Egyptian People > Djet


Egypt History - Egyptian Chapter Decoration


Djet, also known as Wadj or Zet, was a pharaoh of ancient Egypt's First Dynasty, ruling around 2980 BCE. His reign followed that of his father, Djer, and he is known for his tomb at Abydos, which provides significant insights into the early dynastic period. Here is an overview of Djet and his reign:


  1. First Dynasty:

    • The First Dynasty marks the beginning of the historical period of ancient Egypt following the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt by Narmer (often identified with Menes).
    • This period is characterized by the establishment of centralized authority, the development of writing, and significant advancements in culture, art, and administration.
  2. Family and Lineage:

    • Djet was likely the son of Djer, the previous pharaoh. He succeeded his father and continued the work of consolidating the newly unified Egyptian state.
    • His mother is believed to have been Queen Nakhtneith, and he was married to Queen Merneith, who played a significant role during his reign.

Reign of Djet

  1. Accession to the Throne:

    • Djet ascended to the throne around 2980 BCE following the death of his father, Djer. His reign continued the efforts to consolidate and expand the early Egyptian state.
    • His Horus name, Djet, means "Horus Cobra," and his reign was marked by efforts to maintain stability and continuity within the kingdom.
  2. Administration and Governance:

    • Djet continued the administrative practices established by his predecessors, focusing on the centralization of power and the development of state institutions.
    • He appointed officials to oversee various aspects of governance, including the collection of taxes, management of resources, and implementation of royal decrees.

Achievements and Contributions

  1. Military Campaigns and Expansion:

    • Like his predecessors, Djet likely conducted military campaigns to secure Egypt’s borders and expand its influence. These campaigns helped secure trade routes and access to valuable resources.
    • His military efforts would have been aimed at maintaining stability and protecting the kingdom from external threats.
  2. Religious and Cultural Contributions:

    • Djet supported the establishment of religious institutions and the construction of temples dedicated to various deities. His reign contributed to the development of the religious landscape of early dynastic Egypt.
    • Artifacts from his reign, including pottery, tools, and ceremonial objects, reflect the evolving artistic and cultural practices of the time.

Tomb of Djet

  1. Tomb at Abydos:

    • Djet’s tomb, located at Abydos in the Umm el-Qa'ab necropolis, is one of the most significant burial sites of the early dynastic period. His tomb (designated Tomb Z) is notable for its size and the number of subsidiary burials, which likely included retainers and servants intended to serve him in the afterlife.
    • The tomb’s construction and the grave goods found within provide valuable insights into the burial practices, beliefs, and material culture of early dynastic Egypt.
  2. Stele and Inscriptions:

    • A famous stele bearing Djet’s name and Horus symbol was discovered at his tomb. This stele is a significant artifact that provides insights into his reign and the religious iconography of the period.
    • The inscriptions and reliefs found in his tomb highlight the importance of the king’s role in both life and the afterlife, reflecting the centrality of the pharaoh in Egyptian society and religion.


  1. Historical Significance:

    • Djet’s reign is significant for its role in consolidating the early Egyptian state and laying the foundations for future developments in administration, culture, and religion.
    • His military campaigns and efforts to secure trade routes contributed to the prosperity and stability of the kingdom, ensuring its continued growth and development.
  2. Cultural Impact:

    • The artifacts and inscriptions from Djet’s reign provide a glimpse into the artistic, cultural, and religious practices of early dynastic Egypt. His support for religious institutions and the construction of temples helped shape the religious landscape of ancient Egypt.
    • The burial practices associated with Djet, including the subsidiary burials in his tomb, reflect the beliefs and customs surrounding death and the afterlife in early Egyptian society.
  3. Archaeological Evidence:

    • Archaeological discoveries related to Djet’s reign, including his tomb at Abydos and various artifacts, have provided valuable insights into the early dynastic period. These findings help historians and archaeologists understand the development of the Egyptian state and its culture.
    • The presence of numerous grave goods in his tomb, including jewelry, pottery, and ceremonial objects, highlights the wealth and craftsmanship of early dynastic Egypt.


Djet, who ruled around 2980 BCE, was a pharaoh of the First Dynasty of ancient Egypt. His reign is notable for its contributions to the consolidation of the Egyptian state, military expansions, and the development of early administrative and cultural practices. Djet’s support for religious institutions and the construction of temples, as well as his elaborate tomb at Abydos, reflect the significance of his reign in shaping the early dynastic period. His legacy includes the stability and prosperity he helped secure for Egypt, laying the foundations for the continued growth and development of one of the world’s earliest and most enduring civilizations.

King List

NameDates of RuleComments
Narmer/Menes32nd centuryMainstream opinion identifies Narmer with Menes, however a minority of scholars identify Menes with Hor-Aha
Hor-Aha3080 ± 30 BCE (p = 0.32)Comments
Djerc. 3073–3036 BCE41 years
Djet3008–2975 BCE
Merneith3008? 2946–2916 BCE
Den2975–2935-2911 BCE or 2928–2911 BCE19 to 50 years (42 years)
Anedjib2916–2896 BCE20 years
Semerkhet2912–2891 BCE20 years
Qa'a2906–2886 BCE30 years

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