Leaving the tomb paintings of Iti and Neferu, you now enter Room 4. This Room starts with The First Intermediate and ends with the early Middle Kingdom.
The First Intermediate Period (2118 – 1980BC)
This period was sandwiched between the Old Kingdom and Middle Kingdom Dynasties. At the end of the 6th Dynasty there had been a problem and with the succession of the throne, made worse by a sudden decline in crop production and a general economic failure.
The Tomb of Ini at Gebelein. 11th Dynasty.
The whole burial assemblage of this tomb shows a shift in the evolution of funerary customs in this period. Rectangular coffins now introduced inscriptions on them and the image of Wedjat (two eyes) on the left side.
Ini was lying on his side with his head facing the spot where the painted eyes were.There were also 300 models of seed bags, a wooden statue and scaled down model boats.
The Middle Kingdom
The Middle Kingdom saw a reunification of the kingdom under control of one Pharaoh, Montuhotep II (11th Dynasty).
It was not until the beginning of the 12th Dynasty that the renaissance began. The Capital City was moved to a site near the modern day city of Lisht near the Fayum.
Pharaohs once again began to build large monumental buildings. Below you can see False Doors, Stela and tablets from this period.
In 1908 in Asyut, Egypt an intact tomb was discovered of an official named Shemes, it contained many rich grave goods. Two rectangular Coffins, one for Shemes and the other for a woman called Rehuerausen, possibly his wife. They carry typical Middle Kingdom decorations, with the two Wedjat eyes on the left handside.
A third slightly earlier coffin found in the tomb, belonged to a man called Idi. This tomb contained many pots and vases, 3 model boats and 2 statues depicting the striding deceased, with a long staff in his left hand and a scepter in his right.
Below is the coffin of Mereru, 12th Dynasty (1939 – 1848BC) Asyut, Egypt.
In the Middle Kingdom the coffin was a protective shell gathering on its surface all the elements the deceased required for his or her survival and regeneration during the journey to the underworld.