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Middle Kingdom of Egypt Timeline

Middle Kingdom of Egypt Timeline

  • c. 2061 BCE - c. 2010 BCE

    Reign of Mentuhotep II in Egypt, founder of the Middle Kingdom era.

  • 2040 BCE - 1782 BCE

  • c. 2010 BCE - c. 1998 BCE

    Reign of Mentuhotep III in Egypt.

  • c. 1997 BCE - c. 1991 BCE

    Reign of Mentuhotep IV in Egypt.

  • 1991 BCE - 1802 BCE

    Mysteries of Osiris observed at Abydos during 12th Dynasty of Egypt.

  • c. 1991 BCE - c. 1962 BCE

    Reign of Amenemhat I who moves capital of Egypt from Thebes to Itj-tawi (Lisht) in Lower Egypt.

  • c. 1991 BCE - 1962 BCE

    Amenemhat I creates the first Egyptian standing army.

  • c. 1971 BCE - c. 1926 BCE

    Reign of Senusret I in Egypt who begins construction of Temple of Amun at Karnak.

  • c. 1929 BCE - c. 1895 BCE

    Reign of Amenemhat II in Egypt.

  • c. 1897 BCE - c. 1878 BCE

    Reign of Senusret II in Egypt.

  • c. 1878 BCE - c. 1860 BCE

    Reign of the Warrior-King Senusret III, the most powerful ruler of the Middle Kingdom.

  • c. 1860 BCE - c. 1815 BCE

    Reign of Amenemhat III in Egypt.

  • c. 1815 BCE - c. 1807 BCE

    Reign of Amenemhat IV in Egypt.

  • c. 1807 BCE - c. 1802 BCE

    Reign of the female monarch Sobekneferu in Egypt.

  • c. 1802 BCE - c. 1800 BCE

    Reign of Sobekhotep I, first king of the 13th Dynasty, in Egypt. The Middle Kingdom declines after him.

Middle Kingdom of Egypt Timeline - History

Ancient Egypt was one of the oldest and longest lasting world civilizations. It was located along the Nile River in the northeast part of Africa and lasted for over three thousand years. Historians generally use two ways to outline the history of Ancient Egypt:

1. Dynasties: The first is by using the different dynasties that ruled Egypt. These are the families that had power and passed the leadership of Pharaoh down from one family member to another. Counting the Ptolemaic Dynasty set up by the Greeks, there were over 30 dynasties that ruled Ancient Egypt. This sounds like a lot at first, but remember this was over the course of 3000 years.

2. Kingdoms and Periods: There are also three primary kingdoms that historians use to define periods of Ancient Egypt. After each kingdom there is an "intermediate" period. The three kingdoms were the Old, Middle, and New Kingdoms.

Here is a brief outline of the timeline of the Ancient Egyptian civilization showing the Kingdoms, periods, and dynasties:

Early Dynastic Period (2950 -2575 BC) - Dynasties I-III

The Ancient Egyptian civilization begins. The first Pharaoh of Egypt, Menes, united the Upper and Lower parts of Egypt into a single civilization. He put the capitol at the midpoint of the two lands in a city called Memphis. During this time the Egyptians developed hieroglyphic writing which would be important for making records and running the government.

Near the end of the Dynastic Period and the start of the Old Kingdom, the first pyramid is built by the Pharoah Djoser and the famous Egyptian Architect Imhotep.

Old Kingdom (2575-2150 BC) - Dynasties IV-VIII

The fourth dynasty begins and the Great Pyramids of Giza and the Sphinx are built. This is often called the Age of the Pyramids. The fourth dynasty is a time of peace and also a time when the sun god Re became prominent in the Egyptian religion.

The Old Kingdom nears its end as the 7th and 8th dynasties are weak and the government begins to collapse. The end of the Old Kingdom is a time of poverty and famine.

First Intermediate Period (2150-1975 BC) Dynasties IX-XI

Egypt splits back into two countries. The Old Kingdom ends and the first Intermediate period begins.

