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Mentuhotep II

(Wahankh)

2117 - 2069 BC

 

 

 The first true king of the Middle Kingdom, he built upon the foundations left by his predecessors, continued the battle against the Herakleopolians and united all Egypt.


When Mentuhotep camle to the throne an uneasy peace lay between the two kingdoms of Thebes and Herakleopolis. However, Mentuhotep had inheritated a kingdom plagued with famine, during this period the Herakleopolitans tried to re-take the city of This, in turn Mentuhotep then attacked the more northerly nomes, and captured Asyut. Once he had passed through the 15th nome without resistance, Mentuhotep had effectively finally defeated the Herakleopolitan dynasty (2040 BC).


Mentuhotep then began the long process of politcal change in Egypt (which would not be fully accomplished until Mentuhotep's 30th year as king - around 2030BC). He left many nomarchs stil in control of their nomes although he did place controls on them to restrict their power. Mentuhotep appointed his own men to all key positions of authority and also moved the capital of the country to Thebes.


Once he had secured Egypt itself, Mentuhotep II looked to expand her borders - he led an army west against the Tjemehu and Tjehenu Libyans and into the Sinai peninsula against the Mentjiu nomads. Nubia was also a target, although he was unable to recover the boundaries gained by 6th dynasty kings, he extended Egypt's control as far as the 2nd Cataract.


Mentuhotep became a prolific builder - the continued the restoration of the temples of Heqaib and Satis at Elephantine (originally begun by Intef III), constructions in Deir el Ballas, Dendera, Elkab, the temple of Hathor at Gebelin (scenes showing the defeat of the north are shown here), Abydos, the sanctuaries of Monthu at el-Tod and Armant.
In the cliffs of Deir el-Bahri Montuhotep built himself an impressive funerary monument