Mentuhotep IV

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Nebtawyre Mentuhotep IV was the last king of the 11th Dynasty in the Middle Kingdom. He seems to fit into a 7-year period in the Turin Canon for which there is no recorded king.


King's Mother Imi[edit]

In Wadi Hammamat, a rock inscription (Hammamat M 191) with the royal name of Mentuhotep IV also mentions King's Mother Imi.[5] This monument only focus on the title King's Mother, presumably the mother of Mentuhotep IV. It does not include other titles like King's Wife, King's Sister or King's Daughter. Some have speculated that she was a concubine in the royal harem.

Mentuhotep III or Mentuhotep II[edit]

It is not certain who was the father of Mentuhotep IV. Most scholars suggest that he was the son and successor of Mentuhotep III. However, it is also possible that he was a son of Mentuhotep II, thus a brother or half-brother of Mentuhotep III. The fact that he has been omitted from several king lists indicate that there was a crisis in the order of succession - ending in the fall of the eleventh dynasty. His reign is poorly documented indicating turmoil.

Rock inscriptions[edit]

He is known from a few inscriptions in Wadi Hammamat that record expeditions to the Red Sea coast and to quarry stone for the royal monuments. One of these inscriptions confirms the name of his mother to be King's Mother Imi. It seems that he was a son of his predecessor.

Also, he is attested by the inscriptions at Wadi el-Hudi.[6] Another relevant inscription is found in Ain Sukhna.[7] These locations were the usual staging harbours for the expeditions to the Sinai.

Despite Mentuhotep's obscurity (he is absent from the official Abydos king list), the inscriptions show the organization and makeup of a large expedition during his reign. The leader of an expedition to Wadi Hammamat, during the second year of Mentuhotep IV’s reign, was his vizier, Amenemhat, who is assumed to be the future king Amenemhat I, the first king of the 12th Dynasty, and Mentuhotep's immediate successor.

A fragment of a slate bowl found at Lisht North was regarded for a long time to be inscribed on the outside with the official titulary of Mentuhotep IV, and on the inside with that of King Amenemhat I, his successor. Since the two inscriptions are incised in a different style of writing, according to Dorothea Arnold, this indicates that Amenemhat had his name added to an older vessel that already bore the name of Mentuhotep IV.[8] However, Peter Janosi showed that Mentuhotep IV is not mentioned on the bowl, the titulary preserved there fits better to Mentuhotep II.[9]

End of reign[edit]

It is assumed by some Egyptologists that Amenemhat either usurped the throne or assumed power after Mentuhotep IV died childless. There is currently no archaeological or textual evidence to prove that Mentuhotep was deposed by his vizier or that he chose Amenemhat to be his designated successor. Neither his mummy nor his burial place have been found.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Stewart, John (2006). African States and Rulers (Third ed.). London: McFarland. p. 81. ISBN 0-7864-2562-8.
  2. ^ Mentuhotep IV's titulary on
  3. ^ King List (chronological)
  4. ^ Clayton, Peter A. Chronicle of the Pharaohs: The Reign-by-Reign Record of the Rulers and Dynasties of Ancient Egypt. Thames & Hudson. p72. 2006. ISBN 0-500-28628-0
  5. ^ "Hammamat M 191 | Persons and Names of the Middle Kingdom".
  6. ^ Fakhry, Ahmed (1952). The Inscriptions of the Amethyst Quarries at Wadi el Hudi.
  7. ^ El-Raziq, Mahmoud Abd (2002). Les Inscriptions d'Ayn Southna. ISBN 9782724703221. |page=4a and 4b }}
  8. ^ Dorothea Arnold, Amenemhat I and the Early Twelfth Dynasty at Thebes. Metropolitan Museum Journal, v. 26 (1991)
  9. ^ Jánosi, Peter (2010). "Montuhotep-Nebtawyre and Amenemhat I: Observations on the Early Twelfth Dynasty in Egypt". Metropolitan Museum Journal. 45: 7–20. doi:10.1086/met.45.41558050. S2CID 192546924.

Further reading[edit]

Preceded by Pharaoh of Egypt
Eleventh Dynasty
1998 BC – 1991 BC
Succeeded by