Middle Kingdom

By Levi Clancy for Student Reader on
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EraKingTimeDescription

Middle Kingdom

2040-1785 BC

The Middle Kingdom began ~2050 BC when a family of Theban princes garnered hegemony over the entire nation by defeating a dynastic line from Heracleopolis. This victory was not complete until the reign of Mentuhotpe II, though his predecessors were later regarded as legitimate rulers of Egypt. The Middle Kingdom was an era of renaissance, trade, quarrying, mining and military campaigns.

Ammenemes I

May have been vizier to Mentuhotep IV.

Twelfth Dynasty

1940-1756 BC

The capital was moved to Itj-tawy near Faiyum, where brick pyramid tombs of the kings still stand. A system of co-regencies was established between the king and his succession, ensuring a peaceful transfer of power that gave the Twelfth Dynasty great stability. Also strengthening the Twelfth Dynasty was Egyptian king Sesostris III's reduction of wealthy local governors' power. Egypt's foreign contact increased, as shown by Egyptian objects found in Syria and Palestine. Egypt extended its southern frontier into Nubia and established fortresses in the Second Cataract region.

Amenemhat I

1991-1962 BC

Amenemhat moved the royal residence north back to the Memphite area, founding a new capital called Itj-Tawy ('Seizer of the two Lands') near modern اللشط Lisht.

Senwosret I

1971-1926 BC

Amenemhat II

1929-1892 BC

Senwosret II

1897-1878 BC

Senwosret III

1878-1841 BC

Recarving happened so frequently that if you looked like him with deepset eyes and whatnot means that it was much much much harder to recarve and reuse his statue, with all his centralized control and his personality.

Amenemhat III

1844-1797 BC

Amenemhat III's earlier works are much like Senwosret III. As his reign progressed, however, the face changed while the body remained identical. The face developed flatter eyes and lesser lids, and lost the creased brow and downturn of the mouth. He depicted himself as very young - he kept a highly idealized look. The body stayed the same, including the line under the pectorals.

Originally Amenemhat III built a burial complex at دهشور Dahshur but when it collapsed he left it unfinished. His burial chamber was carved out of a single block of limestone, with traps on the sides that were emptied to allow sand to come in and fill it to prevent grave robbery. The burial chamber weighed four tons, that one piece of sandstone. This corresponded to his south temple. It featured the famous Labyrinth (attested by numerous ancient authors but now totally destroyed) and alsoa n aditional pyramid.

After the collapse at دهشور، Dahshur, Amenemhat III built his famous cult complex at Hawara in the Faiyum. It included a Labyrinth, pyramid, temple analogous to a south temple and a layout with a shrine for each of the 21 nomes of Egypt and a temple for each of the gods of Egypt.. This strongly recalled the Djoser Complex.

Amenemhat IV

1799-1787 BC

Amenemhat IV rode on his father's coattails without contributing much new. Sphinx of Amenemhat IV was recarved during the Ptolemaic period. Findspot was … Beirut? Could have been a later Islamic move.

Sobeknefru

1787-1783 BC

Thirteenth Dynasty

1755-1630 BC

Ammenemes III

Power began to decline after the reign of Ammenemes III.

Ammenemes IV

The Middle Kingdom neared collapse.

Sebnekneferu

End of the Middle Kingdom.

Fourteenth Dynasty

TermTimeProvenanceOverview

Tomb of Khnumhotep II

Early Middle Kingdom

بني حسن
Beni Hassan

The deceased was a high official of the ancient administrative area, the Oryx. His titles include Overseer of the Eastern Desert (he held this position from Year 19 of Amenemhet II until at least Year 6 of Senwosret II), Hereditary Prince, Count of Menat Khufu, Overseer of priests.

Tomb of Meketra Models

Dyn 12
1980 BC

Thebes

Depict a house model, bread and beer making, and taxation. From the reign of Amenemhat I. (all at Metropolitan, except the model of taxation at the Egyptian Museum)

Meketra's Offering Bearer

Dyn 12
1980 BC

Thebes

Painted wooden female statue from tomb of Meketra From the reign of Amenemhat I. (Metropolitan)

Funerary Temple of Senwosret I

White Chapel of Senwosret I

Dyn 12
1950 BC

Karnak
Thebes

The White Chapel is a small limestone chapel of King Senwosret I along the Nile.