Middle Kingdom (1975-1640 BC) Dynasties XI-XIV

The Pharaoh Mentuhotep II reunites the two parts of Egypt under one rule signaling the start of the Middle Kingdom. The royal tombs are moved to the north near the city of Memphis. The Egyptians start to use irrigation to carry water from the Nile to their crops.

Second Intermediate Period (1640-1520 BC) Dynasties XV-XVII

The Middle Kingdom ends and the Second Intermediate Period begins. Some of the dynasties at the end of the middle kingdom and during this period only last for a short time. The horse and chariot are introduced during this period.

New Kingdom (1520-1075 BC) Dynasties XVIII-XX

The New Kingdom is the time of greatest prosperity for the Ancient Egyptian civilization. During this time the Pharaohs conquer the most lands and the Egyptian Empire reaches its peak.

1520 B.C. - Amhose I reunites the kingdom and the New Kingdom begins.

1506 B.C. - Tuthmosis I becomes Pharaoh. He is the first to be buried in the Valley of the Kings. For the next 500 years this will be the main burial area for the royalty of Egypt.

1479 B.C. - Hatshepsut becomes Pharaoh. She is one of the most successful woman pharaohs and rules for 22 years.

1386 B.C. - Amenhotep III becomes Pharaoh. Under his reign the Egyptian civilization would reach its peak in prosperity, power, and art. He builds the Temple of Luxor.

1352 B.C. - Akhenaten changed the Egyptian religion to worship a single god. This was a major change of life. It only lasted for his rule, however, as his son Tutankhamun would change the religion back to the old ways.

1279 B.C. - Rameses II becomes Pharaoh. He would rule for 67 years and build many monuments.

Third Intermediate Period (1075 - 653 BC) Dynasties XXI-XXIV

The New Kingdom comes to end when Egypt becomes divided. Third Intermediate Period begins. Egypt grows weaker and is eventually conquered by the Assyrian Empire near the end of this period.

Late Period (653 - 332 BC) Dynasties XXV-XXX

The late period begins as the Assyrians leave Egypt and the locals regain control from vassals left by the Assyrians.

Rise of Nasser

1953 June - Coup leader Muhammad Najib becomes president as Egypt is declared a republic.

1954 - Fellow coup leader Gamal Abdel Nasser becomes prime minister and in 1956 president, ruling unchallenged until his death in 1970.

1954 - Evacuation Treaty signed. British forces, who began a gradual withdrawal under 1936 treaty, finally leave Egypt.

1955 - Prime Minister Nasser reorients Egypt away from West towards neutrality, buys arms from Communist Czechoslovakia to re-equip arm.

1956 January - Egypt and Britain relinquish control over Sudan, established at end of 19th century.

1956 July - President Nasser nationalises the Suez Canal to fund the Aswan High Dam, after Britain and US withdraw financing.

1956 October-November - Invasion of Egypt by Britain, France and Israel over nationalisation of Suez Canal fails through US opposition, greatly enhancing President Nasser's standing at home and abroad.

1958 - President Nasser steps up campaign to promote pan-Arab unity, most visible signs of which is brief United Arab Republic unitary state including Syria (1958-61). He also supports friendly elements in Lebanese and North Yemen conflicts, to little avail.

1961-66 - President Nasser adopts socialist policies, including nationalisation of industry and an ambitious welfare programme, combined with repression of Muslim Brotherhood and leftist opponents, in an unsuccessful attempt to boost the economy and the popularity of his government.

1967 May - Egypt expels UN buffer forces from Sinai and closes the Straits of Tiran to Israeli ships, then sign defence pact with Jordan. Israel interprets this as preparation for war.

1967 June - Israeli pre-emptive attack defeats Egypt, Jordan and Syria, leaving it in control of Sinai up to the Suez Canal and Egyptian-occupied Gaza.

Emergency Law largely suspends civil rights. Remains in force with brief break in early 1980s until 2012.

1970 September - Nasser dies, having never recovered his leading role among Arab states after the 1967 defeat, and is succeeded by Vice-President Anwar al-Sadat.

1971 - The Aswan High Dam is completed, with Soviet funding, and has a huge impact on irrigation, agriculture and industry in Egypt.

