Amenemhat I



Who is Amenemhat I?

Amenemhat I, also Amenemhet I and Amenemhaat I, was the first ruler of the Twelfth Dynasty. He ruled from 1991 BC to 1962 BC. Amenemhat I was a vizier of his predecessor Mentuhotep IV, overthrowing him from power, scholars vary if Mentuhotep IV was killed by Amenemhat I, but there is no independent evidence to support this and there may even have been a period of co-regency between their reigns.

Amenemhet I was not of royal lineage, and the composition of some literary works and, in architecture, the reversion to the pyramid-style complexes of the 6th dynasty rulers are often considered to have been attempts at legitimizing his rule. Amenemhat I moved the capital from Thebes to Itjtawy and was buried in el-Lisht. The pyramid was made in the same fashion as 5th and 6th dynasty pyramids by having a rough core clad with a fine mantle of smooth limestone. "The core of the pyramid was made up of small rough blocks of limestone with a loose fill of sand, debris and mudbrick. Perhaps the most remarkable feature is that it included fragments of relief-decorated blocks from Old Kingdom monuments – many from pyramid causeways and temples, including Khufu's. Granite blocks from Khafre's complex went into the lining and blocking of Amenemhat I's descending passage. We can only conclude that they were picked up at Saqqara and Giza and brought to Lisht to be incorporated into the pyramid for their spiritual efficacy". When the limestone outer layer was taken, the core slumped. The pyramid and temple have been used as a source of material for lime burners so only a small amount remains today. The Middle Kingdom pyramids were built closer to the Nile and Amenemhet I's burial chamber is now underwater because the River Nile has shifted course. The complex has an inner wall of limestone and an outer wall of mudbrick; members of the Royal family were buried between these two walls. There are a number of mastaba tombs between the walls and 22 burial shafts on the western side of the pyramid.

We need you!

Help us build the largest biographies collection on the web!


on July 23, 2013


Use the citation below to add to a bibliography:


"Amenemhat I." STANDS4 LLC, 2022. Web. 28 May 2022. <>.

Discuss this Amenemhat I biography with the community: