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ZS 140 (2013) / DOI 10.1524/zaes.2013.0009


Overseers of Upper Egypt in the Old to Middle Kingdoms

Part 1

Hierzu Tafel XVXVI

In memoriam Wolfgang Helck

In 1985 I committed to writing a contribution
to the Lexikon der gyptologie on the Overseers of Upper Egypt. Much to my regret, the
pressure of other work forced me to inform
Professor Helck that I would be unable to keep
my commitment. Subsequently Professor Helck
contributed a pithy contribution on the subject
to the Lexikon, but did not include a list of
holders of the title . In partial expiation, the
present article endeavors to provide a list of the
holders of the title from the Old to Middle

Introduction of Office and Scope

Klaus Baer supported Kees in his belief that
|{uu (32) was the oldest known holder of the

title in the reign of Izezi . If Strudwick is correct

in his dating of the vizier AY (41) to the reign of
Niuserre, the distinction may belong to that
individual, however . It would then be Niuserre

who introduced the office of overseer of Upper

Egypt, not Izezi.
Baer believed that it was the concentration of
titles from all the important branches of the
local administration in the hands of certain individuals by the beginning of the Fifth Dynasty
that brought about the creation of the office of
Yh\wA h|n . This observation would presumably hold true even if AY was the first holder of
the title overseer of Upper Egypt rather than
milie Martinet has suggested that the title
Yh\wA h|n served to give structure to an area
that had been neglected by the kings of the
Fourth Dynasty who were more invested in the
development of the Delta than Upper Egypt .
One wonders if the apparent inbalance is not
actually the result of the limited nature of the
evidence surviving from the Fourth Dynasty,
since only As|A, }, and w|{w', provide us
with our knowledge of the provincial admini6
stration of that time . Then too, it should be
remembered that the treasury official N[Y was
uhsA u{Ans h|n in the middle to late Fourth

L 6, 1986, cols. 1076 1077.

K. Baer, Rank and Title in the Old Kingdom
(Chicago, 1960), 274.
N. Strud wick , The Administration of Egypt in
the Old Kingdom (London, 1985), 142 (136). N. K anawat i, Governmental Reforms in Old Kingdom
Egypt (Warminster, 1980), 14, dates AY and |{uu to
the middle and end of N[[Ys reign respectively. Baer ,
Rank and Title, 138, 294 [505] places AY in the late
reign of Izezi or early Unis.

Baer, Rank and Title, 281.

E. Martine t, Le Nomarque sous lAncien Empire (Paris, 2011), 175.
For the monuments of these three individuals, see
ibid., 15 [1], 18 [3], 20 [4]. Chr. Z iegler , Catalogues des
stles, peintures et reliefs gyptiens de lAncien Empire
et de la Premire Priode Intermdiaire (Paris, 1990),
98, actually dates As|A to the late Third Dynasty.


E . Brov ars k i : Overseers of Upper Egypt


Dynasty , a title that certainly expresses interest

in the Upper Egyptian nomes at an early date .
Kees pointed out that the earlier holders of
the title Yh\wA h|n (like AY and |{uu) at the
end of the Fifth Dynasty were buried at the
Residence and were connected with the central
administration . Presumably, they resided in the
capital as well. Two of these individuals under
King Unis, Ass{ (1) and ss{ [II]: Y (19),
early and late in the reign respectively, were viziers. By contrast, }Yu|} (10) was not a vizier
but rather a kings son.
If Kanawatis dating of Ch}n of Akhmim
(33) to the early part of the reign of Unis is accepted, this individual would be the earliest
holder of the office of Yh\wA h|n outside the
capital . But another 60 years or so would have
intervened before the posting of }Y the Elder
(8) as overseer of Upper Egypt to Abydos in the
reign of Merenre. Perhaps Kanawatis original
dating of Ch}n to the reign of Teti would
better fit the picture, since it was apparently that
sovereign who reorganized the administration
of the southernmost part of Upper Egypt by
placing the entire administration (for the first
time officially) in the hands of one person .
That person was, of course, N[Y of Edfu, who
was appointed w\s{ |A } u{As of Upper Egypt
nome 2 . Even so, some 50 years would still
have had to elapse before }Y the Elder succeeded to the office of overseer of Upper Egypt.

ZS 140 (2013)

Perhaps the appointment of Ch}n should be

seen as an isolated experiment.
In the reign of Teti, three overseers of Upper
Egypt served in that capacity at the capital. Two
of these, wuh|: uY (30bis) and Ah'}'Y:
hY (43) were viziers. The other, \jAnN[[Y
(27, 28), who as As\|, uhw n|s\~, shs\Ys\, Yh\
wA h|n, is the addressee of a decree of King Teti
for the temple of Khentyamentiu at Abydos,
was not . In fact Ah'}'Y was also Yh\wA
h|n sAhn, overseer of Upper Egypt and the
Delta, and Yh\wA } sA ww', overseer of the
entire land. Kanawati remarks that these titles
along with Yh\wA~ n{s h sA ww' show A
h'}'Ys authority over the whole country. He
also comments that it is curious that such a
commonly assumed position of the vizier is not
regularly expressed .
For the long reign of Pepy I, only two overseers of Upper Egypt are seemingly attested.
Both are viziers. The first is n (24), who
served in office in the early or middle reign of
Pepy II and was buried in the Unis Pyramid
Cemetery at Saqqara. The other is N}n}n (3),
who perhaps followed n around the middle
of the reign and owned a small tomb in the
mastaba field to the north of Tetis pyramid. In
addition, there is {\u} (17), known from a
stele from the Middle Necropolis at Abydos,
who, on account of his name, must belong to
the reign of Pepy I or later.

W. Barta, Die altgyptische Opferliste, (MS 3;

Berlin, 1963), 44 45; Strud wic k , Administration, 65
Svetlana Hodjash and Oleg Berlev gather together
the monuents of N[Y in S. Hod jash, O. Ber l e v , Egyptian Reliefs and Stelae in the Pushkin Museum of Fine
Arts, Moscow (Leningrad, 1982), 22 37.
Cf. H. Kees , Beitrge zur altgyptischen Provinzialverwaltung und der Geschichte des Feudalismus: 1,
Obergypten, Nachrichten von der Gesellschaft der
Wissenschaften zu Gttingen. Phil.-Hist. Klasse, N. F.
I, No. 12 (1932), 88.
N. Kana wa ti , Akhmim in the Old Kingdom,
Part 1 (Sydney, 1992), 34.
N. Kana wa ti , The Rock Tombs of El-Hawawish 7 (Sydney, 1987), 8 10.
Baer, Rank and Title, 297.
See E. E d el , Inschriften des Alten Reichs I. Die
Biographie des Gaufrsten von Edfu, [k, ZS 79
(1954), 11 17.

H. Goed ic k e, Knigliche Dokumente aus dem
Alten Reich, (A 14; Wiesbaden, 1967), 37 40, fig. 3;
T. G. H. J ames, Hieroglyphic Texts from Egyptian
Stelae etc., Part 1, 2nd edition (London, 1961), pl. 31
(hereafter HTES I2); see also, N. C. Str u d wick , Texts
from the Pyramid Age, (Writings from the Ancient
World 16; Atlanta, 2005), 102 103.
Kanaw ati , Governmental Reforms, 25. It may
be noted that NY in the late Sixth Dynasty is Yh\
wA u{Ans oA~hn; Et. Dr ioton and J. Ph. Lau e r , Un
groupe des tombes Saqqarah: IcheY, Nefer-khououptah, Sebek-em-khent et nkhi, ASAE 55 (1958), 226,
pl. 19. On the date of the tomb, see E. Br ov arsk i ,
False Doors & history: the Sixth Dynasty, in M.
Brta (ed.), The Old Kingdom Art and Archaeology,
Proceedings of the Conference, Prague, May 31June 4,
2004 (Prague, 2006), 110111. Even earlier, in the
Fourth Dynasty, the treasury official N[Y was
unn h u{Ans oAhn; see note 8.

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E . Brov ars k i : Overseers of Upper Egypt

Under King Merenre, the Yh\wA h|n }Y the

Elder (8) had authority in U. E. nomes 122. It
is difficult to know if }Y was the only overseer
of Upper Egypt to serve Merenre. This hesitancy pertains to dating difficulties. For example,
Baer on the basis of his system of title sequences
and Harpur on stylistic grounds date {\|}:
=nY (14) of Sharuna between Merenre and early
Pepy II, while Kanawati dates the same individ16
ual more closely to Merenre . Similarly, Baer
and Harpur date Yn: N\n (7) at Sheikh Said to
the same time span as {\|}: =nY, but Kanawati assigns him to the latter part of the reign
of Pepy II. Then again, Baer determines \
|}{{\: C{Y jh (26) of Meir belongs to the period between Merenre and Year 15 of Pepy II,
whereas Harpur assigns him to Years 134 of
Pepy II, and Kanawati thinks he belongs to the
middle to late reign of Pepy II .
Fischer thought by the reign of Pepy II that
the title of overseer of Upper Egypt had come
to be held almost exclusively by nomarchs . It is
true that many nomarchs held that title during
Pepys reign (infra). Nevertheless, we now know
that the vizier |nw (31) was probably Yh\wA
h|n in the early part of the reign, while the
vizier jAnCw: Nn (30) in all likelihood held
the same office in the second quarter of the
reign, and the vizier w}|\ (18), known from
his tomb at South Saqqara, had the title in the
middle or second half of the reign of Pepy II. To
the second half of the reign of Pepy II probably
also belongs the vizier and overseer of Upper
Egypt wwY (23), proprietor of a small tomb on
the north of the court of the Ptahhetep complex


Ibid., 52 53.
Ibid., 89.
Baer, Rank and Title, 84, 291 [212]; Y. Har p ur ,
Decoration in Egyptian Tombs of the Old Kingdom
(London and New York, 1987), 280; N. Kan aw ati,
Chronology of the Old Kingdom Nobles of El-Qusiya
Revisited, in Z. A. H a wa s s , P. Der Ma nuel i a n ,
and R. B. Hus sei n (eds.), Perspectives on Ancient
Egypt: Studies in Honor of Edward Brovarski (CASAE
40; Cairo, 2010), 217.
H. G. Fischer, Dendera in the Third Millenium
B.C. (Locust Valley, New York, 1968), 94, with the
exception of w}|\ (18).



at Saqqara . In terms of the provincial viziers,

both {\|} Cw\Y (12) at Meir in Middle
Egypt, and his presumed successor, {\|}: C}Y
jh (13), were likewise overseers of Upper
Egypt. Although not nomarchs, they were head
of the priesthood of the important temple of
Hathor, mistress of Cusae.
Another vizier who was Yh\wA h|n probably
in the early reign of Pepy II (but not nomarch) is
NY (4), whose tomb stone, CG 1577, was found
at Abydos. Kees, Helck, and Baer maintained
the identity of the owner of CG 1577 with the
vizier NY, who appears in the original decoration
of the funerary temple of Pepy II in the second
quarter of the latters reign . Notwithstanding,
the names of the two viziers are spelled differently. The name of the NY in Pepys funerary
temple is written with the ideogram of a seated
child with hand to mouth, whereas CG 1577 has
the ear ideogram, and thus probably belongs to a
different individual .
The question is whether NY of CG 1577 preceeded or succeeded the other vizier NY in office. There is little evidence in favor of either
alternative. Nevertheless, the owner of CG 1577
is u hn}w of the pyramid of Pepy II, and
Strudwick points out that the title of inspector
of priests of a royal pyramid is not common
after the middle of the Sixth Dynasty, but is

wwY is dated by both St r ud wi ck (Administration, 99 [67]) and Har p ur (Decoration, 274) from
Merenre to early Pepy II. The fact that his false door
panel shows the figure of the deceased unaccompanied
by service furniture or cult vessels argues for a date in
the second half of the reign of Pepy II (Br ov ar s k i, in
Old Kingdom Art and Archaeology, 114 ff., pace ibid.,
H. Kees, Beitrge zur Geschichte des Vezirats
im Alten Reiche, Nachrichten von der Gesellschaft der
Wissenschaften zu Gttingen. Phil.-Hist. Klasse, N. F.
IV, No. 2 (1940), 39 54; W. He lck, Untersuchungen
zu den Beamtentiteln des gyptischen Alten Reiches
(F 18; Glckstadt, 1954), 141; Baer, Rank and Title,
61 [73A].
G. J quier, Le monument funraire de Pepi II,
vol. 2, (Cairo, 1938), pl. 48.
Strud wick , Administration, 63 65.
H. G. Fischer, A Provincial Statue of the
Egyptian Sixth Dynasty, AJA 66 (1962), 67, points out
that the name NY with the ear determinative means
one who is hard of hearing.


