Unit 1: Ancient Africa - The Cradle of Civilization
(200,000 B.C. - 476 B.C.)

Unit 1: Class 10: Ancient Kemet (Egypt): The New Kingdom and Third Intermediate Period (1550 B.C. – 712 B.C.) Part 1

The New Kingdom (1550 – 1070) and Third Intermediate Period (1070 – 712 B.C.E.)

People To Know
Pharaoh Thutmose III (sometimes read as Thutmosis or Tuthmosis III, and meaning Thoth is born) was the sixth Pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty. During the first twenty-two years of Thutmose's reign he was co-regent with his stepmother, Hatshepsut, who was named the pharaoh.
The New Kingdom, sometimes 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. 

The New Kingdom (1570–1070 BC) 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.

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, Amunhotep III, Akhenaten and Tutankhamun.

The founder of the Eighteenth Dynasty, Ahmose I (reign 1550-1525 BC) had a turbulent childhood. At the age of seven, his father Seqenenre Tao II was killed, probably while putting down members of the Asiatic tribe known as Hyskos, who were rebelling against the Thebean Royal House in Lower Egypt. At the age of ten, he saw his brother Kamose die of unknown causes after reigning for only three years. 

Despite these challenges, Ahmose I managed to take and hold power, laying the foundations for the New Kingdom by completing the conquest and expulsion of the Hyskos from the delta region, restoring Theban rule over the whole of Egypt and successfully reasserting Egyptian power in its formerly subject territories of Nubia and Canaan. Ahmose II then turned his focus to reorganizing the administration of the country, reopening quarries, mines and trade routes and ordering massive construction projects of a type that had not been undertaken since the time of the Middle Kingdom. This building program under Ahmose I culminated in the construction of the last pyramid built by native Egyptian rulers.

Though his name is not as well know as his successors, it was Ahmose I who set the nation on a course, continued by Amunhotep I or Amenhotep (probable reign 1526–1506 BC) and Thutmose I (probable reign 1506–1493 BC), under which Egyptian power reached its zenith. 

The daughter of Thutmose I and consort of his successor Thutmose II, Queen Hatsheput (reign 1479–1458 BC) was one of the most successful of all pharaohs. Best remembered for holding power longer than any other woman of an indigenous Egyptian dynasty, Queen Hatsheput strengthened Egypt by expanding external trade and sending a commercial expedition to the land of Punt. 

Thutmose III ("the Napoleon of Egypt": reign 1479–1425 BC) expanded Egypt's army and wielded it with great success to consolidate the empire at the peak of Egypt's power and wealth during the reign of his successors Amenhotep II (reign 1427–1401 BC or 1427–1397 BC), Thutmose IV (reign 1401 – 1391 BC or 1397 – 1388 BC) and Amenhotep III (reign 1391–1353 or 1388–1351 BC).

A glimpse at Eighteenth Dynasty power and wealth is possible by examining the headgear and jewelry of Tiye, the first consort and Great Royal Wife of the child Pharaoh Amenhotep III. 

Matriarch of the Amarna family from which many members of the royal family of Ancient Egypt were born, one of Queen Tiye's sons Amenhotep IV, who changed his name to Akhenaten, became one of the Eighteenth Dynasty pharaohs, as did her grandson Tutankhamun ("King Tut") whose father was Akhenaten and whose mother was another of Tiye's daughters (Henuttaneb, Nebetiah, Iset, Baketaten, or Sitamun, who was also a ceremonial wife of her father, and Tiye's husband, Amenhotep III) [it is now widely acknowledged that Neferetiti was the mother of Tutankhamun.]

People To Know
Amenhotep I, reign: 1526–1506 B.C.E. He was a son of Ahmose I and Ahmose-Nefertari, but had other siblings and wasn't supposed to rule. Yet his heir apparent died so he inherited the throne. Although he is less known, Amenhotep helped re-consolidate Egyptian power after the brief rule of the Hyksos. 


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