Middle Kingdom of Egypt
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The Middle Kingdom of Egypt (also known as The Period of Reunification) is the period in the history of
ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was a civilization in Northeast Africa situated in the Nile Valley. Ancient Egyptian civilization followed prehistoric Egypt and coalesced around 3100Anno Domini, BC (according to conventional Egyptian chronology) with the ...
following a period of political division known as the
First Intermediate Period The First Intermediate Period, described as a 'dark period' in ancient Egyptian history, spanned approximately 125 years, c. 2181–2055 BC, after the end of the Old Kingdom of Egypt, Old Kingdom. It comprises the seventh Dynasty, Seventh (altho ...
. The Middle Kingdom lasted from approximately 2040 to 1782 BC, stretching from the reunification of Egypt under the reign of
Mentuhotep II Mentuhotep II ( egy, wikt:mn#Egyptian, Mn-wikt:ṯw, ṯw-wikt:ḥtp, ḥtp, meaning "Mentu is satisfied"), also known under his Prenomen (Ancient Egypt), prenomen Nebhepetre ( egy, wikt:nb#Egyptian, Nb-wikt:ḥpt, ḥpt-wikt:rꜥ#Egyptian, Rˁ, ...
in the Eleventh Dynasty to the end of the Twelfth Dynasty. The kings of the Eleventh Dynasty ruled from Thebes and the kings of the Twelfth Dynasty ruled from el-Lisht. The concept of the Middle Kingdom as one of three golden ages was coined in 1845 by German Egyptologist Baron von Bunsen, and its definition evolved significantly throughout the 19th and 20th centuries. Some scholars also include the
Thirteenth Dynasty of Egypt In music or music theory, a thirteenth is the Musical note, note thirteen scale degrees from the root (chord), root of a chord (music), chord and also the interval (music), interval between the root and the thirteenth. The interval can be ...
wholly into this period, in which case the Middle Kingdom would end around 1650 BC, while others only include it until
Merneferre Ay Merneferre Ay (also spelled Aya or Eje, sometimes known as Ay I) was an ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was a civilization in Northeast Africa situated in the Nile Valley. Ancient Egyptian civilization followed prehistoric Egypt and coal ...
around 1700 BC, last king of this dynasty to be attested in both Upper and Lower Egypt. During the Middle Kingdom period,
Osiris Osiris (, from Egyptian ''wsjr'', cop, ⲟⲩⲥⲓⲣⲉ , ; Phoenician language, Phoenician: 𐤀𐤎𐤓, romanized: ʾsr) is the ancient Egyptian deities, god of fertility, agriculture, the Egyptian afterlife, afterlife, the dead, resurr ...
became the most important deity in popular religion. The Middle Kingdom was followed by the
Second Intermediate Period of Egypt The Second Intermediate Period marks a period when History of ancient Egypt, ancient Egypt fell into disarray for a second time, between the end of the Middle Kingdom of Egypt, Middle Kingdom and the start of the New Kingdom of Egypt, New Kingdo ...
, another period of division that involved foreign rule of Lower Egypt by the
Hyksos Hyksos (; Egyptian language, Egyptian ''wikt:ḥqꜣ, ḥqꜣ(w)-wikt:ḫꜣst, ḫꜣswt'', Egyptological pronunciation: ''hekau khasut'', "ruler(s) of foreign lands") is a term which, in modern Egyptology, designates the kings of the Fifteenth ...
of West Asia.