E . Brov ars k i : Overseers of Upper Egypt

replaced in titularies of viziers, particularly the

provincial ones, by Yh\wA }Yns hw . The owner
of CG 1577 is both u hn}w }|}wjAw|
and Yh\wA }Yns hw and thus belongs to a transitional period between the two usages. He is
therefore apparently earlier than the viziers of
the latter half of Pepy IIs reign, such as wuh
As: =}n, Prince osY, and w\w|YAh, who are Yh\
wA }Yns hw . For that reason he may belong to
the early reign of Pepy II and have preceeded
the vizier NY shown in Pepy IIs funerary temple
in office.
An Yh\wA h|n who was neither vizier or
nomarch is the =nY (36) who follows directly
upon the vizier NY and an overseer of tenantsfarmers whose name is damaged in a relief on
the walls of the the antechamber to the sanctuary of Pepy IIs mortuary temple. =nY in his turn
is followed by the overseer of all works Nh{\ .
The overseer of Upper Egypt was thus third in
importance in the hierarchy of officialdom of
the kingdom in the second quarter of the reign
of Pepy II .
Strudwick believes that the =nY depicted in
the antechamber to the sanctuary of Pepy IIs
mortuary temple is identical with the like-named
individual of Coptos B (37) dating to w}{s s [{
55 of Pepy II . Odds are that both of these individuals are the same as the proprietor of a
small mud-brick tomb with limestone fittings in
the Teti Pyramid Cemetery at Saqqara (38).
The nomarchs who were also overseers of
Upper Egypt in the reign of Pepy II resided at
Edfu (21), Dendera (5), El-Qasr wa Es-Saiyad
(6, 44), Akhmim (42), Deir el-Gebrawi (2, 45,
46), and Sheikh Said (22), in other words in
U. E. nomes 2, 6, 7, 9, 12, and 15. This includes
w\w|{\}w: TAw of Edfu (21) who received


Administration, 318.
Ibid., Table 29.
Nh{\ was evidently a son of the overseer of all
works of the king Nekhebu known from his lengthy
autobiography found at Giza; see E. Brov ars k i , The
Senedjemib Complex, Part 1 (Giza Mastabas 7; Boston,
2001), 33 34.
For the date of the various phases of Pepy IIs
mortuary temple, see Strud wick , Administration, 64
Ibid., 64, n. 3

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his first provincial appointment under Merenre

when he was sent south to the second nome of
Upper Egypt as sole companion, great overlord
of the nome, overseer of Upper Egyptian grain,
and overseer of priests . The title of overseer
of Upper Egypt is not amongst the titles that
Qar received from Merenre, and Kanawati believes he was not promoted to Yh\wA h|n until
the first part of the reign of Pepy II . Similarly,
A{: sY (42), who was appointed by Pepy I to
be head of the priesthood (uhA }n) of the local
temple of Min at Akhmim, was promoted to
great overlord at the end of Merenres reign or
early in that of Pepy II , and subsequently was
raised to the dignity of Yh\wA h|n, presumably
by the latter sovereign.
It is necessary to briefly discuss the identification of Nn (6), son of the great overlord of the
nome and overseer of Upper Egypt AnsY (44) at
El-Qasr wa Es-Saiyad. The assumption is generally made that AnsY of tomb T 73 was the father
of Nn: }}Y of tomb T 66 . On the south wall
of AnsYs tomb ;[A' uhun hw\' As\|, Yh\wA
h|n, Nn, his ;beloved eldest son, the count
and overseer of Upper Egypt Nn is depicted .
On the north wall of the same tomb, he occurs
twice among the offering bearers, once with the
name destroyed, and once with the name dam35
aged N'''~ . In the first instance, he is entitled
[A' uhun yA ns uhw n|s\. In the second he is
[A' uhun uhw n|s\ ]w\s. In his own tomb, Nn
sometimes has the by-name }}Y , but he is


Kanaw ati , Governmental Reforms, 50.

Ibid., 64.
A. McFarl ane, The First Nomarch at Akhmim:
The Identification of a Sixth Dynasty Biographical
Inscription, GM 100 (1987), 63 72; N. Ka naw at i,
The Rock Tombs of El-Hawawish 3 (Sydney, 1982), 14;
id em, Akhmim in the Old Kingdom 1, 98102.
T. Sve-Sderbergh, The Old Kingdom
Cemetery at Hamra Dom (El-Qasr wa Es-Saiyad)
(Stockholm, 1994), 20.
K. R. Leps ius, Denkmaeler aus Aegypten und
Aethiopien, Text 2 (Leipzig, 1902), 179; P. Montet ,
Les tombeaux dits de Kasr-el-Sayad, Kmi 6 (1935),
108; Sve- S d er ber gh, Hamra Dom, pp. 20 21,
pl. 14
Ibid., pp. 20, 47, 48; pls. 19, 22.
Ibid., pls. 6, 7, 8.

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E . Brov ars k i : Overseers of Upper Egypt


elsewhere referred to simply as Nn . T 66 is

badly damaged and it is possible that the title
Yh\wA h|n appeared elsewhere on its walls. For
the time being, we assume that Nn of T 73 is
indeed identical with the Nn: }}Y of T 66.
On the basis of his system of title sequences,
Baer was uncertain whether Nn: }}Y belonged
to the period between Merenre and year 15 of
Pepy II or years 5585 of the latter . Taking the
decoration of his tomb into account, Harpur
opts for the later period . If AnsY indeed passed
away around year 54 of the reign of Pepy II on
the basis of the decoration of his burial cham40
ber , this too would argue for the later date for
Nn: }}Y.
wn: Y (22) at Sheikh Said in U. E. nome 15
was not a nomarch (w\s{ |A). Still he may be
considered a provincial governor, since he bore
the older type of titles assigned to such . He was
also awarded the office of overseer of Upper
Egypt. Baer dated him to Years 3555 of Pepy
II and Harpur similarly .
Cwn' (34) and A}Y I (40) at Aswan in
U. E. nome 1 were once again not nomarchs,
but rather caravan leaders and overseers of foreign lands. They nevertheless were appointed
Yh\wA h|n, not only because they controlled
the resources of foreign trade, but probably
because they represented the crown in this distant part of southern Upper Egypt.

Honorary or Actual Character of the Office

Due to the multiple holders of the title overseer of Upper Egypt in the Sixth Dynasty, and
in particular in the reign of Pepy II, Breasted,

Ibid., pls. 6, 9.
Rank and Title, pp. 63, 288 [83].
Decoration, p. 281.
See E. Brov ars k i , The late Old Kingdom at
South Saqqara, in L. Pan tala cc i and C. Ber ger- el Nagg ar (eds.), Des Nferkar aux Montouhotep,
(TMO 40; Lyon, 2005), 42.
For the difference between the older and newer
types of provincial titles, see e.g., B aer , Rank and Title,
275; Fischer , Dendera, 9 10; Kan a wati , Governmental Reforms, 51, 72, and passim.
Baer, Rank and Title, 81, 290 [182]; Har pur ,
Decoration, 280.


Kees, Stock, and Helck all thought that the title

was honorary by this time . Goedicke refuted
this viewpoint, observing that the Coptos decrees of the time of Pepy II and later confirm
the reality of the authority of the Yh\wA h|n as
well as the continued functioning of the administration of Upper Egypt. In particular, he observes that hAY (6871) and his son NY (5254)
in the Eighth Dynasty were appointed as overseers of Upper Egypt on the same day in the
reign of King Neferkauhor, the former having
jurisdiction over all 22 nomes of Upper Egypt,
and the latter in Upper Egyptian nomes 17,
subordinate to his father .
Fischer has remarked that the number of
Overseers of Upper Egypt known at this period
make it probable that many of them had control
of far less than the entire southern half of the
country . He examines this question in light of
Goedickes 1956 article, which deals with the
title Yh\wA h|n and the s{h|n in the Old
Kingdom. Comparing the circumstances of hAY
and NY in Dynasty VIII with the case of {\|}
Cw\Y at Meir (12), who calls himself overseer
of Upper Egypt in the Middle Nomes in years
3555 of Pepy II, Goedicke reasons that there
were four coexistent Yh\wA h|n at any one
time, one having control of all Upper Egypt, the
three others subordinate to him and controlling
the southern, middle, and northern thirds of the
same territory .
Fischer finds this theory extremely attractive, although the evidence advanced in favor
of it admits the possibility that a nomarch holding the title of overseer of Upper Egypt could
have jurisdication over a still smaller region,
which might even be limited to his own province. Fischer adds that this would not mean
that the title was honorific, but only that it was
more limited in geographical scope.

J. H. Breas ted , A History of Egypt (New York,

1937), 138; H. Stoc k , Die Erste Zwischenzeit gyptens (AnOr 31; Rome, 1949), 4; Kees , Provinzialverwaltung 1, 92; Helc k , Beamtentitel, 110.
H. Goed ic k e, Zu Yh\wA h| und s{h| im Alten Reich, MIO 4 (1956), 1 10.
Fischer, Dendera, 94.
Goed ick e, MIO 4 (1956), 7 10; Fischer, Dendera, 94.


E . Brov ars k i : Overseers of Upper Egypt

In fact, given Pepy IIs very long reign of at

least 62/63 census years or 90 plus years ac48
cording to a broken figure in the Turin Canon ,
something in the nature of fifteen overseers of
Upper Egypt during that span of time is perhaps
not overly excessive. If our temporal estimates
can be relied on, an interesting fact emerges
regarding the five Yh\wA h|n who apparently
served in office during years 3555 of Pepy II,
for example. Nn [I] of Dendera (5) had that
position in U. E. nome 6, while AnsY of El Qasr
wa Es-Saiyad (44) held it in U. E. nome 7, and
|n of Deir el-Gebrawi (45) was Yh\wA h|n in
U. E. nome 8 (and 12). If they really were closely
contemporary and did not occupy the office
independently for a few years each during that
twenty year span, their authority would have
been restricted to one nome apiece (except |n).
Similarly, {\|} Cw\Y at Meir (12), if he really
does belong to the middle of Pepy IIs reign,
was overseer of Upper Egypt in U. E. nome 14,
while wn: Y of Sheikh Said (22) held the same
office in neighboring nome 15. Indeed, wn: Y
may have worked under the supervision of {\
|} Cw\Y, since the latter was overseer of Upper Egypt in the middle nomes. The evidence
appears to indicate that the title Yh\wA h|n had
lost something of its original high status, but this
does not necessarily mean that it had completely
lost its functional significance. The nomarchs,
other provincial ministers, and overseers of
priests may still have collected taxes and made
the required levy for corve service in the districts under their control (infra).

