Hor-Aha (or Aha) is considered the second pharaoh of the first dynasty of ancient Egypt in current Egyptology. He lived around the thirty-first century BCE.



The commonly-used name Hor-Aha is a rendering of the pharaoh's Horus-name, an element of the royal titulary associated with the god Horus, and is more fully given as Horus-Aha.[1]

For the early dynastic period, the archaeological record refers to the pharaohs by their Horus-names, while the historical record, as evidenced in the Turin and Abydos king lists, uses an alternative royal titulary, the nebty-name.[1][2] The different titular elements of a pharaoh's name were often used in isolation, for brevity's sake, although the choice varied according to circumstance and period.[2]

Mainstream Egyptological consensus follows the findings of Petrie in reconciling the two records and connects Hor-Aha (archaeological) with the nebty-name Ity (historical).[1][2][3]

The same process has led to the identification of the historical Menes (a nebty-name) with the Narmer (a Horus-name) evidenced in the archaeological record (both figures are credited with the unification of Egypt and as the first pharaoh of Dynasty I) as the predecessor of Hor-Aha (the second pharaoh).[1][2][3]


Around the thirty-second century BCE, his father, Narmer, had united Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt. Hor-Aha became pharaoh at about the age of thirty and ruled until he was about sixty-two years old. Legend had it that he was carried away by a hippopotamus, the embodiment of the deity Seth. Provided that Hor-Aha was the legendary Menes, another story has it that Hor-Aha was killed by a hippopotamus while hunting.


There has been some controversy about Hor-Aha. Some believe him to be the same individual as the legendary Menes and that he was the one to unify all of Egypt. Others claim he was the son of Narmer, the pharaoh who unified Egypt. Narmer and Menes may have been one pharaoh, referred to with more than one name. Regardless, considerable historical evidence from the period points to Narmer as the pharaoh who first unified Egypt and to Hor-Aha as his son and heir.


Hor-Aha's chief wife was Benerib, whose name was "written alongside his on a number of [historical] pieces, in particular, from tomb B14 at Abydos, Egypt".[4] Tomb B14 is located directly adjacent to Hor-Aha's sepulchre.[5] Hor-Aha also had another wife, Khenthap, with whom he became father of Djer. She is mentioned as Djer's mother on the Cairo Annals Stone.[6]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Edwards 1971: 13
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Lloyd 1994: 7
  3. 3.0 3.1 Cervelló-Autuori 2003: 174
  4. Aidan Dodson & Dyan Hilton, The Complete Royal Families of Ancient Egypt, Thames & Hudson (2004), p.46
  5. Dodson & Hilton, p.46
  6. Dodson & Hilton, p.48
  • Toby A. H. Wilkinson, Early Dynastic Egypt, Routledge, London/New York 1999, ISBN 0-415-18633-1, 70-71


External links

This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at Hor-Aha. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.

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