Political history


Periods of ancient Egypt


Reunification under the Eleventh Dynasty

After the collapse of the
Old Kingdom In ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was a civilization in Northeast Africa situated in the Nile Valley. Ancient Egyptian civilization followed prehistoric Egypt and coalesced around 3100Anno Domini, BC (according to conventional Egyptian ...
, Egypt entered a period of weak pharaonic power and decentralization called the
First Intermediate Period The First Intermediate Period, described as a 'dark period' in ancient Egyptian history, spanned approximately 125 years, c. 2181–2055 BC, after the end of the Old Kingdom of Egypt, Old Kingdom. It comprises the seventh Dynasty, Seventh (altho ...
. Grimal. (1988) p. 156 Towards the end of this period, two rival dynasties, known in Egyptology as the Tenth and Eleventh, fought for control of the entire country. The Theban Eleventh Dynasty only ruled southern Egypt from the First Cataract to the Tenth Nome of Upper Egypt. To the north, Lower Egypt was ruled by the rival Tenth Dynasty from
Herakleopolis Heracleopolis Magna ( grc-gre, Μεγάλη Ἡρακλέους πόλις, ''Megálē Herakléous pólis'') and Heracleopolis (, ''Herakleópolis'') and Herakleoupolis (), is the Roman Roman or Romans most often refers to: *Rome, the capita ...
. Grimal. (1988) p. 155 The struggle was to be concluded by
Mentuhotep II Mentuhotep II ( egy, wikt:mn#Egyptian, Mn-wikt:ṯw, ṯw-wikt:ḥtp, ḥtp, meaning "Mentu is satisfied"), also known under his Prenomen (Ancient Egypt), prenomen Nebhepetre ( egy, wikt:nb#Egyptian, Nb-wikt:ḥpt, ḥpt-wikt:rꜥ#Egyptian, Rˁ, ...
, who ascended the Theban throne in 2055 BC. Shaw. (2000) p. 149 During Mentuhotep II's fourteenth regnal year, he took advantage of a revolt in the Thinite Nome to launch an attack on Herakleopolis, which met little resistance. After toppling the last rulers of the Tenth Dynasty, Mentuhotep began consolidating his power over all of Egypt, a process which he finished by his 39th regnal year. For this reason, Mentuhotep II is regarded as the founder of the Middle Kingdom. Habachi. (1963) pp. 16–52 Mentuhotep II commanded petty campaigns south as far as the Second Cataract in
Nubia Nubia () (Nobiin language, Nobiin: Nobīn, ) is a region along the Nile river encompassing the area between the Cataracts of the Nile, first cataract of the Nile (just south of Aswan in southern Egypt) and the confluence of the Blue Nile, Blue ...
, which had gained its independence during the
First Intermediate Period The First Intermediate Period, described as a 'dark period' in ancient Egyptian history, spanned approximately 125 years, c. 2181–2055 BC, after the end of the Old Kingdom of Egypt, Old Kingdom. It comprises the seventh Dynasty, Seventh (altho ...
. He also restored Egyptian hegemony over the Sinai region, which had been lost to Egypt since the end of the Old Kingdom. Grimal. (1988) p. 157 To consolidate his authority, he restored the cult of the ruler, depicting himself as a god in his own lifetime, wearing the headdresses of
Amun Amun (; also Amon, Ammon, Amen; egy, wikt:jmn, jmn, reconstructed as (Old Egyptian and early Middle Egyptian) → (later Middle Egyptian) → (Late Egyptian), cop, Ⲁⲙⲟⲩⲛ, Amoun) romanized: ʾmn) was a major ancient Egyptian dei ...
and Min. Shaw. (2000) p. 151 He died after a reign of 51 years and passed the throne to his son,
Mentuhotep III Sankhkare Mentuhotep III (also Montuhotep III) of the Eleventh Dynasty of Egypt, Eleventh Dynasty was Pharaoh of Egypt during the Middle Kingdom of Egypt, Middle Kingdom. He was assigned a reign of 12 years in the Turin Canon. Reign Mentu ...
. Mentuhotep III reigned for only twelve years, during which he continued consolidating Theban rule over the whole of Egypt, building a series of forts in the eastern Delta region to secure Egypt against threats from Asia. He also sent the first expedition to Punt during the Middle Kingdom, using ships constructed at the end of Wadi Hammamat, on the Red Sea. Shaw. (2000) p. 156 Mentuhotep III was succeeded by
Mentuhotep IV Nebtawyre Mentuhotep IV was the last king of the 11th Dynasty in the Middle Kingdom of Egypt, Middle Kingdom. He seems to fit into a 7-year period in the Turin Canon for which there is no recorded king. Family King's Mother Imi In Wadi Hammamat, ...
, whose name, significantly, is omitted from all ancient Egyptian king lists. Redford. (1992) p. 71. The Turin Papyrus claims that after Mentuhotep III came "seven kingless years". Gardiner. (1964) p. 124. Despite this absence, his reign is attested from a few inscriptions in
Wadi Hammamat Wadi Hammamat ( en, Valley of Many Baths, ''India way; gateway to India'') is a dry river bed in Egypt Egypt ( ar, مصر , ), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a List of transcontinental countries, transcontinental country spann ...
that record expeditions to the
Red Sea The Red Sea ( ar, البحر الأحمر - بحر القلزم, translit=Modern: al-Baḥr al-ʾAḥmar, Medieval: Baḥr al-Qulzum; or ; Coptic language, Coptic: ⲫⲓⲟⲙ ⲛ̀ϩⲁϩ ''Phiom Enhah'' or ⲫⲓⲟⲙ ⲛ̀ϣⲁⲣⲓ ''P ...
coast and to quarry stone for the royal monuments. The leader of this expedition was his vizier Amenemhat, who is widely assumed to be the future pharaoh Amenemhet I, the first king of the Twelfth Dynasty. Redford. (1992) p. 72. Gardiner. (1964) p. 125. Mentuhotep IV's absence from the king lists has prompted the theory that Amenemhet I usurped his throne. While there are no contemporary accounts of this struggle, certain circumstantial evidence may point to the existence of a civil war at the end of the 11th Dynasty. Inscriptions left by one Nehry, the
Haty-a Ḥaty-a was an ancient Egyptian rank and title given to local princes, mayors, or governors. There is no standard translation for Ḥaty-a, and it is frequently left Transliteration, transliterated in scholarly literature. In strings of ranki ...
of
Hermopolis Hermopolis ( grc, Ἑρμούπολις ''Hermoúpolis'' "the City of Hermes", also ''Hermopolis Magna'', ''Hermoû pólis megálẽ'', egy, wikt:ḫmnw, ḫmnw , Egyptological pronunciation: "Khemenu"; cop, Ϣⲙⲟⲩⲛ ''Shmun''; ar, ال ...
, suggest that he was attacked at a place called Shedyet-sha by the forces of the reigning king, but his forces prevailed. Khnumhotep I, an official under Amenemhet I, claims to have participated in a flotilla of twenty ships sent to pacify Upper Egypt.
Donald Redford Donald Bruce Redford (born September 2, 1934) is a Canadians, Canadian Egyptologist and archaeologist, currently Professor of Classics and Ancient Mediterranean Studies at Pennsylvania State University. He is married to Susan Redford, who is also ...
has suggested these events should be interpreted as evidence of open war between two dynastic claimants. Redford. (1992) p.74 What is certain is that, however he came to power, Amenemhet I was not of royal birth.


