Nebmaatre is the prenomen of a poorly attested ruler of the late Second Intermediate Period of Ancient Egypt. Nebmaatre may have been a member of the early 17th Dynasty and as such would have reigned over the Theban region.[2] Alternatively, Jürgen von Beckerath believes that Nebmaatre was a ruler of the late 16th Dynasty.[3][4]


The prenomen Nebmaatre is attested on a bronze axe-head discovered in a tomb at Mostagedda in Middle Egypt and now in the British Museum under the catalog number BM EA 63224. The same prenomen is inscribed on a black steatite amulet representing a lion of unknown provenance and now in the Petrie Museum under the catalog number 11587.[1] A degree of uncertainty affects the ownership of these artifacts since Amenhotep III's prenomen was Nebmaatre as well. However, the axe-head can be dated to the late Second Intermediate Period based on stylistic grounds and provenance while according to Flinders Petrie the amulet is of too rough a workmanship to be attributable to Amenhotep III.[5][6] Instead, Petrie suggested that the amulet be attributable to Ibi, an obscure ruler of the late 13th Dynasty whose prenomen is partially preserved in the Turin canon as "[...]maatre". However, Kim Ryholt's recent study of the Turin canon precludes this identification as a vertical stroke in the lacuna just prior to "maatre" rules out the hieroglyph for "neb".[5]

Chronological position

The chronological position of Nebmaatre in the Second Intermediate Period is highly uncertain. The Egyptologist Jürgen von Beckerath proposes that Nebmaatre was a ruler of a compounded 15th–16th Dynasty, which he sees as an entirely Hyksos line of kings.[7] Alternatively, Kim Ryholt put forth the hypothesis that Nebmaatre was a king of the 17th Dynasty, although he left his position in the dynasty unspecified. [8] Ryholt's datation is based on the observation that the axe-head bearing Nebmaatre's name was found in a tomb belonging to the Pan-grave culture.[9] The Pan-grave people were Nubian mercenaries employed by rulers of the 17th Dynasty in their fight against the Hyksos foe.[5] Egyptologist Darrell Baker points out that the Theban rulers of the period might indeed have provided such weapons to their mercenaries.[5]


  1. ^ a b The amulet of the Petrie Museum
  2. ^ K. S. B. Ryholt, Adam Bülow-Jacobse, The political situation in Egypt during the second intermediate period, c. 1800-1550 B.C., pp 168, 170, 171, 179, 204, 400
  3. ^ Jürgen von Beckerath: Untersuchungen zur politischen Geschichte der Zweiten Zwischenzeit in Ägypten, Glückstadt, 1964
  4. ^ Jürgen von Beckerath: Chronologie des pharaonischen Ägyptens, Münchner Ägyptologische Studien 46. Mainz am Rhein, 1997
  5. ^ a b c d Darrell D. Baker: The Encyclopedia of the Egyptian Pharaohs. Volume I: Predynastic to the Twentieth Dynasty (3300-1069 BC), Bannerstone Press, London 2008, ISBN 978-1-905299-37-9, p. 244
  6. ^ Flinders Petrie: Scarabs and Cylinders with Names, 1978, Aris & Philips, Ltd. (reprint of the 1917 original edition published by BSAE).
  7. ^ Jürgen von Beckerath: Handbuch der agyptische Konigsnamen, Muncher. Agyptologische Studien, 49 Mainz, 1999, pp.118-119
  8. ^ Kim Ryholt, The Political Situation in Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period c.1800-1550 B.C, Museum Tusculanum Press, (1997)
  9. ^ Manfred Bietak: the Pan-grave culture Archived 2013-10-24 at the Wayback Machine