New Kingdom

New Kingdom
New Kingdom of Egypt

c. 1550 BC–c. 1069 BC
New Kingdom at its maximum territorial extent in the 15th century BC.
Capital Thebes: (1550 BC - c. 1352 BC) - XVII dynasty and XVIII dynasty before Akhenaten

Akhetaten: (c. 1352 BC - c. 1336 BC) - Akhenaten of XVIII dynasty

Thebes: (c. 1336 BC - 1279 BC) - XVIII dynasty and XIX dynasty before Ramesses II

Pi-Ramesses: (c.1279 BC - c. 1069 BC) - XIX dynasty starting from Ramesses II and XX dynasty

Language(s) Ancient Egyptian, Nubian
Religion Ancient Egyptian religion
Government Monarchy
 - c.1550 BC-c.1525 BC Ahmose I (first)
 - c.1099 BC-c.1069 BC Ramesses XI (last)
 - Established c. 1550 BC
 - Disestablished c. 1069 BC
History of Egypt

This article is part of a series
Ancient Egypt
Early Dynastic Period
Old Kingdom
First Intermediate Period
Middle Kingdom
Second Intermediate Period
New Kingdom
Third Intermediate Period
Late Period
Classical Antiquity
Achaemenid Egypt
Ptolemaic Egypt
Roman & Byzantine Egypt
Medieval Egypt
Fatimid Egypt
Ayyubid Egypt
Mamluk Egypt
Ottoman Egypt
French occupation
Egypt under Muhammad Ali
Modern Egypt
Khedivate of Egypt
Sultanate of Egypt
Kingdom of Egypt

Egypt Portal
v · d · e

Dynasties of Ancient Egypt

v · d · e

The New Kingdom of Egypt, also 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 followed the Second Intermediate Period and was succeeded by the Third Intermediate Period. It was Egypt’s most prosperous time and marked the peak of its power.[1]

The later part of this period, under the Nineteenth and Twentieth Dynasties (1292-1069 BC) is also known as the Ramesside period, after the eleven pharaohs that took the name of Ramesses.

Radiocarbon dating suggests that the New Kingdom may have started a few years earlier than the conventional date of 1550 BC. The radiocarbon date range for its beginning is 1570-1544 BC, the mean point of which is 1557 BC.[2]

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. Similarly, in response to very successful 17th century attacks by the powerful Kingdom of Kush[3] , the New Kingdom felt compelled to expand far south into Nubia and hold wide territories in the Near East. Egyptian armies fought Hittite armies for control of modern-day Syria.


Eighteenth Dynasty

The Eighteenth Dynasty contained some of Egypt's most famous pharaohs, including Ahmose I, Hatshepsut, Thutmose III, Amenhotep III, Akhenaten and Tutankhamun. Queen Hatshepsut concentrated on expanding Egypt's external trade by sending a commercial expedition to the land of Punt. Thutmose III ("the Napoleon of Egypt") expanded Egypt's army and wielded it with great success to consolidate the empire created by his predecessors. This resulted in a peak in Egypt's power and wealth during the reign of Amenhotep III.

One of the best-known 18th Dynasty pharaohs is Amenhotep IV, who changed his name to Akhenaten in honor of the Aten and whose exclusive worship of the Aten is often interpreted as history's first instance of monotheism. Akhenaten's religious fervor is cited as the reason why he was subsequently written out of Egyptian history. Under his reign, in the 14th century BC, Egyptian art flourished and attained an unprecedented level of realism.

Towards the end of the 18th Dynasty, the situation had changed radically. Aided by Akhenaten's apparent lack of interest in international affairs, the Hittites had gradually extended their influence into Phoenicia and Canaan to become a major power in international politics—a power that both Seti I and his son Ramesses II would need to deal with during the 19th dynasty.

Nineteenth Dynasty

Egyptian and Hittite Empires, around the time of the Battle of Kadesh.

Ramesses II ("the Great") sought to recover territories in the Levant that had been held by the 18th Dynasty. His campaigns of reconquest culminated in the Battle of Kadesh, where he led Egyptian armies against those of the Hittite king Muwatalli II and was caught in history's first recorded military ambush but Ramesses was able to rally his troops and turn the tide of battle against the Hittites thanks to the arrival of the Ne'arin. The outcome of the battle was undecided with both sides claiming victory at their home front, ultimately resulting in a peace treaty between the two nations.

Ramesses II was also famed for the huge number of children he sired by his various wives and concubines; the tomb he built for his sons, many of whom he outlived, in the Valley of the Kings has proven to be the largest funerary complex in Egypt.

His immediate successors continued the military campaigns, although an increasingly troubled court—which at one point put a usurper (Amenmesse) on the throne—made it increasingly difficult for a pharaoh to effectively retain control without incident.

Twentieth Dynasty

The last "great" pharaoh from the New Kingdom is widely regarded to be Ramesses III, a Twentieth Dynasty pharaoh who reigned several decades after Ramesses II.

