Wed, 7 May 2014
Montuhotep II (Part II) and His Court.
The Thebans have finally conquered the North, and defeated their rivals - the Herakleopolitan kings.
Now they must deal with an expanded domain and population, with all the administrative headaches those bring. Monuthotep II, the Victorious, begins to re-organise his government and curb 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).
Sat, 19 April 2014
Montuhotep II (Part I) at Thebes.
The First Intermediate Period is drawing to a close; the Thebans have conquered the North, at last.
Now, Montuhotep II, King of Upper and Lower Egypt, must take a thought for the afterlife. To celebrate his victory, and ensure his immortality, the King expands his Mortuary Temple, now under construction west of Thebes.
The temple at Deir al-Bahari is a fascinating structure, which will influence tomb-builders right up to the legendary Hatshepsut of Dynasty 18.
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.
Queen Kawit. FineArtAmerica.
A stela of Intef II, king of Thebes. Met. Museum of Fine Art.
The Deir el-Bahari monument. AncientEgyptOnline.
Queen Khemsit. Edouard Naville, The XIth Dynasty Temple... Vol. 3, plate 3.
The burial chamber of Montuhotep II.
Tue, 25 March 2014
First Intermediate Period (Part III): Khety vs. Intef.
After years of intermittent conflict, and attempts at conquest, the time has come for a final showdown between Egypt's two royal factions.
The House of Intef (at Thebes) are pushing northward; in the North, the House of Khety stands firm.
Local rulers at Asyut fight for the North, battering their opponents violently.
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
The First Intermediate Period (Part II): A Kingdom Divided.
The House of Khety continues to rule Lower Egypt. Its current ruler, Khety III, is guided by the Teachings of his father, Merykare. An eloquent and informative piece, the Teachings of Merykare stand as one of the finer pieces of didactic literature.
But trouble is brewing...
At Thebes, the House of Intef has arisen to challenge their northern rivals. Displacing local princes, such as Ankh-tyfy, the Thebans begin to confederate and assert their power against the Northerners.
Sun, 26 January 2014
The First Intermediate Period (Part I): a Collapse.
Pepy II is gone, and with him the last well-documented reign of the Old Kingdom.
Egypt is now disunited; in the North, the House of Khety has taken power and rule from Herakleopolis.
Although not necessarily a period of chaos, or tragedy, it is remembered negatively by later Egyptians. Ipuwer, a New Kingdom writer, describes the "memory" of the F.I.P. in his literary text, The Lamentations.
Sun, 5 January 2014
Pepy II (Part III).
The longest lived ruler of Egypt, Pepy II, has now reached his final years. The economic situation is worsening, as climate change brings drought and famine to the Nile Valley.
The end of the Old Kingdom is approaching, and the change will be bumpy.
Juan Carlos Moreno Garcia. Ancient Egyptian Administration. Brill Publishing, 2013.
Fekri A. Hassan. "Droughts, Famine and the Collapse of the Old Kingdom: Re-reading Ipuwer." The Archaeology of Ancient Egypt - Essays in Honor of David B. O'Connor. 2007.
Toby H. Wilkinson. The Egyptian World. 2007.
She hopes to join a field school at Mendes in the Egyptian Delta. Donate directly, or through the podcast! 100% OF DONATIONS made through the Podcast Paypal button will go to Leah!
(make sure to put "Leah" as the reference when you donate).
Thu, 28 November 2013
Pepy II (Part II).
Twenty-five years into his reign, Pepy II is only thirty. Almost his entirely life has been spent at the head of a mighty kingdom, but can he rule effectively without guidance?
To assert his power abroad, Pepy sends officials as far afield as Nubia, Sinai and Lebanon.
These expeditions are commanded by members of two distinct families.
Pepynakht Heryib and his son, Sabni son of Pepynakht. The elder travels to Palestine, to retrieve the body of a fallen comrade; the younger journeys to Wawat (Nubia) to commission obelisks for Pepy II.
The family of Sabni (II) and Mekhu also travel into Nubia. Sabni II must retrieve the body of his father, while Mekhu must retrieve Sabni's body after he dies at Elephantine.
Wed, 30 October 2013
Pepy II (Part I).
At just six years old, the new King of Upper and Lower Egypt, Pepy II cannot rule on his own. His mother, Ankh-enes-Pepy oversees the kingdom on behalf of her child.
In a short retreat to the countryside, we meet Qar, who handles livestock raising and pastoral administration in Upper Egypt.
Finally, an expedition is returning from the deserts west and south of Egypt. Led by Harkhuf, a royal companion, this expedition is bringing back a special gift for the excited Pepy...
Sun, 13 October 2013
Weni the Elder (Part II).
His work is not done yet, and Weni the Elder is now sent southward to act as Overseer of Upper Egypt.
His king, Merenre son of Pepy I, soon dispatches him to Nubia in search of a sarcophagus for his tomb.
In the south,Weni builds ships and canals on behalf of his king, expanding royal influence in these lands.
The Ship Ra II, with which Thor Heyerdhal crossed the Atlantic in 1970.
Sun, 22 September 2013
Pepy I and Weni the Elder.
The early years of Pepy I are a dififcult period, as the king struggles to assert himself. He must battle a usurper, Userkare, and a conspiracy against his life.
Egyptian kings are no longer inviolable: the knives are being drawn.
A model of Egyptian soldiers from the 11th Dynasty.
A small offering-statue of Pepy I.