Middle Kingdon

After the unrest of the First Intermediate Period followed an era of renewed peace, stability, and development. The so-called Middle Kingdom began with the reunification of Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt by kings from Thebes, and is usually considered to consist of the 11th and 12th Dynasties. During the 12th Dynasty the residence was moved to Itjitawy, probably located near el-Lisht. The nomarchs, whose increasing independence had contributed to the fall of the Old Kingdom, lost a part of their influence. However, the pharaohs could no longer regain absolute power, as had been the case during the reign of their predecessors in the first part of the Old Kingdom. Only at the end of the 12th Dynasty, under Amenemhat III, an absolute state was re-established for a short time, but because of the strong measures taken against the local powers, which included disinheritance and dispossession, the Middle Kingdom came to an end shortly after. Important from a religious-historical point of view is the rise of the god Amun, who eventually surpassed the Theban god Montu. Amun became so important that Thebes was able to rival cities like Heliopolis and Memphis as a religious centre.