The Approaching End of Dynasty XII
Ny-ma’at-Re Amenemhat III is the last all-powerful ruler of Dynasty 12. In his 46 years of rule (1845-1798 BCE) there are notable expeditions and settlements in the Sinai, monumental construction projects in Dahshur, Hawara and Biahmu. Wealth and power belong to the king.
But all is not well within the kingdom. Amenemhat III is a self-centred ruler, contributing little to the overall social or economic health of his kingdom.
Meanwhile, foreign populations are beginning to appear more and more in Egyptian records, suggesting the growing influence of a non-Egyptian social group. The results of this remain to be seen…
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Major sites of the Sinai Peninsula and Red Sea in the Middle Kingdom
(Source: British Museum).
The Faiyum region, with notable locations of the episode (larger resolution).
Amenemhat III and a companion, from his Labyrinth at Hawara (Source: Wikipedia).
Entrance to the Hathor chapel at Serabit al-Khadim, Sinai Peninsula
The name of Hathor (Hwt-Hr), a Hwt enclosure surrounding the Horus bird.
The Hathor temple of Serabit al-Khadim in the 19th Dynasty after numerous extensions (Source: bibleorigins.net).
A fallen column of Hathor, with the goddess’ distinctive forward-facing head at left.
The ships which took turquoise from Sinai to Egypt (source: touregypt.net).
A pedestal at Biahmu, one of two holding seated statues of Amenemhat III
Sketch of the colossi pedestals, by Karl Richard Lepsius, 1800s.
The Hawara pyramid of Amenemhat III.
Considering it is built of mud-brick, it holds up well.
Beneath the pyramid at Hawara (full resolution).
The failed pyramid at Dahshur, showing the incredibly complex subterranean chambers. These, along with the extreme angle of the slopes, weakened the structure and the pyramid was abandoned c. 1825 BCE (source: ancientegypt.org).
A digital reconstruction of the Hawara Pyramid and the Labyrinth, by the University College London (more here).
The foreign delegation in the tomb of Khnumhotep II, reign of Senuseret II.
Aidan Dodson and Dyan Hilton, The Complete Royal Families of Ancient Egypt, 2010.
Wolfram Grajetzki, The Middle Kingdom of Ancient Egypt, 2006.
Nicolas Grimal, A History of Ancient Egypt, 1994.
Gregory D. Mumford and Sarah Parcak, “Pharaonic Ventures into the South Sinai,” Journal of Egyptian Archaeology 89 (2003). JSTOR.
Alan B. Lloyd (editor), A Companion to Ancient Egypt, 2010. Google Books preview.
Kerry Muhlstein, “Levantine Thinking in Egypt,” Egypt, Canaan and Israel: History, Imperialism, Ideology and Literature, 2009. Google Books preview.
James P. Allen, “The Historical Inscription of Khnumhotep at Dahshur,” Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 352 (2008). JSTOR.
R. Neil Hewison, The Fayoum: History and Guide, 2008. Google Books preview.