Eleventh Dynasty of Egypt

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The Eleventh Dynasty of ancient Egypt (notated Dynasty XI) is a well attested group of rulers, whose earlier members before Mentuhotep II are grouped with the four preceding dynasties to form the First Intermediate Period, while the later members are considered part of the Middle Kingdom. They all ruled from Thebes.

The relative chronology of the 11th Dynasty is well established by contemporary attestations and, except for count Intef and Mentuhotep IV, by the Turin canon:[1]

Pharaohs of Dynasty XI
Pharaoh Horus-name Reign Burial Consort(s) Comments
Intef the Elder Iry-pat, "the Count", probably the same person as "Intef, son of Iku".[1] Theban nomarch serving an unnamed king.
Mentuhotep I 2134 BC – ? Neferu I Tepy-a, "the ancestor"
Intef I Sehertawy  ?–2118 BC El-Tarif, Thebes Son of Mentuhotep I
Intef II Wahankh 2118–2069 BC El-Tarif, Thebes Brother of Intef I
Intef III Nakhtnebtepnefer 2069–2061 BC El-Tarif, Thebes Iah (queen) Son of Intef II
Mentuhotep II Nebhetepre 2061–2010 BC Deir el-Bahari Tem
Neferu II
Son of Intef III and Iah. Reunifies Egypt starting the Middle Kingdom.
Mentuhotep III Sankhkare 2010–1998 BC Deir el-Bahari[2] Son of Mentuhotep II and Tem
Mentuhotep IV Nebtawyre 1998–1991 BC Son of Queen Imi

Manetho's statement that Dynasty XI consisted of 16 kings, who reigned for 43 years is contradicted by contemporary inscriptions and the evidence of the Turin King List, whose combined testimony establishes that this kingdom consisted of seven kings who ruled for a total of 143 years.[3] However, his testimony that this dynasty was based at Thebes is verified by the contemporary evidence. It was during this dynasty that all of ancient Egypt was united under the Middle Kingdom.

This dynasty traces its origins to a nomarch of Thebes, "Intef the Great, son of Iku", who is mentioned in a number of contemporary inscriptions. However, his immediate successor Mentuhotep I is considered the first king of this dynasty.

Abydos King List, Royal cartouches 57 through 61

An inscription carved during the reign of Wahankh Intef II shows that he was the first of this dynasty to claim to rule over the whole of Egypt, a claim which brought the Thebans into conflict with the rulers of Herakleopolis Magna, Dynasty X. Intef undertook several campaigns northwards, and captured the important nome of Abydos.

Warfare continued intermittently between the Thebean and Heracleapolitan dynasts until the fourteenth regnal year of Nebhetepra Mentuhotep II, when the Herakleopolitans were defeated, and this dynasty could begin to consolidate their rule. The rulers of Dynasty XI reasserted Egypt's influence over her neighbors in Africa and the Near East. Mentuhotep II sent renewed expeditions to Phoenicia to obtain cedar. Sankhkara Mentuhotep III sent an expedition from Coptos south to the land of Punt.

The reign of its last king, and thus the end of this dynasty, is something of a mystery. Contemporary records refer to "seven empty years" following the death of Mentuhotep III, which correspond to the reign of Nebtawyra Mentuhotep IV. Modern scholars identify his vizier Amenemhat with Amenemhat I, the first king of Dynasty XII, as part of a theory that Amenemhat became king as part of a palace coup. The only certain details of Mentuhotep's reign was that two remarkable omens were witnessed at the quarry of Wadi Hammamat by the vizier Amenemhat.

See also


  1. 1.0 1.1 Thomas Schneider: Ancient Egyptian Chronology - Edited by Erik Hornung, Rolf Krauss, And David a. Warburton, available online, see pp. 160–161
  2. Richard H. Wilkinson: The Complete Temples of Ancient Egypt, Thames and Hudson, 2000, pp. 37, 172, 173, 181, ISBN 0-500-05100-3
  3. Jürgen von Beckerath, The Date of the End of the Old Kingdom of Egypt, JNES 21 (1962), p.146

External links

Preceded by
Tenth dynasty
Dynasty of Egypt
2025 − 1991 BC
Succeeded by
Twelfth dynasty