Ba (pharaoh)

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Ba in hieroglyphs
Reign: unknown
Predecessor: unknown
Successor: unknown
b E11

Ba, also known as Horus Ba, is the serekh-name of an early Egyptian or ancient Egyptian king who may have ruled at the end of the 1st dynasty, the latter part of 2nd dynasty or during the 3rd dynasty. Neither the exact length of his reign nor his chronological position is known.

Name sources

The only sure name sources for a king "Ba" are a fragment of green schist, found in the underground galleries beneath the step pyramid of king Djoser at Sakkara, and the (6th dynasty) mastaba tomb of the high official Ny-Ankh-Ba.[1][2]


Serekh of Horus Ba.

Very little is known about king Ba. The few archaeological evidences only assure the existence of such a ruler, but they give no further information.

In 1899 scientist Alessandro Ricci published a drawing of a serekh with a single leg (Gardiner-sign D58) as hieroglyph inside. The picture was seen in Volume No. 35 of the Zeitschrift für Ägyptische Sprache und Altertumskunde series. According to Ricci the serekh was found in a rock inscription at Wadi Maghareh, Sinai. The egyptologists Jaroslav Černý and Michel Baude found out, that Ricci were referring to the rock inscription of (3rd dynasty) king Sanakht. Ricci simply had misinterpreted the signs used for Sanakht's name -an upright sign of a rope loop, the zig-zag shaped sign for water and a branch-sign below- as a single leg-symbol.[3]

Egyptologists such as Černý and Peter Kaplony think that king Ba might be identical to the likewise sparsely attested king "Horus Bird". This ruler wrote his name with the sign of a goose-like bird, but since the depiction of the bird-sign in question lacks artistic details allowing any identification, Egyptologists are disputing the correct reading and meaning of "Bird's" name. Černý and Kaplony think that both king's names have the same transcription: "Ba". In this case Horus Ba and Horus Bird would be the same historical figure. Černý and Kaplony's theory is not commonly accepted.[4]

In contrast, Egyptologists such as Nabil Swelim think that Horus Ba was an immediate successor of 2nd dynasty king Nynetjer. He points to the name form of Nynetjer in the Abydos kinglist, which begins with the same hieroglyphic sign (a ram; Gardiner-sign E11) like the serekh name of Horus Ba. Swelim therefore believes that the Horus name of Ba was erroneously intermingled with the birth name of Nynetjer.[5]

Ba's burial site is unknown.

External links

  • Francesco Raffaele: Horus SNEFERKA - Horus Bird - Horus SEKHET (?) - Horus BA


  1. ^ Nabil Swelim: Some Problems on the History of the Third Dynasty - Archaeological and Historical Studies; Volume 7. The Archaeological Society of Alexandria, Alexandria 1983, page 27–32, 180 und 219.
  2. ^ Carl Richard Lepsius: Koenigsbuch der Alten Aegypter. Besser, Mainz 1858, page 18 & Obj. no. 906.
  3. ^ Míchel Baude: Djéser et la IIIe dynastie: Les Grands pharaons. Pygmalion, Paris 2007, ISBN 2-7564-0147-1, page 20.
  4. ^ Peter Kaplony: Horus Ba?. In: Mitteilungen des Deutschen Archäologischen Institut Kairo. Volume 20. von Zabern, Mainz 1965, page 3 & 4.
  5. ^ Nabil Swelim: Some Problems on the History of the Third Dynasty - Archaeological and Historical Studies Band 7. The Archaeological Society of Alexandria, Alexandria 1983, page 27–32, 180 & 219.
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