Episode 27: A Walk in the Desert

Montuhotep II (Part I): Monuments at Thebes.

The First Intermediate Period is coming to an end, with the House of Intef victorious in their war to reunify the kingdom. The North has been conquered, internal peace returns.

Montuhotep II, now King of Upper and Lower Egypt, immediately takes a thought for his eternal burial. To commemorate his achievements he expands his Mortuary Temple, already under construction west of Thebes. The Eleventh Dynasty temple at Deir el-Bahari is a fascinating monument, that will greatly influence royal funerary temples right into the New Kingdom.

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The temple of Montuhotep II at Deir el-Bahari, viewed from the causeway of Hatshepsut’s 18th Dynasty monument (Wikipedia).


Objects of the New Kingdom (18th Dynastyleft as offerings in the region. The presence of the 11th Dynasty temple, and two more from the 18th (Hatshepsut and Thutmose III) made this a site of pilgrimage and worship (Naville 1913).



Relics from the Ka-tomb (offering house) of Montuhotep II (Naville 1913).


Montuhotep II. The elongated limbs and large eyes bear all the hallmarks of artistic convention in the First Intermediate Period (Wikipedia).


Queen Kawi (FineArtAmerica).


Queen Aash-it (Arnold, 1991)


Dorothea Arnold, “Amenemhat I and the Early Twelfth Dynasty at Thebes,” Metropolitan Museum of Art Journal, 1991.

Wolfram Grajetzki, The Middle Kingdom of Ancient Egypt, 2006.

Nicolas Grimal, A History of Egypt, 1994.

Edouard Naville, The XIth Dynasty Temple at Deir el-Bahari, multi volume work, 1913.

Gay Robins, The Art of Ancient Egypt, 1997/2008.

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