Scribe palette of the chancellor Orkaukhety,
bearing the cartouche of Merikare
|Reign||c. 2075–2040 BCE (10th Dynasty)|
|Predecessor||Wahkare Khety ?|
|Successor||possibly an unnamed ephemeral successor, then Mentuhotep II (11th Dynasty)|
|Father||Wahkare Khety ?|
|Died||approximately 2040 BCE|
|Burial||Pyramid of Merikare|
Merikare (also Merykare and Merykara) was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh of the 10th Dynasty who lived toward the end of the First Intermediate Period.
Purportedly inspired by the teaching of his father, he embarked on a semi-peaceful coexistence policy with his southern rivals of the 11th Dynasty, focusing on improving the prosperity of his realm centered on Herakleopolis instead of waging an open war with Thebes. His policy was not rewarded, and shortly after his death his kingdom was conquered by the Theban Mentuhotep II, marking the beginning of the Middle Kingdom. The existence of his pyramid has historically been ascertained, although it has not yet been discovered.
According to many scholars, he ruled at the end of the 10th Dynasty in his middle-age,following a long reign by his father. The identity of his predecessor (the so-called "Khety III" who was the purported author of the Teaching for King Merikare ) is still a question of debate among Egyptologists. Some scholars tend to identify Merikare's predecessor with Wahkare Khety. These sebayt ("teachings", in ancient Egyptian) – possibly composed during the reign of Merikare and fictitiously attributed to his father – are a collection of precepts for good governance. The text also mentions the eastern borders, recently secured, but still in need of the king's attention. In the text, Merikare's unnamed father mentions having sacked Thinis, but he advises Merikare to deal more leniently with the troublesome Upper Egyptian realms.
Once crowned, around 2075 BCE,Merikare wisely resigned himself to the existence of two separate kingdoms (the Herakleopolite and the Theban ones) and tried to maintain the policy of peaceful coexistence achieved by his father. It seems that the period of peace brought a certain amount of prosperity to Merikare's realm. Some time later, the pharaoh was forced to sail up the Nile with his court on a great fleet. Once he reached Asyut, the king installed the loyalist nomarch Khety II, who succeeded his deceased father Tefibi; he also made restorations at the local temple of Wepwawet. After that, Merikare advanced farther upstream to the town of Shashotep, likely to quell a revolt, and at the same time as a show of force to the turbulent southern border areas.
Merikare died in c. 2040 BCE, a few months before the fall of Herakleopolis. Thus, the final defeat by the Thebans, led by Mentuhotep II of the 11th Dynasty, was likely inflicted upon an ephemeral, unnamed successor.
Many sources suggest that Merikare was buried in a yet-undiscovered pyramid in Saqqara, called Flourishing are the Abodes of Merikare, that had to be near to the pyramid of Teti of the 6th Dynasty.The titles of the officials involved in its construction are documented, as his funerary cult endured into the 12th Dynasty; in fact, Merikare's cartouche appears on the stelae of at least four priests who were responsible for the funerary cult of Teti and Merikare during the Middle Kingdom. They include Gemniemhat who also held other important positions.
Despite his name cannot be recognized in the Turin King List, Merikare is the most attested among the Herakleopolite rulers. His name appears on:
In 2003 the Egyptologist Arkadi F. Demidchik suggested that Merikare's placement within the dynasty should be reconsidered. According to him, if Merikare reigned during the campaign led by Mentuhotep II then the former's pyramid and its cult couldn't have survived the Theban conquest; again, Merikare likely would not be able to obtain granite from the South as mentioned in the Teachings. Demidchik also argued that the battles for Thinis mentioned by Tefibi and Merikare were the same, being fought in the opposite front by the Theban ruler Wahankh Intef II, thus suggesting that Merikare's reign should be placed some decades earlier than usually thought, when the 10th Dynasty's power was at its peak.
The First Intermediate Period, often described as a "dark age" 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. The concept of a "First Intermediate Period" was coined in 1926 by Egyptologists Georg Steindorff and Henri Frankfort.
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 approximately 2050 to 1710 BC, stretching from the reunification of Egypt under the reign of Mentuhotep II in the Eleventh Dynasty to the end of the Twelfth Dynasty. The kings of the Eleventh Dynasty ruled from Thebes and the kings of the Twelfth Dynasty ruled from el-Lisht.
The history of ancient Egypt spans the period from the early prehistoric settlements of the northern Nile valley to the Roman conquest of Egypt in 30 BC. The pharaonic period, the period in which Egypt was ruled by a pharaoh, is dated from the 32nd century BC, when Upper and Lower Egypt were unified, until the country fell under Macedonian rule in 332 BC.
In Ancient Egyptian history, dynasties are series of rulers sharing a common origin. They are usually, but not always, traditionally divided into thirty-two pharaonic dynasties; these dynasties are commonly subdivided into "kingdoms" and "intermediate periods".
Pepi I Meryre was the third king of the Sixth dynasty of Egypt, ruling for over 40 years during the second half of the 24th Century BC, toward the end of the Old Kingdom period. Pepi I was the son of his second predecessor Teti, ascending the throne only after the brief and enigmatic reign of the shadowy Userkare. Pepi's mother was queen Iput, who may have been a daughter of Unas, final ruler of the Fifth Dynasty of Egypt.
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.
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 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.
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.
Wahankh Intef 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. 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.
Thinis or This was the capital city of the first dynasties of ancient Egypt. Thinis is, as yet, undiscovered but well attested 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 was thought to be the first true and stable capital after unification of old Egypt by Menes. Thinis's 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.
Neferkare VII was the third pharaoh of the ninth Dynasty of ancient Egypt, ca. 2140 BCE, according to the Turin King List where his name, Neferkare, is inscribed in the register 4.20.
Neferkare is not included on the Abydos King List or the Saqqara King List, nor can the existence of his reign be positively confirmed through archaeological finds.
Wahkare Khety was an Ancient Egyptian pharaoh of the 9th or 10th Dynasty during the First Intermediate Period.
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Meryibre Khety, also known by his Horus name Meryibtawy, was a pharaoh of the 9th or 10th Dynasty of Egypt, during the First Intermediate Period.
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Khety II was an ancient Egyptian nomarch of the 13th nomos of Upper Egypt during the reign of pharaoh Merykare of the 10th Dynasty.
Tefibi was an ancient Egyptian nomarch of the 13th nomos of Upper Egypt during the 10th Dynasty. In addition, he also was hereditary prince, count, wearer of the royal seal, sole companion and high priest of Wepwawet. The main source about his life came from his biography, inscribed on the "tomb III" in Asyut.
Khety I was an ancient Egyptian nomarch of the 13th nomos of Upper Egypt during the 10th dynasty. Like many other local governors, he also was a priest of the native deity Wepwawet.
The Pyramid of Merikare is an ancient Egyptian pyramid that remains unidentified, but is attested by inscriptions on funerary steles and possibly is located in Saqqara. The pyramid is presumed to be the burial place of the Herakleopolitan pharaoh Merikare, who ruled toward the end of the Tenth Dynasty c. 2040 BC during the First Intermediate Period. Sometimes, the Headless Pyramid in North Saqqara is identified as the pyramid of Merikare, although the latter is more likely to belong to pharaoh Menkauhor.
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