Karnak King List

The Karnak King List, a list of early Egyptian kings engraved in stone, was located in the southwest corner of the Festival Hall of Thutmose III, in the middle of the Precinct of Amun-Re, in the Karnak Temple Complex, in modern Luxor, Egypt. Composed during the reign of Thutmose III, it listed sixty-one kings beginning with Sneferu from Egypt's Old Kingdom. Only the names of thirty-nine kings are still legible, and one is not written in a cartouche (a border used normally to surround the name of a king).

Drawing of the list in 1843

It is not a complete list of the Egyptian pharaohs, as other kings are known from other ancient lists, but this list is valuable as it contains the names of kings of the First and Second Intermediate Periods, which are omitted in most other king lists.

It was first described by James Burton in 1825.[1] In 1843, a German expedition directed by Egyptologist Karl Richard Lepsius was traveling up the River Nile to Karnak. A French adventurer, Émile Prisse d'Avennes, dismantled and "stole" the blocks containing the king list one night in order to secure it for France, and sent it home.[2][3] Severely damaged, it is now on display at the Louvre[4] in Paris.

Drawing of the listEdit

Drawing of the Karnak King List. The colored bits remain, the white are more or less lost.

Description of the listEdit

The list features the name of the pharaoh followed by the actual one inscribed on the list. The list comprises three sections and is divided at the center. The numbering follows Lepsius,[5] counting from the sides, toward the center.

Left side Right side
Top Row
Pharaoh Inscribed name Pharaoh Inscribed name
1. possibly Neferkara Nefer-ka-re 32. Senusret III Kha-ka-re
2. Sneferu S-neferu 33. Sobekhotep IV Kha-nefer-re
3. Sahure Sahu-re 34. Neferhotep I Kha-sekhem-re
4. Nyuserre Ini Ini 35. Destroyed destroyed
5. Djedkare Isesi Isesi 36. Sobekhotep I Sekhem-re-khu-tawy
6. Destroyed destroyed 37. Amenemhet VI S-ankh-ib-re
7. Destroyed destroyed 38. Nebiryraw I Se-wadj-en-re
8. Djehuti Sekhem-re-semen-tawy 39. Unknown ...kau(re)
Second Row
Pharaoh Inscribed name Pharaoh Inscribed name
9. Destroyed destroyed 40. Destroyed destroyed
10. Intef II? Intef 41. Neferhotep II Mer-sekhem-re
11. Intef I? In... 42. Sobekhotep VII Mer-kau-re
12. Mentuhotep I? Men... 43. Sobekhotep VIII? Se-user-tawy
13. Intef the Elder? Intef 44. Unknown ...re
14. Unknown Teti 45. Unknown Senefer..re
15. Unknown Pepi 46. Khahotepre Sobekhotep Kha-hotep-re
16. Merenre Nemtyemsaf I? Mer-en-re 47. Sobekhotep II Kha-ankh-re
Third Row
Pharaoh Inscribed name Pharaoh Inscribed name
17. Amenemhat I Se-hotep-ib-re 48. Rahotep (Sekhem)re Wahkhaure
18. Amenemhat II Nebu-ka-re 49. Sewahenre Senebmiu Se-wah-en-re
19. Destroyed destroyed 50. Merhotepre Sobekhotep Mer-hotep-re
20. Destroyed destroyed 51. Wegaf Khu-tawi-re
21. Amenemhat IV Maat-khe-ru-re 52. Destroyed destroyed
22. Sobekneferu Sobek-neferu 53. Destroyed destroyed
23. Sehetepkare Intef? Intef 54. Sobekemsaf I Sekhem-re-wadj-khau
Bottom Row
Pharaoh Inscribed name Pharaoh Inscribed name
24. Senusret I Kheper-ka-re 55. Unknown ...re
25. Seqenenre Tao Se-qen-en-re 56. Senusret IV? Senefer..re
26. Senakhtenre Ahmose Se-nakht-en-re 57. Unknown Sewadj..re
27. Bebiankh Se-user-en-re 58. Unknown Sekhem..re
28. Nubkheperre Intef Nub-kheper-re 59. Destroyed destroyed
29. Mentuhotep II Neb-hepet-re 60. Destroyed destroyed
30. Mentuhotep III Se-nefer-ka-re 61. Destroyed destroyed
31. Destroyed destroyed


Detailed photos of the actual list in the Louvre

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ Burton, James: "Excerpta Hieroglypica", Plate Ia, Cairo, 1825
  2. ^ "L'Illustration, Journal Universel", Vol. VII, p 244-245, Paris 1846
  3. ^ Monderson, Frederick. "Temple of Karnak: The Majestic Architecture of Ancient Kemet" p. 58
  4. ^ Chapelle des ancêtres in the Sully wing, Rez-de-chaussée, Room 12, Catalogue number E13481bis
  5. ^ Abhandlungen der Königlichen Preußischen Akademie der Wissenschaften zu Berlin 1852 (1853) p.455

External linksEdit