the gods.

Senwosret I (Kheperkare) (d. 1926 b.c.e.)

Second ruler of the Twelfth Dynasty

He reigned from 1971 b.c.e. until his death. The son of amenemhet i and Queen nefru-totenen, he served as coregent with his father for 10 years before ascending the throne. As a prince, Senwosret I began his Nubian and Libyan campaigns. Amenemhet I was assassinated while Senwosret I was campaigning in Libya, beyond the wadi natrun. The event is an element of the popular tale known as SINUHE THE SAILOR, as the character sinuhe was supposedly a servant of Senwosret I’s consort, Queen nefrusheri, daughter of Amenemhet I. Senwosret I raced back to Egypt to crush the harem conspiracy responsible for the murder and to punish the intended usurpers. The capital at the time was at itj-tawy, a site on the border between upper and Lower Egypt.
Militarily active, Senwosret I campaigned in nubia (modern Sudan) all the way to the third cataract and also founded the great fortress of buhen. He used quarries and mines and controlled the oases of the Libyan desert and the resources in the sinai. He built kermeh fortress in Nubia and regulated operations at the mines of wadi halfa as well as regional diorite quarries. Copper was mined in Wadi Hudi, and red granite was taken from a quarry south of aswan.
A column from the White Chapel, built at Karnak by Senwosret I of the Twelfth Dynasty. The hieroglyphs depict the pharaoh honoring the god Min with battle treasures.
A column from the White Chapel, built at Karnak by Senwosret I of the Twelfth Dynasty. The hieroglyphs depict the pharaoh honoring the god Min with battle treasures.


I was not interested in wholesale conquest and limited his campaigns to the defense of Egypt’s borders and to the exploitation of available resources. He also promoted trade with crete and other Aegean isles and with Palestine and Syria. Within Egypt, he was a prolific builder, refurbishing the temple of RE-Atum in heliopolis. The famed white chapel dates to his reign, and he is credited with establishing the core of the karnak complex itself. He also erected two obelisks there.


I was active in restoring the faiyum region, adding to the irrigational monuments there. He founded a temple to SEKHMET-Hathor at imu, now called Kom el-Hisn, the Mound of the Fort, in the Delta. The temple was rectangular and contained a bark chapel and pillars. He is also credited with building 35 separate religious structures from the Faiyum to the Delta.
A stone stela made for a temple in Heliopolis and dating to senwosret i’s reign was copied by a scribe serving amenhotep iii (r. 1391-1353 b.c.e.). Five hundred years old when copied, the stela vanished. The copy indicates a text in the form of a poem, actually serving as a temple inscription commemorating an addition built by senwosret i, given with other elaborate donations.
The INSTRUCTIONS OF AMENEMHET I date also to his reign. His father was supposed to have dictated the instructions, a text that warns of the perils of a weak monarch. This work is also called Amenemhet’s Instructions or the Testament of Amenemhet.
Senwosret I’s son and heir was amenemhet ii, who served as his coregent. His daughters were itekuyet, nefru-sobek (2), neferu-ptah (2), and Nenseddjedet. They were buried with Senwosret I and Queen nefrush-eri in el-LiSHT, where a pyramidal complex was constructed. The pyramid was filled with rubble with a limestone covering. smaller pyramids served as gravesites for the family members. The great pyramid was called “Senwosret Surveys the Two Lands.”

Senwosret II (Kha’kheperre) (d. 1878 b.c.e.)

Fourth ruler of the Twelfth Dynasty

He reigned from 1897 b.c.e. until his death. Senwosret II was the son of amenemhet ii and probably Queen meryet (2). He served as coregent before his father died, and he married nefert. Senwosret II was the patron of the faiyum territory of Egypt, starting a vast reclamation of the region and restoring thousands of acres of marshlands. He also campaigned in nubia (modern Sudan), making that domain a province of Egypt. He constructed a series of fortresses on the Nile and built an 80-foot wall at elkab and another wall at aniba. Senwosret II, seeing the growing independent minds of the nomarchs, the landed nobility of Egypt, broke their power with stern measures and taxes. He received tribute from Syria and other lands and maintained a strong military presence at mines and quarries.
His son and heir was senwosret iii, born to Queen wereret. He also married Queen neferhent (1). His daughters were sit-hathor, sit-hathor yunet, Itkayt, and Neferet. senwosret ii was one of Egypt’s tallest pharaohs, standing six feet, six inches tall and depicted in reliefs and statues. He was buried in a pyramid complex (kahun) at lahun called “Contented Is Senwosret,” or Het-Hotep-Senwosret, “the House of Peace of Senwosret.” This complex was erected on a rocky spur at Lahun, at the mouth of the Faiyum. The pyramid was surrounded by family mastaba tombs and was covered in limestone. ramesses II (r. 1290-1224 b.c.e.) plundered the complex to use the materials for his own projects.

