Intef II

Last updated

Wahankh Intef II (also Inyotef II and Antef II) was the third ruler of the Eleventh Dynasty of Egypt during the First Intermediate Period. He reigned for almost fifty years from 2112 BC to 2063 BC. [2] His capital was located at Thebes. In his time, Egypt was split between several local dynasties. He was buried in a saff tomb at El-Tarif.

The Eleventh Dynasty of ancient Egypt is a well-attested group of rulers. Its earlier members before Pharaoh Mentuhotep II are grouped with the four preceding dynasties to form the First Intermediate Period, whereas the later members are considered part of the Middle Kingdom. They all ruled from Thebes in Upper Egypt.

Thebes, Egypt ancient Egyptian city

Thebes, known to the ancient Egyptians as Waset, was an ancient Egyptian city located along the Nile about 800 kilometers (500 mi) south of the Mediterranean. Its ruins lie within the modern Egyptian city of Luxor. Thebes was the main city of the fourth Upper Egyptian nome and was the capital of Egypt mainly during the Middle Kingdom and the New Kingdom. It was close to Nubia and the Eastern Desert, with its valuable mineral resources and trade routes. It was a cult center and the most venerated city of ancient Egypt during its heyday. The site of Thebes includes areas on both the eastern bank of the Nile, where the temples of Karnak and Luxor stand and the city proper was situated; and the western bank, where a necropolis of large private and royal cemeteries and funerary complexes can be found.

El-Tarif village in Egypt

El-Tarif is a necropolis on the West Bank of the Nile, at the site of ancient Thebes (Luxor), Egypt. It is located in the northwestern outskirts of Luxor and southeast of the Valley of the Kings, opposite Karnak, just to the southwest of the modern village of At-Tarif. It is the oldest of West Thebes' necropolises. It is a small mortuary temple, and the farthest north of the Tombs of the Nobles, and contains tombs of the late First Intermediate Period, Second Intermediate Period and early Middle Kingdom. Old Kingdom mastabas are possibly attributed to local rulers of the Fourth or Fifth Dynasty. Eleventh Dynasty tombs of local rulers have also been noted in the form of a series of rock-cut tombs dated to 2061-2010 B.C.E, the largest of which are Intef I to Intef III, who were kings of this dynasty.



Intef's parents were Mentuhotep I and Neferu I. His predecessor Intef I may have been his brother. Intef was succeeded by his son Intef III.

Mentuhotep I Egyptian pharaoh

Mentuhotep I may have been a Theban nomarch and independent ruler of Upper Egypt during the early First Intermediate Period. Alternatively, Mentuhotep I may be a fictional figure created during the later Eleventh dynasty, which rose to prominence under Intef II and Mentuhotep II, playing the role of a founding father.

Neferu I was the first queen of Ancient Egyptian Eleventh dynasty. She was a wife of the Pharaoh Mentuhotep I.

Intef I 11th dynasty (Theban) Pharaoh

Sehertawy Intef I was a local nomarch at Thebes during the early First Intermediate Period and the first member of the 11th Dynasty to lay claim to a Horus name. Intef reigned from 4 to 16 years c. 2120 BC or c. 2070 BC during which time he probably waged war with his northern neighbor, the Coptite nomarch Tjauti. Intef was buried in a saff tomb at El-Tarif, known today as Saff el-Dawaba.


After the death of the nomarch Ankhtifi, Intef was able to unite all the southern nomes down to the First Cataract. After this he clashed with his main rivals, the kings of Herakleopolis Magna for the possession of Abydos. The city changed hands several times, but Intef II was eventually victorious, extending his rule north to the thirteenth nome.

Nomarchs were Ancient Egyptian administration officials responsible for the provinces. Effectively serving as provincial governors, they each held authority over one of the 42 nomes into which the country was divided. Nome is derived from the Greek nomos, meaning a province or district, and nomarch is derived from the Greek title nomarches, the ruler of a nomos.

Ankhtifi ancient Egyptian nomarch

Ankhtifi was a nomarch of Hierakonpolis and a supporter of the pharaoh in Herakleopolis Magna, which was locked in a conflict with the Theban based 11th Dynasty kingdom for control of Egypt. Hence, Ankhtifi was possibly a rival to the Theban rulers Mentuhotep I and Intef I. He lived during the First Intermediate Period, after the Egyptian Old Kingdom state had collapsed, and at a time when economic hardship, political instability, and foreign invasion challenged the fabric of Egyptian society.

