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Time Periods of Ancient Egypt

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The timeline of ancient Egypt is extensive and diverse. The articles on the AEO aim to describe the basics of a particular time period along with some follow-up bibliographic references should you want to read more.

The Predynastic Period

predyn-thumbBy the end of the third millennium B.C., Egypt finally was on the verge of unification. Yet, while this culture is best known for its achievements of the Dynastic Periods, the beginnings of her history have only slowly been unraveling ever since…

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The Early Dynastic Period

earlydyn-thumbThe Early Dynastic Period comprises the First and Second Dynasties. The first king of the First Dynasty, and therefore the first king of Egypt, has been identified as Menes. There is, however, much debate about the actual identity of Menes…

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The Old Kingdom

oldkingdom-thumbThe Old Kingdom – also occasionally named ‘the Pyramid Age’ – spanned four dynasties, from the Third to the Sixth (2686-2181 BCE) and constituted the first bloom of Egyptian pharaonic civilisation…

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First Intermediate Period

FIP-thumbThe last pharaoh of the Old Kingdom, King Pepy II’s reign lasted for 96 years, after having ascended the throne at the age of 6. After his rule, the prosperity of the Old Kingdom declined…

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Middle Kingdom

MK-thumbThe Theban King Montuhotep II (mid-Eleventh Dynasty) finally reunited Egypt under a single pharaoh following years of warfare and political struggle; this spelled the beginning of the Middle Kingdom…

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Second Intermediate Period

SIP-thumbThere is a great degree of uncertainty about the onset of the Second Intermediate Period. The pharaohs of the Thirteenth Dynasty were still based at Itj-tawy and the earlier kings have inscriptions in locations from Elephantine to the Delta, however, these pharaohs become increasingly more obscure…

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The New Kingdom

nk-thumbPharaoh Ahmose I was the last ruler of the Seventeenth Dynasty and, after the wars of reunification of the Theban rulers against the Hyksos Kingdom of Avaris, became the founding father of the Eighteenth Dynasty. These wars are recorded in the…

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Please note that we are currently adding to our ‘time periods’ section – please check back for more updates.