Egypt: Rulers, Kings and Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt: Amenemhet III

Amenemhet III


1817-1772 B.C.

12th Dynasty

The son of Senwosret III and Queen Sebekshedty-Neferu, this sixth king of the 12th Dynasty was to be the most remarkable king of that era. He completed the building of the great waterwheels of the Faiyum, thus diverting the flood waters of the Nile into Lake Moeris. The irrigation system and an overflow canal, was used to drain the marshes. An estimated 153,600 acres of fertile land was reclaimed from the water. Amenemhet raised two colossal statues of himself nearby to celebrate this feat. Among his many achievements was the famous Labyrinth, also known as the Pyramid of Hawara, one of the great wonders of the ancient world. The central burial chamber of the pyramid, carved from a single block of granite, is estimated to have weighed 110 tons. His pyramidal tomb was built at Dashur, which he abandoned in favor of the Hawara Pyramid. Amenemhet mined copper from the Sinai and local mines, and had many quarries. He provided the workers with housing and protection from the Bedouins.