Merneferre Ay

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Merneferre Ay (also spelled Aya or Eje) was an Ancient Egyptian ruler of the Thirteenth dynasty of Egypt. He assumed the throne around 1700 BC. His reign length—as preserved in the damaged Turin King List—was disputed in the past with Jürgen von Beckerath reading the damaged figure on the papyrus fragment as only 13 years in his 1964 work Untersuchungen zur politischen Geschichte der zweiten Zwischenzeit in Ägypten, while both Alan Gardiner—in The Royal Canon of Turin (1959)--and Kenneth Kitchen in his 1987 paper 'The Basics of Egyptian Chronology in Relation to the Bronze Age at the "High, Middle or Low" University of Göteborg convention maintained that it was 23 Years.[1] The latest examination of the damaged figure by Kim Ryholt confirms that it must be read as 23 Years.[1] Ryholt stresses in his 1997 book on the Second Intermediate Period that "the tick that distinguishes 20 and 30 from 10 is preserved and beyond dispute. Accordingly, 23 years or, less likely, 33 years must be read."[2] Therefore, Ay's reign length was 23 Years, 8 Months and 18 days[3] This makes him the longest ruling Pharaoh of the 13th Dynasty—at a time when numerous short-lived kings ruled Egypt.

Reign

Merneferre Ay is mainly known from his many scarab seals. However, the pyramidion of his tomb—which is inscribed with his name—was discovered at Avaris which suggests that the Hyksos kings looted his pyramid tomb of its treasures. This can be assumed because the pyramidion was inscribed with dedications to the god Ptah whose cult was based at Memphis, not Avaris. He is the last significant Egyptian king of the 13th Dynasty known from objects found in Lower and Upper Egypt which indicates that Egypt was still united during his reign.

He was possibly married to Ineni.

He is sometimes confused with Ay, a ruler at the end of the 18th Dynasty. However, both kings ruled in completely different dynasties and have nothing in common other than a similar name.

References and external links

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