The Curse of the Corporation
Part II 2400 BCE to 1799 BCE
2400 - 2300 BCE - China - The Chinese introduce a method of taking observations of the sky based on the equator of the Earth and the poles; this method is not adopted in the West until Tycho Brahe in the sixteenth century CE, although it is now the standard way to record astronomical observations all over the world.
2400 - 2300 BCE - Mesopotamia (Iraq) - Positional notation is developed in Mesopotamia by the Sumerians; unlike most other common numeration systems, the Sumerian system has a base of 60 instead of 10; this sexagesimal system using the cuneiform symbols continues in use throughout Mesopotamia until Hellenic times, although even then the astronomers continue to use it [and today, there are 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour; 60 arc seconds in an arc minute; 60 arc minutes in an arc degree].
2375 - 2345 BCE - V Egyptian Dynasty - Unas - Wenas.
Unas - Wenas, was the last of the 5th Dynasty kings. [p65OM] Worship of the sungod peaked during this dynasty. The last 3 pharaohs did not have personal names compounded with "Re", the name of the sungod. There was a slight shift away from the solar cult that may be linked to the rise of Osiris, god of the dead.
For the first time, high officials were chosen from outside the royal family. To secure their positions, these officials sometimes married royal princesses. They depended on the king and used their position for their own agenda. They and the king often appropriated much of the country's surplus for their own benefit.
Pyramid of Unas
The mortuary temple and subsidiary foundations
While the pyramids from this period were smaller and less solid, carvings found from mortuary temples are well preserved and of excellent quality. The end of their dynasty saw some officials with strong local ties begin to move their tombs into the Nile Valley and the Delta, symbolizing the growing independence from the royal control.
The relationship of Unas with his predecessors or successors is not known. Unas had two wives, Queen Nebet, who was the mother of Prince Wenisakh, and Queen Khenut. It has been proposed that Iput the first was his daughter. Both of Unas' Queens were buried in mastaba tombs outside of Unas' pyramid complex, which, in itself is unusual since often in this period the Queens would be buried in smaller pyramids near their husband's.
According to the Turin King-list, Unas ruled for 30 years, or perhaps slightly more of part of the number is in the lacuna, which is confirmed by Manetho, who recorded 33 years.
His name has been found in Elephantine, at the Southern border of Egypt (Aswan), and also on an alabaster vessel found in Byblos, the latter perhaps indicating some commercial or diplomatic activities between Egypt and the Near East during this period. He seems not to have left any apparent heirs which may have resulted in some political instability following his death. An inscription raised at Elephantine shows a giraffe that was brought to Egypt with other exotic animals for ancient Egyptians, during Unas' reign.
During Unas' reign, successful trade expeditions were conducted with neighboring nations. Another drawing found on a discovered vase shows battle scenes during his reign. There was a major famine during this time.
Unas is mostly known from his pyramid complex, which he built to the North-west of Djoser's at Saqqara. It is the oldest known royal tomb to have contained religious texts, the so-called Pyramid Texts, which are a collection of spells, litanies, hymns and descriptions of the King's life after death. These texts are the oldest known religious writings known to mankind.
The pyramid of Unas, the last pharaoh of the Old kingdom, now lies in ruins on the Saqqara Plateau. It is near the Step Pyramid of Zoser, the great king of the First Dynasty.
Beneath the rubble, in the burial chamber, is one of the finest examples of the Pyramid Text inscriptions hewn in the polished stone walls and ceiling.
Rise up my father, great king
so that you may sit in front of them.
The cavern of the broad sky is opened to you
so that you may stride in the sunshine.
Stand up for me, Osiris, my father.
I am your son. I am Horus.
I have come that I might cleanse and purify you,
that I might preserve you and collect your bones.
I say this for you.
Unas was adored in the Saqqara region for many centuries after his death.
2345 - 2175 BCE - VI Egyptian Dynasty - During this Dynasty, General Weni gave the army an organizational foundation which lasted well into the New Kingdom. This new army was built around a core of veterans which led to the development of a military caste. Weni was the first person, other than the pharaoh, to be depicted in Egyptian Art.
During the early part of Pepi I's reign, the nobles outside his court began to have great influence and wealth in the political relations of Ancient Egypt. They built fine tombs for themselves and often times boasted of their good relations with the king. Pepi I, however, was not a pharaoh free from problems. One of Pepi I's wives, Weret-Imtes, attempted to take the throne from him. Pepi I, was also an avid builder of pyramids, and went on many expeditions to bring back fine stones for such large scale projects.
Pepi I's brother was Pepi II, the youngest and longest reigning Egyptian king in history. His reign began after his brother's Pepi I's ended, assuming power at the age of eight. Overall, his reign over Egypt was not terribly beneficial to the country. During Pepi II's reign, power mildly shifted from the pharaoh to the nomarchs. Pepi II, often gave gifts to the nomarch's which increased their treasures, but depleted the treasury of the pharaoh. It is in this light, that the interests of the nomarchs, as well as the threat of foreign interests, accelerated the eventual collapse of the 6th Dynasty. After Pepi II's death, the central government collapsed, and the Old Kingdom ended.
The collapse of the centralized government greatly influenced Egyptian Art and further changed the way in which Egyptians viewed their gods. During prior dynasties, the Pharaoh and his nomarchs had already decided most of the policies of the state. Towards the end of the dynasty, the change of power from the Pharaoh to the nomarchs and other nobles greatly influenced all aspects of Egyptian culture. As a result of such changes, many of the sculptures of the time show the gods and their pharaoh's in a more human light, perhaps suggesting that the gods were more transcendental in the universe than earlier thought.
The role of the pharaoh also seems to be an area of controversy during this era. The pharaoh, Pepi II, in some sculptures, is depicted in stone, as holding most of the tools and markings ascribed to Osiris, as a living god. Most pharaohs near the end of the Sixth Dynasty were represented in such a way. However, Pepi I's statue, suggests a different aspect. Rather than being regarded as a god, the pharaoh takes on the role of a son to the gods, lessening both his power and possibly the ties of the priesthood over the government of the state.
2345 - 2306 BCE - VI Egyptian Dynasty - Teti - Horus Seheteptawi - "He Who Pacifies The Two Lands."
Horus Name of Teti
The first ruler of the Sixth Dynasty was Teti. Manetho considered Teti as the founder of a new dynasty, a tradition which may go back at least as far as the composition of the Turin King-list, where Teti is listed as the first of a new group of kings.
Most of Teti's reign was not documented. According to Manetho, an Egyptian historian of the third century BCE, Teti was murdered by his body guards.
Teti's internal policy appears to have been directed at stabilising the power of the central government, thus countering a move towards more power for the local administration started under the reign of Djedkare.
Teti sent his army several times into southern Canaan under Wenis, a long lived official who served also under Pepi I and Merenre. After a conspiracy in the royal household, Weni was appointed to try the case. His embattled vizier Fefi (Meref-nebef), whose grave has recently been discovered, held power over the finances as head of the administration.
Teti issued a decree in favor of the temple of Abydos. Teti granted more lands to Abydos and his name was inscribed in Hatnub. He is the oldest known king to be associated with the cult of Hathor in Dendara.
In the ancient zodiacs, Spica, the 'branch,' was portrayed as a serpent. Note that in the sculpture of Hathor, the goddess is holding the ears of grain and a serpent. This 'serpent' (Spica) is the 'branch' or 'coming son' of the Egyptians. Hathor stands upon a lion (Leo) and, as the woman who rides the beast (Revelations 17), is representative of the Mother Goddess--Virgo, Eve and Isis:
"Eve or Hawwah is explained by Robert Graves as possibly being the Hebrew version of Heba, Hebat, Khebat, or Khilba. She is depicted as riding a lion in a sculpture. She was worshipped in Jerusalem. Her Greek name was Heba, Heracles' [Hercules] goddess-wife.
"Eve is similar to Demeter or Ceres as the grain goddess, or the goddess of the garden. This is Spica, an ear of corn. On Denerah Virgo is Isis. Spica in Hebrew astrology is named Tsemech or 'branch'. This name is symbolic of a coming son or branch. Al Mureddin, another star in Virgo, is 'the branch that cometh' and is associated with a grape gatherer (Noah) who would redeem man from the curse of the earth by giving us wine." [BA]
The Constellation of Virgo
Hathor as Lion Goddess Durga of India
Hathor as Tibet's Senge Dong-Ma, lion-headed dakini, "Guardian of the Secret Tantric Teachings
Hathor is also depicted in Tibet as a lion-headed dakini and in India as the Lion goddess Durga.
Teti built a pyramid in Saqqara which is called by modern Egyptians the "Prison Pyramid." The pyramid is on a spot in North Saqqara, north-east of Userkaf's pyramid. Originally 172 ft (52.5 m) high, it has slumped to little more than a rubble mound when the outer casing was robbed in antiquity. Teti's pyramid was discovered in 1853 by Mariette.
Inside, there is a steep pathway that leads to the funerary chamber of which the ceiling is decorated with stars. The layout is similar to that used by Unas. When it was discovered, it was found that the basalt sarcophagus was inscribed with a band of Pyramid Texts, the first time such a thing had been seen. The walls had been decorated in the same manner, but these reliefs were not in as good condition as they had been in Unas' pyramid.
Sekhmet and Ptah
During the early Middle Kingdom and the 19th Dynasty, Teti's memory was especially honoured as "Teti, beloved of Ptah."
His wife, Queen Ipwet, is the daughter of King Unas who was the last king of the 5th Dynasty. She was the mother of Teti's heir, King Pepi I. Historians believe that she is the one that gave him the royal power. Almost all the major court officials of King Wenis remained in power during Teti's reign.
His daughter, Watet-khet-her, also named Sasheshet, may have been married to Mereruka, who held the office of vizier. The Mastaba of Mereruka is located in Saqqara.
2335 BCE - Mesopotamia (Iraq) - The first large scale Semitic invasion took place, when the White Sumerians were overrun by the Akkadian people. The Semitic Akkad occupation of Sumer led to the establishment of a new kingdom, called "The Kingdom of Sumer and Akkad." It was shortly after the Akkadian invasion that the first Jews are recorded as entering Sumeria in large numbers. Sargon I united the kingdom of Mesopotamia around the capital of Akkad, near modern day Baghdad.
Head of Sargon - Nineveh
circa 2300 BCE
2334 - 2279 BCE - Mesopotamia (Iraq) - Sargon of Akkad was an ancient Mesopotamian ruler who reigned approximately 2334 - 2279 BCE, and was one of the earliest of the world's great empire builders, conquering all of southern Mesopotamia as well as parts of Syria, Anatolia, and Elam (western Iran). He established the region's first Semitic dynasty and was considered the founder of the Mesopotamian military tradition.
Sargon is known almost entirely from the legends and tales that followed his reputation through 2,000 years of cuneiform Mesopotamian history, and not from documents that were written during his lifetime. The lack of contemporary record is explained by the fact that the capital city of Agade, which he built, has never been located and excavated. It was destroyed at the end of the dynasty that Sargon founded and was never again inhabited, at least under the name of Agade.
According to a folktale, Sargon was a self-made man of humble origins; a gardener, having found him as a baby floating in a basket on the river, brought him up in his own calling. His father is unknown; his own name during his childhood is also unknown; his mother is said to have been a priestess in a town on the middle Euphrates. Rising, therefore, without the help of influential relations, he attained the post of cupbearer to the ruler of the city of Kish, in the north of the ancient land of Sumer. The event that brought him to supremacy was the defeat of Lugalzaggisi of Uruk (biblical Erech, in central Sumer). Lugalzaggisi had already united the city-states of Sumer by defeating each in turn and claimed to rule the lands not only of the Sumerian city-states but also those as far west as the Mediterranean. Thus, Sargon became king over all of southern Mesopotamia, the first great ruler for whom, rather than Sumerian, the Semitic tongue known as Akkadian was natural from birth, although some earlier kings with Semitic names are recorded in the Sumerian king list. Victory was ensured, however, only by numerous battles, since each city hoped to regain its independence from Lugalzaggisi without submitting to the new overlord. It may have been before these exploits, when he was gathering followers and an army, that Sargon named himself Sharru-kin ("Rightful King") in support of an accession not achieved in an old-established city through hereditary succession. Historical records are still so meager, however, that there is a complete gap in information relating to this period.
The Assyrian prince Sargon also, being pursued by his uncle, is said to have been abandoned on the Euphrates in a basket made of reeds, to have been found by a water-carrier, and to have been brought up by him - a story the Jews have interwoven into the account of the life of their fabulous Moses.
The Christ Myth, Arthur Dewes.
Not content with dominating this area, his wish to secure favorable trade with Agade throughout the known world, together with an energetic temperament, led Sargon to defeat cities along the middle Euphrates to northern Syria and the silver-rich mountains of southern Anatolia. He also dominated Susa, capital city of the Elamites, in the Zagros Mountains of western Iran, where the only truly contemporary record of his reign has been uncovered. Such was his fame that some merchants in an Anatolian city, probably in central Turkey, begged him to intervene in a local quarrel, and, according to the legend, Sargon, with a band of warriors, made a fabulous journey to the still-unlocated city of Burushanda (Purshahanda), at the end of which little more than his appearance was needed to settle the dispute.
As the result of Sargon's military prowess and ability to organize, as well as of the legacy of the Sumerian city-states that he had inherited by conquest and of previously existing trade of the old Sumerian city-states with other countries, commercial connections flourished with the Indus Valley, the coast of Oman, the islands and shores of the Persian Gulf, the lapis lazuli mines of Badakhshan, the cedars of Lebanon, the silver-rich Taurus Mountains, Cappadocia, Crete, and perhaps even Greece.
During Sargon's rule Akkadian became adapted to the script that previously had been used in the Sumerian language, and the new spirit of calligraphy that is visible upon the clay tablets of this dynasty is also clearly seen on contemporary cylinder seals, with their beautifully arranged and executed scenes of mythology and festive life. Even if this new artistic feeling is not necessarily to be attributed directly to the personal influence of Sargon, it shows that, in his new capital, military and economic values were not alone important.
Because contemporary record is lacking, no sequence can be given for the events of his reign. Neither the number of years during which he lived nor the point in time at which he ruled can be fixed exactly; 2334 BCE is now given as a date on which to hang the beginning of the dynasty of Agade, and, according to the Sumerian king list, he was king for 56 years.
The latter part of his reign was troubled with rebellions, which later literature ascribes, predictably enough, to sacrilegious acts that he is supposed to have committed; but this can be discounted as the standard cause assigned to all disasters by Sumerians and Akkadians alike. The troubles, in fact, were probably caused by the inability of one man, however energetic, to control so vast an empire without a developed and well-tried administration. There is no evidence to suggest that he was particularly harsh, nor that the Sumerians disliked him for being a Semite. The empire did not collapse totally, for Sargon's successors were able to control their legacy, and later generations thought of him as being perhaps the greatest name in their history.
Attributing his success to the patronage of the Babylonian goddess Ishtar, in whose honor Agade was erected, Sargon of Akkad became the first great empire builder. Two later Assyrian kings were named in his honor. Although the briefly recorded information of his predecessor Lugalzaggisi shows that expansion beyond the Sumerian homeland had already begun, later Mesopotamians looked to Sargon as the founder of the military tradition that runs through the history of their people.
2306 - 2256 BCE - VI Egyptian Dynasty - Pepi I - (Meryre) - "Beloved of Re."
He was the second king of the Sixth Dynasty of Egypt. The internal policy of Pepi I was a continuation of his father's attempts to consolidate the power of the central government. This is demonstrated not only by his marriage to two daughters of a nobleman from Abydos, but also by the extensive building policy of this king. Monuments were erected in Bubastis, Abydos, Elephantine and Dendara. In Dendara, his memory would be preserved by a now lost statue that shows him adoring Hathor, as shown in a few reliefs in the temple from the Greek-Roman era.
The son of Teti and Queen Ipwet was the third king of the 6th Dynasty
An innovative leader, Pepi took the offensive military role. He attacked the Bedouins in Sinai and southern Palestine. He also led a campaign in Nubia to establish garrisons and trading posts. Trade relations with Byblos were flourishing and Punt in the Horn of Africa was frequently reached.
He had to enlist the support of noblemen from Upper Egypt in order to defeat a usurper and Upper Egyptians came to play an important part in his administration.
