Eleventh Dynasty of Egypt
c. 2150 BCc. 1991 BC
Funerary stele of Intef II, on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Funerary stele of Intef II, on display at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Common languagesEgyptian language
ancient Egyptian religion
GovernmentAbsolute monarchy
Historical eraBronze Age
• Established
c. 2150 BC
• Disestablished
c. 1991 BC
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Tenth Dynasty of Egypt
Twelfth Dynasty of Egypt

The Eleventh Dynasty of ancient Egypt (notated Dynasty XI; c. 2150 BC – c. 1991 BC) is a well-attested group of rulers. Its earlier members before Pharaoh Mentuhotep II are grouped with the four preceding dynasties to form the First Intermediate Period, whereas the later members are considered part of the Middle Kingdom. They all ruled from Thebes in Upper Egypt.


The relative chronology of the 11th Dynasty is well established by contemporary attestations and, except for count Intef and Mentuhotep IV, by the Turin canon.[1]

Manetho's statement that the 11th Dynasty consisted of 16 kings, who reigned for 43 years is contradicted by contemporary inscriptions and the evidence of the Turin King List, whose combined testimony establishes that this kingdom consisted of seven kings who ruled for a total of 143 years.[2] However, his testimony that this dynasty was based at Thebes is verified by the contemporary evidence. It was during this dynasty that all of ancient Egypt was united under the Middle Kingdom.

This dynasty traces its origins to a nomarch of Thebes, "Intef the Great, son of Iku",[1] who is mentioned in a number of contemporary inscriptions. However, his immediate successor Mentuhotep I is considered the first king of this dynasty.

An inscription carved during the reign of Wahankh Intef II shows that he was the first of this dynasty to claim to rule over the whole of Egypt, a claim which brought the Thebans into conflict with the 10th-Dynasty rulers of Herakleopolis Magna. Intef undertook several campaigns northwards, and captured the important nome of Abydos.

Warfare continued intermittently between the Theban and Heracleapolitan dynasts until shortly before the 39th regnal year of Nebhepetre Mentuhotep II, when the Herakleopolitans were defeated, and this dynasty could begin to consolidate their rule. The rulers of the 11th Dynasty reasserted Egypt's influence over her neighbors in Africa and the Near East. Mentuhotep II sent renewed expeditions to Phoenicia to obtain cedar. Sankhkare Mentuhotep III sent an expedition from Coptos south to the land of Punt.

The reign of its last king, and thus the end of this dynasty, is something of a mystery. Contemporary records refer to "seven empty years" following the death of Mentuhotep III, which correspond to the reign of Nebtawyre Mentuhotep IV. Modern scholars identify his vizier Amenemhat with Amenemhat I, the first king of 12th Dynasty, as part of a theory that Amenemhat became king as part of a palace coup. The only certain details of Mentuhotep's reign was that two remarkable omens were witnessed at the quarry of Wadi Hammamat by the vizier Amenemhat.

Pharaohs of the Eleventh Dynasty

Pharaohs of Dynasty XI
Pharaoh Horus name Image Reign Burial Consort(s) Comments
Mentuhotep I Tepya
2134 BC – ? Neferu I Tepy-a, "the ancestor"
Intef I Sehertawy
?–2118 BC El-Tarif, Thebes Son of Mentuhotep I
Intef II Wahankh
2118–2069 BC El-Tarif, Thebes Neferukayet? Brother of Intef I
Intef III Nakhtnebtepnefer
2069–2061 BC El-Tarif, Thebes Iah Son of Intef II
Nebhepetre Mentuhotep II Seankhibtawy (originally)
Netjerihedjet (later, pre-reunification);
Sematawy (later, post-reunification)
2061–2010 BC Deir el-Bahari Tem
Neferu II
Son of Intef III and Iah. Reunifies Egypt starting the Middle Kingdom.
Sankhkare Mentuhotep III Sankhtawyef
2010–1998 BC Deir el-Bahari[3] Son of Mentuhotep II and Tem
Nebtawyre Mentuhotep IV Nebtawy
1998–1991 BC Son of Queen Imi
Abydos King List, Royal cartouches 57 through 61
11th Dynasty model of Egyptian soldiers from the tomb of Mesehti.
11th Dynasty model of Nubian archers from a tomb in Asyut.

See also


  1. ^ a b Schneider, Thomas (2006-12-30). Hornung, Erik; Krauss, Rolf; Warburton, David A. (eds.). Ancient Egyptian Chronology. pp. 160–161. ISBN 9789047404002. (mirror)
  2. ^ Beckerath, J. V. (1962). "The Date of the End of the Old Kingdom of Egypt". Journal of Near Eastern Studies. 21 (2): 140–147. doi:10.1086/371680. S2CID 161488411.
  3. ^ Wilkinson, Richard H. (2000). The Complete Temples of Ancient Egypt. Thames & Hudson. p. 37, 172, 173, 181. ISBN 9780500051009.
Preceded byTenth Dynasty Dynasty of Egypt 2134 − 1991 BC Succeeded byTwelfth Dynasty