Mentuhotep II, also known under his prenomen Nebhepetre, was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh, the sixth ruler of the Eleventh Dynasty. He is credited with reuniting Egypt, thus ending the turbulent First Intermediate Period and becoming the first pharaoh of the Middle Kingdom. He reigned for 51 years, according to the Turin King List. Mentuhotep II succeeded his father Intef III on the throne and was in turn succeeded by his son Mentuhotep III.
Mentuhotep II ascended Egypt’s throne in the Upper Egyptian city of Thebes during the First Intermediate Period. Egypt was not unified during this time, and the Tenth Dynasty, rival to Mentuhotep’s Eleventh, ruled Lower Egypt from Herakleopolis. After the Herakleopoitan kings desecrated the sacred ancient royal necropolis of Abydos in Upper Egypt in the fourteenth year of Mentuhotep’s reign, the pharaoh dispatched his armies north to conquer Lower Egypt. Continuing his father Intef III’s conquests, Mentuhotep succeeded in unifying his country, probably shortly before his 39th year on the throne. Following and in recognition of the unification, in regnal year 39, he changed his titulary to Shematawy.