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The first ten years of his reign, Senusret I ruled with his father, Amenemhet. He acted as a military leader for his father, leading campaigns against the Libyans. It is normally assumed that his reign started with the establishment of the new capitol at LIsht. His father was murdered by his guards while he was away on campaign, but Senusret acted quickly to punish the conspirators. He had the plotter executed and published his father's writings, "Instructions of Amenemhet", which describe how a good ruler acts.
Foreign policy during his reign was focused on Nubia, and expanding the southern border of Egypt as far as the Second Cataract. The region between the First and Second cataract then became part of Egypt. THese southern lands were important for their mines of gold, gneiss, and precious stones. He had less interest in the Asian threat from the northeast, and it is assumed that the wall built by Amenemhet I was successful in protecting the trade routes in the Sinai.
Letters from his reign state that a famine took place.
Senusret is responsible for updating and rebuilding many of the temples all over Egypt in stone and adding stone decorations to many more. It is likely that he began the first stage of the enormous temple at Karnak, building the White Chapel (which ash been restored somewhat in recent years) for his Heb-Sed festival.
He also rebuilt the temple of Khent-amentiu-Osiris in Abydos which re-emphasized the importance of the Cult of Osiris, a funerary god. It was a very popular temple. At Heliopolis, he built a new temple that included two 20 meter (121 tons!) red granite obelisks for the celebration of his 30th year in office. One of the obelisks is still standing (in a traffic circle in the City of Fayoum) and is oldest obelisk still standing in Egypt.
He built his funerary monument, a pyramid called "Senusret Looks Down on the Two Lands", in Lisht, very near his father's pyramid. They pyramid of Senusret is larger than his father's. His pyramid has a strange structure. It is made up of different compartments each filled with sand and then covered with limestone. A second layer of stone completed it, but as you might expect, this style of construction was not very durable and little remains of the pyramid, which can be seen from the road to Cairo next to Amenemhet's pyramid.
There are ten subsidiary pyramids, nine of which were tombs of his consorts and wives. In one, for his Queen Nofret I, her name is shown in a cartouche -- the first time in history that a non-pharaoh was accorded this particular presentation. The entire construction is below the water table now, and has never been investigated by modern archeological methods.
The valley temple associated with the pyramid complex has not been found, but the ruins of the mortuary temple remain. It was ruined during its excavation in 1894 (early archaeology often destroyed the sites they were excavating, and the concept of detailed mapping of the sites was not yet practiced. INside the mortuary temple, eight large standing statues and ten sitting statues were found.
Just as his father was co-regent with him at the beginning of his reign, Senusret I shared the kinship as co-regent with his son, Amenemhet II for three or four years.
White Chapel, Karnak