Relief of Amenemhat I from his mortuary complex at El-Lisht
|Reign||1991–1962 BC ; (1939–1910 BC) (Twelfth Dynasty)|
|Children||Senusret I, Neferu III, Neferusherit, Kayet|
|Burial||Pyramid of Amenemhet I at el-Lisht|
Amenemhat I (Middle Egyptian: jmn-m-ḥꜣt; /jaˈmaːnumaˌħuːʀiʔ/) also Amenemhet I and the hellenized form Ammenemes, was the first ruler of the Twelfth Dynasty, the dynasty considered to be the golden-age of the Middle Kingdom of Egypt. He ruled from 1991 BC to 1962 BC(1939 BC to 1910 BC).
Amenemhat I was probably the same as the vizier named Amenemhat who led an expedition to Wadi Hammamat under his predecessor Mentuhotep IV, and possibly overthrew him from power.Scholars differ as to whether Mentuhotep IV was killed by Amenemhat I, but there is no independent evidence to suggest this and there may even have been a period of co-regency between their reigns.
Amenemhet I was not of royal lineage, and the composition of some literary works (the Prophecy of Neferti ,the Instructions of Amenemhat ) and, in architecture, the reversion to the pyramid-style complexes of the 6th dynasty rulers are often considered to have been attempts at legitimizing his rule. Amenemhat I moved the capital from Thebes to Itjtawy and was buried in el-Lisht.
There's some evidence that the early reign of Amenemhat I was beset with political turmoil, as indicated by the inscriptions of Nehri, a local governor.There were some naval battles where an associate of Amenemhat I by the name of Khnumhotep I was involved, and helped to procure victory. Later, Khnumhotep was appointed as an important local governor at Beni Hasan, and he founded a dynasty of local governors there. His grandson was Khnumhotep III.
In the inscriptions by Khnumhotep, mention is also made of military campaigns against the Asiatics and the Nubians.
Amenemhat I's name is associated with one of only two sebayt or ethical "teachings" attributed to Egyptian monarchs, entitled the Instructions of Amenemhat , though it is generally thought today that it was composed by a scribe at the behest of the king.
Amenemhat I's Horus name, Wehemmesu, which means renaissance or rebirth, is an allusion to the Old Kingdom period, whose cultural icons and models (such as pyramidal tombs and Old Kingdom artistic motifs) were emulated by the Twelfth Dynasty kings after the end of the First Intermediate Period. The cult of the king was also promoted during this period, which witnessed a steady return to a more centralized government.
The vizier at the beginning of the reign was Ipi, at the end of the reign, Intefiqer was in charge. Two treasurers can be placed under this king: another Ipi and Rehuerdjersen. Two high stewards, Meketre and Sobeknakht, have also been identified.
His pyramid was made in the same fashion as 5th and 6th dynasty pyramids by having a rough core clad with a fine mantle of smooth limestone.
The core of the pyramid was made up of small rough blocks of limestone with a loose fill of sand, debris and mudbrick. Perhaps the most remarkable feature is that it included fragments of relief-decorated blocks from Old Kingdom monuments – many from pyramid causeways and temples, including Khufu's. Granite blocks from Khafre's complex went into the lining and blocking of Amenemhat I's descending passage. We can only conclude that they were picked up at Saqqara and Giza and brought to Lisht to be incorporated into the pyramid for their spiritual efficacy.
When the limestone outer layer was taken, the core slumped. The pyramid and temple have been used as a source of material for lime burners so only a small amount remains today.
The Middle Kingdom pyramids were built closer to the Nile and Amenemhet I's burial chamber is now underwater because the River Nile has shifted course. The complex has an inner wall of limestone and an outer wall of mudbrick; members of the Royal family were buried between these two walls. There are a number of mastaba tombs between the walls and 22 burial shafts on the western side of the pyramid.
His son Senusret I followed in his footsteps, building his pyramid – a closer reflection of the 6th dynasty pyramids than that of Amenemhat I – at Lisht as well, but his grandson, Amenemhat II, broke with this tradition.
