5-4 Notes: The New Kingdom

5-4 Notes: The New Kingdom
A Woman Pharaoh
During the New Kingdom, Egypt relocated
their capital to the city of Thebes, 450 miles
south of Memphis – the pharaohs expanded
and strengthened the empire as well
Queen Hatshepsut was the first woman to
rule as a pharaoh – she was the wife of a
deceased pharaoh
She ruled with her stepson, Thutmose III,
however in 1472 BCE she declared herself the
sole ruler of Egypt – She wore a false beard
reserved for pharaohs
Hatshepsut expanded by waging war and
establishing trade connections – her largest
trading expedition was to Punt, south of Egypt
– Traders brought back rare herbs, spices,
scented woods, live monkeys, and potted
trees for incense
She erected an obelisk, a four-sided shaft with
a pyramid shaped top to proclaim her glory
and record her great deeds
After ruling 15 years, Hatshepsut disappeared
– she may have died peacefully or have been
killed by Thutmose III (he took over after her
and attempted to destroy all records of her
A Reforming Pharaoh
When Akhenaton took power in 1353
BCE, he lifted a sun god called Aton
to the highest status – he also closed
the temples of the other gods
(effectively bringing monotheism to
Egyptian life!)
Priests who served the other gods
lost power, became furious, and
worried they might upset the other
Akhenaton moved the capital 200
miles away to a city called Akhetaton
Akhenaton’s reign also marked a shift
in art – Egyptians made realistic
rather than perfect depictions of art
Akhenaton’s religion didn’t last long
– 3 years after his death a young
relative named Tutankhamen
became pharaoh, relying on advisers
to help him rule Egypt (he restored
the old gods to their position)
A Powerful Pharaoh
1279 BCE – 44 years after Tutankhamen
died, Ramses II took power – he ruled for
66 years (longest in Egyptian history!)
Ramses expanded Egypt’s territory south
into Nubia, an African kingdom, and to
the eastern rim of the Mediterranean
Sea where it bordered the Hittite empire
Ramses II and the Hittites waged a huge
battle that nobody really won (Ramses
claimed victory though!) – Afterwards he
signed a peace treaty with the Hittites
(first known one in world history!)
Ramses also built a city called the House
of Ramses – 4 66-foot statues of himself
guarded the temple (the ears were 3 feet
Ramses reigned until 1213 BCE (he was
over 90 years old!) – his reign was
peaceful and Nile flooded to provide
plentiful water and silt for good harvests
during his reign
Egypt’s Decline
• Egypt declined as the central
government lost power after
Ramses II’s rule
• By 1070 BCE, a series of foreign
powers ruled Egypt
• One of those rulers was
Alexander the Great, king of
Macedonia who conquered
Egypt (the last Macedonian
ruler of Egypt was Cleopatra)
• The Romans also controlled
Egypt for a time period