Ancient Egypt


Page by Anneke Bart


Kings and Queens

4th dynasty
Seneferu, Khufu, Khafre, Menkaure, Djedefre, etc.

11th dynasty
Kings named Mentuhotep and Intef

12th dynasty
Amenemhet I - IV,
Senusret I-III

18th dynasty
Amenhotep I-IV,
Tuthmosis I-IV, Akhenaten, Tutankhamen, Aye, Horemheb, etc.

19th dynasty
Sety I-II, Ramesses I-II, Merenptah, Amenmesses, Tawosret.

20th dynasty

Sethnakht, Ramesses III
Ramesses IV - XI

25th dynasty
Alara, Kashta, Piye,
Shabaka, Shabataka,
Taharqa, Tanutamun, etc.

Cleopatra VII Philopator

Queens (D1-6)- Old Kingdom
Queens (D11-13) Middle Kingd.
Queens (D16-20)- New Kingdom
Queens (D21-29)- Late Period


Officials, Priesthood etc.
Viziers (New Kingdom)
High Priests of Amun
God's Wives of Amun
High Priests of Ptah
Viceroys of Nubia
Who's who of New Kingdom

Amarna Period
Queen Nefertiti
inscriptions Queen Nefertiti.
Queen Kiya

Tombs at Amarna
Houses at Amarna

Valley of the Kings,
Valley of the Queens
Theban Tombs,
Tombs at Abydos
Tombs at El Kab
Tombs in Aswan
Early dynastic Saqqara
New Kingdom Saqqara
The Unis Cemetary

Mastabas at the Giza Plateau
Giza Mastabas 1000 cemetary
Giza Mastaba 2000 cemetary
Giza Mataba 2300 cemetary
Giza Mastaba 4000 cemetary
Giza Mastaba 5000 cemetary
Giza Mastaba 6000 cemetary
Giza Mastaba 7000 cemetary

Mummy Caches
Tomb DB320
Tomb KV35


Pharaoh: Amenemhat I (Sehetepibre)

Ca 1976-1947 BC
Horus name: Wehemmesut (Seheteptawy)
Nebty name: Wehemmesut (Seheteptawy)
Golden Falcon name: Wehemmesut (Zema)
Prenomen: Sehetepibre
Nomen: Amenemhat

Early part of reign: Horus Sehetepibtawy, Sehetepib-Re, Amenemhat

Later part of reign: Horus Wehemmesut, Sehetepib-Re, Amenemhat

Burial place: Pyramid in Lisht

Parents: Senwosret and Neferet I.

  • Neferitatenen, King’s Mother. She is mentioned on a statue belonging to her son Senusert I. Titles: King’s Mother (mwt-niswt)
  • Dedet?  Possibly a wife of Amenemhat I?
Sons: Senwosret I


  • Neferu III, King's Daughter, King's Wife and King's Mother. Neferu married her brother Senusert. She is mentioned in the Story of Sinuhe. Neferu III had her own pyramid in the funerary complex of her brother/husband. It is possible that she was eventually buried in the funerary complex of her son Amenemhat II.
  • Neferusherit, King's Daughter. Buried in one of the shaft tombs near Amenemhat I's pyramid at Lisht.
  • Kayet, King's Daughter of his body. Mentioned in a relief at Lisht.

Statue from the time of Amenemhat I.
From the tomb of Meketre.

Amenemhat may be the same individual who was Vizier under Mentuhotep.

He is recognized as the first king of the Twelfth Dynasty. Amenemhat moved the seat of power from Thebes to a new city in the north named Itj-tawy(-Amenemhat) which means '(Amenemhat is) seizer of the two lands'. The new capitol is usually referred to as  Itj-tawy, and was probably located near the Nile in the area of Lisht. The center of government would remain in Itj-tawy for 400 years.
Amenemhat apparently died in an attempted palace coup. He was murdered, and the throne passed on to his son Senusert.

The famous story of Sinuhe is set in the time of Amenemhet I and Senusert I. The story mentions specifically:

"In year 30, third month of Inundation, day 7, the god attained his horizon, the King of Upper and Lower Egypt Sehetepebre. He flew to heaven and was united with the sun's disk; the flesh of the god was merged in him, who made him. Then was the Residence hushed; hearts were filled with mourning; the Great Portals were closed; the courtiers crouched head on lap; the people grieved.
Now His Majesty had despatched an army to the land of the
Temhi, and his eldest son was the captain thereof
, the good god Sesostris."

 This story implies that Amenemhet I ruled for some 30 years and that his son Senusert may have actually been abroad, on a military expedition when his father died.

Offering table inscribed with the name Sehetepibre, Lepsius Abt II, Band 4, Bl 118


Building program:

Bubastis: A dedication from Bubastis mentions that "he made it as his monument for his mother Bast, making for her a gate.." (Breasted)

Itj-tawy: the new capitol in the North

Tell el-Qirqafa: A small pillared temple was constructed between the reigns of Amenemhet I and Senusret III. A granite entrance gate still exists today.

