Top Ancient Egypt Documentary:Along the fertile banks of the Nile a civilisation emerged that would last 3,000 years.
Their enormous wealth incredible arts and imposing architecture would be unmatched for millennia.
Ancient Egypt was never really an empire in the same way as the Roman Spanish or the British Empire’s.
Although as a civilisation its achievements are largely unparalleled.
Ancient Egypt can be divided into several periods called dynasties a line of hereditary rulers of a country or nation.
These are conveniently placed into several categories.
The Old Kingdom Middle Kingdom and the New Kingdom with a sequence of intermediate periods in between.
These intermediate periods were phases, whereby a central authority collapse and the glories of Egyptian culture fell into chaos.
It was in the second intermediate period that Egypt had fallen into disarray in crisis.
A new foreign group known as the Hyksos had occupied the north of Egypt and installed a new foreign dynasty.
Meanwhile a group known as the Nubians had conquered the south of Egypt.
The military superior Hyksos consolidated their hold on Egypt and introduced several technological innovations.
These were the horse and chariots bronze smelting composite bows and advanced fortification techniques.
Top Ancient Egypt Documentary
They would be vital for Egypt’s future.
Expansion the Egyptian pharaohs waged war against the Hyksos and their expulsion was completed under the leadership of Ahmose.
Ahmose founded the 18th dynasty his capital Thebes and saw the beginnings of Egypt as an imperial power during the Bronze Age.
After his death came his son Amenhotep.
Amenhotep dedicated much of his life to many significant features of the new kingdom. He intensified the cult of the God of Moon.
Patronising the gods cult with generous amounts of wealth and more plunder.
Subsequent Pharaohs followed this policy until a moon became the national god of Egypt and eventually fused with Ra the Sun God to form Amun Ra the most powerful God of all.
Religion played a vital role in Egyptian society and the new kingdom changes took place that affected all levels of society, well all but peasants and slaves, one change that came in the New Kingdom was the introduction of the Book of the Dead.
A 78 long papyrus scroll filled with a collection of spells.
Intended to help the deceased journey into the afterlife if you were rich enough a scribe or priest.
Maybe you could make it to the afterlife. It wasn’t just for pharaohs anymore too many Egyptians.
The afterlife was a continuation of this life and were buried with their many belongings precious artefacts and treasures.
The purpose of tombs in ancient Egypt was to house and protect a mummified body.
Walls in these tombs were inscribed with spouse and hieroglyphs to assist an aide of Pharaoh in his peaceful transition to the afterlife.
while many pharaohs of the old and Middle Kingdom were buried in pyramids the new kingdom grasped the idea of extravagant tombs cut into a series of cliffs known as the valley of the kings.
Ancient Egyptian craftsmanship instead surged ideas into more impressive and magnificent temples.
Temples such as those at Luxor were built on a grand scale and became important political and religious centres.
The beginning of Egypt’s Empire arrived with the Pharaoh Thutmose the first who took a different approach to his leadership.
He used Egypt’s new technological advances to confront its enemies and expand outwards.
After repeated military campaigns against the Nubian kingdom of Kush. He carried on campaigning into the Levant.
Perhaps the most important seal of the new kingdom was its military.
At the vanguard of the new kingdom army was the Pharaoh who participated in every campaign.
He was expected to be an outstanding warrior in commander as well as an experienced.
Charioteer and Bowman each Pharaoh received their essential military training at Memphis trained to fight like a God with bow sword shield and axe.
The New Kingdom military saw the first development of a professional standing army.
It became highly specialised with several divisions including chariot corpse infantry intelligence and designate naval units.
It was no longer reliant on conscription to raise a suitable force rather. It was equipped with well-trained professional warriors.
The introduction of bronze supplied each soldier with weapons manufactures and stored in Royal Armouries.
While Egypt produced at least part of the copper it needed it was hugely reliant on imports for tin and iron required to make bronze.
Although Egypt was by far the wealthiest nation on earth at the time,their weapons and equipment included horses chariots.
Composite bows axes Spears and new swords like the Khopesh a far more effective weapon compared to his predecessor the mace at the core of the army was the chariot corpse the best-trained of all soldiers a Charioteer was a lifelong military member and they eventually formed their own elite class.
Under the rule of Thutmose the third ancient Egypt reaches greatest territorial extent and was at the height of its power.
After capturing the city of Megiddo.
