People > Amenemhat IV

Amenemhat IV

Egypt History - Egyptian Chapter Decoration


Amenemhat IV was a pharaoh of the 12th Dynasty of ancient Egypt, ruling from approximately 1808 to 1799 BCE. His reign is part of the Middle Kingdom, a period marked by significant political stability, economic prosperity, and cultural achievements. Amenemhat IV is known for continuing the policies and projects of his predecessors, particularly those of his likely father, Amenemhat III. Here is an overview of Amenemhat IV and his reign:


  1. 12th Dynasty:

    • The 12th Dynasty is one of the most significant and stable periods in ancient Egyptian history, known for its centralized government, economic prosperity, and extensive building projects.
    • This dynasty saw the consolidation of power, development of administrative structures, and significant advancements in art, literature, and architecture.
  2. Family and Lineage:

    • Amenemhat IV was likely the son of Amenemhat III, one of the most notable pharaohs of the 12th Dynasty, and possibly Queen Aat. His exact lineage is not definitively confirmed, but he is generally considered to be a direct descendant of the royal family.

Reign of Amenemhat IV

  1. Accession to the Throne:

    • Amenemhat IV ascended to the throne around 1808 BCE. His reign lasted for approximately nine years, during which he continued the policies and projects initiated by his predecessors.
    • His rise to power followed the long and prosperous reign of Amenemhat III, and he likely co-ruled with his father for a period before becoming the sole ruler.
  2. Political and Administrative Activities:

    • Amenemhat IV maintained the centralized administrative system that characterized the Middle Kingdom. He ensured the continuity of governance and the stability of the state.
    • His reign saw the continued use of royal decrees and the maintenance of efficient bureaucratic practices, which were essential for managing Egypt's vast resources.

Achievements and Contributions

  1. Building Projects:

    • Amenemhat IV continued the extensive building projects initiated by Amenemhat III. He contributed to the construction and maintenance of temples, monuments, and other architectural endeavors.
    • Notable projects include work at the temple complexes of Karnak and the construction of the Hathor temple at Serabit el-Khadim in the Sinai Peninsula, a significant site for turquoise mining.
  2. Economic and Trade Activities:

    • Amenemhat IV oversaw the continuation of mining expeditions and trade activities, particularly in the Sinai Peninsula and Nubia. These activities were crucial for securing valuable resources such as turquoise, copper, and gold.
    • His reign benefited from the economic prosperity established by his predecessors, and he worked to maintain and expand Egypt's trade networks.
  3. Religious Contributions:

    • Amenemhat IV supported traditional religious practices and made significant contributions to the major temples and cults of the time, particularly those dedicated to Amun and Hathor.
    • He ensured the continuation of royal patronage of religious institutions, which helped maintain the religious and cultural stability of Egypt.

Challenges and Stability

  1. Short Reign and Succession:

    • Despite the stability and prosperity of his reign, Amenemhat IV ruled for a relatively short period. His reign ended around 1799 BCE, and he was succeeded by Sobekneferu, who is believed to be either his sister or half-sister.
    • The relatively brief duration of his rule meant that he did not have the opportunity to implement significant new policies or projects beyond those initiated by his predecessors.
  2. Legacy of Stability:

    • Amenemhat IV's reign is notable for its continuation of the stability and prosperity of the Middle Kingdom. His efforts to maintain the policies and projects of Amenemhat III helped ensure the smooth transition of power to his successor.
    • His rule contributed to the ongoing legacy of the 12th Dynasty, which remained a period of great cultural and economic achievement in ancient Egyptian history.


  1. Historical Significance:

    • Amenemhat IV is remembered for his role in maintaining the stability and prosperity of the Middle Kingdom. His reign represents a period of continuity and effective governance.
    • Although his reign was brief, his contributions to building projects, economic activities, and religious practices helped preserve the achievements of the 12th Dynasty.
  2. Cultural Impact:

    • The cultural and artistic advancements of the Middle Kingdom continued under Amenemhat IV. His support for traditional religious practices and architectural projects contributed to the preservation of Egypt’s cultural heritage.
    • Artifacts and inscriptions from his reign provide valuable insights into the administrative practices and religious life of the period.
  3. Archaeological Evidence:

    • Evidence from Amenemhat IV's reign includes inscriptions, monuments, and artifacts that reflect the prosperity and stability of his rule. His contributions to temple construction and mining expeditions are particularly well-documented.
    • The Hathor temple at Serabit el-Khadim and other projects initiated during his reign remain significant archaeological sites.


Amenemhat IV, who ruled from approximately 1808 to 1799 BCE, was a pharaoh of the 12th Dynasty known for his efforts to maintain the stability and prosperity of the Middle Kingdom. His reign continued the policies and projects of his predecessor, Amenemhat III, focusing on building projects, economic activities, and religious contributions. Despite his short reign, Amenemhat IV's legacy includes the preservation of the achievements of the 12th Dynasty and the continuation of Egypt’s cultural and economic prosperity during a significant period in its history.

Twelfth Dynasty of Egypt

King NameHorus-NameReignConsortPyramid
Amenemhat ISehetepibre1991-1962 BCEQueen NeferitatjenenPyramid of Amenemhet I
Senusret I (Sesostris I)Kheperkare1971-1926 BCEQueen Neferu IIIPyramid of Senusret I
Amenemhat IINubkhaure1929-1895 BCEQueen Kaneferu
Queen Keminub
White Pyramid
Senusret II (Sesostris II)Khakheperre1897-1878 BCEQueen Khenemetneferhedjet I
Queen Neferet II
Queen Itaweret
Queen Khnemet
Pyramid at El-Lahun
Senusret III (Sesostris III)Khakaure1878-1839 BCEPyramid at DahshurQueen Meretseger
Queen Neferthenut
Queen Khnemetneferhedjet II
Queen Sithathoriunet
Amenemhat IIINimaatre1860-1814 BCEQueen Aat
Queen Hetepi
Queen Khenemetneferhedjet III
Black Pyramid
Pyramid at Hawara
Amenemhat IVMaakherure1815-1806 BCESouthern Mazghuna Pyramid
SobekneferuSobekkare1806-1802 BCENorthern Mazghuna Pyramid
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