Twelfth Dynasty


Early Twelfth Dynasty

From the Twelfth Dynasty onwards, pharaohs often kept well-trained standing armies, which included Nubian contingents. These formed the basis of larger forces that were raised for defense against invasion, or expeditions up the Nile or across the Sinai. However, the Middle Kingdom was basically defensive in its military strategy, with fortifications built at the First Cataract of the Nile, in the Delta and across the Sinai Isthmus. Early in his reign, Amenemhet I was compelled to campaign in the Delta region, which had not received as much attention as Upper Egypt during the 11th Dynasty. Arnold. (1991) p. 20. Also, he strengthened defenses between Egypt and Asia, building the Walls of the Ruler in the East Delta region. Shaw. (2000) p. 148 Perhaps in response to this perpetual unrest, Amenemhat I built a new capital for Egypt in the north, known as Amenemhet It Tawy, or ''Amenemhet, Seizer of the Two Lands''. Arnold. (1991) p. 14. The location of this capital is unknown, but is presumably near the city's necropolis, the present-day el-Lisht. Shaw. (2000) p. 158 Like Mentuhotep II, Amenemhet bolstered his claim to authority with propaganda. Grimal. (1988) p. 159 In particular, the Prophecy of Neferty dates to about this time, which purports to be an oracle of an Old Kingdom priest, who predicts a king, Amenemhet I, arising from the far south of Egypt to restore the kingdom after centuries of chaos. Propaganda notwithstanding, Amenemhet never held the absolute power commanded in theory by the Old Kingdom pharaohs. During the First Intermediate Period, the governors of the nomes of Egypt,
nomarch A nomarch ( grc, νομάρχης, egy, :wikt:ḥrj tp ꜥꜣ, ḥrj tp ꜥꜣ Great Chief) was a provincial governor in ancient Egypt; the country was divided into 42 provinces, called Nome (Egypt), nomes (singular , plural ). A nomarch was ...
s, gained considerable power. Their posts had become hereditary, and some nomarchs entered into marriage alliances with the nomarchs of neighboring nomes. Gardiner. (1964) p. 128. To strengthen his position, Amenemhet required registration of land, modified nome borders, and appointed nomarchs directly when offices became vacant, but acquiesced to the nomarch system, probably to placate the nomarchs who supported his rule. Grimal. (1988) p. 160 This gave the Middle Kingdom a more feudal organization than Egypt had before or would have afterward. Gardiner. (1964) p. 129. In his twentieth regnal year, Amenemhat established his son
Senusret I Senusret I (Egyptian language, Middle Egyptian: wikt:z-n-wsrt, z-n-wsrt; /suʀ nij ˈwas.ɾiʔ/) also anglicized as Sesostris I and Senwosret I, was the second pharaoh of the Twelfth dynasty of Egypt, Twelfth Dynasty of Egypt. He ruled from 1971 ...
as his coregent, beginning a practice which would be used repeatedly throughout the rest of the Middle Kingdom and again during the New Kingdom. In Amenemhet's thirtieth regnal year, he was presumably murdered in a palace conspiracy. Senusret, campaigning against Libyan invaders, rushed home to Itjtawy to prevent a takeover of the government. Shaw. (2000) p. 160 During his reign, Senusret continued the practice of directly appointing nomarchs, Shaw. (2000) p. 175 and undercut the autonomy of local priesthoods by building at cult centers throughout Egypt. Shaw. (2000) p. 162 Under his rule, Egyptian armies pushed south into Nubia as far as the Second Cataract, building a border fort at
Buhen Buhen ( grc, Βοὥν ''Bohón'') was an ancient Egyptian settlement situated on the West bank of the Nile below (to the North of) the Cataracts of the Nile, Second Cataract in what is now Northern state, Sudan, Northern State, Sudan. It is now ...
and incorporating all of
Lower Nubia Lower Nubia is the northernmost part of Nubia, roughly contiguous with the modern Lake Nasser, which submerged the historical region in the 1960s with the construction of the Aswan High Dam. Many ancient Lower Nubian monuments, and all its modern p ...
as an Egyptian colony. Shaw. (2000) p. 161 Senusret I also exercised control over the land of Kush, from the Second to the Third Cataract, including the island of Sai. The southernmost inscription containing Sesostris I’s name has been found on the island of Argo, north of modern Dongola. To the west, he consolidated his power over the Oases, and extended commercial contacts into Syria-Palestine as far as
Ugarit Ugarit (; uga, 𐎜𐎂𐎗𐎚, ''ʾUgarītu''; ar, أُوغَارِيت ''Ūġārīt'' or ''Ūǧārīt'') was an ancient port city in northern Syria, in the outskirts of modern Latakia, discovered by accident in 1928 together with the Ugariti ...
. Grimal. (1988) p. 165 In his 43rd regnal year, Senusret appointed Amenemhet II as junior coregent, before dying in his 46th. Murnane. (1977) p. 5. The reign of
Amenemhat II Nubkaure Amenemhat II, also known as Amenemhet II, was the third pharaoh of the 12th Dynasty of ancient Egypt. Although he ruled for at least 35 years, his reign is rather obscure, as well as his family relationships. Family Archaeological find ...
has been often characterized as largely peaceful, but records of his , or daybooks, have cast doubt on that assessment. Shaw. (2000) p. 163 Among these records, preserved on temple walls at Tod and Memphis, are descriptions of peace treaties with certain Syrio-Palestinian cities, and military conflict with others. To the south, Amenemhet sent a campaign through lower Nubia to inspect Wawat. It does not appear that Amenemhet continued his predecessors' policy of appointing nomarchs, but let it become hereditary again. Another expedition to Punt dates to his reign. In his 33rd regnal year, he appointed his son
Senusret II Khakheperre Senusret II was the fourth pharaoh of the Twelfth dynasty of Egypt, Twelfth Dynasty of Egypt. He ruled from 1897 BC to 1878 BC. Pyramid of Senusret II, His pyramid was constructed at El-Lahun. Senusret II took a great deal of interest ...
coregent. Murnane. (1977) p. 7. Evidence for the military activity of any kind during the reign of Senusret II is non-existent. Senusret instead appears to have focused on domestic issues, particularly the irrigation of the
Faiyum Faiyum ( ar, الفيوم ' , borrowed from cop,  ̀Ⲫⲓⲟⲙ or Ⲫⲓⲱⲙ ' from egy, pꜣ ym "the Sea, Lake") is a city in Middle Egypt. Located southwest of Cairo, in the Faiyum Oasis, it is the capital of the modern Faiyum ...
. This multi-generational project aimed to convert the Faiyum oasis into a productive swath of farmland. Shaw. (2000) p. 164 Senusret eventually placed his pyramid at the site of
el-Lahun El Lahun ( ar, اللاهون ''El Lāhūn,'' alt. Illahun, Lahun, or Kahun (the latter being a neologism coined by archaeologist William Matthew Flinders Petrie) is a workmen's village in Faiyum, Egypt. El Lahun is associated with the Pyramid of ...
, near the junction of the Nile and the Fayuum's major irrigation canal, the
Bahr Yussef The Bahr Yussef ( ar, بحر يوسف; "the waterway of Joseph") is a canal which connects the Nile River with Fayyum in Egypt. In ancient times it was called Tomis () by the Greeks which was derived from its Egyptian name ''Tm.t'' "ending canal ...
. Gardiner. (1964) p. 138. He reigned only fifteen years, Grimal. (1988) p. 166 which explains the incomplete nature of many of his constructions. His son
Senusret III Khakaure Senusret III (also written as Senwosret III or the hellenised form, Sesostris III) was a pharaoh of Ancient Egypt, Egypt. He ruled from 1878 BC to 1839 BC during a time of great power and prosperity, and was the fifth king of the Twelfth ...
succeeded him.


