Ancient Egypt


Ancient Egypt

Ancient Egypt Summary:

  • Ancient Egypt was a great civilization in the Mediterranean world.
  • For almost thirty centuries, from its unification around 3100 BC to its conquest by the great Alexander in 332 BC.
  • From the great pyramids of the previous Kingdom through the military conquests of the New Kingdom; Egypt’s magnificence has long beguiled archaeologists and historians and created a spirited field of study all its own: Egyptology.
  • The most sources of knowledge concerning ancient Egypt are the various monuments, objects, and artifacts which have been recovered from archeological sites, coated with hieroglyphs which have recently deciphered.
  • The image that appears is a culture with few equals within the fantastic thing about its art, the accomplishment of its design or the richness of its religious traditions.

Predynastic period (c. 5000-3100 BC):

  • There are some written records or artifacts which have found from the Predynastic period that encompassed a minimum of two-thousand years of a gradual development of the Egyptian civilization.
  • Did you know that throughout the Akhenaton’s rule, his wife Nefertiti was competing for a crucial political and spiritual role in the monotheistic cult of the sun god Aton?
  • There are pictures and sculptures of Nefertiti shows her far-famed beauty and role as a living divinity of fertility.
  • The communities in Neolithic (late Stone Age) have changed in northeastern Africa, all in try to find agriculture and created early advances which have paved the approach for the later development of Egyptian arts and crafts, technology, politics and religion (including a good reverence for the dead and presumably a belief in life when death).
  • It’s around 3400 BC; two separate kingdoms were established:
  • The Red Land to the north, mostly based within the Delta’s River and increasing to the Nile’s River maybe to Atfih.
  • The White Land within the south, extending from Atfih to Gebel es-Silsila.
  • The southern king (the Scorpion) created the primary which tries to beat the northern kingdom around 3200 BC.
  • A century later, King Menes would subdue the north and unify the country, then becoming the first king of the primary dynasty.

Archaic (Early Dynastic) period (c.3100-2686 BC):


  • King Menes established the capital of ancient Egypt at White Walls (later called Memphis), in the north near the summit of the Nile River delta. Afterward, the capital would grow into a good metropolis which dominated Egyptian society throughout the previous Kingdom period.
  • The Archaic period witnessed the foundations’ development of Egyptian society, as well as the all-important ideology of rank.
  • To the ancient Egyptians, the king was a godlike being, closely known with the all-powerful god Horus. The earliest illustrious hieroglyphic writing additionally dates to the current amount.
  • In the Archaic period, as in all different periods, the most ancient Egyptians were farmers living in small villages, and agriculture (largely wheat and barley) formed the economic base of the Egyptian state.
  • The annual flooding of the great Nile River provided the needful irrigation and fertilization every single year; farmers sowed the wheat after the flooding receded and harvested it before the season of high temperatures and drought returned.


Old Kingdom:

Great Sphinx of Giza and the pyramid of Khafre.
  • The old Kingdom began with the third dynasty of pharaohs in the age of the pyramid builders (c. 2686-2181 BC).
  • Around 2630 BC, the third dynasty’s King Djoser asked Imhotep – he is an architect, priest, and therapist – to design a funerary monument for him, and the result was the world’s premier major stone building, the Step-Pyramid at the town, close to Memphis.
  • Pyramid-building reached its zenith with the construction of the nice Pyramid at Giza on the outskirts of Cairo.
  • Khufu’s pyramid was engineered by classical historians as one of the ancient world’s Seven Wonders (or Cheops, in Greek, who ruled from 2589 to 2566 BC).
  • Two different pyramids were built in Giza for Khufu’s successors Khafra (2558-2532 BC) and Menkaura (2532-2503 BC).
  • During the third and fourth dynasties, Egypt enjoyed a golden age of peace and prosperity.
  • The pharaohs held absolute power and provided a stable central government; the kingdom faced no serious threats from abroad; and booming military campaigns in foreign countries like Nubia and Libya to its considerable economic prosperity.
  • Over the course of the fifth and sixth dynasties, the king’s wealth was steadily depleted, partially due to the huge expense of pyramid-building, and his absolute power faltered in the face of the growing influence of the nobility and also the community that grew up around the sun god Ra (Re). Once the death of the sixth dynasty’s King Pepy II, who dominated for a few ninety-four years, the previous Kingdom period ended in chaos.

