Unit 1: Ancient Africa - The Cradle of Civilation
(200,000 BC - 476 BC)

Unit 1: Class 9: Ancient Kemet (Egypt): The Middle Kingdom & Second Intermediary Period (2055 B.C. – 1650 B.C.) ​


Learning Objectives
After completing this lesson, students 
will be able to:

  • Identify the contributions the Middle Kingdom made in government, architecture, math, medicine, science and architecture.

  • Identify the main Pharaohs of the Middle Kingdom and their specific accomplishments.

  • Analyze primary source documents from the Middle Kingdom to glean insight into ancient Egyptian ruling philosophy.

Study Questions!

From Ancient Egypt: Middle Kingdom (2050 - 1640 B.C.E.) and Second Intermediate Period (1650 - 1550 B.C.E.)

1. What is the name given to the Middle Kingdom?

2. What is the name of the pharaoh responsible for reunifying the “Two Lands” of ancient Kemet? Where was he from? Where was his wife, Kemsit from?

3. From the 12th Dynasty onwards, pharaohs often kept well-trained what? Was their military strategy offensive or defensive?

4. What did the Prophecy of Neferty foretell?

5. What is coregency? How did coregency save the Middle Kingdom?

6. What is the name of the “warrior-king” of the Middle Kingdom?

7. Which pharaoh reigned during the height of Middle Kingdom economic prosperity?

8. What is a Vizier?

9. What three administrative positions were the most important posts of the central government?

10. True or False? Old Kingdom texts served mainly to maintain the divine cults, preserve souls in the afterlife, and document accounts for practical uses in daily life. It was not until the Middle Kingdom that texts were written for the purpose of entertainment and intellectual curiosity.

From Ancient Egypt: Second Intermediate Period (1650 – 1550 B.C.E.)

11. What is the Ancient Kemet’s Second Intermediate Period best known for?

12. Why did the brilliant 12th Dynasty of Egypt come to an end?

13. What is the 13th Dynasty most noted for?

14. Who were the Hyksos?

15. Where was the 17th Dynasty from and what is it best known for?

16. Who were the last two 17th Dynasty pharaohs responsible for the complete defeat of the Hyksos?
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Unit 1: Class 9: Ancient Kemet (Egypt): The Middle Kingdom & Second Intermediary Period (2055 B.C. – 1650 B.C.) 

Suggested Vocabulary
Randomly ask students the definition of one of the following words. Then ask them to put the word in a sentence. This is a great exercise for the beginning or end of a class, or if you finish a class early.

ascension - the act of rising to an important position or a higher level.

apex - the top or highest part of something, especially one forming a point.
Semitic - relating to or denoting a family of languages that includes Hebrew, Arabic, and Aramaic and certain ancient languages such as Phoenician and Akkadian, constituting the main subgroup of the Afro-Asiatic family.

vassal - a holder of land by feudal tenure on conditions of homage and allegiance.

encroach - advance gradually beyond usual or acceptable limits.

hegemony - leadership or dominance, especially by one country or social group over others.

vizier - a civil officer in ancient Egypt having viceregal powers.

usurp - take (a position of power or importance) illegally or by force.

flotilla - a fleet of ships or boats.

perpetual - never ending or changing.

necropolis - a cemetery, especially a large one belonging to an ancient city.

oracle - a priest or priestess acting as a medium through whom advice or prophecy was sought from the gods in classical antiquity.

nome - one of the thirty-six territorial divisions of ancient Egypt.

Nomarch - Ancient Egyptian administration officials responsible for the provinces.

acquiesce - accept something reluctantly but without protest.

placate - make (someone) less angry or hostile.
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