Senusret II

Senusret II was the fourth Egyptian king (Pharaoh) of the 12th Dynasty ( Middle Kingdom ) he reigned about 1845 / 44-1837 BC (after Beckerath: 1882-1872 BC). The Royal Canon of Turin are noted for its Longevity 19 years. Monuments from his reign only point to a reign of 8-9 years.


Sesostris II applies as the son of his predecessor, Amenemhet II, but there are for this relationship any persuasive arguments. Wife was Chenmetneferhedjet I. the Elderly, when the title of king's daughter is missing and thus was of bourgeois origin. Nofret II, whose seat statues were discovered at Tanis and was closely related to the king, is considered his daughter because she does not carry the title " king consort ". A king's daughter Neferet is named along with other members of the royal family on a papyrus from Lahun, which today is located in Berlin. Other daughters were Itakayt ( II ) and perhaps Sit- Hathor - IUNET. As sons are the throne successor Sesostris III. known and Sesostris - Senebwer.


Sesostris II ascended the 32nd or 33rd year of the reign of Amenemhat II as co-regent to the throne. The coregency lasted for three years up to the 35th year of the reign of Amenemhet 's death.

The reign of Sesostris was mainly peaceful marked as no military enterprises have survived. Witnessed are for several quarry expeditions that served the extraction of construction materials.

Among the greatest achievements of the ruler counts the development and cultivation of the Faiyum area. To divert water from the lake Moeris and to gain agricultural land, the King made a number of dams and canals to create. With the intensification of agriculture in the Faiyum experienced a boom and it created new settlements. In addition, Sesostris ordered the construction of monuments, such as the sanctuary at Qasr es- Sagha. Many of these buildings were never completed as the king died before its completion. Later rulers continued the development of the Fajums during the 12th Dynasty.

Little is known about the court of the ruler. INPY held the office of superintendent of the Guards and was buried near the pyramid of the ruler. Significant nomarchs this time were Khnumhotep II of Beni Hassan, Sarenput II of Aswan, Uchhotep III. by Mair and Thothotep El - Bershe.

Due to the long reign of his predecessor Amenemhat II, Sesostris II was probably already very old when he was co-regent and died on 14 Peret IV


Especially many testimonials are not handed down by Sesostris II. From Hierakonpolis comes a black granite statue of the king. Two other granite statues of Nofret were found at Tanis, which probably Ramses II had hintransportieren there. Ramses built in Ehnasja el -Medina in Herakleopolis some stones of Sesostris ' pyramid chapel in Illahun. From the Wadi Gasus the Red Sea comes a stele dated to the first year of reign. An inscription in the Wadi Hammamat reminiscent of an expedition in the second year. The annual 35/3 of coregency witnessed an inscription near Aswan. Furthermore, the king is mentioned in the private tombs of nomarchs Khnumhotep II and Thothotep in Beni Hassan and El- Bershe.

From the temple of Hathor at the turquoise mines in Serabit el- Chadim comes a headless kneeling statuette, so the special and Horus name of Sesostris II.

A small sandstone stele from the Dioritminen at Toshka at the second cataract of the Nile dated to the eighth year of the reign, pointing perhaps towards a peaceful Nubienpolitik.


Sesostris II chose as the site for his pyramid complex at the entrance of the city Illahun Faiyum Basin. The decision certainly hung with the interests of the king together in this area. The pyramid is only one of the Lehmziegelkern today, was originally 49 meters high with a side length of 106 meters and was similar to the construction of his grandfather Sesostris I.

The pyramid consists of a limestone skeleton, filled in with mud bricks and covered with limestone slabs. A significant change is considered a hewn into the rock trench around the grave, which was filled with stones and should protect the underground grave chamber from water penetration. The entrance was for the first time not as usual in the middle of the north side of the pyramid, but was hidden south-west under the grave of a princess.

A 16 meter deep shaft leading down to a corridor, which is interrupted at one point by a well of unknown depth. Behind the transition increases slightly and leads past a large chamber and a side tunnel. The corridor ends in the grave chamber, where the red granite sarcophagus and an Osiris and Anubis sacred sacrificial table is. An opening in the northwest corner of the grave chamber via a circumferential corridor back to the side tunnel.


The Pyramid district in Illahun has been repeatedly visited by grave robbers. Already under Ramses II, the limestone casing of the pyramid was removed, causing the decay of the building was programmed. Flinders Petrie found the pyramid of rubble the golden Uraeus of Sesostris II, now in the Cairo Museum.

Environment of the tomb

Within the space enclosed by a brick wall pyramid District are located next to the pyramid of the king still a small queens pyramid and several mastabas of high court officials, but they were very destroyed. An outstanding personality was probably the head of the Guards INPY, who was also head of all royal construction work throughout the country and perhaps in charge of the pyramid.

In the grave of Sithathoriunet lying together with other princesses graves on the south side, was found next to the sarcophagus and Kanopenkrügen still golden rings, necklaces, pectorals, a tiara, and more. A small, decorated with beautiful painted reliefs temple was demolished at the time of Ramses II.

At the southwest corner of the Pyramid district three boats were discovered cedar.

Valley Temple and Pyramid City

1.5 km east of the Valley Temple stood, but he does not seem to have been connected with the pyramid. In the temple area were several important papyri ( Lahunpapyri ) are recovered, which provide information about business and management, but also about medicine, religion, astronomy, and literature at the time of the 12th Dynasty. They mostly date to the reign of Sesostris III.

Near the temple Flinders Petrie excavated in 1889 from a perpendicular scale pyramid town at Kahun present site, which was built according to a unified plan and temporarily housed more than 5,000 people. In the city lived royal officials and priests, but also artisans and workers who participated in the construction of the Pyramid district.

Other construction activities are attested in Nubia at the second cataract of the Nile. There Sesostris II had begun by Amenemhat II work on the fortress Mirgissa continue.


In Manetho Sesostris II and Sesostris III. counted together as a king with a reign of 48 years. The Papyrus Turin are Sesostris II 19 years, the. Having the presumed time of the autocratic rule of Sesostris III would agree. Jürgen von Beckerath therefore holds an exchange of information in the Turin Papyrus possible and assigns Sesostris II in the II Amenemhat standing 10 x years.

The highest contemporary government took years for Sesostris II is year 8 or 9, and can be found on a stele from the quarries at Toshka in Nubia. Most Egyptologists, such as Thomas Schneider, Ian Shaw and Darrell D. Baker, argue for a short reign of 8 years.