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Near & Middle Eastern Civilizations
Course Code
M.A.Pouls- Wegner

of 7
November 15, 2011
Building Programs:
- Standardized systemKemp: Formal tradition
- Temples dedicated to local gods (Senwosret I building inscription)
- Plans not well preserved, New Kingdom temples built right on top of Middle
Kingdom templesunderstanding of Middle Kingdom temples based on
isolated blocks
- Fortresses in Lower Nubia (between 1st and 2nd cataracts):
Buhen housed permanent military presence
Plains type (Senwosret I to Senwosret III)
Semna/Semite type (Senwosret III on)
Purpose of fortification is not sure, structure suggest them to be
defensive in naturegrowing power of Upper Nubia site Kerma?
Control access to mineral sources located in Nubia
- Agricultural/industrial works (Fayum region; Eastern & Western deserts):
Fayum became an interest of the state
Bayuda Desert: gold mines
Western Desert: series of oasisprovided wine, dates
Bahriya Oasis: Libyans (nomadic herders), Tjehemu
Kharga Oasis
Dakhla Oasis
- Royal mortuary complexes:
Cased made pyramids, only case is granite
History of the Eleventh Dynasty:
- At the end of the First Intermediate Period, Theban coalition gradually gained
ascendancy in LE
- Nebhepetre Mentuhotep (II) succeeded in securing control over all of Egypt
Beginning of Middle Kingdom marks reunification, all of Egypt under rule
of one sole king
Ruled from Thebes
In addition to Overseer of Upper Egypt, also created Overseer of Lower
Numbers of nomarchs reduced
Expeditions beyond borders:
Khety: Sinai and Aswan
Henenu: Lebanon for cedar
Tomb of the warriors at Deir el-Bahri, close to his mortuary complex: died
in the war against Hieracleopolitan?
Insecurity during the time when he tried to unite Egypt + depiction of
administrators carrying weapons on funerary steleinclusion of weapons
in his graves
Forays into Nubia
Inscription on a masonry block from Deir el-Ballas mentions
campaigns in Wawet (Lower Nubia)
A garrison established in the fortress at Elephantine
Deir el-Bahri temple: intended to be worshipped as a god in his House
of Million Years
Changes name to Sematawy
Dier el-Bahri tomb:
Completely moved away from Theban and Hieracleopolitan influence
First to stress Osirian beliefsreflect the religious leveling of the
funerary cult between the king and the commoners in FIP
Used terraces, verandah-like walkways (ambulatories) added to
central edifice
Incorporated groves of sycamore and tamarisk trees, which were
planted in front of the temple
Intimate cult centre
Hypostyle hall
Tombs of his two wives (Queens Neferu and Tem) included in his
complex, later buried in the dromos tomb at the rear of his temple
Seven burials for six other Royal wives were found within the
western walkway, all died at the same time, very young, all priestess
of Hathorearliest evidence for the use of modelsprecursor to
figures (magical substitutes when work had to be done by the
tomb owner for Osiris)
Bab el Hosan (beneath the temple forecourt)
Contemporaneous as the six women chapels
Black-skinned statue in festive robe foundOsirisregenerative
property of the king
Also scenes of court life
- Sankhkare Mentuhotep (III): Mother was Queen Tem
Reign characterized by a certain amount of architectural innovations
Triple sanctuary at Medinet Habu
Brick temple on Hill of Thoth: earliest surviving example of pylons
First MK ruler to send expedition to East Africa land of Punt to obtain
incense, led by Henenu sent via Wadi Hammamat
Fortifications at eastern Delta
Seven empty years after his death
- Nehtawyre Mentuhotep (IV) (omitted from the Turin Canon and Abydos King
Expedition to quarry stone for sarcophagus led by vizier Amenemhat
(founder of Dynasty 12?) described two miracles (Stele from Wadi
Found spring water
Found the stone of the sarcophagus, spotted a gazelle giving birth on
that stone
Twelfth Dynasty:
- Amenemhat I:
Seems to have no relationship with the family of Dynasty 11
The Prophecy of Neferty:
described problems in land and predicts the
emergence of a powerful king
Walls-of-the-Ruler: built by Amenemhat across eastern approach to
Moved capital to Itj-tawy near Fayum (Lisht?), has not been found
Thebes was a bit far south, Lisht was closer to the middle of the Nile
and source of Asiatic incursions
Establishes himself as a new king and differentiates himself from
Dynasty 11starting out fresh
Constructed Rawaty at Mendes and the outposts of Semna and Quban in
Nubiaprotect and service the gold mines in Wad Allaqi
Inscription found at Korosko (mid way between 1st and 2nd cataracts)
One military foray against the Libyans lead by Senwosret I
Seems to be assassinated
Pyramid complex at Lisht
Burial of family members incorporated into the pyramid complex
enclosure of the pyramid
- Senwosret I:
Perhaps the most active in building projects
Increasing emphasis on the cult of Osiris
Living king: Horus
Dead king: Osiris
Democratization of the Afterlife
Association with Osiris
Pyramid texts
White chapel at Karnak: all raised reliefs, most exquisite in any period
Text “Instruction of Amenemhat I” to legitimize his reign
Reigned for 45 years, but how long was the overlap? Does it include the
period of coregency?
Active in Nubia, established Buhen as the Southern frontier
Erected the victory stele at Buhen
Active in Syro-Palestine to maintain trade for cedar and ivory
First to introduce a construction program where monuments were set up
in each of the main cult sites throughout the landundermined the power
base of local temples and priests
The Hekanakhte papers: letters written by an old farmer to his family
while away on a long business trip
Most intimate view of family dynamics