Subdivisions of Upper Egypt

Recognizing that the middle nomes of Upper Egypt are found in the titles of officials at
Hammamiya (U. E. 10), Meir (U. E. 14), and
Sheikh Said (U. E. 15), Kees thought U. E.


nomes 1015 belonged to this region . Presumably, the corresponding southern area therefore would have consisted of U. E. nomes 19
and his northern area of U. E. nomes 1622. By
contrast, Goedicke located the southern of his
three sections between U. E. nomes 17, the
middle of his sections between U. E. nomes
815, and the northern one between U. E.
nomes 1622 .
Baer too found evidence for a triple division
of Upper Egypt into three areas based on the
evolution of the titles of provincial governors; a
southernmost one; a central district; and a
northern one. His border lines were in each case
one nome further south than Goedickes. He
thus concluded that the southern region comprised U. E. nomes 16, the middle one U. E.
nomes 714, and the northern one of U. E.
nomes 1522 .
Fischer concurred with Kees reasoning
about the extent of the middle nomes, but
supposed that the Ninth Nome was also in53
cluded . He also makes reference to the title of a
Sixth Dynasty nomarch of Zawiyet el-Meitin,
\|}{\, Yh\wA n{s h u{Ans , overseer of
commissions in 9 nomes . To Fischer, this
group of nomes apparently represents the portion of Upper Egypt north of the middle
nomes, thus U. E. nomes 1622. He excludes
U. E. 15 from the nine nomes under \|}
{\s jurisdiction, since it had its own governors
from Dynasty V onwards, but he counts the
Fayum and the Goat District to its south to
reach the total of nine nomes. He is uncertain
whether the area south of the middle nomes
included the Thinite nome (U. E. nome 8),
which was associated with the central administration to an exceptional degree and which


Kees , Provinzialverwaltung, 101.

MIO 4 (1956), 9 10.
Baer, Rank and Title, 284 285.
Kanaw ati , Governmental Reforms, 68.
Fischer, Dendera, 65 66.
K. R. Leps ius, Denkmaeler aus Aegypten und
Aethiopien (Berlin, 1849 1859), Abtheilung 2, pl. 111 d
and i.


M. Baud, in E. Hornung, R. Krauss, and

D. A. War b ur ton (eds.), Ancient Egyption Chronology, (HdO 1.83; Leiden and Boston, 2006), 152 153,
A. Gar d i ner , Egypt of the Pharaohs (Oxford,
1961), 436.

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E . Brov ars k i : Overseers of Upper Egypt

represented a secondary seat of the Memphite

administration .
Unlike these other scholars, Kanawati (in
1980) argued that even though there existed a
group of provinces that the Egyptian referred to
as the middle nomes, these did not constitute
a well-defined administrative section. Rather he
considered nomes 1020 an economically im56
portant area . His arguments are too detailed to
summarize here. At any rate, it seems he had to
some extent changed his mind in his 1981 publication of the rock-cut tomb of {u{n}n: ?}
|}n: ?}Y (67) at El-Hawawish, the necropolis
of Akhmim. This individual bore the title Yh\wA
h|n h u{Ans hss, overseer of Upper Egypt in
the northern provinces. Kanawati though it
only logical to expect the northern provinces
were located north of the middle provinces,
which means that ?}Y was overseer of Upper
Egypt only in nomes 21 and 22, perhaps in addi57
tion to his own nome, U. E. 9 . He remarks
further that it is curious that ?}Y, who was responsible for the economic management of a
relatively small area in the northern part of Upper Egypt, was located (or at least buried) between the middle and northern sections of this
part of the country. However, the situation of
the Deir el-Gebrawi nomarchs of late Dynasty
VI, who were responsible as great overlords for
the Thinite nome as well as U. E. nome 12,
seems roughly comparable .
{u{n}n: ?}|}n: ?}Y is dated by Ka59
nawati to the end of the reign of Pepy II ,
whereas Harpur assigns him to the period span60
ning late Dyn. VI to Dynasty VIII . Given that
five or six nomarchs or overseers of priests in all
likelihood succeeded him in office beginning in
Dendera, 67; see also H. G. Fischer, Four Provincial Administrators at the Memphite Cemeteries,
JAOS 74 (1954), 32.
Governmental Reforms, 3 ff.
N. Kan a wati , The Rock Tombs of ElHawawish, vol. 2 (Sydney, 1981), 7 8.
On the Gebrawi nomarchs, see Fischer, JAOS
74 (1954), 33; E. Brov ars k i , The Inscribed Material of
the First Intermediate Period from Naga-ed-Dr, PhD
Thesis, University of Chicago (UMI Dissertation Service, 1989), 124 125.
Kanaw ati , Akhmim 1, 127 132.
Decoration, 281.


the early reign of Pepy II, it is likely that ?}Y

belongs to the end of the Old Kingdom and
possibly even the early Heracleopolitan Period
(Dyn. IX) .

Reign of Pepy II
Before proceeding to a discussion of the
overseers of Upper Egypt in the First Intermediate Period mention should be made of one
such individual who possibly still belongs to the
reign of Pepy II. While two features of his false
door point to that conclusion , it is not clear to
which period of Pepys long reign that he belongs. This is C[\ (35), the proprietor of a small
mud brick mastaba northwest of King Tetis
pyramid at Saqqara.
Another individual who may have served
Pepy II is the As\|, Yh\wA h|n 'Yhnus
(29). 'Yhnuss false door possesses a supplementary frame consisting of a lintel and two
jambs outside the cavetto cornice and the false
door proper . The earliest datable false door
with the supplementary frame belongs to w\w|
YAh, who apparently worked for Pepy II as vizier
at the end of the first half of his reign. Other
examples of the supplementary frame belong to
the end of Pepys reign or immediately follow64
ing . Another feature of import for dating is the
table scene which is confined to the seated figure of 'Yhnus at table of bread and a single ewer and basin. This disposition of the table
scene begins seemingly in the early part of the
reign of Pepy II. The datable examples of the
scheme all appear to belong to the long reign of
Pepy II .


See Appendix.
See Brov ars k i , in Old Kingdom Art and Archaeology, 104.
I would like to express my thanks to Drs. Vincent
Razanajao, Francisco Bosch-Puche, and Elizabeth
Fleming of the Topographical Bibliography for information about the false door as well as a schematic drawing of its layout by Dr. Bosch-Puche.
Brovars k i , in Old Kingdom Art and Archaeology, 109 111.
Ibid., 89 94.


E . Brov ars k i : Overseers of Upper Egypt

In the case of the overseer of Upper Egypt

w\}hs\ (20), who was buried in the Pepy II

cemetery at South Saqqara, a lack of offering

formulas or other diagnostic criteria render it
difficult to know whether he actually belongs to
Pepy IIs reign or to Dyns. VIVIII, as others
of the individuals known from the cemetery
do .

specifically identified as overseer of Upper

Egypt as he views the census (}ns) of cattle .
Another responsibility of the overseer of Upper
Egypt was to issue the order for corve service
with the lists of men to be levied; the nomarchs
and other officials, such as the greatest of the
Upper Egyptian tens, overseers of phyles, and
so on then made the required levy in the districts
under their control .

Responsibilities of the Overseers

of Upper Egypt
As overseer of Upper Egypt in its entirety,
}Y claims to have acted for Merenre in a satisfactory manner, so that no man did harm to his
fellow; carrying out every task; assessing everything which was assessed for the Residence in
this Upper Egypt on two occasions and every
regular duty which was assessed for the Residence in this Upper Egypt on two occasions;
performing the office of a magistrate so as to
make my reputation in this Upper Egypt .
From }Ys statement it is clear that the main
responsibilities of the bearers of the title Yh\wA
h|n were in the sphere of tax collection and
financial management . This written evidence is
reinforced by pictorial testimony in the tomb
chapel of {\|} Cw\Y (12) who is shown
making the tax (Yws Ywn) of cattle and goats of
the Middle Nomes . Similarly {\|}: C}Y jh
(13) oversees in his chapel the making the tax
consisting of oxen and small cattle . However,
in the latters case this seems to have been in his
capacity of overseer of priests, and the same
may have been true of {\|} Cw\Y. In the
instance of |n (45) of Deir el-Gebrawi, he is
On the chronology of the cemetery, see Brov arsk i, in Des Nferkar aux Monotuhotep, 31 71.
Cf. Strud wick, Texts from the Pyramid Age,
355 356; E. Dor et , The Narrative Verbal System of
Old and Middle Egyptian, (Cahiers dOrientalisme 12;
Geneva, 1986), 53; Kan aw ati , Governmental Reforms, 54, 56.
Kanaw ati , Governmental Reforms, 71.
A. M. Blac k man, The Rock Tombs of Meir,
Part IV (ASE 25; London, 1924), pl. 16; Fischer ,
Dendera, 95.
A. M. Blac k man and M. R. Apted , The Rock
Tombs of Meir, Part V (ASE 28; London, 1953), pl. 32.

ZS 140 (2013)

Status of Abydos
Abydos was clearly the vantage point from
which }Y the Elder (8) oversaw the affairs of
the 22 nomes of Upper Egypt. Several monuments of other Sixth Dynasty overseers of Upper Egypt were found at Abydos. These include
a stele from the Middle Necropolis belonging to
{\u} (17), who may have served Pepy I or a
later sovereign of Dyn. VI, another stele of an
NY (4), who served in that capacity probably in
the early reign of Pepy II, an inscribed block
from the northern enclosure of the Kom esSultan commemorating AY (11), who may
belong to the first half of the reign of Pepy II,
and the false door and a side piece from a nichechapel of {\}s (15, 16), who held office at the
end of the reign of Pepy II or later. None of
these constitute absolute evidence that Abydos
was the seat of the principle overseer of Upper
Egypt, for it is possible that the fame of
Khentyamentiu led officials to erect cenotaphs
at Abydos as they later did at the terrace of
Osiriss temple .
We do know that an overseer of Upper Egypt
was resident at Abydos in the later Ninth
Dynasty, for Ankhtify of Moalla caused the
council of the overseer of Upper Egypt who is
in the Thinite nome, to visit Moalla in order to

N. de G. Davies , The Rock Tombs of Deir elGebrwi, Part 2 (ASE 12; London, 1902), pl. 9.
Fischer, Dendera, 95; cf. E. Mart in-Pa r d ey,
Untersuchungen zur gyptischen Provinzialverwaltung
bis zum Ende des Alten Reiches (HB 1; Hildesheim,
1976), 154 159.
W. K. Simp son, The Terrace of the Great God
at Abydos (PPYE 5; New Haven and Philadelphia,

ZS 140 (2013)

E . Brov ars k i : Overseers of Upper Egypt

consult about a matter which concerned his

predecessor Cs{ . Fischer also believed that
|Yn (55), who likewise belongs to the Ninth
Dynasty, was overseer of Upper Egypt at Abydos because of the precedence given to the
Thinite nome emblem before the other two
nomes he governed . If the fragments of a false
door found by Petrie under the Osiris temple at
Abydos (82) indeed belong to the same time
span, there is additional evidence for the presence of a resident overseer of Upper Egypt at
Abydos in the Ninth Dynasty.

First Intermediate Period

It is unfortunately not possible to date a
number of overseers of Upper Egypt more
closely than the late Old Kingdom, that is, from
the end of Pepy IIs long reign to the end of
Dyn. VIII.
Starting at Aswan, there is A}Y II (65), son
of {\}s: CyAY. Baer dates {\}s: CyAY to
the period extending from year 85 of Pepy II to
the end of the Eighth Dynasty . {\}ss son
A}Y II presumably belongs at not too different
a period from his father. Harpurs findings on
stylistical and iconographic grounds agree with
Baers conclusions as to the date of these indi77
viduals . On account of the restlessness and
revolt in Nubia recounted in a biographical text
in {\}ss tomb and his office at Pepy IIs
pyramid, Edel dates him to the end of the long
reign of Pepy II . If A}Y I (40) indeed belongs
to the last generation of that kings reign, however, that would place both A}Y II and his father, {\}s: CyAY, in Dyn. VIIVIII.
Proceeding northwards, at Thebes the
nomarch }Yu|} (56) was likewise Yh\wA h|n.

Vandier, Mo|alla, II, , 1.