Height of the Middle Kingdom

Senusret III Khakaure Senusret III (also written as Senwosret III or the hellenised form, Sesostris III) was a pharaoh of Ancient Egypt, Egypt. He ruled from 1878 BC to 1839 BC during a time of great power and prosperity, and was the fifth king of the Twelfth ...
was a warrior-king, often taking to the field himself. In his sixth year, he re-dredged an Old Kingdom canal around the First Cataract to facilitate travel to
Upper Nubia Upper Nubia is the southernmost part of Nubia, upstream on the Nile from Lower Nubia. It is so called because the Nile flows north, so it is further upstream and of higher elevation in relation to Lower Nubia. The extension of ''Upper Nubia'' is ra ...
. He used this to launch a series of brutal campaigns in Nubia in his sixth, eighth, tenth, and sixteenth years. After his victories, Senusret built a series of massive forts throughout the country to establish the formal boundary between Egyptian conquests and unconquered Nubia at
Semna The region of Semna is 15 miles south of Wadi Halfa Wādī Ḥalfā ( ar, وادي حلفا) is a city in the Northern (state), Northern state of Sudan on the shores of Lake Nasser, Lake Nubia near the Egypt–Sudan border, border with Egypt. ...
. Shaw. (2000) p. 166 The personnel of these forts were charged to send frequent reports to the capital on the movements and activities of the local
Medjay Medjay (also ''Medjai'', ''Mazoi'', ''Madjai'', ''Mejay'', Egyptian ''mḏꜣ.j'', a nisba of ''mḏꜣ'',) was a demonym A demonym (; ) or gentilic () is a word that identifies a group of people (inhabitants, residents, natives) in relation ...
natives, some of which survive, revealing how tightly the Egyptians intended to control the southern border. Gardiner. (1964) p. 136. Medjay were not allowed north of the border by ship, nor could they enter by land with their flocks, but they were permitted to travel to local forts to trade. Gardiner. (1964) p. 135. After this, Senusret sent one more campaign in his 19th year, but turned back due to abnormally low Nile levels, which endangered his ships. To the north, One of Senusret's soldiers records a campaign into Palestine, perhaps against
Shechem Shechem ( ), also spelled Sichem ( ; he, שְׁכֶם, ''Šəḵem''; ; grc, Συχέμ, Sykhém; Samaritan Hebrew: , ), was a Canaan Canaan (; Phoenician language, Phoenician: 𐤊𐤍𐤏𐤍 – ; he, כְּנַעַן – , in pausa ...
, the only reference to a military campaign against a certain location in Palestine from Middle Kingdom literature, Redford. (1992) p. 76 although there are other references to action against Asiatics. It is not known whether Egypt wished to control Canaan like Northern Nubia, but numerous administrative seals of the period have been found there, as well as other indications of increased activity Northward in this period. As in the old kingdom, the contact was particularly strong with
Byblos Byblos ( ; gr, Βύβλος), also known as Jbeil or Jubayl ( ar, جُبَيْل, Jubayl, Lebanese Arabic, locally ; phn, 𐤂𐤁𐤋, , probably ), is a city in the Keserwan-Jbeil Governorate of Lebanon. It is believed to have been first occ ...
, known for its valuable wood. Domestically, Senusret has been given credit for an administrative reform which put more power in the hands of appointees of the central government, instead of regional authorities. Egypt was divided into three ''water'', or administrative divisions: North, South, and Head of the South (perhaps
Lower Egypt Lower Egypt ( ar, مصر السفلى '; ) is the northernmost region of Egypt, which consists of the fertile Nile Delta between Upper Egypt and the Mediterranean Sea, from El Aiyat, south of modern-day Cairo, and Dahshur. Historically, t ...
, most of
Upper Egypt Upper Egypt ( ar, صعيد مصر ', shortened to , , locally: ; ) is the southern portion of Egypt Egypt ( ar, مصر , ), officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, is a List of transcontinental countries, transcontinental country spannin ...
, and the nomes of the original Theban kingdom during the war with
Herakleopolis Heracleopolis Magna ( grc-gre, Μεγάλη Ἡρακλέους πόλις, ''Megálē Herakléous pólis'') and Heracleopolis (, ''Herakleópolis'') and Herakleoupolis (), is the Roman Roman or Romans most often refers to: *Rome, the capita ...
, respectively). Each region was administrated by a ''Reporter'', ''Second Reporter'', some kind of council (the ''Djadjat''), and staff of minor officials and scribes. Hayes. (1953) p. 32 The power of the nomarchs seems to drop off permanently during his reign, which has been taken to indicate that the central government had finally suppressed them, though there is no record that Senusret ever took direct action against them. Senusret III left a lasting legacy as a warrior pharaoh. His name was Hellenized by later Greek historians as Sesostris, a name which was then given to a conflation of Senusret and several New Kingdom warrior pharaohs. Shaw and Nicholson. (1995) p. 260 In Nubia, Senusret was worshiped as a patron God by Egyptian settlers. Aldred. (1987) p.129 The duration of his reign remains something of an open question. His son
Amenemhet III :''See Amenemhat (disambiguation), Amenemhat, for other individuals with this name.'' Amenemhat III (Egyptian language, Ancient Egyptian: ''Ỉmn-m-hꜣt'' meaning 'Amun is at the forefront'), also known as Amenemhet III, was a pharaoh of ancien ...
began reigning after Senusret's 19th regnal year, which has been widely considered Senusret's highest attested date. Wegner. (1996) p. 250 However, a reference to a year 39 on a fragment found in the construction debris of Senusret's mortuary temple has suggested the possibility of a long coregency with his son. Wegner. (1996) p. 260 The reign of
Amenemhat III :''See Amenemhat (disambiguation), Amenemhat, for other individuals with this name.'' Amenemhat III (Egyptian language, Ancient Egyptian: ''Ỉmn-m-hꜣt'' meaning 'Amun is at the forefront'), also known as Amenemhet III, was a pharaoh of ancien ...
was the height of the Middle Kingdom's economic prosperity. His reign is remarkable for the degree to which Egypt exploited its resources. Mining camps in the Sinai, which had previously been used only by intermittent expeditions, were operated on a semi-permanent basis, as evidenced by the construction of houses, walls, and even local cemeteries. Grimal. (1988) p. 170 There are 25 separate references to mining expeditions in the Sinai, and four to expeditions in Wadi Hammamat, one of which had over two thousand workers. Grajetzki. (2006) p. 60 Amenemhet reinforced his father's defenses in Nubia Shaw. (2000) p. 168 and continued the Faiyum land reclamation project. Shaw. (2000) p. 169 After a reign of 45 years, Amenemhet III was succeeded by
Amenemhet IV :''See Amenemhat (disambiguation), Amenemhat, for other individuals with this name.'' Amenemhat IV (also known as Amenemhet IV) was the seventh and penultimateJürgen von Beckerath: ''Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen'', Münchner ägypto ...
, whose nine-year reign is poorly attested. Shaw. (2000) p. 170 Clearly by this time, dynastic power had begun to weaken, for which several explanations have been proposed. Contemporary records of the Nile flood levels indicate that the end of the reign of Amenemhet III was dry, and crop failures may have helped to destabilize the dynasty. Further, Amenemhet III had an inordinately long reign, which tends to create succession problems. Grimal. (1988) p. 171 The latter argument perhaps explains why Amenemhet IV was succeeded by
Sobekneferu Sobekneferu or Neferusobek ( egy, Sbk-nfrw meaning 'Beauty of Sobek') was a pharaoh of ancient Egypt and the last ruler of the Twelfth Dynasty of Egypt, Twelfth Dynasty of the Middle Kingdom of Egypt, Middle Kingdom. She ascended to the throne fol ...
, the first historically attested female king of Egypt. Sobekneferu ruled no more than four years, Shaw. (2000) p. 171 and as she apparently had no heirs, when she died the Twelfth Dynasty came to a sudden end as did the Golden Age of the Middle Kingdom.


