- See Amenemhat, for other individuals with this name.
Statue of Amenemhat II, Egyptian Museum of Berlin
|Pharaoh of Egypt|
|Reign||1929–1895 BC, Twelfth Dynasty|
|Consort(s)||Senet (?), Kaneferu|
|Children||Senusret II, Khenemetneferhedjet I, Ita, Itakayet, Itaweret, Khnemet, Neferet, Sithathormerit, Amenemhatankh (?)|
Nubkhaure Amenemhat II was the third pharaoh of the Twelfth Dynasty of Ancient Egypt. Not much is known about his reign. He ruled Egypt for 35 years from 1929 BC to 1895 BC and was the son of Senusret I through the latter's chief wife, Queen Nefru. His queen is not known; although recently a certain 'king's wife' named Senet has been proposed. His prenomen or throne name, Nubkaure, means "Golden are the Souls of Re."
The most important monument of his reign are the fragments of an annual stone found at Memphis, reused in the New Kingdom. It reports events of the first years of his reign. Donations to various temples are mentioned as well as a campaign to Southern Palestine and the destruction of two cities. The coming of Nubians to bring tribute is also reported. Amenemhat II established a coregency with his son Senusret II in his 33rd Regnal Year in order to secure the continuity of the royal succession.
His pyramid was constructed at Dahshur and is only little researched. Next to the pyramid were found the tombs of several royal women some of them were found undisturbed and still contained golden jewellery.
The court of the king is not well known. Senusret and Ameny were the viziers at the beginning of the reign. Two treasurers are known: Merykau and Zaaset. The overseer of the gateway Khentykhetywer is attested on a stela, where he reports an expedition to Punt.
Amenemhat II and his son, Senusret II, shared a brief coregency, which was the last certain one of the Middle Kingdom. The stela of Hapu at Aswan dates to the third year of Senusret II and to the 35th year of Amenemhat, meaning that Senusret was crowned in his father's 33rd regnal year. The name of the younger king is placed ahead of the senior king, which may possibly indicate that Senusret was the dominant personality in the coregency even before his father died, although such speculation is based on far too little evidence for a fair evaluation one way or the other.
There has been evidence brought forward that shows that the face of the Great Sphinx of Giza is that of Amenemhat II. The evidence includes statements made by German Egyptologist Ludwig Borchardt suggesting that the eye-paint cosmetics seen on the Sphinx were not seen before the 6th Dynasty (making it unlikely to have represented Khafra as typically assumed) and that the pleated stripes on the nemes headress are in groups of three, a very specific style seen exclusively during the 12th Dynasty. The same stripes, eye-paint, and facial structure are present on Amenemhat's sphinx statue in the Louvre. It is concluded by this evidence that the statue itself was created during the 4th Dynasty or before, the original head was damaged beyond repair, and that Amenemhat II carved his own likeness into the existing head and neck to save the structure (explaining why the Sphinx's head is so disproportionately small).
- Peter Clayton, Chronicle of the Pharaohs, Thames & Hudson Ltd, (1994), p.81
- Clayton, p.78
- Murnane, William J. Ancient Egyptian Coregencies, Studies in Ancient Oriental Civilization (SAOC) 40. p.7. The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, 1977.
- Murnane, William J., p.7.
- Temple, Robert. "The Sphinx Mystery: The Forgotten Origins of the Sanctuary of Anubis". Inner Traditions., 2009, p. 175-195
- W. Grajetzki, The Middle Kingdom of Ancient Egypt: History,Archaeology and Society, Duckworth, London 2006 ISBN 0-7156-3435-6, 45-48
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