Share via Email A depiction of Akhenaten, pharaoh from c. Rex Features Egypt is at once the most familiar and the most impenetrable of ancient civilisations. Far more than any Greek or Roman portrait bust, the golden death mask of Tutankhamun serves as the supreme icon of antiquity; and yet, compared to Alexander or Cicero, how much of a closed book to us are even the most celebrated pharaohs.
From the Twelfth Dynasty onwards, pharaohs often kept well-trained standing armies, which included Nubian contingents. These formed the basis of larger forces which were raised for defence against invasion, or for expeditions up the Nile or across the Sinai.
However, the Middle Kingdom was basically defensive in its military strategy, with fortifications built at the First Cataract of the Nile, in the Delta and across the Sinai Isthmus. During the First Intermediate Period, the governors of the nomes of Egypt, nomarchsgained considerable power.
Their posts had become hereditary, and some nomarchs entered into marriage alliances with the nomarchs of neighboring nomes. In Amenemhet's 30th regnal year, he was presumably murdered in a palace conspiracy.
Senusret, campaigning against Libyan invaders, rushed home to Itjtawy to prevent a takeover of the government. Senusret instead appears to have focused on domestic issues, particularly the irrigation of the Faiyum.
This multi-generational project aimed to convert the Faiyum oasis into a productive swath of farmland. In his sixth year, he re-dredged an Old Kingdom canal around the first cataract to facilitate travel to upper Nubia. He used this to launch a series of brutal campaigns in Nubia in his sixth, eighth, tenth, and sixteenth years.
After his victories, Senusret built a series of massive forts throughout the country to establish the formal boundary between Egyptian conquests and unconquered Nubia at Semna. North, South, and Head of the South perhaps Lower Egyptmost of Upper Egyptand the nomes of the original Theban kingdom during the war with Herakleopolisrespectively.
Each region was administrated by a Reporter, Second Reporter, some kind of council the Djadjatand a staff of minor officials and scribes. His name was Hellenized by later Greek historians as Sesostris, a name which was then given to a conflation of Senusret and several New Kingdom warrior pharaohs.
His son Amenemhet III began reigning after Senusret's 19th regnal year, which has been widely considered Senusret's highest attested date. His reign is remarkable for the degree to which Egypt exploited its resources.
Mining camps in the Sinai, which had previously been used only by intermittent expeditions, were operated on a semi-permanent basis, as evidenced by the construction of houses, walls, and even local cemeteries. Contemporary records of the Nile flood levels indicate that the end of the reign of Amenemhet III was dry, and crop failures may have helped to destabilize the dynasty.
Decline into the Second Intermediate Period[ edit ] A kneeling statue of Sobekhotep V, one of the pharaohs from the declining years of the Middle Kingdom.
After the death of Sobeknefru, the throne may have passed to Sekhemre Khutawy Sobekhotep  though in older studies Wegafwho had previously been the Great Overseer of Troops,  was thought to have reigned next.
According to Manethothis latter revolt occurred during the reign of Neferhotep's successor, Sobekhotep IVthough there is no archaeological evidence.
Wahibre Ibiau ruled ten years, and Merneferre Ai ruled for twenty three years, the longest of any Thirteenth Dynasty king, but neither of these two kings left as many attestations as either Neferhotep or Sobekhotep IV.
Despite this, they both seem to have held at least parts of lower Egypt. After Merneferre Ai, however, no king left his name on any object found outside the south. To do this, it appointed people to positions which had fallen out of use in the decentralized First Intermediate Period.
Highest among these was the Vizier. It is uncertain how often this occurred during the Middle Kingdom, but Senusret I clearly had two simultaneously functioning viziers.
Records from his reign indicate that Upper and Lower Egypt were divided into separate waret and governed by separate administrators. Decentralization during the First Intermediate Period left the individual Egyptian provinces, or Nomesunder the control of powerful families who held the hereditary title of Great Chief of the Nome, or Nomarch.
The first major steps towards that end took place under Amenemhet I. Amenemhet made the city, not the nome, the center of administration, and only the haty-aor mayor, of the larger cities would be permitted to carry the title of Nomarch.
Traditionally, it has been believed that Senusret III took some action to suppress the nomarch families during his reign. Detlef Franke has argued that Senusret II adopted a policy of educating the sons of nomarchs in the capital and appointing them to government posts.Middle Kingdom of Egypt Following the First Intermediate Period was the Middle Kingdom Period, spanning from the 11th to part of the 13th Dynasties (some historians consider even the 14th Dynasty part of the Middle Kingdom).
Ancient Egyptian History -The Middle Kingdom. The First Intermediate Period ( BC) An intermediate period in ancient Egyptian history is a time when no one person or family ruled all of Egypt.
Ancient Egyptian History -The Middle Kingdom. The First Intermediate Period ( BC) An intermediate period in ancient Egyptian history is a time when no one person or family ruled all of Egypt. The Middle Kingdom of Egypt (also known as The Period of Reunification) is the period in the history of ancient Egypt following a period of political division known as the First Intermediate skybox2008.com lasted from around BC to around BC, stretching from the reunification of Egypt under the reign of Mentuhotep II of the Eleventh Dynasty to the end of the Twelfth Dynasty.
Feb 17, · The fall of the Egyptian Old Kingdom.
It is only after the initial breakdown that power was wielded by the kings of a province in Middle Egypt, later called Herakleopolis. A History of. The New Kingdom (c.
c BCE) is the era in Egyptian history following the disunity of the Second Intermediate Period (c. BCE) and preceding the dissolution of the central government at the start of the Third Intermediate Period (c.
c. BCE). This is the time of Imperial Egypt when it extended its reach beyond the former borders to create an empire.