Horus Name of Pepi I
He married two of his vizier's sisters, and Uni, a close advisor, led Nubian troops against the Bedouins in Sinai and southern Canaan. His first wife disappeared soon after she was discovered in a harem plot to overthrow the throne. Afterwards he married two daughters of a nomarch and named them both Ankhnesmeryre. One of them was the mother of Pepi II.
His funerary complex, called Men-nefer, was built at Saqqara South, a few kilometres to the South of his father's. It was built at some distance from the temple of Ptah of Memphis. Its name would be transferred to this temple from the 18th Dynasty on, and from there on would be applied to the entire city of Memphis.
Ptah, the Creator
In Egyptian mythology, Ptah was the chief god of Memphis, who created the Moon, the Sun, and the Earth. One tradition held that he had created all things from mud; another, that he spoke the names of all things and his will created them from his words. Ptah was the patron of artisans and was identified by the Greeks with the god Hephaestos.
His soul (or alternatively the soul of Osiris) was incarnated in Apis, the sacred bull of Memphis, believed to have been conceived by lightning on a moonbeam. Apis was worshipped as Serapis by the Greeks and Romans.
Outside the modern village of Mitrahine lie a few traces of the once vast Temple of Ptah (begun c. 3000 BCE), built to honor the primary deity of Memphis.
A goddess of Love and Protection, she was sometimes called "The Lady of the Place of the Beginning of Time" and "Goddess of Vengeance." Healers tried to enlist her in their fight against disease. She is depicted as a lioness and often holds an ankh or sistrum.
When Re grew angry at the whinings and complaints of humankind, he ripped out one of his eyes and hurled it at the earth; this eye changed in flight to an avenging goddess, Sekhmet, who ravaged the earth, sucking blood from the peoples, and almost totally wiping out humankind before a remorseful Re could stop her.
Copper statues of Pepi were discovered in Hierakonpolis, and are on display in the Cairo Museum.
Pepi I moved his pyramid site to South Saqqara. It is probable that all the land in North and Central Saqqara was now occupied. Originally the same height as Teti's (172 ft / 52.5 m), it is now a rubble mound about 39 ft (12 m) high, the result of the core collapsing following the robbing of the outer casing. In the centre of this mound is a large crater, dug by stone robbers looking for building materials.
Inside the pyramid, it is similar to Teti's, the principal difference being that the Pyramid Texts had expanded to cover most of the walls, not just the end of the corridor, antechamber and burial chamber.
Interestingly, the canopic chest survived, and a packet of viscera, presumably belonging to Pepi I, was found nearby. The sarcophagus was covered inside and out with Pyramid Texts.
To the south of the pyramid, an inscription made by Khaemwaset, the same man who had restored Unas's pyramid, was found in 1993.
The 6th Dynasty Name Game - Pepi I apparently married two daughters of an influential official (Probably governor of the region) at Abydos named Khui. Pepi apparently then had their names changed to Ankhesenpepi (Ankenesmerire) I and II. Now we have a Ankhesenpepi III and IV. We know a little of Ankhesenpepi I and II, but almost nothing of the latter two women, other then that they were most likely married to Pepi II, and that Ankhesenpepi III was most likely the daughter of Merenre, Pepi II's brother and predecessor on the throne of Egypt. We know nothing of their mothers, though by the names, we might wish to assume that Ankhesenpepi III and IV were perhaps daughters of on or the other of the prior two queens. However, Ankhesenpepi I and II's names had been changed, there is some suspicion that the latter two queens may not have been related to them at all. It is an interesting mystery that current excavations may eventually shed new light upon.
2300 BCE - Palestine - At this time the Semite Hebrews believed their daughters are property and can be sold into slavery, or they could beat a woman to death with no greater punishment than say destroying a neighbors ox. Many would like to blame their idolatry on others especially the Egyptians but their disgusting philosophy is inherent to the Sumerian-Semitic-Hebrews themselves. The Hebrew God concept supports war, slavery and preaches them to show no mercy towards their brothers (thou shalt devote them to utter destruction). The War God of the Hebrew gave specific instructions on how to loot and burn a city and to exterminate the conquered population down to the last child. In special cases only the men and boys and all women old enough to have slept with man are killed and the young girls are carried away as sex slaves. There is little wonder that the Egyptians considered them as brutal, uncivilized, barbarians and at best just called them Asiatic.
2300 BCE - Greece - Indo-Europeans move into southern Greece. They conquer and make themselves an aristocracy over those who had migrated there many centuries before. These latest migrants are to be known as the Mycenae Greeks, who have gods similar to other Indo-Europeans, including a father god of the sky called Zeus, whom they believe has power over the entire world.
2296 BCE - China - Chinese record a comet; the earliest known record of a comet sighting.
2256 - 2249 BCE - VI Egyptian Dynasty - Merenre - Merenre Nemtyemzaf - "Beloved of Re." Horus Ankhkhaw - Horus Living Of Apparitions.
This copper statue, found with a much larger copper statue of Pepi I, has long been assumed to be of Merenre and a boy or young man. However, it has been questioned lately whether it is instead a statue of Pepi II. These are believed to be the oldest, large copper statues ever found, but some are now questioning whether the statue of the boy is actually that of Merenre, or rather a young Pepi II.
Merenre I was the oldest surviving son of Pepi I and Ankhenesmerire II, the Ankhenesmerire that Pepi I married during the second half of his reign. Merenre, sometimes referred to as Merenre I or Merenra, as there was a much later king by the same name, was the third ruler of Egypt's 6th Dynasty. His birth name was Nemty-em-sa-f, which means, "Nemty is his Protection." His Horus name was Ankh-khau. Merenre was this king's throne name, which means "Beloved of Re."
As the oldest living son of Pepi I, it is believed that he succeeded his father at a fairly young age, and probably died unexpectedly young, between his fifth and ninth year of rule. Merenre was succeeded by his younger half-brother, Pepi II.
Merenre's mother was Ankhnesmerire I (Ankhesenpepi I), who, along with her younger sister by the same name, married Pepi I in the later part of his rule. Egyptologists are of the belief that Ankhnesmerire II (Ankhesenpepi II), was married to Merenre.
She was a late wife of Pepi I, Merenre's father, and by him, the mother of Pepi II, Merenre's half-brother. She may have not been as old, or much older than Merenre. Therefore, not only would she be Merenre's queen, but also his stepmother and aunt.
Pepi II would not only be his half-brother and his cousin, but also his stepson. In addition, it is believed that a Queen Ankhnesmerire III (Ankhesenpepi III) who's pyramid is located very near Pepi I's was a daughter of Merenre, and became the wife of Pepi II.
Sphinx of Merenre in the National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh
Horus Name of Merenre I
This marriage would make her Pepi II's wife, niece and if Ankhnesmerire II was her mother, also his half-sister. He had another daughter named Ipwet (Iput II) who's pyramid is also in the South Saqqqara pyramid field, but the name of the mother of this child is not known.
Merenre may have served as his father's co-regent for a few years prior to Pepi I's death. Uni (Wenis), who had worked under Pepi I, continued to make expeditions, and the governor of Aswan, Harkhuf, also led expeditions into Africa.
Around, his ninth regnal year, Merenre himself visited Aswan to receive a group of southern chieftains. Because of the growing relationship with Nubia during this period, Merenre also attempted to improve travel in the first cataract region which was navigated by way of the Dunqul Oasis and canals. The Nubian rulers are said to have helped by supplying the wood needed to construct the barges. At the same time the Lower Nubian rulers seem also to have profited greatly by sending their fighting men to Egypt for hire.
By the end of the Old Kingdom (ca. 2150 BCE), the Egyptian armies were mainly composed of Nubian mercenaries, many of whom would ultimately settle in Egypt, marry Egyptian women, and become assimilated into the Egyptian population. During the Old Kingdom, Egyptian texts speak of a land in Upper Nubia called "Yam." Besides troops from "Wawat, Irtjet, and Setju" (Lower Nubia), troops from Yam, too, were hired for service in the Egyptian army.
The only source that provides any real information about Yam is a biography of the Aswan governor, Harkhuf, preserved in his tomb at Aswan. Harkhuf tells us that, on behalf of the pharaohs Merenre and Pepi II, he led four expeditions to Yam, each of which took eight months.
It is believed that during his reign, Merenre not only continued his father's policies in northern (lower) Nubia, but actually sent officials to maintain Egyptian rule as far south as the third cataract.
The conquest of Nubia resulted from the control of the caravan routes and the Western Oasis that relied on trade. Three were successive expeditions to Tomas in Nubia, which connected the Nile to the caravan routs.
Box of Hippopotamus ivory of Merenre
Louvre Museum, Paris, France
Merenre, like his predecessors, maintained diplomatic and commercial relations with Byblos, and it is known from inscriptions and tomb biographies that he had alabaster quarried from Hatnub and greywacke and siltstone from Wadi Hammamat.
Merenre is further attested to by rock inscriptions near Aswan, the inscriptions on an ivory mother monkey that was probably a gift to an official, decrees of the king found at the pyramid temple of Menkawre and in biographies of Uni (Weni) in his tomb at Abydos, Djaw from his tomb also at Abydos, The tomb of Harkhuf at Elephantine, the tomb of Ibi at Deir el-Gabrawi, the tomb of Qar at Edfu, and an unknown persons tomb at Saqqara. He is also mentioned in an inscription in the tomb of Maru at Giza. This inscription is now in Brussels. Another inscription has been found that mentions Merenre on a rock wall at Deir el-Bahari on the West Bank at Luxor (ancient Thebes).
Merenre was probably buried in his pyramid at South Saqqara, though apparently because of his unexpected death, this pyramid was not yet completed.
2278 - 2270 BCE - Mesopotamia (Iraq) - Rimush, son of Sargon I, ruled the Akkadian Empire and had to again put down a general revolt against the Semitic rule.
2250 BCE - Greece - Crete - The Mycenae Greeks are in contact with sea-going tradesmen, the Minoans of Crete - a commercial society ruled by the wealthy.
Horus Name of Pepi II
2249 - 2185 BCE - VI Egyptian Dynasty - Pepi II - Pepy II - Piopi II - Phiops II - Neferkare - "Beautiful is the Soul of Re." Horus Netjerikhaw - Horus Divine Of Apparition.
According to tradition, Pepi II was the last ruler of Egypt's 6th Dynasty, and in fact the last significant ruler of the Old Kingdom prior to the onset of what Egyptologists call the First Intermediate Period.
According to the Turin King-list, he ruled for over 90 years, which appears to be confirmed by Manetho, who recorded 94 years. This would make Pepi II the longest ruling king of Ancient Egypt. Some doubt has however been shed on this high number, and researchers believe that it was the result of a mis-interpreation of 64.
However, because of the onset of the First Intermediate Period, the latter part of his reign was probably ineffectual, perhaps at least somewhat due to his advanced age.
Pepi II's mother was Ankhnesmerire II (Ankhesenpepi), who was the sister of his older brother, Merenre and probably acted as Pepi II's regent during his youth. She may have probably been assisted by her brother, Djau, who was a vizier.
An alabaster statue shows Queen Ankhnesmeryre I with the young but regal Pepi II on her lap, drawing the parallel between that of the rulers and that of the gods, as shown of Isis (A) (B) with the young Horus.
Another statue, shows Pepi II as a naked child.
After Pepi I's death, Queen Ankhnesmeryre I is thought to have married Merenre, who had a number of wives. These included Neith, the daughter of Pepi I and Ankenesmerire I and Ipwet (Ipu II), the daughter of his brother Merenre. Some sources claim that Merenre also married Ankenesmerire III, who was another daughter of Merenre, possibly by his mother Ankhenesmerire II. An additional wife was Udjebten (or Wedjebten). Pepi ll probably had at least one son named for his brother, Merenre.
Pepi II continued foreign relations in a very similar manner to both his predecessors of the 5th and 6th Dynasties and even developed new links with southern Africa. He maintained diplomatic and commercial relations with Byblos in ancient Syria / Palestine. It is recorded that Pepi had to send Pepynakht (Heqaib) to bring back the body of an official who was killed on a mission in the area of Byblos.
In Nubia, Pepi sought a policy of pacification. Information exists of several trips and campaigns made south into Nubia both by Harkhuf, and his successor, Pepynakht. In fact, these powerful local governors managed to control Nubia long after the death of Pepi II form their base in Elephantine (near modern Aswan)
Pepi II was apparently fascinated with some of these travels, particularly by his fathers old retainer, Harkhuf, governor of Aswan. One interesting account concerns a pygmy secured by Harkhuf on one of his African adventures. When Pepi II learned of this he wrote Harkhuf a letter that Harkhuf later incorporated into his funerary autobiography
You have said … that you have brought a pygmy of the god's dances from the land of the horizon-dwellers, like the pygmy whom the god's seal-bearer Bawerded brought from Punt in the time of King Isesi. You have said to my majesty that his like has never been brought by anyone who went to Yam previously … Come north to the residence at once! Hurry and bring with you this pygmy whom you brought from the land of the horizon-dwellers live, hail and healthy, for the dances of the god, to gladden the heart, to delight the heart of King Neferkare who lives forever! When he goes down with you into the ship, get worthy men to be around him on deck, least he fall into the water! When he lies down at night, get worthy men to lie around him in his tent. Inspect ten times at night! My majesty desires to see this pygmy more than the gifts of the mine-land and of Punt! When you arrive at the residence and this pygmy is with you live, hale and healthy, my majesty will do great things for you, more than was done for the god's seal-bearer. Bawerded in the time of King Isesi.
Pepi II continued long established mining practices. We know from an inscription that turquoise and copper continued to be mined at Wadi Maghara in the Sinai. Alasbaster was quarried at Hatnub and Greywacke and siltsone from Wadi Hammamat. However, some scenes attributable to Pepi II may be ritualistic. For example, one scene depicting the submission of Libyan chiefs during his reign is a close copy of representations in the mortuary temples of Sahura, Niuserra and Pepi I.
The First Intermediate Period was possibly a time of decline in Egyptian power that was bought on by low inundation of the Nile and crop failure. This decline in power is believed to be reflected in Pepi II's mortuary complex, as it was built and decorated in a much poorer manner than his predecessors.
However, during Pepi II's reign, increasing evidence is found of the power and wealth of high officials in Egypt, with decentralization of control away from the capital, Memphis. These nobles built huge, elaborate tombs at Cause, Akhmin, Abydos, Edfu and Elephantine, and it is clear that their wealth enhanced their status to the detriment of the king's. Because the positions of these officials was now hereditary, they now owned considerable land which was passed from father to son. Therefore, their allegiance and loyalty to the throne became very casual as their wealth gave them independence from the king. Administration of the country became difficult and so it was Pepi II who divided the position of vizier so that now there was a vizier of Upper Egypt and another of Lower Egypt. Yet the power of these local rulers continued to flourish as the king grew ever older, and probably less of an able ruler.
Foreign relations, particularly concerning Nubia, were also a drain on the royal treasury. In fact, in the latter part of Pepi II's rule, some foreign relations were actually broken off. Hence, we see that towards the end of his reign, the government of Egypt simply unraveled.
Long reigns have proven to create succession problems. As powerful as Ramesses II was, his successors likewise had problems because of their advanced age when they themselves ascended to the throne. Hence, we find that Pepi II may have been succeeded by a son, Merenre II, but perhaps for only one year. According to Manetho, he was married to a Queen Nitocris, who succeeded her husband to become the last ruler of the 6th Dynasty. However, very little archaeological evidence of Merenre II or Nitocris exists. Merenre II's mother would have probably been Neith. After Pepi II, the marvelous building projects ceased almost entirely until the reign of Mentuhotep II of the 11th Dynasty.
A temple at Abydos may have been a ka-chapel built by Pepi II. His pyramid and mortuary complex are located in South Saqqara. Most (if not all) of his wife's smaller pyramids have been discovered nearby.
It was during his reign, about 2200 BCE, that Egyptian Priests were able to calculate the length of a degree of latitude and longitude to within a few hundred feet. [p305@] Also, it is the first recorded mention of Babylon in documents in the late 3rd mill. BCE. Around this era, Babylon was known as the site of a temple. [Enc]
Pepi II is further attested to by a Calcite statuette of the young king and his mother, now in the Brooklyn Museum of Art, a decree of the king found at the mortuary temple of Menkawre, a decree found at Abydos, and three decrees at Koptos (Coptos).
