This stela has the name of the second king of the 2nd Dynasty on it, who reigned some time around 2880 BCE. The name is his Horus name, and is written in a serekh which represents the royal palace with a falcon for the god Horus on top.

The name consists only of two signs, the sun disk (re) and the basket (neb). But whether you call him Nebre or Reneb depends on if you think the Re is written first because it was said first or to indicate respect for the god Re. It may mean “Lord of the Sun” or “Re is My Lord”.

Whichever way round his name is it’s actually the first time that the name of Re has shown up in the name of a king of Egypt. And there seems to be some doubt (from my brief reading) as to whether this is Re the god, or “just” the sun as it begins to become more important.

It was found near Memphis (probably) and perhaps indicates that Nebre/Reneb was buried at Saqqara rather than Abydos (as the 1st Dynasty kings had been), but there hasn’t been a tomb identified for him.

Stela of Nebre (or Reneb). Probably from Saqqara. Early Dynastic Period, Dynasty 2, reign of Nebre, c.2880 BCE. Acc. No.s: 60.144, 1975.149

It’s now in the Met Museum, acc. no. 60.144 for the front and 1975.149 for the back.

See it on my photo site:

I’ve written about the names of kings on the blog before and I’ve also written about the Egyptian writing system including honorific transposition.

Jigsaw Puzzles:

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