First Intermediate period (c. 2181-2055 BC):

  • On the heels of the old Kingdom’s breakdown, the seventh and eighth dynasties consisted of a fast succession of Memphis-based rulers till about 2160 BC, once the central authority completely dissolved, leading to civil war between provincial governors.
  • This chaotic situation was intense by Bedouin invasions and in the course of famine and disease.
  • From this era of conflict emerged two completely different kingdoms: A line of seventeen rulers (dynasties ninth and tenth) based mostly in Heracleopolis ruled Middle Egypt between Memphis and Thebes, whereas another family of rulers arose in Thebes to challenge Heracleopolitan power.
  • Around 2055 BC, the Theban prince Mentuhotep managed to topple Heracleopolis and reunited Egypt, starting with the eleventh dynasty and ending with the first Intermediate period.

Middle Kingdom: Twelfth Dynasty (c. 2055-1786 BC):

  • After Mentuhotep IV’s death, who’s the last ruler of the Eleventh Dynasty, the throne passed to his functionary or chief minister, and UN agency became King Amenemhet I who founded the dynasty twelve.
  • A replacement capital was established at It-towy, south of Memphis, whereas Thebes remained a good non-secular center.
  •  Throughout the center Kingdom, Egypt once more flourished, because it had throughout the previous Kingdom.
  • The twelfth dynasty kings ensured the sleek succession of their line by creating every successor co-regent, a custom that began with Amenemhet I.
  • Middle-Kingdom Egypt pursued associate degree aggressive policy, colonizing the geographical region (with its made offer of gold, ebony, ivory, and alternative resources) and the Bedouin’s UN agency had infiltrated Egypt throughout the primary Intermediate amount.
  • The dominion conjointly engineered diplomatic and trade relations with the Asian country, Palestine and alternative countries; undertook to build together with military fortresses and mining quarries; and came to pyramid-building within the tradition of the previous Kingdom.
  • The center Kingdom reached its peak underneath Amenemhet III (1842-1797 BC); where its decline began underneath Amenenhet IV (1798-1790 BC) and continuing underneath his sister and regent, Queen Sobekneferu (1789-1786 BC), who was the primary confirmed feminine ruler of Egypt and therefore the last ruler of the twelfth dynasty.

Second intermediate period (c. 1786-1567 BC):

  • The thirteenth dynasty marked as the start of another unsettled period in Egypt’s history, throughout a speedy succession of kings didn’t consolidate power.
  • As a consequence, throughout the Second Intermediate period, Egypt was divided into many spheres of influence.
  • The official royal court and seat of a state were resettled to Thebes, whereas a rival kinsfolk (the 14th), centered on the city of Xois within the Nile River delta, looks to possess existed at the identical time as the thirteenth.
  • Around 1650 BC, a line of foreign rulers called the Hyksos took advantage of Egypt’s instability to require control, where the Hyksos rulers of the fifteenth dynasty adopted and continued several of the present Egyptian traditions in government likewise as culture, they ruled at the same time with the road of native Theban rulers of the seventeenth dynasty who retained control over most of southern Egypt despite having to pay taxes to the Hyksos. (The sixteenth dynasty is variously believed to be Theban or Hyksos rulers.)
  • The conflict eventually flared between the two groups, and also the Thebans launched a war against the Hyksos around 1570 BC driving them out of Egypt.


New Kingdom (c. 1567-1085 BC):