Fischer, Dendera, 202.
Baer, Rank and Title, p. 289 [136].
Decoration, p. 282. Cf. the chronological chart set
out in E. E del, Die Felsgrbernekropole der Qubbet
el-Hawa bei Aswan, Part 1, vol. 3 (Paderborn, 2008),
E. Ed el, Die Felsgrbernekropole der Qubbet
el-Hawa bei Aswan, Part 1, vol. 2 (Paderborn, 2008),


Fischer thinks that the date of the three Old

Kingdom tombs of the nomarchs N\, his son
=}s\, and }Yu|} (56) at Thebes are probably
no earlier in date than the second half of the
Sixth Dynasty . In fact, the representation of a
box under the couch of =}s\ and his wife is an
indication of a date no earlier than the first part
of the reign of Pepy II for his tomb. With the
exception of a parallel in the tomb of NY at Deir
el-Gebrawi, which probably belongs to the first
third of Pepy IIs long reign, other examples of a
box (or a box and mirror) under the owners
chair are not well-dated. Even so, none are demonstrably earlier than the occurrence in NYs
tomb and some may well postdate the Sixth
Dynasty . In both the tombs of =}s\ and }Yu
|} the presence of a table scene in which the
more usual gueridon with tall loaves of bread is
replaced by a low, rectangular offering table
heaped with foodstuffs suggests a date at the
end of the Sixth Dynasty or later for both
tombs . That }Yu|} may be a near contemporary of the nomarch \Y}uns: Y at Dendera
is suggested by the occurrence in both tombs of
w}' |A before the name of the owner, while elsewhere during this period in Upper Egypt the
monuments introduce the owners name with
w}' }w . If so, this would make the tomb of
}Yu|} the last of the three Old Kingdom
tombs at Thebes, not the first as Saleh suggested
on the basis of his basilophoric name. The im-

H. G. Fischer, review of Three Old-Kingdom
Tombs at Thebes, by M. S aleh, in BiOr 36, no. 1/2,
January-March 1979, 30 31.
M. Saleh, Three Old-Kingdom Tombs at Thebes
(AV 14; Mainz am Rhein, 1977), pl. 8; see Har p ur ,
Decoration, 219; E. Brov ars k i , A Second Style in
Egyptian Relief of the Old Kingdom, in S. E.
Thompson and P. Der Manuelian (eds.), in Egypt
and Beyond: Essays Presented to Leonard H. Lesko
upon His Retirement from the Wilbour Chair of Egyptology at Brown University, June 2005 (Providence, RI,
2008), 76.
See E. Brov ars k i , An Unpublished Stele of the
First Intermediate Period in the Oriental Institute Museum, JNES 32 (1973), 459 and n. 22. On ibid., 461,
the provenance of Louvre C. 198 was inadvertently
given as Naga ed-Deir, when Abydos was actually intended.
Fischer, Dendera, 76, 117.


E . Brov ars k i : Overseers of Upper Egypt

plication is that }Yu|} belongs to the end of

the Sixth Dynasty after the death of Pepy II.
A small false door from Abydos preserves the
name and titulary of the vizier and overseer of
Upper Egypt NY (50). Palaeographic and stylistic
considerations assign his false door, CG 1457, to
the end of the reign of Pepy II or a little later .
The overseer of Upper Egypt \u{\
(59) is known from the stele of his father, the
vizier NY, which was found in the Middle Necropolis at Abydos, CG 1575. If he is identical
with the vizier \uwjAw|, as Baer sug84
gests , he may date from year 85 of Pepy II to
the end of the Eighth Dynasty . On account of
the decoration of the \uwjAw|s burial
chamber, the present writer has suggested it
dates to the end of the reign of Pepy II or to
Dyn. VII . The fact that, in his burial chamber
and on his false door, \uwjAw| lacks the
title Yh\wA h|n , need not negate the identification, especially as the time frame is about right,
since NY himself appears to belong to the sec88
ond quarter of Pepy IIs reign .
The presence of a supplementary frame consisting of a lintel and two jambs outside the cavetto cornice and the false door proper evident
in the false door of the the Overseer of Upper
Egypt, js{ (66) (Taf. XV), indicates a date
for the latter no earlier than the end of the first
half of the reign of Pepy II . The same is true of
the lone ewer and basin that sits at the foot of

ZS 140 (2013)

the offering table of the deceased . An epigraphic feature of importance is the suppression
of the falcon-sign in the writing of Khentyamentiu. At Abydos this suppression occurs in two
false doors that belong to the end of the reign of
Pepy II or a little later and a stele which can
hardly be any earlier than the last years of the
Sixth Dynasty, and may very well belong to the
Eighth . Henry Fischer has in fact suggested
that Louvre C 28 probably derives from Aby92
dos .
Erected within the enclosure wall of the
mastaba of the vizier wwnYjA'Y, the small
tomb of the overseer of Upper Egypt A}}':
=}n (72) consists of a false door, two sidepieces, and a lintel. Firth believed =}n was a son
of wwnYjA'Y who inserted his figure in the
well-known scene of wwnYjA'Y painting the
seasons . Baer rejected the identification and
instead thought =}n belonged to the late Old
Kingdom . Perhaps this was on account of the
title string ]w\s{ }uns Yh\wA h|n, which also
occurs with the overseer of Upper Egypt }Yu
|} (56) . Like }Yu|}, too, =}n is Yh\wA
}ns\. =}ns false door is fragmentary and the
diagnostic table scene missing, but the presence
of four jambs (rather than six jambs) may indicate a date in the second half of the reign of
Pepy II or later .
Coptos decree I, addressed by an unknown
king of Dynasty VIII to the Yh\wA }Yns, sA\s\ [A
As\, Yh\wA h|n, Yh\wA hn}sw, uhA }n hAY


See Fisch er , AJA 66 (1962), 67, n. 22;

E. Brov ars k i , Abydos in the Old Kingdom and First
Intermediate Period, Part II, in D. P. Sil v e r m an
(ed.), For His Ka: Essays Offered in Memory of Klaus
Baer (SAOC 55; Chicago, 1994), 34 39; id em, in Old
Kingdom Art and Archaeology, 96.
Rank and Title, 86, 291 [229A].
Ibid., 291.
Brovars k i , in Des Nferkar aux Montouhotep,
G. Jquie r , Monument funraire de Pepi II,
vol. 3 (Cairo, 1940), 56 60, figs. 59, 60.
Baer, Rank and Title, 61, 288 [73A];
Strud wick , Administration, 63 (16).
Brovars k i , in Old Kingdom Art and Archaeology, 99 110. I would like to express my appreciation
to Mme. Guillemette Andreu, Directrice du departement des Antiquits gyptiennes du Muse du Louvre
for a photograph of the false door and permission to
illustrate it herein.


Ibid., 89 93.
H. G. Fischer, The Cult and Nome of the
Goddess Bat, JARCE 1 (1962), 10.
H. G. Fischer, A Parental Link between two
Thinite Stelae of the Heracleopolitan Period, BES 9
(1987/1988), 15.
C. M. Firth and B. Gun n, Teti Pyramid Cemeteries, 2 vols. (Cairo, 1926), 27, 38, pl. 17 D.
Rank and Title, 145, 294 [533].
Sale h, Three Old-Kingdom Tombs, figs. 3 4. It
should be noted that the same pair of titles are attested
for the much earlier overseer of Upper Egypt ss{
~: Y (19), who probably belonged to the reign of
Unis; see R. F. E. Paget and A. A. Pirie with comments by F. Ll. Gr iffith, The Tomb of Ptah-hetep
(London, 1989), pl. 35 and, for the date, Bae r , Rank
and Title, 75, 290 [161]; Har pur , Decoration, 274.
Brovars k i , in Old Kingdom Art and Archaeology, 99 100.

ZS 140 (2013)

E . Brov ars k i : Overseers of Upper Egypt

(71) placed the latter in charge of the twenty-two

nomes of Upper Egypt . Subsequently, In the
reign of the penultimate ruler of Dynasty VIII,
King Neferkauhor, the scribes of fields of the
Denderite, Coptite, Disopolite, Thinite, and
Panopolite nomes (U. E. 59) were ordered to
cooperate with the vizier and overseer of Upper
Egypt hAY in assigning fields in Upper Egyptian
nomes 59 to a new religious foundation at
Coptos .
In 1956 Labib Habachi discovered the false
door of Princess s of the Eighth Dynasty,
wife of the vizier hAY, at Kom el-Kuffar, about
a kilometer to the south of the main ruins of
Qift . Some twenty years later, between 1979
and 1982, Rabia Hamdan, Inspector of Antiquities at Qena, excavated the tomb more completely and found that the edifice belonged to
both s and hAY . Subsequently, four inscriptions carved on a wall of the corridor leading to
the offering room of the tomb were published
and translated by Maha F. Mostafa . In addition, in December 2001, the Qift Regional Expedition uncovered three limestone steles while
clearing the eastern part of the mastabas north

Goed ick e, Knigliche Dokumente, 172177,

fig. 18. W. C. Hay es , Royal Decrees from the Temple
of Min at Coptos, JEA 32 (1946), 20, believes the
decree was issued by the immediate predecessor of w
jAnCw, Goedicke to the latter ruler.
Goed ick e, Knigliche Dokumente, 163171,
fig. 17 (Coptos L).
L. Haba ch i, The Tomb of the Princess Nebt of
the VIIIth Dynasty discovered at Qift, SAK 19 (1983),
205 213; see now E. Brov ars k i , False Doors and
History: The First Intermediate Period and Middle
Kingdom, in D. P. Silverman, W. K. Simpson, and
J. Weg ner (eds.), Archaism and Innovation: Studies in
the Culture of Middle Kingdom Egypt (New Haven
and Philadelphia, 2009), 359 362, figs. 1 2.
Mr. Hamdan very kindly showed me photographs of the tomb in 1982, shortly after its discovery.
M. F. Mostafa, Erster Vorbericht ber einen
Ersten Zwischenzeit Text aus Kom El-Koffar, ASAE
70 (1984 1985), 419 429; id em, Kom el-Koffar.
Teil II: Datierung und Historische Interpretation des
Textes B, ASAE 71 (1987), 169184; id em, The
Autobiography A and a Related Text (Block 52) from
the Tomb of Shemai at Kom el-Koffar/Qift, in
K. Daoud, S. Bedier, and S. Abd el-Fattah, Studies in Honor of Ali Radwan, vol. 2 (CASAE 34; Cairo,
2005), 161 195. The publication of the tomb is confided to Dr. Mostafa.



face . In Text B from the tomb, hAY is addressed as Yw\{|s, As\|, uhw n|s\, ]w\s, Yh\
wA hn}w, uhA }n, but not vizier or overseer
of Upper Egypt (70). On one of the steles, however, he is Yw\{|s, As\|, Yh\wA h|n, Yh\wA hn
}w. Exept for the last title, this is the same dignity that hAY is known by on a basalt statue base
in the Brooklyn Museum (69). It seems likely
that the hA;Y mentioned in the Elephantine
archive (68) represents the vizier hAY at an ear103
lier stage of his career , when he still was As\|,
Yh\wA h|n and before he was promoted to Yw\
{|s, As\|, Yh\wA h|n and ultimately to vizier.
Coptos M and O constitute decrees of King
Neferkauhor naming NY (53) overseer of Upper
Egypt in U. E. nomes 17 subordinate to his
father, the Vizier and Overseer of Upper Egypt
hAY, who has overall authority over all the
nomes of the South, as we have already seen. In
the two decrees, NY is addressed as As\|, shs\
Ys\, Yh\wA h|n. NY was elevated to the vizierate as Ys }w, hw\ }w, Yw\{As, us\ }un, Yh\wA }Yns,
sA\s\ [A As\, uhA }n presumably at the death of
his father by Neferkauhors successor, King
Neferirkare II .
It seems likely that hAY and NY were the
principal representatives of the central administration in southern Upper Egypt. Yet Text B at
Kom el-Kuffar, dedicated by NY after his fathers death, suggests that the influence hAY
exerted over the affairs of the kingdom in the
Southland did not go unresented . At the very
least it is clear from the inscription that hAYs
tomb and statues (and those of his ancestors as
well) were damaged and were restored after his
death by his son NY, who also took vengeance
on the perpetrators. It is probably against this


G. P. Gil be r t, Three recently excavated funerary Stelae from the Eighth Dynasty Tomb of Shemai
at Kom el-Momamien, Qift, JEA 90 (2004), 73 79,
figs. 2 7.
As suggested by H. Goed ick e, Zur Chronologie der sogenannten Ersten Zwischenzeit, ZDMG
112 (1963), 248, n. 41.
Haye s, JEA 32 (1946), 21; see G oed ic ke,
Knigliche Dokumente, fig. 28 (Coptos R); Mostaf a ,
in Studies in Honor of Ali Radwan 2, 171 172.
Mostafa, ASAE 70 (1984 1985), 419 429,
pls. 1 2.


