Shepseskara Isi

Shepseskara Isi

Ancient Egyptian pharaoh of the 5th dynasty of the Old Kingdom, who ruled c. 2426-2419 BC
Country: Egypt

  1. Biography of Shepseskare Izi
  2. Short and Ephemeral Reign
  3. Controversy Surrounding His Identity
  4. Order of Succession

Biography of Shepseskare Izi

Shepseskare Izi, also known as Sisires in Greek sources, was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh of the 5th Dynasty of the Old Kingdom. He ruled approximately from 2426 to 2419 BC. Despite his short reign, Shepseskare left behind some notable artifacts, including seals with his cartouches discovered near his burial site in Abusir.

Short and Ephemeral Reign

Shepseskare's rule, along with two other pharaohs of his dynasty, Menkaure and Nuserre, was brief and ephemeral. While the Manetho and Turin King Lists attribute a seven-year reign to Shepseskare, modern Egyptologists, including the Czech researcher Miroslav Verner, doubt the accuracy of these records. They believe that the pharaoh might have been on the throne for no more than a year. The main evidence supporting this view is the unfinished state of his already small royal pyramid in Abusir, located north of Sahure's pyramid.

Controversy Surrounding His Identity

Originally, the owner of the pyramid remained unknown, and alongside Shepseskare, Menkaure, another pharaoh of the 5th Dynasty, was considered a possible candidate. However, archaeological investigations conducted in the 1980s confirmed that the pyramid indeed belonged to Shepseskare. These findings also suggested that the construction of the pharaoh's burial complex was abruptly halted at an early stage, unlike the typical abandonment seen in the tombs of short-reigning pharaohs.

Order of Succession

Traditionally, Shepseskare's reign is placed between pharaohs Neferirkare Kakai and Nefererefra. Based on seals bearing Shepseskare's name discovered in the funerary temple of Nefererefra in Abusir in 1982, Miroslav Verner proposed a hypothesis contradicting the established views of this pharaoh. He suggests that Shepseskare did not precede but rather succeeded Nefererefra. Furthermore, Verner concludes that Shepseskare may have been the son of Sahure, who seized power after the untimely death of Nefererefra. However, Shepseskare was eventually overthrown by Nuserre, the younger brother of Nefererefra and son of Neferirkare by Queen Khentkaus II.