Iytjenu (The one who has come distinguished)[1] was an ancient Egyptian king of the First Intermediate Period, about 2100 BC. Very little is known about him as he is only indirectly attested in the name of a woman called Zat-Iytjenu - Daughter of Iytjenu. The element Iytjenu within the woman's name is written with a royal cartouche. In this period the cartouche was only used for writing a king's name. Therefore, her name must refer to a king. The ruler's name is composed of two elements: Iy and Tjenu, both elements are also well attested as independent names.[2] The position of the king within the First Intermediate Period remains highly speculative.[3]

Zat-Iytjenu is only known from her false door (Egyptian Museum Cairo, JE 59158) excavated at Saqqara in about 1920 to 1922 by Cecil Mallaby Firth. Firth never found time to publish the stela. However, a note on the king's name was written shortly after by Henri Gauthier in 1923.[4] The false door was only fully published in 1963 by Henry George Fischer.[5] Very little is known about Zat-Iytjenu. She bore the titles sole ornament of the king and Priestess of Hathor. Her relation to king Iytjenu is unknown. Royal names as part of private names are common in almost all periods of Ancient Egyptian history.


  1. ^ Ronald J. Leprohon (30 April 2013). The Great Name: Ancient Egyptian Royal Titulary. SBL Press. pp. 48–. ISBN 978-1-58983-736-2.
  2. ^ Khaled Daoud: Necropoles Memphiticae, Inscriptions from the Herakleopolitan Period, Alexandria 2011, OCLC 837632466, pp. 201-206, no. 4.4.2
  3. ^ J. von Beckerath: Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen, Berlin 1984 ISBN 3422008322, pp. 60, 189
  4. ^ H. Gauthier: Quelques additions au Livres des rois d'Égypte, in Recueil der Travaux 40 (1923), 198 (21)
  5. ^ H. G. Fischer: A stela of the Heracleopolitan Period at Saqqara: the Osiris Iti, in ZÄS 90 (1963), 36-37, pl. VI