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Egypt 1450 BC

New Kingdom at its maximum territorial extent in the 15th century BCE.

The New Kingdom, sometimes referred to as the Egyptian Empire, is the period in ancient Egyptian history between the 16th century BCE and the 11th century BCE, covering the Eighteenth, Nineteenth, and Twentieth Dynasties of Egypt. The New Kingdom (1570–1070 BCE) followed the Second Intermediate Period and was succeeded by the Third Intermediate Period. It was Egypt’s most prosperous time and marked the zenith of its power.

Background

Possibly as a result of the foreign rule of the Hyksos during the Second Intermediate Period, the New Kingdom saw Egypt attempt to create a buffer between the Levant and Egypt, and attained its greatest territorial extent. It expanded far south into Nubia and held wide territories in the Near East. Egyptian armies fought Hittite armies for control of modern-day Syria.

The eighteenth Dynasty contained some of Egypt's most famous pharaohs including Ahmose I, Hatshepsut, Thutmose III, Amenhotep III, Akhenaten and Tutankhamun. Queen Hatsheput concentrated on expanding Egypt's external trade, sending a commercial expedition to the land of Punt. Thutmose III ("the Napoleon of Egypt") expanded Egypt's army and wielded it with great success to consolidate the empire created by his predecessors. This resulted in a peak in Egypt's power and wealth during the reign of Amenhotep III.

One of the best-known 18th Dynasty pharaohs is Amenhotep IV, who changed his name to Akhenaten in honor of the Aten and whose exclusive worship of the Aten is often interpreted as history's first instance of monotheism (and was argued in Sigmund Freud's Moses and Monotheism to have been the ultimate origin of Jewish monotheism). Akhenaten's religious fervor is cited as the reason why he was subsequently written out of Egyptian history. Under his reign, in the 14th century BCE, Egyptian art flourished and attained an unprecedented level of realism.

Towards the end of the 18th Dynasty, the situation had changed radically. Helped by Akhenaten's apparent lack of interest in international affairs, the Hittites had gradually extended their influence into Syria and Palestine to become a major power in international politics—a power that both Seti I and his son Ramesses II would need to deal with during the 19th dynasty.

Hitt Egypt Perseus

Egyptian and Hittite Empires, around the time of the Battle of Kadesh.

Ramesses II ("the Great") sought to recover territories in the Levant that had been held by the 18th Dynasty. His campaigns of reconquest culminated in the Battle of Kadesh, where he led Egyptian armies against those of the Hittite king Muwatalli II and was caught in history's first recorded military ambush, but thanks to the arrival of the Ne'arin, Ramesses was able to rally his troops and turn the tide of battle against the Hittites. The outcome of the battle was undecided, both sides claiming victory at their home front, ultimately resulting in a peace treaty between the two nations.

Ramesses II was also famed for the huge number of children he sired by his various wives and concubines; the tomb he built for his sons, many of whom he outlived, in the Valley of the Kings has proven to be the largest funerary complex in Egypt.

His immediate successors continued the military campaigns, though an increasingly troubled court—which at one point put a usurper (Amenmesse) on the throne—made it increasingly difficult for a pharaoh to effectively retain control without incident. The last "great" pharaoh from the New Kingdom is widely regarded to be Ramesses III, a Twentieth Dynasty pharaoh who reigned several decades after Ramesses II. In Year 8 of his reign, the Sea Peoples invaded Egypt by land and sea. Ramesses III defeated them in two great land and sea battles. He claimed that he incorporated them as subject peoples and settled them in Southern Canaan, although there is evidence that they forced their way into Canaan. Their presence in Canaan may have contributed to the formation of new states in this region such as Philistia after the collapse of the Egyptian Empire. He was also compelled to fight invading Libyan tribesmen in two major campaigns in Egypt's Western Delta in his Year 6 and Year 11 respectively.[1]

The heavy cost of these battles slowly exhausted Egypt's treasury and contributed to the gradual decline of the Egyptian Empire in Asia. The severity of these difficulties is stressed by the fact that the first known labor strike in recorded history occurred during Year 29 of Ramesses III's reign, when the food rations for the Egypt's favoured and elite royal tomb-builders and artisans in the village of Deir el Medina could not be provisioned.[2] Something in the air prevented much sunlight from reaching the ground and also arrested global tree growth for almost two full decades until 1140 BCE.[3] One proposed cause is the Hekla 3 eruption of the Hekla volcano in Iceland; but the dating of this remains disputed.

Following Ramesses III's death there was endless bickering between his heirs. Three of his sons would go on to assume power as Ramesses IV, Ramesses VI and Ramesses VIII respectively. However, at this time Egypt was also increasingly beset by a series of droughts, below-normal flooding levels of the Nile, famine, civil unrest and official corruption. The power of the last pharaoh, Ramesses XI, grew so weak that in the south the High Priests of Amun at Thebes became the effective defacto rulers of Upper Egypt, while Smendes controlled Lower Egypt even before Ramesses XI's death. Smendes eventually founded the Twenty-First dynasty at Tanis.