E . Brov ars k i : Overseers of Upper Egypt

background that Coptos decree R, issued by the

Horus hYsAn\ on NYs own behalf is to be
understood . In the address NY is now vizier,
and the text of the decree threatens with annihilation and eternal damnation all the men of this
entire land who shall destroy his statues, steles,
ka-chapels, woodwork(?) or other monuments
which are located in any offering-place or tem107
ple whatsoever .
The titulary by which NY is addressed on an
inscribed dagger blade in the Metropolitan Museum of Art (52), Ys }w, hw\ }w, Yw\{|s, As\|,
shs\Ys\, Yh\wA h|n, Yh\wA hn}w, would
represent an intermediate stage in the career of
NY, since he bears the title Yh\wA h|n, but is
not yet vizier (Taf. XVI) .
The Metropolitan dagger blade is closely
paralleled by two dagger blades from Kom
el-Dara . On archaeological grounds Seidlmayer comes to the conclusion that the proprietor of Kom Dara, a certain King =nY, was a
contemporary of A|} Intef II, a local potentate whose attempt to found a dynasty independent of Heracleopolis and Thebes ended in
failure . Elsewhere the present writer has
argued that King =nY was one of the shortlived predecessors of King Merikare in early
Dyn. X .
NYs name in the Coptos degrees, in Text B at
Kom el-Kuffar, and on the Metropolitan dagger
blade is determined with the sign of the child

Goed ick e, Knigliche Dokumente, pp. 214

225, fig. 28.
For this reconstruction of events, see E. Brova rs ki , Naga-ed-Deir in the First Intermediate Period,
Chapter 2 (forthcoming).
I would like to express my appreciation to
Dr. Diana Craig Patch, Associate Curator-in-Charge,
Department of Egyptian Art, Metropolitan Museum of
Art, for permission to publish the object here, and
Dr. Marsha Hill, Curator in the same department, for
providing a photograph of the dagger.
cole du Caire (IFAO) and Muse du Louvre,
Un sicle de fouilles franaises en gypte 1880 1980,
exhibition catalogue Paris, 21 May 15 October 1981,
cat. nos. 95, 96.
S. J. Seid lmay er , Grberfelder aus dem bergang vom Alten zum Mittleren Reich, (SAGA 1; Heidelberg, 1990), 351 352, 402 403, 405, 414.
Naga-ed-Deir in the First Intermediate Period,
Chapter 2 (forthcoming).

ZS 140 (2013)

sitting with hand to mouth. A different NY (51),

determined with the ear, is known from a
bronze collar terminal found in tomb T 8 at
El-Qasr wa Es-Saiyad. Taking into account the
honorifics Ys }w, hw\ }w, Yw\{|s, which proceed
his title of Yh\wA h|n, it is likely that this NY
belongs to Dyn. VIII or the early Heracleopolitan Period; cf. (52, 54, 57, 71, 7578).
We have already stated our belief that the
As\|, uhw n|s\, Yh\wA h|n; Yh\wA h|n h u{Ans;
Yh\wA h|n h u{Ans hss {u{n}n: ?}Y:
?}Y|}n (67) belongs to late Dyn. VIII or
even the early Heracleopolitan Period. Regrettably, there is no way of knowing the relationship
he or the NY of El-Qasr wa Es-Saiyad (51) had
with hAY and NY of Coptos.
Another As\|, Yh\wA h|n of this period who
was buried in rock-cut tomb No. 39 at Deir elGebrawi is E}yn: ?ssY (61). Davies initially dated
the tombs in the northern cliff at Deir
el-Gebrawi, where ?ssYs tomb is located, to the
last reign of the Fifth Dynasty and the first two
reigns of the Sixth Dynasty, largely on the basis
of the personal names that occur in the tombs .
Kanawatis arguments are wider ranging, but he
similarly dates these tombs to the first half of
the Sixth Dynasty . Ch|: N[Y in particular he
assigns to the end of King Tetis reign and the
early reign of Pepy I . However, because of one
iconographic feature in particular, this can not
be the case. Beaneath the chair or couch on
which Ch| and his wife are seated rests a
wooden box . The presence of boxes under the
chair of the tomb owner are good indications of
a date in the reign of Pepy II or later (supra).
Thus, Ch|s tomb must be at least as late.
That being the case, he must postdate the Sixth
Dynasty nomarchs buried at Deir el-Gebrawi,
who served in that capacity from the reign of
Merenre to the end of the long reign of Pepy
II . As a result Ch| and his brother, E}yn:

Deir el-Gebrwi 2, 3840.

Deir el-Gebrawi 1, 12 20.
Ibid., 20.
Davies , Deir el-Gebrwi 2, pl. 17; N. Ka naw at i, Deir el-Gebrawi, vol. 1 (Australian Centre for
Egyptology: Reports 23; Oxford, 2005), pl. 46.
See Brov ars k i , Naga-ed-Deir in the First Intermediate Period, Chapter 4 (forthcoming).

ZS 140 (2013)

E . Brov ars k i : Overseers of Upper Egypt

NYu}n~' cannot be earlier in date than the end

of the Sixth Dynasty. Archaeologically, E}yn:
?ssYs tomb is later than the tombs of the two
brothers. He may have decorated it at the end of
the Old Kingdom; on the other hand, the tomb
could belong to the early Heracleopolitan Period
(Dynasty IX).
At Deir el-Bersheh in the Hare Nome (U. E.
15), four nomarchs held the office of overseer
of Upper Egypt in the late Old Kingdom and
the first two generations of the Heracleopolitan
Period (Dyn. IX). The earliest of these is probably the As\|, Yh\wA h|n; As\|, w{ }us\, Yh\wA
h|n NA (48). Although no sepulcher is as yet
known for him at Bersheh, NA left a number of
restoration texts in the Old Kingdom tombs of
the governors of the Hare nome at Sheikh Said
as well as a graffito in the Hatnub alabaster
quarries. NA was great overlord of the Hare
nome and overseer of priests of Thoth, lord
of Hermopolis in addition. He apparently
served in office during much of Dynasty VI
VIII, since the graffito at Hatnub is dated to his
Year 31 .
NA was succeeded in office by the overseer
of Upper Egypt and great overlord of the Hare
Nome =nn (62) whose tomb was discovered
by Osiris Ghobrial in the village square of Deir
el-Bersheh in 1972 . Iconographic and structural similarities point to a date for his false door
at least as early as the time of the nomarch
|A}s I, who himself governed the Hare Nome
at the end of the reign of A|} Intef II or
under s}s{}w Intef III . =nns son, the
As\|, w{ }us\, Yh\wA hn}w, Yh\wA h|n, w\


See ibid., Chapter 2.

H. S. K. Ba k r y, Recent Discoveries of Pharaonic Antiquities in Cairo and Neighbourhood, RSO 46
(1971), 7 8, pl. 5; H. Wi llems, Dayr al-Barsha, vol. 1
(OLA 155; Leuven, 2007), 15, 196 108; E. Brov arsk i, The Hare and Oryx in the First Intermediate
Period and Early Middle Kingdom, in A. Woo d s,
A. Mc Far la ne, and S. Bind er (eds.), Egyptian Culture and Society: Studies in Honour of Naguib
Kanawati, vol. 1 (CASAE 38; Cairo, 2010), 52, n. 132;
see also E. Brovarski, A phantom debate?, in
E. Bechtol d , A. Guly s, and A. Haszno s (eds),
From Illahun to Djeme: papers presented in honor of
Ulrich Luft (Oxford, 2011), 25 30.
Brovars k i , ibid., 52, 6768 and passim.


s{ |A } }s, ns\}s (80), left a graffito in the

Hatnub alabaster quarries with a damaged cartouche that probably contained a throne name
followed by the personal name ;?s~\ . If the
cartouche belonged to the first King Khety of
Dyn. IX, =nns son ns\}s would be his
contemporary, and his father =nn then would
have belonged the last generation of Dyn. VIII
and succeeded NA in office. They may both have
served under the vizier and overseer of Upper
Egypt hAY (6871).
The next governor of the Hare nome was the
As\|, w{ }us\, Yh\wA hn}w, Yh\wA h|n, w\
s{ |A } }s, ns\}s uA ns\}s (81). In another graffito at Hatnub, he is associated with
the Heracleopolitan sovereign w\Y| Khety,
probably the second ruler of Dyn. IX .
Contemporary with ns\}s uA ns\}s in
the far South was the kings eldest son uw (57).
On his basalt false door from Khozam in the
Coptite nome uw is Ys }w, hw\ }w, Yw\{|s, As\|,
Yh\wA h|n. He is Yh\wA hn}w, Yh\wA Auns,
Yh\wA Auns YAss Yh}ss, w\s{ |A } An\ as well.
Fischer wondered why uw elected to reside at
the southern extremity of the province he governed as great overlord, rather than residing at
Coptos itself. He concluded that uw belonged
to the Heracleopolitan house and was stationed
at a strategic point between Coptos and Thebes
in order to break the alliance |}'s\'\ of Moalla
repelled . A slight modification of Fischers
theory concerning the Coptite-Theban alliance
would also fit the available evidence. To whit, it
was uw who initially forged the alliance between the nomes, whether by diplomacy or
force of arms .
Fischer also thinks that a red granite offering
slab in the Cairo Museum which names an
Yw\{|s, As\|, Yh\wA h|n uw (58) belongs to the
owner of the basalt false door.

See recently Br ov arsk i , Naga-ed-Deir in the
First Intermediate Period, Chapter 2 (forthcoming).
H. G. Fischer, Inscriptions from the Coptite
Nome (AnOr 40; Rome, 1964), 42 43.
Brovarski, Naga-ed-Deir in the First Intermediate Period, Chapter 2 (forthcoming).


E . Brov ars k i : Overseers of Upper Egypt

uws successor at Khozam was probably the

Yw\{|s, As\|, Yh\wA h|n AnsY (74), whose false
door also derives from that site. AnsY was not a

kings son, but Fischer nevertheless believed it

unlikely that AnsY, who shared uws location at
Khozam, would have acknowledged a ruler of a
dynasty which the latter opposed .
A graffito discovered in recent years by Deborah and John Darnell may provide further sup125
port for this version of events . The inscription
is carved on a rock face at the Wadi el-Hl, deep
in the desert, in the middle of the Luxor-Farsht
road, specifically at Gebel Qarn el-Gir. In the
graffito the overseer of Upper Egypt AnsYYyw~
states: I [have] made this for crossing this gebel, which the ruler of another nome had closed,
(I) fought with [his] nome . There is little
doubt that this AnsYYyw~ is identical with the
owner of the Khozam false door. As the Darnells observe, that other ruler was presumably
one of the Intef nomarchs of Thebes, who perhaps planned to make use of a track descending
from the central route in the neighborhood of
Naqada to outflank AnsY at Khozam .
An overseer of Upper Egypt named AnsYYyw
left three graffiti in the Wadi Hammamat (75
77), where he is identified as Ys }w, hw\ }w, Yw\
{|s, ]w\s, uhw n|s\, Yh\wA h|n, Yh\wA hn
}w }n. The identity of the AnsY of Khozam
and AnsYYyw of the graffiti seems likely to the
present writer. Darnell accepts the identification
of the Khozam ruler AnsY (74) with the likenamed individual of the Gebel Qarn el-Gir graffito (78), but rejects the identification of these
two persons with the AnsYYyw of the Ham128
mamat graffiti . He is not alone in the rejection
of the Khozam ruler with the last , although

Coptite Nome, 42 43.

