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First Intermediate Period    2200- 2040BC


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Seventh Dynasty

This Dynasty showed a significant turbulence following the decline of the Sixth Dynasty. There were a number of disasters in these times together with the lack of a strong central kingship.

A natural disaster was a temporary climatic change in eastern Africa that caused a succession of low Niles, with a diminution of crops. This eventually led to protests and riots by starving people.

Also, trading contacts with other countries seems to have come to a halt, while Bedouin raided into the Delta from Sinai and Nubia relapsed into independent chiefdoms.

The successive 17 kings of the dynasty were unable to control developments and thus a lot of things collapsed.

Eighth Dynasty

The kings were based at Memphis and ruled only the area around it. The Delta area was occupied by invaders from Sinai. Thebes and Herakleopolis were rival states to Memphis.

All were determined to restore the unity of Egypt and to resurrect the grandeurs of the old kingdom but after dealing with one another.

The Memphite kings claimed that they were the legitimate rule.

It was a confused era with no remarkable achievements.

Ninth Dynasty

The emergence of the Ninth Dynasty saw a new power. This was the Herkleopolitan Dynasty, whose first king was KHETI I. He seized control of Memphis and defeated the forces of Upper Egypt, establishing a fragile unity maintained by his own army and energy.

Tenth Dynasty

This was a continuation of the Ninth; its king was KHETI II. The Herakleopolitans cleared the invaders from the Delta area.

During the reign of KHETI III the parallel Eleventh Dynasty appeared in Thebes. The Herakleopolitans invaded the Theban territory and captured Abydos, however fighting continued over a century.






Middle Kingdom   2040- 1674BC

The period of the Eleventh to Fourteenth Dynasties. The early Middle kingdom represented the peak of prosperity and internal security. This was due to the succession of strong and determined kings in the first two dynasties. It was a time of peace and trading both over land and overseas was widely practiced.

Eleventh Dynasty

The first Dynasty of the Middle Kingdom, known as the Theban Dynasty. It was founded by INYOTEF I, who gained control of Upper Egypt from Herakleopolis.

His successors contested Middle Egypt with KHETI III of the Tenth dynasty, as well as extending their domain into Nubia.

The final victory under MENTUHOTEP II caused the defeat of Herakleopolis and thus became the king of Upper and Lower Egypt.

Mentuhotep II revived the system of central administration and justice.

With the return of regular flooding of the Nile, prosperity returned and growth had occurred.

The dynasty ended with the death of Mentuhotep VI in 1991BC rather suddenly and in an obscure way.


Twelfth Dynasty

It was the Golden age of ancient Egypt (1991- 1785BC). The first king was AMMENEMES I, who had been vizier to the previous eleventh dynasty king. He was the son of a priest called Sesostris and he moved the capital from Thebes to a site in Middle Egypt. He introduced a new element into the kingship, which most of his successors were to follow, by bringing his crown prince, SESOSTRIS I, in as c0-regent. This was to try to reduce conspiracy and fights concerning the throne while the king campaigned outside Egypt. 

Sesostris I reigned after his fatherís death in 1962BC. He maintained a vigorous rule, finally reconquering lower Nubia and extending fortresses up to the third cataracts.

His son inherited the throne, AMMENEMES II, in 1928BC and passed on a wealthy and stable kingdom with trading and cultural links into the neighboring countries.

His son SESOSTRISS II, ruled from 1895- 1878BC and began a major reclamation work in Faiyum. He set up his tomb in that region, at el-Lahun.

His on SESOSTRIS III, who ruled from 1878-1842BC, tackled the problem of the power and threats from the provincial aristocracy by reducing the power of the nobles and appointing civil servants under three viziers for lower, upper Egypt and Nubia.

The long reign of AMMENEMESS III, from 1842-1797BC saw the peak of the middle kingdom. The vast of transforming the Faiyum area from marsh to crop land was complete, opening up a great tract of land for the expanding population and bringing vast increase in national yield.

Ammenemes III had two colossal figures of himself set up on limestone bases at Biahmu and constructed one pyramid at Dahshur and another at Hawara. Many other temples and fortifications were constructed at the time.

Decline later started to set in after AMMENEMES VI, there was a brief period of disputed succession that brought the dynasty to an end.

Thirteenth and Fourteenth Dynasties

These two dynasties (1785- 1675BC) are little known. It was a lengthy period in which no individual reign stands out among some twenty-five pharaohs, many of whom bore the name Sebekhotep.

During this period, the unity and cohesion of the state was maintained.

The social unrest and uncertainty of central rule allowed the more dynamic immigrant HYKSOS community first to extend its own area of control in the Delta and then take over the monarchy of the whole country, in the FIFTEENTH Dynasty.




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