Ezbet Rushdi: A temple was founded by Amenemhat I and expanded during the reign of Senusret III. This site is located a little to the North of Tell el-Daba. The temple was built according to common Middle Kingdom designs. It had a small pillared court before a tripartite sanctuary. The structure was made mainly from mud-brick with some stone elements (doorways and colums for instance).

Thebes: An inscription on the base of a shrine records the fact that Amenemhet dedicated a pink granite shrine to "his father" Amen-Re.

Pyramid at Lisht

The pyramid complex at Lisht This complex is located between Dashur and Meidum, at Lisht. The mortuary temple was destroyed in antiquity, but was built on a terrace cut into a hill. This was influenced by the Theban styles developed by Nebhepetre Mentuhotep from the 11th dynasty.

The metmuseum describes this block:
"This block was found in the foundations of his mortuary temple at Lisht, the royal cemetery for the new capital. It was reused from an earlier building.
King Amenemhat I is shown celebrating his sed festival or jubilee. He is flanked by the gods Anubis with a jackal head (in front) and Horus with a falcon head (behind), both of whom offer him the ankh, or symbol of life. At the left of the block stands the goddess Nekhbet of Upper Egypt and on the right the goddess Wadjet of Lower Egypt. The king wears a tightly curled wig with the uraeus on his brow and the false beard of kingship. He carries the flail and a ceremonial instrument."

An inscription by Intef (or possibly Sobeknakht, son of Intef) records an expedition to the Hammamat, to bring stone.


Reign of Amenemhet

Early in the reign an expedition is mentioned in which "20 ships of cedar" were engaged. This expedition is mentioned by Khnumhotep, one of the nobles from Beni Hasan. The Military expedition resulted in expelling a certain enemy from Egypt. The enemy is never mentioned by name, but he may have been one of the contenders for the throne. Mention is also made of military campaigns agains the Asiatics and the Nubians in the inscriptions by Khnumhotep.

An inscription by Nessumontu, a general, dated to year 24 and mentioning Senusert I also mentions expeditions against the Asiatics. "I defeated the Asian troglodytes, the sand-dwellers. I overthrew the strongholds of the nomads as if they had never been." (Breasted)

An inscription at Korusko shows that the Nubian conquest had already begun by year 29 of Amenemhet I.


At least two pieces of literature dating to this time period are known to us:

The Teachings of Amenemhet. This text are supposed to be the teachings of King Amenemhet and are for his son and co-regent Senusert I. The text mentions the attempt on the King's life, the coregency with Senusert I, the King's reorganization of Egypt, the agricultural prosperity, the foreign conquests of Nubia and Asia, and the building of a palace.

The tale of Sinuhe  The story relates how Sinuhe, who was a high ranking noble, accompanied Senusert I on a campaign against the Bedwin in the 30th year of King Amenemhet. After hearing about the death of the old King, Sinuhe flees the country. The story relates his adventures and eventual pardon by Senusert I.

A copy of the text can be found here:


, Vizier. Buried in mastaba near pyramid of Amenemhet I
Khnumhotep I, Nomarch of the Orynx nome, Wearer of the royal seal, Judge, etc. Khnumhotep was the first of the powerful Beni Hasan nobles. His family would hold power for at least 4 generations. Buried in Tomb 14 in Beni Hasan.
Sons: Amenemhat called Ameni, Nakht. His daughter Beket married the Vizier Nehri.

Riverboat model from the tomb of Meketre

Meketre, Chancellor. Meketre was buried in TT280. The tomb is known for its many wooden models. Meketre’s 60-60 years of life are thought to span the reigns from Nebhepetre Mentuhotep to Amenemhat I. The tomb of Meketre’s servant named Wah was discovered in 1920.

Granary from the tomb of Wah

Palace Officials

High Priest of Ptah. Known from offering table from temple of Montu at Tod.
Intef,  Prince, Count, Wearer of the Royal Seal, Superior Prophet of Min, etc.

, Military Commander. Known from a stela in the Louvre. The stela probably dates to year 24 of Amenemhat I and mentions Sesostris I, who is co-regent at this time. Nessumontu mentions fighting the Bedouin and other Asiatics.

The tomb of the slain soldiers was found in Thebes in 1923. Tomb 507 in cemetery 500 yielded some 60 bodies. The soldiers showed signs of having died in battle. Some had arrow wounds, other head wounds caused by sling-shots or similar missiles.

Bibliography / Suggested Reading

  1. Breasted, J.H., Ancient Records of Egypt, Vol I, The First through the Seventeenth Dynasties, 2001 (originally appeared in 1906)
  2. Dodson, A., Hilton, D., The Complete Royal Families of Ancient Egypt, Thames & Hudson, 2004.
  3. Wilkinson R.H., The Complete Temples of Ancient Egypt, Thames & Hudson, 2000.
  5. Images from
A selection of articles and books from the AEB (Annual Egyptological Bibliography):
(The descriptions come from the AEB site - usually the actual AEB description are much longer.)