A nome was a territorial division in ancient Egypt.

After these wars, more friendly relations were established and the rest of Intef's reign was peaceful. The discovery of a statue of Intef II, wrapped in a sed festival robe, in the sanctuary of Heqaib at Elephantine suggests that this king's authority extended to the region of the First Cataract and, perhaps, over part of Lower Nubia by his 30th year. [3] This impression would appear to be confirmed by an expedition led by Djemi from Gebelein to the land of Wawat (i.e.: Nubia) during his reign. [3] Consequently, when Intef II died, he left behind a strong government in Thebes which controlled the whole of Upper Egypt and maintained a border just south of Asyut. [3]

Heqaib ancient Egyptian nomarch

Heqaib, also Hekaib or Hekayeb, was an ancient Egyptian nomarch of the 1st nomos of Upper Egypt under king Pepi II Neferkare, towards the end of the 6th Dynasty. He was also an officer in charge of military expeditions in Nubia.

The earliest attested dating of the god Amun at Karnak occurs during his reign. The surviving sections of the Turin Canon for the Middle Kingdom assign this king a reign of 49 years. [4] [5]

Amun is a major ancient Egyptian deity who appears as a member of the Hermopolitan Ogdoad. Amun was attested from the Old Kingdom together with his wife Amaunet. With the 11th dynasty, Amun rose to the position of patron deity of Thebes by replacing Montu.

Karnak Ancient Egyptian temple complex

The Karnak Temple Complex, commonly known as Karnak, comprises a vast mix of decayed temples, chapels, pylons, and other buildings near Luxor, in Egypt. Construction at the complex began during the reign of Senusret I in the Middle Kingdom and continued into the Ptolemaic period, although most of the extant buildings date from the New Kingdom. The area around Karnak was the ancient Egyptian Ipet-isut and the main place of worship of the eighteenth dynasty Theban Triad with the god Amun as its head. It is part of the monumental city of Thebes. The Karnak complex gives its name to the nearby, and partly surrounded, modern village of El-Karnak, 2.5 kilometres north of Luxor.


Intef II apparently never held the full royal fivefold titulary of the Old Kingdom pharaohs. He did, however, claim the dual kingship nswt bity and the title s3-Re son of Ra, which emphasizes the divine nature of kingship. [2] Finally, upon accession to the Theban throne, Intef II added the Horus name Wahankh, enduring of life, to his birth name.


We know the name and activities of some of the officials who served under Intef II :


The dogs of Intef II on his funerary stele, Egyptian Museum, Cairo. Saluki egypt.jpg
The dogs of Intef II on his funerary stele, Egyptian Museum, Cairo.

On his funerary stele Intef emphasizes his monument building activities. It is significant that the earliest surviving fragment of royal construction at Karnak is an octagonal column bearing Intef II's name. Intef II is also the first ruler to build chapels for Satet and Khnum on the island of Elephantine. [10] In fact, Intef II started a tradition of royal building activities in the provincial temples of Upper Egypt which was to last throughout the Middle Kingdom.


Intef's tomb in El-Tarif at Thebes is a saff tomb. Saff stands for "row" in Arabic and refers to the double row of columns and entry ways fronting a large 250 by 70 metres (820 ft × 230 ft) trapezoidal courtyard at the eastern end of which was a mortuary chapel. [11] This chapel may have been intended to serve the same purpose as a valley temple. [12]

Intef II's tomb was investigated by a royal commission during the reign of Ramses IX, toward the end of the 20th Dynasty, as many royal tombs were being plundered at the time. [13] As reported on the Abbott Papyrus, The commission noted that: "The pyramid-tomb of king Si-Rêˁ In-ˁo (i.e. Intef II) which is north of the House of Amenḥotpe of the Forecourt and whose pyramid is crushed down upon it [. . .]. Examined this day; it was found intact." [14] No remains of this pyramid have been found yet. [12]

Following the tradition of his nomarch ancestors, Intef II erected a biographical stele in the entrance of his tomb which relates the events of his reign and credits him with 50 years of reign. [2] [15] A stela mentioning the king's dogs was also said to be set up before the tomb. Another stela mentioning a dog named Beha was discovered, but it was found near the offering chapel. [11]

Related Research Articles

First Intermediate Period of Egypt period in ancient Egyptian history after end of the Old Kingdom

