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(also Senusert, Senusret), Egyptian pharaohs of the 12th dynasty (Middle Kingdom).
Sesostris I, the second king of the dynasty, ruled from 1970 to 1934 B.C.. He pursued a policy of conquest to the south, in northern Nubia. He organized expeditions to the Great Oasis in the Libyan Desert. During his reign, work was resumed in the copper mines of the Sinai Peninsula, and trade and diplomatic relations were established with the rulers of Syria and Palestine. Sesostris I tried to centralize Egypt; at the same time, however, he preserved the privileges of the monarchs who supported him.
Sesostris II, the fourth king of the dynasty, ruled from 1896 to approximately 1884 B.C.
Sesostris III, the fifth king of the dynasty and the son of Sesostris II, ruled from 1884 to about 1849 B.C.. He strengthened Egypt’s hold over northern Nubia and consolidated the southern frontier at the second cataract of the Nile, where he erected strong fortresses on the western bank (at present-day Semna) and on the eastern bank (near present-day Qunah). In order to maintain communications with the conquered lands, he had a canal dug that enabled vessels to bypass the first cataract. Sesostris III undertook expeditions as far as the third cataract of the Nile.