Senakhtenre Ahmose, was a king of the Seventeenth Dynasty of Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period.[4] Senakhtenre reigned for a short period over the Theban region in Upper Egypt at a time where the Hyksos 15th Dynasty ruled Lower Egypt. Senakhtenre died c.1560 or 1558 BC at the latest.


See also: Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt family tree

He may or may not have been the son of Nubkheperre Intef, the most prominent of the Intef kings.

The Danish Egyptologist Kim Ryholt observes that "since Senaktenre was remembered as one of the Lords of the West alongside Seqenenre and Kamose, he is generally believed to have been a member of the family of Ahmose and as such identified with the otherwise unidentified spouse" of Queen Tetisheri, Ahmose's grandmother.[5]

He was succeeded by his son, Seqenenre Tao. King Senakhtenre would also be the husband of Tetisheri who is called the "great king's wife" and "the mother of my mother" in a stela at Abydos by pharaoh Ahmose I.[6] Senakhtenre was, therefore, the grandfather of Ahmose I.


Unlike his two successors, Tao and Kamose, Senakhtenre is a relatively obscure king and, until 2012, was not attested "by [any] contemporary sources (by his prenomen) but exclusively by sources dating from the New Kingdom: the Karnak king list [of Tuthmose III] and [in] two Theban tombs."[7] Donald Redford's book mentions these 2 Theban tombs.[8] The archaeological evidence prior to 2012 suggests that his reign was brief and lasted several months or 1 year at the most. However, in 2012, two important contemporary monuments of this king were uncovered at Karnak: a doorway found carved with his royal name as well as a fragmentary limestone lintel.[9] The doorway or gate is carved with other hieroglyphic inscriptions which state that Senaktenre had this monument, which is carved from limestone blocks, transported from Tura (modern Helwan, south of Cairo), which was under Hyksos rule during his reign.[10]

Senakhtenre's nomen

Pre-2012 hypotheses

From a reference in the Abbott Papyrus (Column III, 1.10) it was for a long time believed that Senakhtenre's nomen was Tao ("The Elder"). Indeed, the papyrus mentions two kings with the name Tao. The second king Tao was identified with Senakhtenre because the first mention of a Tao refers to Seqenenre Tao for which the complete name is written. Consequently, the hypothesis that Senakhtenre's nomen was Tao was dominant in egyptology until 2012 and was shared for example by Darrell Baker,[4] although it also remained controversial. For example, the Egyptologist Claude Vandersleyen rejected this view as early as 1983.[11] Furthermore, in his 1997 study of the second intermediate period, the egyptologist Kim Ryholt proposed that Senakhtenre's nomen may have been Siamun rather than Tao:[12]

This nomen is inscribed on one of two stamp-seals found together in a tomb at Dra Abu el-Naga, the other being inscribed with the prenomen Seqenenre [whose nomen was Tao]. It has been suggested that Siamun here was used as an epithet. In that case, it would stand in the place of a nomen since it follows immediately upon the title 'Son of Re.' However, apart from the fact that Kamose sometimes replaced his with the epithet 'the mighty ruler'...for political reasons during the war with Apophis, the title 'Son of Re' is always followed by a proper nomen during the Second Intermediate Period. Since Siamun was a popular name during this period and the New Kingdom, it seems more likely that we are dealing with a name than an epithet. The fact that the two seals were found together and are virtually identical in workmanship suggests that they were produced at about the same time and given to the official from whose tomb they come. Siamun must therefore be more or less contemporary with Seqenenre, and since it is not possible to identify Siamun with his successor (this being Kamose), it may be suggested that Siamun was the nomen of his predecessor Senakhtenre.