Decline into the Second Intermediate Period

After the death of Sobeknefru, the throne may have passed to Sekhemre Khutawy Sobekhotep, though in older studies Wegaf, who had previously been the Great Overseer of Troops, Grajetzki. (2006) p. 66 was thought to have reigned next. Grimal. (1988) p. 183 Beginning with this reign, Egypt was ruled by a series of ephemeral kings for about ten to fifteen years. Grajetzki. (2006) p. 64 Ancient Egyptian sources regard these as the first kings of the Thirteenth Dynasty, though the term dynasty is misleading, as most kings of the Thirteenth Dynasty were not related. Grajetzki. (2006) p. 65 The names of these short-lived kings are attested on a few monuments and
graffiti Graffiti (plural; singular ''graffiti'' or ''graffito'', the latter rarely used except in archeology) is art that is written, painted or drawn on a wall or other surface, usually without permission and within public view. Graffiti ranges from s ...
, and their succession order is only known from the
Turin Canon The Turin King List, also known as the Turin Royal Canon, is an ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was a civilization in Northeast Africa situated in the Nile Valley. Ancient Egyptian civilization followed prehistoric Egypt and coalesced around ...
, although even this is not fully trusted. After the initial dynastic chaos, a series of longer reigning, better-attested kings ruled for about fifty to eighty years. The strongest king of this period,
Neferhotep I Khasekhemre Neferhotep I was an Egyptian pharaoh Pharaoh (, ; Egyptian language, Egyptian: ''wikt:pr ꜥꜣ, pr ꜥꜣ''; cop, , Pǝrro; Biblical Hebrew: ''Parʿō'') is the vernacular term often used by modern authors for the kings o ...
, ruled for eleven years and maintained effective control of Upper Egypt, Nubia, and the Delta, Grajetzki. (2006) p. 71 with the possible exceptions of
Xois Sakha, also known by the ancient name of Xois ( ar, سخا, grc-koi, Ξόις, cop, ⲥϦⲱⲟⲩ Strabo xvii. p, 802; Ptolemy iv. 5. § 50; , Stephanus of Byzantium ''s. v.'') is a town in Kafr El Sheikh Governorate of Egypt. Located near the ...
and
Avaris Avaris (; Egyptian language, Egyptian: ḥw.t wꜥr.t, sometimes ''hut-waret''; grc, Αὔαρις, Auaris; el, Άβαρις, Ávaris; ar, حوّارة, Hawwara) was the Hyksos capital of Egypt located at the modern site of Tell el-Dab'a in ...
. Shaw. (2000) p. 172 Neferhotep I was even recognized as the suzerain of the ruler of Byblos, indicating that the Thirteenth Dynasty was able to retain much of the power of the Twelfth Dynasty, at least up to his reign. At some point during the 13th Dynasty, Xois and Avaris began governing themselves, the rulers of Xois being the Fourteenth Dynasty, and the Asiatic rulers of Avaris being the
Hyksos Hyksos (; Egyptian language, Egyptian ''wikt:ḥqꜣ, ḥqꜣ(w)-wikt:ḫꜣst, ḫꜣswt'', Egyptological pronunciation: ''hekau khasut'', "ruler(s) of foreign lands") is a term which, in modern Egyptology, designates the kings of the Fifteenth ...
of the Fifteenth Dynasty. According to
Manetho Manetho (; grc-koi, Μανέθων ''Manéthōn'', ''gen''.: Μανέθωνος) is believed to have been an Egyptian priest from Sebennytos ( cop, Ϫⲉⲙⲛⲟⲩϯ, translit=Čemnouti) who lived in the Ptolemaic Kingdom in the early third ...
, this latter revolt occurred during the reign of Neferhotep's successor,
Sobekhotep IV Khaneferre Sobekhotep IV was one of the more powerful Egyptian kings of the Thirteenth Dynasty of Egypt, 13th Dynasty (c. 1803 BC to c. 1649 BC), who reigned at least eight years. His brothers, Neferhotep I and Sihathor, were his predecessors on t ...
, though there is no archaeological evidence. Grajetzki. (2006) p. 72 Sobekhotep IV was succeeded by the short reign of Sobekhotep V, who was followed by Wahibre Ibiau, then Merneferre Ai. Wahibre Ibiau ruled ten years, and Merneferre Ai ruled for twenty-three years, the longest of any Thirteenth Dynasty king, but neither of these two kings left as many attestations as either Neferhotep of Sobekhotep IV. Despite this, they both seem to have held at least parts of Lower Egypt. After Merneferre Ai, however, no king left his name on any object found outside the south. Grajetzki. (2006) p. 74 This begins the final portion of the Thirteenth Dynasty when southern kings continue to reign over Upper Egypt. But when the unity of Egypt fully disintegrated, the Middle Kingdom gave way to the
Second Intermediate Period The Second Intermediate Period marks a period when ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was a civilization in Northeast Africa situated in the Nile Valley. Ancient Egyptian civilization followed prehistoric Egypt and coalesced around 3100Anno ...
. Grajetzki. (2006) p. 75


Administration

When the Eleventh Dynasty reunified Egypt it had to create a centralized administration such as had not existed in Egypt since the downfall of the Old Kingdom government. To do this, it appointed people to positions which had fallen out of use in the decentralized First Intermediate Period. Highest among these was the vizier. Shaw. (2000) p. 174 The vizier was the chief minister for the king, handling all the day-to-day business of government in the king's place. This was a monumental task, therefore it would often be split into two positions, a vizier of the north, and a vizier of the south. It is uncertain how often this occurred during the Middle Kingdom, but Senusret I clearly had two simultaneously functioning viziers. Other positions were inherited from the provincial form of government at Thebes used by the Eleventh Dynasty before the reunification of Egypt. Grajetzki. (2006) p. 21 The ''Overseer of Sealed Goods'' became the country's treasurer, and the ''Overseer of the Estate'' became the King's chief steward. These three positions and the ''Scribe of the Royal Document,'' probably the king's personal scribe, appear to be the most important posts of the central government, judging by the monument count of those in these positions. Beside this, many Old Kingdom posts which had lost their original meaning and become mere honorifics were brought back into the central government. Only high-ranking officials could claim the title ''Member of the Elite'', which had been applied liberally during the First Intermediate Period. This basic form of administration continued throughout the Middle Kingdom, though there is some evidence for a major reform of the central government under Senusret III. Records from his reign indicate that Upper and Lower Egypt were divided into separate ''waret'' and governed by separate administrators. Administrative documents and private stelae indicate a proliferation of new bureaucratic titles around this time, which have been taken as evidence of a larger central government. Richards. (2005) p. 7 Governance of the royal residence was moved into a separate division of government. The military was placed under the control of a chief general. However, it is possible that these titles and positions were much older, and simply were not recorded on funerary stelae due to religious conventions.