The First Intermediate Period, often described as a "dark period" in ancient Egyptian history, spanned approximately one hundred and twenty-five years, from c. 2181–2055 BC, after the end of the Old Kingdom. It comprises the seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth, and part of the eleventh dynasties. Very little monumental evidence survives from this period, especially towards the beginning of the era. The First Intermediate Period was a dynamic time in history where rule of Egypt was roughly divided between two competing power bases. One of those bases resided at Heracleopolis in Lower Egypt, a city just south of the Faiyum region. The other resided at Thebes in Upper Egypt. It is believed that during this time, the temples were pillaged and violated, their existing artwork was vandalized, and the statues of kings were broken or destroyed as a result of this alleged political chaos. These two kingdoms would eventually come into conflict, with the Theban kings conquering the north, resulting in reunification of Egypt under a single ruler, Mentuhotep II, during the second part of the eleventh dynasty. This event marked the beginning of the Middle Kingdom of Egypt.

Middle Kingdom of Egypt period in the history of ancient Egypt between about 2000 BC and 1700 BC

The Middle Kingdom of Egypt is the period in the history of ancient Egypt following a period of political division known as the First Intermediate Period. The Middle Kingdom lasted from around 2050 BC to around 1710 BC, stretching from the reunification of Egypt under the reign of Mentuhotep II of the Eleventh Dynasty to the end of the Twelfth Dynasty. The Eleventh Dynasty ruled from Thebes and the Twelfth Dynasty ruled from el-Lisht. Some scholars also include the Thirteenth Dynasty of Egypt wholly into this period as well, in which case the Middle Kingdom would finish around 1650, while others only include it until Merneferre Ay around 1700 BC, last king of this dynasty to be attested in both Upper and Lower Egypt. During the Middle Kingdom period, Osiris became the most important deity in popular religion. The Middle Kingdom was followed by the Second Intermediate Period of Egypt, another period of division that involved foreign invasions of the country by the Hyksos of West Asia.

History of ancient Egypt aspect of history

The history of ancient Egypt spans the period from the early prehistoric settlements of the northern Nile valley to the Roman conquest, in 30 BC. The Pharaonic Period is dated from the 32nd century BC, when Upper and Lower Egypt were unified, until the country fell under Macedonian rule, in 332 BC.

Mentuhotep II Egyptian pharaoh

Nebhepetre Mentuhotep II was a Pharaoh of the 11th Dynasty who reigned for 51 years. Around his 39th year on the throne he reunited Egypt, thus ending the First Intermediate Period. Consequently, he is considered the first pharaoh of the Middle Kingdom.

Intef III was the third pharaoh of the Eleventh Dynasty of Egypt during the late First Intermediate Period in the 21st century BC, at a time when Egypt was divided in two kingdoms. The son of his predecessor Intef II and father of his successor Mentuhotep II, Intef III reigned for 8 years over Upper Egypt and extended his domain North against the 10th Dynasty state, perhaps as far north as the 17th nome. He undertook some building activity on Elephantine. Intef III is buried in a large saff tomb at El-Tarif known as Saff el-Barqa.

Nubkheperre Intef Egyptian king of the Seventeenth dynasty of Egypt at Thebes during the Second Intermediate Period

Nubkheperre Intef was an Egyptian king of the Seventeenth dynasty of Egypt at Thebes during the Second Intermediate Period, when Egypt was divided by rival dynasties including the Hyksos in Lower Egypt. He is known to be the brother of Sekhemre-Wepmaat Intef—and this king's immediate successor—since he donated Louvre Coffin E3019 for this king's burial which bears an inscription that it was donated for king Sekhemre Wepmaat Intef "as that which his brother, king Antefgives", notes Kim Ryholt. As the German scholar Thomas Schneider writes in the 2006 book Ancient Egyptian Chronology :

Sekhemre-Heruhirmaat Intef Egyptian pharaoh

Sekhemre-Heruhirmaat Intef was an Ancient Egyptian king of the Seventeenth Dynasty of Egypt, who ruled during the Second Intermediate Period, when Egypt was divided between the Theban-based 17th Dynasty in Upper Egypt and the Hyksos 15th Dynasty who controlled Lower and part of Middle Egypt.

Sekhemre-Wepmaat Intef Egyptian pharaoh (1600-1600)

Sekhemre-Wepmaat Intef was an Egyptian king of the Seventeenth Dynasty of Egypt, who lived late during the Second Intermediate Period, when Egypt was divided into two by Hyksos controlled Lower Egypt and Theban ruled Upper Egypt.