See J. C. Darnel l and D. Da r nell, Theban
Desert Road Survey in the Egyptian Western Desert,
vol. 1 (OIP 119; Chicago, 2002), 30 37, pls. 7c, 19 25.
Although the beginning of the text is damaged,
AnsYs titulary appears to have been given as Ys }w~,
hw\ }w~, Yw\{|s, Yh\wA h|n.
See Darn ell, Theban Desert Road Survey 1,
fig. 1a.
Ibid., 34.
See Kees, Provinzialverwaltung, 110. As
Dar n ell, Theban Desert Road Survey 1, 34, n. 136,
observes, Kanawati both considers the identification as

ZS 140 (2013)

Mostafa thinks the identification tenable .

Darnell points out that the Khozam AnsY does
not have the title gods father, but he could
well have acquired the high ranking honorific
after his false door was carved.
A red granite offering slab in the Cairo Museum belongs to an Yw\{|s, As\|; Yh\wA h|n owY
(73). The style and proportions of the s{-sign
and the two basins of the offering slab are very
close to those of an offering slab from Khozam
that Fischer thinks belongs with the false door
of the overseer of Upper Egypt, AnsY (74) from
the same site . owY is thus liable to be a close
contemporary of AnsYs. Unfortunately, the
offering slab is without provenance, and little
more can be said about owY.
In Dendera in the Third Millennium B. C.,
Fischer published the false door of the triple
nomarch and Yh\wA h|n hA| |Yn (55), who
governed the Thinite and Denderite nomes together with the intervening province of U. E.
7 . Fischer inferred from the precedence given
to the Thinite emblem in |Yns titulary that
U. E. 8 was not a secondary acquisition, but was
the territory that the nomarch originally occupied before he went to Dendera, where his false
door was found in 1905 . The possibility that
he was overseer of Upper Egypt at Abydos is
reinforced by the fact that the name |Yn is not
otherwise known at Dendera, although it occurs

likely (Governmental Reforms, 117 118; Akhmim 1,

167 169) and uncertain (ibid., 286 287). H. G.
F isch er , A New Sixth Dynasty Inscription from
Naqada, in C. Berger, G. Clerc, and N. Grimal
(eds.), Hommages Jean Leclant, Vol. 1 (Bd 106/1,
Cairo, 1994), 188, n. 27, does not reject the identification of the Khozam AnsY with the ruler of the Hammamat graffito, as Dar nell, Theban Desert Road
Survey 1, 34, n. 136, seems to imply. He only disagrees
with Mostafas dating of the Khozam AnsY to Dynasty
ASAE 71 (1987), 169 184.
Coptite Nome, 49, no. 15, pl. 14, right. See now,
A. Mor et, rev. and ed, by Dia Abou- Ghazi , Denkmler des Alten Reiches III, fasc. 1, Cairo Catalogue
General (Cairo, 1980), 25, with figure and plate.
Fischer, Dendera, pp. 195 ff., esp. pp. 203 205,
fig. 40, pl. 24. For this and what follows, see Brov arsk i, Naga-ed-Deir in the First Intermediate Period,
Appendix D (forthcoming).
Ibid., 202.

ZS 140 (2013)

E . Brov ars k i : Overseers of Upper Egypt

at about the same period in the cemeteries at

Abydos and Thinis . Thus, |Yn may have
been a native Thinite.
The structure of the false door of |Yn is
somewhat more conspicuously late than that of
the high official }|}{\/}Y at Dendera,
although it follows the same basic pattern, the
distinctive feature being the extension of the
crossbar so that it bisects the entire stele . The
false doors of }Y and |Yn and the monuments of the |Yn Group at Dendera combine
traditional features with certain details sugges136
tive of the Heracleopolitan Period . In a careful
and reasoned study, Fischer dates }Y to the
Heracleopolitan Period . Fischer finds, in addition, a number of palaeographic indications
which link the monuments of the |Yn Group
with the false door of the Coptite nomarch
uw and the stele of the Theban nomarch N}
Ys' (CG 20009) . He concludes that |Yn must
have had his false door inscribed before N}Ys' |A
adopted the title great overlord of Upper
Egypt and imposed his authority on Dendera
together with, in all probability, all the nomes
south of it . In other words, |Yn in all likelihood belonged to the third generation of
Dyn. IX. According to Fischer, |Yns move to
Dendera may have been motivated by his desire,
as effective overseer of Upper Egypt, to keep

Fischer, Dendera, 202 and n. 802. Fischers references are to CG 1609 and the Devonshire stele of
s\ (H. W. Mll e r , Die Totendenksteine des Mittleren Reiches, ihre Genesis, ihre Darstellungen und
ihre Komposition, MDAIK 4 (1933), 187, fig. 11;
G. B. Deak i n, Two Egyptian Stelae in the Devonshire Collection, Transactions of the Hunter Archaeological Society 10 (1971), 63 65, 67; M. Lich thei m ,
Ancient Egyptian Autobiographies Chiefly of the Middle Kingdom (OBO 84; Freiburg and Gttingen, 1988),
no. 26). No examples earlier than the one under discussion are given. One of Ankhtifys daughters was named
|Yn (J. Van d ier , Mo alla (Bd 18 Cairo, 1950), 259),
but she could have been named after the triple
Fischer, Dendera, pp. 86, 196.
Ibid., 85 91, 196 214, for the |Yn Group, see
ibid., p. 185, n. 88.
Fischer, Dendera, 85 91.
CG 1442: Fischer, Coptite Nome, no. 13.
Fischer, Dendera, 199 201.
Ibid., 129 and n. 571; 203.


closer surveillance over the discord that had

been brewing in southern Upper Egypt since the
end of the Eighth Dynasty .
|Yn is seemingly not the only Heracleopolitan Period overseer of Upper Egypt who
claimed Abydos as his seat. Although the title
[over]seer of Upper Egypt is incompletely
preserved on one fragment of an anonymous
false door found by Petrie beneath the Eighteenth Dynasty temple of Osiris at Abydos, it is
almost certainly to be restored. For a variety of
reasons, the false door, which belonged to
NN, born of N (82), probably belongs to the
last/fourth generation of Dyn. IX .
Thus, it is likely that overseers of Upper
Egypt had their seats at Abydos in the early
Heracleopolitan Period, and it is to this period
that Ankhtify and his predecessor Cs{, who conferred with the council of the overseer of Up143
per Egypt who is in the Thinite nome , are to
be assigned. The nature of Ankhtifys relations
with the Thinite nome are not readily apparent.
He perhaps caused the council to come to consult under duress since, in a preceeding sentence,
he says: If I set (sail) to the Thinite nome
against him who knows not his own self, I find
it (with) lookouts upon the walls . It seems
fair to conclude that the ramparts were manned
against him and his army. On another occasion,
however, he nourished the Thinite nome with
his Upper Egyptian grain . It is impossible to
know, but interesting to speculate, whether a
perceived threat from Ankhtify caused |Yn to
remove himself northwards to the Denderite
nome. He may thus have been the unnamed
overseer of Upper Egypt whose council Ankhtify forced(?) to visit Moalla.
Edel thought he saw the sedge(?)-sign following Yh\wA and proceeding the personal name
NY~hs{ (47) on a painted pillar in the tomb of
the overseer of foreign lands and overseer of
the phyles of Upper Egypt, NYhA/sjA at


Ibid., 202.
Brovarski, Naga-ed-Deir in the First Intermediate Period, Chapter 10 (forthcoming).
Vandier, Mocalla, II, d, 1.
Ibid., II, b, 3-II, g, 1.
Ibid., IV, 15.


E . Brov ars k i : Overseers of Upper Egypt

Aswan. The title is twice given without query,

but is hardly visible in the published figures and
plate. NYhA/sjA was a contemporary of Ankh146
tify of Moalla , which would seemingly place
NY~hs{ in the third generation of Dyn. IX.
Once again, the connections of Ankhtify with
U. E. nome 1 is not entirely clear. He asserts
that he nourished the nomes of Hierakonpolis
and Edfu as well as Elephantine and Kom
Ombo in U. E. 1 . He also puts forward the
claim that he functioned as mouth of the army
(wA h|) from Elephantine right up to Armant
and Nnuns in the Theban nome (U. E. 4) . This
would have left little room for freedom of action
for NY~hs{ and NYhA/sjA, unless they were
allied with Ankhtify.
On the talus slope above and to the west of
tomb T 104 at El-Qasr wa Es-Saiyad was found
a large slab of relief that shows the As\|~,
shs\Ys\, uhw n|s\, yA ns, Yh\wA ;h|n AA\
(79) seated together with his wife. The stone was
in a very eroded state and the sedge(?)-sign
badly damaged, but evidently seen by SveSderbergh. The date of the relief is based on
one palaeographic detail. This is the [s-jar in the
invocation offering formula set at an angle with
drops of water pouring from its mouth. This
feature appears at Dendera in Dyn. IX .
The forms of the pottery found in the tomb
of the ;Yw\{|s, Yh\wA h|n hA| ?}Y|}n (63)
point to a date in the Heracleopolitan Period or
early Middle Kingdom . ?}n was additionally
Yh\wA hn}w and uhA }n and as such was in
charge of the clergy of the local temple of Min.
Owner of a modest rock-cut tomb at Deir
Rifeh in Middle Egypt is the Yw\{|s, As\|, shs\
Ys\, uhw n|s\, Yh\wA h|n hA| ?}h}w (64). Par146
See Brov ars k i , Naga-ed-Deir in the First Intermediate Period, Appendix D (forthcoming).
Vandier, Mocalla, V, b, 1.
Ibid., VI, a, 4 5. On Nnuns, see F. Go ma a , Die
Besiedlung gyptens whrend des Mittleren Reiches I:
Obergypten und das Fayyum (TAVO, Reihe B, no.
66/1; Wiesbaden, 1986), 126 127.
Fischer, Dendera, 196 197.
Cf. N. Ka naw at i, The Rock Tombs of ElHawawish, vol. 4, (Sydney, 1983), figs. 26 27, to the
chart on page 123 of S. Seid lmayer, The First Intermediate Period (c. 21602055 BC), in I. Sha w (ed.),
The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt (Oxford, 2000).

ZS 140 (2013)

allels in the phraseology of his autobiography

argue for a date in late Dyn. X/XI . ?}h}w
combined the offices of great overlord of the
Hypselite nome and overseer of priests of
Khnum, lord of Shashetep.
Possibly contemporary with ?}h}w is the
Yh\wA }Yns, sA\s\ As\ [A, Yh\wA h|n wY I (60)
at Bersheh. Four of wYs predecessors in Dyns.
VIII and IX, NA (48), =nn (62), =nn uA ns\
}s (80), and ns\}s uA ns\}s (81) had
been overseers of Upper Egypt before him. As
far as we know their successors as nomarchs of
the Hare nome and chief priests of Thoth, lord
of Hermopolis, that is, |A}s I and his sons
ns\}s and |A}s II, were not overseers of
Upper Egypt, although |A}s I was a vizier.
Clearly the Hare nome with its alabaster quarries
and the temple of Thoth was a rich and important province, which explains the prominence of
its governors. wY I himself in all likelihood
served the Heracleopolitan house and fought on
its side against Mentuhotep II . Ultimately, he
must have arrived at a modus vivendi with the victorious Thebans, for his son A\ also served as
vizier .

Middle Kingdom
In one of four inscriptions he left in the Wadi
Hammamat (no. 113) commemorating a number of wonders that took place in year 2 of King
sAn\| Mentuhotep IV, the vizier Nh}hAs
(84) has the title Yh\wA h|n hYy', overseer
of Upper Egypt in its entirety as well. It is
commonplace idea today that Nh}hAs, who
appears as a powerful and authoritative figure,
indeed overseer of everything in this entire
land, according to inscription No. 110, a few
See E. Br o v ar ski, Ahanakht of Bersheh and
the Hare Nome in the First Intermediate Period, in
W. K. Simps on and W. M. Da v i s, Studies in Ancient
Egypt, the Aegean, and the Sudan: Essays in honor of
Dows Dunham on the occasion of his 90th birthday,
June 1, 1980 (Boston, 1981), 27, n. 120.
Brovars k i , in Egyptian Culture and Society 1,
31 85; idem, in From Illahun to Djeme, 2530.
R. Anthes, Die Felseninschriften von Hatnub
(UGA 9; Leipzig, 1928), Gr. 24.

