Mon, 28 July 2014
Amenemhat I (Part I - Legitimacy)
Having established a new ruling family, after the heirless death of Nebtawyre Montuhotep IV,
Egypt's new king Amenemhat I must make his own legitimacy.
The result is the Prophecy of Neferty, in which the king (or his scribe) lays out a lengthy description
of a country beset by chaos. Into this chaos comes a saviour...yep, good ol' Amenemhat I.
We meet a couple of Amenemhat's servants, such as Khnumhotep I, whose family
will become significant players within the region of Beni Hassan over the next few episodes...
Wed, 25 June 2014
Nebtawyre Montuhotep IV.
Egyptian writers of the New Kingdom forgot Nebtawyre Montuhotep IV,
referring to his reign as a period "in which no king reigned."
Why was this king shunted to the side?
We explore the reasons, journeying out into the Wadi Hammamat once more, and then back to a kingdom experiencing
the turbulence of a civil war.
Sat, 7 June 2014
Sankhkare Montuhotep III.
In his eighth year on the throne, Sankhkare Montuhotep III -
son of the great Montuhotep II - dispatches an expedition.
Led by Henenu, Steward and Chief of the Six Courts of Justice,
this expedition will travel out to the Red Sea coast and down to Punt.
They will trade for myrrh, incense, and gum arabic, and return home victorious.
Journey with us, as we follow Henenu's expedition into the exotic lands.
Montuhotep III, from the Louvre.
Montuhotep's kingdom and the reach of Henenu's expedition.
Gum Arabic. Wikipedia.
Senegalese traders exchanging gum arabic.
Egyptian papyrus rope, discovered in the Mersa Gawasis. Discover Magazine.
An Egyptian anchor, discovered on the Red Sea coast. Limestone.
Thu, 29 May 2014
After only 45% of voters turned out for elections, Abdul Fattah al-Sisi,
Egypt's interim military leader, is heading for a landslide victory.
Many groups boycotted the election, citing a lack of faith in both major
Category:general -- posted at: 8:11 AM
Thu, 22 May 2014
Montuhotep II (Part III).
The time has come for war. Montuhotep must push into the Eastern Desert,
Palestine and Nubia.
These wars will bring wealth and security to his newly forged kingdom.
After re-organizing his administration, and beginning construction of
his temple at Thebes, Montuhotep is ready.
The King is embraced by Montu. British Museum.
Fragments of the decoration at Deir el-Bahari. Navile, The XIth Dynasty Temple, Vol. 1.
(g) a soldier grasps the leg of his foe, ready to strike.
Other fragments of the temple, with scenes of fighting. Navile, Vol. 1.
Nubian warriors of the XIth Dynasty. National Geographic.
Montuhotep's Egyptian kingdom.
Wolfram Grajetzki. The Middle Kingdom of Ancient Egypt. 2006.
Richard H. Wilkinson. The Complete Gods and Goddesses of Ancient Egypt. 2003.
Lazlo Török. Between Two Worlds. 2009.
Tue, 6 May 2014
Montuhotep II (Part II).
The Thebans have conquered the North, but must deal with an expanded
domain and population.
Montuhotep begins to re-organise his government, and reduce the power
of provincial officials.
At Deir el-Bahari, the funerary temple is expanded with beautiful statues.
Meanwhile, preparations for the War in Nubia continue, aided by
the Vizier Dagi and the royal bodyguard, Horus-Hotep.
A colossal statue of Montuhotep II, from Deir el-Bahari. Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Two sons (?) of the Vizier Dagi; from his tomb, near Deir el-Bahari.
Cliff-tombs of the XIth Dynasty at Thebes, near Deir el-Bahari (click for larger image).
In the foreground are the remains of a Saite Period (mid-1st Millennium BCE) temple/tomb.
Red arrows indicate the tomb entrances.
At left can be seen Hatshepsut's mortuary temple of Dynasty XVIII.
Herbert E. Winlock. "The Theban Necropolis in the Middle Kingdom." The American Journal of Semitic Languages and Literatures. Vol. 32 (1915).
Wolfram Grajetzki. The Middle Kingdom of Ancient Egypt. London, 2006.
Wolfram Grajetzki. Court Officials of the Egyptian Middle Kingdom. London, 2009.
Gay Robins. The Art of Ancient Egypt. London, 1997.
Fri, 18 April 2014
Montuhotep II (Part I)
The First Intermediate Period is drawing to a close.
The Thebans have conquered the North, under the leadership of Montuhotep II.
To celebrate his victory, Montuhotep expands his mortuary temple, under construction at Thebes.
The temple at Deir el-Bahari is a fascinating structure, revealing many of this king's ideas.
A stela of King Montuhotep II. The elongated proportions and bright eyes bear all the hallmarks
of First Intermediate Period artwork. Louvre Museum of Art.
A stela of Intef II, king of Thebes. Met. Museum of Fine Art.
A writing board from a First Intermediate Period scribe. Met. Museum of Art.
Queen Kawit. FineArtAmerica.
The Deir el-Bahari monument. AncientEgyptOnline.
Queen Khemsit. Edouard Naville, The XIth Dynasty Temple... Vol. 3, plate 3.
The burial chamber of Montuhotep II.
Wolfram Grajetzki, The Middle Kingdom of Ancient Egypt. London, 2006.
Gay Robins. The Art of Ancient Egypt. London, 2008 (second edition).
Ian Shaw (ed.) The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt. Oxford, 2000.
Mon, 24 March 2014
"Khety vs. Intef"
The time has come for a reckoning between Egypt's two royal factions.
The House of Intef are pushing northward, from their home at Thebes.
Meanwhile, the House of Khety stand firm in the North, ready to destroy their rivals.
In a 40-minute episode, these two houses pit their forces against each other.
Nicolas Grimal, A History of Ancient Egypt, 1988, pp.102-36.
Kathryn A. Bard, Encyclopedia of the Archaeology of Ancient Egypt, 1999.
Marcel Zitman, The Necropolis of Assiut, 2010.
Taken (for educational purposes) from Vangelis' work for Alexander, this
small piece can be found at 21:10 in the podcast.
Buy the soundtrack on Amazon, here: Vangelis - Alexander OST [Amazon]
Wed, 12 February 2014
A Kingdom Divided.
Last time we met the House of Khety, a family ruling from the North, at Heracleopolis.
Two of their rulers, Khety III and Merykare, are named in the Instructions of Merykare.
But a challenger has now appeared: the House of Intef leads a coalition from Thebes against their
In their rise to power, the Thebans displace local rulers, including Ankh-tyfy,
a fascinating individual.
Sun, 26 January 2014
The First Intermediate Period.
Pepy II is long gone, and with him the Old Kingdom.
The land is now disunited, with the North ruled by a family named the "House" of Khety.
The period is "reimagined" by a later scribe, in the Lamentations of Ipuwer.
Does his account of economic depression, spiritual woe and chaos truly reflect this period?