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1 March 2023

Labyrinth of Egypt | Amenemhet III the greatest king in Fayoum

Labyrinth of Egypt | Amenemhet III (king of Egypt) the greatest king in Fayoum Labyrinth of Egypt

Amenemhat III, also spelled Amenemhet III, was a pharaoh of the Twelfth Dynasty of Egypt. He ruled from c.1860 BC to c.1814 BC, the highest known date being found in a papyrus dated to Regnal Year 46, I Akhet 22 of his rule. His reign is regarded as the golden age of the Middle Kingdom. He may have had a long coregency (of 20 years) with his father, Senusret III.

Labyrinth of Egypt | Amenemhet III the greatest king in Fayoum Labyrinth of Egypt

Amenemhet III (king of Egypt) the greatest king in Fayoum Labyrinth of Egypt


The study of the construction of the pyramids of the Twelfth Dynasty at Hawara and El-Lahûn, He realised that here was an important discovery of a pyramid belonging to this period. He suspected that the large limestone blocks in the middle of the ruins of the mud-brick building covered the burial chamber of the owner of this pyramid. The fact that the large limestone blocks were still in their original position gave him great hope that the burial chamber was still intact. On this basis, Farag submitted a report to the Department of Antiquities explaining the above facts and asked to undertake an excavation at this site.

The field work on the tomb was shared by Dr. Zaky Iskander, the Director of the Chemical Laboratory, and Farag himself. The result of their work confirmed Farag’s expectation. The limestone blocks proved to cover an intact burial chamber of what is thought to be  Pyramid of Princess Neferuptah of the Twelfth Dynasty.

This pyramid is situated about two kilometres to the south east of the Hawara Pyramid of her father Amenemhet III, about 13 kilometres to the south east of the Fayûm city. the pyramid lies at the present time about 20 metres to the west of the Bahr Wahbi Canal. As found now, the ruins of the pyramid form a mound of dark grey mud bricks. This pyramid constituted the superstructure of the tomb. It was composed mainly of mud bricks which were most probably overlaid originally with a casing of limestone blocks. No remains of the casing stones, however, could be found. It seems that the site was used as a quarry in ancient times, and the casing stones were ravaged for stone and lime.

The pavement originally existed is proved by the marks left over the original bed to the north side of the pyramid on which these stones once existed. The brick work base of the pyramid was found to be about 35 metres long.

The dimensions of a number of these bricks were measured. The differences in these dimensions from one brick to another were very slight not exceeding 2 mms. The average dimensions are 16 X 24 X 14 cms. The dimensions of the mud bricks constituting the bulk of the Hawara Pyramid were also measured and the same average of dimensions mentioned above was obtained. This supports the historical fact that the two pyramids were almost contemporaneous.

In the center of the area of the base of the pyramid, lies the burial chamber .This was made in the following way : A large rectangular shaft was sunk into the bed-rock of the desert. This shaft was lined with small limestone blocks and covered with seven huge blocks of limestone forming the roof of the chamber.

The burial chamber in her pyramid was found in the centre of the pyramid roofed with seven huge limestone blocks, and had no access or door. Also no passage could be traced in the remaining brickwork of the pyramid to lead from the middle of its north side to the burial chamber. This shows that the princess was already dead before building her pyramid. She was buried in the burial chamber which was then closed with the huge limestone blocks and the pyramid completed without making a passage to the closed burial chamber since the mummy had been already put in it.

The Hawara Papyri

William Flinders Petrie excavated at Hawara in 1888. After working in Medinet el-Fayum (Arsinoe) and Biahmu, he moved on to the site south of Arsinoe and took the 60 workers he had already employed at the former sites with him. The results of his excavations at Hawara were published in 1889 in his "Hawara, Biahmu, and Arsinoe". The papyrological material said to have been found at Hawara was studied by Prof. Sayce and published on pages 24 to 37 of that volume. Sayce gave a general description of the great papyrus roll which contains parts of books 1 and 2 of the Iliad (the "Hawara Homer"), emphasizing the importance of the variants, and edited the texts of the most complete documents, some of them in a very preliminary way.

The Hawara Papyri fayoum

J. G. Milne undertook a new edition of 37 of these papyri in the Archiv für Papyrusforschung 5, 1913, 378-397. He did not work on the Hawara Homer but concentrated on the smaller literary texts and gave a proper publication of some more documents. The texts which were not reconsidered in Milne's publication were reprinted in Sammelbuch I (nos. 5220, 5223, 5224).

The Hawara Papyri fayoum

When Flinders Petrie brought his finds back to England, the material was divided between several institutions. The Hawara Homer was given to the Bodleian Library in Oxford (where it still is today), while all the other papyrological material stayed in London and was given to the Department of Egyptology at University College London. In 1948, the young professor of Papyrology, Eric Turner received permission from the then Professor of Egyptology, J. Czerny, to take the Hawara papyri to the Department of Greek and Latin at UCL and to keep them there in his custody. A letter from 16 June 1949 confirms the transfer of the papyri. They were kept in a secret place in the department for more than 50 years.