Two literary works dating from the end of the reign give a picture about Amenemhat I's death. The Instructions of Amenemhat were supposedly counsels that the deceased king gave to his son during a dream. In the passage where he warns Senusret I against too great intimacy with his subjects, he tells the story of his own death as a reinforcement:
It was after supper, when night had fallen, and I had spent an hour of happiness. I was asleep upon my bed, having become weary, and my heart had begun to follow sleep. When weapons of my counsel were wielded, I had become like a snake of the necropolis. As I came to, I awoke to fighting, and found that it was an attack of the bodyguard. If I had quickly taken weapons in my hand, I would have made the wretches retreat with a charge! But there is none mighty in the night, none who can fight alone; no success will come without a helper. Look, my injury happened while I was without you, when the entourage had not yet heard that I would hand over to you when I had not yet sat with you, that I might make counsels for you; for I did not plan it, I did not foresee it, and my heart had not taken thought of the negligence of servants.
This passage refers to a conspiracy in which Amenemhat was killed by his own guards, when his son and co-regent Senusret I was leading a campaign in Libya. Another account of the following events is given in the Story of Sinuhe , a famous text of Egyptian literature:
Year 30, third month of the Inundation season, day 7, the god mounted to his horizon, the King of Upper and Lower Egypt Sehetepibre went aloft to heaven and became united with the sun's disk, the limb of the god being merged in him who made him; whilst the Residence was hushed, hearts were in mourning, the Great Gates were closed, the courtiers crouched, head on lap, and the nobles grieved. Now His Majesty had sent an army to the land of the Tjemeh (Libyans), his eldest son as the captain thereof, the goodly god Senusret. He had been sent to smite the foreign countries, and to take prisoner the dwellers in the Tjehnu-land, and now indeed he was returning and had carried off living prisoners of the Tjehnu and all kinds of cattle limitless. And the Companions of the Palace sent to the western side to acquaint the king's son concerning the position that had arisen in the Royal Apartments, and the messengers found him upon the road, they reached him at time of night. Not a moment did he linger, the falcon flew off with his followers, not letting his army know. But the king's children who accompanied him in this army had been sent for and one of them had been summoned. (...)
Amenemhat I is considered to be the first king of Egypt to have had a coregency with his son, Senusret I. A double dated stela from Abydos and now in the Cairo Museum (CG 20516) is dated to the Year 30 of Amenemhat I and to the Year 10 of Senusret I, which establishes that Senusret was made co-regent in Amenemhat's Year 20.
Naguib Mahfouz, the Nobel Prize-winning Egyptian writer, includes Amenemhat I in one of his stories published in 1941 entitled "Awdat Sinuhi". The story appeared in an English translation by Raymond Stock in 2003 as "The Return of Sinuhe" in the collection of Mahfouz's short stories entitled Voices from the Other World. The story is based directly on the "Story of Sinuhe", although adding details of a lovers' triangle romance involving Amenemhat I and Sinuhe that does not appear in the original. Mahfouz also includes the pharaoh in his account of Egypt's rulers "Facing the Throne". In this work, the Nobel laureate has the Ancient Egyptian gods judge the country's rulers from Pharaoh Mena to President Anwar Sadat.
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Amenemhat III, also spelled Amenemhet III, was a pharaoh of the Twelfth Dynasty of Egypt. He ruled from c. 1860 BC to c. 1814 BC, the highest known date being found in a papyrus dated to Regnal Year 46, I Akhet 22 of his rule. His reign is regarded as the golden age of the Middle Kingdom. He may have had a long coregency with his father, Senusret III.
The Story of Sinuhe is considered one of the finest works of ancient Egyptian literature. It is a narrative set in the aftermath of the death of Pharaoh Amenemhat I, founder of the 12th dynasty of Egypt, in the early 20th century BC. It was composed around 1875 BC, although the earliest extant manuscript is from the reign of Amenemhat III, c. 1800 BC. There is an ongoing debate among Egyptologists as to whether or not the tale is based on actual events involving an individual named Sinuhe, with the consensus being that it is most likely a work of fiction. Due to the universal nature of the themes explored in Sinuhe, including divine providence and mercy, its anonymous author has been described as the "Egyptian Shakespeare" whose ideas have parallels in biblical texts. Sinuhe is considered to be a work written in verse and it may also have been performed. The great popularity of the work is witnessed by the numerous surviving fragments.
