What was life like during the Middle Kingdom? During the Middle Kingdom period of the Egyptian Empire the people prospered. It was considered a golden age of stability because a new dynasty came to power after 200 years of confusion and battles among the nobles. This new dynasty moved the capital to Thebes from the old capital of Memphis. The Middle Kingdom lasted from about 2050 BCE to 1670 BCE. Why did the Egyptians have a “Drive for More Land”? • • • • • Increased amount of land that could be farmed and built canal between the Nile and Red Sea in order to create farmland Soldiers captured Nubia and attacked modern day Syria Conquered people sent tribute* or payment to Egyptian pharaoh, Egypt got rich from these payments Pharaohs added more waterways and dams everywhere they could to create farmland and grow more crops More crops=surplus=time to create art, architecture and goods *tribute- forced payment from conquered people to pharaoh How did the “Arts Blossom” during the Middle Kingdom? • • • • Painters covered walls of tombs and temples with colorful scenes of deities and daily life Sculptors created large wall carvings and statues of pharaohs showing them as ordinary people, not godlike figures Poets wrote love songs and tributes to pharaohs New form of architecture – tombs cut into cliffs west of Nile River – the Valley of the Kings Who Were the Hyksos? • Hyksos – people from western Asia who attacked Egypt. – Mighty warriors; crossed desert in horse-drawn chariots and used weapons made of bronze and iron. – Egyptians were no match for them, they ruled Egypt for 120 years – Egyptian prince Ahmose* led an uprising that drove Hyksos out of Egypt * first ruler of Egypt’s New Kingdom- 1550BCE to 1080 BCE The Egyptian Empire: What was life like in The New Kingdom?` • The New Kingdom ushered in a period where Egypt acquired new territory and power • Ahmose’s reign began the New Kingdom, the period when Egypt reached the height of its ancient glory Who was the woman ruler of Egypt during the New Kingdom? • • • • • Queen Hatshepsut ruled with her husband, then nephew and then made herself pharaoh – one of few woman to rule Egypt. She reigned from 1503 BCE to 1482 BCE. She focused on trade along east coast of Africa – exchanged beads, metal, tools and weapons for gold, ivory, ebony and incense* Great need for wood; few trees in the Nile so Egyptian traders went to eastern Mediterranean where the Phoenicians were famous for their wooden furniture Trading brought great wealth to Egypt – Hatshepsut used some of wealth to build monuments. One of greatest projects was huge temple and tomb in Valley of Kings *Incense- a material burned for its pleasant smell How did Thutmose III further expand the Egyptian empire? • • • Armies expanded Egypt’s borders north to Euphrates River in Mesopotamia and moved south to regain control of Nubia; Empire grew rich from trade and tribute; Egypt claimed gold, copper, ivory and other valuables Enslaved many prisoners of war who rebuilt Thebes, filling the city with beautiful palaces, temples and monuments Slavery became common; slaves did have rights to own land, marry and eventually be granted freedom The Egyptian Empire: The Legacies of Two Pharaohs• Akhenaton tried to change the religion from one of polytheism- a belief in many gods, to monotheism- the belief in one god; in this case Aton. • King Tut is famous for the treasures found in his tomb by archeologist Howard Carter in 1922 in the Valley of the Kings. Who was known as the religious reformer of the Egyptian empire? • Amanhotep IV came to throne in 1370 BC; tried to lead Egypt in new direction with help of wife, Nefertiti • Amanhotep realized priests were gaining power at expense of pharaoh; Introduced new religion in which only one god, Aton, was to be worshiped – As priests resisted change, he removed many from their positions, seized their lands, closed temples – Changed his name to Akhenaton, “Spirit of Aton” and ruled from a new city • The people refused to accept Aton as only god. • He became so devoted to religion that he neglected duties as pharaohEgypt lost most of its land in western Asia Who do we call “The Boy King”? • Tutankhamen -“King Tut” took over the throne when Akhenaton- died at 19 • Tut was only 10 years old and relied on help from palace officials and priest who convinced him to restore old religion • British archaeologist, Howard Carter, found his tomb in AD 1922 which contained the king’s mummy and treasures including gold mask. This is unique as most royal tombs were looted Who was Egypt’s last great New Kingdom pharaoh? • Ramses II was one of most effective pharaohs; reigned for 66 years • Built a temple at Abu Simbel • Egyptian armies regained lands and Ramses launched ambitious building program (new temples) Why Were Temples Built? • • • • Most magnificent was Karnak at Thebes Temples did not hold services, most Egyptians prayed at home, the Temples were houses for the gods and goddesses Priests and priestesses performed daily temple rituals like washing statues of deities and bringing them food Temples served as banks – used to store valuable items What contributed to Egypt’s “Decline and Fall”? • Power began to decline after Ramses II died in his 90’s • Groups from eastern Mediterranean attacked Egypt by sea, using strong iron weapons, Egyptians had similar arms, but had to pay a lot for it because they did not have iron ore • By 1150 BCE– Egyptians only controlled the Nile delta • Came under rule of one outside group after another, first conquered by Libyans, Then conquered by Kush, Then taken over by Assyrians Who’s Who and What’s What in Ancient Egypt Who is?: • Ahmose- first ruler of Egypt’s New Kingdom (1550 BCE – 1080 BCE) • Hatshepsut- female pharaoh who avoided military conquests and expanded the economy of Egypt • Thutmose III - Hatshepsut’s nephew, his armies expanded Egypt, slavery was common and the empire grew rich from trade and tribute • Akenhaton- changed the religion from polytheistic to monotheistic, angered many people, lost lands and shrunk empire • Tutankamen- famous for his tomb of riches found by Howard Carter in 1922 • Ramses II- built temples, regained land and rebuilt the empire What is?: • Tribute- forced payment from conquered people • Incense- a material burned for its pleasant smell • Thebes- capital of Egypt’s Middle Kingdom Things that make you go hmmmm. Describe Egyptian trade during the rule of Hatshepsut. Egyptians sailed along the coast of east Africa trading beads, metal tools, and weapons for gold, ivory, ebony and incense. Egyptians also went to Phoenicia to trade for wood. The increased trade brought wealth to Egypt. How did architecture change during the Middle Kingdom? Instead of building pyramids, pharaohs built their tombs into the sides of cliffs west of the Nile River. This area became known as the Valley of the Kings. Who were the Hyksos? The Hyksos were people from western Asia who attacked Egypt. They defeated the Egyptians and ruled Egypt for 120 years, from 1670 BCE to 1550 BCE. In what ways are hieroglyphics and computer icons similar? They are both pictures that stand for (represent) words. However, hieroglyphics involved hundreds of symbols understood mostly by scribes while millions of everyday people use and understand computer icons. Things that make you go hmmmm. Why did ancient Egyptians first value cats? Cats protected valuable grade supplies from mice and rats. With what goddess did the ancient Egyptians associate cats? Cats were associated with the goddess Bastet. Why is Tutankhamen so famous today? His tomb was found intact with its ancient treasure. What groups conquered Egypt starting in the 900s BCE? The Libyans, People of Kush and the Assyrians. What three improvements did the Middle Kingdom rulers make? They added more waterways and dams for irrigation, increased the amount of land used for farming, and built a canal between the Nile River and the Red Sea, they also improved art and architecture.