Alright, admit it! Who had heard of Mentuhotep II before this lecture? And, if you did know of Mentuhotep II, the great unifier of Egypt around 2000BC, did you also know of Mentuhotep III and IV? And what about Amenemhat I, II, III and  IV, or Senusret I, II or III? Not forgetting Sobekneferu, the first historically attested female pharaoh! These are the players in the story of the Middle Kingdom. It was this group of pharaohs who forged a civilisation which was renowned for its art and literature, a period of time which saw the development of Egyptian literature, establishing what became the “classical language” of ancient Egypt, the Middle Egyptian which we study in our classes. It was a time which saw the growth of the cult of the god Osiris, centred around Luxor and Abydos, and formulating a theology which gave hope of an afterlife for the masses. We should, as amateur Egyptologists, know more about this period, but so often the period is overshadowed  by the glories and the achievements of the New Kingdom. Sarah Griffiths did much in her one hour of speaking to us, to enlighten us and bring to life a period of time so often neglected. This was an extraordinarily  broad topic and it was skilfully explained by Sarah, taking time to explain the broad sweep of the Middle Kingdom history whilst not neglecting the details which so often are needed to bring meaning and life to the procession of names, dates and records of military achievements. Our thanks to Sarah for giving us such an enlightening lecture.

Leave a Reply