Chapter 5, Lesson 3
Egypt’s Empire
A Golden Age
► Around
2200 B.C., the ruling pharaohs began
to weaken.
 Ambitious nobles attempted to take control of
► For
more than 200 years, disorder and
violence swept through the region until a
new dynasty of pharaohs came to power and
moved the capital city south to a city called
Thebes. (THEEBZ)
► This would be start of the Middle Kingdom
that lasted from about c. 2055 B.C. to c.
1650 B.C.
► During
the Middle Kingdom, Egypt
conquered new territories.
 Took the city of Nubia in the south and moved
into Northeast present-day Syria.
► They
added to their wealth by receiving
tributes from the people they conquered.
► Within
Egypt, the pharaohs made many
 They added thousands of acres to the land
being farmed to increase crop production.
 They had more irrigation dams and channels
built to supply more of the population with
 The Construction of a Canal to link the Nile
River and Red Sea and could now trade more
efficiently with Arabia and East Africa.
The Arts Flourished
► Egyptian
Art and Architecture advanced
during the Middle Kingdom.
 Tombs were decorated with colorful scenes that
spoke of deities and everyday life.
 Sculptors carved scenes of hunting, fishing, and
battles on large stone walls.
 Also created statues of the pharaohs, depicting
them as humans rather than gods.
► Pyramids
were no longer built and instead
had their tombs carved in limestone cliffs
west of the Nile River.
 This place became known as the Valley of the
The Hyksos
► During
the 1600s B.C. some Egyptian nobles
challenged the power of the pharaoh
 Egypt found itself divided by a civil war, ending
the era of peace and prosperity.
► As
Middle Egypt weakened they were
invaded by people from Asia known as the
 These were powerful warrior who used war
tactics unfamiliar to Egyptians and had bronze
and iron weapons, as well as horse-drawn
► They
overwhelmed Egyptian soldiers and
took control of the land.
The Hyksos
► For
100 years the Hyksos ruled Egypt.
► They borrowed some Egyptian customs
but remained separate from the Egyptian
► The Egyptians did not like them and
planned to overthrow them.
 They learned to steer chariots and use Hyksos
 Around 1550 B.C., An Egyptian prince named
Ahmose formed an army and drove the
Hyksos out of Egypt.
Building an Empire
► Ahmose
founded a new dynasty and would be
the start of the New Kingdom.
 The New Kingdom lasted from about 1550 B.C. to
1070 B.C.
► Egypt
prospered through trade, gained more
lands through conquest, and reached the
height of its power.
► Egypt was no longer isolated and benefited
from the spread of goods, ideas, and cultures
within their empire.
A Woman Pharaoh
► Queen
Hatshepsut (hat-SHEHP-soot) was
one of the few women to rule Egypt.
► She came into power about 1473 B.C. and
governed with her husband.
► After her husband died, she made herself
Pharaoh and ruled on behalf of her young
A Woman Pharaoh
► Because
the title of Pharaoh was usually
passed from father to son she needed to
prove she was good leader.
 In order to be accepted she dressed like a male
pharaoh. She went so far as to wear a false
beard to look more male.
► She
built magnificent temples and restored
old monuments.
 Her tomb has wall carvings that depict some of
the major events of her reign.
Growth and Trade
► Hatshepsut
than wars.
was more interested in trade
 She made great efforts to restore trade
relations that had stopped when the Hyksos
took over.
► During
her rule Egyptian sailors went to
Arabia and East Africa.
 They traded beads, metal tools, and weapons
for gold, ivory, ebony wood, and incense
(material burned for its pleasant smell)
Growth and Trade
► Egyptians
valued wood products because the
Nile River valley and had few trees.
 Wood was needed for the construction of boats,
furniture, and other items.
► To
find wood, they traveled to the east coast
of the Mediterranean sea where present day
Lebanon is located.
► The people who lived in this area where
called Phoenicians (fih-NEE-shuns) who had
a great impact on the cultures in the region.
 Invented a system of writing with an alphabet
 Their trade routes and settlements also help
spread goods and ideas across the region.
