King Huni is known to be an Egyptian Pharaoh, who is believed to be the last king of the Third Dynasty of the Old Kingdom of ancient Egypt. Historians believe he most likely succeeded Pharaoh Khaba to the throne. According to the Turin King List, he ruled Egypt for 24 years. However, there's nothing currently known about any military or other significant activity during his long reign. Sneferu, the famous Pharaoh and the founder of the Fourth Dynasty succeeded Huni in 2600 B.C. His Hellenized name is not yet known, as the Greek historian Manetho probably had not mentioned Huni in his records. But according to the local Egyptian history, Huni was quite a popular name, in spite of the discovery of very few artifacts bearing his name.
Evidence Of Huni's Existence
Most of the documents or relics discovered are not directly connected to his name. But a conical stele (stone slab) excavated from Elephantine is definite proof of Huni’s importance in Egyptian history; this 160 cm long and 50 cm wide stele was made of red granite and greatly resembled the typical Benben style of the ancient Egyptians. The front part of this stele bears an inscription about a royal palace named “Palace of the headband of Huni” in the ancient Egyptian language, and also the name of the Pharaoh is distinctly written over this stele. Now this one was discovered in 1909 and is now preserved in Cairo Museum as Object JE 41556.
The second piece of concrete evidence of Huni is a polished stone bowl, discovered in 2007, from the Mastaba tomb AS -54 in South Abusir, which was probably built for the burial of any senior court official of the Pharaoh. This stone bowl is made of magnesite and the name of Huni is inscribed on it, without any cartouche, but with the title of ‘Njswt-Bity’.
Another proof of Huni’s reign is found at mastaba L-6 at Saqqara, dedicated to Metjen, an Egyptian official who belonged at the end of the Third Dynasty, i.e. at the court of Pharaoh Huni. An inscription is excavated here, which bears the name of Huni in hieroglyphics, that read as Njswt-Hw.
A Prisse papyrus of the 13th century, containing the Instructions of Kagemni in its last 2 pages bears the details about the succession of Pharaoh Huni, by Sneferu as the next king of Egypt.
Huni's Successor: Sneferu
Though it is established that Sneferu was the successor of Huni, the relationship between them is yet known from any evidence. Queen Meresankh I was stated to be the mother of Sneferu, as per the documents of that time, but still, there is no evidence about her relationship with Huni, either as a wife or a daughter. According to the inscription found at Elephantine, Queen Djefatnebty was definitely the wife of Huni. But there is nothing mentioned about the children or other relatives of this Egyptian king.
According to some modern Egyptologists, Hetepheres I, the mother of Pharaoh Khufu was the daughter of Huni; as some inscriptions mentioned her with the title of ‘Sat-netjer’, which means ‘the daughter of a God’, that probably indicates her royal lineage and blood relation with Huni.