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Hu, Houni, Hoeni[1]
Granite head of an Old Kingdom pharaoh, thought to represent Huni
Granite head of an Old Kingdom pharaoh, thought to represent Huni
Pharaoh of Egypt
Reign 2637–2613 BC[2] 26 years in Manetho, 24 years according to the Turin King List3rd Dynasty
Predecessor Khaba
Successor Sneferu
Consort(s) Meresankh I
Children Sneferu
Father Huni
Died 2613 BC
Monuments Step pyramid(?), Island fort at Elephantine, Meidum Pyramid (Partially)

Huni was the last Pharaoh of Egypt of the Third dynasty. He established a fortress on the island of Elephantine, securing the southern border of Egypt at the First Cataract. Huni was probably the father of Hetepheres, queen of the next king, Sneferu. A certain Huni is mentioned amongst the names of high officials from the court of Djoser, and if this was indeed the same man as this pharaoh, it is possible that Huni came to the throne at a very venerable age. He is credited with a 24-year reign in the Turin King List.

Huni is sometimes credited with building a great stepped pyramid at Meidum (larger than that of Djoser), which was supposedly left unfinished at the time of his death, thus his successor Snofru, it is said, completed it near the beginning of his reign. However, this theory comes out of a simple desire to have a significant monument attributed to Huni; there is no evidence whatsoever that the Meidum pyramid was his burial place. The name of Snofru, however, has been found at Meidum, and many of Snofru's children, particularly princes Nefermaat and Rahotep, have been buried in mastabas at the Meidum necropolis. Thus it seems more likely that it was Snofru who had the pyramid built and, later on during his reign, transformed it from the stepped pyramid into a true pyramid by having its sides smoothed. The pyramid has since collapsed, leaving only its core.

Another pyramid exists which was very likely built by Huni, but this is a small ceremonial pyramid the ruins of which have been found at Elephantine island. This pyramid was not a tomb, nor did it have a surrounding necropolis or temple complex: its real function and religious significance remain unknown. However, many of such small, ceremonial, pyramids have been found, built by Old Kingdom pharaohs throughout the kingdom of Egypt.

The Horus name of the king is so far not yet known for sure. However, in the late 1960s, the Louvre bought a relief showing a king Horus Qahedjet. For stylistical reasons the reliefs belongs to the Third Dynasty and it seems possible that it belongs to Huni, whose Horus-name it provides.[3]


  1. ^ Huni accessed November 18, 2006
  2. ^ a b Clayton, Peter A. (1994) Chronicle of the Pharaohs: the reign-by-reign record of the rulers and dynasties of ancient Egypt p42. Thames and Hudson, New York, ISBN 0500050740
  3. ^ T. Wilkinson: Early Dynastic Egypt, London/New York 1999, p. 104-105 ISBN 0-415-18633-1

External References

Simple English

Granite head of Huni
Pharaoh of Egypt
Spouse Queens Djefatnebti and Meresankh I
Queen Hetepheres I and Pharaoh Sneferu
Full name
Huni of Egypt
Religion Ancient Egyptian religion

Huni was the last Pharaoh of Egyptian Third dynasty. He was successor of Khaba, and maybe Khaba's son. Huni established a fortress on the island of Elephantine, and he maybe built pyramid in Meidum.

One of officials of king Djoser was also named Huni, and it's possible that this man and pharaoh Huni are the same person.

Huni had two wives - Djefatnebti and Meresankh I. With Djefatnebti, he fathered Hetepheres I, and with Meresankh he sired Sneferu, his own successor. Sneferu became a king after Huni's death, and he married his half-sister Hetepheres. Huni's grandson - son of Sneferu - was pharaoh Khufu, who built Great Pyramid of Giza.


  • Dodson and Hilton, The Complete Royal Families of Ancient Egypt
  • Toby Wilkinson: Early Dynastic Egypt

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