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The Twelfth Dynasty of ancient Egypt is often combined with the Eleventh, Thirteenth and Fourteenth Dynasties under the group title Middle Kingdom.
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Senusret I also anglicized as Sesostris I and Senwosret I, was the second pharaoh of the Twelfth Dynasty of Egypt. He ruled from 1971 BC to 1926 BC, and was one of the most powerful kings of this Dynasty. He was the son of Amenemhat I. Senusret I was known by his prenomen, Kheperkare, which means "the Ka of Re is created."
Khakheperre Senusret II was the fourth pharaoh of the Twelfth Dynasty of Egypt. He ruled from 1897 BC to 1878 BC. His pyramid was constructed at El-Lahun. Senusret II took a great deal of interest in the Faiyum oasis region and began work on an extensive irrigation system from Bahr Yussef through to Lake Moeris through the construction of a dike at El-Lahun and the addition of a network of drainage canals. The purpose of his project was to increase the amount of cultivable land in that area. The importance of this project is emphasized by Senusret II's decision to move the royal necropolis from Dahshur to El-Lahun where he built his pyramid. This location would remain the political capital for the 12th and 13th Dynasties of Egypt. The king also established the first known workers' quarter in the nearby town of Senusrethotep (Kahun).
Khakaure Senusret III was a pharaoh of Egypt. He ruled from 1878 BC to 1839 BC during a time of great power and prosperity, and was the fifth king of the Twelfth Dynasty of the Middle Kingdom. He was a great pharaoh of the Twelfth Dynasty and is considered to be, perhaps, the most powerful Egyptian ruler of the dynasty. Consequently, he is regarded as one of the sources for the legend about Sesostris. His military campaigns gave rise to an era of peace and economic prosperity that reduced the power of regional rulers and led to a revival in craftwork, trade, and urban development. Senusret III was among the few Egyptian kings who were deified and honored with a cult during their own lifetime.
Lisht or el-Lisht is an Egyptian village located south of Cairo. It is the site of Middle Kingdom royal and elite burials, including two pyramids built by Amenemhat I and Senusret I. The two main pyramids were surrounded by smaller pyramids of members of the royal family, and many mastaba tombs of high officials and their family members. They were constructed throughout the Twelfth and Thirteenth Dynasties. The site is also known for the tomb of Senebtisi, found undisturbed and from which a set of jewelry has been recovered. The pyramid complex of Senusret I is the best preserved from this period. The coffins in the tomb of Sesenebnef present the earliest versions of the Book of the Dead.
Instructions of Amenemhat is a short ancient Egyptian poem of the sebayt genre written during the early Middle Kingdom. The poem takes the form of an intensely dramatic monologue delivered by the ghost of the murdered 12th Dynasty pharaoh Amenemhat I to his son Senusret I. It describes the conspiracy that killed Amenemhat, and enjoins his son to trust no-one. The poem forms a kind of apologia of the deeds of the old king's reign. It ends with an exhortation to Senusret to ascend the throne and rule wisely in Amenemhat's stead.
The Pyramid of Senusret I is an Egyptian pyramid built to be the burial place of the Pharaoh Senusret I. The pyramid was built during the Twelfth Dynasty of Egypt at el-Lisht, near the pyramid of his father, Amenemhat I. Its ancient name was Senusret Petei Tawi.
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Mentuhotep was an Ancient Egyptian official and treasurer under the 12th dynasty pharaoh Senusret I. Mentuhotep is one of the best attested officials of the Middle Kingdom period. There is a series of statues found at Karnak, showing him as a scribe. On these he has been given the title of overseer of all royal works, which would suggest that he was involved in overseeing the construction of the temple at Karnak. At el-Lisht he had a large tomb next to the pyramid of Senusret I. When it was found it was badly damaged, but there are remains of high quality reliefs and fragments of statues. The burial chamber still contained two sarcophagi, one smashed and the other one well preserved, made of granite and with brightly painted interiors.
Senusret was an Ancient Egyptian official who was a vizier during the last years of king Senusret I's rule and in the first years of Amenemhet II. Senusret is known from a stela found in Abydos, which is dated to year 8 of Amenemhet II. He also appears in biographical inscriptions in the tomb of the governor Amenemhat at Beni Hasan, where it is reported that he was on a mission to Koptos. The inscription reports events under Senusret I.
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