Archaeological Museum of Bologna

Museo Civico Archeologico
Via dell'Archiginnasio 2 - 40124 Bologna

Direzione e Uffici
Via de' Musei 8 – 40124 Bologna
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Collections / Itineraries / Egyptian Collection: Middle Kingdom


The Egyptian territorial unity, shattered at the end of the 6th dynasty, is restored by the Theban king of 11th Dynasty Montuhotep II, which puts an end to the First Intermediate Period (VII-X Dynasties: 2180-1987 BC) and introduces to the Middle Kingdom ( 11th- 13th Dynasties: 1981-1640 BC). Will be the first sovereign of the 12th dynasty, Amenemhat I, to start the reconsolidation of power in the hands of Pharaoh and to found in the region of Fayyum, in the south of Memphis, the new capital of the country that takes the name of Amenemhat-itj-tawy, namely "Amenemhat the one who united the two lands."
The sovereigns of the 12th Dynasty, during a period of great development and splendor, use the pyramids as their tombs and promote the cult of the sovereign, inspired by the models of the Old Kingdom; restore a strong centralized government, increasing and reorganizing the bureaucracy; reclaimed the largest oasis in the western desert, the Fayyum, increasing the production of cereals; expand and maintain the Egyptian control in the south of the country with a particular attention to the gold mines of Wadi Allaqi, in the eastern desert; protect the northern borders and go even to the Near East.
The wealth's increase in the country improves the standard of living of the intermediate levels of Egyptian society that now, no longer by permission of Pharaoh, can build tombs with rich funeral outfits: it speaks in fact of "democratization of the afterlife."
The Bolognese collection of the Middle Kingdom preserves a beautiful collection of stelae, among which stands out by relevance the one on behalf of Aku, two sarcophagi in excellent condition, some funerary or templar statuettes and several jars for cosmetics.

Exhibition rooms | Egyptian collection