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The Shêkh el-Beled. From Şakşarah [Gizeh Museum, No. 492).

B.C. 3333

other monuments of the great civilization of Egypt were wanting, these “Precepts" alone would show the moral worth of the Egyptians, and the high ideal of man's duties which they had formed nearly 5500 years ago. Of Unás, the last king of the Vth dynasty, we know little except that he built a pyramid at Sakkârah, which was opened in 1881.

The kings of the VIth dynasty seem to have extended their operations further south, for their names are found at El-kab, Abydos, Aswân, and elsewhere. Tetà and Pepi I. 3266-3233 built each a pyramid at Şakkarah, and the rule of the latter seems to have embraced all Egypt. He renewed the Egyptian rule over the Sinaitic peninsula, and the inscriptions at Wâdy Ma'arah show that copper mining was carried on there during his reign as busily as ever. Among Pepi's staff was a young man called Unå, who had been a favoured the career servant of Tetà; Pepi employed him in many ways and of Unå. distinguished him by entrusting the care of an expedition against the Āāmu and Heru-shā, who are supposed to be Semitic and Asiatic enemies of Egypt respectively. Troops were brought from Ethiopia and led against them by Uná; the Egyptians were successful in defeating them, and having wasted their land, they returned to Egypt bringing many captives with them. To quell the tribes in revolt to the north of the Heru-shā territory it was necessary to send troops in ships. As a mark of the king's favour Unå was sent to the quarries of surah (in Eg. O Amy Re-āu) to bring back a block of stone suitable for the king's sarcophagus. The ability and fidelity of Unå made him an acceptable officer to Merenrā, the successor of Pepi I., who 3200 sent him to the quarries to bring back a block of stone for the royal sarcophagus, to Aswân and Elephantine for granite to build a shrine and to make the doors of his pyramid, and to Alabastron for a large slab of fine white limestone. Neferka-Rā, or Pepi II., succeeded his brother Merenrā; he built a pyramid and made an expedition to Sinai. The last ruler of the sixth dynasty, Nitàqert (Nitocris), was a queen ; she

3133 enlarged the pyramid of Mykerinos and covered it over with slabs of granite, and the remains of a fine basalt sarcophagus which were found in a chamber near that of Mykerinos seem to indicate that the queen's body had been laid there.


B. M.

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During the first six dynasties it is clear that the Egyptians were masters of the copper mine district in Sinai, that they were able to beat off the tribes on their western borders, that they defeated the two great warlike bodies of the Āāmu and the Heru-shā, and that they were at peace with the Ethiopians, upon whom they could call for assistance in time of war. As builders they were unequalled, and their art had advanced so far that they were never successfully imitated by later generations. Their religion and government were well founded, and their education was of a very high character. So far as is known there was no other nation, except the Babylonians under Naram-Sin and Sargon, which was so highly civilized at this remote period.


DYNASTIES VII-XI. Unknown Of the history of Egypt of this period nothing is known; period in Egyptian

the names of the kings who reigned cannot even be arranged history. in accurate chronological order. Towards the end of this

period a number of kings named Antef and Menthu-hetep ruled; they appear to have been of Theban origin. Menthuþetep, with the prenomen of Neb-taui-Rā, is styled, on a stele on the island of Konosso, the conqueror of thirteen nations, and his name appears on rocks which lie beside the old road from Coptos to the Red Sea through the valley of

Hammâmât. The mightiest king of this period seems to 2500

have been Seānchkarā, who was able to send forth an expedition to the land of Punt, the land of the gods, the

and the land of sweet Great ex- spices. The expedition set out in the eighth year of the pedition to

king's reign, under the leadership of Hennu ; it consisted of 3000 men, among whom were stone-cutters, soldiers, etc. On their road they dug four wells, and having arrived safely on the shores of the Red Sea, they took ship and sailed probably for the southern part of the Arabian peninsula. The expedition returned successfully, bearing with it great quantities of spices, precious stones, and other products of the East.

XIITH DYNASTY. 2466 The kings of this dynasty, like the Åntefs and Menthu

heteps, were of Theban origin, and under their rule Egypt




comes forth into the light of day as a mighty power. As they were able to defend their country from the assaults of their hereditary foes in Ethiopia, and from the tribes on their eastern and western borders, the arts and sciences flourished, and large works connected with the storage of Nile water were undertaken. The period of their rule, following as it did absolute anarchy, is one of the most interesting in the history of Egypt; and Thebes, which hitherto had not been Thebes the seat of government, became the chief city of the Egyptian

capital of empire.

Egypt. Amenemhat I. made himself master of Egypt after very hard fighting, and during his rule of twenty-nine years he

2466 defeated the Uauat, an Ethiopian tribe, the Matui, a people who lived in the desert to the west of Egypt, and the Asiatics. He wrote a series of “Instructions” for his son Usertsen, whom he seems to have associated with him in the rule of the kingdom during the last ten years of his life. Conspiracies were formed against him, and he relates that his foes crept into his chamber at night to kill him. Amenemhāt I. is famous as the founder of the temple of Amen-Rā, “the king of the gods,” at Thebes, but although he beautified Thebes by this temple, he did not forget to establish another at Memphis, and at the other venerable cities of his kingdom. He followed the custom of the kings of the earlier dynasties and built a pyramid for his tomb. During his reign the story of Senehet was written. For an account of this remarkable papyrus see the article by Goodwin in Fraser's Magazine, No. 422, 1865, and for a translation sce Records of the Past, Ist ed., Vol. VI., pp. 131-150. The original is preserved in Berlin, and a facsimile was published by Lepsius, Denkmäler, Abth. VI., Bl. 104 ff.

Usertsen I. is famous as being the king who set up 2433 obelisks at Heliopolis and who beautified that city by Rise of building splendid temples there. These works were under. On or

Heliopolis. taken by him after taking counsel with his chief advisers, and in the record of the proceedings of the solemn assembly at which this took place, Usertsen's orders for the prompt

· The leather roll giving this interesting text was purchased by Brugsch in 1858, and is now preserved at Berlin.

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The entrance to the tombs at Beni-Hasan. XIIth dynasty.

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