Egypt’s Old and Middle Kingdoms Far Closer in Time than Conventionally Thought


The following samples are taken entirely from Nicolas Grimal’s

A History of Ancient Egypt,

Blackwell 1994.

P. 67:

“Like his Third Dynasty predecessors, Djoser and Nebka, Snofru soon became a legendary figure, and literature in later periods credited him with a genial personality. He was even deified in the Middle Kingdom, becoming the ideal king whom later Egyptian rulers such as Ammenemes I sought to emulate when they were attempting to legtimize their power”.

P. 71:

“… texts that describe the Fourth Dynasty kings …. It was … quite logical for the Egyptians of the Middle Kingdom and later to link those past rulers represented primarily by their buildings with the greatest tendencies towards immoderation, thus distorting the real situation (Posener 1969a: 13). However, it is difficult to accommodate within this theory the fact that Snofru’s reputation remained untarnished when he built more pyramids than any of his successors”.

P. 73

“A Twelfth Dynasty graffito found in the Wadi Hammamat includes Djedefhor and his half-brother Baefre in the succession of Cheops after Chephren”.

P. 79

“The attribution of the Maxims to Ptahhotep does not necessarily mean that he was the actual author: the oldest versions date to the Middle Kingdom, and there is no proof that they were originally composed in the Old Kingdom, or, more specifically, at the end of the Fifth Dynasty. The question, moreover, is of no great importance”.

Pp. 80-81

{Teti, I have tentatively proposed as being the same pharaoh as Amenemes/Ammenemes I, based on (a) being a founder of a dynasty; (b) having same Horus name; (c) being assassinated. Now, Pepi I and Chephren were married to an Ankhesenmerire/ Meresankh – I have taken Chephren to have been the foster father-in-law of Moses, with his wife Meresankh being Moses’ Egyptian ‘mother’, traditionally, Merris. Both Pepi I and Chephren had substantial reigns}.

Grimal notes the likenesses:

“[Teti’s] adoption of the Horus name Sehetep-tawy (‘He who pacifies the Two Lands’) was an indication of the political programme upon which he embarked. … this Horus name was to reappear in titulatures throughout subsequent Egyptian history, always in connection with such kings as Ammenemes I … [etc.]”.

“Manetho says that Teti was assassinated, and it is this claim that has led to the idea of growing civil disorder, a second similarity with the reign of Ammenemes I”.

P. 84:

“[Pepy I] … an unmistakable return to ancient values: Pepy I changed his coronation name from Neferdjahor to Merire (‘The devotee of Ra’)”.

P. 146:

“The words of Khety III are in fact simply the transposal into the king’s mouth of the Old Kingdom Maxims”.

P. 159:

[Ammenemes I]. Like his predecessors in the Fifth Dynasty, the new ruler used literature to publicize the proofs of his legitimacy. He turned to the genre of prophecy: a premonitory recital placed in the mouth of Neferti, a Heliopolitan sage who bears certain similarities to the magician Djedi in Papyrus Westcar. Like Djedi, Neferti is summoned to the court of King Snofru, in whose reign the story is supposed to have taken place”.

P. 164:

“[Sesostris I]. Having revived the Heliopolitan tradition of taking Neferkare as his coronation name …”.

P. 165:

“There is even evidence of a Twelfth Dynasty cult of Snofru in the region of modern Ankara”.

P. 171:

“Ammenemes IV reigned for a little less than ten years and by the time he died the country was once more moving into a decline. The reasons were similar to those that conspired to end the Old Kingdom”.

P. 173:

“… Mentuhotpe II ordered the construction of a funerary complex modelled on the Old Kingdom royal tombs, with its valley temple, causeway and mortuary temple”.

P. 177:

“… Mentuhotpe II’[s] … successors … returned to the Memphite system for their funerary complexes. They chose sites to the south of Saqqara and the plans of their funerary installations drew on the architectural forms of the end of the Sixth Dynasty”.

…. The mortuary temple was built during the Ammenemes I’s ‘co-regency’ with Sesostris I. The ramp and the surrounding complex were an enlarged version of Pepy II’s”.

P. 178:

“The rest of [Sesostris I’s el-Lisht] complex was again modelled on that of Pepy II”.

Pp. 178-179:

“[Ammenemes III’s ‘black pyramid’ and mortuary structure at Dahshur]. The complex infrastructure contained a granite sarcophagus which was decorated with a replica of the enclosure wall of the Step Pyramid complex of Djoser at Saqqara (Edwards 1985: 211-12)”.

“[Ammenemes III’s pyramid and mortuary temple at Harawa]. This was clearly a sed festival installation, comparable to the jubilee complex of Djoser at Saqqara, with which Ammenemes’ structure has several similarities”.

“The tradition of the Old Kingdom continued to influence Middle Kingdom royal statuary …”.

P. 180:

“The diversity of styles was accompanied by a general return to the royal tradition, which was expressed in the form of a variety of statues representing kings from past times, such as those of Sahure, Neuserre, Inyotef and Djoser created during the reign of Sesostris II”.

P. 181:

“A comparable set of statures represents Ammenemes III (Cairo, Egyptian Museum CG 385 from Hawara) … showing the king kneeling to present wine vessels, a type previously encountered at the end of the Old Kingdom (Cairo, Egyptian Museum CG 42013 …) …”.


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