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Aerial view of Mentuhotep II's mortuary temple at Deir el Bahri


Nebhepetre Mentuhotep II (2061 BC – 2010 BC) was a Pharaoh of the 11th dynasty, the son of Intef III of Egypt and a minor queen called Iah. His own wife was the 'king's mother' Tem. Other wives were Neferu (his sister) and five women buried in his funerary complex. His only known son was Mentuhotep III.

The king changed his name several times during his reign, perhaps reflecting important political events. His throne name was Nebhepetre, and he was the first ruler of the Middle Kingdom of Egypt. The Turin Canon credits him with a reign of 51 years.[96211]

In the 14th year of his reign, an uprising occurred. This was probably connected with the conflict between Mentuhotep II based in Thebes and the rival 10th dynasty based at Herakleopolis Magnamarker. Little is known of the events.

During his reign, Mentuhotep was able to reunite ancient Egypt for the first time since the 6th dynasty. The exact date that unification was achieved is unknown.

Mentuhotep II led military campaigns south into Nubia, which had gained its independence during the First Intermediate Period. There is also evidence of military actions against Palestine. The king reorganized the country and placed a vizier at the head of the administration. The vizier of his reign were Bebi and Dagi. His treasurer was Khety who was involved in organising the sed festival for the king.

Mentuhotep II was buried in a large tomb he had constructed at Deir el-Bahrimarker. Mentuhotep II built temples and chapels at several places in Upper Egypt.

Mentuhotep II was considered by his subjects to be half divine, half mortal. This tradition continued under his successors.

References

Nebhepetre Mentuhotep II (2061 BC – 2010 BC) was a Pharaoh of the 11th dynasty, the son of Intef III of Egypt and a minor queen called Iah. His own wife was the 'king's mother' Tem. Other wives were Neferu (his sister) and five women buried in his funerary complex. His only known son was Mentuhotep III.

The king changed his name several times during his reign, perhaps reflecting important political events. His throne name was Nebhepetre, and he was the first ruler of the Middle Kingdom of Egypt. The Turin Canon credits him with a reign of 51 years.[1]

In the 14th year of his reign, an uprising occurred. This was probably connected with the conflict between Mentuhotep II based in Thebes and the rival 10th dynasty based at Herakleopolis Magna. Little is known of the events.

During his reign, Mentuhotep was able to reunite ancient Egypt for the first time since the 6th dynasty. The exact date that unification was achieved is unknown.

Mentuhotep II led military campaigns south into Nubia, which had gained its independence during the First Intermediate Period. There is also evidence of military actions against Palestine. The king reorganized the country and placed a vizier at the head of the administration. The viziers of his reign were Bebi and Dagi. His treasurer was Khety who was involved in organising the sed festival for the king.

Mentuhotep II was buried in a large tomb he had constructed at Deir el-Bahri. Mentuhotep II built temples and chapels at several places in Upper Egypt.

Mentuhotep II was considered by his subjects to be half divine, half mortal. This tradition continued under his successors.

Further reading and links

  • W. Grajetzki, The Middle Kingdom of Ancient Egypt: History,Archaeology and Society, Duckworth, London 2006 ISBN 0-7156-3435-6, 18-23
  • Labib Habachi: King Nebhepetre Menthuhotep: his monuments, place in history, deification and unusual representations in form of gods. Annales du Service des Antiquités de l'Égypte 19 (1963), p. 16-52
  • "The Mortuary Temple of Mentuhotep II by Mark Andrews



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