Qa’a (“His arm is raised”) was the last king of the first dynasty. Manetho names the last king of the dynasty Bieneches (which hardly resembles Qa’a) and states that he reigned for twenty-six years. It is generally accepted that Qa’a is Bieneches because a seal impression bearing the name of Hotepsekhemwy (the first king of the second dynasty) was found at the mouth of his tomb at Abydos and so it is believed that he was directly succeeded by Hotepsekhemwy.

The tomb of one of his officials, Merka, contained another stele listing numerous titles and recording a second sed festival for the king, supporting the long reign ascribed to him by Manetho if he is indeed Bieneches.

Qa'as name on a stele

A limestone stele (now in the Louvre) found in his tomb shows the king wearing the White Crown while being embraced by Horus. His name appears in a serekh, and the White Crown forms part of the name. It has been suggested that this signaled the victory of Upper Egypt in a struggle for power with Lower Egypt.

His tomb in Abydos (Tomb Q) contained twenty-six satellite burials, thought to have been sacrificial burials. He seems to have been the last pharaoh to adopt this practice. An ancient kings list recording the first eight kings of the first dynasty was found in this tomb.

Pharaoh’s Names

Manetho; Bieneches

Qa'a's Nebty name

Nebti; Qa’a

Qa'a's Nebty name 'Sen'

Nebti; Sen (brother of the two lands)

Qa'a's Nebty name 'Sen'

Nebti; Sen (brother of the two lands)

Qa'a's nomen, ...beh from Turin list (incomplete)

Nomen; …beh – incomplete (from Turin Kings List)

Qa'a's Nomen 'Qebeh' from the Abydos list

Nomen; Qebeh (from the Abydos kings list)

Qa'a's Nomen 'Qebeh' from the Abydos list

Nomen; Qebeh (from the Saqqara Kings List)

  • Bard, Kathryn (2008) An introduction to the Archaeology of Ancient Egypt
  • Clayton, Peter A (1994) Chronicle of the Pharaohs
  • Dodson, A and Hilton, D. (2004) The Complete Royal Families of Ancient Egypt
  • Kemp, Barry J (1991) Ancient Egypt: Anatomy of a Civilisation
  • Bard, Kathryn (2000) “The Emergence of the Egyptian State”, in The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt Ed I. Shaw
  • Rice, Michael (1999) Who’s Who in Ancient Egypt
  • Van De Mieroop, Marc (1999) A History of Ancient Egypt

Copyright J Hill 2016