Sobekemsaf II was an Egyptian king of the Seventeenth Dynasty of Egypt who reigned during the Second Intermediate Period, when Egypt was ruled by multiple kings. His throne name, Sekhemre Shedtawy, means "Powerful is Re; Rescuer of the Two Lands." It is now believed by Egyptologists that Sobekemsaf II was the father of both Sekhemre-Wepmaat Intef and Nubkheperre Intef based on an inscription carved on a doorjamb discovered in the ruins of a 17th Dynasty temple at Gebel Antef in the early 1990s which was built under Nubkheperre Intef. The doorjamb mentions a king Sobekem[saf] as the father of Nubkheperre Intef/Antef VII--(Antef begotten of Sobekem...) He was in all likelihood the Prince Sobekemsaf who is attested as the son and designated successor of king Sobekemsaf I on Cairo Statue CG 386.

Thinis Lost city in Nome VIII of Upper Egypt, Ancient Egypt

Thinis or This was the capital city of the first dynasties of ancient Egypt. Thinis is, as yet, undiscovered but well attested to by ancient writers, including the classical historian Manetho, who cites it as the centre of the Thinite Confederacy, a tribal confederation whose leader, Menes, united Egypt and was its first pharaoh. Thinis began a steep decline in importance from Dynasty III, when the capital was relocated to Memphis which thought to be the first true and stable capital after unification of old Egypt by Menes, this is despite of the power of the southern city Thinis and its kings. Its location on the border of the competing Heracleopolitan and Theban dynasties of the First Intermediate Period, and its proximity to certain oases of possible military importance, ensured Thinis some continued significance in the Old and New Kingdoms. This was a brief respite and Thinis eventually lost its position as a regional administrative centre by the Roman period.

Merikare Egyptian pharaoh

Merikare was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh of the 10th Dynasty who lived toward the end of the First Intermediate Period. His name cannot be recognized in the Turin King List. The dates of his reign are uncertain and debated among scholars.

Intef (Antef) was an Ancient Egyptian general of the 11th Dynasty, around 2000 BC, under king Mentuhotep II. His main title was overseer of troops often translated as general. Other titles include royal sealer and sole friend.

Articles related to ancient Egypt include:

Intef the Elder Egyptian nomarch, ancestor of the 11th dynasty

Intef, whose name is commonly accompanied by epithets such as the Elder, the Great or born of Iku, was a Theban nomarch during the First Intermediate Period c. 2150 BC and later considered a founding figure of the 11th Dynasty, which eventually reunified Egypt.

Oryx nome

The Oryx nome was one of the 42 nomoi in ancient Egypt. More precisely, it was the 16th nome of Upper Egypt. It was named after the Scimitar oryx, and was roughly located in the territories surrounding the modern city of Minya in Middle Egypt.


  1. 1 2 Clayton, Peter A. Chronicle of the Pharaohs: The Reign-by-Reign Record of the Rulers and Dynasties of Ancient Egypt. Thames & Hudson. p72. 2006. ISBN   0-500-28628-0
  2. 1 2 3 4 Ian Shaw, The Oxford history of ancient Egypt p.125
  3. 1 2 3 Nicholas Grimal, A History of Ancient Egypt (Oxford: Blackwell Books, 1992), p. 145
  4. Column 5 row 14
  5. The Ancient Egypt Web Site, Antef II Archived 2007-09-27 at the Wayback Machine ., (accessed September 7, 2007)
  6. 1 2 3 Ian Shaw The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt p.126
  7. Stele of Tjetjy
  8. 1 2 William Kelly Simpson, The literature of Ancient Egypt
  9. The stele of Djary Archived 2016-03-04 at the Wayback Machine .
  10. Ian Shaw The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt, p.127
  11. 1 2 Lehner, Mark. The Complete Pyramids. Thames & Hudson. 2008 (reprint). ISBN   978-0-500-28547-3, pp 165
  12. 1 2 Dodson, Aidan. The Tomb in Ancient Egypt. Thames and Hudson. 2008. ISBN   9780500051399, pp 186-187
  13. Darrell D. Baker: The Encyclopedia of the Pharaohs: Volume I - Predynastic to the Twentieth Dynasty 3300–1069 BC, Stacey International, ISBN   978-1-905299-37-9, 2008, pp. 145-146
  14. Alan Gardiner, Egypt of the Pharaohs: an introduction, Oxford University Press, 1961, pp. 118–119
  15. Stele of Intef II

Further reading

Preceded by
Intef I
Pharaoh of Egypt
Eleventh Dynasty
Succeeded by
Intef III