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The Expeditions of Harkhuf

Towards the end of the Old Kingdom in Egypt (c. 2260 BC) several expeditions were sent off to distant southern lands  of Yam, Irtjet and Wawat, in search of new and exotic trade resources.  Harkhuf, governor of Upper (southern) Egypt, led these expeditions that are thought to have either gone far up the Nile, beyond the 6th cataract (into what is now central Sudan, near the modern capital of Khartoum, where the Nile divides into the two branches known as the White Nile and Blue Nile) or off into the Libyan Desert.  On his last expedition he brought back, among numerous rarities, a Dancing Dwarf, the prospect of which delighted the young Pharaoh Pepi II.  The story of his expeditions was found on the walls of his tomb.

Additonal resources:

Lichtheim, Miriam.  (1975).  The Autobiography of Harkhuf.  In Miriam Lichtheim (Ed.)  Ancient Egyptian Literature: The Old and Middle Kingdoms (pp. 23-27).  Berkeley, CA:  University of California Press.  ISBN 0520028996

Goedicke, Hans. (1981).  Harkhuf's Travels.  Journal of Near Eastern Studies, 40(1), 1-20.
Pepi II and Mother
Pharaoh Pepi II (shown as a small adult)
sitting on his mother's lap