DjerDjer Manetho: Athothis (or Cencennes?);
Turin Canon: Iteti Stela depicting the Horus name of the pharaoh Djer, on display at the Cairo MuseumPharaohof EgyptReign41 years, 1st DynastyPredecessor Hor-AhaSuccessor DjetRoyal titulary---- Children Djet? Burial Tomb in Umm el-Qa'ab, AbydosMonuments Tomb in Umm el-Qa'ab
Djer is the second or third pharaoh of the First dynasty of Egypt. The Abydos King List lists the second pharaoh as Teti, the Turin Canon Iteti, while Manetho has Athothis. (However, some scholars debate whether the first king, Menes, and Hor-Aha were different kings, which would make Djer the third).
Length of reign
While the Egyptian priest Manetho (3rd century BCE) stated that Djer ruled for 57 years, modern research by Toby Wilkinson in Royal Annals of Ancient Egypt stresses that the near contemporary and therefore more accurate Palermo Stone document ascribes Djer a reign of "41 complete and partial years." Wilkinson notes that Years 1-10 of Djer's reign are preserved in register II of the Palermo Stone, while the middle years of this king's reign are recorded in register II of Cairo Fragment One. (Wilkinson: p.258)
The evidence for Djer's life is:
- tomb in Umm el-Qa'ab, Abydos;
- seal prints from graves 2185 and 3471 in Saqqara;
- inscriptions in graves 3503, 3506 and 3035 in Saqqara
- Seal impression and inscriptions from Helwan (Saad 1947: 165; Saad 1969: 82, pl. 94)
- Jar from Turah with the name of the king (Kaiser 1964: 103, fig.3)
- UC 16182 ivory tablet from Abydos, subsidiary tomb 612 of the enclosure of Djer (Petrie 1925: pl. II.8; XII.1)
- UC 16172 copper adze with the name of king Djer (tomb 461 in Abydos, Petrie 1925: pl. III.1, IV.8)
- inscription of his name (of questioned authenticity) at Wadi Halfa, Sudan
The inscriptions, on ivory and wood, are in a very early form of hieroglyphs, hindering complete translation, but a wooden seal print at Saqqarah seems to depict the early Old Kingdom practice of human sacrifice. The ivory tablet from Abydos mentions that he visited Buto and Sais in the Nile Delta. One of his regnal years on the Cairo Stone was named "Year of smiting the land of Setjet" (often speculated to be Sinai or beyond).
Like his predecessor, Hor-Aha, he was buried in the holy place Abydos. His tomb contains the remains of 300 retainers who were buried with him. Close to his grave is another, that probably belongs to his daughter Merneith, mother of the later king Den, and possibly his regent during his youth. From the Eighteenth dynasty, his tomb was revered as the tomb of Osiris.
Manetho indicates that the first Dynasty ruled from Memphis, and a wife of Djer named Herneith is buried at Saqqarah. Manetho also claimed that Athothes, who is usually identified as Djer, had written a treatise on anatomy that still existed in his own day, however this was over two millennia later.
- ^ Toby Wilkinson, Royal Annals of Ancient Egypt: The Palermo Stone and Its Associated Fragments, (Kegan Paul International), 2000. p.79
- Toby A. H. Wilkinson, Early Dynastic Egypt, Routledge, London/New York 1999, ISBN 0-415-18633-1, 71-73
- Toby Wilkinson, Royal Annals of Ancient Egypt: The Palermo Stone and Its Associated Fragments, (Kegan Paul International), 2000.
- Horus Djer (Itit), Second King of the First Dynasty