Khasekhemwy and the beginnings of monumental architecture in Egypt

Khasekhemwy and the beginnings of monumental architecture in Egypt
The enclosure of last king of Dynasty II (ca. 2686BC) is one of the first examples of monumental architecture from Egypt still standing. The 67m x 57m mud brick construction was made in two phases (as evidenced by brick fabric). When completed it had walls 10m high and 2.1m thick. Archaeologists working on the site estimated that some 4.82 million bricks were required.

The function of the enclosure is not yet fully understood, but it is not a "fort" as early visitors thought. It may have had ceremonial functions, for it is located in Nekhen (Hierakonpolis) the traditional ancestral city of the cult of Horus and Kingship. Famous Early Dynastic artefacts such as the Namer Palette, Ceremonial mace head and the Scorpion mace head were also found nearby. The walls themselves have been built with a niche facade design which later became incorporated into the Serekh (rectangular device for enclosing the Horus name of a king) and is mainly associated with palaces.

Khasekhemwy went on to build a funerary enclosure at Abydos which is twice the size of this enclosure. Clearly early Dynastic kings had the organisational and administrative power to conduct large scale projects from the earliest times, but since many civil buildings (including temples and palaces) were built from mud brick, they have not survived.

Linked is a video of a laser survey done of the site in 2012.

For more specific information about this site and ongoing excavations visit:


Post a Comment

To maintain the quality of discussion, please keep comments and questions on topic.