When we study the history of Egypt, we will observe that it has two major sections. The first section is the ancient Egyptian history with its flourishing developments and native civilisation. However, the second section includes the Non-Egyptian Ruling history with its influence on the mentality of the Egyptian people and their ability of creativity.
Periods of Ancient Egyptian History
It is exciting to study the country’s history closely! Here, we will be giving a summary of the significant periods of ancient Egyptian history:
- Predynastic Period.
- Archaic Period.
- The Old Kingdom.
- First Intermediate Period.
- Middle kingdom.
- Second intermediate period.
- New kingdom.
- Third Intermediate Period.
- Also, Late Period.
1. The Predynastic Period
The early developments of Egyptian civilisation characterise this period. It witnessed an exchange of hunting for agriculture and early advances that paved the way for the later development of Egyptian arts and crafts, technology, politics and religion.
A significant aspect of this period is establishing two separate kingdoms: the Northern Kingdom and the southern one. The northern kingdom, also called the Red Land, occupied the Nile Delta and extended south to Atfih. While the Southern Kingdom, also 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 BC. A century later, King Menes succeeded in subduing the north and unifying the country.
2. The Archaic Period
The Archaic Period witnessed a significant development of Egyptian society, including the all-important ideology of worship. During this period, King Menes founded the capital of ancient Egypt at Memphis. The new capital town stood near the apex of the Nile delta. By then, the Ancient Egyptians called this city “White Walls”. Later, this capital grew into a great metropolis and paved the way to build ancient Egyptian society.
3. The Old Kingdom of Ancient Egyptian History
The Old Kingdom is a fascinating one in 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 Egyptian society. Accordingly, the Ancient Egyptian builders made several attempts to shape the pharaoh’s tomb. Noteworthy that these attempts started with building the step-pyramid at Sakkara and arrived at the fantastic pyramids in Giza.
4. The First Intermediate Period
The First Intermediate Period witnessed a collapse of the central government. In return, this collapse led to a civil war between cities governors—consequently, the appearance of two separate kingdoms – the Kingdom of North and the Kingdom of South. The Kingdom of North spanned the middle of Egypt in the area between Memphis and Thebes. At the same time, 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 attempts to reunify the country. These attempts have succeeded during the Theban prince Mentuhotep.
5. The Middle kingdom
During the Middle Kingdom, Egypt has witnessed a golden age during the old kingdom. Once again, Ancient Egypt saw establishing a capital to the south of Memphis and started military campaigns against the Bedouins. Besides, there was a political reform to ensure the smooth succession of their power by making each successor co-regent.
6. The Second Intermediate Period
The beginning of another unsettled stage in Egyptian history marked this period of Ancient Egyptian history. During the Second intermediate period, a rapid succession of kings failed to consolidate power. Consequently, several spheres of influence marked the Second Intermediate Period of Egyptian history.
7. The New Kingdom of Ancient History
The New Kingdom was the most flourished period in Ancient Egyptian history. A Theban pharaoh called Ahmose once again reunited the country.
The most prominent aspect of this period is the formation of the world’s first great empire. During this period, 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.
8. The Third Intermediate Period
The weakness of the central government characterises this period. We can find out that there were two main reasons for this weakness. The first reason was the increase in priests’ power. At the same time, the threat was coming off the new capabilities. The extended influence of the Nubian kingdom and the appearance of the Assyrian empire was the second reason.
9. The Late Period
In this period, Egypt gets reunified, although the loyalty was to the Assyrian empire. Then, Egypt became part of the Persian Empire after the collapse of the Assyrian one. Although, the year 404 BC. witnessed the last period of Egyptian independence under native rulers from the 28th dynasty to the 30th dynasty.