"Sargon's real name is unknown to us - he cannot have been born 'the true (legitimate) king' - and as far as we know it could even have been Sumerian. His antecedents are a mystery and have been obscured in the haze of mythology with which later generations surrounded his name." (Joan Oates, Babylon, p 32)
Doesn't this sound suspicious?
I tried to identify a king name from archaeology to connect with the one from legend. Actually, I found multiple king names for Sargon. In Mesopotamia he was known by the somewhat obscure (but real) names of Ningirsu-kiag, Tudiya, and Bin-Yamina. To those it now seems possible to add the far more impressive Eannatum. In Egypt (which the Mesopotamians referred to as Magan & Meluhha), Sargon was called Inyotef. Inyotef is also quite an obscure figure, although he is given the very top position (like Narmer) in one of the more significant king-lists. Inyotef is the first to be honored in the "Hall of Ancestors" at the Karnak Temple of Amun. He can now be reunited with one of his more recognizable names, the far more impressive Pepi.
As is clear from titulary, the New Kingdom royal family modeled themselves as a repetition of the Old Kingdom family. However, in their role playing, they appear to merge the 6th Dynasty with the 11th Dynasty. Were they just in a big hurry to gloss over the end of the Old Kingdom or is there some other explanation? One explanation is that there was NOT a protracted "Intermediate Period" between the Old and Middle Kingdom as has been postulated by Egyptologists.
In that case, the ancient king-lists preserved multiple king names that were the result of unique regional and ethnic identities or changes in king name (and dominion) that occurred over a lifetime of rule. This practise did not end with the Old Kingdom. For example, we found that Apophis I & II of the Hyksos 15th Dynasty of Lower Egypt were one and the same as Tao I & II of the 17th Dynasty of Upper Egypt. Likewise, Pepi I & II of the 6th Dynasty appear to be one and the same as Inyotef and Montuhotep of the 11th Dynasty.
The Egyptian king-lists also preserved the names of crown princes that held the status of pharaoh but did not outlive their regents. The 13th Dynasty list appears to be consist almost entirely of such princes. Dynasties 7-10 are likely also a collection of crown princes or rival/splinter lines that ultimately lost out in succession battles. Other king-lists are related to secondary thrones. The Libyan 22nd Dynasty is such a king-list. Throughout its existence the Libyan throne was an officially recognized "double throne" that was subordinate to the main Egyptian throne. However, many so-called Libyan pharaohs ascended the Egyptian throne later in their kingly careers under their Egyptian birth names.
Looking at even early dynasties in Egypt we should expect the same kind of redundancy for the major kings and relegation of minor kings. Narmer for example is generally placed at the top of the 1st Dynasty, but this is not because he was the first king of post-Flood Egypt. Rather, this is a place of honor given him as the one who unified the country after the post-Flood chaos. We should expect to find a more accurate position for Narmer in one of the other dynasty lists. That position appears to be at the end of the so-called 3rd Dynasty in which he is called Huni "the Smiter".
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