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Viziers of the Middle Kingdom
Posted In: Ancient Civilizations  2/11/12
By: Yona Williams

 

pyramid.jpg
The Middle Kingdom period was observed from the 11th to 13th century, and had its fair share of viziers – some of which came from a long line of viziers. In this article, you will encounter some of the viziers from the Middle Kingdom, including those that served under Senusret III.

Neferkare Iymeru

In the 13th Dynasty, Neferkare Iymeru served as the vizier for king Sobekhotep IV – sometime around 1750 BC. Over his lifetime, several monuments were erected in his honor – many of which were situated in Karnak. One of the statues now reside in the Louvre has an inscription referring to the opening of a canal and the building of a temple for the king Sobekhotep IV.

Ankhu

Ankhu was a vizier during the 13th Dynasty that lived around 1750 BC. Being a vizier ran in the family, as he was the son of a vizier. His entire family created a strong dynasty of high court officials, as Ankhu was the father of two viziers, Ressenen and Iymeru.

Ankhu ruled at least under two (and possibly maybe five) kings of the 13th Dynasty.  Researchers use his case to highlight the importance of viziers, as they were given a great deal of power and were quite influential when a weak king was in charge. While Ankhu was a vizier, the kings he served were only in power for a short period of time. He was one of many viziers that stayed in power for longer than the rulers they served.

The Viziers of Senusret III

During the 12th century of the Middle Kingdom, the pharaoh Senusret III had three different viziers – Sobekemhat, Nebit, and Khnumhotep III.

Sobekemhat – Archeologists uncovered the mastaba (ancient Egyptian tomb with a flat roof) of Sobekemhat in 1894, which was located next to the pyramid of Senusret III at Dahshur. The outside of the mastaba was decorated with reliefs that were found in small fragments. Analysis of the tomb allowed researchers to conclude that Sobekemhat was the first vizier under Senusret III.

Nebit – The existence of Nebit was revealed when his large tomb was excavated next to the pyramid of Senusret III. Constructed out of mud bricks and covered in stone, researchers learned of his importance when they encountered a preserved façade that bore the name and title of Nebit. The name of the king that he served under was also included. While this part of the tomb was available for exploration, the rest had already been dismantled by looters in search of high-quality stone.

Khnumhotep III – Khnumhotep III was the son of a local governor. When Khnumhotep was a young man, he was promoted to the royal court of Senusret II and was sent on a variety of missions. One time, he was sent to the Red Sea, while another time, he found himself in Byblos. Before he took on the position of vizier, he was known as a high steward. When Jacques de Morgan excavated his tomb in about 1894, inscriptions were found that spoke of his position and some of the expeditions he participated in for the king.


 

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