ZS 140 (2013)

E . Brov ars k i : Overseers of Upper Egypt

years later usurped the throne of Egypt and, as

King s{Y| Amenemhat I, founded the
Twelfth Dynasty .
In an article entitled The Stela of Amunwosre, Governor of Upper Egypt in the reign of
Ammenemes I or II, Simpson made the important observation that the office of Yh\wA h|n
survived the First Intermediate Period . Previously, Helck had maintained the opposite point
of view and believed that the office disappeared
forever in the First Intermediate Period, the
South being henceforth in the Middle Kingdom
administered by a chamberlain (Yh\wA |]}ns\)
of the Head of the South and the North by a
chamberlain of the Delta . Later, on the basis
of an earlier photograph which revealed that the
cartouche in the lunette of the stele of Nh}nuw
could only be read as that of Amenemhat III,
Simpson revised his thesis . He suggested instead that the office of Yh\wA h|n may have
been reinstated as part of the administrative
reforms attendant upon the curbing of the
nomarchs under Senusert III instead of being a
continuation of the office in the latter part of
the Eleventh Dynasty and the beginning of the
Twelfth Dynasty.
There is evidence for the existence of the office of overseer of Upper Egypt at the beginning
of the Twelfth Dynasty, as Simpson was aware.
A'YC|{\ of Asyut (89) is Yh\wA h|n hYy',
and is shown bowing before the Horus name
and cartouches of Senusert I on the east wall of
the great hall of his tomb . On his broken
statue from Kerma, he is not overseer of Upper Egypt, but rather w\s{ |A } wu\, great
overlord of the Southland .


On his stele in Leiden 6 (V.5) the Chief Steward ={wjA| (87) bears the title overseer of
Upper Egypt. On CG 20531, he is Yh\wA jAs }s
}s }uns and Yh\wA |]}ns\. The stele, which was
found at Abydos, bears the cartouches of Amenemhat II. By the time the Leiden stele was
carved ={wjA| was promoted to Yh\wA {wnw
h sA ww', w\s{ |A } sA ww', Yh\wA h|n, Yh\wA
oAhn. It is unclear how much time intervened
between the cutting of the first stele and the
second. It is conceivable that ={wjA| went on
to serve Senusert II as great steward.
There is little doubt that the owners of
the two steles are identical . The mother of
={wjA| on the Cairo stele is called N}Yh\s
and, while the owner of the Leiden stele is born
of N}Y, the mother is elsewhere on the same
stele called h\s. The father of ={wjA| on
CG 20531 is An, and he is certainly identical
with the father of ={wjA| on the Leiden stele
though this latter An has the epithet the
Younger .
The next Yh\wA h|n may have been ns\
s{ (90), nomarch of the Hare nome and high
priest of Thoth, lord of Hermopolis, whose
famous rock-cut tomb at Bersheh forms such an
attraction today. An inscription on the righthand jamb of the portico of his tomb asserts
that he was a uhw n|s\ under Senusert III. Perhaps, he served in office through much of the
latter sovereigns reign.
The presence of three overseers of Upper
Egypt in the reigns of Senusert I, Amenemhat II, and Senusert III suggests that there was
indeed a continuation of that office from the
First Intermediate Period and the Eleventh Dynasty to the beginning of the Twelfth Dynasty.


W. C. Haye s, The Cambridge Ancient History,

vol. 1, pt. 2A (Cambridge, 1980), 493.
W. K. Sim pson, The Stela of Amun-wosre,
Governor of Upper Egypt in the Reign of Ammenemes
I or II, JEA 51 (1965), 63 68.
W. Helck , Zur Verwaltung des mittleren und
neuen Reichs (Leiden and Cologne, 1958), 1011.
W. K. Simpson, Provenance and date of the
stela of Amun-wosre (JEA 51, 6368), JEA 52 (1966),
F. Ll. Gr iffi th, The Inscriptions of Sit and Dr
Rfeh (London, 1889), pl. 4.
B. Por ter and R. L. B. Moss , assisted by E. W.
Bur ne y, Topographical Bibliography of Ancient Egyp-

tian Hieroglyphic Texts, Reliefs, and Paintings, vol. 7

(Oxford, 1952), 177.
D. Fr ank e, Personendaten aus dem Mittleren
Reich (20. 16. Jahrhundert v. Chr.), Dossiers 1 796
(A 41; Wiesbaden, 1984), 284, Doss. 457; W. Gr ajetz k i , Die hchsten Beamten der gyptischen Zentralverwaltung zur Zeit des Mittleren Reiches (Achet,
Schriften zur gyptologie, A 2; Berlin, 2000), 83 84
Simpson, Terrace of the Great God, 18, pl. 35
(ANOC 23.3). In fact, ={wjA| with the title Yh\wA {w
is known from a third stele, Muse Guimet 11324.


E . Brov ars k i : Overseers of Upper Egypt

There are three other Yh\wA h|n known from

the later Twelfth Dynasty, although it is difficult
to assign them to a particular reign.
On his coffin from Deir Rifeh, s|} (86) is
w\s{ |A~ } XI, Yh\wA h|n hYy'' According
to Harco Willems, coffins all of whose sides are
decorated with serekh-facades, as is s|}s,
date from the time span between the last years
of Amenemhat II and the early reign of Senusert III. However, he also observes of the comparably decorated stone sarcophagi found at
Qau el-Kebir, one is probably as late as the reign
of Amenemhat III, while CG 28108 dates from
the Second Intemediate Period . Lapp actually
assigns the coffin of s|} to Dyn. XII/
XIII . The style of s|}s statues, the squat
form of one, the elongated arms and hands of
another, the downturned mouth of the first
point to a date for them late in the Twelfth Dy164
nasty .
Grajetzki identifies the overseer of Upper
and Lower Egypt, AAus (88) known from stele
BM 561, with the chief steward of the same
name, who is depicted on stele Leiden No. 10
(V 71) . He reconstructs the latters career as
follows: he was head of a department (Yh\wA
|]}ns\) under Senusert II or even a little earlier;
AAus then rose to chief steward (Yh\wA {wnw);
under Senusert III he was promoted to treasurer
(Yh\wA shs\n) . Gratjetzki likewise ascertains
the overseer of Upper and Lower Egypt, AAus

H. Willems, Chests of Life, (MVEOL 25; Leiden, 1988), 161 164 (Type VI). The coffins of s|}
and his brother ?}h}s (infra) differ from these coffins
only in doubling the number of text columns.
G. Lapp, Typologie der Srge und Sargkammern
von der 6. bis 13. Dynastie, Studien zur Archlogie und
Geschichte Altgyptens, vol. 7 (Heidelberg, 1993), 292
W. M. F. Petrie, Gizeh and Rifeh (BSAE/ERA
13; London, 1907), pl. X.E. Cf. e.g., Brussels E. 5687:
R. Engelbach and B. Gunn, Harageh (BSAE/ERA
20; London, 1923), pls. 1, 18; J. Van d ier , Manuel
darchologie gyptienne, Vol. 3 (Paris, 1958), 255, 267
[late Dyn. XII]; E. Delan ge, Catalogue des statues
gyptiennes du Moyen Empire 2060 1560 avant J.-C.
(Paris, 1987), 69 71 (Amenemhat III).
Simpson, Terrace of the Great God, pl. 60
(ANOC 41).
Gr ajetz k i , Hchste Beamte, 51.

ZS 140 (2013)

to be the same as the vizier AAus , known from

his Dahshur tomb and four fine relief panels in
Cairo . Simpson thinks it would be difficult to
argue for this hypothesis on the basis of the
difference in titles, however . The difference
of opinion is important, since the Dahshur reliefs on stylistic and iconographic grounds apparently date no later than Senusert III. Franke
dates the Leiden and London steles no closer
than the middle to end of the Twelfth Dy170
nasty .
The owner of a stele in the Egyptian Museum, Cairo, is known from his basilophoric
name, njAnw|u} (85), to have held that of171
fice no earlier than the reign of Amenemhat II .
In actual fact, the spelling of n in Osiriss
epithet lord of Busiris with the twofold
writing of the -sign is an indication that his
stele dates probably to the reign of Amenemat III, although it could be somewhat later in
date .
The odds are thus that the title overseer of
Upper Egypt remained in effect till the end of
the Twelfth Dynasty at least.
Appendix: Akhmim
In his latest discussion of the material pertaining
to Akhmim in the Old Kingdom, Naguib Kanawati
proposes the following succession of nomarchs and
high priests of Min from that site.
The earliest of the nomarchs is mns w of tomb
G 95 who served in office under Teti to early


Ibid., 50 51.
W. K. Sim pson, Lepsius Pyramid LV at
Dahshur: the Mastaba of Si-ese, Vizier of Amenemhat
II, in J. Ba ines , T. G. H. J a mes, A. Le ahy, and
A. F. S hor e, (eds.), Pyramid Studies and Other Essays
presented to I. E. S. Edwards (London, 1988), 57 60.
Ibid., 59.
Franke, Personendaten, 311 (Doss. 511).
Ahmad el-Sawi, Die Stele des njAnw|u},
genannt Nnu}, und der }w}'u, GM 92 (1986),
87 89.
Cf. C. J. C. Benn ett, Growth of the CoN
Formula in the Middle Kingdom, JEA 27 (1941),
78 (pp. 77 82), and see especially E. A. W. Bud ge ,
Hieroglyphic Texts from Egyptian Stelae, &c., in the
British Museum, part 2 (London, 1912), pls. 3, 19, 30.

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E . Brov ars k i : Overseers of Upper Egypt


Pepy I . He was both s{|A } u{As and Yh\wA hn

}w. mns w was succeeded in the early part of the
reign of Pepy I by his son {u{n}n, who is
entitled w\s{ |A } u{As and Yh\wA~ hn}w in his
fathers tomb . Kanawati suggests G 97 was his
burial place . According to Kanawati, {u{n}n
was succeeded in his turn by his son NwY, whose
tombe en four was discovered by Jquier at South
Saqqara . The latters son, named {u{n~}n
after his grandfather, is known from a fragmentary
relief, Florence 7584, which records his titles of Yh\
wA hn}w and w\s{ } =}hs . He served in office
under Merenre, to be followed in office by his son
the w\s{ |A } }n and Yh\wA hn}w AY{/sY
of tomb M 8, who served kings Pepy I, Merenre,
Pepy II, as is attested by his autobiographical
inscription . The latter had a son, the w\s{ |A }
=}hs, ?}Y|}n, who was buried in tomb H 15 .
?}Y|}ns son, the nomarch and overseer of
priests A{/sYYyw (H 26), and grandson, {u{n
}n/?}Y|}n (H 24), who bore the same titles as
his father, both were in office in the latter part of the
reign of Pepy II .
Kanawatis reconstruction of events is untenable
for a variety of reasons. To begin with, it is difficult
to see how mns w could be as early as Pepy I, since
both he and his wife have boxes under their chairs.
This is a phenomenon that first appears under
Pepy II , so mns w must be as late. So too must
his son {u{n}n/?}Y|}n. There is no evidence that NwY was a son of this ?}Y|}n. The design
of NwYs burial chamber shows that he belonged to the
end of Dyn. VI (after the death of Pepy II) or to
Dyn. VII . As great overlord of the Panopolite
nome, NwY was a contemporary of the Thinite nomarchs Y and =nAn, the only other late Old
Kingdom nomarchs interred in the Memphite Ceme184
teries. Kanawati assigns the two Thinite nomarchs,
N. Kan a wati , The Rock Tombs of ElHawawish, vol. 8 (Sydney, 1988), 7 13, pls. 1 2, figs.
1 4.
Ibid., fig. 3(a).
Akhmim, 91.
G. J quier, Deux Pyramides du Moyen Empire
(Cairo, 1933), 39 43, figs. 29 32.
N. Kana wa ti , The Rock Tombs of El-Hawawish, vol. 6 (Sydney, 1986), fig. 9; idem, Akhmim,
91 94.
McFar lane , GM 100 (1987), 6372; Kanaw ati , Akhmim, 97 102.
Kanaw ati , Akhmim, 102 106.
Ibid., 106, 127.
See above, p. 99.
See Br ov arsk i, in Des Nferkar aux Montouhotep, 48 49.


