• search
  • US

Intef I

Whether Intef I laid the foundation of the Eleventh Dynasty in Ancient Egypt is a matter of debate. Scholars need clarification about two possibilities. One is that Intef was the second ruler following his father, Mentuhotep I’s reign. Another is that Mentuhotep I was a monarch, but his son Intef attained the throne by winning a war against the Hierakonpolis ruler, not by succession.

Reign Of Intef I


The reign of Intef I needs to be completely clear. The Turin Canon doesn't have the name and reign period of Intef I. Further analysis revealed that the name was lost in a damage gap affecting entry 5.13. The total of the other Eleventh Dynasty kings' duration, including the lost name, is 127 years, and the summary of the reigns of this dynasty is 143 years. The latter calculation shows a difference of 16 years between. So, it had been deduced that Mentuhotep I and Intef I have ruled on a summation of 16 years. Thus, the researchers imply the reign of Intef I lasted for more than four and less than 16 years.
Two blocks in the temple of Montu at Medamud, erected during Mentuhotep II's reign, are a near-contemporary monument that bears his name. The relief establishes the succession line of the Eleventh Dynasty; in this relief, Mentuhotep II faces the names of his three predecessors: Intef (I) Sehertawy, Intef(II) Wahankh, and Intef (III) Nakht-neb-tep-nefer.

The Attestation


It remains to be determined whether Intef I attested on later king lists because his name was damaged and lost. Intef appears as "Men…" in the Karnak King List. The name is likely Mentuhotep I, part of Intef I's ancestor's name.
There's also graffiti discovered by Theban Desert Road Survey in the Gebel Tjauti. It was a stele commissioned and erected by Coptite nomarch Tjauti. It bears Intef I in the following manner: "which the ruler of another nome had sealed off [when he came to] fight with my nome..." Intef I's name had yet to be taken explicitly, but Egyptologists like Darell Baker concluded that I would win over the nomarch and took the mentioned step (sealed off). The original publication takes Intef II as a close possibility, though.

The Conquest

Intef I was the first in the Eleventh Dynasty to have a Horus name- Sehertawy. The various meanings of Intef I's Horus name- Sehertawy- are "maker of peace in the two lands," " he who has brought calm to the Two Lands," and "p, pacifier of the two lands." These meanings suggest that Intef I declared himself ruler of all Egypt- Upper and Lower.
Intef I fought with his neighbor, Northern Nome, after receiving the throne. The chief Nomarchs that opposed him were Tenth Dynasty rulers at Herakleopolis Magna. Their powerful ally was the nomarch of Hierakonpolis named Ankhtifi. It is believed that after defeating Ankhtifi, Intef I extended his area beyond Theban (Fourth) Nome to the south of Thebes down to Elephantine by acquiring three nomes by conquest.
As previously mentioned, Tjauti, nomarch of Coptite, said in his famous stele inscription of his (InI) tef troop as "the assault troops of the son of Ra, Intef." Though there is a contended theory of whether it was Intef I or his successor Intef II, it is proven that the defeat of Tjauti expanded the Theban Kingdom up to 250 km northward till Abydos by putting Koptos, Dendera along with the 3 Nomes of Hierakonpolis under Theban control, i.e., under the Eleventh Dynasty. Intef I was succeeded by his brother Intef II (Wahankh).

Related Articles

  • Egypt consultant
  • Egypt
  • Egypt Temple
  • ask