Episode 24: Lamentations

First Intermediate Period (Part I): Collapse?

We jump head slightly in time.  By 2100 BCE Pepy II is gone, and with him the last securely-documented reign of the Old Kingdom. A succession of short-reigning kings (and a ruling queen?) see out the Sixth, Seventh and Eighth Dynasties. Egypt becomes disunited, ruled by provincial governors. A nominally “royal” family, the House of Khety, dominates the North. But the South is in the hand of independent families.

What went wrong?

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The divided kingdom (Source: Google Earth).


The First Intermediate Period walls (fortifications?) at Tell Edfu, currently excavated by the University of Chicago (Source: emhotep.net).


Love’s Labours Lost by Edwin Longsden Long 1829-1891, (Peabody Museum).


Nicolas Grimal, A History of Egypt, 1994.

Ian Shaw (editor), The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt, 2004.

William Kelly Simpson (editor), The Literature of Ancient Egypt, 2003.

The University of Chicago – Tell Edfu Project.

EgyptSites – Edfu.

Reshafim – Lamentations of Ipuwer.