mistakenly in my opinion and those of other

scholars , to the reigns of Merenre and early Pepy
I . Once again, there is no evidence that {u{n~
}n of Florence 7584 was a son of NwY . The formal
designation of late Old Kingdom nomarchs normally
begins with w\s{ |A }, but NwY, like =nAn, writes w\
s{ |A, omitting the genitival }. Conversely, {u{n~
}n writes w\s{ }, omitting the customary |A. This
usage likewise is highly exceptional, but a second
occurrence can be quoted on a late Old Kingdom
stele from Abydos whose owner, a certain AsY, is
w\s{ } As, overlord of the Bat nome (U. E. 7) .
The variations are slight but significant and it is
reasonable to infer that the nomarchs concerned
were contemporaneous and belonged to the end of
the Sixth Dynasty and Dyn. VII . All other nomachs from this time forward at Akhmim write w\
s{ |A } =}hs.
According to his autobiography AY{/sY (M 8)
was appointed [A |hw by Pepy I and was promoted
to uhw and Yh\wA hn}w by the same sovereign.
Merenre conferred the office of uhA }n on sY .
He became a nomarch at the end of Merenres reign
or early in that of Pepy II . His date is a secure
linchpin for the chronology of the nomarchs and
overseers of priests at Akhmim in the later Old
Kingdom. Kanawati believes that sYs son ?}Y|}n,
who appears on the part of his fathers architrave in
Chicago (FM 31700) with the title Yh\wA hn}w,
is the same as the ?}Y|}n of tomb H 15 at ElHawawish. However, the forms of the pottery found


E. Br ov ars k i , Akhmim in the Old Kingdom

and the First Intermediate Period, in P. Posene r Kr ig er (ed.), Mlanges Gamal eddin Mokhtar, vol. 1
(Bd 97/1; Cairo, 1985), 131 132; idem, The Inscribed Material of the First Intermediate Period from
Naga-ed-Dr, 125139.
Fischer, JAOS 74 (1954); idem, Dendera, 20,
n. 88; Marti n-Par d ey, Provinzialverwaltung, 208ff;
F. Gomaa , gypten whrend der Ersten Zwischenzeit
(TAVO 27; Wiesbaden, 1980), 75.
Akhmim, 84 89.
Kanaw ati , ibid., 17, n. 20, believes that he can
see traces of the sign for Min in front of the owners
face. He may be right; see the photographs in S. Bos ticco , Museo archeologico di Fienze: Le stele egiziane
dallAntico al Nouvo Regno (Rome, 1959), pl. 4; Kanaw at i, El-Hawawish 7, pl. 10(b).
Berlin: 7765: Fischer, JARCE 1 (1962), 16 17,
fig. 4, pl. 3. Like Y of the Thinite nome, Kan aw ati ,
Akhmim, 92 94, places As\ under Merenre. But the
displacement of the offerings in {w }' wn in Berlin
7765 suggests that the stele belongs to Dyns. VI VIII;
see Brov ars k i , JNES 32 (1973), 464, fig. 4.
Brovars k i , in Mlanges Mokhtar 1, 131.
McFar lane , GM 100 (1987), 6370.
Kanaw ati , Akhmim, 99.


E . Brov ars k i : Overseers of Upper Egypt

in the tomb of the ;Yw\{|s, Yh\wA h|n hA| and

Yh\wA hn}w ?}Y|}n point to a date in the
Heracleopolitan Period or early Middle Kingdom,
not the reign of Pepy II . The same is true of its
palaeography and epigraphy , although Kanawati
denies this .
Kanawati makes A{/sYYyw of tomb H 26 the
son of ?}Y|}n of FM 31900 and tomb H 15,
although we have just seen that the latter at least is
impossible. The next two nomarchs according to
Kanawatis reconstruction are A'Y{/sYYyw of
tomb H 26 and his son {u{n}n/?}Y|}n of
H 24. The latter actually made or decorated the
tomb for his father , although the verb is in a lacuna
so it is uncertain if the ?}Y|}n was completely
responsible for his fathers burial place or merely its
decoration . As we have already seen, Kanawati
dates both nomarchs to late Pepy II .
As previously noted, the autobiography of
sY/A'Y{ serves as the linchpin for the
chronology of the later Old Kingdom at ElHawawish. sY/A'Y{ may have died in the early
part of the reign of Pepy II, perhaps years 120, a
date suggested on stylistic grounds by Yvonne
Harpur . He may or may not have been succeeded
by his son ?}Y|}n, known from FM 31700, whose
own sepulcher lies unidentified. Next in order is
presumably mns w, whose tomb Harpur thinks was
decorated at some point in the period extending


Cf. Kana wa ti , El-Hawawish 4, figs. 26 27, to

the chart on page 123 in Seid lmayer, in The Oxford
History of Ancient Egypt.
Brovars k i , Melanges Mokhtar 1, 135. In particular the arrangement of s{Y}uns is frequently
found in the coffins from Akhmim, which are dated by
the present writer (ibid., 128 129, 137 138) and D.
Mage e, An Early Middle Kingdom Coffin from
Akhmm in the Ashmolean Museum (No. 19111477),
JSSEA 13 (1983), 241 248, to Dyn. XI, possibly as late
as Mentuhotep II. Kan a wati , Akhmim, 97 98 continues to believe that one of these coffins, CG 20004,
which belongs to a nomarch and overseer of priests sY,
belongs to A'Y{/sY of tomb M 8 at El-Hawawish.
This ignores considerable palaeographic and epigraphic
evidence to the contrary; see Brov ars k i , in Mlanges
Mokhtar 1, 128 129. For the coffin, see Ka naw at i,
El-Hawawish 3, pls. 5 8, figs. 15 17.
Akhmim, 104, pace B r ov arsk i, in Mlanges
Mokhtar 1, 135.
Urk. 1, 265, 4 5; Kan a wati , El-Hawawish 1,
fig. 19a.
Kanaw ati , Akhmim, p. 127.
Because of the box under his chair (K anaw at i,
El-Hawawish 2, fig. 24), {u{n}n/?}v|}n must be
at least as Pepy II (supra).
Har pur , Decoration, 281, suggests years 1 34
of Pepy II.

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between years 3585 of the same sovereign . If

mns w died around 50, his son {u{n}n (G 97)
could have served in office sometime between years
5585 of Pepy II, to be followed by NwY who, as we
have seen, was buried at South Saqqara and probably
belonged to the end of Dyn. VI or to Dyn. VII, as
did the {u{n~}n known from Florence 7584. It
is unclear which of the two nomarchs preceded the
other. The late Memphite period lasted some 40 or
so years . If A'Y{/sYYyw (H 26) served in office
for a normal twenty to twenty-five years , his son
{u{n}n/?}Y|}n (H 24) could have survived
into the late Old Kingdom or even the early
Heracleopolitan Period (Dyn. IX).
In keeping with my reconstruction of events,
there would have been five to six nomarchs and
overseers of priests who served in office at Akhmim
before A'Y{/sYYyw and his son . This would
indicate a minimum of 100/120 years or alternatively
125/150 years from the beginning of the reign of
Pepy II. If the nomarchs sY/A'Y{, ?}Y|}n,
mns w, and {u{n}n, all served during the 90
plus years of Pepy II, the tenure in office of NwY and
{u{n~}n (Florence 7584) would fall in Dyns.
VIVIII. AY{/sYYyw (H 26) would then belong
to the end of Dyn. VIII, and his son {u{n
}n/?}Y|}n (H 24) would have served in office in
the first generation of Dyn. IX.
The palaeography and epigraphy of {u{n
}n/?}Y|}ns tomb are compatible with a date in
the Heracleopolitan Period . A further argument in
favor of a relatively late date for the tomb is the
presence of nAs-eyes on two false doors in the tomb
on the crossbar above the niche , a position which


Ibid., 281.
See K. Ba er , Egyptian Chronology (Chicago,
1976), 1 2; Brov ars k i , Naga-ed-Dr Inscriptions,
43 54; Baud , in Ancient Egyptian Chronology, 156
158, assigns Dyn. VIII one generation but omits Dyn.
VII entirely.
Twenty to twenty-five years is below the average
of twenty-six years established by M. B. R owt on, The
Date of Hammurabi, JNES 17 (1958), 100 101, for
the throne tenure of seven generations of ancient oriental rulers. On the question of generation averages, see
more recently M. Bi erbr ier , The Late New Kingdom
in Egypt (Warminster: Arus & Phillips, 1975), xiii xvi,
and D. Heni ge, Generation-counting and late New
Kingdom chronology, JEA 67 (1981), 182 184.
Henige takes Bierbrier to task for arguing that any figure above twenty-five years is empirically unlikely.
Since no sepulcher is known for him, it is not absolutely certain that A'Y{/sYs son ?}Y|}n succeeded his father; see Kan aw ati , Akhmim, 128.
See Brov ars k i , in Mlanges Mokhtar 1, 135.
Kanaw ati , El-Hawawish 2, pls. 4, 23.

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E . Brov ars k i : Overseers of Upper Egypt

is otherwise first known on Saqqara false doors

towards the end of the Tenth Dynasty .
The above reconstruction accords well with the
situation in the Thinite nome, where three nomarchs
served in office in the reign of Pepy II and two other
officials who combined the offices of nomarch and
overseer of priests followed them at the end of
Dyn. VI and in Dyn. VII (Y and =nAn) . In
their turn, they were succeeded by a sixth governor
with both these titles and a seventh who may have
been overseer of priests as well as nomarch . At
Dendera three nomarchs again held office during the
reign of Pepy II with a fourth succeeding at the end
of Dyn. VI (after the death of Pepy II) to be
followed by at least two nomarchs who combine the
titles great overlord and overseer of priests in
Previously, the present writer argued that AY
{/sYYyw belonged to the Heracleopolitan Period on
account of the addition of the epithet Yyw to his
name . Fischer had pointed out that the addition of
Yyw to personal names as a posthumous distinction
is one of several features which appear rarely if
ever before the Heracleopolitan Period in Upper
Egypt . However, we now know that the epithet

Fischer, Coptite Nome, 40 and n. 20. See now
Brov ars k i , in Archaism and Innovation, 372, 393,
405. (pp. 359 423).
Brovarski, Naga-ed-Dr Inscriptions, 123
125, Chart 1.
Ibid., 266 287, 305 310, 381 386, Chart 1.
See Fischer , Dendera, 187.
N. Kan a wati , The Rock Tombs of ElHawawish, vol. 1 (Sydney, 1980), figs. 7, 9, 16, etc.
Ibid., 75, n. 313.

Yyw was added to the name of the vizier hAY in the

original decoration of his chapel at Kom el-Kuffar
at the end of Dyn. VIII . So the epithet is not
incompatable with the assignment of AY{/sYYyw
to the end of Dyn. VIII.
Dossiers will follow in the next issue.

Some 85 overseers of Upper Egypt are known in
the period extending from the Old Kingdom
through the Middle Kingdom. The present article
provides an inventory of the holders of the title,
discusses the dating of the individuals concerned,
and the significance of the titles in these different

First Intermediate Period Middle Kingdom nome
administration Old Kingdom overseer of Upper



Brovarski, Naga-ed-Dr Inscriptions, 511


False door of Overseer of Upper Egypt cbk-Htp, Louvre C 28/N 182. Courtesy of the Muse du Louvre,
Departement des Antiquits gyptiennes (zu Brovarski, Overseers of Upper Egypt, Part 1).


Dagger blade inscribed for the Overseer of Upper Egypt d, MMA 29.2.8. Courtesy of the
Metropolitan Museum of Art, Department of Egyptian Art (zu Brovarski, Overseers of Upper Egypt, Part 1).