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date: 01 July 2022

Abstract and Keywords

The ancient Egyptians of later times saw the Middle Kingdom as their classical period. Its language was used in temple and tomb inscriptions until the Roman Period, and its literature was still read and copied hundreds years after it was written. Its sculpture was the prototype for that of the Late Period, more than a thousand years later. The basic outlines of this period are relatively straightforward: the Eleventh-Dynasty king Mentuhotep II unified the country around 2000 bc, and subsequently the kings of the Twelfth Dynasty built a strong administration and centralized the country. Lower Nubia was conquered and raids into Western Asia are attested. In the Thirteenth Dynasty there is a detectable process of political decline, with a high number of kings ruling over a short period of time. Around 1650 bc, foreign (Hyksos) rulers took over parts of the Delta, while, in the south, Egypt fought against the Nubian Kerma empire, but in about 1550 bc the Theban ruler Ahmose managed to defeat the Hyksos and unite the country.

Keywords: ancient Egypt, Middle Kingdom, Second Intermediate Period, Thebes, Abydos, Itjtawy, Lisht, Amenemhat, Senusret, Mentuhotep, Hyksos, Avaris, tombs, temples, Kerma

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