Mentuhotep III

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Sankhkare Mentuhotep III (also Montuhotep III) [4] of the Eleventh dynasty was Pharaoh of Egypt during the Middle Kingdom. He was assigned a reign of 12 years in the Turin Canon.

Pharaoh Title of Ancient Egyptian rulers

Pharaoh is the common title of the monarchs of ancient Egypt from the First Dynasty until the annexation of Egypt by the Roman Empire in 30 BCE, although the actual term "Pharaoh" was not used contemporaneously for a ruler until Merneptah, c. 1200 BCE. In the early dynasty, ancient Egyptian kings used to have up to three titles, the Horus, the Sedge and Bee (nswt-bjtj) name, and the Two Ladies (nbtj) name. The Golden Horus and nomen and prenomen titles were later added.

Egypt Country spanning North Africa and Southwest Asia

Egypt, officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a country in the northeast corner of Africa, whose territory in the Sinai Peninsula extends beyond the continental boundary with Asia, as traditionally defined. Egypt is bordered by the Gaza Strip and Israel to the northeast, the Gulf of Aqaba and the Red Sea to the east, Sudan to the south, Libya to the west, and the Mediterranean Sea to the north. Across the Gulf of Aqaba lies Jordan, across the Red Sea lies Saudi Arabia, and across the Mediterranean lie Greece, Turkey and Cyprus, although none share a land border with 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 BC, 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.



Mentuhotep III succeeded his father Mentuhotep II [5] to the throne. It is believed that, following his father's long 51 years of reign, Mentuhotep III was relatively old when he acceded to the throne and reigned for 12 years. Despite its short duration, Mentuhotep's reign is known for his expedition to Punt and architectural innovations.

Mentuhotep II Egyptian pharaoh of the 11th Dynasty

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.


Mentuhotep III's titulary is very similar to the third and final one of his father. Mentuhotep III is known to have had at least two praenomen: the well known Sankhkare and also

Mentuhotep III
Mentuhotep IIIMentuhotep IIIMentuhotep IIIMentuhotep III
Mentuhotep III

"He who embellishes the Soul of Re"

Expedition to Punt

Mentuhotep III sent an expedition to the Land of Punt during the 8th year of his reign, something that had not been done since the Old Kingdom. An inscription in the Wadi Hammamat describes the expedition as being 3000 men strong and under the command of the steward Henenu. As they left Coptos in direction of the Red Sea, they dug 12 wells for future expeditions and cleared the region of rebels. They returned from Punt with incense, gum and perfumes, and quarried the Wadi Hammamat for stones.

Land of Punt ancient kingdom

The Land of Punt was an ancient kingdom. A trading partner of Egypt, it was known for producing and exporting gold, aromatic resins, blackwood, ebony, ivory and wild animals. The region is known from ancient Egyptian records of trade expeditions to it. It is possible that it corresponds to Opone on the Horn of Africa, as later known by the ancient Greeks, while some biblical scholars have identified it with the biblical land of Put or Havilah.

Wadi Hammamat Dry river bed in Egypt

Wadi Hammamat is a dry river bed in Egypt's Eastern Desert, about halfway between Al-Qusayr and Qena. It was a major mining region and trade route east from the Nile Valley in ancient times, and three thousand years of rock carvings and graffiti make it a major scientific and tourist site today.

Hannu ancient Egyptian explorer

Hannu, Hennu or Henenu was an Egyptian noble, serving as m-r-pr "majordomo" to Mentuhotep III in the 21st to 20th century BC. He reportedly re-opened the trade routes to Punt and Libya for the Middle Kingdom of Egypt. He was buried in a tomb in Deir el-Bahri, in Theban Necropolis, which has been catalogued as TT313.


Mentuhotep III on a relief carving from the temple of Monthu in Medamud. Louvre 032008 37.jpg
Mentuhotep III on a relief carving from the temple of Monthu in Medamud.

Sankhkare Mentuhotep was responsible for several building projects in the 12 years of his reign. His own mortuary temple was begun in Deir el-Bahari, but never completed. The temple was located a short distance from his father's mortuary temple. A causeway would have led up to a temple platform. Inscriptions show that the king was buried in a chamber cut into the rock-face. [6]

Sankhkare Mentuhotep also had a mud-brick temple erected at Thoth Hill in Western Thebes. The temple was built on the site of an older archaic temple. It was dedicated to the god Montu-Ra. This temple may have been destroyed by an earthquake towards the end of the 11th dynasty. [6]


Mentuhotep III was the son and successor of Mentuhotep II. One of the wives of Mentuhotep II, Tem, was given the title Mother of the Dual King and based on that title she is almost certainly the mother of Mentuhotep III. Mentuhotep III's family is mostly a mystery. It is currently believed that he fathered his successor Mentuhotep IV with one of his harem wives, Imi. This is however still debated [7] Mentuhotep IV's mother is known to have been Queen Imi. If he was the son of Mentuhotep III, Imi must have been the wife of Mentuhotep III. [8]

Tem was an ancient Egyptian queen consort of the 11th dynasty, a wife of Pharaoh Mentuhotep II and the mother of Mentuhotep III. She was buried in Tomb DBXI.15 in Deir el-Bahari, in her husband's mortuary complex.

Mentuhotep IV Egyptian pharaoh

Nebtawyre Mentuhotep IV was the last king of the 11th Dynasty. He seems to fit into a 7-year period in the Turin Canon for which there is no recorded king.

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  1. King List (chronological) Archived 2004-12-24 at the Wayback Machine
  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
  3. 1 2 Karl Richard Lepsius: Denkmaller, Abtheilung II Band IV Available online see p. 152 Archived 2015-10-27 at the Wayback Machine
  4. Firth, Lesley (editor-in-chief); et al. (1985). "Mentohotep III". Who Were They? The Simon & Schuster Color Illustrated Question & Answer Book. Little Simon Book, Simon & Schuster, Inc., New York City. p. 12. ISBN   0671604767.
  5. "Mentuhotep III". 9 December 2012. Archived from the original on 9 December 2012. Retrieved 28 October 2016.
  6. 1 2 Wilkinson, Richard H., The Complete Temples of Ancient Egypt, Thames and Hudson, 2000,pp. 37, 172, 173, 181, ISBN   0-500-05100-3
  7. Dodson, Aidan and Hilton, Dyan. The Complete Royal Families of Ancient Egypt. Thames & Hudson. 2004. ISBN   0-500-05128-3
  8. Tyldesley, Joyce. Chronicle of the Queens of Egypt. Thames & Hudson. 2006, pp. 66-68. ISBN   0-500-05145-3

Further reading

Preceded by
Mentuhotep II
Pharaoh of Egypt
Eleventh Dynasty
Succeeded by
Mentuhotep IV