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Middle Kingdom
(2040 - 1783 BC)
11th Dynasty                      12th Dynasty
11th Dynasty
All Egypt
(2040 - 1991 BC)
Montuhotep I
Montuhotep I (r. 2061 - 2010), son of Theban King Inyotef III, led his army to conquer the city of Herakleopolis and end the rule of his 10th dynasy and also ending the First intermediate period.

Thebes (Luxor) became the capital of Egypt for the first time thenceforth.
Montuhotep I then launched a campaign to preserve the borders, and thus fought against Libyans in Delta and against Asiatics in the East and ordered expedition to go to NubiaWhat does it mean?.

Painted Sandstone
statue of Montuhotep
image courtesy of
The Egypt Archive
Montuhotep I erected a mortuary temple at the famous Deir El-Bahari at Luxor at the west bank. His temple is now almost destroyed. He had his wives and loyal men buried at DeirWhat does it mean? El-Bahari. Archeologists found traces of pots and muddy patterns and other tools and equipments at the site. They have also found 60 bodies of soldiers, probably died in their battle against Herakleopolitan dynasties.

Montuhotep I is believed to have ruled for nearly half a century during which he maintained peace and stability whether in north or in south. He tended to limit the authority of rulers of various regions to cut the way back to territorial divisions. Thus he paved the way to the revival of art and architecture once again.

Montuhotep II
(r. 2010 - 1998) He is the son of Montuhotep I. He ruled for a short period but cared more about rebuilding the country instead of launching military campaigns. However, he did sent a famous expedition to Punt and reestablished trade relations with other nations. He also ordered quarrying operations at WadiWhat does it mean? HammamatWhat does it mean? region
He built an unfinished mortuary complex at Deir El-Bahari near his father's complex.

Montuhotep III
Montuhotep III (r. 1998 - 1991) ascended as the natural heir. He continued to send mining expeditions to Wadi Hammamat. Among them was an expedition sent especially to get the materials needed to make the king's sarcophagusWhat does it mean?.
In his rule, a vizierWhat does it mean? of him called Amenemhat had a big influence to the extent that sometimes he gained fame more that the king himself.

The dynasty ended in turbulence, while Amenemhat apparently took over the rule and founded the 12th dynasty.

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