Scene From Pepi's Valley Temple
One inscription, now in Cairo, records his Sed festival and another inscription is has been found in Iput II's mortuary temple. The king was further mentioned in the biography of Djau (now in Cairo) in his tomb in Abydos and is mentioned in the tomb of Ibi at Deir el-Gabrawi. Smaller items attesting to Pepi II include faience plaque from various places mentioning both his first and second Sed festival, calcite vessels attributed to his reign, an Ivory headrest inscribed with his full titles and several objects found at Byblos.
The years following the death of Pepi II are most obscure. Pepi II died after ruling 96 years. With his death, everything collapsed. There are various accounts of what happened in Egypt during this time. People sought stability, but things continued in turmoil. Pepi ll's long reign had weakened central government, as the nomarchs (local governors) increasingly began to assert their independence from Pharaoh. Any nominal authority exerted by central government disappeared, as the nomarchs jostled for position, attempting to found their own dynasties.
There was a downside to the technological progress made during the Old Kingdom. Feats of engineering like the Sphinx and the pyramids at Giza had made the Egyptians complacent. This feeling of invincibility was exacerbated by the position of their country, hidden as it was in the fertile Nile Valley.
A word encapsulated how Egyptians felt about their civilization - 'Ma'at' meaning 'Stability' or 'Balance'.
Papyri dating from the Middle Kingdom show this breakdown very clearly. Due to the unstable nature of this period, no firm historical records survive from the First Intermediate Period.There are some sources that mention a seventh dynasty which had 70 kings and which reigned for a total of 70 days. These are apocryphal, but nevertheless show how much the system had broken down.
Pepi II is followed in the king-lists by Merenre II, sometimes also called Nemtimsaf II. If the name of Nemtimsaf II was indeed Merenre, this would make him indistinguishable from Merenre I, so it is generally believed that the name Merenre has been given to Nemtimsaf II by mistake. Merenre II is only known through king-lists, among which the Turin King-list, that credits him with a reign of slightly more than 1 year. He is assumed to have been a son of Pepi II. He was perhaps married to Nitocris, who may have been his sister.
The only other person from this era to have left an impression on posterity is a woman called Nitokris who appears to have acted as king. Nitocris is not attested by any contemporary source: no decrees, no building projects and not even a mention in some highly placed official's biography. She is, however, mentioned in the Turin King-list, by the Greek traveller Herodotos and by Manetho, which may indeed confirm her existence.
According to Manetho, Nitocris constructed the "third pyramid." It is generally assumed that he meant the third pyramid of Giza, which has been built by Mykerinos. He may have confounded the name of Mykerinos (Men-kaw-re) with Nitocris' probable prenomen, Men-ka-re, which is mentioned in some of the king-lists.
Still according to Manetho, Nitocris has come to power when her brother was murdered. She took it upon herself to have her brother's murderers punished. There are no contemporary records but Herodotus wrote of her:
'She killed hundreds of Egyptians to avenge the king, her brother, whom his subjects had killed, and had forced her to succeed. She did this by constructing a huge underground chamber. Then invited to a banquet all those she knew to be responsible for her brother's death. When the banquet was underway, she let the river in on them, through a concealed pipe. After this fearful revenge, she flung herself into a room filled with embers, to escape her punishment.'
For a time petty warlords ruled the provinces. Then from the city of Herakleopolis there emerged a ruling family led by one Khety who for a time held sway over the whole country. However, this was short lived and the country split into North, ruled from Herakleopolis and South, ruled from Thebes.
Whereas the Theban dynasty was stable, kings succeeded one another rapidly at Herakleopolis. There was continual conflict between the two lands which was resolved in the 11th dynasty.
This period corresponds to Abraham's wanderings into Egypt recorded in the Old Testament. The Jewish people traces its origins to Abraham who lived some 4000 years ago in the area of Ur, an ancient city on the Euphrates in lower Mesopotania, in the midst of idol-worshippers who believed that there were gods controlling the various natural forces in the world.
Control of the Mesopotamian River Valley swung between the groups of Whites and Semites for thousands of years, with each successive invasion bringing with it an impetus of new blood and culture. For a long period, however, the White tribes were able to hang on to the higher lands to the north east of the Tigris/Euphrates river basin (ancient Assyria), while various Semitic tribes occupied parts of previously Indo-European held territory within the Near East (Babylon).
2269 - 2255 BCE - Mesopotamia (Iraq) - King Manishtusu, a Semitic of Akkad, conducted an expedition across the Southern Sea by ship to Oman subjecting the people of 32 cities. Northern Syria is free of Akkad rule being returned to Eblaite rule. The Hurrians are even further to the north at this time. The Hurrian is neither Semitic nor Indo-European but a vague so-called Asianic. The closest language is Urartian of Urartu (Armenia). The Lullubi are entrenched to the East.
Stele of Narim-Sin
Louvre Museum, Paris, France
2254 - 2218 BCE - Mesopotamia (Iraq) - The empire of Narim-Sin. Originally the stele of Narim-Sin was erected in the town of Sippar, centre of the cult of the Sun god, to the north of Babylon. lt was taken as booty to Susa by an Elamite king in the 12th century BCE. lt illustrates the victory over the mountain people of western lran by Naram-Sin, 4th king of the Semite dynasty of Akkad, who claimed to be the universal monarch and was deified during his lifetime. He had himself depicted climbing the mountain at the head of his troops. His helmet bears the horns emblematic of divine power. Although it is worn, his face is expressive of the ideal human conqueror, a convention imposed on artists by the monarchy. The king tramples on the bodies of his enemies at the foot of a peak; above it the solar disk figures several times, and the king pays homage to it for his victory.
Naram-Sin, the Semitic King of the Akkad Empire, son of Manishtusu, warred against his neighbors with success. He adopted the name King of the Four Regions and King of the Universe. He also became known as a Semitic Spirit-god-King. All prior Spirit-gods are reduced to two stars in the sky. His long reign is filled with wars at the limits of his Akkadian (Mesopotamia) Empire.
2225 BCE - Mesopotamia (Iraq) - The Semitic Akkadians under King Sargon defeated King Lugalzaggisi ending the Expansion of the Sumerian Empire. Sargon is believed to have originated in the land of the Semitic-Amorites (Sumerians) in upper Syria who also spread southward into Palestine (Philista). The Semitic Akkadians are firmly established in Babylon.
2210 - 2120 BCE - Iraq - Turkey - The Kingdom of Sumer and Akkad then fell before the first, and by all accounts ferocious, Indo-European invasion - that of the Celts. Known as Gutians in the Middle East, they fell upon the kingdom of Sumer and Akkad less than 100 years after it was established, and dominated life in central Mesopotamia for about 60 years.
The Iranians coming from the east begin the occupation of Iran pushing the Caucasians (Guti & Kassites) toward the Sumero-Akkadian peoples. The Hittites (Luwian, Palaic and Nesite) are pressing from the west.
2205 - 1766 BCE - China - Hsia Dynasty of China, with domesticated horses, and cultivation of rice and millet, was the first historical dynasty, there are earlier ones of legend.
2200 BCE - Turkey - A violent and widespread destruction caused by invaders most likely the Luwian (Indo-European) people plunged the western part of Asia Minor into semi-darkness for several centuries. A brilliant unnamed culture (ca. 3500-2200 BCE) is destroyed. Central Anatolia however soon recovered as a metallurgic center but the first written documents are of foreign origin.
2200 BCE - Asia Minor - Troy, a coastal town in Asia Minor, known as Troy II among archaeologists (a second level settlement with numerous others to be built on top in coming centuries) is destroyed by fire.
2200 BCE - Mesapotamia (Iraq) - Barbarian Gutians from what is now Iran conquered Sumer and destroyed the capital city of Agade (in Akkad).
2200 - 2100 BCE - Mesapotamia (Iraq) - Queen Semiramis builds the first tunnel below a river (the Euphrates), linking the royal palace of Babylon with the Temple of Jupiter.
Horus Name of Merenre II
2185 - 2184 BCE - VI Egyptian Dynasty - Menenre II - Merenre Antyemsaf II - Nemtiemsaf II. The Turin Canon gives one year and one month of rule, similarly as Manetho. Nemtiemsaf II was a son of Pepi II and queen Neith, his wife was Nitekreti (Nitocris). The story tells that Nemtiemsaf was murdered and queen Nitocris took revenge before committing suicide. The only document dated to that times is a decree protecting cult of queens Ankhesenpepi and Neith, from the pyramid complex of Neith in Southern Saqqara.
2184 - 2183 BCE - VI Egyptian Dynasty - Nitekreti - Nitocris. The Queen known to us from later records in Turin Canon and Manetho. Unfortunately documentation in form of contemporary to her artifacts which could confirm her historical existence are missing. Legends passed by Manetho should be considered with care. Turin Canon assigns to her 2 years, 1 month and 1 day of rule while Manetho - 12 years and Erastotenes - 6 years.
2183 - 2182 BCE - VI Egyptian Dynasty - Neferka (the child).
2182 - 2181 BCE - VI Egyptian Dynasty - Nefer.
2181 - 2176 BCE - VI Egyptian Dynasty - Aba.
2176 - 2175 BCE - VI Egyptian Dynasty - Unknown.
2175 - 2165 BCE - VII Egyptian Dynasty - The First Intermediate Period of the Egyptian kingdoms witness the breakdown of central government, which lead to its decline. The Seventh through Tenth Dynasties of Egypt began at this time, lasting about 140 years. Many kings had overlapping reigns during this era. Montuhotep established order from his capital at Thebes.
About this time the Old Kingdom state collapsed. Egypt simultaneously suffered political failure and environmental disaster. There was famine, civil disorder and a rise in the death rate. Draught and starvation pushed Asiatics into the fertile Nile valley.
2175 - 2165 BCE - VII Egyptian Dynasty - This marks the era of the Seventh Dynasty of Egypt. There were approximately 17 or 18 kings during this dynasty which lasted about 10 years.
2175 - ???? BCE - VII Egyptian Dynasty - Netrikare - Netjerikare.
VII Egyptian Dynasty - Menkare.
VII Egyptian Dynasty - Neferkare II.
VII Egyptian Dynasty - Neferkare III - Neby. He was the son of Pepi II by queen Ankhesenpepi II. His reign is confirmed in the Table of Abydos as Neferkare - Beautiful is Ka of Re together with his birth name of Nebi - The Protector. Moreover he is mentioned in inscriptions on the sarcophagus and false doors of queen Ankhesenpepi II. His burial place is presumably a pyramid at Saqqara, construction of which did not extend beyond the project phase.
VII Egyptian Dynasty - Djedkare II - Djedkare Shemai - Djedure Shemai.
He is the regent whose name Permanent is Ka of Re is a by-name (birth name) of Nomad and is documented solely in Table of Abydos.
VII Egyptian Dynasty - Neferkare IV - Neferkare Khendu - His throne name was Beautiful is Ka of Re.
His rule is documented solely in the Table of Abydos. His by-name (or birth name) is Xndw Striding.
VII Egyptian Dynasty - Merenhor.
VII Egyptian Dynasty - Menkamin I.
His Throne name, Beautiful is Ka of Min, is confirmed in the gold tablet of the British Museum. He is identified with the name of Sneferka from the Abydos Table.
VII Egyptian Dynasty - Nykare - Nikare I.
His throne name of Re Who Belongs To Ka is mentioned solely in the Table of Abydos.
VII Egyptian Dynasty - Neferkare V - Neferkare Tereru.
A ruler mentioned only in the Table of Abydos where his name is nfr-kA-ra, Beautiful Is Ka Of Re and with a by-name (or birth name) tr(r)rw (Respected By…).
???? - 2173 BCE - VII Egyptian Dynasty - Neferkahor.
His throne name is nfr-kA-Hr "Beautiful Is Ka of Horus," is known solely from the Table of Abydos and a cylindrical seal.
2169 - 2135 BCE - VIII Egyptian Dynasty - Era of the Eighth Dynasty of Egypt. There were two known kings Wadjkare and Qakare Iby. The former left behind royal exemption decrees, and the latter a small pyramid. During this dynasty in Coptos (located in Upper Egypt) there were a series of decrees that indicate that the 8th Dynasty kings were confirming administrative positions in the government and temples.
2169 - ???? BCE - VIII Egyptian Dynasty - Neferkare VI - Neferkare Papisneb - "Beautiful Ka, Re; Pepi Is Healthy."
This ruler is documented in the Table of Abydos and the Turin Canon. The latter one adds to his name the epithet of Sri The Younger.
2169 - 2167 BCE - VIII Egyptian Dynasty - Neferkamin II, Neferkamin Anu. Nefer - "Beautiful."
Inscription in the Turin Canon is damaged in that place, with only a fragment surviving which points distinctly to king Neferkamin Anu, who is also mentioned in the Table of Abydos.
2167 - 2163 BCE - VIII Egyptian Dynasty - Ibi I - Qakare Ibi - "Strong Is The Soul Of Re."
The ruler confirmed by the Turin Canon and the Table of Abydos. Many graffitos have survived at Tomas (Nubia). It is assumed that he might have ruled 2-4 years. His burial place is the pyramid at Saqqara. This is the last pyramid erected at Saqqara. It is located near the Pepi II pyramid. The Texts of Pyramid survived until now.
VIII Egyptian Dynasty - Neferkaure - "Beautiful Are The Souls [Ka] Of Re"
VIII Egyptian Dynasty - Neferkauhor Khwiwihepu - "Apis Protect Me."
To the period of Neferkauhor's rule are dated the famous decrees of Koptos which mention the marriage of the eldest daughter of the king with a vizier of Upper Egypt named Shemai.
VIII Egyptian Dynasty - Neferirkare II - Beautiful Form And Soul [Ka] Of Re."
VIII Egyptian Dynasty - Wadjkare - Wadjkare Pepysonbe.
The name of this king means Fresh Is Ka Of Re (or Prosperous Is The Soul Of Re) and is mentioned solely in famous decree of Koptos protecting the foundation of the posthumous cult. J. von Beckerath attributed the throne name of Wadjkare, and the Horus name of Demedjebtaui (The One Who Unifies Power Of Two Lands), signing this decree. Other scholars rely on theory of K. Sethe and identify Wadjkare with ruler being the predecessor of Demedjebtaui, who should be ascribed to Dynasty IX.
VIII Egyptian Dynasty - Sekhemkare - "The Soul Of Re Is Strong."
VIII Egyptian Dynasty - Iti.
This king is mentioned in the inscription at Wadi Hammamat in the context of an expedition of Nikau-Ptah, sent to win building materials for the bAw-ity (Power Of Iti) pyramid.
VIII Egyptian Dynasty - Imhotep.
The ruler mentioned in the inscription at Wadi Hammamat that describes sending 2500 people on an expedition.
VIII Egyptian Dynasty - Hotep.
VIII Egyptian Dynasty - Kwi - Chui - "The Protector."
VIII Egyptian Dynasty - Isu. His name is mentioned in graffito.
???? - 2160 BCE - VIII Egyptian Dynasty - Iytenu.
2160 - 2074 BCE - IX Egyptian Dynasty - The Ninth Dynasty of Egypt was also known as the Herakleopolis Dynasty because the rulers controlled lower Egypt from Herakleopolis. This dynasty is also often called the "House of Khety" because many of the ruler's names were Khety The Dynasty is considered to be fairly unstable due to frequent changes in rulers. The Herakleopolitans expelled Asiatic immigrants from the Nile delta and fortified the eastern border of Egypt. This dynasty was responsible for establishing the importance of Memphis. The Herakleopolitans improved irrigation works, reopened trade with Byblos, and began the "Coffin Texts." One of the kings wrote the "Instruction to Merikara." They also had frequent outbreaks of fighting against the Thebans north of Abydos. Eventually they were conquered by the Thebans and this marked the end of the Herakleopolis Dynasty and the beginning of the Middle Kingdom.
Information on the history of the Ninth and Tenth Dynasties is sparse and obscure.
2160 - ???? BCE - IX Egyptian Dynasty - Khety I - Achtoes I.
