, pub-5063766797865882, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0 Senusret II Pharaoh Biography 1897-1878 BC ~ Ancient Egypt Facts

April 7, 2012

Senusret II Pharaoh Biography 1897-1878 BC

Senusret II
1897-1878 BC

Senusret II
Continuing the family tradition of alternating names, Senusret II succeeded his father Amenemhet II in about 1895 BC, having been associated with his father as co-regent for at least three years. His reign was a peaceful one, in which he continued the expansion of cultivation in the Faiyum and established a good rapport with the provincial elites. Indeed, inscriptions in the great tombs of the nomarchs at Beni Hassan in Middle Egypt (especially that of Khnumhotep II), bear witness to their cordial relations with the king and the honours he had bestowed upon them.

Senusret II
Senusret II chose to build his pyramid at Lahun, once again essentially of mudbrick that became heavily eroded when the outer limestone casing was gone. An innovation in an attempt to beat the tomb robbers was the location of the pyramid entrance in the surrounding pavement on the south (instead of the usual north) side, rather than in the actual structure. Even this failed to deter the looters, although in 1889 Flinders Petrie did find in the flooded burial chamber a marvellous gold and inlaid royal uraeus that must have come from the king's despoiled mummy (p. 80).

Returning to the site in 1913, Petrie excavated four shaft-tombs belonging to members of the royal family in a gulley on the south side of the pyramid. All had been robbed, but one, that of the princess Sit- Hathor-Yunet, produced a vast collection of personal jewellery and cosmetic items which had been placed in three ebony caskets in a side-wall niche. Due to the early flooding of the tomb the niche had filled up with mud and the robbers, who had smashed into the princess's sarcophagus, missed the hoard. Amongst the group were two extremely fine gold inlaid pectorals and a delightful diadem with tall thin gold plumes and inlaid rosettes on the headband.

Near the pyramid Petrie found the 'pyramid town' built for the workers employed on the construction. Now known as Kahun, its original name was Hetep-Senusret - 'Senusret is satisfied'. Kahun was like an Egyptian Pompeii since it seems to have been suddenly abandoned, with many possessions left behind. Excavations at the site yielded fascinating new information about the social and economic life of the ancient Egyptians - the differences in prosperity within the community were revealed by the varying sizes and quality of the houses. Dozens of papyri covering a great range of topics from accounts and legal texts to gynaecological and veterinary treatises - shed new light on the administration and logistics of a multi-racial and disciplined work force.


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