1972 - President Sadat expels Soviet advisers and reorients Egypt towards the West, while launching an ultimately unsuccessful attempt to open the economy to market forces and foreign investment.

1973 October - Egypt and Syria go to war with Israel to reclaim land lost in 1967. Egypt begins negotiations for the return of Sinai after the war.

1975 June - The Suez Canal is re-opened for first time since 1967 war.

1977 January - "Bread riots" in major cities against end to subsidies on basic foodstuffs under agreement with World Bank and International Monetary Fund.

1977 October - President Sadat visits Israel, beginning process that leads to 1979 peace treaty, return of occupied Sinai Peninsula, and Egypt's suspension from Arab League until 1989. Egypt becomes major beneficiary of US financial aid.

1981 October - President Sadat assassinated by Islamist extremists month after clampdown on private press and opposition groups in wake of anti-government riots. Succeeded by Vice-President Hosni Mubarak.

1981 - President Mubarak reimposes state of emergency, restricting political activity, freedom of expression and assembly.

1986 - Amy deployed in Cairo to crush mutiny by Central Security paramilitary police.

1991 - Egypt joins allied coalition to expel Iraqi troops from Kuwait, and benefited from major multilateral loans and debt relief in return, allowing government to launch another attempt at liberalising economy.

1992-97 - Gamaɺ al-Islamiyya Islamic Group begins five-year campaign of attacks on government and tourist targets, culminating in killing of 62 people at Luxor historic site in 1997.

2005 May - Referendum backs constitutional amendment allowing multiple candidates at presidential elections, after months of opposition protests.

2005 July - Scores of people are killed in bomb attacks in the Red Sea resort of Sharm al-Sheikh as Islamists resume terror attacks.

2005 December - Parliamentary polls end with clashes between police and supporters of the opposition Muslim Brotherhood, who win record 20% of seats by standing as independents.

2006 April - Bomb attacks in the Red Sea resort of Dahab kill more than 20 people.

2006 November - Egypt is one of at least six Arab countries developing domestic nuclear programmes to diversify energy sources, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) reports.


Ancient Egypt was a nation located east of North Africa along the coastline of the Nile River. It was composed of two kingdoms Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt. The nations were headed by their pharaohs whose regencies depended on the godly rights of the kings. The concept of “afterlife” and gods could have started from the early Egyptians, a corruption of the religious teachings known by Ham, Noah’s son. Egyptian paganism grew popular in the ancient world until it was overpowered by Christianity and then Islam.

The Two Kingdoms

The division of the two kingdoms was based on the flow of the Nile River’s track. Upper Egypt was the kingdom in the south that stretches from the Libyan Desert to Abu Simbel along the shorelines of the river’s upstream. On the other hand, the kingdom of Lower Egypt was located in the north where the river’s delta flows downstream to the Mediterranean Sea.

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Understanding Upper and Lower Egypt on the Map

Part of the Nile River is called the Delta, after the Greek letter for D. Delta, is shaped like an upside-down triangle.

Early Egypt’s history: there were two tribes who lived along The Nile. When you look at the map, “North” is usually at the top and “South” is usually at the bottom. So it might seem that the Nile Delta should be called “Upper Egypt”. After all, it’s on the upper part of your map. But ancient Egyptians didn’t think about the world in that way. The Nile River flowed from mountains to the south, down to the delta in the north. Ancient Egyptians thought about the southern part of their country, Upper Egypt, as ‘up the river” and the northern part, “Lower Egypt”, as ‘down the river”. If you turn a map upside down, you’ll see the world as Egyptians did.

Upper Egypt

Upper Egypt was named Ta Shemau. This nation worshipped the goddess Nekhbet and had 22 regions (or sepats in Egyptian terms.) It looks like a thin line coming from the first sepat of today’s Aswan up to the 22nd sepat where Atfih is presently located.

The head of the kingdom was glorified with the White Crown. The High Priestess of Amon reigned in the kingdom from 800 BC to 525 BC.

