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Dynasties of Ancient Egypt
Predynastic Period
Protodynastic Period
Early Dynastic Period
1st 2nd
Old Kingdom
3rd 4th 5th 6th
First Intermediate Period
7th 8th 9th 10th 11th
Middle Kingdom
11th 12th
Second Intermediate Period
13th 14th 15th 16th 17th
Abydos Dynasty
New Kingdom
18th 19th 20th
Third Intermediate Period
21st 22nd 23rd 24th 25th
Late Period
26th 27th 28th
29th 30th 31st
Hellenistic Period
Argead Dynasty
Ptolemaic Dynasty

The Eleventh Dynasty of ancient Egypt (ca. 2135–1991 BCE) ruled from Thebes in Upper Egypt and consists of a well-attested group of kings. Its earlier members, before Pharaoh Mentuhotep II, are grouped with the four preceding dynasties (7th–10th) to form the First Intermediate Period, whereas the later members are considered part of the Middle Kingdom.

Eleventh Dynasty
Name Dates Comments
Mentuhotep I ca. 2135 BC
Intef I 2133–2117 BC (16 years)
Intef II 2117–2068 BC (49 years)
Intef III 2068–2060 BC (8 years)
Nebhepetre Mentuhotep II 2060–2009 BC (51 years) United Egypt in c. 2040 BC, thereby founding the Middle Kingdom.
Seankhkare Mentuhotep III 2009–1997 BC (12 years)
Nebtawyre Mentuhotep IV 1997–1991 BC (6 years)

Manetho's statement that the Eleventh dynasty consisted of 16 kings who reigned 43 years is contradicted by contemporary inscriptions and the evidence of the Turin King List, whose combined testimony proves that it consisted of seven kings who ruled about 160 years. However, his testimony that this dynasty was based at Thebes is verified by the contemporary evidence. It was during this dynasty that all of Ancient Egypt was united under the Middle Kingdom.

This dynasty traces its origins to a Nomarch of Thebes, "Intef the Great, son of Iku", who is mentioned in a number of contemporary inscriptions. However, his immediate successor Mentuhotep I is considered the first king of this dynasty.

An inscription carved during the reign of Wahankh Intef II shows that he was the first of this dynasty to claim to rule over the whole of Egypt, a claim which brought the Thebeans into conflict with the rulers of Herakleopolis Magna, the Tenth Dynasty. Intef undertook several campaigns northwards, and captured the important Nome of Abydos. Warfare continued intermittently between the Thebean and Heracleapolitan dynasts until the 14th Regnal Year of Nebhetepra Mentuhotep II, when the Heracleopolitans were defeated, and this dynasty could begin to consolidate their rule.

The rulers of the Eleventh Dynasty reasserted Egypt's influence over her neighbors in Africa and the Near East. Mentuhotep II sent renewed expeditions to Phoenicia to obtain cedar. Sankhkara Mentuhotep III sent an expedition from Coptos south to the land of Punt.

The reign of its last king, and thus the end of this dynasty, is something of a mystery. Contemporary records refer to "seven empty years" following the death of Mentuhotep III, which correspond to the reign of Nebtawyra Mentuhotep IV. Modern scholars identify his Vizier Amenemhat with Amenemhat I, the first king of the 12th Dynasty, as part of a theory that Amenemhat became king as part of a palace coup. The only certain details of Mentuhotep's reign was that two remarkable omens were witnessed at the quarry of Wadi Hammamat by the vizier Amenemhat.

Timeline[]

Mentuhotep IVMentuhotep IIIMentuhotep IIIntef IIIIntef IIIntef IMentuhotep I


Preceded by:
9th and 10th Dynasties
First Intermediate Period / Middle Kingdom
11th Dynasty
Succeeded by:
12th Dynasty
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