Middle Kingdom

The Middle Kingdom was a time period between 1975 B.C. and 1640 B.C.

This was a period of time where Egypt had one ruler and the ruler was the pharaoh.


The Dynasties that ruled during the Middle Kingdom were the Eleventh Dynasty, Twelfth Dynasty, Thirteenth Dynasty and some believe the Fourteenth Dynasty was part of this time period.

How Did the Middle Kingdom Form?

When the First Intermediate Period was happening, Egypt was a divided nation.

There was a lot of problems in their politics and in their culture and this caused a lot of confusion.

When the Tenth Dynasty took over, they ruled the northern part of Egypt, but the Eleventh Dynasty ruled the southern part of Egypt.

A new leader took over, and his name was  and he became the pharaoh of Southern Egypt.

He attacked northern Egypt and then they became one nation.  When they became one nation, he ruled them, and this was the start of the Middle Kingdom.

Mentuhotep II

During the leadership of Mentuhotep II, Thebes was the capital of Egypt.

The city of Thebes was a powerful area and it would stay a powerful area throughout all of Egyptian history.

Thebes was known because it was strong both in religion and in politics.  Mentuhotep II was a very popular pharaoh and when he had his tomb built, he built it near Thebes because he thought this area was very strong and wanted to live close to it.

Later on, many pharaohs would be buried near Mentuhotep II and this area would become known as the “Valley of the Kings.”

Mentuhotep II was very powerful, and he lived to rule for 51 years.  He made being a pharaoh an important thing and the Egyptians once again began to believe that pharaohs were gods.


During the reign of Mentuhotep II, the government was very powerful.

The central government went beyond the borders of Egypt and many people respected and feared the Egyptians because they had such a powerful leader.

During this time, Mentuhotep II build a powerful army that would stay on the borders and would protect Egypt from any type of invaders.

He kept the government strong and this allowed there to be more wealth in the nation.

The nation became very powerful and wealthy during the next pharaoh, Pharaoh Amenemhat II.  Pharaoh Amenemhat II ruled for 45 years in Egypt.


Art continued to get stronger during this time and there was a specific type of art that people used when they built statues and it was called “block statue.”

This was when they would make a block and would sculpt it into a person or a god.

This type of art would stay popular for thousands of years and it became popular to sculpt a single piece of rock into a person or some type of writing.

Writing became stronger as well and there were more and more symbols that were used.  People begin to write stories and write down things about religion.

During the Middle Kingdom, literature and reading became important and people would read about history and would use it mostly for entertainment instead of learning.

End of the Middle Kingdom

When the pharaoh from the Thirteenth Dynasty was in control, this was a period of time where the government became weak and they were no longer protecting the borders.

During this dynasty, foreign people called the Hyksos begin to come in the borders and they eventually took over the northern Egypt and changed the capital from Thebes to Avaris.

Facts About the Middle Kingdom:

  • Most of the time during the Middle Kingdom, the pharaoh would appoint their son to be a coregent which was like a vice-president. So basically, they were second in command.
  • Pharaoh Senusret III was one leader pharaoh from the Middle Kingdom. His nickname is “Warrior-King” because when his soldiers would go into war, he would fight with them.
  • During the Twelfth Dynasty, the capital was called Itj Tawy.
  • The Middle Kingdom is sometimes called the “Classical Age.”
  • The Middle Kingdom is sometimes called the “Period of Reunification,” because people became united and the place was no longer divided.

What Did You Learn?

  1. What was the time period between 1975 B.C. to 1640 B.C. called? This period of time was called the Middle Kingdom.
  2. Who was one of the powerful rulers during the Middle Kingdom that attacked the southern Egypt and made Egypt under one ruler? The king that became the powerful ruler of one Egypt was called Mentuhotep II.
  3. What did the capital change to when Mentuhotep II became the king?W The capital changed to Thebes when Mentuhotep II became king.
  4. Who was the pharaoh that brought riches and power to Egypt and ruled for 45 years? The pharaoh that brought riches and power to Egypt was Pharaoh Amenemhat III.
  5. Who took over the rule at the end of the Middle Kingdom? During the end of the Middle Kingdom was when Hyksos took over the power.
  6. Who were the Hyksos? The Hyksos were a group of foreign people that took over parts of Egypt.