The royal governors of El-Qusiya in the Old and Middle Kingdoms

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Contrary to the belief that kings of the 6th Dynasty married the daughters of provincial magnates in order to strengthen their own position through marriage alliance, the evidence shows that sons and sons-in-law of the kings were sent from Memphis to administer the various provinces, particularly in the most productive part of the country in Middle Egypt. Intermarriages between ‘royal relatives’ in the neighbouring provinces appears also to have been common. This paper will focus on the situation in the 14th Upper Egyptian province of El-Qusiya during the Old and Middle Kingdoms.
The analysis of the data obtained through the recent epigraphic work by the Australian Centre for Egyptology in the tombs of the nobles buried at Quseir el-Amarna and Meir shows that these individuals were closely connected to the royal family. At first subtle royal claims were made, which were gradually increased, culminating in the middle of the 12th Dynasty in the usurpation of many royal prerogatives and a flagrant use of royal symbols of divinity and power. There is no evidence of a violent reaction from the king, but apparently the opportunity presented itself when the last member of the governing family, Wekhhotep III, did not produce a male heir, for the king to interfere and put an end to this family’s rule and growing power.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)250-259
Number of pages10
JournalEdal. Egyptian and Egyptological Documents Archives Libraries
Volume6 (2017)
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2019
EventOld Kingdom Art and Archaeology International Conference (7th : 2017) - Milan, Italy
Duration: 3 Jul 20177 Jul 2017


  • Archaeology and art--Egypt
  • art History
  • Administration


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