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Khaba

Khaba was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh, who by birth belonged to the Third Dynasty of the Old Kingdom and he was also called ‘Hor-Khaba’. Though the exact duration of his reign has not been ascertained but historians believe that he ruled around 2670 B.C. His name has been found written in nine stone bowls and many mud seals, which dated back to the Third Dynasty era, excavated from Elephantine, Hierakonpolis, and Quesna in the Nile Delta region. Khaba's exact chronological position in the Turin King list cannot be defined either, due to the absence of any mention of the date of his presence in any inscription.

 

khaba

 

Similarly, the exact whereabouts of Khaba's pyramid or his mortal remains are as of yet undetermined. There are several specific theories on this issue, but none can be proven yet. Many historians claim that the unfinished Layer Pyramid in Zawyet el'Aryan was actually made for the burial of Khaba; while few others believe that the large mastaba near the Layer Pyramid was built as the tomb of this Pharaoh, as the diorite and dolomite vessels bearing his Serekh name and crest are found here.

 

The Personal Identity Of Khaba

 

khaba

The exact predecessor of Khaba is unknown, as historians hold the ideas that either Sekhemkhet or Sanakht was probably the Pharaoh of Egypt before him, whom he succeeded. Hence, nothing can be known about his parentage or his early life and not even about his marital existence or children are mentioned in any seal or inscription of that time. Consequently, the name of his successor cannot be determined, but either Huni or Qahedjet most likely ascended the throne of Egypt after him; though some Egyptologists now think that actually Huni and Khaba were the names given to the same person.

 

Khaba was the first Egyptian ruler, whose name and crest had been imprinted in golden color on the seals and vessels, a  trend that became a regular occurrence thereafter for all kings since the rule of Sneferu in the Fourth Dynasty. Also, Khaba's Golden Horus or royal crest was probably a golden falcon, which was mentioned in ancient Egyptian language as “Netjer-nub”.

 

Buildings That Khaba Is Believed To Have Built

 

khaba

The Layer Pyramid of Zawyet el'Aryan is commonly believed to be the burial tomb of Pharaoh Khaba, which is located 8 km southwest of Giza. Like all other pyramids of the Third Dynasty, it is also built of mud-bricks that were arranged in layers, over the base layer of rough bedrock blocks. Most probably, this pyramid was planned to be about 42 – 45 meters in height; but at present, its height is seen to be of only 17 meters and it is not determined whether the pyramid was left unfinished or its height was just eroded in the course of time.

Mastaba Z500 is one of two large mastabas next to the Layer Pyramid. It's believed to be constructed by Khaba, as this building consisted of some stone vessels that contained his name and crest, along with other writings, which could not be deciphered yet. This mastaba has only 2 large chambers, but no other commonly seen mortuary structure is found here. This particular mastaba is important due to the discovery of the stone vessels and the mud seals from here, which contain the name of Khaba written on them.

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