Thutmose gained control of all northern Canaan and the Syrian princes were obligated to send tribute and send their own sons as.
Hostages on the walls of his temple at Karnak it also mentions the Assyrian Babylonian and Hittite Kings gave him gifts.
However, before Thutmose the third there was another pharaoh named Hatshepsut who expanded the Empire, not through military conquest but through trade.
Although it was rare for a woman to rule Egypt.
It wasn’t entirely unheard of as women were held in high regard.
Compared to other cultures at the time her rise to power came a promising time a time of peace and stability.
She launched a successful sea voyage to the Land of Punt.
Located somewhere on the northeast coast of Africa where they traded with the inhabitants.
Her predecessor’s achievements in Nubia had also bought an immense amount of fortune for Egypt and allowed her to attempt vast building programs.
Most famous is a temple at Luxor a place for worship and to honour the glory of a moon.
Hatshepsut restored many temples and buildings of her predecessors and built significant monuments at the temple complex of Karnak.
Which included a series of obelisks?
Hatshephut reign was long and prosperous so much so that her story was nearly a raised from history by those after her.
Her statues and all references to her name preserved on hieroglyphs were destroyed nearly 20 years after her reign.
Although it’s undecided by Egyptologists who or why they saw destruction another important Pharaoh in the new kingdom was Akhenaten.
Who tried to change Egyptian religion from a polytheistic religion to a monotheistic religion the worship of one God alone?
This new God he tried to enforce was the Aten but his shift was not widely accepted.
Much like Hatshephut after his death. His monuments were dismantled. His statues were destroyed and his name was erased from history until egyptologists found his capital city a site today known as Amarna his son Tutankhaten.
Abandoned the worship of Aten and he changed his name to Tutankhamen.
Tutankhamen’s reign was short-lived but he’s famous because he was one of the few pharaohs to have not been robbed rather he was discovered by eager 20th century.
British archaeologists under the leadership of Seti first Egypt maintained much of the land within the Levant but failed to keep a fortified garrison at Kadesh which fell to the Hittites.
The Hittites were a strong Empire located in Anatolia and had a focus on the military and were extremely successful with iron weapons and chariots under the leadership of Ramesses ii numerous campaigns were undertaken into the Levant.
The two powers clashed at the Battle of Kadesh the outcome is uncertain and was probably not a complete victory for either side, but we know a peace treaty was implemented.
His campaigns in the Levant brought an enormous influx of wealth back to Egypt due to tributaries paid to him by the people he had defeated.
Like all those before him Ramesses built a number of temples monuments and even cities such as pi Ramesses.
One such temple Abu Simbel was built not to symbolise Ramesses as a pharaoh, but also as a deity.
His belief Ramesses lived into his 90s and had over 88 children some of which he outlived.
After raining for 30 years, he joined some of Egypt’s longest lived rulers.
He had bought peace maintained Egyptian borders and built great and numerous monuments across the Empire to which he acquired the name.
Ramesses the great one of the last truly great pharaohs was Ramesses the third who oversaw major assaults from two groups of people.
The first came from mysteriously largely unknown people a group historians called The Sea Peoples.
This scene is depicted on the Wars of Medinat Habu and it illustrates the Egyptian campaign against the Sea Peoples.
The attempt at see people invasion was not the end of Ramesses troubles.
He also had to contend with two other wars against the desert Libyan tribes unlike the Nubians the Libyan tribes had a little while for the Egyptians to exploit but their population increased over time and they began to move east into the Nile Delta.
His turbulent reign ended with his assassination which led to a succession of weak largely forgettable.
Rulers accompanied by a weak economy drought famine and plague the new kingdom.
Stagnated and slowly began to decline both by internal and external forces.
High priests began to rise to power which weakened the power of the Pharaohs enabling foreign rulers to conquer his territory.
Egypt was conquered by the Nubians Assyrians Persians and Alexander the great.
After his death the Ptolemy dynasty was founded but this would be the last dynasty as following the death of queen.
Cleopatra the Romans conquered the region and incorporated it into their empire.
The unique location along the rich fertile banks of the Nile allowed the isolated Egyptians to thrive and live in safety, protected by desert for thousands of years.
Egypt had little interest in exploring conquering and ruling over large quantities of people their campaigns into the Levant.
However, brought them into contact with other empires and when they were weak they were conquered.
For an ancient empire Egypt may not have been the largest but it certainly was unique.
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