The Hawara Papyri fayoum

As usual, Flinders Petrie did not give precise indications, as to where the papyri were found on the site. He just mentions that the region north of the pyramid "was the usual place for burials in the early Roman period , when gilt cartonnage busts were used. Papyri from the Ist and IInd cent. AD are also usual in the soil here, and for some way north" (p. 8, no. 11; cf. the map on plate XXV in the book). When the papyri arrived in London they were "ironed" by Petrie's friend, Mr. Spurrell who also helped in "unpacking, arranging, and managing the collections" (p. 4). It must have happened then that all the pieces were glued onto greyish cardboard. When writing was distiguishable on the back of the papyri, windows were cut out to make the letters (at least in part) visible. In some instances, Petrie added small notes in pencil about find-spots. In later years, Walter Cockle removed some of the papyri from their cardboards and put them under glass. The cardboard frames of these pieces were nevertheless kept.

Amenemhat III

Amenemhat III (Ancient Egyptian: Ỉmn-m-hꜣt meaning 'Amun is at the forefront'), also known as Amenemhet III, was a pharaoh of ancient Egypt and the sixth king of the Twelfth Dynasty of the Middle Kingdom. He was elevated to throne as co-regent by his father Senusret III, with whom he shared the throne as the active king for twenty years. During his reign, Egypt attained its cultural and economic zenith of the Middle Kingdom.

Amenemhat III
The aggressive military and domestic policies of Senusret III, which re-subjugated Nubia and wrested power from the nomarchs, allowed Amenemhat III to inherit a stable and peaceful Egypt. He directed his efforts towards an extensive building program with particular focus on Faiyum. Here he dedicated a temple to Sobek, a chapel to Renenutet, erected two colossal statues of himself in Biahmu, and contributed to excavation of Lake Moeris. He built for himself two pyramids at Dahshur and Hawara, becoming the first pharaoh since Sneferu in the Fourth Dynasty to build more than one. Near to his Hawara pyramid is a pyramid for his daughter Neferuptah. To acquire resources for the building program, Amenemhat III exploited the quarries of Egypt and the Sinai for turquoise and copper. Other exploited sites includes the schist quarries at Wadi Hammamat, amethyst from Wadi el-Hudi, fine limestone from Tura, alabaster from Hatnub, red granite from Aswan, and diorite from Nubia. A large corpus of inscriptions attest to the activities at these sites, particularly at Serabit el-Khadim. There is scant evidence of military expeditions during his reign, though a small one is attested at Kumma in his ninth regnal year. He also sent a handful of expeditions to Punt.
Amenemhat III

In total, Amenemhat III reigned for at least 45 years, though a papyrus mentioning a 46th year likely belongs to his reign as well. Toward the end of his reign he instituted a co-regency with Amenemhat IV, as recorded in a rock inscription from Semna in Nubia, which equates regnal year 1 of Amenemhat IV to regnal year 44 or 46–48 of Amenemhat III. Sobekneferu later succeeded Amenemhat IV as the last ruler of the Twelfth Dynasty.

Neferuptah Jewellery

parts of Jewellery of Neferwptah collected from the sludgy material found in her sarcophagus show that her set of Jewellery was of the same type as those of most the Middle Kingdom burials found at Dahshûr and Lisht.

Neferuptah Jewellery Amenemhat III
The magnificent broad collar (wesekh) that consists of three rows of blue-green feldspar and three rows of carnelian cylinder beads, separated by eight rows of small gold ring beads—all hung vertically. At the bottom is a fifteenth row of gold drops that are inlaid with carnelian, feldspar, and glass paste. The ends of the collar are formed by gold falcon-head terminals (or finials).
Neferuptah Jewellery
The elements of Jewellery which were found and could be restored most probably to their original state consisted of : 1.-a necklace of gold, carnelian and beads 2.-a broad collar 3.-a pair of bracelets and a pair of anklets 4.-a girdle of disc beads with a hawk-pendant 5.-A funerary apron of faience and blue frit beads
Neferuptah Jewellery

(Usekh) Collar of Neferuptah (or Ptahneferu) The Usekh is a type of broad collar or necklace. It was one of the most common types of ancient Egyptian jewelry. It could be composed of faience beads, flower petals, or gold with semi-precious stone or glass inlays. Six rows of beads terminate with the head of a golden falcon at each end; these were used as fasteners. Two smaller chains of beads are attached to the falcons, leading to a counterpoise, which also bears the image of a falcon, with further horizontal rows of beads hanging from it. At the bottom of the collar, teardrop shaped pendants can be seen, connected to a row of small golden beads. Neferuptah was a daughter of Amenemhat III (12th dynasty) 12th Dynasty

ca. 1860-1814 BC. Made of gold, carnelian, feldspar and glass paste From the small pyramid of Princess Neferuptah at Hawara National Museum of Civilization.
Neferuptah Jewellery

Funerary Apron of the Princess Neferuptah, Daughter of AMENEMHAT III. Middle kingdom.

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