Djet's name in a serekh

The ancient Egyptian king Djet (Hor DjetHorus cobra or Horus who strikes”) ruled during the first dynasty (Early Dynastic Period). He was most likely named after the vulture goddess of Upper Egypt, Wadjet (or Uadjet). It is likely that he was the son of Djer, although there is no direct evidence of this. Queen Mereneith became his wife and was probably the mother of his successor, Den. She may also have acted as her young son’s regent upon the death of Djet.

Djet's serekh on a stela

Djet is generally considered to be the ruler named “Wenephes” by Manetho. If so, he reigned for about 23 years. Unfortunately, he left little evidence of his existence other than his tomb in Abydos. Within this tomb a beautiful serekh (the design of a palace facade) bearing the name of the King was discovered. There is evidence that his tomb (along with others of his dynasty) was intentionally burned at some point in history, but later renovated because of its association with the cult of Osiris.

Around the tomb archaeologists found 174 secondary burial sites. Some of those interred were family members, but most seem to have been servants who were buried at the same time as the King so that they could serve him in the afterlife.

A mastaba in Saqqara was originally ascribed to him, but is now considered to have been constructed for a Noble called Sekhem-kha who served in the Pharaoh’s court.

Pharaoh’s Names

Manetho; Wenefes

Djet's Nomen 'Ita' from the Abydos kings list" title="Djet's Nomen 'Ita' from the Abydos kings list

Nomen; Ita (recorded on the Abydos kings list)

Djet's Nomen 'Itai' from the Turin list" title="Djet's Nomen 'Itai' from the Turin list

Nomen; Itai (recorded on the Turin kings list)

Copyright J Hill 2010