Seankhenre Mentuhotepi was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh during the fragmented Second Intermediate Period. According to egyptologists Kim Ryholt and Darrell Baker, he was the fifth king of the 16th Dynasty reigning over the Theban region in Upper Egypt.[2] Alternatively, Jürgen von Beckerath sees him as the fifth king of the 17th Dynasty.[4][5]


Mentuhotepi is attested by a stela from Karnak[2] and a scarab seal of unknown provenance bearing a prenomen variously read Sewahenre, Sewadjenre and Seankhenre. Furthermore, two limestone sphinxes of Mentuhotepi were discovered in 1924 in the ruins of the Temple of Horus in Edfu, one bearing the prenomen Seankhenre and the other the nomen Mentuhotepi.[1][3] Finally, Mentuhotepi is attested in the Turin canon under the prenomen Seankhenre.[3]


The identification of Mentuhotepi has evolved over the years: Jürgen von Beckerath lists Mentuhotepi as a king of the 17th Dynasty under the name Mentuhotep VII and Wolfgang Helck as Mentuhotep VI. The recent reconstruction of the Turin canon by Ryholt established this king as Seankhenre Mentuhotepi.[3]


If Ryholt's identification of Mentuhotepi in the Turin canon is correct, then he took the throne following Sekhemre Sankhtawy Neferhotep III and reigned for only 1 year. Mentuhotepi's short reign was probably marked by the constant conflict with the Hyksos kingdom of the 15th Dynasty. At the time, the 16th Dynasty was already in a weakened position and reigned over little more than Thebes itself. In his stela from Karnak, Mentuhotepi emphatically states: "I am the king within Thebes, this is my city"[2] and calls Thebes the "mistress of the entire land, city of triumph". He reports driving back the "foreign lands", probably a euphemism for the Hyksos or possibly for the Nubians.[3] Mentuhotepi's military might is emphasized, the king being likened to Sekhmet who kills his enemies with his "flaming breath".[3] Mentuhotepi was succeeded by Nebiryraw I, who ruled Upper Egypt for over 25 years.


  1. ^ a b Henri Gauthier (1931), "Deux sphinx du Moyen Empire originaires d'Edfou", ASAE 31
  2. ^ a b c d Kim Ryholt, The Political Situation in Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period c.1800-1550 B.C, Museum Tusculanum Press, (1997), pp. 154, 160, 202
  3. ^ a b c d e f Darell D. Baker: The Encyclopedia of the Pharaohs: Volume I - Predynastic to the Twentieth Dynasty 3300 - 1069 BC, Stacey International, ISBN 978-1-905299-37-9, 2008, p. 233
  4. ^ Jürgen von Beckerath: Untersuchungen zur politischen Geschichte der Zweiten Zwischenzeit in Ägypten, Glückstadt, 1964
  5. ^ Jürgen von Beckerath: Chronologie des pharaonischen Ägyptens, Münchner Ägyptologische Studien 46, Mainz am Rhein, 1997