Provincial government

Decentralization during the First Intermediate Period left the individual Egyptian provinces, or Nomes, under the control of powerful families who held the hereditary title of ''Great Chief of the Nome'', or
Nomarch A nomarch ( grc, νομάρχης, egy, :wikt:ḥrj tp ꜥꜣ, ḥrj tp ꜥꜣ Great Chief) was a provincial governor in ancient Egypt; the country was divided into 42 provinces, called Nome (Egypt), nomes (singular , plural ). A nomarch was ...
. Trigger, Kemp, O'Connor, and Lloyd. (1983) p. 108 This position developed during the Fifth and Sixth Dynasties, when the various powers of Old Kingdom provincial officials began to be exercised by a single individual. At roughly this time, the provincial aristocracy began building elaborate tombs for themselves, which have been taken as evidence of the wealth and power which these rulers had acquired as nomarchs. By the end of the First Intermediate Period, some nomarchs ruled their nomes as minor potentates, such as the nomarch Nehry of Hermopolis, who dated inscriptions by his own regnal year. When the Eleventh Dynasty came to power, it was necessary to subdue the power of the nomarchs if Egypt was to be reunified under a central government. The first major steps towards that end took place under Amenemhet I. Amenemhet made the city, not the nome, the center of administration, and only the ''
haty-a Ḥaty-a was an ancient Egyptian rank and title given to local princes, mayors, or governors. There is no standard translation for Ḥaty-a, and it is frequently left Transliteration, transliterated in scholarly literature. In strings of ranki ...
'', or mayor, of the larger cities would be permitted to carry the title of nomarch. The title of nomarch continued to be used until the reign of Senusret III, as did the elaborate tombs indicative of their power, after which they suddenly disappeared. Trigger, Kemp, O'Connor, and Lloyd. (1983) p. 112 This has been interpreted several ways. Traditionally, it has been believed that Senusret III took some action to suppress the nomarch families during his reign. Grimal. (1988) p. 167 Recently, other interpretations have been proposed. Detlef Franke has argued that Senusret II adopted a policy of educating the sons of nomarchs in the capital and appointing them to government posts. In this way, many provincial families may have been bled dry of scions. Also, while the title of ''Great Overlord of the Nome'' disappeared, other distinctive titles of the nomarchs remained. During the First Intermediate Period, individuals holding the title of ''Great Overlord'' also often held the title of ''Overseer of Priests.'' Trigger, Kemp, O'Connor, and Lloyd. (1983) p. 109 In the late Middle Kingdom, there existed families holding the titles of mayor and overseer of priests as hereditary possessions. Therefore, it has been argued that the great nomarch families were never subdued, but were simply absorbed into the pharaonic administration of the country. While it is true that the large tombs indicative of nomarchs disappeared at the end of the Twelfth Dynasty, grand royal tombs also ceased being built soon thereafter due to general instability surrounding the decline of the Middle Kingdom.


Agriculture and climate

Throughout the history of ancient Egypt, the annual inundation of the
Nile River The Nile, , Bohairic , lg, Kiira , Nobiin language, Nobiin: Áman Dawū is a major north-flowing river in northeastern Africa. It flows into the Mediterranean Sea. The Nile is the longest river in Africa and has historically been considered ...
was relied upon to fertilize the land surrounding it. This was essential for agriculture and food production. There is evidence that the collapse of the previous
Old Kingdom In ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was a civilization in Northeast Africa situated in the Nile Valley. Ancient Egyptian civilization followed prehistoric Egypt and coalesced around 3100Anno Domini, BC (according to conventional Egyptian ...
may have been due in part to low flood levels, resulting in famine. Bell. (1975) p. 227 This trend appears to have been reversed during the early years of the Middle Kingdom, with relatively high water levels recorded for much of this era, with an average inundation of 19 meters above its non-flood levels. Bell. (1975) p. 230 The years of repeated high inundation levels correspond to the most prosperous period of the Middle Kingdom, which occurred during the reign of Amenemhat III. Bell. (1975) p. 263 This seems to be confirmed in some of the literature of the period, such as in the Instructions of Amenemhat, where the king tells his son how agriculture prospered under his reign.


