The long reign of Djedkare, the eighth ruler of 5th dynasty in Egypt, was marked by several crucial changes and achievements in the rulership of Egypt.
It's not completely known the type of relationship the king had with his predecessors or successors, but it is believed that he was the son of Menkauhor, who was also his predecessor. Conversely, there are also believers that he might have been the brother of Niuserre. A pyramid located in South Saqqara does not contain any inscription by means of which it can give some evidence of his queen consort. According to some sources, the king might have lived in South Saqqara, very close to his pyramid.
His Ruling Period
Different evidence shows differences in the ruling period of the king. Some pieces suggest he ruled for almost 28 years, while the records found in the temple of Neferefre at Abusir indicate that his ruling period was over 30 years. Some historians also give him a reign of 38 years or 44 years. The records in the mummy found in the pyramid of Saqqara say that he was then a 50-year-old man. In any case, it can be estimated that the king had a long reign, but it is surprising to note that irrespective of the long reign, very few facts and information are available on him.
Mention In Different Places Of Djedkare
The name of the king was found at Maghara. This demonstrates that Egyptians were interested in the continued reign and the rich region of Djedkare. It is said that the king distanced himself from the earlier rulers of the dynasty, and he did not build a sun temple. Moreover, he also buried himself at Saqqara instead of Abusir, unlike his predecessors. His name is even mentioned in the quarries in Nubia. It is also apparent that Djedkare even maintained diplomatic and commercial contacts with Byblos.
Apart from that, Djedkare's name is mentioned in large numbers of letters and even in the biographies of Itush. He celebrated his first Sed Festival, and the vessels contain his name. He is even found in a dedication inscription made to Niuserre and the inscription was found at Abusir. Moreover, his reign is marked by some crucial changes, which is one of the major reasons he stands out from the rest of the kings of this dynasty. In fact, not all the changes are known, but some crucial changes have been traced by historians that show his impact.
The Significant Changes
One of the major changes that took place during his reign was the solar cult. The solar cult was not completely abandoned, but it lost its importance and significance during the reign of Djedkare. Moreover, the power of the central government was also weakened in the hands of the provincial administration. Another crucial change was the return of Saqqara as the burial place. This does not imply that the funerary sun temples located at Abusir were abandoned. It is clear that he did lots of work in maintaining the area of Abusir. The combination of these factors makes his reign deeply significant in the history of Egypt.