Lower Egypt

Lower Egypt was called Ta-Mehu and was situated at the extreme north of Egypt. This watery kingdom runs from the south of Cairo down to Alexandria. It enjoys a calm climate and weather, and rainfall is abundant.

This Kingdom worshipped the goddess Wadjet and was composed of 20 sepats with the earliest found at Memphis. The people’s ruler wore the Red Crown.

Unification of the Two Kingdoms

The two kingdoms had their own unique languages, separate beliefs and traditions and lived their lives differently. Even though the people could communicate and understand each other, conflicts between the two kingdoms arose from time to time. Many these differences and conflicts are still ongoing today.

Eventually, the king of Lower Egypt named Narmer or Menes overpowered the Upper Kingdom leading to the unification of the two kingdoms. He became the first pharaoh of the unified kingdoms, the modern day Egypt. He built its capital city, Memphis in an area at the middle of the two old kingdoms.

Egypt Then and Today

Egypt is mainly desert having parts of the Sahara Desert and the Libyan Desert under its territory. These “red lands” as these deserts were called, though not helpful in farming, played a significant role in keeping away the armies who wanted to invade Egypt. For farming, Egypt has the “black land” the land with the fertile soil situated next to the Nile River.

Egypt was more than just an ancient civilization that was famed for its pharaohs, its pyramids, and its desert and water landmarks along with its other landmarks. Its influence and history extend from ancient times to today.

Even today, the place where Lower Egypt was once located still prospers in trade and commerce. Alexandria, its first well-known city, flourished from the time it was built. Its city structure encouraged not only the trade industry among its citizens and foreign visitors moreover it allowed the sharing of different beliefs, cultures, and religions.

The gathering of different tribes bringing with them their diversified knowledge of herbal medicine and different plants led to the study in the field of medicine. Dissecting cadavers to study the human anatomy was allowed thus also leading to the expertise of Egyptians on mummifying. Its library was rich with an enormous compilation of knowledge. The library encouraged innovations by letting its visitors learn and make a copy of the items they needed. From this city began the great contributions of Galen, Archimedes, and Heron in the field of science.

But what put Egypt in the spotlight from early times in the Bible until today was religious conflict. Ancient Egyptians were pagans that God highly criticized and condemned in the Bible. That early Egyptian paganism was later on overshadowed by Christianity. Presently, Islam is the state religion of Egypt, a country that housed two other important religions Judaism and Christianity.

It is the most populated Arab nation and one of the most influential Muslim nations in the world. There is an ongoing revolution in Egypt today, and Egyptian Christians and Muslims have worked together on a movement that recently ousted former President Hosni Mubarak.

Middle Kingdom of Egypt Timeline - History

Ancient Egyptian History -The Middle Kingdom

The First Intermediate Period (2150-1975 BC)

An intermediate period in ancient Egyptian history is a time when no one person or family ruled all of Egypt. Intermediate means to come in-between, in this case, between two kingdoms. During the first Intermediate Period, two families fought for control of Egypt. During this time, Egyptian scribes write about a time when there were, "70 kings in 70 days." This may seem to be an exaggeration, however, it tells of a time of unrest and a lack of continuous leadership.

The Middle Kingdom (1975-1640 BC)

Mentuhotep II is considered the founder of the Middle Kingdom. Mentuhotep II was part of Dynasty XI (11), which ruled Upper Egypt from the city of Thebes. He defeated the last of the rulers of the Dynasty X, who ruled Lower Egypt, and re-unified all of Egypt. Mentuhotep II wore the Double Crown of Egypt, which represented the unification of Upper and Lower Egypt. Thebes, a city in Upper Egypt, became the capital city of the pharaohs of the Middle Kingdom.

The Middle Kingdom was a time of achievements for the ancient Egyptians. Art took on new styles and techniques, like the block style, where art was produced from large blocks of stone. Irrigation projects at the Faiyum, a large oasis on the west bank of the Nile in Lower Egypt, increased harvests. An oasis is a fresh water source in a desert. The Faiyum is not actually an oasis, because, though it is in the desert, its water comes directly from the Nile.

