Intef Sehertawy (Intef I)

Intef I, Intef Sehertawy

Intef Sehertawy (Intef I, Inyotef I, Antef I) was the second ruler of the Eleventh Dynasty (at the end of the First Intermediate Period and the beginning of the Middle Kingdom), but the first of his dynasty to proclaim himself pharaoh and write his name within a cartouche.

Serekh of Intef I, Juan R. Lazaro, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Serekh of Intef I, Juan R. Lazaro, CC BY 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

His father, Montuhotep Tepy-a (Montuhotep I), was a nomarch of Thebes towards the end of the First Intermediate Period. He was named after his grandfather who had also been nomarch of Thebes and high priest.

When Intef became the nomarch of Thebes, Ankhtifi (nomarch of Hierakonpolis) and his allies (the powerful rulers of Herakleopolis Magna) stood between him and the throne of Upper and Lower Egypt. In the beginning, Intef only ruled the area around Thebes, but he managed to extend his control to Denderah, Koptos, and three of the nomes of Hierakonpolis. However, he never achieved his goal of reunifying Egypt under his rule.

Although he used a cartouche and adopted a Horus name (“Sehertawy”, meaning “He who has brought calm to the Two Lands”) Intef was often referred to in contemporary records as a Prince. He is described as a “Count and Hereditary Prince” in the Hall of Ancestors (constructed by Thuthmosis III, Eighteenth Dynasty) and stelae have been recovered on which he is described as “the Hereditary Prince, Count of the Great Lord of the Theban Nome”, and “the Great Prince of the South”.

It is not clear exactly how long he was ruler of Thebes because his entry in the Turin Kings List also seems to include the rule of his father. However, it was no more than sixteen years.

Intef Sehertawy was buried in a rock-cut saff (row) tomb (known as Saff el-Dawab) in el Tarif, near Thebes and was succeeded by his brother Intef Wahankh (Intef II).

Intef I, Horus name; Sehertawy

Pharaoh’s Names

rpat HAti-a Hri-tp aA n Smaw ini-it.f – “The Heriditary Noble, The Lord And Great Chieftain Of The South, Intef”

(HAti-a) Hri-tp aA n Smaw ini-it.f aA – “The Lord And Great Chieftain Of The South, Intef The Great”

  • Bard, Kathryn (2008) An introduction to the Archaeology of Ancient Egypt
  • Dodson, A and Hilton, D. (2004) The Complete Royal Families of Ancient Egypt
  • Hornung, Erik (1999) History of Ancient Egypt
  • Rice, Michael (1999) Who’s Who in Ancient Egypt
  • Strudwick, Nigel and Helen (1999) Thebes in Egypt
  • Wilkinson, Richard H. and Weeks, Kent Editors (2016) The Oxford Handbook of the Valley of the Kings

Copyright J Hill 2010