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prenomina

Intef VIII

Intef VIII (or Antef) Sekhemreherhermaat was an Egyptian king of the Seventeenth dynasty of Egypt, who ruled during the Second Intermediate Period, when Egypt was divided between the Theban based 17th Dynasty in Upper Egypt and the Hyksos 15th Dynasty who controlled Lower and part of Middle Egypt.

Intef VIII ruled from Thebes, and was buried in a tomb in the 17th Dynasty royal necropolis at Dra Abu El-Naga. His only clear attestation is his coffin--Louvre E 3020 --now in France. His sarcophagus contained the corrected nomen of this king as well as his prenomen, Sekhemre Heruhirmaat, "which was added in ink on the chest of the coffin. Little more is known concerning the reign of this king except that he was a short-lived successor of Nebkheperre Antef VII. The Danish Egyptologist Kim Ryholt has argued that Intef VIII was possibly a co-regent of Nebkheperre Antef VII based on a block from Koptos which preserves

... the nomen and prenomen of Antef N[ebkheperre] together with the unfortunately almost lost prenomen of another king. The prenomina of both king's are given the epithet di'nh and since this was normally used only for the ruling king, it may be inferred that these kings co-reigned.
Ryholt observes that the length of the damaged cartouche would fit well with the long prenomen of Antef VIII: Sekhemre Heruhirmaatre.

Brief Reign

Ryholt has suggested that Intef VIII died prematurely and was buried in a royal coffin which initially belonged to Nebkheperre Antef VII; hence, Intef VIII did not enjoy an independent reign of his own. Scolar Jürgen von Beckerath suspects that Intef VII might have been murdered. The British Egyptologist Aidan Dodson, however, critiques Ryholt's proposal that Intef VIII died during the reign of his predecessor and was buried in Intef VI's original royal coffin. Dodson observes that the form of the name Antef written here (which was originally similar to that used to designate Nebkheperre Antef before it was amended for Heruhirmaatre Antef) and the added king's prenomen of Sekhemre Heruhirmaat on this king's coffin was composed in an entirely different hand from the remaining texts on the coffin. Dodson also stresses that

On the matter of the coffins of the Inyotef kings, Ryholt fails to address the key point that the container used for Sekhemre-heruhirmaet (his "Inyotef H") is certainly a "stock" [ie: non-royal] coffin, made lacking the deceased's name, to be inserted later--just as was that later used for the burial of Kamose. On this basis, there seems no possibility of the former having been the original coffin of Inyotef N, pressed into service for his prematurely defunct co-regent. The reviewer's previous explanation of the changed spelling of the nomen thus remains the most likely, and may also provide an explanation for the inclusion of the prenomen: in view of the confusion in the mind of the scribe, he made sure that the king was correctly identified in the Hereafter by adding his prenomen as well!

Dodson's previous explanation derives from his GM 120 (1991) article where the author argues that Intef VIII was most probably a short-lived Theban king who died within months of his accession to power since the temple "scribes were probably still used to writing Inyotef in the manner of Nubkheperre [Intef VII] [sc. with the reed-leaf: in-it=f], leading to the corrected mistake on the coffin [of Intef VIII].

This would also explain the modesty of Intef VIII's coffin which lacked a royal uraeus and is stylistically similar to the clearly non-royal coffin of Kamose. Intef, hence, would not have had the time to create a proper royal coffin in his abbreviated reign.

References

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