Dynasty XVIII pharaohs

The pharaohs of Dynasty XVIII ruled for approximately two hundred and fifty years (c. 1550-1298 BCE). The dates and names in the table are taken from Dodson and Hilton. [4]. Many of the pharaohs were buried in the Valley of the Kings in Thebes (designated KV). More information can be found on the Theban Mapping Project website. [5]

Dynasty XVIII pharaohs
PharaohHorus-nameReign (BCE)Burial Consort(s)
Ahmose I Nebpehtire 1549 - 1524 Ahmose-Nefertari
Ahmose-Henuttamehu
Ahmose-Sitkamose
Amenhotep I Djeserkare 1524 - 1503 KV39? Ahmose-Meritamon
Thutmosis I Akheperkare 1503 - 1491 KV20, KV38 Ahmose
Mutnofret
Thutmosis II Akheperenre 1491 - 1479 KV42? Hatshepsut
Iset
Thutmosis III Menkheper(en)re 1479 - 1424 KV34 Satiah
Merytre-Hatshepsut
Nebtu
Menhet, Menwi and Merti
Hatshepsut Maatkare 1503 - 1491 KV20
Amenhotep II Akheperure 1424 - 1398 KV35 Tiaa
Thutmosis IV Menkheperure 1398 - 1388 KV43 Nefertari
Iaret
Mutemwiya
Amenhotep III Nebmaatre 1388 - 1348 KV22 Tiye
Gilukhipa
Tadukhipa
Sitamun
Iset
Akhenaten Neferkepherure-Waenre 1360 - 1343 Royal Tomb of Akhenaten Nefertiti
Kiya
Smenkhare Ankhkheperure 1346 Meritaten
Neferneferuaten Ankhkheperure-Merwaenre 1346 - 1343
Tutankhamun Nebkheperre 1343 - 1333 KV62 Ankhesenamun
Ay Kheperkheperure 1333 - 1328 KV23 Tey
Ankhesenamun
Horemheb Djeserkheperure-Setepenre 1328 - 1298 KV57 Mutnedjmet

The Pharaohs of the 19th Dynasty

The pharaohs of the 19th dynasty ruled from approximately one hundred and ten years: from ca 1298 to 1187 BCE. The dates and names in the table are taken from Dodson and Hilton. [6]. Many of the pharaohs were buried in the Valley of the Kings in Thebes (designated KV). More information can be found on the Theban Mapping Project website. [7]

Nineteenth Dynasty Pharaohs of Egypt
name of King Horus (Throne) Name date Burial Queen(s)
Ramesses I Menpehtire 1298 - 1296 BCE KV16 Sitre
Seti I Menmaetre 1296 - 1279 BCE KV17 (Mut-)Tuya
Ramesses II Usermaatre Setepenre 1279 - 1212 BCE KV7 Nefertari
Isetnofret
Maathorneferure
Meritamen
Bintanath
Nebettawy
Henutmire
Merneptah Banenre 1212 - 1201 BCE KV8 Isetnofret II
Seti II Userkheperure 1201 - 1195 BCE KV15 Twosret
Takhat
Amenmesse Menmire-Setepenre 1200 - 1196 BCE KV10  ??
Siptah Sekhaenre / Akheperre 1195 - 1189 BCE KV47
Queen Twosret Sitre-Merenamun 1189 - 1187 BCE KV14

Pharaohs of the 20th Dynasty

The pharaohs of the 20th dynasty ruled for approximately one hundred and twenty years: from ca 1187 to 1064 BCE. The dates and names in the table are taken from Dodson and Hilton. [8]. Many of the pharaohs were buried in the Valley of the Kings in Thebes (designated KV). More information can be found on the Theban Mapping Project website. [9]

Twentieth Dynasty Pharaohs of Egypt
name of King Horus (Throne) Name date Burial Queen(s)
Setnakhte Userkhaure 1187 - 1185 BCE KV14 Tiy-merenese
Ramesses III Usermaatre-Meryamun 1185 - 1153 BCE KV11 Iset Ta-Hemdjert
Tiye
Ramesses IV User/Heqamaatre Setepenamun 1153 - 1146 BCE KV2 Duatentopet
Ramesses V Amenhirkhepeshef I Usermaatre Sekheperenre 1146 - 1141 BCE KV9 Henutwati
Tawerettenru
Ramesses VI Amenhirkhepeshef II Nebmaatre Meryamun 1141 - 1133 BCE KV9 Nubkhesbed
Ramesses VII Itamun Usermaatre Setepenre Meryamun 1133 - 1125 BCE KV1
Ramesses VIII Sethhirkhepeshef Usermaatre Akhenamun 1125 - 1123 BCE
Ramesses IX Khaemwaset I Neferkare Setepenre 1123 - 1104 BCE KV6 Baketwernel
Ramesses X Amenhirkhepeshef III Khepermaatre Setepenre 1104 - 1094 BCE KV18 Tyti
Ramesses XI Khaemwaset II Menmaatre Setpenptah 1094 - 1064 BCE KV4 Tentamun

References

  1. Nicolas Grimal, A History of Ancient Egypt, Blackwell Books, 1992. p.271
  2. William F. Edgerton, The Strikes in Ramses III's Twenty-Ninth Year, JNES 10, No. 3 (July 1951), pp. 137-145
  3. Frank J. Yurco, "End of the Late Bronze Age and Other Crisis Periods: A Volcanic Cause" in Gold of Praise: Studies on Ancient Egypt in Honor of Edward F. Wente, ed: Emily Teeter & John Larson, (SAOC 58) 1999, pp.456-458
  4. Aidan Dodson, Dyan Hilton: The Complete Royal Families of Ancient Egypt. The American University in Cairo Press, London 2004
  5. Sites in the Valley of the Kings
  6. Aidan Dodson, Dyan Hilton: The Complete Royal Families of Ancient Egypt. The American University in Cairo Press, London 2004
  7. Sites in the Valley of the Kings
  8. Aidan Dodson, Dyan Hilton: The Complete Royal Families of Ancient Egypt. The American University in Cairo Press, London 2004
  9. Sites in the Valley of the Kings

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This page uses content from the English Wikipedia. The original article was at New Kingdom of Egypt. The list of authors can be seen in the page history.

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