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Senwosret I, King of Egypt (1965-1920 BC)

Senwosret I was the second ruler of the Twelfth Dynasty. He was co-regent with his father, Amenemhat I, for ten years before ascending the throne on the latter's assassination, apparently due to a harem conspiracy. This event features in two important literary compositions of the period. Both the Tale of Sinuhe and the Instruction of Amenemhat I remained classic texts in the New Kingdom (1550-1070 BC).

During his co-regency, Senwosret I led several military expeditions in Nubia and against the Libyans of the Western Desert. He continued this policy during his sole reign, conquering lower Nubia. He also established a garrison at Buhen, near the Second Cataract, in order to maintain trade with the kingdom of Kerma. He also retained control of the oases, and had close trading links with Syria-Palestine.

Senwosret I was a prolific builder throughout Egypt, consolidating the establishment of the Dynasty. Two of his most important structures were the Temple of Re-Atum at Heliopolis and a temple at Karnak, including the so-called 'White Chapel'. He built his pyramid at Lisht, close to the Twelfth-Dynasty capital of Itjawy. It is surrounded by nine satellite pyramids, belonging to the royal ladies of his family. The tomb was excavated by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in the early years of the twentieth century.

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The British Museum's collections, £16.99

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