Art

After the reunification of Egypt in the Middle Kingdom, the kings of the Eleventh and Twelfth Dynasties were able to turn their focus back to art. In the Eleventh Dynasty, the kings had their monuments made in a style influenced by the Memphite models of the Fifth and early Sixth Dynasty. During this time, the pre-unification Theban relief style all but disappeared. These changes had an ideological purpose, as the Eleventh Dynasty kings were establishing a centralized state after the First Intermediate Period, and returning to the political ideals of the Old Kingdom. In the early Twelfth Dynasty, the artwork had a uniformity of style due to the influence of the royal workshops. It was at this point that the quality of artistic production for the elite members of society reached a high point that was never surpassed, although it was equaled in other periods. Egypt prospered in the late Twelfth Dynasty, and this was reflected in the quality of the materials used for royal and private monuments. The kings of the Twelfth Dynasty were buried in
pyramid A pyramid (from el, πυραμίς ') is a Nonbuilding structure, structure whose outer surfaces are triangular and converge to a single step at the top, making the shape roughly a Pyramid (geometry), pyramid in the geometric sense. The base o ...
complexes based on those of the Fifth and Sixth Dynasties. In the
Old Kingdom In ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was a civilization in Northeast Africa situated in the Nile Valley. Ancient Egyptian civilization followed prehistoric Egypt and coalesced around 3100Anno Domini, BC (according to conventional Egyptian ...
, these were made of stone bricks, but the Middle Kingdom kings chose to have theirs made of mud bricks and finished with a casing of Tura limestone. Private tombs, such as those found in Thebes, usually consisted of a long passage cut into rock, with a small chamber at the end. These tended to have little or no decoration. Stone box
sarcophagi A sarcophagus (plural sarcophagi or sarcophaguses) is a box-like funeral receptacle for a cadaver, corpse, most commonly carved in stone, and usually displayed above ground, though it may also be buried. The word ''sarcophagus'' comes from ...
with both flat and vaulted lids were manufactured in the Middle Kingdom, as a continuation of the Old Kingdom tradition. The motifs on these were more varied and of higher artistic quality than that of any sarcophagi produced before and after the Middle Kingdom. Additionally, funerary
stelae A stele ( ),Anglicized plural steles ( ); Greek plural stelai ( ), from Greek language, Greek , ''stēlē''. The Greek plural is written , ''stēlai'', but this is only rarely encountered in English. or occasionally stela (plural ''stelas'' or ...
developed in regard to images and iconography. They continued to show the deceased seated in front of a table of offerings, and began to include the deceased's wife and other family members. Towards the end of the Middle Kingdom, there was a change to the art pieces placed in non-royal tombs. The amount of wooden tomb models decreased drastically, and they were replaced by small faience models of food. Magic wands and rods, models of protective animals, and fertility figures began to be buried with the dead. Additionally, the number of statues and funerary stelae increased, but their quality decreased. In the late Twelfth Dynasty, coffins with interior decorations became rare, and the decorations on the outside became more elaborate. The ''rishi''-coffin made its first appearance during this time. Made of wood or
cartonnage Cartonnage (word of French origin) is a type of material used in ancient Egyptian funerary masks from the First Intermediate Period to the Roman Empire, Roman era. It was made of layers of linen or papyrus covered with plaster. Some of the Fayum m ...
, the coffin was in the shape of a body wrapped in linen, wearing a beaded collar and a funerary mask. There were also changes to the art form of stelae in the Middle Kingdom. During this time, round-topped stelae developed out of the rectangular form of previous periods. Many examples of both of these types come from this period; excavation at Abydos yielded over 2000 private stelae, ranging from excellent works to crude objects, although very few belonged to the elite. Additionally, classic royal commemorative stelae were first found in this period. These took the form of a round-topped stelae, and they were used to mark boundaries. For example, Senusret III used them to mark the boundary between Egypt and Nubia. Because of the prosperity of this period, the lower elite were able to commission statues and stelae for themselves, although these were of poorer artistic quality. Those who commissioned non-royal stelae had the ultimate goal of eternal existence. This goal was communicated with the specific placement of information on the stone slabs similar to royal stelae (the owner's image, offering formula, inscriptions of names, lineage and titles).


Statuary

In the first half of the Twelfth Dynasty, proportions of the human figure returned to the traditional Memphite style of the Fifth and early Sixth Dynasties. Male figures had broad shoulders, a low small of the back, and thick muscular limbs. Females had slender figures, a higher small of the back and no musculature. In this period, sketches for the production of statues and reliefs were laid out on a squared grid, a new guide system. Since this system contained a greater number of lines, it allowed more body parts to be marked. Standing figures were composed of eighteen squares from the feet to the hairline. Seated figures were made of fourteen squares between their feet and hairline, accounting for the horizontal thigh and knee. The black granite seated statue of king
Amenemhat III :''See Amenemhat (disambiguation), Amenemhat, for other individuals with this name.'' Amenemhat III (Egyptian language, Ancient Egyptian: ''Ỉmn-m-hꜣt'' meaning 'Amun is at the forefront'), also known as Amenemhet III, was a pharaoh of ancien ...
to the right, above is a perfect example of male proportions and the squared grid system at this period. Most royal statues, such as this one, would serve as representations of the king's power. The quality of Egyptian statuary reached its peak in the Middle Kingdom. Royal statues combined both elegance and strength in a manner that was seldom seen after this period. A popular form of statuary during this time was that of the
sphinx A sphinx ( , grc, σφίγξ , Aeolic Greek, Boeotian: , plural sphinxes or sphinges) is a mythical creature with the head of a human, the body of a lion, and the wings of a falcon. In Culture of Greece, Greek tradition, the sphinx has the he ...
. During this period, sphinxes appeared in pairs, and were recumbent, with human faces, and a lion's mane and ears. An example would be the diorite sphinx of
Senusret III Khakaure Senusret III (also written as Senwosret III or the hellenised form, Sesostris III) was a pharaoh of Ancient Egypt, Egypt. He ruled from 1878 BC to 1839 BC during a time of great power and prosperity, and was the fifth king of the Twelfth ...
. One of the innovations in
sculpture Sculpture is the branch of the visual arts that operates in three dimensions. Sculpture is the three-dimensional art work which is physically presented in the dimensions of height, width and depth. It is one of the plastic arts. Durable sc ...
that occurred during the Middle Kingdom was the block statue, which would continue to be popular through to the Ptolemaic Kingdom almost 2,000 years later. Teeter. (1994) p. 27 Block statues consist of a man
squatting Squatting is the action of occupying an abandoned or unoccupied area of land or a building, usually residential, that the squatter does not Land ownership and tenure, own, rent or otherwise have lawful permission to use. The United Nations est ...
with his knees drawn up to his chest and his arms folded on top his knees. Often, these men are wearing a "wide cloak" that reduces the body of the figure to a simple block-like shape. The surface of the garment or "wide cloak" allowed space for inscriptions. Most of the detail is reserved for the head of the individual being depicted. In some instances the modeling of the limbs has been retained by the sculptor. There are two basic types of block statues: ones with the feet completely covered by the cloak and ones with the feet uncovered. This statue to the right represents a woman from the top echelon of society and demonstrates characteristics of Middle Kingdom art. The heavy tripartite wig frames the broad face and passes behind the ears, thus giving the impression of forcing them forward. They are large in keeping with the ancient Egyptian ideal of beauty; the same ideal required small breasts, and also in this respect the sculpture is no exception. Whereas the natural curve of the eyebrows dips towards the root of the nose, the artificial eyebrows in low
relief Relief is a sculptural method in which the sculpted pieces are bonded to a solid background of the same material. The term ''wikt:relief, relief'' is from the Latin verb ''relevo'', to raise. To create a sculpture in relief is to give the impres ...
are absolutely straight above the inner corners of the eyes, a feature which places the bust early in the Twelfth Dynasty. Around 1900 BC these artificial eyebrows began to follow the natural curve and dip toward the nose. In the later Twelfth Dynasty, proportions of the human figure changed. These changes survived through the Thirteenth to Seventeenth Dynasties. Male figures had smaller heads in proportion the rest of the body, narrow shoulders and waists, a high small of the back, and no muscled limbs. Female figures had these proportions more to an extreme with narrower shoulders and waists, slender limbs and a higher small of the back in order to keep a distinction between male and female measurements.