Senwosret III (Kha’kaure) (d. 1841 b.c.e.)

Fifth ruler of the Twelfth Dynasty

He reigned from 1878 b.c.e. until his death and was the son of senwosret II and Queen wereret. His Queens were neferhent (2), meresger (2), meryet (1), nofret, Khemetnefer-Sheri, sobek-shedty-neferu, sit-weret, and possibly sit-hathor yunet.
Senwosret III is one of the most famous pharaohs of the Middle Kingdom, a warrior and an astute administrator. He started his Nubian campaigns in his sixth regnal year and reopened the first cataract at sehel island in order to facilitate the movement of Egyptian units to the Nubian (modern Sudanese) sites. The records at Sehel state that he erected a chapel to the goddess Anuket there. The fortresses in the territory were strengthened, and new defensive structures were added, including semna, uronarti, mirgissa, and Askut. The Sehel canal was called “Beautiful Are the Ways of Kha’kaure.”
Senwosret III went as far south as Semna, campaigning in his 19th year of reign. A nilometer at dal island, some 60 miles south of semna, dates to his 10th regnal year. He became the patron deity of Nubia after his death, having erected a fortress at uronarti in his 10th regnal year.
Senwosret Ill’s campaigns in Palestine were also vigorous, and he could claim to be “Egypt’s shield” and “the throat-slitter of the Asiatics.” He was much loved for his monuments and temple donations as well, erecting statues in biga and elephantine Island, as well as hierakonpolis. At erment he added to the temple of montu and refurbished that deity’s shrine at medamud. He also added to the temple of osiris in abydos. Senwosret III erected six statues and a stela at deir el-bahri. Records also indicate that he brought great treasures of semiprecious stones to Egypt from the sinai, and he founded the Royal cemetery in Abydos.
An oil portrait of Senwosret III, the great Middle Kingdom Period warrior pharaoh, displaying the sacred scarab.
An oil portrait of Senwosret III, the great Middle Kingdom Period warrior pharaoh, displaying the sacred scarab.
As an administrator, Senwosret III regulated the nome hereditary aristocrats and instituted a new court system. He divided the government into three vizierates, upper and Lower Egypt and Nubia. He also removed the nome governors who had amassed hereditary powers.
His son and heir was amenemhet iii, born to Queen neferhent. His daughters were Menut, sentseneb, Meryt, and Sihathor. Amenemhet III served as coregent before Senwosret III died. dashur was the site of Senwosret Ill’s burial complex, and another Abydos complex has also been discovered. The Dashur burial site contained a pyramid that was made out of mud brick, lined with limestone. The burial chamber within the pyramid was lined with red granite, with a sarcophagus of the same vivid stone. seven mastabas surround the ruined monument. A cache of jewelry was recovered from this complex, and three cedar boats also were found. The queens and family members were buried in subterranean levels. The Abydos tomb had cult rituals celebrated there for two centuries.

Senwosret-ankh (fl. 20th century b.c.e.)

Royal building official for rulers of the Twelfth Dynasty He served amenemhet i (r. 1991-1962 b.c.e.) and senwosret i (r. 1971-1926 b.c.e.) as the high priest of ptah at MEMPHIS. He was also the royal builder for the pharaohs. Senwosret-ankh’s mastaba at el-LiSHT is ruined, but the original burial was at the end of a deep shaft. Having a starred ceiling, the chamber is decorated with the pyramid texts. His sarcophagus was fashioned out of stone blocks set into a floor cavity.


This was the Egyptian name for a NOME or province, used as well to describe the symbols of such entities. These symbols, normally representing a local deity or animal theophany, were carried on poles and served as totems. The sepat was always placed just below the totem and was formed by a depiction of a plot, crossed and semi-crossed by the lines of canals. Below the sepat was another titular figure associated with the nome.
Sept He was a deity of the 20th nome of Egypt, called “the Lord of the East,” “the Smiter of the Mentiu,” or “Sept of the Tusks.” He became horus the Elder, Per-Sept, in the Eastern Desert regions, especially in the wadi tim-ulat, modern Saft al-Hannah.

Serabit el-Khadim

This was a mining territory in the sinai, operated by the Egyptians from the Old Kingdom (2575-2134 b.c.e.) to the Ptolemaic Period (304-30 b.c.e.). The Twelfth Dynasty (1991-1783 b.c.e.) especially exploited the natural resources in the area. Those pharaohs designated serabit el-Khadim as “the Eyes Are in Festival.” copper was sought there, as well as semiprecious stones. A rock-cut chapel dedicated to hathor, “the Lady of Turquoise,” dates to the Twelfth Dynasty at serabit el-Khadim. Expeditions to the region included the escorts of army units.

