Hemaka was a high official during the reign of the Horus Den of the 1st Dynasty. His career can be traced through the different titles he carried during his life.

A year label from the reign of Den shows Hemaka’s title and name (second column from the left). It is preceded by the name of Den.

Hemaka appears to have started out as an administrator and controller of a royal domain named Her-tepi-khet. Later, the more important domain Her-sekhenti-dju, which previously had been under the control of Amka and Sewadjka, was added to his responsibilities. He would keep control over both domains until the end of his life.

The high office of royal sealbearer, sometimes also translated as chancellor, was added to his already impressive titulary somewhere during the reign of the Horus Den. As such, he stood at the head of the royal treasury and enjoyed the king's confidence. He is only one of the first people to have held such an important office, without being a member of the royal family.

Hemaka was the owner of an impressive mastaba located in the northernmost part of Saqqara (nr. S3035), which is considered a masterpiece of architecture.
The size alone of his tomb hints at the wealth of its owner. It contained a large number of objects, among them an unused papyrus-scroll, an ivory label and a circular object showing hunting dogs in pursuit of a gazelle (shown below).

Source: Tiradriti, Egyptian TreasuresHarry N. Abrams Inc., 1999, p. 43

© Jacques Kinnaer 1997 - 2017