Friday, June 24, 2016

The Western World in 300 Events:Event 20 - Rise and Fall of the Egyptian New Kingdom

The Egyptian New Kingdom, also known as the Egyptian Empire, marks the high point of Egyptian civilization and is the period of Ancient Egypt that is most portrayed in contemporary literature. The New Kingdom spans the time from 1550-1077 BC and covers dynasties XVIII to XX.
The New Kingdom represents an Egyptian Golden Age and was characterized by extended trade, military and empire expansion and revolutions in art, architecture and the sciences.
The table below lists some of the Important Pharaohs of the New Kingdom and their respective achievements. Dates given are those of the Pharaoh’s reign. Many of the pharaohs from this time period are buried in the Valley of Kings.

Key Achievement
Ahmosis I (1570-1544 BCE). XVIII Dynasty.
Gained control of Northern Egypt from the Hyksos
Hatshepsut (1473-1458 BCE). XVIII Dynasty.
Female Pharaoh. Re-established key trade networks. Explored the land of Punt. One of the greatest builders in Ancient Egyptian history.
Thutmose III (1479-1425 BCE). XVIII Dynasty.
Step-son of Hatshepsut. Known as the Napoleon of Ancient Egypt.  Expanded Egyptian power in the Levant.  Overlap in his early reign by Hatshepsut.
Amenhotep III (1388-1351 BC). XVIII Dynasty.
Known as the Magnificent king. He built the great Mortuary Temple.
Amenhotep IV aka Akhenaten (1351-1334). XVIII Dynasty.
Introduced a monotheistic religion (Atenism) focused on the worship of a solar deity. His famous consort was Nefertiti (who was a virtual co-ruler with him). Era of rule is known as the Armana Period and marked a key turning point in the theological development of Egyptian society (even if much of Akhenaten’s monotheistic reforms would be overturned later).
Tutankhamun (1333-1323). XVIII Dynasty.
The boy king. Believed to be the son of Akhenaten. With the support of the priestly order he re-established Egypt’s tradition of polytheism. His tomb was discovered, with all its riches, by the archaeologist Howard Carter in 1924.
Ramesses II the Great (1279-1213 BCE). XIX Dynasty.
Often considered the Pharaoh at the time of Moses. He was known as the Great Ancestor. Ramesses waged three Syrian Campaigns. The second of which contained the well documented but indecisive Battle of Kadesh (fought against the Hittites). He also campaigned in Nubia and Libya and concluded a Peace Treaty with the Hittities. Ramesses did much to erase the historical events surrounding the Amarna Period (One of the earliest episodes of politically motivated Historical Revisionism).  Like many of his predecessors Ramesses II was an avid builder. 
Ramesses III (1186-1155 BCE). XX Dynasty
Pharaoh noted for his wars against the Sea Peoples (seafaring raiders that are believed to have originated in Anatolia). The Ancient Philistines are believed to be Sea People.

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