It is known from the ancient Egyptian relics that Sanakht was a Pharaoh of Egypt, who belonged from the Third Dynasty of the Old Kingdom. As per the Egyptian language, his name is also read as Hor-Sanakht or Nakht-Sa. According to the chronological order of his dynasty, his exact position is yet to be ascertained, as no such evidence has been discovered so far. Nothing was written about his parentage even in ‘History of Egypt’, written by the ancient Egyptian historian Manetho. Some recent Egyptologists hold the opinion that Sanakht is the other name of ‘Nebka’, the ancient Egyptian ruler whose name was enlisted in a Ramesside list of the kings of that era; though no proof is found yet to support this theory. The only two evidences about his existence are found in two seal fragments, which were excavated from Wadi Maghareh, located in the Sinai Peninsula region.
The personal life of Sanakht
As not much information could be derived from the only two seals, where Sanakht is depicted; any concrete fact about his ancestry or his childhood life is still unknown. Though the ancient Egyptian historian Manetho claimed that Sanakht was the founder king of the Third Dynasty of the Old Kingdom; few recent discoveries from Abydos contradict this theory, due to which Khasekhemwy is suspected to be the founder ruler of the Third Dynasty and the predecessor of Djoser, the second ruler of this dynasty. Hence, now many historians have assumed that actually Sanakht became the Pharaoh in the later part of the Third Dynasty, sometime after the reign of Djoser.
Some historians have assumed that Sanakht married Queen Nimaethap, who might be the daughter of Pharaoh Khasekhemwy. In the absence of any concrete proof, some scholars suggest that Djoser was the son of Sanakht and Nimaethap, while others presume that Djoser might be the younger brother of Sanakht.
The details about the reign of Sanakht
According to the records of the Egyptian historian Manetho and the Turin King List, Sanakht ruled Egypt for 18 years, though no further information has been found till now about his reign. Hence, the details of his activities as a ruler are still unknown, in spite of several excavations launched in Sinai. Some reliefs found from the Sinai show that a few expeditions were carried out during his reign, for achieving the mineral resources of the neighboring lands, mainly the turquoise, which was considered as an extremely precious stone at that time.
The tomb of Sanakht
The exact location of the tomb of Sanakht could not be ascertained, due to the lack of any strong evidence in this matter. But many historians believe that the Mastaba K2 was actually the tomb of this Egyptian Pharaoh, as the only relics bearing his name have been found here; though some Egyptologists hold the idea that this mastaba was used as the burial place of any senior court official or a prince. This huge mastaba is situated in Beit Khallaf, a small village of Middle Egypt and contains the skeletal remains of a very large-sized man of prehistoric Egypt, which is thought to be of Sanakht. An unfinished tomb structure to the west of the pyramid of Djoser is also considered to be the tomb of Sanakht, by some modern scholars.
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