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Depending on which chronology you follow, this particular Mentuhotep may be numbered Mentuhotep I or Mentuhotep II. If the Theban Dynasty XI began with Mentuhotep "the Elder", then this pharaoh is the second of that name.
Mentuhotep is considered the first king of the Middle Kingdom. After the civil wars that marred the first century of the 11th Dynasty, he took the city of Herakleopolis and overthrew the rival kings of the 10th Dynasty (it's a bit confusing, but the 9th and 10th dynasties were at least partially concurrent with the 11th Dynasty, there were just a bunch of rulers in different regions). Mentuhotep II retained the power in the city of Thebes and re-established a centralize government.Montuhotep is the first Theban king who can rightfully claim to be ruler of Upper and Lower Egypt.
The change in his status from "Theban King" to "King of the Two Lands" is shown in his changing name. Before the war, his Horus name was Zematawy "Horus, who feeds the hearts of the Two lands", afterwards, he took the title "King of the White Crown" and finally, when the country was united, changed his n ame once again to "Horus who has united the two lands" . Only a few pharaohs changed their names during their reign -- usually in response to a major event in Egypt.
His predecessors in he Theban 11th Dynasty had already conquered a vast swath of land, from the First Cataract to far north of Abydos and the region of Qaw el-Kabir. However, in the 14th year of his reign brought new threats from the Herakleopolitan kings and problems in the Thinite province (where Abydos is located). The 9th/10tth Dynasty kings were (notablyKheti) had reconquered the province and were threatening the rest of Upper Egypt. Not only did the Herakleopolitan kings take Abydos, they also destroyed much of the necropolis there during the fighting.
Mentuhotep's response was to force the rival kings out of Abydos and continue the ware against them -- conquering Assiut, Middle Egypt, and finally, Herakleopolis itself. With the rival dynasties eliminated, Mentuhotep was able to reunite the regions of Egypt under Theban rule once again. This occurred sometime between the 30th and 34th year of his reign. In addition, Mentuhotep desired to re-establish control over Nubia in the south and waged many battles there. The soldiers buried at his tomb may have been from the fighting in Nubia.
Other military campaigns included fighting the Libyans in the Delta area, and the Asiatics from the Sinai. In the end, he was the "King of the Two Countries" and ruled Egypt from the Mediterranean to Nubia.
Despite the obvious military bent of his reign, Mentuhotep also built some outstanding monuments. He built or restored many temples in the territory, including at Dendara, Abydos, el-Kab and Elephantine. He built temples to Montu -- the principal god of Thebes, a war god -- in Medmud, Armant, and Tod.
Unlike his predecessors, Mentuhotep built a huge funerary and mortuary complex at Deir el-Bahari. The complex was a huge terraced stone structure against the cliffs (much like the more recent Hatshepsut complex) and built upon it a huge stone pyramid (some think it may be a mastaba). There were 280 stone columns fronting the terraced temple. The entrance stairway still remains in some parts, but the huge sycamore trees flanking the entrance are long gone.
The pharaoh himself is buried in a rock cut tomb behind and underneath the temple. The style and structure of his tomb would be the prototype for royal tombs in later dynasties.The mortuary complex contains the tomb of his wives and members of his court as well. Nearby are the bodies of 60 or more soldiers who were killed in battle. Their shrouds are marked with Mentuhotep's name and cartouche.
A number of statues exist that are attributed to Mentuhotep II, including a funerary statue of sandstone that was found in he funerary temple at Deir el-Bahari. It shows the king seated on his throne, dressed in a white Heb-Sed dress. His skin is painted black - a reference to the god Osiris, who is often shown as black or blue. The statue is in the Egyptian Museum in Cairo and is one of the few 11th Dynasty statues known to exist. A standing statue of the king in the same Heb-Sed dress was also found.
Not surprisingly, the quality of these statues is fairly low - -the carving is rudimentary and certainly not up to the standards of the Old Kingdom artisans. It may simply be that the artists were not used to producing fine work, given the upheaval of the First Intermediate Period and the wars to reunite Egypt. However, later Middle Kingdom art is quite beautiful.
A number of reliefs from various temples show the king as well. Fragments from the mortuary temple show him wearing the White Crown of Upper Egypt. Reliefs in Dendara show him worshipping Hathor. He is also shown in the reliefs at the large Temple of Montu in Tod that he build.
There is some question as to whether Mentuhotep left a legitimate heir to the throne, he was eventually succeeded by his son, Mentuhotep III -- who took the throne of a united and finally prosperous Egypt.
Temple, Deir el-Bahari