Episode 32: The Repeating of Births

Amenemhat I (Part I) and Neferty's Prophecy.


Amenemhat I, the new ruler of Upper and Lower Egypt, must secure his legitimacy. After his predecessor died without heir, Amenemhat has seized power in a short conflict with two rivals.

To assert his claim to power, he commissions an audacious work of propaganda: The Prophecy of Neferty.

Neferty - a fictional sage of the Fourth Dynasty - prophesieses that Egypt will fall to wrack and ruin. Chaos will reign until a saviour emerges, born in Upper Egypt. His name? Yep, Amenemhat (or "Ameny").

Amenemhat's servant, Khnumhotep I, takes over governorship of Beni Hassan. Here he establishes a local ruling dynasty that will last for many years...


A seated statue of Amenemhat I.


A wall painting from the tomb of Khnumhotep II, son of Khnumhotep I. Beni Hassan, Middle Egypt.



Wolfram Grajetzki. Court Officials of the Egyptian Middle Kingdom. 2009.

Gay Robins. The Art of Ancient Egypt. 2008.