This Abydos Pharaoh Was Unusual in Many Ways (Video)
The discovery of Pharaoh Senebkay‘s remains offers a unique glimpse into an unconventional Egyptian dynasty. Unlike typical pharaohs, Senebkay was a modest ruler, and his life was far from the typical tale of privilege and protection associated with pharaohs. What sets him apart is not just his humble beginnings but also his combat scars that tell a story of a different kind of leadership. His battle-scarred body challenges traditional notions of royal privilege and protection. Instead, it suggests that the Abydos dynasty chose leaders based on merit rather than birthright. His injuries, particularly wounds to his knees, hint at an unconventional approach to warfare, possibly from an elevated position like a chariot.
However, the forensic evidence challenges the chariot theory. Instead, unique wear patterns on his lower body suggest a more plausible scenario: Senebkay rode into battle on horseback. These findings align with markers observed in cultures where horses were introduced for the first time, indicating that Senebkay was among the early adopters of this technology. This revelation not only sheds light on Senebkay‘s life but also forces a reconsideration of how ancient Egyptians engaged in warfare. If pharaohs indeed rode on horseback, it marks a groundbreaking shift in the military tactics of the time, harnessing the speed and power of horses in battle.
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- Superweapon of the Ancient World: A History of Chariots - Part I
Top image: Pharaoh Senebkay was different from other Egyptian kings. Source: PhotoGranary / Adobe Stock.