The Online Encyclopedia and Dictionary






New Kingdom

The New Kingdom period of Egyptian history is the period between the 16th century BC and the 11th century BC, covering the Eighteenth, Nineteenth, and Twentieth dynasty of Egypt. It follows the Middle Kingdom, and was succeeded by the Third Intermediate Period.

One of the best known Pharaohs was Akhenaten, also known as Amenhotep IV, whose exclusive worship of the Aten is often interpreted as the first instance of monotheism. His religious fervor is cited as the reason why he was written out of Egyptian history. Under his reign, (in the 14th century BCE) the art of the Egyptians flourished and was more realistic than before.

The New Kingdom saw Egypt's greatest territorial extent. It expanded far into Nubia in the south, and held wide territories in the Near East. Egyptian armies fought with Hittite armies for control of modern-day Syria.

The other well-known Pharaoh was Ramesses II, who attempted to recover the territories in modern Israel, Lebanon and Syria that had been held in the Eighteenth dynasty. His reconquest led to the Battle of Qadesh, where he led the Egyptian armies against the army of the Hittite king Muwatalli II. He was famed for the number of children he sired, and the tomb he built for his sons in the Valley of the Kings has proved to be the largest funerary complex in Egypt.

Two other very important Pharoahs were Queen Hatshepsut, and Tutmose the third. Queen Hatshepsut concentrated on expanding Egypt's trade with other areas. Tutmose expanded Egypt's army.

See also

History of Ancient Egypt has more information.Pharaoh (historical novel by Bolesław Prus, relating to the fall of Egypt's Twentieth Dynasty and New Kingdom).

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