Trade and Politics
► Egyptians
traded wheat, paper, gold, copper,
tin and tools for purple dye, wood, and
► The traders exchanged goods they had for
supplies they needed rather than selling goods
for money.
► The Phoenicians traded the Egyptian goods to
others which helped spread their goods
throughout southwest Asia.
► This made Egypt wealthier and Hatshepsut
used some of this wealth to build monuments.
Trade and Politics
► New
Kingdom pharaohs developed ties
between Egypt and other nearby kingdoms.
 They joined by either treaty or marriage with
the Babylonian Empire in Mesopotamia, The
Mittani in Syria, and Hittite Empire in Anatolia.
► They
also maintained ties by exchanging
envoys (representatives).
► This marks the first time a group of nations
worked together to reach common goals.
Expanding the Empire
► When
Hatshepsut died, her nephew,
Thutmose III (thoot-MOH-suh) became
 Strong leader and general who expanded
Egypt’s control north to the Euphrates River in
Mesopotamia and south into Nubia, which had
once thrown off Egyptian rule.
► During
his reign, almost 350 cities were
Expanding the Empire
► As
Thutmose and his armies conquered
more areas, Egypt became wealthy and
slavery was common.
 Most of this wealth came from gold, copper,
ivory, and other valuables from captured
 Enslaved people had basic rights such as land
ownership, the ability to marry, and eventually
gain their freedom.
Thutmose III
A Religious Founder
► Amenhotep
IV (ah-muhn-HOH-tehp) came
to power in 1370 B.C. and with the support
of his wife Nefertiti (nehf-uhr-TEE-tee) tried
to change Egypt's religion based on
worshipping many deities.
► He felt Priest had grown to powerful and
wealthy and wanted to weaken them.
 He did this by starting a new religion which only
had one god name Aton (AHT-n) the sun god,
as the only god.
Amenhotep IV
A Religious Founder
► Many
Priest who opposed him lost their post,
lands, and closed their temples.
► He also changed his name to Akhenaton
(ahk-heh-tah-tuhn) meaning “Spirit of Aton”
► These changes unsettled Egypt.
 Many Egyptians kept their old religion and Priest
resisted their loss of power.
► Army
leaders felt Akhenaton’s obsession to
his new religion made him ignore his duties
as pharaoh.
► Under his weak rule, most lands were lost to
outside invaders from Western Asia.
Who was “King Tut”?
► When
Akhenaton died about 1360 B.C., his
son-in-law, Tutankhamen (too-tang-KAHmuhn) became pharaoh.
► He relied on advice from priest and officials
to rule Egypt and he restored worship to
many deities.
► His rule ended unexpectedly when he died 9
years later. His cause of death remains a
► He has become famous because his tomb
was left intact from thieves and his treasures
were still in his tomb.
Recovery and Decline
► During
the 1200s B.C., pharaohs tried to
restore Egypt’s greatness.
► They fought battles for more territory,
increased Egypt’s wealth through trade, and
built large temples and monuments.
Ramses II
► The
most successful of these pharaohs were
Ramses II (RAM-seez), who ruled from
1279 B.C to 1213 B.C.
► He conquered the region of Canaan and
moved into Syria.
 He fought the Hittites, who lived in present day
► After
many battles, they signed a peace
Age of Temples
► During
his 66-year reign, he devoted himself to
peaceful activities.
 He and many New Kingdom rulers had many temples
built throughout Egypt. One of these was Karnak
(KARH-nack) at Thebes.
► Most
Egyptians prayed from home so temples
were for special occasions and were seen as the
home for deities.
► Priest and Priestesses performed daily rituals.
 These included washing the statues of deities,
bringing them food.
► Temples
were important to the economy and had
workshops, granaries, and also served as banks to
store valuable items such as gold jewelry, fragrant
oils, and finely woven textiles.
Ramses II
Why did Egypt Decline?
► Pharaohs
fought costly wars.
► Armies from the Eastern Mediterranean kept
► By 1150 B.C., the Egyptians controlled only the
Nile delta.
► IN the 900s B.C., the Libyans conquered Egypt.
► Then the people of Kush seized power.
► Finally in 670 B.C., Egypt was taken over by
the Assyrians from Mesopotamia.

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