Serapeum (1)

It was a necropolis erected for the burials of the sacred apis bulls in saqqara. Also called the “House of Oserapis,” the term Serapeum refers to the ground-level part of the structure, and great vaults, corridors, and chapels were part of the design. serapis was a deity formed in the reign of ptolemy i soter (304-284 b.c.e.) as an effort to link Greek traditions to the older Egyptian cultic ceremonies. The name serapeum dates to the ptolemaic period also, as the Greek rulers wanted to cement the cult of serapis and to unite both Greeks and native Egyptians in worship.
The Apis bull cult was started probably by aha (Menes) in c. 2900 b.c.e., and it is mentioned in the Palermo stone. The bulls were buried in the temple of ptah near mit rahinah originally. In the New Kingdom (1550-1070 b.c.e.), the monumental interment of the bulls was standardized, and more than 60 mummified Apis have been recovered.
kha’emweset (1), the son of ramesses ii (r. 1290-1224 b.c.e.), was involved in establishing the original bull burial site that became the serapeum in saqqara. The lower chamber walls of the monument were then covered in gold leaf. Other pharaohs, including psam-metichus i (r. 664-610 b.c.e.), added galleries. Priests danced at the funerals of the Apis bulls, and immense canopic jars were part of the mortuary regalia. In time a transverse gallery was added with vaults. A pink granite sarcophagus with black markings was found there. in the Ramessid gallery, founded by Ramesses ii, an untouched Apis bull and human remains were discovered. some 24 monolithic sarcophagi, measuring from 10 to 13 feet in height and from 13 to 16 feet in length, were recovered.
Serapeum (2) It was a second necropolis for apis bulls, dedicated to serapis and erected in Alexandria, the capital founded by Alexander [iii] the great (r. 332-323 b.c.e.). ptolemy i soter (r. 304-284 b.c.e.) fostered the cult of serapis and chose the Greek parmeniscus to design a proper temple for the site. serapis was worshiped in this temple and burial site as late as 391 c.e.


A deity introduced into Egypt in the reign of ptolemy i soter (r. 304-284 b.c.e.), a Greek version of Osiris-Hapi, the god became the patron of the Ptolemies. He was usually depicted as an old man, with a cerberus at his side. His name was given to the necropolis of the apis bulls in saqqara, but his cult was popular only in Alexandria and Memphis. In some ceremonies Serapis formed a trinity with the gods isis and horus. A statue dating to Roman times shows serapis as a father deity.


A chamber in Egyptian tombs designed to hold statues of the deceased, the word is Arabic for “cellar.” Large statues of prominent dead Egyptians were positioned in the serdab so that the deceased could witness the ritual ceremonies being conducted as part of the ongoing cultic observances. Each serdab was connected to the rituals conducted in the mortuary-offering chamber by a small window, or slits constructed at the eye level of the statues. The serdab and window thus provided the dead with access to the ceremonies being held for their repose. The slits or small windows of the serdab were called “the Eyes of the ka House.” Some tombs of the royal deceased contained four serdab chambers, each containing a portrait sculpture.

serekh (1)

This was a large building erected in the Early Dynastic Period (2920-2575 b.c.e.), having an elaborate paneled facade, with two square towers and intricately recessed doorways. constructed of costly wooden materials, the serekh served as the royal residence, the PERO or palace. The royal tombs in abydos and the step pyramid in saqqara used the serekh design.

serekh (2)

This was an Egyptian symbol serving the names of the earliest rulers. djet, or Wadj, the third pharaoh of the First Dynasty (2920-2770 b.c.e.), adopted the serekh design as his personal symbol of power. The serekh appears on a stela from his reign and denotes his royal status. The ruler’s name was inscribed above the serekh symbol in a rectangle, topped by the Horus sign. This device was the first cartouche form.

serpent’s head

It was an ancient amulet, originally phallic in nature, used to protect the wearer from snakebites. When part of the mortuary rituals, the amulet was believed to protect the deceased from attacks by worms or serpents at the gravesite.

Servants of the Place of Truth

Also called the Servitors of the Place of Truth, the name assumed by workers who labored in the necropolis of the valley of the kings at thebes, these artisans and workmen lived in deir el-medina, which dates to the reign of amenhotep i (1525-1504 b.c.e.). The servants designed, constructed, and decorated the royal tombs. They were provided with residences and monthly rations.
During the reign of ramesses iii (1194-1163 b.c.e.), 60 such servants were supervised by a man named Ame-nakht, who complained that rations were not being delivered to Deir el-Medina. The workers assembled at the mortuary temple of tuthmosis iii of a previous dynasty and started a strike. They marched on the ramesseum, and violence ensued until vizier Ta put a halt to the affair. These protests took place in the year of the Hyena.
The servants were allowed to fashion tombs for themselves and their families, and many exquisite examples of these tombs have survived. The affairs of the workers at Deir el-Medina worsened as the last Ramessid Dynasty declined after the death of Ramesses III in 1163 b.c.e.

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