Episode 29: The War God

Montuhotep II (Part III): The Nubian War.

With his rule secured, and Egypt united under his authority, Montuhotep II is once again ready for war. Egyptian troops advance into Nubia, Palestine and the Eastern Deserts, pushing their king’s agenda abroad. These wars bring plunder and captives back to Egypt, stimulating the economy after the First Intermediate Period droughts.

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Montuhotep II’s kingdom.


Soldiers adorn fragments from Montuhotep’s funerary temple, including some scenes of combat (middle and bottom left) (Naville, 1907).


Fragmented reliefs including sailors and soldiers (Naville, 1907)

KmuRNdwMontuhotep embraced by the war god Montu (missing at right, but his lower body and solar crown remain) (British Museum).

wSrEwHwThe Overseer of Troops (imy-ra mesha) Intef, buried at Thebes (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.

Edouard Naville, The Eleventh Dynasty Temple at Deir el-Bahari, 1907.

Lazlo Török, Between Two Worlds, 2009.