Intef I


2134 - 2117 BC



 Still grounded within the chaos of the 1st Intermediate Period, Intef were a group of Theban nobles who fought against the rulers of the 10th Dynasty (who were based at Heracleopolis). Eventually the Intef's were victorious which in turn allowed the whole of Egypt to come under their rule (although this was not achieved until the fourth ruler of the dynasty - Menthotep II). Intef I proclaimed himself king with the Horus name of Seherutawy, although normally named as the founder of the dynasty there were two Theban princes before him (including a Mentuhotep sometimes referred to as Mentuhotep I).

There is uncertainity over the correct sequencing of the Intef's in this dynasty but all were at this point little more than nomarchs (Intef I was nomarch at the end of the 8th Dynasty).

The first of the Intef's was later known as 'Intef the Great' and held the title of 'Hereditary Prince'

Intef I gained military victories by taking control of Koptos, Dendera and the three nomes previously ruled by Hierakonpolis.

The Tombs

The three Intef's were buried close to the Valley of the Kings (at Dra Abu el-Naga) - in great Saff tombs. Little is left now of their tombs (these tombs are mentioned in the 'tomb-robbing' papyri dating to Ramesses IX). Both tombs (the tomb of Intef III has not been identified) were similar in design ; a rectangular court with a tomb tunnelled into the rock behind. A small brick pyramid (about metres) was built above the burial chamber on a ledge cut into the rock.