When we study the history of Egypt, we can discover that it is divided into two major parts: the ancient Egyptian history with its flourish developments and native civilization, and the non-Egyptian ruling history with its influence on the mentality of the Egyptian people, and their ability of creativity. It is very interesting to study closely the country’s history! Here, we will be giving you a brief summary of the major periods of ancient Egyptian history:
The early developments of the Egyptian civilization characterize this period. It witnessed a exchange of hunting for agriculture, and making early advances that paved the way for the later development of Egyptian arts and crafts, technology, politics and religion.
A major aspect of this period is the establishing of two separate kingdoms: the northern kingdom and the southern one. The northern kingdom, or what was called the Red Land, was located in the Nile River Delta and extended south along the Nile to Atfih. While the southern kingdom, or what was called the White Land, was stretching from Atfih in the north to Gebel El-Silsila in the south.
There were some attempts to unify the two kingdoms by a southern king, Scorpion. He made the first attempts to conquer the northern kingdom around 3200 B.C. A century later, King Menes succeeded to subdue the north and unify the country.
The Archaic Period witnessed a major development of Egyptian society, including the all-important ideology of worship. In this period, King Menes founded the capital of ancient Egypt at Memphis, or was called White Walls, near the apex of the Nile River delta. The capital grew into a great metropolis and paved the way to build the ancient Egyptian society.
This period is a very interesting one in the ancient Egyptian history. We call it “the pyramid builder’s period”, as well. It witnessed a clear development in the religious construction of tombs to go with the beliefs of the Egyptian society. A number of attempts were done to shape the tomb of the pharaoh. These attempt started with building the step-pyramid at Sakkara and arrived at the building of the amazing pyramids in Giza.
First Intermediate Period
This period was characterized by the collapse of the central government, which led to a civil war between cities governors; and later, the appearance of two separate kingdoms. The northern one spanned the middle of Egypt in the area between Memphis and Thebes. The southern one was in Thebes.
The weak of the country and its division led to a partial invasion and famine disaster. By the end of this period, we can notice some attempt to reunify the country. These attempts have succeeded during the Theban prince Mentuhotep.
During this period, Egypt has witnessed a golden age as it was during the old kingdom. A capital was build to the south of Memphis, and military campaigns started against the Bedouins.
There was a political reform to ensure the smooth succession of their power by making each successor co-regent.
Second intermediate period
This period was marked by the beginning of another unsettled period in Egyptian history, during which a rapid succession of kings failed to consolidate power. As a consequence, Egypt was divided into several spheres of influence.
The period was much flourished in the history of Egypt. The country was once again reunited by a Theban pharaoh called Ahmose.
The most prominent aspect of this period is the formation of the world’s first great empire. Here, we can find that Egypt has restored its control over Nubia, and began military campaigns to the north and east, stretching its empire from Nubia to the Euphrates River in Asia.
The Third Intermediate Period
The weakness of the central government characterizes this period. There are two main reasons behind this weakness. The first reason was the increase of priests’ power. While the threat coming of the new powers _ the extended influence of the Nubian kingdom, and the appearance of Assyrian empire _ was the second reason.
The Late Period
In this period, Egypt gets reunified; although the loyalty was to the Assyrian empire. After the collapse of the Assyrian Empire by the Persian one, Egypt became part of this Empire. The year 404 B.C. witnessed a one last period of Egyptian independence under native rulers from the 28th dynasty to the 30th dynasty.