In Manetho's opinion he was an extremely cruel ruler. He died being devoured by a crocodile after he had fallen into the Nile in an attack of fury. However authenticity of this story is rather dubious. It is almost certain that Khety was an official or prince of the XX nome in Upper Egypt, and after the decline of the Memphite dynasty VIII obtained a function of regent. He founded his residence at Herakleopolis, with no doubt his place of origin
IX Egyptian Dynasty - Neferkare (III) - "Beautiful Is The Soul [Ka] Of Re."
He was a regent of Herakleopolitan Kingdom. Possibly he should be identified with a king named Neferkare and mentioned in biographic text of Ankhtify, nomarch of Hierakonpolis and prince of Moala, less than 30 km south of Thebes. Ankhtify led a coalition of his own and the Edfu nomes against the Thebans.
IX Egyptian Dynasty - Khety II - Achtoes II - Meribre Khety II - Nebkaure.
One of the many rulers of the Ninth Dynasty of Egypt.
2160 - 2134 BCE - X Egyptian Dynasty - Through the Tenth Dynasty, the kings in Hieracleopolis maintained control over Northern Egypt. However, rival kings in Edfu and Thebes continued to fight over control of Upper Egypt. Eventually, the battle was won by the kings in Thebes, who moved on to found the XI Dynasty, intending to control all of Egypt.
The history of the rulers of the X Dynasty is not very clear. There were fourteen Heracleopolitan kings who ruled the North, and shared control of the South with the contemporary Theban Dynasty XI until Mentuhotep united the country once again some time between 2047 and 2022 BCE. Only six kings are attested to in contemporary sources
X Egyptian Dynasty - Meri[…]re Akhtoy
X Egyptian Dynasty - Nebkaure Akhtoy
X Egyptian Dynasty - Mereikare
X Egyptian Dynasty - Meri-Hathor
X Egyptian Dynasty - Wahkare Akhtoy
X Egyptian Dynasty - Khui
2134 - 1991 BCE - XI Egyptian Dynasty - The Eleventh Dynasty of Egypt began in Thebes with Intef who was a nomarch and a priest. After gaining control, they began to get into small, frequent fights with the Herakleopolitans during the 9th and 10th Dynasties. The skirmishes took place generally north of Abydos. Eventually the Thebans conquered the Herakleopolitans under Mentuhotep I (or II) Nebhetepre. Mentuhotep ruled Upper and Lower Egypt from Thebes. He ordered the building of several temples including the mortuary complex at Deir el-Bahari. The dynasty is noted for building statues and temples and marks the beginning of the Middle Kingdom. The 11th Dynasty sent trading and other expeditions to acquire raw materials and trade items.
2134 - 2130 BCE - XI Egyptian Dynasty - Intef.
He was Prince of a Theban nome and founder of dynasty XI. In the Royal List of Karnak, he is mentioned as being the predecessor of Mentuhothep I. He is frequently named Intef, son of Iku.
2130 - 2117 BCE - XI Egyptian Dynasty - Mentuhotep I.
The ruler regarded as founder of the dynasty, although some historians place Intef before him, the predecessor of kings succeeding Mentuhotep I. Others identify Mentuhotep I with Mentuhotep II Nebhepetre, the fifth pharaoh of this dynasty. The name Mentuhotep used to be associated with the by-name "the Older."
2117 - 2105 BCE - XI Egyptian Dynasty - Antef I - Inyotef I - Intef l.
Antef was the son of a local ruler of Thebes named Mentuhotep I. He was the first Theban ruler to have proclaimed himself king, assuming a Horus-name and writing his personal name in a cartouche. He thus opposed the kings of the 9 / 10th Dynasty of Heracleopolis and started a civil war.
Antef I made wars with Herakleopolitan kingdom (X dynasty). He unified part of the Land (Thebes, Abydos, This) and extended Theban rule up to Dendera which means that to him were subjected nomes I-VI of Upper Egypt. In the relief in the temple of Montu at Tod, he is presented with Mentuhotep, Intef II and Intef III making offerings to the Montu. To Intef I belong the earliest of the three tombs located in a row at the el-Tarif necropolis at Western Thebes, with pillar porticos.
That a local ruler of a relatively small city was able to oppose the ruling dynasty can be explained by the strong decentralisation of the Ancient Egyptian government, which, in turn, may have been the result of the low inundation of the Nile at the end of the Old Kingdom. He conquered some of the cities to the north of Thebes, among them Koptos and Dendara. To the south, he extended his reign to Elkab.
He was buried in a long, narrow rock-tomb on the West-bank of Thebes.
2120 - 2113 BCE - Mesopotamia (Iraq) - The Hordes of Gutium ravaged the land of the Akkadian Empire for the past 87 years, yet defended the Akkad against the Lullubi and the Hurrians of Kurdistan. The Guti are few in numbers and many cities must have enjoyed complete freedom during this period. Utuhegal (2120-2113 BCE), ensi of Uruk, raised an army and rose against the stinging serpent of the Hills (Guti). The hated foreigners are defeated, and their King Tiriqan is captured. Twenty one Guti Kings had ruled during the past 87 years suggesting continuous infighting. The remnants of the Gutian hordes established themselves in northern Assyria (Asshur).
2112 - 2004 BCE - Mesopotamia (Iraq) - Dynasty of Ur III in Mesopotamia. Ur was probably at its peak under Ur-Namma, supporting a population of 50,000 people. [p87HI]
Utu-hegal of Uruk is given credit for having overthrown Gutian rule by vanquishing their king Tiriqan along with two generals. Utu-hegal calls himself lord of the four quarters of the earth in an inscription, but this title, adopted from Akkad, is more likely to signify political aspiration than actual rule. Utu-hegal was a brother of the Ur-Nammu who founded the 3rd dynasty of Ur ("3rd" because it is the third time that Ur is listed in the Sumerian king list). Under Ur-Nammu and his successors Shulgi, Amar-Su'ena, Shu-Sin, and Ibbi-Sin, this dynasty lasted for a century. Ur-Nammu was at first "governor" of the city of Ur under Utu-hegal. How he became king is not known, but there may well be some parallels between his rise and the career of Ishbi-Erra of Isin or, indeed, that of Sargon. By eliminating the state of Lagash, Ur-Nammu caused the coveted overseas trade (Dilmun, Magan, and Meluhha) to flow through Ur. As evidenced by a new royal title that he was the first to bear [that of "king of Sumer and Akkad"] he had built up a state that comprised at least the southern part of Mesopotamia. Like all great rulers, he built much, including the very impressive ziggurats of Ur and Uruk, which acquired their final monumental dimensions in his reign.
Ur-Nammu, 2113 - 2095 BCE
The decline of Ur III is an event in Mesopotamian history that can be followed in greater detail than other stages of that history thanks to sources such as the royal correspondence, two elegies on the destruction of Ur and Sumer, and an archive from Isin that shows how Ishbi-Erra, as usurper and king of Isin, eliminated his former overlord in Ur. Ibbi-Sin was waging war in Elam when an ambitious rival came forward in the person of Ishbi-Erra from Mari, presumably a general or high official. By emphasizing to the utmost the danger threatening from the Amorites, Ishbi-Erra urged the king to entrust to him the protection of the neighbouring cities of Isin and Nippur. Ishbi-Erra's demand came close to extortion, and his correspondence shows how skillfully he dealt with the Amorites and with individual ensis, some of whom soon went over to his side. Ishbi-Erra also took advantage of the depression that the king suffered because the god Enlil "hated him," a phrase presumably referring to bad omens resulting from the examination of sacrificed animals, on which procedure many rulers based their actions (or, as the case may be, their inaction). Ishbi-Erra fortified Isin and, in the 10th year of Ibbi-Sin's reign, began to employ his own dating formulas on documents, an act tantamount to a renunciation of loyalty. Ishbi-Erra, for his part, believed himself to be the favourite of Enlil, the more so as he ruled over Nippur, where the god had his sanctuary. In the end he claimed suzerainty over all of southern Mesopotamia, including Ur.
While Ishbi-Erra purposefully strengthened his domains, Ibbi-Sin continued for 14 more years to rule over a decreasing portion of the land. The end of Ur came about through a concatenation of misfortunes: A famine broke out, and Ur was besieged, taken, and destroyed by the invading Elamites and their allies among the Iranian tribes. Ibbi-Sin was led away captive, and no more was heard of him. The elegies record in moving fashion the unhappy end of Ur, the catastrophe that had been brought about by the wrath of Enlil.
???? - 2110 BCE - IX Egyptian Dynasty - Senen - Setut.
One of the many rulers of the Ninth Dynasty of Egypt.
2110 - 2075 BCE - IX Egyptian Dynasty - Khety III - Achtoes III - Ouakha-Re - Wakhare Khety I.
This king taught his son, the future king Merikare of the 10th dynasty (2075 - 2060 BCE), thus
"Life on earth passes quickly, and happy are those without sin, because a million men will serve as nothing to the king of heaven and earth when they appear as sinners in the next life. The memory of the good man will live for ever. The essence of life is in the word of the ancestors; it is contained in books. Open and read them. Practice justice as long as you are on earth, Comfort those that cry, do not oppress the widow and the orphan. (sentences that the Jewish Bible repeats often.)
God knows the treacherous and paid for their sins in His blood … Go down the difficult path, because the soul of the man is drawn to the place that it knows, does not depart from the way of truth; and no-one can prevent it!
Know that the judges in the courthouse of the next world will examine a life as if it were only an hour. Happy is the one that reaches the next life : he will be like a god, he will move freely like the masters of eternity, because there is no-one who can oppose the CREATOR, who is omnipresent and omniscient. Honor your invisible God on your way, practice truth and justice.
Act for God so that he can do the same for you. After having punished men (in the deluge?), his light (Re) again shines in the sky, so that men may see it.
Papyrus of the Hermitage Museum - No. 1115 at Copenhagen
The Pharoah Merikare was of Aryan extraction at the time these words were written for him toward 2080 BCE, within one or two hundred years of the birth in Ur in the Chaldees of a man called Abram, a Semite.
2105 - 2057 BCE - XI Egyptian Dynasty - Antef II - Inyotef Il - Intef ll. "The Son Of Re, Intef, The Great."
During the reign of Antef II, which, according to the Turin King-list lasted for as long as 49 years, the kings of the 9 / 10th Dynasty tried to re-conquer the territory they had previously lost to Antef I, in an attempt to establish their rule over the whole of Egypt.
Antef II, however, succeeded not only in warding off the Heracleopolitan attacks, but also in conquering even more of their territory: Abydos, Akhmim and Kaw el-Kabir. In the south, he extended the Theban rule to the First Cataract, the traditional southern border of Ancient Egypt.
Antef II was the most outstanding ruler of this name. Aiming at unification of the Land he made wars with neighboring nomarchs - nome XIII (Asyut), XV (Hermopolis) and Herakleopolitan rulers - Cheti II and Merikare. Stela Hetepi of el-Kab and "The instructions for the king Merikare" mention battles of Thebans with Herakleopolitans. Finally Intef exptended his control over the land up the Antaeopolis nome X in Upper Egypt. Intef's tomb is located at the el-Tarif necropolis in Western Thebes and is the middle of three portico tombs. Turin Canon gives 49 years of rule.
Antef II was buried in a rock-tomb next to his predecessor's. This tomb is known from the representation of the king's dogs, which had foreign names. The tomb is also mentioned in the texts from the end of the New Kingdom about the tomb robberies of that era.
2100 BCE - England - The final stage of construction is completed at Stonehenge.
2100 - 2050 BCE - Mesopotamia (Iraq) - The oldest preserved standard of length is the foot of a statue of the ruler Gudea of Lagash; it is divided into16 parts and is 26.54 centimeters [10.41 inches] long.
2100 - 1763 BCE - Mesopotamia (Iraq) - Temples were originally built on platforms, which during the third mill. BCE, were made higher and bigger. Eventually it was decided to build even higher temples on platforms which were stepped.
A Temple Ziggurat
These stepped towers were called ziggurats. By 2000 BCE mud-brick ziggurats were being constructed in many Sumerian cities, and later, they were constructed in Babylon and Assyria.
The Ziggurat of Ur
The restored remains of the great ziggurat of ancient Ur, in southern Iraq. It was built with similar characteristics as the Tower of Babel mentioned in the Bible (see Gen 10). Abram (Abraham) the first Hebrew mentioned in the Jewish Bible was originally from Ur.
The region was invaded by yet another originally Indo-European peoples, the Amorites, bringing with them a renewed wave of Nordic blood into the peoples of the region. It was a struggle between the Assyrians and a new dynasty founded by Amorite leaders (Amurru) based at Larsa, Mari, and Babylon.
The most famous surviving piece of literature from this period is the "Epic of Gilgamesh," a fictional story of an old king of the city state of Erech who sets off in search of immortality. It also includes a chapter dealing with a flood of the earth, and is clearly the origin of the Christian and Jewish Old Testament story of Noah and the Biblical flood.
2095 BCE - Mesopotamia (Iraq) - The Law of Shulgi (2094-2047 BCE) son of Ur Nammu (2112-2095 BCE) established at this time is more humane than the Law of Hammurabi. Many injury crimes called for compensation rather than death. Ur Nammu built many Ziqqurat (Towers of Babel) used to reach unto heaven at the town of Ur Uruk, Eriou, Nippur and other towns of Iraq. The King appointed the high priest for the Ziqquarat. It is noteworthy that similar structures are built in Egypt and the Americas.
2075 - 2060 BCE - X Egyptian Dynasty - Merikare - "Beloved is the Soul of Re."
X Egyptian Dynasty - Khety IV - Achtoes IV - Meryibre Khety - "Beloved is the Heart of Re."
X Egyptian Dynasty - Shed.
X Egyptian Dynasty - Kaneferre - "Beautiful is the Soul of Re."
X Egyptian Dynasty - Nebkaure Akhtoy - "Golden are the Souls of Re."
2057 - 2049 BCE - XI Egyptian Dynasty - Antef III - Inyotef Ill - Intef lll.
Little is known about the reign of Antef III. The Turin King-list credits him with a reign of at least 8 years. He was the father of Mentuhotep II, who would re-unite Egypt under one rule. It does not appear that this king gained or lost territory to the kings of the 9 / 10th Dynasty.
He was the son of Intef II, father of Mentuhotep II. On relief in the Montu temple at Tod presented with his predecessors: Intef I and II and his successor - Mentuhotep II. Presumably put in order system of internal policy and expanded the borders as far as to nome XVII in Upper Egypt. The Turin Canon gives 8 years of rule. Burial place - third of the three tombs in-row at the necropolis el-Tarif in Western Thebes. He was buried in a narrow rock-tomb next to Antef II.
2051 BCE - Iraq - The Kurdistan region fell to the Sumarian King Shulgi. About this time he extended his protectorate over Akkadian. He then called himself King of the Four Quarters of the World and is worshiped as a Spirit-god.
2050 BCE - Europe - About this time southern Spain (Iberia) is smelting copper as is northern Italy. Scandinavia that has no metals is trading for raw metal or finished goods to Britain and central Europe.
2050 BCE - England - Seahenge, the remarkable ring of oak timbers uncovered on a United Kingdom beach, is is determined to be exactly 4,050 years old.
Scientists working with English Heritage have come up with the age by combining a number of techniques, including complex mathematics.
The researchers are so confident in their findings they are even prepared to say that the central stump of the wooden ring came from a tree which was felled or died between April and June 2050 BC. They believe the other trees used for the surrounding posts were cut down in the spring of the following year, 2049 BC.
The dating confirms the authenticity of Seahenge, which was almost certainly used as a ceremonial site in its day. Some will also regard it as further justification for the decision to remove the circle from the sands where they were found at Holme-next-the-Sea, Norfolk.
Although druid groups opposed the operation, subsequent examination of the posts has shown that the exposed wood was deteriorating much faster than anyone had suspected. If Seahenge had been left where it was built, the world would soon have lost what many now regard as the Bronze Age discovery of the decade.
Climate and growth rings
To date the central upturned stump, scientists at English Heritage resorted first to dendochronology, which matches the growth rings in wood to known historical climate data. This would normally have given a very accurate date for the tree's birth and death but this proved problematic in this case because the oak's ring patterns loosely fitted too many parts of Britain's past weather spectrum.
The team also used radiocarbon analysis, which studies the decay of natural carbon isotopes to date organic material. For accuracy, six different samples were taken. These results showed that the tree died between 2200 BC and 2000 BC.
