- Hesire -

Hesire was a high official who lived during the reign of Netjerikhet (Dosjer). His titulary informs us of the many offices he had held during his life.

Thus he was the 'overseer of the royal scribes', at the head of the royal administration of Djoser.

His most spectacular title, however, was that of the 'greatest (or chief ?)of physicians and dentists'. It is not entirely clear whether this title infers that Hesire himself was honoured as the greatest of physicians and dentists, or rather that he was merely responsible for the administration of physicians and dentists. But whatever the case, the distinction between 'physicians' and 'dentists' in his titulary does show a high degree of medical specialisation at this early stage of the history of Ancient Egypt.

He was also 'known by the king', a title which is sometimes interpreted as indicating a member of the royal family. It should be noted that it is not unlikely that it indicates that he belonged to the king's intimates.

Hesire is mostly known from his mastaba at Saqqara, located to the north of Djoser's Step Pyramid and to the west of the so-called Archaic Tombs. Of the supposed eleven wooden stelae that once may have stood in the chapel of his mastaba, six remain. They are sculpted with a representation of Hesire, the exquisitely carved hieroglyphs presenting his name and extensive titulary.

Wooden panel of Hesire

Hesire on one of the six remaining wooden panels from his tomb.

  Ancient Egypt From A To Z   Early Dynastic Period    
  Hesire   Netjerikhet    


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