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Sesostris I 1947 - 1910 B.C.E.
Amenemhat II 1910 - 1876 B.C.E.
Sesostris II 1876 - 1872 B.C.E.
Amenemhat IV 1805 - 1797 B.C.E.
Pharaoh Amenemhat I: Amenemhet I was the first ruler of the 12th Dynasty, and some Egyptologists believe that recovery from the First Intermediate Period into the Middle Kingdom only really began with his rule.
He was almost certainly not of royal blood, at least if he is the same Vizier that functioned under his predecessor, Mentuhotep IV. Perhaps either Mentuhotep IV had no heir, or he was simply a weak leader. This vizier, named Amenemhet, recorded an inscription when Mentuhotep IV sent him to Wadi Hammamt. The inscription records two omens. The first tells us of a gazelle that gave birth to her calf atop the stone that had been chosen for the lid of the King's sarcophagus. the second was of a ferocious rainstorm that, when subsided, disclosed a well 10 cubits square and full of water. Of course that was a very good omen in this barren landscape.
Many Egyptologists believe that Amenemhet's inscription implies that a great ruler will come to the throne of Egypt upon the death of Mentuhotep IV, who will lead the country into prosperity. It is fairly certain that Amenemhet the vizier was predicting his own rise to the throne as Amenemhet I. However, we are told that he had at least two other competitors to the throne. One was called Inyotef, and the other a Segerseni from Nubia. It would appear that he quickly dealt with these obstacles.
We believe that he ruled Egypt for almost 30 years. Peter A. Clayton places his reign between the years of 1991 and 1962 BC while the Oxford History of Ancient Egypt gives him a reign lasting from 1985 through 1956 BC. Dodson has his reign lasting from 1994 until 1964 BC. Amenemhet I's Horus name, Wehem-mesut, means "he who repeats births", and almost certainly was chosen to commemorate the new dynasty and a return to the values and prosperity of a united Egypt. Amenemhet (Amenemhat) was his birth name and means "Amun is at the Head". He was called Ammenemes I by the Greeks. His throne name was Sehetep-ib-re, which means "Satisfied is the Heart of Re".
Pharaoh Sesostris I
In Herodotus' Histories there appears a story told by Egyptian priests about a Pharaoh Sesostris, who once led an army northward overland to Asia Minor, then fought his way westward until he crossed into Europe, where he defeated the Scythians and Thracians (possibly in modern Romania and Bulgaria).
Sesostris then returned home, leaving colonists behind at the river Phasis in Colchis. Herodotus cautioned the reader that much of this story came second hand via Egyptian priests, but also noted that the Colchians were commonly known to be Egyptian colonists.
According to Diodorus Siculus (who calls him Sesoosis), and Strabo, he conquered the whole world, even Scythia and Ethiopia, divided Egypt into administrative districts or nomes, was a great law-giver, and introduced a caste system into Egypt and the worship of Serapis. Herodotus also relates that when Sesostris defeated an army without much resistance he erected a pillar in their capital with a vagina on it to symbolize the fact that the army fought like women. Pliny the Elder also makes mention of Sesostris, who, he claims, was defeated by Saulaces, a gold-rich king of Colchis.
Pharaoh Sesostris III: During the reigns of his predecessors, the provincial nobles of Middle Egypt had enhanced their power through royal favours and intermarriage with the families of neighbouring potentates. Around the middle of Sesostris III’s reign, the rich provincial tombs, which were a mark of the nobles’ power, abruptly ceased to be built. Simultaneously, the memorials of middle-class persons increased at Abydos, the Upper Egyptian shrine of the popular god Osiris.
Sesostris III strengthened the central government, minimizing the power and influence of the feudal nobility. Egypt was divided into four great districts, each of which possessed a hierarchy of officials and scribes directly responsible to the vizier.
The vizier possessed a ministry, and countrywide departments of the treasury, agriculture, war, and labour resources were created. These assumed governmental functions and kept strict accounts of income and disbursement. So effective were the reforms that in the following dynasty, in spite of weak rulers, the central government under the viziers continued to function effectively for over a century.
Sesostris III’s second great achievement was his overhaul and extension of Egypt’s Nubian possessions. Probably responding to the growing strength of the native Nubian polities of the region, the king conducted four campaigns in which he quelled the nomads and extended the frontier to the southern end of the Second Nile Cataract. He then added to a network of forts within signaling distance of one another, extending from the northern fort at Buhen at the Second Nile Cataract to the new frontier at Semna, where both river traffic and nomads in the desert were screened and observed.
Nile inundation heights also were recorded at the forts, giving valuable advance notice to Egypt proper. Before his first Nubian campaign in year 8 of his reign, Sesostris cut a canal through the First Nile Cataract at Elephantine, thus easing the passage of both military and commercial shipping.
Probably after his Nubian campaigns, Sesostris conducted a minor foray into Palestine, defeating a place that may be Shechem. Inscriptions of the king’s officials reveal that miners were busy at Sinai and at several places in Nubia. The king built his pyramid at Dahshur near that of Amenemhet II but incorporated the innovations of the tomb of Sesostris II.
It was partly the exploits of this king, partly those of his two like-named predecessors, and also the deeds of Ramses II of the 19th dynasty (1292–1190 bce) that came to figure in the legend of Sesostris that Herodotus recorded. Sesostris III’s memory long outlived him, for he became the patron deity of Egyptian Nubia. Ramses II accounted for the Asiatic conquests of the legend, and the rest was heroic elaboration.
Pharaoh Hor(Awibre): Hor Awibre is mentioned on the Turin canon, a king list compiled in the early Ramesside period. The canon gives his name on the 7th column, line 17 (Gardiner entry 6.17). Beyond the Turin canon, Hor remained unattested until the discovery in 1894 of his nearly intact tomb in Dashur by Jacques de Morgan, see below.
Further attestations of Hor have come to light since then, comprising a jar lid of unknown provenance and a plaque, now in the Berlin Museum, both inscribed with his name. More importantly, a granite architrave with the cartouches of Hor and his successor Sekhemrekhutawy Khabaw in close juxtaposition was uncovered in Tanis, in the Nile Delta. The architrave probably originated in Memphis and came to the Delta region during the Hyksos period. Based on this evidence, the egyptologist Kim Ryholt proposed that Sekhemrekhutawy Khabaw was a son and coregent of Hor Awibre.
Hor is mainly known from his nearly intact tomb, discovered in 1894 by Jacques de Morgan working in collaboration with Georges Legrain and Gustave Jequier in Dahshur.
The tomb was nothing more than a shaft built on the north-east corner of the pyramid of the 12th dynasty pharaoh Amenemhat III.
The tomb was originally made for a member of Amenemhat's court and was later enlarged for Hor, with the addition of a stone burial chamber and antechamber.
Although the tomb had been pillaged in antiquity, it still contained a naos with a rare life-size wooden statue of the Ka of the king.
This statue is one of the most frequently reproduced examples of Ancient Egyptian art and is now in the Egyptian Museum under the catalog number CG259.
It is one of the best-preserved and most accomplished wooden statues to survive from antiquity, and illustrates an artistic genre that must once have been common in Egyptian art, but has rarely survived in such good condition.
Kay - Ammenemes VII