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Dating a stela or monument of the Middle Kingdom (about 2025-1700 BC)

1. Stelae of the early Middle Kingdom (Eleventh Dynasty and Twelfth Dynasty till about Senusret I) are often (but not always!) in landscape format.

2. High relief is common in the early Middle Kingdom (till about Amenemhat II); after that time sunken relief is more common.

3. Under Senusret III different symbols, usually paired, and especially often wedjat-eyes, were placed in the rounded upper part of the stela.

4. Stelae of the early Middle Kingdom (till Senusret II) focus on the owner and his family. In the late Middle Kingdom often a high number of individuals are shown sitting equal next to each other.

5. In the 13th Dynasty the first stela with a 'private' person in front of a god (most often Min-Hornakht) appear.

Some graphical criteria (also applying for other monuments)



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