Saqqara King List

A stone slab from a tomb chapel, now in the Egyptian Museum of Cairo, contains two registers which list about 58 cartouches with the names of kings. The chapel belonged to a Scribe of the King and Chief Lector-priest Tjuloy. He was buried in Saqqara but so far his tomb is lost.

The assemblage of cartouches is known as the Saqqara King List. The composition of the relief is very similar to the famous relief of the Hall of Kings in the Abydos temple of Seti I, which has been suggested as one of the models that inspired the arrangement of the Saqqara list. Nonetheless, the composer made several mistakes in the content and layout of this table.

The "list" presented on this relief is the product of generations of re-copying of similar inscriptions. Visitors graffiti by New Kingdom scribes on monuments of the Old Kingdom indicate that there was a genuine interest among the Egyptians for their own past. The Saqqara King List can be viewed as another expression of this tendency. More importantly however, this inscription is to be seen in the light of an ancestral offering cult and the veneration of kingship. In Ramesside times it became a popular phenomenon among private persons to honour the institution of kingship and its continuation.