Cleaning the Timbers
"But we wanted an exact date," said Alex Bayliss, Scientific Dating Co-ordinator at English Heritage. It was then that she turned to the complex mathematics devised by an 18th Century vicar, Thomas Bayes.
The Bayesian mathematical model can calculate and recombine probabilities contained in different data sets to produce a very narrow range of outcomes. This work showed that the tree had died sometime between April and June 2050 BC."
The same type of analysis was applied to the data for the surrounding posts.
Alex Bayliss told BBC News Online: "This is the really important thing about this research: by using Bayesian mathematics we are bringing down pre-historic timescales, ranges that cover decades or hundreds of years, to within that of human experience - a lifetime."
The dating fits with work done at the Flag Fen Bronze Age site and research centre at Peterborough where the timbers were taken after being removed from the beach. Archaeologists at Flag Fen say the type of axe marks left in the wood indicate a level of technology known to have existed around that time.
Simulation of the Site
"It is very unusual to pin a precise date to a major ceremonial site, but we've done that," said David Miles, Chief Archaeologist for English Heritage.
"We know that the circle was created at the very start of the Bronze Age, when metal tools and weapons replaced stone implements for the first time. These people were farmers who cleared much of Britain's forest land and now we have dated one of their religious temples. It is tremendously exciting."
The timbers of Seahenge will be returned to Norfolk when a future for the wooden circle has been decided.
Details of the dating are published in the scientific journal Nature.
2049 - 1998 BCE - XI Egyptian Dynasty - Mentuhotep II - Mentuhotep II Nebhepetre.
He was the son of the Theban ruler Antef III and a woman named Iah (Jah). The most outstanding of all rulers bearing this name and one of the greatest rulers of ancient Egypt. When he came to power, his predecessors had already conquered a territory that stretched far beyond Thebes, from the 1st cataract in the south, to the region of Qaw el-Kabir in the north.
Stone seal of King Mentuhotep II
This seal and amulet is a symbolic representation of the head of Sakhmet. On one side, the stylized motif depicting the lioness goddess comprises two holes for the eyes (probably formerly inlaid), a carved triangle, and a straight line for the mouth. On the other side, the throne name of King Mentuhotep II (Neb-Hetep-Re) is deeply carved.
The Turin King-list credits this king with a reign of as much as 51 years. In light of the many events that occurred during his reign, this is not unlikely.
Mentuhotep II was responsible for the reunification of Egypt. His achievements can be reviewed by looking at how his Horus name changed during his rule. He began his reign with the name "He who gives heart to the Two Lands," and then changed to "Lord of the White Crown" (the White Crown being symbolic of Upper Egypt). Finally, he became known as "Uniter of the Two Lands." Mentuhotep II defeated the Herakleopolitans and united the country under Thebes. Thebes is called the city of a thousand gates. A relief shows the king smiting an Egyptian, a Nubian, an Asiatic and a Libyan. He likely reopened the mines in Sinai. He conducted an expedition in Nubia extracting tribute.
During this period a fundamental shift in beliefs occurred and the king is no longer considered as a Spirit-god-King but is believed as being half divine and half human. This likely represents the old belief of man and spirit that marked the end of the pyramid age.
Few testimonies remain of the first years of his reign. This suggests that he reached the throne at a young age, verified by the long duration of his reign. His 14th regnal year was apparently a turning-point in the life of Mentuhotep II. Its name "year of the crime of Thinis" suggests that there was some trouble in the Thinite province, where the age-old holy city of Abydos was located. Apparently the Heracleopolitan king Kheti of the 9 / 10th Dynasty had succeeded in re-conquering this province and was threatening to do the same with the rest of Upper-Egypt. During this re-conquest, a large part of the old necropolis of Abydos was destroyed.
Mentuhotep II immediately reacted, not only repelling the Heracleopolitans from Abydos, but also continuing the war against them, conquering Assiut, Middle-Egypt and finally Heracleopolis itself. With the fall of the Heracleopolitan Dynasty, nothing stood in the way for the final re-unification of Egypt under Theban rule.
Between his 30th and 39th year, Egypt was united again and Mentuhotep II was the first Theban who could rightfully call himself King of Upper- and Lower-Egypt thus ushering in the Middle Kingdom.
Mentuhotep's military efforts were not only aimed at reuniting the Two Lands. Inscriptions in Nubia show his desire to re-establish the Egyptian supremacy over this region. A mass-tomb found in Deir el-Bahari contained 60 bodies of slain Egyptian soldiers who perhaps lost their lives in Nubia. That these soldiers were given a burial so near the king's own funerary monument, demonstrates how much importance was attached to them.
Even during the re-conquest of Egypt, Mentuhotep built or restored several temples throughout his territory. He was particularly active in Upper-Egypt as is shown by monuments in Dendara, Abydos, Elkab and Elephantine. The warrior-king paid special homage to the war-god Montu, who, at that time, was the principal god of the Theban province. For him he built temples in Medamud, Armant and Tod.
Mentuhotep II's funerary temple
A view on the remains of Mentuhotep's funerary temple (foreground). The larger building in the background is Hatshepsut's temple, the design of which was largely based on Mentuhotep's.
In the Upper Egypt he erected many sanctuaries, among other magnificent mortuary temple at Deir el-Bahari which became his burial place and a splendid funerary complex. Between his funerary chamber and internal courtyard of the temple runs a 150 m long passage. The funerary chamber contained an alabaster chapel with wooden coffin of the king and funerary equipment. Of the royal mummy remained only fragments of skull. 1859 became a year of discovery of a tomb of queen Tem's, the first royal wife. East-north of Mentuhotep's sacral complex there is a tomb of Neferu, sister and second royal wife. It is supposed that Mentuhotep I, formerly identified by scholars with Nebhepetre, was predecessor of the Intefs on Theban throne and sometimes he is regarded as the founder of dynasty XI.
The most famous monument built by Mentuhotep II was his funerary monument. Unlike his predecessors, who were buried in relatively simple tombs in Dra Abu el-Naga', Mentuhotep chose to build his mortuary temple and tomb at Deir el-Bahari. The design of this building was unique: a terrace was built against the cliffs of Deir el-Bahari. Upon the roof of that terrace was built a massive stone construction, identified by some archaeologists as a pyramid, by others as a mastaba. The tomb of the king was located in the rock behind and underneath the temple.
2027 BCE - Mesopotamia (Iraq) - Eshumunna is the first city state to break away from being a servant of the King of Ur (Iraq) and also resulted in a break from the Ur Spirit-god concepts. The Eshumunna called themselves servants of the Spirit-god Tishpak. It is significant that for a people to be free and independent they must have their own Spirit-god. They also changed the names of months and years. The official language became Akkadian rather than Sumerian. They however had Semitic or Elamite names indicating a merging of these two peoples. Some believe the Semitic Code of Law written in Akkadian likely originated about this time.
2004 BCE - Mesopotamia (Iraq) - The Elamites capture Ur. The Great Semitic Empire of Akkadur (2334-2154 BCE) is a continuous reign of wars and rumors of war. King Naram-Sin of Akkad (2254-2218 BCE) represented the peak of the Semitic Akkad power and near the end of his reign he is said to be bewildered, confused, sunk in gloom, sorrowful and exhausted from overwhelming invasion. Akkad went into anarchy (2193-2168 BCE) and is absorbed into the control of Ur by 2154 BCE. Akkad fell with Ur in 2004 BCE. This Sumero-Akkadian (Semitic) culture greatly influenced northern Mesopotamia and the Hurrians, Lullubi and Semitic Elamites (Persians). The Hurrians are believed to be Indo-Iranian in nature likely of Asian extraction. Proto-Indian seals, vases and ornaments found in Iraq testify to commercial relations with the Indus Valley.
2000 BCE - Southern Russia - Slavs settled the closest to their ancestral homelands in southern Russia - today known as the Ukraine and Byelorussia ("White" Russia). The Indo-European sun worship religion persisted right into the 12th Century amongst the Slavs, and principle amongst their gods was a hammer wielding deity who rode in a chariot - obviously sharing a common mythological ancestry with the Scandinavian god, Thor.
2000 BCE - Afghanistan - India - Originating in the Caucasus area, a sun worshipping Indo-European tribe calling themselves Aryans, using a language known as Sanskrit, invaded central Asia and occupied territory as far as the north of India. These invaders were what became known as the original Aryans.
2000 BCE - Persia (Iran) - Persians began worshipping the man-god Mithra, who was supposedly born from a god father and a human virgin mother.
Mithra's birth was said to have occurred in a cave or stable, and was witnessed by shepherds who brought him gifts. Later, his followers celebrated this event with a ceremony at midnight on the eve of the Winter Solstice.
Mithra was viewed as a Redeemer. He was believed to have performed miracles, such as raising the dead, healing the sick, making the blind see and the lame walk, and casting out devils.
According to legend, Mithra celebrated a Last Supper with his twelve disciples before he ascended to heaven. In memory of this, his worshippers partook of a sacramental meal of bread marked with a cross.
In subsequent years, a stone image symbolizing Mithra was buried in a tomb. It was then withdrawn and he was said to live again. Followers of Mithra believed a person had to be baptized in order to ascend into the heavens after death. Mithra is supposed to return at the end of time to judge the human race.
2000 BCE - North America - Native North-Americans had settled in permanent villages, where they domesticated dogs, and cultivated manioc, squash, maize, and beans.
2000 - 1200 BCE - Turkey - Iran - An Indo-Aryan tribe called the Hittites established an empire in present day Turkey, after sweeping south and west from the original Nordic homeland in Southern Russia.
Iran is the name of ancient Persia, and it is derived from the root "Arya" or Aryan, the Indo-European branch of peoples who settled in that land. The Aryans of ancient Iran were Mazdayasni Zarathushtris, ie. Worshippers of Ahura Mazda (the name of God in Avestan) as revealed by the ancient prophet Zarathushtra, thousands of years before Christ.
However, all the ancient Zoroastrian scriptures speak of an earlier homeland from where these people came, the lost "Airyane Vaejahi" or seedland of the Aryans. From this homeland, the Indo-Europeans or Aryans moved to upper India, Iran, Russia and the nations of Europe such as Greece, Italy, Germany, France, Scandinavia, England, Scotland and Ireland.
In the first "Fargad" or chapter, the Golden Age of the ancient Aryans is outlined with their greatest king, "Yima Kshaeta" (Yam Raj in the Indian Vedas) who banished old age and death. Then, the ice age broke on the ancient home and the Aryans were forced to migrate southwards, to the southeast and the southwest.
Mr. Bal Gangadhar Tilak, a great Brahmin (Indian Aryan) scholar of India in the 18th century studied the Vedas and the Vendidad to find an ancient homeland of the Aryans. The Vedas are scriptures written by the Indo-Europeans or Aryans after they migrated to India. From the descriptions of the weather patterns mentioned in the Vedas, Tilak concluded that the ancient home must be in the Artic regions, i.e., above present Russia.
Germans (Anglo-Saxons), Celts, Slavs (Russians.), Kurds, Persians ("Iran" = "Aryan"), Afghans, Aryans of India, etc. form an ethnic continum within a language family which anthropologists and linguists call Indo-Hittite, Hattian, Indo-European, or simply ARYAN. The ancestors of Aryans were Hamitic tribal clans.
If the Universal Flood destroyed all mankind except the family of Noah, it is possible to trace all nations from the three descedants of Noah. The three sons of Noah were Shem, Ham and Japheth. Heth (the ancestor of the Hittites) was a son of Canaan who was a descendant of Ham, The flood history is remembered by over 230 tribals all over the world. So there should be some credibility in the story and the national distribution given in the tenth chapter of Genesis. This probably is the only record we have in tracing the history of the nations in general to the prehistoric period.
6 And the sons of Ham; Cush, and Mizraim, and Phut, and Canaan.
15 And Canaan begat Sidon his first born, and Heth,
19 And the border of the Canaanites was from Sidon, as thou comest to Gerar, unto Gaza; as thou goest, unto Sodom, and Gomorrah, and Admah, and Zeboim, even unto Lasha.
32 These are the families of the sons of Noah, after their generations, in their nations: and by these were the nations divided in the earth after the flood.
Canaan became the exclusive domain of Hamitic clans. DNA evidence that traces Aryan ancestry to the Near East was discovered in 1994. (1) The article on "Indo-European Origins" (2) asserts that Indo-Europeans entered Europe as the first farmers of these wild areas. Each of these Hamitic clans became the progenitor of an Indo-European language and of the Aryan nations (Germans, Kelts, Slavs, etc.) around the world.
As the Semitic people soon after the exodus (Genesis 10:18-20) pressured the Hamitic nations (Hittites, Amorites, etc.) into leaving the Fertile Crescent. The Canaanites exterminated by Israelites were Hamites (Genesis 10). The Israelites were told by God to diligently avoid conflicts with other nations of their own (Semitic) race (Deuteronomy 2).
As the Semitic herdsmen picked up the use of horses and metal weapons of war, Hamites lost their military domination over Semitic clans, who consisted of Chaldeans, Hyksos, Hebrews, and Arabs, etc.
When Abraham first came to Canaan that land was in the hands of the Hittites. (Gen 23:10 Gen 25:9-10). Esau married women from among the Hittites against the wishes of his mother. David, had Hittites in his army and in his bodyguard (I Kings, 26: 6; II Kings, 11: 6, 1 Sam 26:6 etc.). So we should assume that there were a large number of Hittites living among the Hebrews as loyal participating citizens and in respectable positions. Bethsheeba, Solomon's mother, perhaps belonged to this race. Bathsheba's husband Uriah was a Hittite who lived close to the palace and was a general in the army of David. David recalled Uriah to come home from the midst of the war so that he will sleep the night with his wife. But Uriah was an Aryan with strong marital traditions of the Hittites and refuse to lie with his wife.
2 Samuel 11
9 But Uriah slept at the entrance to the palace with all his master's servants and did not go down to his house.
10 When David was told, "Uriah did not go home," he asked him, "Haven't you just come from a distance? Why didn't you go home?"
11 Uriah said to David, "The ark and Israel and Judah are staying in tents, and my master Joab and my lord's men are camped in the open fields. How could I go to my house to eat and drink and lie with my wife? As surely as you live, I will not do such a thing!"
The text of III Kings, 10:28 adds that in Solomon's time Israelite merchants bought horses in Egypt and from the Syrian and Hittites. He also had wives from among the Hittites. We should conclude from these that the displacement of the Hittites from the land of Israel was a slow process.
Thus the Aryans were forced into fleeing eastward into Asia and westward into Europe where they are now found.
The root of the race known today as Aryans originated from the Hittite civilization which dominated Mesopotamia from c. 2000 BCE to 1200 BCE. The Hittite civilization was almost unknown until excavations in the 19th century revealed the extent and importance of culture. Renfrew states (1987) that the Aryan language entered Europe from Anatolia and the Middle East. The article on "Indo-European Origins" (2) asserts that Indo-Europeans entered Europe as the first farmers as the best fit.
Though they were originally a group of savage tribes men based on the honor of the person (Aryan - the noble) they adopted the Kingship tradition later for just the same reason as given by the Hebrews. Their Kings were warriors who were noted for the ferocity. Though a list of Kings are mentioned in Avesta and other documents the only king of note was Suppilulimas (c. 1380-1340 BCE). Hitties had very little literature in their early history because of lack of well developed language vocabulary. The few inscriptions remain undeciphered. The achievements of the Hittites primarily were in the science of war. They were well versed in the art of war and weaponry Hittites most remembered for the development of Iron which was used to forge new weapons. They were probably the first to develop the three-wheeled chariot. Hittites also developed many siege tactics and techniques which were used throughout the Roman world and also in the early Indian Invasions. Their empire was at its greatest from 1600-1200 BCE, and even after the Assyrians gained control of Mesopotamia after 1300 BCE, the Hittite cities and territories thrived independently until 717 BCE, when the territories were finally conquered by the Assyrians.
Each of the Hamitic clans became the progenitor of an Indo-European language and of the Aryan nations (Germans, Kelts, Slavs, etc.) around the world.
