Intef Wahankh (Intef II)

Intef III, Intef Nakhtnebtepnefer

Intef Wahankh (Intef II, Inyotef II, Antef II) was the third ruler of the Eleventh Dynasty (at the end of the First Intermediate Period and the beginning of the Middle Kingdom).

His wife was Queen Neferukayet and Intef III was his son. His elder brother Intef Sehertawy (Intef I) had hoped to reunify Egypt, but had only managed to extend his control (from Thebes) to Denderah, Koptos and three of the nomes of Hierakonpolis. Intef II also hoped to reunify the country and used the Nesw-bitu title (of Upper and Lower Egypt) but as far as we know he didn’t use a throne name. He adopted the Horus name Wahankh.

Intef Wahankh (Intef II)
Intef Wahankh (Intef II), MET

Following the death of Ankhtifi (nomarch of Hierakonpolis) Intef was able to reunite all the southern nomes as far as Abydos and the First Cataract (the first nome of Upper Egypt). He waged war against the nomarchs of Herakleopolis Magna who were his main rivals and had controlled Asyut and Abydos. Abydos changed hands numerous times, but eventually Intef prevailed and he consolidated his power as far as Asyut (the thirteenth nome of Upper Egypt).

Intef II, Horus name; Wahankh

A statue of Intef II, wrapped in a sed festival robe was found in the sanctuary of Heqaib at Elephantine and there are numerous references to his rule. His treasurer Tjetjy sings his praises on a beautiful stele now in the British Museum and one of his soldiers, Djary, recounts his part in the war with the Hierakleopolitan army at Abydos. He rebuilt the temple of Satet on Elephantine and added a temple to Khnum. A column from a temple he constructed is the earliest reference to Amun at Karnak.

Intef was buried in a rock-cut saff (row) tomb in el Tarif (near Thebes) next to his brother and predecessor, Intef I. A biographical stele was discovered in the tomb in which the king is depicted with his dogs. The stele was described by tomb inspectors during the Twentieth Dynasty but is now somewhat damaged. The names of three of his dogs are still visible. They are given foreign names with Egyptian translations; Behekay (Mahedj meaning “gazelle”); Abaqer (“greyhound”), and Pehetez (Egyptian Kemu meaning “black“).

  • 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