In the eighth year of his reign the Sea Peoples invaded Egypt by land and sea. Ramesses III defeated them in two great land and sea battles. He claimed that he incorporated them as subject peoples and settled them in Southern Canaan although there is evidence that they forced their way into Canaan. Their presence in Canaan may have contributed to the formation of new states, such as Philistia, in this region after the collapse of the Egyptian Empire. He was also compelled to fight invading Libyan tribesmen in two major campaigns in Egypt's Western Delta in his sixth year and eleventh year respectively.[4]

The heavy cost of these battles slowly exhausted Egypt's treasury and contributed to the gradual decline of the Egyptian Empire in Asia. The severity of these difficulties is stressed by the fact that the first known labor strike in recorded history occurred during the 29th year of Ramesses III's reign, when the food rations for Egypt's favored and elite royal tomb-builders and artisans in the village of Deir el Medina could not be provisioned.[5] Something in the air prevented much sunlight from reaching the ground and also arrested global tree growth for almost two full decades until 1140 BC.[6] One proposed cause is the Hekla 3 eruption of the Hekla volcano in Iceland but the dating of this remains disputed.

Following Ramesses III's death there was endless bickering among his heirs. Three of his sons would go on to assume power as Ramesses IV, Ramesses VI and Ramesses VIII, respectively. However, at this time Egypt was also increasingly beset by a series of droughts, below-normal flooding of the Nile, famine, civil unrest and official corruption. The power of the last pharaoh, Ramesses XI, grew so weak that in the south the High Priests of Amun at Thebes became the effective de facto rulers of Upper Egypt while Smendes controlled Lower Egypt even before Ramesses XI's death. Smendes eventually founded the Twenty-First dynasty at Tanis.

See also


  1. ^ Shaw, Ian, ed (2000). The Oxford History of Ancient Egypt. Oxford University Press. p. 481. ISBN 0-19-815034-2. 
  2. ^ Christopher Bronk Ramsey et al., Radiocarbon-Based Chronology for Dynastic Egypt, Science 18 June 2010: Vol. 328. no. 5985, pp. 1554-1557.
  3. ^ Alberge, Dalya. "Tomb reveals Ancient Egypt's humiliating secret". Retrieved 2003. 
  4. ^ Nicolas Grimal, A History of Ancient Egypt, Blackwell Books, 1992. p.271
  5. ^ William F. Edgerton, "The Strikes in Ramses III's Twenty-Ninth Year," JNES 10, no. 3 (July 1951), pp. 137-145.
  6. ^ Frank J. Yurco, "End of the Late Bronze Age and Other Crisis Periods: A Volcanic Cause," in Gold of Praise: Studies on Ancient Egypt in Honor of Edward F. Wente, ed: Emily Teeter & John Larson, (SAOC 58) 1999, pp. 456-458.

External links

Image gallery

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • New Kingdom — the period in the history of ancient Egypt, 1580 1085 B.C., comprising the 18th to 20th dynasties, characterized by the predominance of Thebes. Also called New Empire. Cf. Middle Kingdom, Old Kingdom. * * * New Kingdom noun The 18th to 20th… …   Useful english dictionary

  • New Kingdom — the period in the history of ancient Egypt, 1580 1085 B.C., comprising the 18th to 20th dynasties, characterized by the predominance of Thebes. Also called New Empire. Cf. Middle Kingdom, Old Kingdom. * * * …   Universalium

  • New Kingdom — /nju ˈkɪŋdəm/ (say nyooh kingduhm) noun the third great period in the history of the ancient Egyptian kingdom, 1580–1085 BC, comprising dynasties XVIII–XX. See Old Kingdom, Middle Kingdom. Also, Middle Empire …   Australian English dictionary

  • New Kingdom — (c. 1550–1069 BC)    The term used by Egyptologists to describe the period from Dynasty 18 to Dynasty 20 when Egypt was at the height of its power and prosperity and ruled an empire covering Nubia and Palestine Syria. The era began with the… …   Ancient Egypt

  • New Kingdom —    In ancient Egypt this was the period between 1546 BC and 1085 BC …   The writer's dictionary of science fiction, fantasy, horror and mythology

  • New Kingdom of Granada — Nuevo Reino de Granada Colony of the Spanish Empire   ← …   Wikipedia

  • New Kingdom (band) — New Kingdom Origin New York City Genres Hip hop, rap rock Years active 1987 (1987)–1996 (1996) …   Wikipedia

  • New Kingdom of León — Nuevo Reino de León Spanish colony 1582–1821 …   Wikipedia

  • The new kingdom — Album par Venturia Sortie 21 avril 2006 Genre(s) Metal progressif Label Lion Music Albums de Venturia …   Wikipédia en Français

  • The New Kingdom — Album par Venturia Sortie 21 avril 2006 Genre Metal progressif Label Lion Music Albums de Venturia …   Wikipédia en Français

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.