Middle Kingdom

Middle Kingdom
5 records
Late 11th - 14th Dynasty (2061-1665 BCE)

This period began when the local ruler of the Theban region, Mentuhotep, reunited Upper and Lower Egypt under his centralized rule. The Middle Kingdom was a time when ancient Egyptian literature and art flourished. Many of the texts written in this period were revered as high literature for the remainder of Egyptian history and are studied by scholars today as classical ancient Egyptian literature. Also in this period Egypt’s kings began to spread their military influence to the northeast into the Levant and to the south into Nubia (modern Sudan). Royal funerary practices in this period remained much the same as in the Old Kingdom, with kings building pyramids for their burial. Unlike the Old Kingdom, however, Middle Kingdom royal pyramids were not quite as well constructed and so few of them remain as pyramid structures today. Another change in funerary practice during this time had to do with non-royal Egyptians. Previously, literature like funerary texts, which contained spells to help the dead reach the afterlife successfully, were only accessible to the elite. During the Middle Kingdom, Egyptians outside of the elite levels of society began to have access to this funerary literature and began incorporating it into their own burials. Like the Old Kingdom, this was a period of strong political stability and economic prosperity.

- Amber Myers Wells, (2006)