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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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2055-1650 BCE

Open map of Ancient EgyptAncient Egypt /
Middle Kingdom

Years BCE
11th Dynasty (2125) 2055-1985
12th Dynasty 1985-1773
13th Dynasty / 14th Dynasty 1773-1650

Period of Ancient Egypt of a unified country, largely continuous stability and high civilization. The Middle Kingdom is commonly defined to span 4 dynasties, the 11th through the 14th, 2055-1650 BCE, 405 years.
This dynasty began in Thebes, as the kings of Upper Egypt defeated the kings of Lower Egypt. But already early in the 12th Dynasty, the former capital area was reestablished, and Memphis became the actual capital. But a new town emerged, the kings residence, and was known as Itj-towy, probably located some 10-30 km south of Memphis.
The heyday of the Middle Kingdom was shorter than both what was the case of the Old Kingdom and New Kingdom. Even at its height, it never produced the momuments or artistry as the other two eras. Pyramids were built in the 12th Dynasty, but of inferior quality, mainly using mud-brick instead of stone. Most interestingly may be the temple of Mentuhotep 2 at the very beginning of the era, which was the model of the larger and more famous Temple of Queen Hatshepsut about 600 years later.
Throughout this period, the notables appear to have been stronger than what was common in the Old Kingdom.
One commonly sited characteristic of the Middle Kingdom is that was inactive with campaigns into certain foreign lands. Especially Syria-Palestine is mentioned, but this is incorrect, as there is plenty of evidence showing activities here during the 12th Dynasty.
Whether the 13th and 14th Dynasty really belongs to the Middle Kingdom is a questionable. These were parallel, and the dominating 13th was apparently not stable in terms of its rulers. According to many sources, as many as 70 rulers shall have shared 113 years.

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By Tore Kjeilen