Egyptians used writing before the Middle Kingdom for record keeping and honoring the gods and goddesses. In the Middle Kingdom, Egyptians used writing to tell stories. One of the most famous stories from this period is the Tale of the Shipwrecked Sailor. The story is about a ship's captain who has returned from an unsuccessful trading mission. One of his crew tells the captain a personal experience of being the only survivor of a previous sea voyage and shipwreck. He tells the captain to feel lucky that he is alive and that he will see his wife and children. The captain however is worried about facing the pharaoh after his unsuccessful voyage.

Second Intermediate Period 1640-1550 BC

The Second Intermediate Period was a time, once again, when Upper and Lower Egypt were divided. This time, however, Lower Egypt was invaded and ruled by a group of people from Western Asia known as the Hyksos. Hyksos in Egyptian means "rulers from a foreign land."

The Egyptians always felt safe from foreign invasions, so safe, that they never placed walls around their cities. Egypt always relied on its natural walls: the deserts to the east and west, and the cataracts, or waterfalls, in the Nile to the south. These natural defenses kept armies and navies from invading.

In addition, Egypt's army was not equipped with bronze weapons, relying instead on copper weapons. Egyptian soldiers wore no armor. Again, with no need to fear foreign invasion, why should pharaoh up-grade his weapons and army? After all, Egypt had had very little contact with outside people.

All of this changed when the Hyksos, most likely a multi-ethnic group from Western Asia, stormed through the Sinai Desert on swift war chariots. We are not sure why the Hyksos left their lands and invaded Egypt. One theory is that there was crop failure and famine in their lands. The Egyptians had never seen war chariots. Horses were not common in Egypt. With their superior bronze weapons, and powerful composite bows, the Hyksos quickly conquered Lower Egypt.

The Hyksos established their capital in a city called Avaris, on the east bank of the Nile delta. For about one hundred years the Hyksos ruled Lower Egypt, but the Hyksos were unable to keep control in Upper Egypt. In Upper Egypt, rulers from the city of Thebes revolted against Hyksos rule, and drove the Hyksos out of Lower Egypt. The Hyksos people spoke Semitic languages. During this time, the Hebrews, also Semitic, migrated to Lower Egypt, and were welcome by the Hyksos.

During the Second Intermediate period, both the Hyksos and the Egyptians took on the ways of each other's culture. This a called assimilation. The Hyksos kings called themselves pharaohs and wore the double crown of Egypt. The Hyksos began to write in hieroglyphics and worship Egyptian gods.

Meanwhile, to the south in Upper Egypt, the rulers of Thebes studied and copied the superior weapons of the Hyksos, captured and bred horses, and readied themselves for the day they would take back Lower Egypt.

The Hyksos had a lasting effect on the Egyptians. Egypt improved its army and weapons, they bred horses and added war chariots. The Hyksos also introduced new musical instruments to the Egyptians, like the tambourine and oboe.

When they were ready, Kamose, of Thebes, sailed down the Nile with an army and attacked the Hyksos. unfortunately, Kamose was killed in battle. Kamose's next-in-command and brother, named Ahmose, finally drove the Hyksos out of Egypt. We will learn more about Ahmose, in the next chapter on the New Kingdom.

Assorted References

Mentuhotep II campaigned in Lower Nubia, where he may have been preceded by the Inyotefs. His mortuary complex in Thebes contained some of the earliest known depictions of Amon-Re,…

…predecessors, the provincial nobles of Middle Egypt had enhanced their power through royal favours and intermarriage with the families of neighbouring potentates. Around the middle of Sesostris III’s reign, the rich provincial tombs, which were a mark of the nobles’ power, abruptly ceased to be built. Simultaneously, the memorials of…


A chain of Middle Kingdom mud brick fortresses near the Second Cataract received well-merited attention but could not be salvaged, because of the nature of their construction. Expeditions uncovered rich remains of Nubian A Group and C Group people, in the shape of cemeteries and even houses, and…

…was the location of a Middle Kingdom (1938–c. 1630 bce ) pyramid and of a workmen’s village of approximately the same date, and findings in the early 21st century revealed that it was a significant site in the Early Dynastic period (c. 2925–c. 2575 bce ) as well.

