Enlightening the enduring engravings: The expeditions of Raneb

Caleb Hamilton

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3 Citations (Scopus)


Raneb, the second king of the 2nd Dynasty, has one of the more obscure reigns from the Early Dynastic Period. His reign has been securely dated to the beginning of this dynasty, preceded by Hetepsekhemwy and followed by Ninetjer. Many details of this dynasty remain unclear; however, it may be possible to reconstruct aspects of interactions beyond the Nile Valley during this period. Raneb's reign is the only of this dynasty to provide concrete evidence of such interactions, and this forms the subject of the discussion here. This evidence comes in the form of rock-cut serekhs. The first of these was discovered by Winkler during his 1936-37 season, and the second was found by the IFAO in 2012. By re-analysing Ranebs serekh found at Armant, and adding new information from Wadi 'Ameyra through the efforts of the IFAO survey in the Sinai, it is possible to reconstruct the interests of this 2nd Dynasty monarch through expeditions carried out during his reign. This article helps to illuminate Raneb in the historical record by setting out these rock-cut inscriptions within a wider discussion of expeditions during the Early Dynastic Period, gauging their authenticity and relevance with other information from the 2nd Dynasty. By focusing on these records it will be shown that expeditions were still maintained during the 2nd Dynasty, which fits with the well-known evidence from the preceding 1st and subsequent 3rd Dynasties. It may also be possible to suggest that such expeditions were part of an on-going tradition of resource procurement during the Early Dynastic Period.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)185-204
Number of pages20
Issue number26
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2016

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