Userkaf in hieroglyphs

The first pharaoh of the Fifth Dynasty,

As the first ruler of the fifth dynasty, Userkaf imitated or honored Djoser by using the same name for his Horus and Nebty names instead of two different ones. He likely married into the extended royal family of the fourth dynasty to gain the throne. His hellenized name by Manetho is Ouserkheres, and his name is present on the New Kingdom king lists of Abydos, Saqqara and Turin.
According to a story in the Westcar papyrus, he was the first of three brothers that ruled in succession, but that story has since been disproved.

Precedessor
Hordjedef

Successor
Sahura

Reign of Userkaf
AE Chronology2435–2429
v. Beckerath2479–2471
Shaw2494–2487
Dodson2392–2385
Allen2465–2458
Malek2454–2447
Redford2513–2506
Turin King List7 years
Manetho (Africanus)28 years

The Royal Titulary

From the hieroglyphic records

The Dual King

Horus Iri Maat  The Dual King User kaf

Horus name

Horus name

The oldest form of the name of a pharaoh, a falcon representing Horus is perched on the palace facade.

Horus name
Iri Maat
iri-mꜢꜤt
The one who has accomplished Maat
ir:mA*(mAa:t)
Mariette, Monuments divers recueillis en Égypte et en Nubie, II, plate 54e
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 56–57, 1:H

Nebty name

Two ladies hieroglyphs

The “Two Ladies”, the goddesses Nekhbet and Wadjet, representing Upper and Lower Egypt respectively.

Nebty name
Iri Maat
iri-mꜢꜤt
The one who has accomplished Maat (for the Two Ladies)
ir:mA*(mAa:t)
Papyrus Berlin 20397
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 56–57, 1:N

Golden Horus name

Golden Horus name

Horus perched on Gold, which was associated with eternity, but its meaning is disputed.

Golden Horus name
Bik nebu nefer
bik-nbw-nfr
The perfect golden falcon
nfr*G7:nbw
Kaplony, Rollsiegel des Alten Reiches, II, plate 55
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 56–57, 1:G

Throne names

Prenomen or throne name

Announced at the coronation and always written in a cartouche. The “official” name of the pharaoh. Also known as the Prenomen.

Throne name
User kaf
wsr-kꜢ-f
His ka is strong
wsr-s-kA-f
Abydos Canon no. 26
Saqqara Canon no. 34
Mariette, Monuments divers recueillis en Égypte et en Nubie, II, plate 54e
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 56–57, 1:E2
Throne name variant
User kaf
wsr-kꜢ-f
His ka is strong
w-wsr-s-kA:f
Tomb of Kameni (LG 96)
Petrie, Abydos, II, plate XIV
Lepsius, Denkmäler aus Ägypten und Äthiopien, II, 40
Beckerath, “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, 2nd ed. MÄS 49 (1999). 56–57, 1:E1
Throne name variant
..ka
..kꜢ
//-kA-Z1-G7
Turin King List 4.17
Gardiner, The Royal Canon of Turin (1959) III:17

The sources of antiquity

From the writings of the historians and scholars of antiquity

AuthorGreekTranscriptionReign
Africanus v, 1 Ουσερχερης Usercheres 28 years

Bibliography

  • Gauthier, H. Le livre des rois d'Égypte. MIFAO 17 (1907): 105–108
  • Beckerath, J. “Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen”, Second edition, MÄS 49 (1999) : 56–57
  • Leprohon, R. J. The Great Name: Ancient Egyptian Royal Titulary (Atlanta, 2013): 38
  • Baker. D. D. The Encyclopedia of the Pharaohs: Volume I (London, 2008): 484–486
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