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.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Dror says:

    Hey Dominic,
    Any reason why you insist on calling the land of Israel, or Canaan, by the false name “Palestine”, referring to a time many hundreds of years before its name was changed by the Romans to “Syria-Palestina” to mark the defeat and expulsion of Jewish independence on it?
    Aren’t you supposed to be a historian?

    Why do I need to enjoy listening to you so much, but cringe every time I hear that wretched name???

    Please stick to facts, even if they aren’t politically correct in this day and age of alternative realities and “narratives”.

    Thank you.

    1. DominicPerry says:

      Hello Dror,
      In earlier episodes (which are now up to 7 years old) I used the term Palestine in an archaic sense, which I picked up from a UK English-style upbringing and education. It was not intended to offend or seem like a political statement. In later episodes I begin using Canaan more consistently, after other listeners drew my attention to the potential problems for modern listeners.

      Pease keep comments respectful and open. This podcast should be a place of dialogue, not vitriol.


  2. DominicPerry says:

    Understandable Dror, it is a complex issue and one that I did not fully appreciate when I first started out. After some gentle emails from listeners, I accepted the need to use the politically neutral name of Canaan, to avoid disrupting an ancient story with modern concerns. You will find future episodes more palatable in terminology… although the deeds of some New Kingdom pharaohs in this region are, sadly, quite horrific.

    At no point have I ever intended to validate or discredit any person, culture, community or state living in the modern Near East (as opposed to the ancient near east). My concern is purely with events of the Bronze Age world and the podcast is strictly apolitical on modern issues.

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