The Semitic people soon after the exodus (Genesis 10.18-20) pressured the Hamitic nations (Hittites, Amorites, etc.) into leaving the Fertile Crescent. The Canaanites exterminated by the Israelites were Hamites (Genesis 10). The Israelites were told by their God to diligently avoid conflicts with other nations of their own (Semitic) breed (Deuteronomy 2). In spite of the superiority of the Hittite warriors, they were routed from the area by the Habirus (Hebrews). The Habirus were nomadic shepherds with little or no war experience and no weapons of war. Even at the time of King Saul, the only swords in the Israelite Kingdom were those of the King and of his son.
1 Samuel 13 Yet Yahweh promised the Hebrews the entire Hittite country:
22 So on the day of the battle not a soldier with Saul and Jonathan had a sword or spear in his hand; only Saul and his son Jonathan had them.
4 Your territory will extend from the desert to Lebanon, and from the great river, the Euphrates--all the Hittite country--to the Great Sea on the west.
In spite of the lack of weapons due to the lack of understanding of metalurgy that is exactly what happened. We know for certain that the Hittite civilization ended its glory suddenly from the area around 1200 BCE. The Aryans were eventually forced into fleeing eastward into Asia and westward into Europe.
From a Biblical perspective, the Persians were a link in the chain of human empires that molded Bible History - the Egyptians (Aryans) from which the Exodus supposedly occurred, the Assyrians (Aryans) who conquered the "Lost Ten Tribes (Semites)," the Babylonians (Aryans) who conquered the southern Kingdom of Judah (Semites), the Persians (Aryans) who permitted the return (of the Semites) to Jerusalem, the Greeks (Aryans) who covered much of the time between the Old and New Testaments, and the Romans (Aryans) who covered the time of Jesus Christ and beyond.
2000 BCE - Crete - The oldest existing throne in the world - the Throne of Minos, still in its original place in the remains of Knossos, cut out of stone and built into the wall.
In 1900 CE, a British archaeologist, Sir Arthur Evans, rediscovered Knossos and found baked clay tablets with two types of writing, dating from around 2000 BCE. These are called Linear A and Linear B scripts, some of the oldest identifiable forms of European continental writing. The decimal system is used in Crete.
2000 BCE - Mesopotamia (Iraq) - Babylonia uses a highly developed geometry as the basis for astronomic measurements, and knows signs of the zodiac.
2000 BCE - Egypt - Egyptians begin using knotted rope triangles with "Pythagorean" numbers to construct right angles. The "Edwin Smith Papyrus" describes medical and surgical practices. Mercury is used in Egypt. An irrigation system in Egypt utilizes the Nile floods for food production. The Minos palace has light and air shafts, and bathrooms with a supply of water.
2000 BCE - Oman - Arabs of the kingdom of Magan (now known as the Sultanate of Oman) control the sea-trading routes between the Middle East, the East Indies, China, the coast of Africa to Zanzibar, and the Straits of Hormuz. From these strategic areas, the people of Magan regulate trading routes to Egypt and the Sinai Peninsula, and ultimately to the Mediterranean Sea and Europe. The seafaring traders of Magan dominate shipbuilding with the "dhow."
2000 BCE - India - The fair skinned Aryan began invading India bringing their Nordic-Greek religious beliefs that combined with local beliefs to create Hinduism. The Hindu principle of reincarnation toward absolutism was incorporated in early Christian beliefs but later ignored. The Caste System appears to be an Aryan principle to keep subjected people under control. The Aryan of course is the ruling caste. This Aryan principle of race superiority is still practiced by most countries of Europe and most world religions. Hinduism however is an open ended religion accepting many sects, God concepts and beliefs. Early Hinduism however demanded human sacrifice to the gods.
Hinduism a religious tradition of Indian origin is believed to have originated anywhere between 4500 BCE to 2000 BCE. Some suggest the Aryan people introduced Hindu (Sindhu) to India about this latter time period. Four basic elements are known in India: earth, air, fire, and water.
2000 BCE - Java - Sumatra - Austronesian Expansion reaches Java and Sumatra.
2000 BCE - China - China's first written accounts are made during the Xin Dynasty. Caucasian mummies dating to this era are discovered in the Takla Makan Desert of China.
2000 BCE - Germany - England - The Celts migrated from the Rhine River Region (Germany) to the region later called Wales, Great Britain. The Prytani (Prytania) were the indigenous people of the area who were later called the Pict People.
2000 BCE - England - The famous megalith Men-An-Tol (stone of the hole) 1 1/2 miles east of Morvah, or 3 3/4 miles N.W. of Penzance, Cornwall, England is presumed to have been built about this time. Some suggest it is built between 2000 BCE to 500 BCE. It is believed this doughnut-shaped stone was an entrance to a burial chamber. It is known that the stones have been moved in recent times (1754). Some call it the Crick Stone with a belief it can cure aliments if one is passed through the hole. Others call it the Devil's Eye. It is noteworthy that many megalith burial sites contained 12 or more burials over time and are impossible to date as they were often moved. There are nearly 90 standing stones in the Lands End Peninsular, Cornwall, England.
This strange and mysterious monument consists of 4 stones, 2 uprights, 1 fallen stone and a wheel shaped slab. Men-An-Tol itself is pure Cornish and means simple stone of the hole. The Men-An-Tol is sometimes called the Crick Stone because of the belief that crawling through the stone 9 times would actually cure Rickets.
1997 - 1991 BCE - XI Egyptian Dynasty - Mentuhotep III - Sankhkare.
Mentuhotep III was the fifth king of the 11th Dynasty, and was the son of Montuhotep II and Queen Tem. His preference was for the arts and rebuilding. He also opened trade with the Red Sea region and was involved with the Wadi Hammamat quarrying operations. He built a shrine to the god Thoth near Deir el Bahri.
Mentuhotep III was the son and successor of Mentuhotep II. He is attested as "eldest son of the king" in his father's mortuary temple in Deir el-Bahari. Because of his father's long reign, he may already have been relatively old by the time he reached the throne. The Turin King-list has recorded a 12 year reign for Mentuhotep III.
After the military reign of his father, Mentuhotep III's reign was peaceful. The king's main concern was no longer the conquest of new territory, but the protection of Egypt against foreign states and roaming Bedouin. The cult for Mentuhotep III in the eastern Delta is probably related to his policy to fortify the north-eastern border against the Asian nomads.
The most important event during this king's reign was an expedition, led by a man named Henenu, through the Wadi Hammamat to the Red Sea and from there to the legendary land of Punt, from where many exotic products and incense were brought to Egypt.
Despite its relatively short duration, this reign has produced several temples throughout Upper-Egypt, from the southern most border in Elephantine, over Elkab, Tod and Armant to Abydos, as evidenced by a relief found in Armant.
A tomb was apparently started for Mentuhotep III, near Deir el-Bahari, but it was left unfinished.
1991 - 1987 BCE - XI Egyptian Dynasty - Mentuhotep IV - Nebtawyre.
He was the sixth, and last, king of the 11th Dynasty. He was the son of Mentuhotep III and Queen Imi, who was a secondary wife of either Mentuhotep II or Mentuhotep III. Following in his father's footsteps, Mentuhotep IV carried on with mining and quarrying. He had an immense sarcophagus lid quarried in Wadi Hammamat which was later sailed down the Nile to the tomb site. Mentuhotep IV founded the harbor town of Kuser on the Red Sea. The Egyptians, preparing for a journey to Punt, needed a harbor town for the shipbuilding operations. Many of these projects were conducted by Mentuhotep's successor, Amenemhet.
Mentuhotep IV is missing in most king-lists. The Turin King-list merely notes 7 missing years at the end of this dynasty, just after the reign of Mentuhotep III. This probably refers to a gap in the documentation of about 7 years, which may have been filled by Nebtawire's reign. An offering table found in Karnak mentions the "Father of the God" Sesostris, the father of Amenemhat I, the founder of the next dynasty, in his place.
Either Mentuhotep IV was considered as an usurper, or the kings of the 12th Dynasty decided to re-write history to justify their claims to the throne. That he was not recognised as the legitimate king of the country may perhaps be supported by the many opponents to his reign: Antef, who may have been a member of the royal family, Iyibkhentre and Segerseni all assumed royal titulary, thereby stating that they had more rights to the throne.
During the second year of his reign, he organised an expedition headed by vizier Amenemes to the quarries of Wadi el-Hudi and Wadi Hammamat, located to the north-east of Thebes, between Koptos and the Red Sea. This might have been the Amenemhat I, founder of dynasty XII. This expedition, counting more than 10 000 men was to retrieve stone suitable for royal sarcophagus. The 19 inscriptions left behind there by the members of the expedition are the only testimony to Mentuhotep IV's reign.
A stone plate found at Lisht, bearing both the names of Mentuhotep IV and of king Amenemhat I may perhaps indicate that Amenemhat I was a co-regent during the later years of Mentuhotep's reign. This in turn could perhaps indicate that Mentuhotep IV had intended Amenemhat to be his successor.
1991- 1782 BCE - XII Egyptian Dynasty - The 12th Dynasty started with the removal of Mentuhotep IV from the throne and Amenemhet I's ascension. The kings of this dynasty built pyramids similar to the ones built during the Old Kingdom; however, they were a bit smaller. The Faiyum was exploited for the cultivation of crops and much building went on during this dynasty's rule. The second king of this dynasty, Senusret I, built a series of 13 forts down to the Second Cataract (rapids) to help protect Egypt from invaders.
Although generally a peaceful time, there were several expeditions sent out to increase the borders of Egypt and in some cases to subdue rebellions. There was a significant amount of trading during this time as is evident by artifacts that originate outside of Egypt. Also there were a number of artifacts that originated from Egypt recovered from the tombs of princes outside of Egypt. This indicates that there was a peaceful foreign policy during much of the 12th Dynasty.
According to Manetho, the 12th Dynasty comprised seven kings from Thebes, who ruled for a total of 160 years in the version of Africanus, and for 245 years in the version of Eusebius. Oddly enough, this does not include the founder of the dynasty, Amenemhat I, who is added in succession to the kings of the 11th Dynasty.
In the Turin King-list, the dynasty started with Amenemhat I and consisted of 8 kings who ruled for a total of 213 years, 1 month and 17 days. All kings listed in the Turin King-list are also attested by contemporary sources and monuments.
The circumstances into which the 12th Dynasty came to power are not known. What is known is that Amenemhat I was not related to his predecessors. His father was a priest in Thebes named Senuseret. His mother was named Nefret and, according to the Prophecy of Neferti, came from Elephantine in the South of Egypt.
With the 12th Dynasty, a local god of obscure origin, Amun, would become the most important god of the Ancient Egyptian pantheon. The popularity of Amun is closely linked to the origin of Amenemhat I, whose name, containing the element Amun, shows a particular allegiance to this god. Even when Amenemhat moved the political center of the country from Thebes to the newly built capital Itj-tawi in the Fayum oasis, located to the southwest of the old capital Memphis, Thebes would remain an important religious center. This would determine the religious and political history of Ancient Egypt for the following millennium.
The kings of the 12th Dynasty ruled the country firmly and were able to maintain the power of balance between the central authorities and the local administrations, to their own advantage. They also imposed their rule on northern Nubia and pacified the Bedouins in the deserts to the east and west of the Nile Valley. Imposing fortresses were built in Nubia and at the Eastern border, to protect trading routes from raiding Bedouins.
The wealth and stability the 12th Dynasty has brought to the country is evidenced in the high quality of statues, reliefs and paintings found throughout the country. Rather typical for this period are statues with big ears, seen by some as an indication that the king and his nobility listened to their subjects.
Deviating from the standard way of representing kings, Sesostris III and his successor Amenemhat III (see image to the left) had themselves portrayed as mature, aging men. This is often interpreted as a portrayal of the burden of power and kingship. That the change in representation was indeed ideological and should not be interpreted as the portrayal of an aging king is shown by the fact that in one single relief, Sesostris III was represented as a vigorous young man, following the centuries old tradition, and as a mature aging king.
The dynasty came to an end when Amenemhat IV appears to have died without male heirs and he was succeeded by his sister / wife Nefrusobek.
1991 - 1962 BCE - XII Egyptian Dynasty - Amenemhet I - Amenemhat I - Sehetepibre - "Amen is at the Head."
This king was the founder of the 12th Dynasty. Some Egyptologists believe that recovery from the First Intermediate Period into the Middle Kingdom began with his rule.
Amenemhet I was probably 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 BCE while the Oxford History of Ancient Egypt gives him a reign lasting from 1985 through 1956 BCE. Dodson has his reign lasting from 1994 until 1964 BCE.
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."
Amenemhet was probably the son of a woman named Nofret (Nefret), from Elephantine near modern Aswan, and a priest called Senusret, according to an inscription at Thebes. So his origins are probably southern Egypt. We know of three possible wives including Neferytotenen (Nefrutoteen, Nefrytatenen), who may have been the mother of Amenemhet I's successor, Senusret I, Dedyet, who was may also have been his sister, and Sobek'neferu, Neferu.
It is fairly clear that Amenemhet established Egypt's first co-regency with his son, Senusret I, in about the older kings 20th year of rule. He was not only seeking to assure the succession of his proper heir, but also providing the young prince valuable training under his tutelage. Senusret was given several active roles in Amenemhet I's government, specifically including matters related to the military matters. Several pieces of literature that probably date from his reign, some of which appears to support his reign with fables of kingship. One, the Discourse of Neferty, has a ruler emerging named Ameny, who was foretold by a prophet in the Old Kingdom (Neferty).
Neferti was a Heliopolis sage who seems familiar to us from Djedi in the Papyrus Westcar. He is summoned to the court of Snofru, during who's reign the story is suppose to have taken place. This tale has Ameny delivering Egypt from chaos, but it should be noted that it is the chaos of the late 11th Dynasty, not the First Intermediate Period.
Then a king will come from the South,
Ameny, the justified, my name,
Son of a woman of Ta-Seti,
child of Upper Egypt.
He will take the white crown,
he will join the Two Mighty Ones (the two crowns)
Asiatics will fall to his sword,
Libyans will fall to his flame,
Rebels to his wrath, traitors to his might,
As the serpent on his brow subdues the rebels for him,
One will build the Walls-of-the-Ruler,
To bar Asiatics from entering Egypt …
It is not kknown as to what year this literature dates to within Amenemhet I's reign. But while there are other texts that refer to the chaos before the arrival of new kings, the references to Asiatics and the Walls-of-the-Ruler are new.
Amenemhet I set about consolidating the country in a very purposeful manner. He moved his capital to the north to the location he apparently established by the name of Amenemhet-itj-tawy, which means, "Amenemhet the Seizer of the Two lands." It was located south of Memphis, on the edge of the Fayoum Oasis, though the city ruins have not yet been discovered. This gave him more central control of Egypt, as well as placing him nearer to problem areas in the Delta. It also signaled the end of an old era and a new beginning. This move was perhaps carried out shortly after he ascended the throne.
Many Egyptologists believe that the move was made at the very beginning of his reign, while a few believe it may have been much later, around the time of his twentieth year as ruler. However, he did begin a tomb at Thebes, and then abandoned it for a pyramid at el-Lisht, near the new capital. It appears that the work on the tomb at Thebes may have taken between three and five years to complete. Also, there are very few of his monuments located near Thebes, suggesting that he had soon moved from that area.
His pyramid at el Lisht is instructional, for it seems to portray a return to some of the values of the Old Kingdom, while still embracing the Theban concepts of the region of his birth. Egyptologists who believe Amenemhet I may have waited until his twentieth year to make the move to his new city base their evidence on an inscription found on the foundation blocks of the pyramid's mortuary temple. It records Amenemhet's royal jubilee, and also that year one of a new king had elapsed, suggesting that the pyramid was started very late in the king's reign. Therefore, considerable debate remains over the timing of his move.
Amenemhet reorganized the administration of the country, keeping the nomarchs who had supported him, while weakening the regional governors by appointing new officials at Asyut, Cusae and Elephantine. An inscription records that he also divided the nomes (provinces) into different sets of towns and redistributed the territories by reference to the Nile flood. A steady march is seen during Amenemhet I's rule back to a more centralized government, together with an increase in bureaucracy. Another move, both to dilute the army's power and to raise personnel for coming conflicts, was his reintroduction of conscription.
