Woseribre Senebkay

Woseribre Senebkay
Human Mummy
Woseribre Senebkay.png
Biographical Information
Name(s) Woseribre Senebkay
Age between 35 and 40 years old
Sex Male
Status Pharaoh of the Abydos Dynasty
Height 1.75m (5'10)
Culture Ancient Egypt
Date(s) c. 1650–1600 B.C
Site Abydos
Current Location
Location Egypt
Catalog #

Pharaoh Woseribre Senebkay is from Egypt's Second Intermediate Period. Found in Abydos, Egypt in the summer of 2013 by a team of archaeologists from the University of Pennsylvania, Senebkay's tomb dates to 1650 B.C. The tomb is made up of four chambers, including a burial chamber of painted limestone. The tomb walls also label its inhabitant as the "king of Upper and Lower Egypt, Woseribre, the son of Re, Senebkay," The discovery confirmed the existence of Senebkay's Abydos Dynasty, previously hinted at only through fragmented documents. The short-lived Abydos Dynasty was contemporary with the Hyksos and Theban rulers during the Second Intermediate Period.

He was found with a massive red quartzite sarcophagus which had been stolen and recycled from the Pharaoh Sobekhotep, along with a cedar box enclosing his organs. The wrappings had been torn off, and some bones were broken, but the mummy was still in relatively good condition. 

Woseribre Senebkay's was found to be the earliest known Egyptian Pharaoh to have died in battle.


Pharaoh Woseribre Senebkay was a ruler of the Abydos Dynasty during the later part of Egypt's Second Intermediate Period (ca. 1650–1550 BCE). According to the Turin Canon he ruled for 4 and 1/2 years before his death.  He died between the ages of 35-40 in battle away from his home. Evidence, discovered by Dr. Maria Rosado and Dr. Jane Hill of Rowan University in 2015, show that Woseribre Senebkay died in a violent attack probably made by several assailants. He had 18 different wounds that left marks on the bone, mostly on his ankles, hands, legs and lower back. His body was then likely transported back to Abydos, mummified, and buried in a modest tomb.


It is known that his organs were removed upon his death and he was transported over a long distance before being mummified and buried.  


The rediscovered king's mummy was found in pieces in a pile of debris, ripped apart by tomb robbers.

The Pharaoh's skull showing axe wounds
Senebkay was 5 feet, 10 inches (1.75 meters) tall and was in his 40s when he died. Senebkey's mummy rested in a jumble along with fragments of his coffin, funerary mask and the chest he borrowed from Sobekhotep I.

Senebkay’s body was not mummified for some time after his death, indicating that he did not die in a time or place where his body could be properly treated for burial in a timely manner.


A forensic analysis found that Senebkay suffered severe trauma to his lower body, hands, and head. There were, in all, 18 wounds from at least two different types of weapons that penetrated his bones. The pharaoh was likely elevated on a horse or in a chariot when attacked, given the angle and direction of his injuries. Evidence suggests a death in battle.


The pharaohs of the Abydos Dynasty were forgotten to history and their royal necropolis unknown until this discovery of Senebkay’s tomb.


Pappas, S. (2014, January 17). Mummy of Forgotten Pharaoh Discovered in Ruined Egypt Tomb. Retrieved March 8, 2017, from

Penn Museum. (2015, February 26). New Forensic Evidence Confirms Violent Death Of Pharaoh Senebkay. Retrieved March 8, 2017, from

Woseribre Senebkay And The Tomb Of The Unknown Pharaoh. (2014, January 17). Retrieved March 8, 2017, from

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