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Intef I

Prologue: Who Was Intef?

 

It’s a matter of debate whether Intef I laid the foundation of the Eleventh Dynasty in Ancient Egypt. Scholars are confused about two possibilities. The first possibility 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.

 

intef-I

 

Reign Of Intef I

 

intef-I

The reign of Intef I is not completely clear. The Turin Canon doesn’t have the name and reign-period of Intef I. Further analysis, though, revealed that name was lost in a damage-gap affecting entry 5.13. The sum 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 had lasted for greater than 4 and less than 16 years.

 

Two blocks in the temple of Montu at Medamud, erected during Mentuhotep II’s reign, is a near-contemporary monument that bears his name. The relief establishes the succession line of the Eleventh Dynasty; in this relief Mentuhotep II facing the name of his three predecessor-Intef(I) Sehertawy, Intef(II) Wahankh and Intef (III) Nakht-neb-tep-nefer.

 

The Attestation

 

intef-I

Intef I attestation on later king lists remains uncertain because his name had been lost due to damage. Intef appears as “Men…” in the Karnak King List. It is most like to be Mentuhotep I as the part of Intef I’s ancestor name.

 

There’s also graffiti discovered by Theban Desert Road Survey in the Gebel Tjauti. It was 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

fight with my nome..." Intef I's name hadn’t been taken explicitly but Egyptologists like Darell Baker conclude that it was Intef I who to win over the nomarch take the mentioned step (sealed off). Original publication takes Intef II as the close possibility though.

 

The Conquest

 

Intef I was the first in the Eleventh Dynasty to have a Horus name-Sehertawy. The various meanings that the Horus name of Intef I-Sehertawy-rendered are "maker of peace in the two lands", "he who has brought calm to the Two Lands" and "pacifier of the two lands". These meanings suggest Intef I declared himself ruler of the complete Egypt-both Upper and Lower.

 

Intef I got into a fight with his neighbor, Northern Nome, after receiving the throne. The chief Nomarchs that opposed him are 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 extend his area beyond Theban (Fourth) Nome to the south of Thebes down to Elephantine by acquiring three nomes by conquest.

 

Previously mentioned Tjauti, nomarch of Coptite, mentioned in his famous stele inscription of his (Intef I) troop as “the assault troops of the son of Ra, Intef”. Though there is contend theory of whether it was Intef I or his successor Intef II,, it is proven that defeat of Tjauti expands 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).

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