Undoubtedly, in the Discourse of Neferty, Asiatics refer to the people who were causing trouble on the Egypt's eastern frontier. One of Amenemhet I's earliest campaigns were against these Asiatics, though the scale of these operations is unknown. He drove these people back, and indeed did build the Walls-of-the-Ruler, as series of fortifications along Egypt's northeastern frontier. However, even as late as his 24th year of rule, inscriptions are still found which record expeditions against these "and-dweller." None of these fortifications have ever been found, though the remains of a canal in the region may date from this period. Apparently, in the midst of the Asiatic campaign, he also found time to crush a few unrepentant local governors (nomarchs).
In Nubia, Amenemhet I first pushed his army southward to Elephantine, where he consolidated his rule and seems to have been satisfied for a number of years. This expedition was apparently lead by Khnemhotpe I, governor of the Oryx nome, who traveled up the Nile with 20 boats. But by year 29 of his rule, the king appears to have no longer been happy with the loose trading and quarrying network with Nubia that is found in the Old Kingdom.
The new policy was one of conquest and colonization with the principle aim of obtaining raw materials, especially gold. An inscription at the northern Nubian site of Korosko, about half way between the first and second cataracts (rapids), states that the people of Wawat (northern Nubia) were defeated in his 29th year, and he apparently drove his army as far south as the second cataract.
In order to protect Egypt and fortify captured territory in Nubia, he founded a fortress at Semna and Quban, in the region of the second Nile Cataract, which would begin a string of future 12th Dynasty fortresses. Along with protecting his newly acquired territory and the gold mines in Wadi Allaqi, he also created a stranglehold over economic contacts with Upper Nubia and further south. He also constructed a fortress at Mendes named Rawaty.
From a foreign relations standpoint, diplomatic and commercial relations were renewed after a long absence, with Byblos and the Aegean world.
Amenemhet I took part in a number of building projects. Besides his fortresses, he built at Babastis, el-Khatana and Tanis. He undertook important building works at Karnak, from which a few statues and granite naos survive. He possibly may have established the original temple of Mut to the south of the Temple of Amun.
Amenemhet I also worked at Koptos (Coptos), where he partly decorated the temple of Min, at Abydos, where he dedicated a granite altar to Osiris, at Dendera, where he built a granite gateway to Hathor and at Memphis, where he built a temple of Ptah.Also a little north of Tell el-Dab'a, he apparently began a small mudbrick temple at Ezbet Rushdi, that was later expanded by Senusret III.
Religiously, being from southern Egypt, Amenemhet I's allegiance was probably to the god Amun, and in fact, from this period forward the rise of the god Amun is found, at the expense of Montu, god of war, as the supreme deity of Thebes.
It is also notable that there is an increase in the mineral wealth of the royal family. There exists a huge increase in the jewelry caches found in several 12th Dynasty royal burials. It is obvious from this evidence that even the standard of living from middle class Egyptians increased, though their level of wealth was proportional to their official offices.
Image of Amenemhet I from his mortuary complex at el-lisht
The Pyramid of Amenemhet I
Amenemhet I appears to have been a very wise leader, setting about to correct the problems of the First Intermediate Period, protecting Egypt's borders from invasion and assuring a legitimate succession. Yet, he was murdered in an apparent harem plot while his co-regent was leading a campaign in Libya. Two literary works are found, the Tale of Sinuhe and the Instructions of Amenemhet I, reflecting this king's tragic end. One literary work from the time of Senusret I presents the account of Amenemhet I's murder, supposedly provided by the king himself from beyond the grave
"It was after supper, when night had fallen, and I had spent an hour of happiness. I was asleep upon my bed, having become weary, and my heart had begun to follow sleep. When weapons of my counsel were wielded, I had become like a snake of the necropolis. As I came to, I awoke to fighting, and found that it was an attack of the bodyguard. If I had quickly taken weapons in my hand, I would have made the wretches retreat with a charge! But there is none mighty in the night, none who can fight alone; no success will come without a helper. Look, my injury happened while I was without you, when the entourage had not yet heard that I would hand over to you when I had not yet sat with you, that I might make counsels for you; for I did not plan it, I did not foresee it, and my heart had not taken thought of the negligence of servants."
Apparently, his foresight in creating the co-regency with his son proved successful, for Senusret I succeeded his father and their seems to have been little or no disruption in the administration of the country. Amenemhat I's body was buried in his pyramid at el-Lisht, near the Fayum oasis.
1983 - 1973 BCE - Nubia - According to J. von Beckerath the rule in Nubia was held simultaneously by three rulers Intef Kakare, Iibkhenetre and Segerseni.
1983 - 1976 BCE - Nubia - Intef Kakare. A pretender to the throne, his name is recorded on rock inscriptions in nine Nubian cities.
1978/88 - 1974/73 BCE - Nubia - Iibkhenetre.
197? - 1973 BCE - Nubia - Segerseni - Menkhkare. The name of this local ruler occurs only in rocky inscriptions near Umbarakab in Lower Nubia.
1971 - 1926 BCE - XII Egyptian Dynasty - Senusret I - Sesostris I - Senusret Kheper-ka-re - Senwosret - "Man of Goddess Wosret."
Senusret I was the second king of the 12th Dynasty and ascended to the throne after the murder of his father, Amenemhet I. There had apparently been a harem plot, and with good timing, Amenemhet I was assassinated in the absence of his son, who was fighting in Libya. It would seem that his son either swiftly left the campaign, or was already heading home at the time of the murder. However, this was not the first harem conspiracy, and Amenemhet I had performed his due diligence in respect to assuring a successful transition for his heir. For the first time that we know of in Egyptian history, Senusret I was made a co-regent in the latter stages his fathers rule.
Image of Senusret I
Senusret I was this king's birth name, and means "Man of Goddess Wosret." However, it was also the name of his non-royal grandfather, and so it may give little insight into his character. In references, he is sometimes called Senwosret I, or Sesostris I (Greek). His throne name was Kheper-ka-re, which means, "The Soul of Re comes into Being." His mother was probably Neferytotenen (Nefrutoteen, Nefrytatenen), one of Amenemhet I's chief wives.
He married a Queen Nefru, who was the mother of his successor son, Amenemhet II. Like his father, Amenemhet II was also made a coregent, but only perhaps three years prior to Senusret I's death. The coregency was recorded by a private stele of Simontu that is now in the British Museum. From her pyramid near her father's, information shows that he had a daughter (or possibly a wife) by the name of Itakaiet. He may have had other daughters, including princesses Nefru-Sobek, Nefru-Ptah and Nenseddjedet.
Sphinx of Senusret I
Senusret I ruled Egypt for approximately 34 years after his father's death during a period in Egypt's history where literature and craftsmanship was at its peak. He may have been a co-regent of his father for perhaps ten years longer than originally thought.
It was a period of affluence, and a remarkable time for mineral wealth, gold and the fine jewelry produced with this abundance. Jewelry masterpieces have been found, particularly in the tombs of the royal ladies at Dahshur and Lahun, attributable to his reign. Considerable efforts were made to procure amethyst, turquoise, copper and gniess for both jewelry and sculptures. It was also a time of great stability and development.
Senusret I embraces the creator god, Ptah at Karnak
Senusret I established Egypt's southern border at the fortress of Buhen near the second cataract, where he placed a garrison and a victory stele, thereby adding to the already substantial military presence established by his father. Now, there were at least 13 fortresses that extended as far as the Second Cataract, and while Egypt's border may have been at the Nile's second cataract, he exercised control of Nubia as far as the Third Cataract. Inscriptions attributable to Senusret I can be found as far south as the island of Argo, north of modern Dongola. He also protected the Delta region and the Western desert Oases from Libyan invasion by means of a series of military campaigns and by establishing control over oases in the Libyan Desert. Several of the expeditions also appear to have been lead by him personally.
However, he radically changed the policy towards Syria/Palestine by seeking stable commercial and diplomatic relations rather then a policy of expansion and control. Trading caravans passed between Syria and Egypt exchanging cedar and ivory for Egyptian goods.
Religiously, Senusret contributed considerable attention to the cult of Osiris, and over his long rule, this deity's beliefs and practices flourished in Egypt. Osiris was a god of the people and in expanding this cult, Senusret I gave his subjects what has been described as the 'democratization of the afterlife'.
Senusret I had already established himself as a builder during the co-regency with his father by extending and and embellishing some major temples, particularly at Karnak, where he is considered to have founded the temple of Ipet sut (Karnak), and Heliopolis.
Senusret I with Amun-Re at Karnak
As early as year two of his reign, he rebuilt the very important temple of Re-Atum at Heliopolis, a center of the sun cult. He probably even personally participated in the foundation ceremonies for the temple's reconstruction.
He also had two, massive 20 meter (66 foot) red granite obelisks erected at the same temple on the occasion of his jubilee celebrating his 30th year in office. These monoliths would have weighed 121 tons each. One of the pair remains the oldest standing obelisk in Egypt. He also built the famous bark shrine, or White Chapel, that has been reconstructed by Henri Chevrier in the Open Air Museum at Karnak.
It was built in order to celebrate his sed festival (Jubilee) in the 30th year of his reign, but the blocks for the temple were reused to build the third Pylon at Karnak. A scene within the White Chapel records the coronation of Senusret I, and is the oldest such scene so far discovered.
The White Chapel at Karnak
The more important projects included remodeling the temple of Khenti-amentiu-Osiris at Abydos. He also erected many memorial stele and small shrines, or cenotaphs, at Abydos, a practice that would be followed by many Middle and New Kingdom pharaohs. Temples were also built by Sunusret I at Elephantine and Tod. In fact, he is attested to at almost three dozen sites from Alexandria to Aswan and down into Nubia where he carried out building projects.
Senusret I also set up a program to build monuments in each of the main cult sites all over Egypt. This was really an extension of an Old Kingdom policy, but in reality he was following his fathers efforts to consolidate and centralize power. This move undermined the power bases of local temples and priests.
Seated statuary of Senusret I
In order to facilitate these building projects, he sent expeditions to exploit the stone quarries of Wadi Hammamat, the Sinai at Serabit el-Khadim, Hatnub, where two expeditions were sent in years 23 and 31 of his reign for alabaster, and Wadi el Hudi. One of these expeditions extracted enough stone to make sixty sphinxes and 150 statues. Many of his statues did not survive the ages, but a large collection of those which did survive are located in the Egyptian Antiquity Museum.
Fragment from Karnak pillar with King and Horus
He also built a large pyramid, very reminiscent of older complexes, at Lisht, near Itjtawy, the capital apparently founded by his father. His pyramid is located just to the south of his father's pyramid at el-Lisht.
1950 BCE - Sumeria (Iraq) - The oldest known image of Lilith - a Sumerian terrakotta-relief.
First known as the Burney Relief the original 1936 owner was Mr. Sydney Burney this relief "became associated with the character of Lilith and subsequently has been referred to in the literature as the Lilith Relief." This relief is believed to date from "the last third of the Third millennium BCE." While the identification of its central figure was once much contested, it is generally accepted today that this figure is indeed Lilith.
An examination of the figure gives rise to interesting details which link this image with the descriptions of Lilith which arise in literature both before and after the relief's creation. Unclothed and beautiful, Lilith here can easily be associated with her role as a succubus who destroys her lovers. The "ring and staff" symbols (found in Lilith's hands) have been interpreted, almost universally, as symbols of justice. This would coincide with the idea that Lilith's murdering of infants was a punishment on parents for some unknown sin. The owls symbolize nocturnal flight, associated with the "winged she-demon of the night" characterization of Lilith.
Lilith is a descendant of the Dragon Queen of Creation Tiamat, (Sumerian/Hebrew - wind/night), Adam's first wife, was debased (like the fabled wicked step-mother, as a warning) in Jewish legend as a succubus; a wind demon; in Assyria is considered to be a female demon; and in Babylon (Sumer) as a child slaying demon, Lamashtu; although represented by the continuous-life Matrioshka doll-nests in Russia. It is said that God created her out of the earth like Adam, but she refused to submit to him and fled. Some stories say she became friends with Eve secretly. Her daughters were the wives of Cain and Abel.
Early writers say Cain and Abel had twin sisters, Luluwa and Aklemia, and that Seth had a sister Noraia. Lilith is said to be the mother of the Green Man, the god of vegetation in Britain and elsewhere. She is associated with Eve, Tiamat, Echidna and Lamia. A symbol of the modern Jewish women's movement, Lilith was handmaiden to the Matronit, Jehovah's consort.
1929 - 1895 BCE - XII Egyptian Dynasty - Amenemhet II - Nubkaure.
He was the son of Senusret I and one of his chief queens, Nefru. Like his father, he served the first three years of his reign as co-regent with his father. During this time Amenemhet II led a Nubian expedition.
Amenemhat II - 3rd King of the 12th Dynasty
His throne name was 'Nub-kau-re' - 'Golden are the Souls of Re.' His Greek name was Ammenemes II - Amun is at the Head.
Apparently, Amenemhet II also took his son, Senusret II as a co-regent, but also for only a brief time before his own death. He had four daughters - Ita, Khnemet, Itiueret and Sithathormeret
Wood statue of Amenemhat II
According to Manetho, Amenemhat II ruled for 38 years, a number which is generally accepted. The Turin King-list is fragmentary at this point and only confirms 10 or more years. In view of the long reign of his predecessor, it is not impossible that Amenemhat II was already quite aged when he came to the throne, in which case a shorter reign is to be favored. The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt gives his reign as lasting from 1911 BCE through 1877 BCE, while Clayton gives it as 1926 BCE through 1895 BCE.
Domestically, Amenemhet II failed in one important respect. Under the rule of his predecessors, nomarchs, who were basically the governors of the various nomes (provinces), had been personally appointed by the king. This was a measure taken to assure the centralization of government. The First Intermediate Period was at least partially caused the chaos resulting from strong regional rulers who destabilized this central control.
However, Amenemhat II apparently allowed this important office to revert back to a hereditary position. The nomarchs soon took advantage of this change by adapting pretentious titles sometimes imitating those of the royal court. However, Amenemhat II did keep a firm hand on these matters and appears to not let these local rulers forget their allegiance to the crown. In return for royal favors, they were expected to help protect the Egyptian borders, to undertake expeditions for the king and to generally act as his deputies.
The foreign policy of Amenemhat II appear to have been a continuation of his father's. There is evidence of extensive trade with parts of the Near East, Mesopotamia and even Crete. Several Egyptian objects, among them small statues and scarabs, were found at several Near Eastern sites. Among them a sphinx of princess Ita, that was probably sent to Syria as a trading gift. Especially favored were the Syrian port of Byblos, where the native ruling elite even made short inscriptions in hieroglyphic, referring to Egyptian gods. The foundation deposits of the temple of Tod, dated to the reign of Amenemhat, contained objects of Mesopotamian and Cretan origin.
Not all contacts with Asia were as peaceful, however, as is shown by raids of Bedouin, probably in the Sinai and some Egyptian military activity against two unnamed Asian cities.
There was also at least one military expedition against Nubia and during his 28th year, Amenemhat II sent the official Khentikhetaywer as an envoy to Punt.
Not many buildings from the time of Amenemhet II remain. A pylon at Hermopolis, in Middle Egypt and the foundation deposits at Tod are, along with his pyramid at Dashur, the only notable monuments that were left from his reign.
The choice of location for his pyramid at Dashur, not far from the Bent and Red Pyramids built by 4th Dynasty king Snofru, raises the question why he did not build his funerary monument at El-Lisht like his father and grandfather. It is possible that Amenemhat sought to create a relationship between his dynasty and that of Snofru by doing so.
Pyramid of Amenemhet II
The pyramid complex is poorly preserved and is mostly known because of the exquisite jewelry that was found in some of the tombs of Amenemhat's daughters, located in the forecourt of the complex. The jewelry included rings, braces, necklaces and diadems and shows the excellent craftsmanship of the era.
From 1894 CE through 1895 CE, Jacques de Morgan made a cursory investigation of the ruins. Unfortunately he was too focused on the jewelry finds in some surrounding princess' tombs that he never examined the mortuary temple, the causeway or the valley temple. In fact, no casing stones have ever been found nor even the base of the pyramid cleared for a proper measuring. Therefore, there is no certainty as to its size, the angle of its slop, or its height.
The mortuary temple was almost completely destroyed, though it was probably called "Lighted is the place of Amenemhet's pleasures." The ruins, which stand to the east of the pyramid have yet to be closely examined, though they must be very inviting to archaeologists. There are many building fragments, some of which include relief decorations. Most interesting, however, might be the massive, tower-like structures resembling pylons in the temple's east facade.
