- See Amenemhat, for other individuals with this name.
|Reign||9 years 3 months and 27 days (Turin canon) but possibly longer, 1822–1812 BC, 1815–1806 BC, 1808–1799 BC, 1786–1777 BC, 1772–1764 BC, (12th Dynasty)|
|Coregency||most likely 2 years with Amenemhat III|
|Children||uncertain, possibly Sekhemre Khutawy Sobekhotep and Sonbef|
|Father||uncertain, possibly Amenemhat III (perhaps as adoptive father)|
|Burial||uncertain Southern Mazghuna pyramid ?|
Amenemhat IV (also Amenemhet IV) was the seventh and penultimate pharaoh of the 12th Dynasty of Egypt (c. 1990–1800 BC) during the late Middle Kingdom period (c. 2050–1710 BC), ruling for over 9 years at the end of the 19th century BC or in the early 18th century BC.
Possibly the son, grandson or step-son of his predecessor, the powerful Amenemhat III, Amenemhat IV's reign started with a 2 years long coregency and was seemingly peaceful. He undertook expeditions in the Sinai for turquoise, in Upper Egypt for amethyst and to the Land of Punt and maintained trade relation with Byblos as well as the Egyptian presence in Nubia. Amenemhat IV built some parts of the temple of Hathor in the Sinai and constructed the well-preserved temple of Renenutet in Medinet Maadi.
Amenemhat IV's tomb has not been identified for certain, the Southern Mazghuna pyramid is a possibility, but this remains conjectural. He was succeeded by Sobekneferu, possibly his sister or step-sister, whose short reign marked the end of the 12th Dynasty and inaugurates the decline of the Middle Kingdom into the Second Intermediate Period.
Amenemhat IV was the son of a woman named Hetepi. Hetepi's only known attestation is an inscription on the wall of the temple of Renenutet at Medinet-Maadi where she is given the title of "King's Mother" but not those of "King's Wife", "King's Daughter" or "King's Sister". Consequently, her relation to Amenemhat III is unknown and she may have been non-royal. The relation of Amenemhat IV to Amenemhat III is similarly uncertain, the former could have been the son or grandson of the latter. Similarly, while Manetho states that he married his half-sister Sobekneferu, this is not yet supported by archaeological evidence, in particular Sobekneferu is not known to have borne the title of "King's Wife". Instead, the egyptologist Kim Ryholt proposes that Amenemhat IV was adopted by Amenemhat III and thus became Sobekneferu's step-brother, thereby explaining the Manethonian tradition.
Amenemhat may have died without a male heir, which could explain why he was succeeded by Sobekneferu. This is contested however and some egyptologists, among which Aidan Dodson and Kim Ryholt, have proposed that the first two rulers of the 13th Dynasty, Sobekhotep I and Amenemhat Sonbef were his sons. Amenenmhat IV's may have been Sobeknefru's spouse but no historical evidence currently substantiates this theory.
Amenemhat IV first came to power as a junior coregent of his predecessor Amenemhat III, whose rulership marks the apex of the Middle Kingdom period. The coregency is well attested by numerous monuments and artefacts naming both kings on par. The length of this coregency is uncertain, it could have lasted from 1 to 7 years although most scholars believe it was only 2 years long. The Turin Canon, a king list redacted during the early Ramesside period, records Amenemhat IV on column six, row one, and credits him with a reign of 9 years 3 months and 27 days. Amenemhat IV is also recorded on the entry 65 of the Abydos King List and entry 38 of the Saqqara Tablet, both of which date to the New Kingdom.
In spite of the Turin canon, the duration of Amenemhat's reign is uncertain. It was given as 8 years under the name Ammenemes in Manetho's Aegyptiaca and an inscription found in Semna at the Second Cataract is dated to his year 13, which probably also counts his coregency. In any case, Amenemhat's rule seems to have been relatively peaceful and uneventful. Amenemhat IV is well attested by contemporary artefacts, among which a number of scarab- and cylinder-seals.
