Khaba (“the soul appears”) ruled Ancient Egypt during the third dynasty. He was the succesor of Sekhemkhet and was probably his son. However, it is sometimes suggested that Khaba was in fact the Horus name of Huni, the last pharaoh of the third dynasty of the Old Kingdom of ancient Egypt. It is hard confirm whether this is the case as the place where his name should appear on the Turin kings list has the entry Hudjefa (signifying a missing or unreadable name) and the Abydos Kings List has the entry Sedjes (which some commentators consider to have a similar meaning to Hudjefa). The entry in the Saqqara list for the pharaoh between Sekhemkhet and Huni is “Nebkare”, but some experts consider this relates to a different king, not Khaba.

Manetho lists three kings between Sekhemkhet and Huni; Mesochris, Suphis and Toserfasis and it is not clear whether any of these names relate to Khaba. He claims that these kings reigned for seventeen, sixteen and nineteen years respectively which varies widely with the six years allotted by the Turin list.

If in fact Khaba was a distinct ruler, he probably did only rule for a short period. He chose a different burial site (at Zawyet el’Aryan a mile south of Giza) where he built the monument now known as the layer pyramid, but there is no evidence that he was buried in it. His name appears on some alabaster and dolomite vessels in nearby mastabas, but there is no reference to him inside the structure. His pyramid used typical third dynasty building techniques, and was very similar to that of Sekhemkhet.

Pharaoh’s Names

Nomen; Nebkare (Saqqara kings list)

Nomen; Nebkare (Saqqara Kings List)

Nomen; Sedjes (Abydos kings list)

Nomen; Sedjes (Abydos Kings List)

copyright J Hill 2010