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King Senusret II

  • 05 16, 2023

King Senusret II

The fifth pharaoh of the XII dynasty, Sesostris III was an Egyptian ruler who ruled from 1878 BC to 1841 BC. He was the son of Sesostris II, also referred to as Senusert III. Among the greatest of the Egyptian pharaohs, he created a strong impression of a conqueror in both Asia and the Middle East.

Senusret II erected his pyramid some fifty kilometers south of Dahshur and sixteen from the Nile. The chosen place, El-Lahun, is located north of the point where the important channel called Bahr Yusef turns west to enter the oasis of El Fayum.

The pyramid of Senusret II presents a novelty later taken up in two other pyramids of the same dynasty. Experience had shown how difficult it was to guard against theft if the entrance to the burial chamber remained as always located on the northern flank of the above-ground building. The architect from Senusret, therefore, decided to place the entrance outside the pyramid.

However, this measure proved ineffective, because when the archaeologists finally managed to reach the burial chamber they discovered that it had been ransacked without scruples.


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King Senusret II, who was the son of King Amenemhat II and shared the throne with him for 7 years, ruled for a total of 19 years as the Fourth of the Twelfth Dynasty. During his reign, he oversaw the construction of his pyramid complex and the city of workers in the Lahun area at the entrance to the Fayum, which are considered to be his most significant internal works.

King Senusret II, also known as Senwosret II or Senwosret II, played a significant role in ancient Egyptian society during his reign. He ruled during the Middle Kingdom period (circa 1897–1878 BCE), and his reign is marked by several important contributions and developments:

Economic Prosperity: Senusret II's reign witnessed economic prosperity, which was characterized by agricultural growth and increased trade. The construction of irrigation systems and the successful management of resources contributed to the kingdom's wealth.

Infrastructure and Irrigation: Senusret II is known for his efforts to improve the infrastructure of Egypt, particularly through irrigation projects. He initiated the construction of a canal that connected the Nile River to the Faiyum Oasis, known as Bahr Yussef. This canal facilitated irrigation and improved agricultural productivity, leading to surplus food production.

Faiyum Oasis Development: Senusret II's most notable achievement was his extensive work on the Faiyum Oasis. He developed the region by expanding its agricultural land through controlled flooding from the Nile and the construction of new irrigation canals. This transformed the Faiyum into a fertile and prosperous area that could support a growing population.

Pyramid Complex: Senusret II initiated the construction of a pyramid complex at El-Lahun, which was part of his mortuary complex. The pyramid at El-Lahun is considered one of the significant architectural achievements of his reign.

Religious Contributions: Like many pharaohs, Senusret II played a role in religious affairs. He continued to honor and support the traditional gods and temples of Egypt. Additionally, he was associated with the sun god Ra, and his reign saw the continued development of solar theology.

Military Activities: While Senusret II's reign is not particularly known for major military campaigns, he likely maintained the military presence and authority necessary to protect Egypt's borders and maintain internal order.

Cultural and artistic achievements: The Middle Kingdom was known for its cultural and artistic achievements, and Senusret II's reign contributed to this cultural flourishing. Art and literature continued to flourish during this period, reflecting the stability and prosperity of the kingdom.

Strengthening the Centralized State: Senusret II's focus on agricultural and infrastructural development helped strengthen the centralized state. His efforts contributed to the stability and longevity of the Middle Kingdom.


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