15 Facts About Userkare


Userkare was the second pharaoh of the Sixth Dynasty, reigning briefly, 1 to 5 years, in the late 24th to early 23rd century BC.

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Userkare is often considered to have been a short-lived usurper.

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Userkare is present on the Abydos King List, a list of kings written during the reign of Seti I over 1000 years after the early Sixth Dynasty.

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Userkare's cartouche occupies the 35th entry of the list, between those of Teti and Pepi I, making him the second pharaoh of the dynasty.

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Userkare was possibly listed on the Turin canon, a king list composed during the reign of Ramesses II.

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The mallet bears a small inscription giving the name of a crew of workmen "Beloved ones of Userkare" who hailed from Wadjet, the 10th nome of Upper Egypt, located around Tjebu, south of Asyut.

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Egyptologists William Stevenson Smith, William C Hayes and Nicolas Grimal believe that Userkare briefly ruled Egypt either as a legitimate stopgap ruler or as a regent with queen Iput I Indeed, Teti's son Pepi I reigned for circa 50 years, indicating that he was likely very young at the death of his father, likely too young to immediately assume the throne.

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The theory that Userkare was merely a regent is rejected by many Egyptologists, including Naguib Kanawati, on the basis that Userkare is mentioned on the Turin and Abydos king lists and hold full royal titulary, something reserved exclusively to reigning pharaohs.

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In support of the hypothesis that Userkare was a legitimate stopgap ruler, Grimal stresses that he is well attested by historical and contemporaneous sources, in particular the Saqqara Stone.

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Userkare's name is theophoric and incorporates the name of the sun god Ra, a naming fashion common during the preceding Fifth Dynasty.

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Since Teti was not a son of the last Fifth Dynasty king Unas, some Egyptologists have proposed that Userkare could have been a descendant of a lateral branch of the Fifth Dynasty royal family who briefly seized power in a coup.

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Egyptian-Australian Egyptologist Naguib Kanawati finds the hypothesis that Userkare was a short-lived legitimate ruler or regent "unconvincing".

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Since Userkare was a Sixth Dynasty pharaoh, his tomb was presumably planned to be a pyramid.

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The Egyptologist Vassil Dobrev proposed that Userkare's pyramid is located in the area of Saqqara South known today as Tabbet al-Guesh, north-west of the mortuary complex of Pepi I Indeed, a large necropolis of Sixth Dynasty administration officials is found there, which according to Dobrev, hints at the nearby presence of a royal pyramid.

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The astrophysicist Giulio Magli believes instead that the pyramid of Userkare is to be found midway between those of Pepi I and Merenre Nemtyemsaf I, at a place that would make the three pyramids form a line parallel to the one formed by the pyramids of Sekhemkhet, Unas, Djoser, Userkaf and Teti to the North.

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