The Timeline of Ancient Egypt

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Ancient Kemet is divided into three main time periods, The Old, Middle, and New Kingdoms.

It was a land of the “gods”, pyramids, engineering, astronomy, beliefs, and hieroglyphics. Ancient Egypt is also referred to as Ancient Kemet, which means, “Black Land.” Understanding the Egyptian timeline is essential before getting into the deep history of Ancient Kemet. Here is a brief overview of the timeline of Ancient Egypt.

The Timeline of Ancient Egypt: The Old Kingdom, the Middle Kingdom, and the New Kingdom were three distinct epochs in ancient Egypt. Depending on the time period in which each kingdom ruled, its architecture, and its culture differed. A First Intermediate Period, a Second Intermediate Period, and a Third Intermediate Period separate the kingdoms. In the Ancient Kemet time period, there were 30 Dynasties.

There is little known about Naqada III, known as “Dynasty 0.” This time period was before Egypt was unified.

Early Dynastic Period

After the Unification of Upper and Lower Egypt, the Early Dynastic Period was known as “The Archaic Period.” The development of hieroglyphic writing was accompanied by the creation of the Royal and Government. The First and Second Dynasties included the first writing on papyrus.

Old Kingdom

“The Age of the Pyramids” was known as the Old Kingdom from 2686 B.C. until 2181 B.C. Dynasties that belong to the Old Kingdom are the Third, Fourth, Fifth, and Sixth. This time period saw the construction of the Great Pyramid of Giza, the Sphinx, as well as the First Pyramid built by King Djoser. At Heliopolis, the Sun God Ra was worshipped, and mummification was used for the first time. The Old Kingdom buried its pharaohs in pyramids.

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First Intermediate Period

“The Dark Period” —The First Intermediate Period, corresponds to the period between 2181 B.C. and 2055 B.C. The 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, and 11th Dynasties are included in this period. Famine and societal disorder occurred simultaneously in Egypt as a result of political failure and environmental disasters.

Middle Kingdom

From approx. 2055 B.C. to 1650 B.C., The Middle Kingdom was known as the “Golden Age.” The Middle Kingdom housed the 11th and 12th Dynasties and during this time period, North and South Egypt reunited. Priests gained independence and power and Pharaohs were buried in hidden tombs.

Second Intermediate Period

The Second Intermediate Period was from 1650 B.C. to 1550 B.C. and included the 13th, 14th, 15th, 16th, and 17th Dynasties. In north Egypt, the Hyksos tribe adopted Egyptian cultures, including names and gods. New technology and horse-drawn carriages were introduced.

New Kingdom

In the 18th, 19th, and 20th Dynasties, the New Kingdom was known as the “Imperial Age.” The expulsion of the Hyksos people from Egypt took place. It was during this time period that Hatshepsut became a royal female Pharaoh. Luxuries, power, and wealth returned to Egypt. As a result, the pyramid building stopped and the Valley of the Kings became the burial ground for Pharaohs. It was during the reign of Akhenaten, formerly known as Amenhotep IV, that Egypt became monotheistic, which meant that one god ruled the country, Aten or “Sun Disk”.

Third Intermediate Period

The Third Intermediate Period was from 1070 B.C. to 664 B.C. with the 21st, 22nd, 23rd, 24th, and 25th Dynasties and pyramid building resumed.

Late Period

The Late Period was from 712 B.C. to 323 B.C. with the 26th, 27th, 28th, 29th, and 30th Dynasties. Ancient Kemet saw a revival of architecture, customs, and art.

Ptolemaic Period

The Ptolemaic Period was from 332 B.C. to 30 B.C. known as the “Hellenistic (Greek) Kingdom.” Alexander the Great conquered Egypt and Cleopatra VII was the last ruler of the Ptolemaic Dynasty of Egypt.

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