Expeditions and foreign relations
Four expeditions to the turquoise mines of the Serabit el-Khadim in the Sinai are dated to his reign by in-situ inscriptions. The latest took place in his 9th year on the throne and could be the last expedition of the Middle Kingdom since the next inscription dates to Ahmose I's reign, some 200 years later. Amenemhat IV sent another expedition to mine amethyst in the Wadi el-Hudi in the south of Egypt. Farther south, three Nile-records are known from Kumna in Nubia which are explicitely dated to his years 5, 6 and 7 on the throne, showing that the Egyptian presence in the region was maintained during his lifetime.
Important trade relations must have existed during his reign with the city of Byblos, on the coast of modern-day Lebanon, where an obsidian and gold chest as well as a jar lid bearing Amenemhat IV's name have been found. A gold plaque showing Amenemhat IV offering to a god may also originate from there.
Recently, continuing excavations at Wadi Gawasis on the Red Sea coast have produced two wooden chests and an ostracon inscribed with a hieratic text mentioning an expedition to the fabled Land of Punt in the year 8 of Amenemhat IV, under the direction of the royal scribe Djedy.
Amenemhat IV completed the temple of Renenutet and Sobek at Medinet Maadi started by Amenemhat III, which is "the only intact temple still existing from the Middle Kingdom" according to Zahi Hawass, a former Secretary-General of the Supreme Council of Antiquities (SCA). The foundations of the temple, administrative buildings, granaries and residences were uncovered by an Egyptian archaeological expedition in early 2006. Amenemhat IV likely also built a temple in the northeastern Fayum at Qasr el-Sagha.
Amenemhat IV is responsible for the completion of a shrine at the temple of Hathor in the Sinai and may also have undertaken works in Karnak where a pedestal for a sacred barque inscribed with Amenemhat III and IV names was found in 1924.
Less than 10 years after Amenemhat IV's death, the 12th Dynasty came to end and was replaced by the much weaker 13th Dynasty. Although the first two rulers of this dynasty may have been sons of Amenemhat IV, political instability quickly became prevalent and kings rarely ruled beyond a couple of years. The influx of Asiatic immigrants in the Nile Delta which had started during the reigns of Amenemhat IV's predecessor accelerated under his own reign, becoming completely unchecked. Under the weak 13th Dynasty, the Asiatic population of the Delta founded an independent kingdom ruled by kings of Canaanite descent forming the 14th Dynasty and reigning from Avaris. Around 80 years after the reign of Amenemhat IV, "the administration [of the Egyptian state] seems to have completely collapsed", marking the start of the Second Intermediate Period.
The tomb of Amenemhat IV has not been identified for certain. He is nonetheless often associated with the ruined Southern Mazghuna pyramid. No inscriptions have been found within the pyramid to ascertain the identity of its owner, however its architectural similarity with the second pyramid of Amenemhat III at Hawara led egyptologists to date the pyramid to the late 12th – early 13th Dynasty. Less probably, Amenemhat IV could have been interred in Amenemhat III's first pyramid in Dashur since his name has been found on an inscription in the mortuary temple.
- The sphinx BM EA58892 on the catalog of the British Museum
- Darrell D. Baker: The Encyclopedia of the Pharaohs: Volume I - Predynastic to the Twentieth Dynasty 3300–1069 BC, Stacey International, ISBN 978-1-905299-37-9, 2008, p. 30–32
- Wolfram Grajetzki: Late Middle Kingdom, UCLA Encyclopedia of Egyptology (2013), available online
- K.S.B. Ryholt: The Political Situation in Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period, c.1800–1550 BC, Carsten Niebuhr Institute Publications, vol. 20. Copenhagen: Museum Tusculanum Press, 1997, excerpts available online here.
- Michael Rice: Who is who in Ancient Egypt, Routledge London & New York 1999, ISBN 0-203-44328-4, see p. 11
- Gae Callender, Ian Shaw (editor): The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt, OUP Oxford, New Edition (2004), ISBN 978-0-19-280458-7, excerpts available online
- Erik Hornung (editor), Rolf Krauss (editor), David A. Warburton (editor): Ancient Egyptian Chronology, Handbook of Oriental Studies, Brill 2012, ISBN 978-90-04-11385-5, available online copyright-free
- Digital Egypt for Universities: Amenemhat IV Maakherure (1807/06-1798/97 BCE)
- Alan H. Gardiner: The Royal Canon of Turin, Griffith Institute, Oxford 1997, ISBN 0-900416-48-3, pl. 3.
