Mentuhotep IV

Nebtawyre Mentuhotep IV was the last king of the 11th Dynasty. He seems to fit into a 7-year period in the Turin Canon for which there is no recorded king.

Rock inscriptions

He is known from a few inscriptions in Wadi Hammamat that record expeditions to the Red Sea coast and to quarry stone for the royal monuments. It seems that he was a son of his predecessor.

Also, he is attested by the inscriptions at Wadi el-Hudi.[4] Another relevant inscription is found in Ain Sukhna.[5] These locations were the usual staging harbours for the expeditions to the Sinai.

Despite Mentuhotep's obscurity (he is absent from the official king lists in Abydos), the inscriptions show the organization and makeup of a large expedition during his reign. The leader of an expedition to Wadi Hammamat, during the second year of Mentuhotep IV’s reign, was his vizier, Amenemhat, who is assumed to be the future king Amenemhat I, the first king of the 12th Dynasty, and Mentuhotep's immediate successor.

A fragment of a slate bowl had been found at Lisht North that is inscribed on the outside with the official titulary of Mentuhotep IV, and on the inside with that of King Amenemhat I, his successor. Since the two inscriptions are incised in a different style of writing, according to Dorothea Arnold, this indicates that Amenemhat had his name added to an older vessel that already bore the name of Mentuhotep IV.[6]

End of reign

It is assumed by some Egyptologists that Amenemhat either usurped the throne or assumed power after Mentuhotep IV died childless. There is currently no archaeological or textual evidence to prove that Mentuhotep was deposed by his vizier or that he chose Amenemhat to be his designated successor. Neither his mummy nor his burial place have been found.


  1. King List (chronological)
  2. Clayton, Peter A. Chronicle of the Pharaohs: The Reign-by-Reign Record of the Rulers and Dynasties of Ancient Egypt. Thames & Hudson. p72. 2006. ISBN 0-500-28628-0
  3. Mentuhotep IV's titulary on
  4. A. Fakhry: The Inscriptions of the Amethyst Quarries at Wadi el Hudi. #1 to 4.
  5. M. Abd el-Raziq et al.: Les Inscriptions d'Ayn Soukhna. # 4a und 4b.
  6. Dorothea Arnold, Amenemhat I and the Early Twelfth Dynasty at Thebes. Metropolitan Museum Journal, v. 26 (1991)

Further reading

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Preceded by
Mentuhotep III
Pharaoh of Egypt
Eleventh dynasty
1998 BC 1991 BC
Succeeded by
Amenemhat I

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