Episode 27: A Walk in the Desert

Montuhotep II (Part I) at Thebes.

The First Intermediate Period is drawing to a close; the Thebans have conquered the North, at last. 

Now, Montuhotep II, King of Upper and Lower Egypt, must take a thought for the afterlife. To celebrate his victory, and ensure his immortality, the King expands his Mortuary Temple, now under construction west of Thebes.

The temple at Deir al-Bahari is a fascinating structure, which will influence tomb-builders right up to the legendary Hatshepsut of Dynasty 18. 

A stela of King Montuhotep II. The elongated proportions and bright eyes bear all the hallmarks of First Intermediate Period artwork. Louvre Museum of Art.


Queen Kawit. FineArtAmerica.

From "Amenemhat I and the Early Twelfth Dynasty at Thebes." Dorothea Arnold (1991).

A stela of Intef II, king of Thebes. Met. Museum of Fine Art.


The Deir el-Bahari monument. AncientEgyptOnline.

Queen Khemsit. Edouard Naville, The XIth Dynasty Temple... Vol. 3, plate 3.

The burial chamber of Montuhotep II.



Wolfram Grajetzki, The Middle Kingdom of Ancient Egypt. London, 2006.

Gay Robins. The Art of Ancient Egypt. 1997/2008.

Ian Shaw (ed.) The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt. Oxford, 2000/2004. 

Dorothea Arnold. "Amenemhat I and the Early Twelfth Dynasty at Thebes." Metropolitan Museum of Art Journal. 1991.