Senusret III

Sesostris III. (Greek name) ruled from about 1882 BC ( the start of the co-regency ) until about 1842 BC when ancient Egyptian King (Pharaoh) of the 12th Dynasty ( Middle Kingdom ). Sesostris II had used him on 1 Achet I, seven and a half months before his death ( 14 Peret IV) co-regent.

The Royal Canon of Turin to his reign is given as 3 [X ] years, so a maximum duration of 39 years government would be possible. With the beginning of his 20th year of the reign of Sesostris III began. his son Amenemhet III. for a co-regent.


His mother was Chenmetneferhedjet I., wife of Sesostris II The wives of Sesostris III. were Chenmetneferhedjet II and Nofrethenut. With them he had daughters Senet Senebtisi, Menet, Sathathor, Itakayet (perhaps more likely daughter of Sesostris II ) and Mereret. As the only son is the heir to the throne Amenemhat III. testified. Although a wife named Meretseger appear on monuments dating from the New Kingdom, it is doubtful whether this person existed.


After the death of his father Sesostris II Sesostris III took over. a consolidated inside the Reich. One of his first measures was the renovation of the " Unas " channel, the shipping lane through the first cataract. The king conquered other parts of Nubia and extended the empire to the second cataract, where he established a frontier barrier at Semna. During his reign the power of the feudal lords was severely curtailed, because you will not find Feudalgräber the nomarchs more.

The data list the deans in the Book of Nut is a machining during the Middle Kingdom under Sesostris III. in his seventh year of the reign, which is consistent with the naming of the heliacal Aufgangs of Sirius on 16 Peret IV in the same year and first roughly about the time 1900 is narrow to 1850 BC. The accuracy of this information is assumed by different methods of calculation of several Egyptologists to be safe.

Assuming that Memphis was chosen as the reference point for the Sirius observations, 1875-1872 BC are possible for the heliacal rising on 16 Peret IV and thus for the seventh year of the reign only the years. With compliance with the details of the Royal Canon of Turin, the lunar calendar dating and the ninth year of the reign of Amenemhet IV Wolfgang Helck and Winfried Barta call for the seventh year of the reign 1875 BC, during Jürgen von Beckerath and William J. Murnane 1872 start BC.


For Sesostris III. are occupied at least three, maybe even four campaigns in Nubia. Furthermore, there is evidence of campaigns to Palestine. The first campaign took place in his eighth Regierungsjahar and can be inferred from two inscriptions. On the small island just south of Aswan Sehel there is a rock inscription which tells of the construction or renovation of a channel. In the eighth year of the reign of the ruler also dated a stele that was found in Semna and explicated says that the Nubian border was established here in Semnah in the eighth year of the king. The next campaign took place in the year 10 of the ruling. Again, this suggests various inscriptions, without details are known. An inscription at Aswan dated in the year 10 and reported briefly that the ruler moved to Nubia. More important are two inscriptions that were found in Dal, about 83 km south of Semna and in the tenth year of the ruling date (only one inscription explicitly mentions his name) and testify that the campaign advanced all the way to the area. But he did not lead to further conquests, as the limit at Semna remained. Another campaign took place in the year 16. In this year, the so-called large Semna stele is dated. It begins with the sentence: Jar 16, third month of Peret season, set his Majesty the southern boundary at Heh. The last campaign was finally in the 19th, the last (near) year of the reign of the ruler instead. Again, not much is known about the campaign and he is only briefly mentioned in some inscriptions.

Moon Data

In the Al- Lahun papyri are from the reign of Sesostris III. new moon following data was obtained:

The court

Two viziers dated with certainty under Sesostris III. Sobekemhat and Nebit. They are both famous for their mastabas, which were found along with the pyramid of King at Dahshur. A third vizier, Khnumhotep, possibly dated already under Amenemhet III. Several treasurer can be classified under the ruler. Sobekemhat wore this title before he was appointed vizier. Senanch dated in the eighth year of the ruler and had to dig a canal at Sehel. Iychernofret dated to the end of the reign of Sesostris III and taught. Osiris celebrations from Abydos.


Located in Medamut, northeast of Karnak, was already in the Old Kingdom, a sanctuary of the god of war Month. At this point, let Sesostris III. build a new Month - temple, built mainly of mud brick. Only doors and pillars were made ​​of limestone. The temple had a size of 65 m × 100 m, the perimeter wall was 5 m thick.

Sesostris III. built at Dahshur his "Black Pyramid" entirely of mud bricks, without the usual with his predecessors stone ribs. In a side length of 106.70 m, it was originally 65.50 m high ( according to Mark Lehner 78 m high). The entrance to the pyramid was, amazingly, in the west. Im not lying in the center grave space we found the granite sarcophagus of the king. For the first time the grave chamber was not protected by dropping stones.

His grave sites

At Abydos ( Araba el Madfuna ) put Sesostris III. be to " Osiris - grave ". The Valley Temple was located at the edge of the desert, a 700 m long causeway leading to the grave District, which formed a T-shaped brick platform: 156 m wide and 160 m long. In the northern part two shafts leading into the 24 m deep grave. The 180 m long corridor grave was sealed with granite and quartzite. The actual burial chamber was placed hidden. The elaborate system suggests some Egyptologists that Sesostris III. was buried not in his pyramid, but here.

The grave sites in the pyramid of Sesostris III district. at Dahshur were looted as usual. Inside the pyramid complex de Morgan found in 1894 a gallery grave with different burials. In the Sit - Hathor, perhaps daughter of Sesostris II, he found pieces of jewelry, as well as at the funeral of Princess Meret.


Sesostris III. is clearly visible in all his statues: his face looks moody, corners of the mouth are pointing down.

In total there are more than 100 portraits of Sesostris III. known, but are only a few intact. One of the most famous works of art is almost intact the sphinx figure of the King ( New York, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Inv. No. 17.9.2 ). For the first time occurs under this king on the so-called praying statue. Figures of this type are usually life-size and show the king in the gesture of prayer, in which he has both hands flat on the stem pleated skirt.


Sesostris III. appears in later sources as one of the great pharaohs, although it is not always clear whether the information later historians refer to his actions, or whether deeds and legends of various pharaohs were united to him. Herodotus (II, 102-104 ) reported by the conquests of Sesostris up to Thrace and the Red Sea. He also tells of stelae erected the ruler in the conquered territories. According to Manetho, he should have subjected the whole of Asia and in Europe have come up to Thrace. Even Manetho tells of the steles. Even John of Nikiu (XVII, 1 ) reported in the 7th century AD, he surveyed the land, taxes moved and made prisoners.