The causeway, which was broad with a steep slope and enters the enclosure wall on the middle of the east side, has not been investigated at all, and the valley temple has not ever been found. The core of the pyramid was built much like that of Senusret I's pyramid , with a core that had corners radiating out. A framework was made with horizontal lines of blocks to form a grid, or framework between the corners. Here, however, the filling was sand. The entire complex was surrounded by an enclosure wall that was much more rectangular then that found in older pyramids. It was oriented east-west.
Behind the pyramid between it and the west part of the enclosure wall are found tombs of the royal family. They belong to his other son, prince Amenemhetankh, and the princesses Ita, Khnemet, Itiueret and Sithathormeret. Within these tombs, Morgan found the remains of funerary equipment, including wooden coffins, canopic chests and alabaster vessels for perfumes. Morgan also found wonderful jewelry in the tombs of Ita and Khnemet, which stole his attention. These pieces are now on display in the Treasure Chamber of the Cairo Museum.
There is considerable knowledge of Amenemhet II's reign because of a number of important documents. Some historical information about the 12th Dynasty comes from a set of official records known as the genut, or 'day-books'. These books were found in the temple at Tod. Some of Amenemhet II's buildings also contain parts of these annals. They describe the day to day process of running the royal palace. One very important set of annuals was discovered at Mit Rahina (a part of ancient Memphis) that record detailed descriptions of donations made to temples, lists of statues and buildings, reports of both military and trading expeditions, and even royal activities such as hunting. These documents not only provide information on Amenemhet II, but other kings of the period as well.
Amenemhet II is probably best known for consolidating the work of his predecessors in foreign affairs. He exchanged gifts with other rulers in the Mediterranean (Levant) region. Jewelry inscribed with his name has been found in royal tombs at Byblos in Lebanon, as well as local copies of Egyptian jewelry with his name. These items were particularly prevalent in the tomb of a local prince named Ipshemuabi. In addition, native rulers at Byblos even wrote short inscriptions in hieroglyphs, held the Egyptian title of count, and made references to Egyptian gods.
Royal and private statuary has also been found. Four bronze boxes found at the temple of Montu at Tod were inscribed on their lids with the name of Amenemhet II, and bore a large number of silver cups of Lavantine and Aegean origin. There were also cylinder seals and lapis lazuli amulets from Mesopotamia. These items were probably either gifts, or tribute, and it is noteworthy that at the time, silver was more rare and valuable than gold in Egypt.
1925 BCE - Mesopotamia (Iraq) - The mythical Biblical Abram, alias Geb and Ibrahim (Abraham), of the book of Genesis, the patriarch of the tribe of Abram (2107-1902 BCE) is claimed to be born either at Harran, Turkey or Ur, Iraq. Abram's father of the tribe of Terah (2107-1902 BCE) is claimed to have died in Harran, allegedly living to be between 145 to 205 years old, and the Abram clan being 75 years old when they departed Harran in 1850 BCE. The long life of Terah probably covers more than one generation that used the same tribal name. The book of Genesis is basically a Egyptian mythology with Sumerian and Semitic belief value added over time. The different beliefs of Semitic-Israel, alias Jacob, and the Judian sects also contributed to the conflicting creation, God, flood and covenant stories in the mythological Torah.
Roman historians suggest that Semitic-Israelites originated from Cananeo-Phoenician and Saninites speaking peoples about this time. Other accounts claim they originated from Egyptian ancestors. The Phoenicians, according to Herodotus (about 480-430 BCE) the Greek, from Persian Halicarnassus originated from the Erythraean Sea (Persian Gulf and Indian Ocean). All Semite peoples claim a common ancestry to Noah, alias Ut-Napishtim (3529-2579 BCE). Semitic-Israelite tradition suggests their ancestors worshipped Mother Todess and other deities. Later, after 1000 BCE, the Semitic-Juda sect would intentionally eliminate any implications of a female deity or spirituality. The Middle East, especially the Semitic-Israelites, are dominated by Egyptian, Sumerian, Akkadian and Babylonian religious, cultural and political beliefs that have become entrenched over the past three thousand years. Many Semite peoples claimed to remain true to the God(s) of their fathers, but also continued to worship the Sumerian, Akkadian and the Babylonian gods.
1900 BCE - Mesopotamia (Iraq) - Postulated time for the biblical destruction of Sodom & Gomorrah, the wicked "cities of the plain" in the Dead Sea region; also of the destruction of Admah, Zeboiim and Zoar, of which Zoar was spared.
1900 - 1100 BCE - Greece - The Mycenæ arose on a part of the Greek mainland known as the Peloponnesus, with the sudden appearance of migratory Nordic tribes who quickly absorbed the local population. Mycenæ was sacked and destroyed in 1100 BCE by an invasion of yet another Nordic tribe, the Dorics.
1900 - 1720 BCE - Egypt - The presumed time of Isaac (of the Bible). [p50TI]
1897 - 1878 BCE - XII Egyptian Dynasty - Senusret II - Sesostris II - Khakheperre.
This is the birth name of the fourth king of Egypt's 12th Dynasty, which means "Man of Goddess Wosret." It was the name that seems to enter the royal lineage because of this king's non-royal, great, great grandfather, Senusret I, who was father of the founder of the Dynasty, Amenemhet I.
Senusret II (Khakheperre)
Senusret II's name is also found in various references as Senwosret II, or the Greek form, Sesostris II. His throne name was Kha-khaeper-re, meaning "Soul of Re comes into Being." He succeeded his father, Amenemhet II in about 1895 BCE, after a short co-regency of at least three years.
References differ on the length of his rule, varying between about seven and fifteen years. The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt gives his reign as 1877-1870 BCE, while Clayton gives him a reign from 1897-1878 BCE.
A group of statues has been discovered, two of which had apparently been usurped by Ramesses II, which portrayed Senusret II with wide, muscular shoulders like his father, but with a more vigorous face, and subsequently lacking the blandness of older 12th Dynasty statuary.
This was a period of fine portraitures art, reflected in the distinctive broad cheekbones and other characteristics portrayed in the statues. In fact, even a number of private statues have been found that also reflect this high art, and the late 12th dynasty is seen as a milestone of human portraiture in Egyptian art.
Better known than Senusret II's statues are a pair of of highly polished black granite statues of a lady Nefret, who did not carry the title of "Royal Wife," but who was probably either a wife of Senusret II's, who died before he ascended the throne, or a sister. She did, however, have other titles usually reserved for queens. His principal royal wife was Khnumetneferhedjetweret (Weret), whose body was found in a tomb under the pyramid of her son, Senusret III at Dahshure. Senusret III would become Senusret II's successor. There has not been any evidence of a co-regency with his father, as there had been for every king from the time of Amenemhet I.
It is thought that Senusret II had several daughters, one of which could possibly have been Sathathoriunet (Sithathoriunet), whose jewelry was discovered in a tomb behind the king's pyramid.
A Stele of Senusret II in Brown Quartzite
Like his father's, Senusret II's reign was considered to be peaceful, using more diplomacy with neighbors than warfare. His trade with the Near East was particularly prolific, as were his cordial relations with the regional leaders in Egypt. These are attested to by inscriptions at Beni Hassan, and especially in the tomb of Khnumhotep II, to whom he gave many honors. There seems to be no recorded military campaigns during his rule, though he undoubtedly protected Egypt's mineral interests and Egypt's expanded territory in Nubia.
Senusret II's efforts were more directed at expanding cultivation within the Fayoum rather then making war with his neighbors and regional nobles. In the Fayoum, his projects turned a considerable area from marshlands into agricultural land. He established a Fayoum irrigation project, including building a dyke and digging canals to connect the Fayoum with a waterway known today as Bahr Yusef.
Senusret II seems to have had a great interest in the Fayoum, and elevated the region in importance. Its growing recognition is attested to by a number of pyramids built before and after his reign, in or near the oasis (though the Fayoum is not a true oasis). It should also be remembered that kings usually built their royal palaces near their mortuary complexes, so it is likely that many of the future kings made their home in the Fayoum.
These later kings would also continue and expand upon Senusret II's irrigation projects in the Fayoum. Senusret II built a unique statue shrine of Qasr es-Sagha on the north-eastern corner of the region, though it was left undecorated and incomplete. His father, Amenemhet II built his pyramid at Dahshure, but Senusret II built his pyramid closer to the Fayoum Oasis at Lahun.
His pyramid established a new tradition in pyramid building, which was perhaps begun by his father. Senusret II chose to build his pyramid, called Senusret Shines, near the modern town of Lahun (Kahun) at the opening of the Hawara basin near the Fayoum, rather then at Dahshure where his father's, Amenemhet II, pyramid is located.
The location of Senusret II's valley temple is known, but no ground plan can be made from its ruins. The causeway is likewise ruined, but must have been broad, and of the completely destroyed mortuary temple on the east side of the pyramid, all that is known is that it must have been built of decorated granite judging from the few fragments that remain. Beginning with Senusret II, the location of the door was less important from a religious than from a security standpoint, so rather than being on the north side of the structure, it was hidden in the pavement of the south side. To the south side of the pyramid, Petrie excavated four shaft tombs that belonged to Senusret II's family, and, in one of these discovered a fine, gold inlaid uraeus that may have come from the king's mummy.
Pyramid of Senusret II
In building this pyramid, Senusret II's archetects took advantage of a natural stump of yellow limestone that they cut down into four steps to serve as the pyramid's base core. Mudbrick was used to build the upper part of the core, and as several pyramids before, wings were built out from this core, and cross walls within the wings were built to form a framework. The resulting sections were then filled with mudbrick. Like some prior 12th Dynasty pyramids, the casing was set into a foundation trench at the base of the pyramid. Most of the casing was carried off to build a structure for Ramesses II, though parts of the black granite pyramidion that set atop the pyramid have been found. There was also a cobble filled drainage ditch around the pyramid that was filled with sand to channel rain water.
Pyramid of Senusret II
While the pyramid had been robbed in antiquity, it nevertheless took months to locate the entrance to this pyramid. The reason is that for the first time, the builder's were more interested in security then religious tradition, and therefore hid the entry passage in the pavement of the pyramid courtyard near the east end of the pyramid's south side.
Prior to this, just about all pyramid entrances were in the middle of the north side. This was because in the astral and celestial religion of the old kingdom, the king was to leave his tomb to the north where he was himself to become both a star and a deity. However, because of the rise in the cult of Osiris, this became less important, and it was more meaningful for the tomb to resemble the underworld of Osiris.
From the southeast corner of the burial chamber a short corridor leads to a small side chamber where leg bones, presumably of the king, were found. At the northwest corner at the head of the sarcophagus is the entrance to a passage that loops around the burial chamber to a doorway in the short corridor between the antechamber and the burial chamber. This corridor presented a symbolic exit to the north for the king's spirit. But it also creates a symbolic subterranean island that can be related to the god, Osiris, whose worship was on the rise during the 12th Dynasty.
The enclosure wall, like that of his grandfather's, Senusret I, had a limestone casing with niches reminiscent of Djoser's complex. This was a revival of archaic funerary enclosures. Another strong Osiris influence, the "grove surrounding the mound", was represented by a row of trees planted around the outer wall that was covered in mudbrick.
In addition to the tombs of the princesses to the southeast, between the pyramid and the north section of the enclosure wall, eight mastabas were built using mudbrick to cover a superstructure carved from the bedrock, similar to the manner in which the pyramid was built.
A small pyramid lies at the north end of this row of mastabas, thought to be that of a queen. If it is not the pyramid of a queen, but an unlikely cult pyramid, it would have been the last such structure built, rather than that of his grandfather's, Senusret I. Though this pyramid does have a North Chapel, no subterranean structure was ever found after an exhaustive investigation. The only evidence existing to indicate that the pyramid belonged to a queen, is its placement within the complex and a partial name from a vase that was found in a foundation deposit.
West of the entrance shaft of the pyramid, the ruins of the tomb of Princess Sathathoriunet (Sithathoriunet) were discovered, where the famous Treasure of el-Lahun was found, which included wonderful jewelry and other items from the her burial equipment. These items included a gold headband, a gold necklace of small leopard's heads, two gold pectorial ornamented with precious stones one of which was inscribed with Senusret II's name and the second with the name of Amenemhet III. There were also other bracelets, rings and alabaster and obsidian vessels that were decorated with gold, all of which today can be found in the Egyptian Antiquities Museum .
To the northwest of the complex lies the ruins of the pyramid town that grew up around the construction of Senusret II's pyramid, originally named Hetep Senusret, meaning "May Senusret be at Peace." Pyramid towns were communities of workmen, craftsmen and administrators that grew up around a king's pyramid project. It has provided considerable information to Egyptologists on the lives of common Egyptians and urbanism. This ancient village is today known as Lahun, or Kahun, after the local nearby village. Senusret II is further attested to by a sphinx, now in the Egyptian Antiquity Museum in Cairo and by inscriptions of both he and his father near Aswan.
1878 - 1841 BCE - XII Egyptian Dynasty - Senwosret III - Sesostris III - Khakaure.
The fifth king of the 12th Dynasty was the son of Senwosret II. Being a 'man of the people' he supported the rise of the middle class. These people were farmers, artisans, merchants and traders. Also active militarily, he extended Egypt's borders in Nubia to Wadi Halfa. He built mortuary complexes at Dashur for his wives and daughters.
He fixed Egypt's southern border above the second cataract of the Nile. He also waged campaigns aimed at combating the Libyans of the Western Desert, while retaining Egyptian influence and trade ties with Syria and Canaan. He supervised the design and construction of numerous public works and curbed the power of the nobility. These efforts led to an ever greater centralization of the administration and concentration of power in the capital, with an accompanying growth of well-being and a decline of the provinces.
1850 BCE - Nubia (Sudan) - King Awawa was a powerful Nubian king ruling at Kerma. The Nubian kings followed the female line of succession. Also see the Nubian family tree of the 25th Egyptian dynasty.
1842 - 1797 BCE - XII Egyptian Dynasty - Amenemhet III - Nimaatre.
Sphinx of Amenemhet III
The son of Senwosret III and Queen Sebekshedty-Neferu, this sixth king of the 12th Dynasty was to be the most remarkable king of that era. He completed the building of the great waterwheels of the Faiyum, thus diverting the flood waters of the Nile into Lake Moeris. The irrigation system and an overflow canal, was used to drain the marshes. An estimated 153,600 acres of fertile land was reclaimed from the water. Amenemhet raised two colossal statues of himself nearby to celebrate this feat. Among his many achievements was the famous Labyrinth, also known as the Pyramid of Hawara, one of the great wonders of the ancient world. The central burial chamber of the pyramid, carved from a single block of granite, is estimated to have weighed 110 tons. His pyramidal tomb was built at Dashur, which he abandoned in favor of the Hawara Pyramid.
Because of the connecting mortuary temple, his pyramid complex at Hawara became world renowned. The mortuary temple was complex, with many columned courtyards, chambers and passages. Outside of the Fayoum, he built a temple of Quban in Nubia and expanded the temple of Ptah at Memphis.
Considering his building projects, it is not surprising that Amenemhet III was very active in various quarries. He was especially interested in the turquoise mines in Sinai, such as those at Serabit el-Khadem.
Amenemhet III is also attested to by an unusual set of statues thought to be of Amenemhet III and Senusret III which show the two in archaic priestly dress and offering fish, lotus flowers and geese. These statues are very naturalistic. but show the king in the guise of a Nile god. A set of sphinxes exist which were originally thought to have been attributed to the later Hyksos rulers, but are now believed to have been built on the orders of Amenemhet III. Originally all these statues were discovered reused in the Third Intermediate Period temples at Tanis. There is also a known inscription by the king at Koptos (Coptos).
Amenemhet III attempted to build his first pyramid at Dahshur, but it turned out to be a disaster, as it was built on unstable subsoil. Today the pyramid named 'Amenemhet is Mighty' is a sad dark ruin on the Dahshur field, aptly called the "Black Pyramid."
Even though it took 15 years to build, rather then being buried in this pyramid, Amenemhet III chose to build a second pyramid at Hawara, closer to his beloved Fayoum.
Pyramid of Amenemhet III
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