Senakhtenre's nomen discovered

The situation completely changed in March 2012 when French egyptologist Sébastien Biston-Moulin of the CFEETK (Centre Franco-Égyptien d'Étude des Temples de Karnak) published hieroglyphic inscriptions discovered on a large 17th dynasty limestone doorjamb built for a granary of a temple of Amun at Karnak. The doorjamb bears Senakhtenre's full royal name and reveals his nomen to have been Ahmose. This is the same name as that of his grandson, Nebpehtyre Ahmose I, who founded the 18th Dynasty by defeating the Hyksos and ousting them from Egypt.[2] Inscriptions on the door indicate that it was built following the orders of Senakhtenre himself. The door was subsequently re-used and discovered in the foundations of a later building adjoining the temple of Ptah at Karnak. Senakhtenre's royal titulary as revealed by the door is "Hr mry-mAa.t nswt bjty snxt-n-ra sA ra jaH-ms", which translates as "The Horus Merymaat, the king of Upper and Lower Egypt Senakhtenre, the Son of Re Ahmes."[2] The inscription on the reused door proceeds to state that Senakhtenre "made a monument for his father Amun-Re (i.e., the door itself)...from the beautiful white stone of Anu."[2] Anu is the modern Tura, located near Cairo, which could mean that Senakhtenre imported the limestone from the then Hyksos controlled area of Tura in Lower Egypt.[2] However, Biston-Moulin cautions that "beautiful white stone of Anu" was sometimes used as a generic term for stones which were actually taken from local quarries.[13] Meanwhile, a fragmentary lintel uncovered by the same team of French scholars bore this inscription which mentioned Senakhtenre's nomen:

Behdety, the great god

These two separate inscriptions on the granary door and fragmentary lintel found in January–February 2012 at Karnak demonstrate that king Senakhtenre's nomen or birth name was 'Ahmose' ('Ahmes' in Ancient Egyptian) and not 'Tao' as previously thought. Biston-Moulin writes in the summary of his article:[2]

Publication of two elements of a granary door bearing the name of king Senakhtenre Ahmose recently discovered near the temple of Ptah at Karnak. The inscriptions allow this king of the seventeenth dynasty, previously only known through the coronation name in later king-lists, to be identified more precisely. They also finally resolve uncertainties about his birth name: Ahmose. The designations of Senakhtenre Tao I or Senakhtenre Siamun for this king must be abandoned. Suggestions for identifying the king’s tomb in the Ramesside report of investigations in the Theban necropolis recorded in Papyrus Abbott must also be rejected. Only one king bears the birth name Tao: Seqenenre. That Ahmose is the son of Re name of Senakhtenre leads to the conclusion that this king must be a member of the Ahmoside royal family of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth dynasties, of which he is to date the oldest known representative. Finally, documents that bear only the son of Re name “Ahmose” can now be attributed to either Senakhtenre Ahmose or Nebpehtyre Ahmose.


  1. ^ Senakhtenre is now attested by two contemporary objects. In January to February 2012, a 17th dynasty granary doorway and a fragmentary lintel made of limestone found buried at Karnak was discovered by French Egyptologists. They proved to bear hieroglyphic inscriptions which recorded this king's royal titulary. All other references to him are posthumous and date to the New Kingdom period.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Sébastien Biston-Moulin: Le roi Sénakht-en-Rê Ahmès de la XVIIe dynastie, ENiM 5, 2012, p. 61-71, available online.
  3. ^ Peter Clayton, Chronicle of the Pharaohs. Thames and Hudson Ltd., 2006. p.94
  4. ^ a b Darrell 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. 380
  5. ^ Kim Ryholt, The Political Situation in Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period, Carsten Niebuhr Institute Publications, Museum Tusculanum Press, 1997. pp.278-79
  6. ^ stela CG 34002 now in the Egyptian Museum
  7. ^ Ryholt, p.278
  8. ^ Redford: 43, 48 [12]
  9. ^ A Pharaoh Of The Seventeenth Dynasty Identified At Karnak Archived 2012-03-11 at the Wayback Machine CFEETK
  10. ^ Gate found in Karnak Temple adds new name to ancient kings' list Al-Ahram, March 4, 2012
  11. ^ Claude Vandersleyen: Un Seul Roi Taa sous la 17e Dynastie. In: Göttinger Miszellen Bd. 63, Göttingen 1983, ISSN 0344-385X, S. 67-70.
  12. ^ Ryholt, pp.279-80
  13. ^ Sébastien Biston-Moulin: Le roi Sénakht-en-Rê Ahmès de la XVIIe dynastie, ENiM 5, 2012, p. 61-71, available online, at 63 n.10.