Amenemhet I


1991 - 1962 

 12th Dynasty

   Possibly the vizier of Mentuhteop IV, who took the throne upon the death of his king (by means fair or foul is not known).
Details of the state of the country come from the 'Prophecy of Neferti', a text said to date from the Old Kingdom which relates how a king 'Ameny' would come to save the country!
If Amenemhet I is to be equated with the vizier, then he does have the non-royal beginnings necessary: his father was Senusret (a commoner), his mother, Nefert, originaly came from Elephantine.

Amenemhet I's long reign of 30 years did much to give stability to Egypt which was still feeling the after-effects of the 1st Intermediate which ended almost 70 years earlier. He moved the capital from Thebes to a site on the edge of the Fayoum - Lisht (meaning 'Seizer of the Two Lands' ), although the pyramid of Amenemhet I was built at Lisht, the actual site of the city is still to discovered. Next was to res-establish the nome boundaries which had been lost during the 1st Intermediate Period (perhaps a concession to guarantee the support of the nomarchs, obviously he did have a good relantionship with these nomarhs and could call upon them to provide military aid - the nomarch Khnumhotep I provided such aid when he accompanied Amenemhet I south to Elephantine with a force of 20 ships to quell any opposition to the King's rule.

A wall (the 'Wall of the Prince') at Wadi Tumilat was built to repel the nomad tribes of Asiatics.

Amenemhet I also campaigned in Lower Nubia, against the 'C-group' people (a people who first appear in Nubia during the 1st Intermediate Period). Inscriptions dating to Year 29 record the king's arrival, forts were also built to control to any further uprising and reach as far aouth as the 2nd Cataract.

In Year 20, the heir to the throne, Sesostris, was made co-regent and were to rule together for 10 years. It was while Sesostris I was away from Egypt camaigning in Libya that Amenemhet I was assassinated (probably a secret conspiracy in his harim). This assassination is relaid in two historic documents - the' Story of Sinhue' and in the 'Instruction of Amenemhet I for his son Sesostris'.

 The Pyramid of Amenemhet I

Original Height - 55m

Length of Side 78.5m

A return to the style and size of previous pyramids of the Old Kingdom - the core of the pyramid was made from local limestone with a loose infill of sand, mudbrick and fragment of blocks originally dating to the Old Kingdom. The entrance to the pyramid was at ground-level on the north side, a entrance chapel with a false door was above this main entrance.
Around the pyramid was an inner and outer enclosure wall - close members of the royal family and court were buried in Mastabas between these two walls. 22 tomb shafts on the west side of the pyramid complex were for the royal women (names found include: Neferu - the King's daughter and Chief wife of Sesostri I, Nefret - mother of Amenemhet I, and Nefrytatenen wife of Amenemhet and mother of Sesostris I).

 A - Pyramid   D - Burial Chamber G - Inner enclosure wall
 B - Entrance E - Funerary Temple H - Tombs of Princesses
C - Corridor F - Ramp I - Outer enclosure wall

Head of statue of a Queen found at the Pyramid site