Understanding the news: Who was Herishef? Middle Kingdom

Understanding the news: Who was Herishef? Middle Kingdom
This beautiful red granite lintel inscribed with the name of Middle Kingdom king Senwosret II was uncovered by a Spanish Mission from the Antiquities Museum in Madrid at Ihnasya El-Medina, Beni Suef.
Although building at the site is attested from the later New Kingdom, this example demonstrates royal interest in the site during the earlier Middle Kingdom. This helps us to understand the evolution of the site and its importance.
The hieroglyphs show one of the king's names Ḫˁı͗-ḫpr-Rˁ (Khaikheperre 'The Ka of Ra manifests'), but perhaps of more interest is the god associated with the site: Herishef. (see also Heryshef/Heryshaf)
Herishef was a (usually) ram headed god, who is associated with a specific location (unlike State or Household gods). Little is known about this god and his cult but one of his recorded titles is 'the one, who is on the lake'[1]. This may refer to a temple with a ceremonial lake (examples of which are seen elsewhere in Egypt) or he may have been associated with one of the lakes of واحة الفيوم‎‎ Waḥet El Fayyum. Herishef's cult center was the ancient city of Herakleopolis which was the capital city of the 20th nome of Upper Egypt.
After the collapse of the Old Kingdom, Herakleopolis rose to be the most influential city in northern Egypt and was home of the First Intermediate Period rulers who were later supplanted by the Theban dynasties at the start of the Middle Kingdom.
Further reading: The site and the god:
More on nomes:



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