…extant traces of the original Middle Kingdom (1938–c. 1630 bce ) temple save a small jubilee shrine of Sesostris I (reigned 1908–1875), now reconstructed from fragments found inside the third pylon. At the beginning of the New Kingdom (c. 1539–1075 bce ), Thutmose I (reigned 1493–c. 1482) enclosed this

During the Middle Kingdom (1938–c. 1630 bce ) relatively few tombs were added to in the Ṣaqqārah necropolis. In the New Kingdom (c. 1539–1075 bce ), however, Memphis became a principal administrative and military centre, and a number of tombs from that period have been found, including the finely…

Development of

Under the Middle Kingdom (its capital at Thebes), which prospered until about 1630 bce , the masculine skirt could be hip- or ankle-length. More material was now used, making the garment fuller, such fullness being concentrated in the centre front and the pendants became more elaborate and ornamental.…

…writings, particularly during the early Middle Kingdom (began 1938 bce ), when a profound social and spiritual crisis seems to have gripped Egypt. Of such kind are “The Admonitions of Ipuwer” (a denunciation of current sin and evil in Hebrew “prophetic” manner), the “Dialogue of a Man with His Soul,” and…

Royal sculptures, particularly of Sesostris III and Amenemhet III, achieved a high degree of realism, even of portraiture. The first true royal colossi were produced in the 12th dynasty (if the Great Sphinx of Giza is discounted) for the embellishment of cult temples.…

History of

Memphite influence continued during the Middle Kingdom (1938–c. 1630 bce ), when Egypt was once more reunited, with the official residence of the 12th dynasty (1938–c. 1756) at nearby Itj-tawy (near modern Al-Lisht), near the entrance to Al-Fayyūm. Several 12th-dynasty monarchs erected pyramids at Dahshūr, the southernmost of the Memphite pyramid…

During the 12th dynasty (1938–1756), the royal residence was moved to the area of Memphis, but the kings of Egypt continued to honour Amon, their family god, and hence built temples at Thebes. After their invasion of Egypt and seizure of dynastic power about 1630, the Hyksos…

History of Egypt | Egypt History Timeline

Human settlement in Egypt dates back to at least 6000 BC, when the Nile River valley was first inhabited. The political union of Upper and Lower Egypt around 3150 BC under the first pharaoh of the First Dynasty, Narmer, united the ancient Egyptian civilization. For the most part, Egyptian rule lasted until the Achaemenid Empire conquered it in the 6th century BC.

Due to the flood of the Nile River and its fertile banks and deltas, as well as the accomplishments and impact of Egypt's indigenous people, Egypt's history is replete with great events and great archaeological events. Most of Egypt's ancient history remained a mystery until the Rosetta Stone was discovered and helped to decode the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics secrets. The Great Pyramid of Giza is one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and the Library of Alexandria has been the only one of its kind for centuries.

Egypt has a long and glorious history, making it one of the world's most illustrious civilizations. The human foundation in Egypt dates back to at least 6000 BC during the Nile River Valley was inhabited for the first time. The ancient Egyptian civilization united about 3150 BC with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under the first pharaoh of the First Dynasty , Narmer . The original Egyptian rule continued for the most part until the conquest of the Achaemenid Empire in the sixth century BC.

Prehistory (pre&ndash3100 BC)
There is data from petroglyphs along the Nile terraces and in desert oases. In the 10th BC, a culture of hunter-gatherers and fishermen was renewed by a grain-grinding culture. Climate changes and/or overgrazing nearby 6000 BC began to desiccate the pastoral lands of Egypt, forming the Sahara. Early tribal peoples migrated to the Nile River, where they formed a settled agricultural economy and a more centralized community.

By about 6000 BC, a Neolithic culture rooted in the Nile Valley. During the Neolithic era, several predynastic cultures developed independently in Upper and Lower Egypt. The Badari culture and the successor Naqada series are generally regarded as precursors to dynastic Egypt. The earliest known Lower Egyptian site, Merimda, predates the Badarian by about seven hundred years. Contemporaneous Lower Egyptian communities coexisted with their southern counterparts for more than two thousand years, remaining culturally distinct, but maintaining frequent contact through trade. The earliest known evidence of Egyptian hieroglyphic inscriptions appeared during the predynastic period on Naqada III pottery vessels, dated to about 3200 BC.

