The Middle and New Kingdoms. The Big Idea During the Middle and New Kingdoms, order and greatness were restored in Egypt. Main Ideas The Middle Kingdom was a period of stable government between periods of disorder.
Following a period of competition for power between the nobles and the pharaohs, the Middle Kingdom began.
Egypt fell into disorder around 1750 BC. A group called the Hyksos invaded and ruled the region for
The Egyptians fought back, and Ahmose of Thebes declared himself king and drove the Hyksos out of Egypt, beginning the New Kingdom.
While Egyptian civilization was spreading along the Nile, neighboring cultures grew as well. Trade and movement of people and ideas helped to shape and develop cultures. Other cultures had their effect on Egypt.
Following the Old Kingdom, Egypt entered into the Middle Kingdom. Egypt’s contact with other parts of the world increased. Pharaohs armies conquered Nubia’s gold mines.
Trade increased between Egypt and the peoples of the Fertile Crescent. People began to move from the Fertile Crescent to the delta region. These settlers were called the Hyksos.
Using horses, chariots, bronze weapons and bows and arrows, the Hyksos, Greek for “rulers of hill lands “ ruled Lower Egypt.
The Ancient Egyptians lost Lower Egypt to the Hyksos because of the superior weapons of the Hyksos.
About 100 years later, having learned to use the type of weapons and chariots used by the Hyksos, the Egyptians, behind Pharaoh Ahmose, defeated the Hyksos, and ruled lands from the delta to Nubia.
The defeat of the Hyksos began the period in Egyptian history called the New Kingdom. Pharaoh Ahmose vowed that outsiders would never again control any part of Egypt.
During the New Kingdom period, Egypt’s leaders worked to win back lands lost in war, conquering territory in the Fertile Crescent and Nubia.
This provided Egypt with more resources than just farming. Egypt became rich and powerful.
Egyptian sailing ships loaded with jewelry, linen cloth and papyrus sailed to what are today Lebanon and Syria.
Ships returned carrying wine, silver, and timber, rare treasures in Egypt.
Caravans of men and pack animals brought these treasures out of Kush and back into Egypt. Back in Egypt, craftsworkers turned these materials into furniture, jewelry, and other fine goods for the Pharaoh and the wealthy.
One pharaoh, Hatshepsut, whose name means, “Foremost of the Noble Ladies,” expanded trade well beyond the borders of Egypt’s empire.
Hatshepsut was a princess and the wife of a pharaoh who seized the chance to become pharaoh when her husbanddied.
Temple of Hatshepsut
Hatshepsut organized the biggest trading expedition of her career to Punt, south of Egypt. Huge caravans of scribes, soldiers, artists and attendants loaded cargo onto five ships for the journey south.
In exchange for jewelry, papyrus, and bronze weapons, Hatshepsut received gold, perfume, ivory, incense, leopard skins, and even live apes.
Scribes carefully recorded the exact number of goods loaded upon the ships.
Hatshepsut’s expedition lasted two years.
Trade goods were not the only things that moved from place to place. Ideas and skills spread too. Scribes wrote down this knowledge, such as medical books, which told how to cure illnesses.
Few people were more respected than scribes. They did not have to pay taxes, and many became wealthy.
Artisans, Artists, and Architects
These jobs required advanced skills and were also very admired in Egypt.
Merchants and Traders
Although trade was important, few held these positions. Some had to travel very long distances to buy and sell goods.
The way people manage money and resources for the production of goods and services.
Egypt created a permanent army that offered soldiers a chance to rise in social status and receive land as payment.
Farmers and Other Peasants
This group made up the vast majority of the population. They grew crops to support their families and to pay taxes.
Slaves were usually criminals or prisoners. They had some legal rights, however.
A kind of paper made from a reed plant growing along the Nile. The ancient Egyptians used it for writing.
The ancient Egyptian system of writing that used symbols to stand for objects, ideas or sounds.
The writing system of Egypt, called hieroglyphics, provided a way for government workers to communicate over long distances.