Allen, J.P., Some Theban Officials of the Early Middle Kingdom, in: Studies Simpson, 1-26. (plans, fig.).
The redating of the tomb of the "Overseer of the Seal" and "Chief Steward" Meket-re to the early years of Amenemhat I has provided a new benchmark for the art and history of the early M.K. [...]

Altenmuller, H., Die Pyramiden der frühen 12. Dynastie, in: The Intellectual Heritage of Egypt. Studies Kákosy, 33-42. (table).

Hirsch, E.N., Die Kultpolitik Amenemhets I. im Thebanischen Gau, in: Ägyptische Tempel - Struktur, Funktion und Programm, 137-142. (table).
Considering the relationship to the Theban gods Amon and Month of Amenemhat I, whose reign is at the shift from the XIth to the XIIth Dynasty, the author shows the king to have largely pursued the cult politics of the XIth Dynasty worshipping Month as state god and supreme god of the capital Thebes. No doubt he maintained the cultic services in the Amon temple, but without especially favouring it. Politically, this attitude is well explainable for a usurper attempting to legitimize himself. It is evident that the rise of Amon-Re in Thebes started under Sesostris I.

Obsomer, C., La date de Nésou-Montou (Louvre C1), RdE 44 (1993), 103-140. (fig.).
Article about the coregency between Amenemhat I and Sesostris I.

Farout, D., La carrière du wHmw Ameny et l'organisation des expéditions au ouadi Hammamat au Moyen Empire, BIFAO 94 (1994), 143-172. (pl.).
Studying the career of the wHmw Ameny, who lived in the M.K. reigns of Amenemhat I and Sesostris I and was engaged in the organisation of expeditions to the Wadi Hammamat

Janosi, Peter, Recent excavations of the Austrian Archaeological Institute at the village of 'Ezbet Helmi/Tell el-Qirqafanear Tell el-Dabca, in: Atti VI Congresso. I, 345-349. (plan).
During recent excavations at Ezbet Helmi (Tell el-Qirqafa) near Tell el-Dab'a architectural parts of a building called DADAw (a palace?) of Amenemhat I were discovered.

Obsomer, C., Sésostris Ier. Étude chronologique et historique du règne, Bruxelles, Connaissance de l’Égypte Ancienne, 1995
A comprehensive chronological and historical study of the reign of Sesostris I.
[...] the relevant passages in the Instruction of Amenemhat I, which, according to some scholars, point to a failed murder plot before the alleged coregency, can be satisfactorily explained as referring to a planned official session in the palace, during which Amenemhat I would officially designate his eldest son Sesostris crown prince and successor. According to Obsomer, this was prevented by the successful murder of the king at the appropriate moment that the pretender was away on an expedition. Closer observation of the passages in the Instruction allows to discard any reference to a coregency. This is also fully confirmed by the Story of Sinuhe, the beginning of which accords well with the Instruction. The panic of Sinuhe cannot be satisfactorily explained by a normal death of the king. The official accession date of Sesostris I on the day following the death of Amenemhat I is confirmed by its anniversary, mentioned in the Berlin Leather Roll (Pap. Berlin 3029). Again, this date makes a real coregency with Sesostris I as second monarch impossible. [...]

Tidyman, R.A.J., Further evidence of a Coup d’État at the End of Dynasty 11?, BACE 6 (1995), 103-110.
The author reconsiders the evidence concerning the dynastic change at the end of the XIth Dynasty. He deals with its ephemeral last king, Mentuhotep IV Nebtawyre, who was overthrown by his vizier, the later Amenemhat I, the founder of the XIIth Dynasty, and suggests that the name of the new capital of Lisht (it(w)-tAwy) is making direct reference to this event.

Cimmino, F., Sesostris. Storia del Medio Regno Egiziano, Milano, Rusconi, 1996
Chapter 4 covers Amenemhat I

Bietak, M., Avaris, the Capital of the Hyksos. Recent Excavations at Tell el-Daba, London, Published by British Museum Press for the Trustees of the British Museum, 1996.
[...] The first Egyptian settlement was founded in the XIIth Dynasty by king Amenemhat I and shortly afterwards a workers’ town was established there (ch. 2).

Szafranski, Z., The Djadjawy of the Palace of Amenemhat I at Tell el-Dab'a (DADAwy - aH - imn-m-HAt), Ägypten und Levante 8 (1998), 101-106. (fig.).
The subject of this study is the meaning of the part of the inscription that deals with the term DADAwy. It occurs on a later reused monumental red granite portal of a building called DADAw(y) - aH - imn-m-HAt found at Ezbet Helmi and constructed under Amenemhat I.


Last edited: January 2007

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