Drawing of limestone panel from temple of King Senwosret I

Relief of King Senwosret I running with Min

Depicts Senwosret I performing the Sed festival and wearing the archaic bull's tail and short kilt.(Bourriau, p 22)

Relief of Senwosret I

Dyn 11
1950 BC

Koptos

From the Temple of Min. Petrie Museum

Relief from Funerary Temple of Senwosret I

Dyn 12
1950 BC

اللشط Lisht

Depicts offering bearers. (Metropolitan)

Limestone statue of Senwosret I

Is this the Osiride statue from the Egyptian Museum? There is another at the Met from his pyramid at Lisht. Or Hrous and Seth motif from his pyramid acomplex at Lisht?

Relief from tomb of Sarenput I

Qubbet el-Hawa
Aswan

In the course of time many elite individuals added small chapels to the shrine to share in the offerings after their death.

Relief from tomb of Sarenput II

Qubbet el-Hawa
Aswan

Stela of Minnefer

Dyn 12
1900 BC

From the reign of Amenemhat II. (British Museum)

Diorite Statue of Queen Nofret

Dyn 12
1890 BC

Egyptian Museum. A lustrous statue.

Stela of Sahathor

Dyn 12
1900 BC

Abydos

Limestone stela with a built-in statue. From the reign of Amenemhat II. (British Museum)

Pyramid complex of King Senwosret III

Dyn 12
1850 BC

دهشور Dahshur

Pieces that protrude are to support case of the pyramid.

Gneiss Sphinx of Senwosret III

Dyn 12
1850 BC

Thebes

(Metropolitan)

Necklace of Mereret

Dyn 12
1850 BC

دهشور Dahshur

From the funerary comple x of Senwosret III was found a necklace belonging to his daughter Mereret in stone and gold. Stunningly beautiful. Egyptian Museum.

Temple at Qasr el-Sagha

Middle Kingdom temple at Qasr el-Sagha

Temple at Medinet Madi

Dyn 12
1800 BC

Medinet Madi

A temple of the cobra-goddess Renenutet (a harvest deity) was founded during the reigns of Amenemhat III and IV (1855-1799 BC). It has a relief of Amenemhat III. It was later expanded and embellished during the Greco-Roman period.

Granite Pyramidion

Dyn 12
1840 BC

دهشور Dahshur

of Amenemhat III. Egyptian Museu, Cairo

Pyramid complex of King Amenemhet III

Dyn 12
1840 BC

At Hawara and دهشور Dahshur.

Head of King Amenemhat IV

Dyn 12
1800 BC

Lisht

This limestone sculpture just about looks fetal. (Metropolitan)

Tomb of Amenemhat

Dyn 12
1950 BC

بني حسن
Beni Hassan

Known for its depictions of wrestling and sieges. There is also a scene where the folks are in the water, which is remarkable as a landmark event in perspective.. From the reign of Senwosret I. Like other tombs at بني حسن Beni Hassan, lots of images of wrestlers. Not to be confused with the king Amenemhat, this was a non-royal's tomb.

Relief from Tomb of Djehutynakht

Dyn 12
1900 BC

دير البرشا
Deir el-Bersha

Painted limestone relief British Museum.

Coffin of Djehutynakht

Dyn 12
1900 BC

دير البرشا
Deir el-Bersha

A painted wooden coffin. Inside the coffin was an extensive coffin text. Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

Stela of Userwer

Dyn 12
1900 BC

Unfinished, revealing the grid and carving process. Limestone stela. (British Museum)

Statue of Au

Dyn 12
1900 BC

Lisht

From the mastaba of Senwosretankh during the reign of Senwosret I. (Metropolitan)

Stela of Nebipusenwosret

Dyn 12
1800 BC

Abydos

Limestone stela from the reign of Amenemhat III. Quintessentially Middle Kingdom with its cornice. (British Museum)