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Ancient Egypt
1. Introduction
2. People
3. Life styles
4. Culture
5. Education and Science
6. Society
7. Economy
8. Government
9. Cities and Villages
10. Language
11. Religion
12. Kings / periods
13. History
14. Map

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2125-1985 BCE

Open map of Ancient EgyptAncient Egypt / Middle Kingdom /
11th Dynasty

Egyptian lancers. Early 11th Dynasty of Ancient Egypt, around 2100 BCE. National Museum, Cairo, Egypt.
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Egyptian lancers. Early 11th Dynasty of Ancient Egypt, around 2100 BCE. National Museum, Cairo, Egypt.

Years BCE
Mentuhotep 1 2125
Intef 1 2125-2112
Intef 2 2112-2063
Intef 3 2063-2055
Mentuhotep 2 2055-2004
Mentuhotep 3 2004-1992
Mentuhotep 4 1992-1985

Dynasty of Ancient Egypt 2125-1985 BCE, 140 years, consisting of 7 kings. Its first half is defined as part of the First Intermediate Period, its second as part of the Middle Kingdom.
The 11th Dynasty originated from Hermonthis, about 10 km southwest of Thebes. This was the location of their first capital, but would eventually move into Thebes.
The origins, thereby the first king, of the 11th Dynasty is cast in much uncertainty. According ot some theories, a king named Mentuhotep was the first king around 2125 BCE, while other theories make Intef 1 the first king. At this time, Egypt passed through the troubled First Intermediate Period, and the 11th's early kings ruled over only limited territory. It would be King Metuhotep 2 (who is by some lists, ranked as the first king of that name) who around 2055 managed to defeat other Egyptian kings, and take control over a united country.
Already with King Intef 2, the claim over all of Egypt became part of the royal propaganda, but this more reflects ongoing tensions and fights with the kings of Lower Egypt, ruling from Herakleopolis. Intef managed to conquer Abydos, a centre of much religious importance. From Intef 2 to the unification under Mentuhotep 2, some 20 to 30 years of conflict seem to have passed.
A slight shift in the culture of the Middle Kingdom compared to the Old, dates back to the intermediary period of regional self-assertion; the identification with Osiris in the hereafter became relevant to a wider section of the population, earlier being a royal privilege. Also, non-royals had become more involved in erecting monuments.
Economically, the unified Egypt would again send expeditions to foreign lands, and there may have been conquests into neighbouring territories.
The shift into the 12th Dynasty is a mystery, the last king often referred to as an empty period, other times attributed to the 4th king named Mentuhotep.

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By Tore Kjeilen