April 6, 2012

Mentuhotep II Pharaoh Biography 2010 -1998 BC

Mentuhotep II
Sankhkare
2010 -1998 BC

Mentuhotep II
The long reign of Mentuhotep I was used to good advantage, allowing the king to bequeath to his son, Sankhkare Mentuhotep II, the throne of a flourishing country. It also meant that Mentuhotep II was relatively elderly when he came to power in 2010 BC, and indeed he was only to rule for 12 years. Despite the brevity of his reign, the new king continued the policy pursued by his predecessors of maintaining a defensive attitude towards the neighbours on the northern frontiers, as well as looking keenly to the south of the First Cataract to trade goods.

Mentuhotep II carried out a number of building works, including temples and shrines, and he evidently initiated a series of expeditions to gather raw materials. One such excursion in Year 8 of his reign (recorded on a long inscription in the Wadi Hammamat) was led by his steward Henenu, who was sent there to obtain suitable stone for statues to be erected in the temples. The expedition seems to have been the first to the area for some time, since Henenu took 3000 soldiers with him (and that was only after local rebels had been cleared from the road by other troops). Henenu sank a total of 12 wells en route and made sure that his force was adequately provided for, everyone having a leather bottle, a carrying pole, two jars of water and 20 loaves a day; furthermore, in that hard terrain, 'the asses were laden with sandals'.

After his death in c. 1998 BC, Mentuhotep II was probably buried in a bay in the cliffs to the south of his father's great monument at Deir el- Bahari. Little remains there except for a causeway that apparently ends at a sloping passage going into the rock. Hieratic graffiti scratched on the rocks in the area by priests of the mortuary cult at least indicate that the king found his resting place somewhere close by.

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