Ancient Egypt (3100&ndash332 BC)
A unified kingdom was founded 3150 BC by King Menes, leading to a series of dynasties that ruled Egypt for the next three millennia. Egyptian culture flourished during this long period and remained distinctively Egyptian in its religion, arts, language, and customs. The first two ruling dynasties of a unified Egypt set the stage for the Old Kingdom period (c. 2700&ndash2200 BC), which constructed many pyramids, most notably the Third Dynasty pyramid of Djoser and the Fourth Dynasty Giza Pyramids.

The first intermediate period began in a time of political turmoil nearly 150 years ago. The stability of the government restored the prosperity of the country in the Middle Kingdom in 2040 BC and reached its climax during the reign of Pharaoh Amenemhat the Third. And with the entry into the second period of separation, with the arrival of the first foreign dynasty in Egypt, the Semitic Hexus kingdom. The Hyksos invaders occupied most of Lower Egypt around 1650 BC and created a new capital at Alvarez. They were expelled by the Upper Egypt Force led by Ahmose I, who founded the Eighteenth Dynasty and moved the capital from Memphis to Thebes.

The modern state (circa 1550 - 1070 BC) began with the Eighteenth Dynasty, indicating the rise of Egypt as a world power that expanded during its largest extension to an empire as far south as Tombs in Nubia, and included parts of the Levant in the east. This period was indicated for some of the most famous pharaohs, including Hatshepsut, Tuthmosis the Third, Akhenaten and his wife Nefertiti and Tutankhamun, and Ramesses II. The first historically acclaimed expression of monotheism came during this period as Atenism, although some consider Atenism a form of monotheism rather than monotheism. Repeated contacts with other countries brought new ideas to the new kingdom. The country was later invaded and occupied by the Libyans, the Libyans, and the Assyrians, but the indigenous Egyptians eventually drove them out and regained control of their country.

In 332 BC, Macedonian ruler Alexander the Great conquered Egypt as he toppled the Achaemenids and established the Hellenistic Ptolemaic Kingdom, whose first ruler was one of Alexander's former generals, Ptolemy I Soter. The Ptolemies had to fight native rebellions and were involved in foreign and civil wars that led to the decline of the kingdom and its final annexation by Rome. The death of Cleopatra ended the nominal independence of Egypt resulting in Egypt's becoming one of the provinces of the Roman Empire.

Roman rule in Egypt (including Byzantine) lasted from 30 BC to 641 AD, with a brief interlude of control by the Sasanian Empire between 619&ndash629, known as Sasanian Egypt. After the Muslim conquest of Egypt, parts of Egypt became provinces of successive Caliphates and other Muslim dynasties: Rashidun Caliphate (632-661), Umayyad Caliphate (661&ndash750), Abbasid Caliphate (750&ndash935), Fatimid Caliphate (909&ndash1171), Ayyubid Sultanate (1171&ndash1260), and the Mamluk Sultanate (1250&ndash1517). In 1517, Ottoman sultan Selim I captured Cairo, absorbing Egypt into the Ottoman Empire.

Egypt remained completely Ottoman until 1867, without during the French control from 1798 to 1801. Opening in 1867, Egypt became a self-supporting tributary country called Khedifa Misr. But, Khadift Egypt fell under British administration in 1882 in the wake of the Anglo-Egyptian War. After the end of the First World War and after the Egyptian revolution in 1919, the Kingdom of Egypt was established. While the United Kingdom is a de jure independent state, it retains control over foreign affairs, defense, and other matters. The British occupation continued until 1954, with the approval of the Anglo-Egyptian in 1954.

