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New Kingdom of Egypt

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New Kingdom redirects here. For other uses, see New Kingdom (disambiguation).
New Kingdom of Egypt
c. 1550 BC c. 1077 BC

New Kingdom at its maximum territorial extent in the 15th century BC.
Capital
Thebes
(1550 c. 1352 BC, XVII dynasty and XVIII dynasty before Akhenaten)
Akhetaten
(c. 1352 c. 1336 BC, Akhenaten of XVIII dynasty)
Thebes
(c. 1336 1279 BC, XVIII dynasty and XIX dynasty before Ramesses II)
Pi-Ramesses
(c. 1279 c. 1213 BC, Ramesses II of XIX dynasty)
Memphis
(c. 1213 c. 1077 BC, XIX dynasty starting with Merneptah and XX dynasty)
Languages Ancient Egyptian, Nubian, Canaanite
Religion
Ancient Egyptian religion
Atenism (during the Amarna Period)
Government Divine, Absolute Monarchy
Pharaoh
c. 1550 BC c. 1525 BC Ahmose I (first)
c. 1107 BC c. 1077 BC Ramesses XI (last)
History
Established c. 1550 BC
Disestablished c. 1077 BC
Preceded by Succeeded by
Second Intermediate Period of Egypt
Kingdom of Kerma
Third Intermediate Period of Egypt
Kingdom of Kush
Tribe of Judah
Today part of Egypt
Sudan
Israel
Lebanon
Syria
Jordan
Turkey
Part of a series on the
History of Egypt
All Gizah Pyramids.jpg
Prehistoric Egypt pre3100 BC
Ancient Egypt
Early Dynastic Period 31002686 BC
Old Kingdom 26862181 BC
1st Intermediate Period 21812055 BC
Middle Kingdom 20551650 BC
2nd Intermediate Period 16501550 BC
New Kingdom 15501069 BC
3rd Intermediate Period 1069664 BC
Late Period 664332 BC
Classical antiquity
Macedonian and Ptolemaic Egypt 33230 BC
Roman and Byzantine Egypt 30 BC641 AD
Sasanian Egypt 619629
Middle Ages
Islamic Egypt 641969
Fatimid Egypt 9691171
Ayyubid Egypt 11711250
Mamluk Egypt 12501517
Early modern
Ottoman Egypt 15171867
French occupation 17981801
Egypt under Muhammad Ali 18051882
Khedivate of Egypt 18671914
Modern Egypt
British occupation 18821922
Sultanate of Egypt 19141922
Kingdom of Egypt 19221953
Republic 1953present
Flag of Egypt.svg Egypt portal
v t e
Dynasties of Ancient Egypt
All years are BC
Early[show]
Old Kingdom[show]
First Intermediate[show]
Middle Kingdom[show]
Second Intermediate[show]
New Kingdom[show]
Third Intermediate[show]
Late Period[show]
Ptolemaic (Hellenistic)[show]
v t e
The New Kingdom of Egypt, also referred to as the Egyptian Empire, is the period in
ancient Egyptian history between the 16th century BC and the 11th century BC,
covering the Eighteenth, Nineteenth, and Twentieth Dynasties of Egypt. Radiocarbon
dating places the exact beginning of the New Kingdom between 1570 BC and 1544 BC.
[1] The New Kingdom followed the Second Intermediate Period and was succeeded by
the Third Intermediate Period. It was Egypt's most prosperous time and marked the
peak of its power.[2]

The later part of this period, under the Nineteenth and Twentieth Dynasties
(12921069 BC), is also known as the Ramesside period. It is named after the eleven
Pharaohs that took the name of Ramesses I, the founder of the Nineteenth Dynasty.

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. Similarly, in
response to very successful 17th century attacks by the powerful Kingdom of Kush,
[3] the New Kingdom felt compelled to expand far south into Nubia and hold wide
territories in the Near East. Egyptian armies fought Hittite armies for control of
modern-day Syria.

Contents [hide]
1 Eighteenth Dynasty
2 Nineteenth Dynasty
3 Twentieth Dynasty
4 Gallery
5 See also
6 References
7 External links
Eighteenth Dynasty[edit]
Main article Eighteenth dynasty of Egypt
The Eighteenth Dynasty contained some of Egypt's most famous Pharaohs, including
Ahmose I, Hatshepsut, Thutmose III, Amenhotep III, Akhenaten and Tutankhamun. Queen
Hatshepsut concentrated on expanding Egypt's external trade by 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. During the
reign of Thutmose III (c. 14791425 BC), Pharaoh, originally referring to the
king's palace, became a form of address for the person who was king.[4]

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. 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 BC, Egyptian art flourished and attained an
unprecedented level of realism. (See Amarna Period.)

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

Nineteenth Dynasty[edit]
Main article Nineteenth Dynasty of Egypt
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. Ramesses was caught in history's first recorded military ambush, although he
was able to rally his troops and turn the tide of battle against the Hittites
thanks to the arrival of the Ne'arin. The outcome of the battle was undecided with
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, although an increasingly


troubled courtwhich at one point put a usurper (Amenmesse) on the thronemade it
increasingly difficult for a pharaoh to effectively retain control without
incident.

Egyptian and Hittite Empires, around the time of the Battle of Kadesh.
Twentieth Dynasty[edit]
Main article Twentieth Dynasty of Egypt
The last great pharaoh from the New Kingdom is widely considered to be Ramesses
III, a Twentieth Dynasty pharaoh who reigned several decades after Ramesses II.[5]

In the eighth year of his reign the Sea Peoples invaded Egypt by land and sea.
Ramesses III defeated them in two great land and sea battles (the Battle of Djahy
and the Battle of the Delta). 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, such as Philistia, in this region 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 sixth year and eleventh year
respectively.[6]

The heavy cost of this warfare slowly drained Egypt's treasury and contributed to
the gradual decline of the Egyptian Empire in Asia. The severity of the
difficulties is indicated by the fact that the first known labor strike in recorded
history occurred during the 29th year of Ramesses III's reign, when the food
rations for Egypt's favored and elite royal tomb-builders and artisans in the
village of Deir el Medina could not be provisioned.[7] Something in the air
prevented much sunlight from reaching the ground and also arrested global tree
growth for almost two full decades until 1140 BC.[8] One proposed cause is the
Hekla 3 eruption of the Hekla volcano in Iceland but the dating of this remains
disputed.

Rameses III's death was followed by years of bickering among his heirs. Three of
his sons ascended the throne successively as Ramesses IV, Rameses VI and Rameses
VIII. Egypt was increasingly beset by droughts, below-normal flooding of the Nile,
famine, civil unrest and official corruption. The power of the last pharaoh of the
dynasty, Ramesses XI, grew so weak that in the south the High Priests of Amun at
Thebes became the de facto rulers of Upper Egypt, and Smendes controlled Lower
Egypt even before Rameses XI's death. Smendes eventually founded the Twenty-First
dynasty at Tanis.

Gallery[edit]

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Relief of a Nobleman, c. 12951070 B.C.E. Brooklyn Museum

Queen Ahmose-Nefertari

Hatshepsut as a Sphinx. Daughter of Thutmose I, she ruled jointly as her stepson's


(Thutmose III) co-regent. She soon took the throne for herself, and declared
herself pharaoh.

Queen Hatshepsut's Temple at Deir el-Bahari, was called Djeser-Djeseru, meaning the
Holy of Holies, in ancient times.