  • Under Ahmose, I, the first king of the eighteenth dynasty, Egypt was all over again reunited.
  • During the eighteenth dynasty, Egypt repaired its control over Nubia and started military campaigns in Palestine, clashing with alternative powers within the area like the Mitannians and also the Hittites.
  • The country went on to determine the world’s first nice empire, extending from Nubia to the Euphrates in Asia. in addition to powerful kings like Amenhotep I (1546-1526 BC), Thutmose I (1525-1512 BC) and Amenhotep III (1417-1379 BC), the New Kingdom was notable for the role of royal women like Queen Hatshepsut (1503-1482 BC), who began ruling as a regent for her young stepchild (he later became Thutmose III, Egypt’s greatest military hero), however rose to wield all the powers of a swayer.
  • The controversial Amenhotep IV (he’s the late eighteenth dynasty) undertook a religious revolution and disbanding the priesthoods dedicated to Amon-Re (a combination of the native Theban god Amon and the sun god Re) and forcing the exclusive worship of another divinity, Aton.
  • Renaming himself Akhenaton (“servant of Aton”), he built a new capital in Middle Egypt referred to as Akhetaton, known later as Amarna.
  • Upon Akhenaton’s death, the capital came back to Thebes and Egyptians came back to worship a multitude of gods. The nineteenth and twentieth dynasties called the Ramesside amount (for the road of kings named Ramses) saw the restoration of the weakened empire and an impressive quantity of building, together with nice temples and cities.
  • According to biblical chronology, the Exodus of Moses and also the Israelites from Egypt possibly occurred during the reign of Ramesses II (1304-1237 BC).
  • All of the New Kingdom rulers (exception of Akhenaton) were arranged to rest in deep, rock-cut tombs (not pyramids) within the depression of the Kings, a cemetery on the west bank of the Nile River opposite Thebes.
  • Most of them were raided and destroyed, an exception of the place and treasure of Tutankhamen (c.1361-1352 BC), discovered, for the most part, intact in a.D. 1922.
  • The luxurious mortuary temple of the last great king of the twentieth family line, Ramses III (c. 1187-1156 BC), was conjointly comparatively well preserved and indicated the prosperity Egypt still enjoyed throughout his reign. The kings United Nations agency followed Ramses III were less successful: Egypt lost its provinces in Palestine and Asian country for good and suffered from foreign invasions (notably by the Libyans), whereas its wealth was being steady but inevitably depleted.

Third intermediate period (c. 1085-664 BC):

  • The next four hundred years -known in the Third Intermediate Period- saw the needful changes in Egyptian politics, society, and culture.
  • Centralized government beneath the twenty-first family line pharaohs gave thanks to the resurgence of local officials, whereas foreigners from Libya and Nubia grabbed power for themselves and left an enduring imprint on Egypt’s population.
  • The twenty-second dynasty began in around 945 BC with King Sheshonq, a descendant of Libyans who had invaded Egypt during the late twentieth dynasty and settled there.
  • Various native rulers were nearly autonomous during this era and dynasties 23-24 are poorly documented.
  • In the eighth century BC, Nubian pharaohs beginning with Shabako, ruler of the Nubian kingdom of Kush, established their own dynasty -the 25th- at Thebes.
  • Under the Kushite rule, Egypt clashed with the growing Assyrian empire.
  • In 671 BC, the Assyrian ruler Esarhaddon drove the Kushite king Taharka out of Memphis and destroyed the city; he then appointed his own rulers out of native governors and officials loyal to the Assyrians.
  • One of them, Necho of Sais, ruled in short because of the first king of the twenty-sixth dynasties before being killed by the Kushite leader Tanuatamun, in a final unsuccessful grab for power.

From the late period to Alexander’s Conquest (c. 664-332 BC):

  • Beginning with Necho’s son, Psammetichus, the Senate dynasty ruled a reunified Egypt for fewer than two centuries.
  • In 525 BC, Cambyses, king of Persia, defeated Psammetichus III, the last Senate king, at the Battle of Pelusium, and Egypt became a part of the Persian Empire.
  • Persian rulers like Darius (522-485 BC) ruled the country largely under the same terms as native Egyptian kings: Darius supported Egypt’s religious cults and undertook the building and restoration of its temples. The tyrannical rule of Xerxes (486-465 B.C.) sparked raised uprisings beneath him and his successors.
  • One of these rebellions triumphed in 404 BC, starting one last period of Egyptian independence under native rulers (dynasties 28-30).
  • In the mid-fourth century BC, the Persians again attacked Egypt, restorative their empire beneath Artaxerxes III in 343 BC.
  • Barely a decade later, in 332 BC, Alexander the great of Macedonia defeated the armies of the Persian empire and conquered Egypt. Once Alexander’s death, Egypt was dominated by a line of Macedonian kings, starting with Alexander’s General Ptolemy and continued with his descendants.
  • The last ruler of Ptolemaic Egypt -the legendary Cleopatra VII- surrendered Egypt to the armies of Octavian (later Augustus) in 31 BC, six centuries of Roman rule followed, throughout that Christianity became the official religion of Rome and its provinces (including Egypt).
  • The conquest of Egypt by Arabs in the seventh century A.D. and the introduction of Islam would do away with the last outward aspects of ancient Egyptian culture and propel the country towards its modern incarnation.



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