Episode 27: A Walk in the Desert


Montuhotep II (Part I): The 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 Deir el-Bahari Monument
The Deir el-Bahari Monument


Montuhotep II. The elongated limbs and large eyes bear all the hallmarks of artistic convention in the First Intermediate Period (Source: Louvre, Paris, via Wikipedia).

p57JVzpQueen Kawi (Source: FineArtAmerica)


Queen Aash-it (Source: Arnold, 1991)


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

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

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

Nicolas Grimal, A History of Egypt, 1994.

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