Episode 30: Smooth Sailing on the Red Sea

Montuhotep III: Peace, Wealth and Trade

The reign of Sankh-ka-Re Montuhotep III is a peaceful one. In his eighth year on the throne, the king decides to dispatch a great expedition to the legendary region of Punt. Led by the Steward and Chief of the Six Justice Courts Henenu, the expedition will trade for gum arabic, incense, myrrh, and return home victorious.


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qAqs7HOA statue that may represent Montuhotep III (Arnold, 1991).


The far reaches of Henenu’s expedition, and Montuhotep III’s influence.


Traders exchanging gum arabic, Senegal, 1890 (Frey, 1890).


Papyrus rope discovered on the Red Sea coast, Mersa Gawasis (Boston University)


Montuhotep III from his temple to Montu built at Medamoud (Louvre Museum, Paris, via Wikipedia).


Pierre Tallet, “Ayn Sukhna and Wadi al-Jarf: Two Newly Discovered Pharaonic Harbours on the Suez Gulf,” British Museum Studies in Ancient Egypt and Sudan, 2012.

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.