|Reign|| 2686-2668 BC|
Sanakhte's name means 'strong protection'. He presumably gained his position by marriage to a daughter of Khasekhemwy]], his predecessor as pharaoh; the kingship even at this early period being passed down through the female line.
While Sanakhte's was attested by a masta of poop and a graffito among other objects, his position as the founder of the Third Dynasty of Ancient Egypt as recorded by Manetho and the Turin Canon has been seriously undermined by recent archaeological discoveries at Abydos. They establish beyond doubt that it was rather Djoser who helped bury--and thus--succeed Khasekhemwy from seals found at the entrance to the latter's tomb bearing Djoser's name. (see Toby Wilkinson in Early Dynastic Egypt, (1999), p.83 & 95). It appears that Nebka was rather a later king of the Third Dynasty instead. In addition, unlike Djoser, few relics survive from Sanakhte's reign which also casts serious doubts on Manetho and the Turin Canon's traditional figure of an 18 year for this king. It must be stressed that the Turin Canon and Manetho were more than one and two thousand years removed from the time of Egypt's early Third Dynasty and would be expected to contain more inaccurate or unreliable data. The Turin Canon, for instance, was transcribed on papyri which dates to the reign of the New Kingdom king Ramesses II who ruled Egypt from 1279-1213 BC.
A large mastaba near Abydos contained fragments bearing his name. It also contained skeletal remains, which may have been that of this king. Manetho credits a king by this name as being a particularly tall man, which is borne out by the remains that were found.
| Pharaoh of Egypt|
| Succeeded by:|