- Jürgen von Beckerath: Handbuch der ägyptischen Königsnamen, Münchner ägyptologische Studien, Heft 49, Mainz : Philip von Zabern, 1999, ISBN 3-8053-2591-6, see pp.86–87, king No 7.
- Aidan Dodson & Dyan Hilton, The Complete Royal Families of Ancient Egypt, Thames & Hudson (2004) ISBN 0-500-05128-3, p.102
- Flinders Petrie: A history of Egypt from the earliest times to the 16th dynasty, London Methuen 1897, available online copyright-free
- William J. Murnane: Ancient Egyptian Coregencies, Studies in Ancient Oriental Civilization (SAOC) 40, Chicago: The Oriental Institute, 1977, available online, direct access to pdf
- See for example seals 22 and 38 pp. 113 and 121 and pl. VI and IX in: Percy Newberry: Scarabs an introduction to the study of Egyptian seals and signet rings, with forty-four plates and one hundred and sixteen illustrations in the text, 1906, available online copyright-free
- Gold openwork plaque showing Amenemhat IV, on the British Museum website
- El-Sayed Mahfouz: Amenemhat IV at Wadi Gawasis, Bulletin de l'Institut français d'archéologie orientale A. (BIFAO) 2010, vol. 110, [165-173, 485, 491 [11 p.]], ISBN 978-2-7247-0583-6, see also 
- Dieter Arnold, Nigel Strudwick (editor), Helen M. Strudwick (editor, translator): The Encyclopaedia of Ancient Egyptian Architecture, I.B.Tauris 2001, ISBN 978-1-86064-465-8, p. 145
- Edda Bresciani, Antonio Giammarusti: Sobek's double temple on the hill of Medinet Madî, Les Dossiers d'archéologie (Dijon) A. 2001, n° 265, pp. 132–140, see also 
- The temple of Renenutet at Medinet Madi or Narmuthis.
- Middle East Times: Egypt finds clue to ancient temple's secret April 7, 2006
- Flinders Petrie: Researches in Sinai, Dutton, New York (1906), see p. 63, 92, 93 & 98, available online copyright-free
- Maurice Pillet: Rapport sur les travaux de Karnak (1923–1924), ASAE 24, 1924, p. 53–88, available online
- H. Gauthier: À propos de certains monuments décrits dans le dernier rapport de M. Pillet, ASAE 24, 1924, p. 196–197, available online
- Photos of the pedestal
- Labib Habachi: New Light on Objects of Unknown Provenance (I): A Strange Monument of Amenemhet IV and a Similar Uninscribed One, Göttinger Miszellen (GM) Vol. 26, Göttingen (1977), pp. 27–36.
- Toby Wilkinson: The Rise and Fall of Ancient Egypt, Bloomsbury Paperbacks (2011), ISBN 978-1-4088-1002-6, see in particular p. 183
- Flinders Petrie, G. A. Wainwright, E. Mackay: The Labyrinth, Gerzeh and Mazghuneh, London 1912, available online.
- William C. Hayes: The Scepter of Egypt: A Background for the Study of the Egyptian Antiquities in The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Vol. 1, From the Earliest Times to the End of the Middle Kingdom , MetPublications, 1978, pp. 136–138, available online
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Amenemhat IV.|
- Ingo Matzker: Die letzten Könige der 12. Dynastie, Europäische Hochschulschriften 1986. Reihe III, Geschichte und ihre Hilfswissenschaften. Frankfurt, Bern, New York: Lang.
- Wolfram Grajetzki: The Middle Kingdom of Ancient Egypt: History, Archaeology and Society, Bloomsbury 3PL (2010), ISBN 978-0-7156-3435-6
- Ian Shaw, Paul Nicholson: The Dictionary of Ancient Egypt, Harry N. Abrams, Inc., Publishers. 1995.
|Pharaoh of Egypt