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Temple of Mentuhotep 2

Temple of Mentuhotep 2, Luxor, Egypt

Temple of Mentuhotep 2, Luxor, Egypt

Temple of Mentuhotep 2, Luxor, Egypt

Temple of Mentuhotep 2, Luxor, Egypt

Portrait of Mentuhotep 2 (now in British Museum, London, Britain), which originally was at this temple.

The Temple of Mentuhotep 2 is sadly overlooked. The famous Temple of Hatshepsut lies next to it, larger in scale and in a superiour condition. Mentuhotep's is not open for visitors, but is easy to look at from the second highest platform at Hatshepsut's.
Mentuhotep 2 is often called Nebhepetre Mentuhotep, He was the 5th ruler of the 11th Dynasty, but managed to unite Egypt in the middle of the 21st century BCE. With him the Middle Kingdom start, and would last 400 years. This was a period of peace, prosperity and great monuments, although never at the levels of the Old or the New Kingdoms.
These are the facts, and shame on you if you do not give the temple your attention the next time you visit Hatshepsut's temple: The funerary temple of Mentuhotep 2 is about 600 years older, and it represented a revolution in the monumental building in Egypt, sort of being the missing link between the pyramid age and the temple age of Egypt.
It has been suggested that a small pyramid was placed at the centre of the temple, making this the first and last true pyramid and temple in one structure. Only that this time, the pyramid (if it really was there) was not crowning any tomb. The 6 chapels and shaft tombs were placed at the inner sections of the temple, next to the majestic and lifeless mountain.
Given the cultural decline of the First Intermediate Period one may get the suspicion that the builders of this temple didn't really have a complete understanding of the original temple and tomb layout. Yet, if that was the fact, their errors would create a pattern for later monuments. The most obvious example is the Temple of Hatshepsut, of course, which is a larger and more elaborate copy of it. The rock-digging graves of the Valley of the Kings and the Valley of the Queens also seem to have their first beginnings here.
Temple of Mentuhotep 2, Luxor, Egypt

By Tore Kjeilen