Literature

Richard B. Parkinson and Ludwig D. Morenz write that ancient Egyptian literature—narrowly defined as ''
belles-lettres is a category of writing, originally meaning beautiful or fine writing. In the modern narrow sense, it is a label for literary works that do not fall into the major categories such as fiction, poetry, or drama. The phrase is sometimes used pejora ...
'' ("beautiful writing")—were not recorded in written form until the early Twelfth Dynasty. Old Kingdom texts served mainly to maintain the divine cults, preserve souls in the afterlife, and document accounts for practical uses in daily life. It was not until the Middle Kingdom that texts were written for the purpose of entertainment and intellectual curiosity. Parkinson and Morenz also speculate that written works of the Middle Kingdom were transcriptions of the
oral literature Oral literature, orature or folk literature is a genre of literature that is spoken or sung as opposed to that which is writing, written, though much oral literature has been transcribed. There is no standard definition, as anthropologists have ...
of the Old Kingdom.; . It is known that some oral poetry was preserved in later writing; for example, litter-bearers' songs were preserved as written verses in tomb inscriptions of the Old Kingdom.. It is also thought that the growth of the middle class and a growth in the number of scribes needed for the expanded bureaucracy under Senusret II helped spur the development of Middle Kingdom literature. Later ancient Egyptians considered the literature from this time as "classic". Stories such as the
Tale of the Shipwrecked Sailor The "Tale of the Shipwrecked Sailor" is a Middle Kingdom of Egypt, Middle Kingdom story of an Ancient Egyptian voyage to "the King's mines". Historical information At least one source states that the papyrus having the story written upon it is ...
and the
Story of Sinuhe ''The Story of Sinuhe'' (also known as Sanehat) Retrieved November 6, 2018. is considered one of the finest works of ancient Egyptian literature. It is a narrative set in the aftermath of the death of Pharaoh Amenemhat I, founder of the Twelfth ...
were composed during this period, and were popular enough to be widely copied afterwards. Many philosophical works were also created at this time, including the Dispute between a man and his Ba where an unhappy man converses with his soul,
The Satire of the Trades ''The Satire of the Trades'', also called ''The Instruction of Dua-Kheti'', is a didactic Didacticism is a philosophy that emphasizes instructional and informative qualities in literature, art, and design. In art, design, architecture, and lan ...
in which the role of the scribe is praised above all other jobs, and the magic tales supposedly told to the Old Kingdom pharaoh
Khufu Khufu or Cheops was an ancient Egyptian monarch who was the second pharaoh of the Fourth Dynasty of Egypt, Fourth Dynasty, in the first half of the Old Kingdom of Egypt, Old Kingdom period (26th century BC). Khufu succeeded his father Sneferu a ...
in the
Westcar Papyrus The Westcar Papyrus (inventory Inventory (American English) or stock (British English) refers to the goods and materials that a business holds for the ultimate goal of resale, production or utilisation. Stock management, Inventory management ...
. Pharaohs of the Twelfth through Eighteenth Dynasty are credited with preserving some of the most interesting of Egyptian
papyri Papyrus ( ) is a material similar to thick paper that was used in ancient times as a writing surface. It was made from the pith of the papyrus plant, ''Cyperus papyrus'', a wetland sedge. ''Papyrus'' (plural: ''papyri'') can also refer to a do ...
: * 1950 BC:
Akhmim Wooden Tablet The Akhmim wooden tablets, also known as the Cairo wooden tablets (Cairo Cat. 25367 and 25368), are two wooden writing tablets from ancient Egypt, solving arithmetical problems. They each measure around and are covered with plaster. The tablets are ...
* 1950 BC:
Heqanakht papyri The Heqanakht papyri or Heqanakht letters (also spelled Hekanakht) are a group of papyri dating to the early Middle Kingdom of Ancient Egypt Ancient Egypt was a civilization in Northeast Africa situated in the Nile Valley. Ancient Eg ...
* 1800 BC:
Berlin papyrus 6619 The Berlin Papyrus 6619, simply called the Berlin Papyrus when the context makes it clear, is one of the primary sources of ancient Egyptian mathematics Ancient Egyptian mathematics is the mathematics Mathematics is an area of knowledge t ...
* 1800 BC:
Moscow Mathematical Papyrus The Moscow Mathematical Papyrus, also named the Golenishchev Mathematical Papyrus after its first non-Egyptian owner, Egyptologist Vladimir Golenishchev, is an ancient Egyptian mathematics, Egyptian mathematical papyrus containing several problem ...
* 1650 BC:
Rhind Mathematical Papyrus The Rhind Mathematical Papyrus (RMP; also designated as papyrus British Museum The British Museum is a public museum dedicated to human history, art and culture located in the Bloomsbury area of London. Its permanent collection of eight m ...
* 1600 BC:
Edwin Smith papyrus The Edwin Smith Papyrus is an ancient Egyptian medical manual, medical text, named after Edwin Smith (Egyptologist), Edwin Smith who bought it in 1862, and the oldest known surgical treatise on trauma (medicine), trauma. From a cited quotation in ...
* 1550 BC: Ebers papyrus


References


Bibliography

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


Further reading

*Allen, James P. ''Middle Egyptian Literature: Eight Literary Works of the Middle Kingdom''. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2015. *Bourriau, Janine. ''Pharaohs and Mortals: Egyptian Art in the Middle Kingdom''. Cambridge, UK: Fitzwilliam Museum, 1988. *Grajetzki, Wolfgang. ''The Middle Kingdom of Ancient Egypt: History, Archaeology and Society''. Bristol, UK: Golden House, 2006. *Kemp, Barry J. ''Ancient Egypt: Anatomy of a Civilization''. 2d ed. London: Routledge, 2006. *Oppenheim, Adela, Dieter Arnold, and Kei Yamamoto. ''Ancient Egypt Transformed: The Middle Kingdom''. New York: Metropolitan Museum of Art, 2015. *Parkinson, Richard B. ''Voices From Ancient Egypt: An Anthology of Middle Kingdom Writings''. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1991. *--. ''Poetry and Culture in Middle Kingdom Egypt: A Dark Side to Perfection''. London: Continuum, 2002. *Szpakowska, Kasia. ''Daily Life in Ancient Egypt''. Oxford: Blackwell, 2008. *Wendrich, Willeke, ed. ''Egyptian Archaeology''. Chichester, UK: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010. {{Authority control States and territories established in the 3rd millennium BC States and territories disestablished in the 17th century BC . . Former kingdoms . . 21st century BC in Egypt 20th century BC in Egypt 19th century BC in Egypt 17th century BC in Egypt 21st-century BC establishments