With the complete withdrawal of the British forces from the Suez Canal in 1956 AD, the modern Republic of Egypt was founded in 1953 AD, this was the first time in 2500 years that Egypt was completely independent and ruled by the original Egyptians. President Gamal Abdel Nasser (President Ali Egypt from 1956 to 1970) introduced several reforms and established the short-lived United Arab Republic with Syria. Its terms also saw the Six-Day War and the creation of the International Non-Aligned Movement. His successor Anwar Sadat (president from 1970 to 1981) changed the course of Egypt, moving away from many political and economic principles of Nasiriyah, re-establishing a multi-party system, and launching the policy of economic openness. He led Egypt in the 1973 Yom Kippur War to restore the Sinai Peninsula in Egypt, which Israel had occupied since the Six-Day War in 1967. This subsequently led to the peace treaty between Egypt and Israel.

Recent Egyptian history has been dominated by events following nearly thirty years of rule by former president Hosni Mubarak. The Egyptian revolution of 2011 deposed Mubarak and resulted in the first democratically elected president in Egyptian history, Unrest after the 2011 revolution and related disputes led to the 2013 Egyptian coup.

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Find out more

The Pyramids by Alberto Siliotti (Weidenfeld & Nicolson)

The Complete Pyramids by Mark Lehner (Thames and Hudson)

The Illustrated Guide to Ancient Egypt by DP Silverman (Oxford University Press, 1997)

A History of Ancient Egypt by N Grimal (Blackwell, 1992)

The River Nile: Geology, Hydrology and Utilization by R Said (Pergamon Press, 1993)

The Literature of Ancient Egypt by WK Simpson (Yale University Press, 1972)

The Third Intermediate Period

Orthodox Chronology (O.C.) 1069 B.C – 525 B.C
Dynasties Twenty-one to Twenty-five

During the New Kingdom there had been a marked increase in the power of the priests of Amun in Thebes. By the end of the Twentieth Dynasty, they owned two-thirds of the land granted to temples, nine-tenths of the ships, and four-fifths of the factories.

During the reign of Ramesses XI, the High Priest, Herihor, established a rival kingdom. On the death of Ramesses XI, Smendes (the first king of Dynasty Twenty-one) ruled from Tanis while a Dynasty of High Priests ruled from Thebes. Dynasty Twenty-two succeeded Dynasty Twenty-one in Tanis, but Dynasty Twenty-three (in Leontopolis) and Dynasty Twenty-four (in Sais) also held power towards the end of Dynasty Twenty-one.

The kings of Napata had aligned themselves with Amun since the New kingdom, and moved into Egypt to re-establish central authority with their favoured god. They formed Dynasty Twenty-five. However, Egypt was also threatened by the Assyrian expansion. The attempts of the Nubian kings to defy the Assyrians resulted in the sacking of Thebes.


About 2160 b.c. , after several decades of nominal occupancy by the weak rulers of the end of the Sixth Dynasty and the Memphite kinglets of the Seventh and Eighth Dynasties, the throne of Egypt was claimed by Achthoes, the governor of the Twentieth Nome of Upper Egypt, whose city, called by the Egyptians Heneneswe and by the Greeks Heracleopolis , occupied the site of present-day Ihnāsya el-Medīna, on the west side of the Nile, just south of the entrance to the Faiyūm. Assuming the throne-name Meryibre, Achthoes evidently set about imposing his rule upon his fellow nomarchs with such vigour that he has been described by Manetho as ‘behaving more cruelly than his predecessors’ and doing ‘evil to the people of all Egypt’. Though his control of the eastern Delta and its mixed Egyptian and Asiatic population is open to question, he was apparently recognized as king throughout the rest of Egypt as far south as Aswān, where his name has been noted in a rock inscription at the First Cataract. It is by no means certain, as was once thought, that his adherents failed to take over This and the sovereignty of his second successor, Neferkare, seems to have been acknowledged in the three southernmost nomes of Upper Egypt. Elsewhere the names of Achthoes I occur on an openwork bronze vessel from Asyūt, a stronghold of the new regime in the Thirteenth Nome of Upper Egypt, on an ebony staff from Meir in the Fourteenth Nome, and on a fragment of an ivory coffer from El-Lisht, eighteen miles south of Memphis.

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