Intef II
Intef II was a Pharaoh
Pharaoh is a title used in many modern discussions of the ancient Egyptian rulers of all periods. The title originates in the term "pr-aa" which means "great house" and describes the royal palace...

 of the Eleventh dynasty
Eleventh dynasty of Egypt
The eleventh dynasty of ancient Egypt was one group of rulers, whose earlier members are grouped with the four preceding dynasties to form the First Intermediate Period, while the later members are considered part of the Middle Kingdom...

 during the First Intermediate Period. His capital was located at Thebes
Thebes, Egypt
Thebes is the Greek name for a city in Ancient Egypt located about 800 km south of the Mediterranean, on the east bank of the river Nile within the modern city of Luxor. The Theban Necropolis is situated nearby on the west bank of the Nile.-History:...

. At this time, Egypt was split between several local dynasties. After the death of the nomarch
Nomarchs were the semi-feudal rulers of Ancient Egyptian provinces. Serving as provincial governors, they each held authority over one of the 42 nomes into which the country was divided. Both nome and nomarch are terms derived from the Greek nomos, meaning a province or district...

Ankhtifi was the nomarch of Hierakonpolis and a supporter of the Herakleopolitan based 10th dynasty which was locked in conflict with the Theban based 11th Dynasty kingdom for control of Egypt. Hence, Ankhtifi was a rival to the Theban rulers Mentuhotep I and Intef I...

, Intef II was able to unite all the southern nomes
Nome (Egypt)
A nome was a subnational administrative division of ancient Egypt. Today's use of the Greek nome rather than the Egyptian term sepat came about during the Ptolemaic period. Fascinated with Egypt, Greeks created many historical records about the country...

 down to the First Cataract
Cataracts of the Nile
The cataracts of the Nile are shallow lengths of the Nile between Aswan and Khartoum where the surface of the water is broken by many small boulders and stones protruding out of the river bed, as well as many rocky islets. Aswan is also the Southern boundary of Upper Egypt...

. After this he clashed with his main rivals, the nomarch
Nomarchs were the semi-feudal rulers of Ancient Egyptian provinces. Serving as provincial governors, they each held authority over one of the 42 nomes into which the country was divided. Both nome and nomarch are terms derived from the Greek nomos, meaning a province or district...

s of Herakleopolis Magna
Herakleopolis Magna
Heracleopolis or Herakleopolis Magna is the Greek name of the capital of the Twentieth nome of ancient Egypt. It was called Henen-nesut, Nen-nesu, or Hwt-nen-nesu in ancient Egyptian, meaning 'house of the royal child.' Later, it was called Hnas in Coptic, and Ahnas in medieval Arabic writings...

 for the possession of Abydos
Abydos, Egypt
Abydos is one of the most ancient cities of Upper Egypt, and also of the eight Upper Nome, of which it was the capital city. It is located about 11 kilometres west of the Nile at latitude 26° 10' N, near the modern Egyptian towns of el-'Araba el Madfuna and al-Balyana...

. The city changed hands several times, but Intef II was eventually victorious, extending his rule north to the thirteenth nome.

After these wars, more friendly relations were established and the rest of Intef's reign was peaceful. The discovery of a statue of Intef II, wrapped in a sed festival robe, in the sanctuary of Heqaib at Elephantine suggests that this king's authority extended to the region of the First Cataract and, perhaps, over part of Lower Nubia by his 30th year. This impression would appear to be confirmed by an expedition led by Djemi from Gebelein to the land of Wawat (i.e.: Nubia) during his reign. Consequently when Intef II died, he left behind a strong government in Thebes which controlled the whole of Upper Egypt and maintained a border just south of Asyut.

The earliest attested dating of the god Amun
Amun, reconstructed Egyptian Yamānu , was a god in Egyptian mythology who in the form of Amun-Ra became the focus of the most complex system of theology in Ancient Egypt...

 at Karnak
The Karnak Temple Complex—usually called Karnak—comprises a vast mix of decayed temples, chapels, pylons, and other buildings, notably the Great Temple of Amun and a massive structure begun by Pharaoh Ramses II . Sacred Lake is part of the site as well. It is located near Luxor, some...

 occurs during his reign. The surviving sections of the Turin Canon for the Middle Kingdom with Intef II; it assigns this king a reign of 49 years.


Intef's tomb in El-Tarif
The necropolis of El-Tarif is located on the West Bank of the Nile at Thebes, Egypt. It is the farthest north of the Tombs of the Nobles, and contains tombs of the late First Intermediate Period, Second Intermediate Period and early Middle Kingdom....

 at Thebes is a saff tomb. Saff stands for "row" in Arabic and refers to the rows of columns and entry ways which are part of the court yard.

The tomb had a large trapezoidal courtyard, with a chapel at the eastern end. This chapel may have been intended to serve the same purpose as a valley temple. According to a Ramesside inscription, a pyramid
A pyramid is a structure whose outer surfaces are triangular and converge at a single point. The base of a pyramid can be trilateral, quadrilateral, or any polygon shape, meaning that a pyramid has at least three triangular surfaces...

 was part of the funerary complex, but no remains of the pyramid have been found. The Abbott Papyrus
Abbott Papyrus
The Abbott Papyrus serves as an important political document concerning the tomb robberies of the twentieth dynasty of the New Kingdom in Ancient Egypt. It also gives insight into the scandal between the two rivals Pewero and Paser of Thebes....

 mentions that the pyramid was "crushed down upon" the tomb. A stela mentioning the king's dogs was said to be set up before the tomb. A stela mentioning a dog named Beha was discovered, but it was found near the offering chapel, and there is doubt if there was really ever a pyramid.

Further reading

  • W. Grajetzki, The Middle Kingdom of Ancient Egypt: History,Archaeology and Society, Duckworth, London 2006 ISBN 0-7156-3435-6, 12-15
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