The Kalahari Desert is a large semi-arid sandy savanna in Southern Africa extending for 900,000 square kilometres, covering much of Botswana, parts of Namibia and regions of South Africa. It is not to be confused with the Angolan, Namibian and S. African Namib coastal desert, whose name is of Khoekhoegowab origin and means "vast place". Kalahari is derived from the Tswana word Kgala, meaning "the great thirst", or Kgalagadi, meaning "a waterless place". Drainage of the desert is by dry valleys, seasonally inundated pans and the large salt pans of the Makgadikgadi Pan in Botswana and Etosha Pan in Namibia; the only permanent river, the Okavango, flows into a delta in the northwest, forming marshes that are rich in wildlife. Ancient dry riverbeds—called omuramba—traverse the central northern reaches of the Kalahari and provide standing pools of water during the rainy season. A semi-desert, with huge tracts of excellent grazing after good rains, the Kalahari supports more animals and plants than a true desert, such as the Namib Desert to the west.
There are small amounts of rainfall and the summer temperature is high. The driest areas receive 110–200 millimetres of rain per year, the wettest just a little over 500 millimetres; the surrounding Kalahari Basin covers over 2,500,000 square kilometres extending further into Botswana and South Africa, encroaching into parts of Angola and Zimbabwe. Numerous pans exist within the Kalahari, including the Groot-vloer Pan and Verneukpan where evidence of a wetter climate exists in the form of former contouring for capturing of water; this and other pans, as well as river bottoms, were written about extensively at Sciforums by an article by Walter Wagner regarding the extensive wet areas of the Kalahari. The Kalahari is extensive and extends further north where abandoned extensive roadways exist. North and east where the dry forests and salt lakes prevail, the climate is sub-humid rather than semi-arid. South and west, where the vegetation is predominantly xeric savanna or a semi-desert, the climate is "Kalaharian" semi-arid.
The Kalaharian climate is subtropical, is semi-arid with the dry season during the "cold" season, the coldest six months of the year. It is the southern tropical equivalent of the Sahelian climate with the wet season during summer; the altitude has been adduced as the explanation. For example, winter frost is common from June to August, something seen in the warmer Sahelian regions. For the same reason, summer temperatures can be hot, but not in comparison to regions of low altitude in the Sahel or Sahara, where some stations record average temperatures of the warmest month around 38 °C, whereas the average temperature of the warmest month in any region in the Kalahari never exceeds 29 °C, though daily temperatures reach up to close to 45 °C; the dry season lasts eight months or more, the wet season from less than one month to four months, depending on location. The southwestern Kalahari is the driest area, in particular a small region located towards the west-southwest of Tsaraxaibis; the average annual rainfall ranging from around 110 mm to more than 500 mm in some areas of the north and east.
During summer time in all regions rainfall may go with heavy thunderstorms. In the driest and sunniest parts of the Kalahari, over 4,000 hours of sunshine are recorded annually on average. In the Kalahari, there are two main mechanisms of atmospheric circulation, dominated by the Kalahari High anticyclone: The North and North-west of the Kalahari is subject to the alternation "Intertropical Convergence Zone /"Continental Trade winds"; the ITCZ is the meeting area of the boreal trade winds with their austral counterparts what meteorologists call "Meteorological equator" and the sailors "Doldrum" or "Pot-au-noir": the ITCZ generates rains in the wet season, whereas the continental trade winds cause the dry season. There are huge subterranean water reserves beneath parts of the Kalahari; such reserves may be in part the residues of ancient lakes. The ancient Lake Makgadikgadi dominated the area, covering the Makgadikgadi Pan and surrounding areas, but it drained or dried out some 10,000 years ago.
It may have once covered as much as 120,000 square kilometres. The Kalahari has had a complex climatic history over the past million or so years, in line with major global changes. Changes in the last 250,000 years have been reconstructed from various data sources, provide evidence of both former extensive lakes and periods drier than now. During the latter the area of the Kalahari has expanded to include parts of western Zimbabwe and Angola. Due to its low aridity, the Kalahari supports a variety of flora; the native flora includes many other herbs and grasses. The kiwano fruit known as the horned melon, African horn
The Sahara is a desert located on the African continent. It is the largest hot desert in the world, the third largest desert overall after Antarctica and the Arctic, its area of 9,200,000 square kilometres is comparable to the area of the United States. The name'Sahara' is derived from a dialectal Arabic word for ṣaḥra; the desert comprises much of North Africa, excluding the fertile region on the Mediterranean Sea coast, the Atlas Mountains of the Maghreb, the Nile Valley in Egypt and Sudan. It stretches from the Red Sea in the east and the Mediterranean in the north to the Atlantic Ocean in the west, where the landscape changes from desert to coastal plains. To the south, it is bounded by the Sahel, a belt of semi-arid tropical savanna around the Niger River valley and the Sudan Region of Sub-Saharan Africa; the Sahara can be divided into several regions including: the western Sahara, the central Ahaggar Mountains, the Tibesti Mountains, the Aïr Mountains, the Ténéré desert, the Libyan Desert.
For several hundred thousand years, the Sahara has alternated between desert and savanna grassland in a 41,000 year cycle caused by the precession of the Earth's axis as it rotates around the Sun, which changes the location of the North African Monsoon. The area is next expected to become green in about 15,000 years. There is a suggestion that the last time that the Sahara was converted from savanna to desert it was due to overgrazing by the cattle of the local population; the Sahara covers large parts of Algeria, Egypt, Mali, Niger, Western Sahara and Tunisia. It covers 9 million square kilometres, amounting to 31% of Africa. If all areas with a mean annual precipitation of less than 250 mm were included, the Sahara would be 11 million square kilometres, it is one of three distinct physiographic provinces of the African massive physiographic division. The Sahara is rocky hamada. Wind or rare rainfall shape the desert features: sand dunes, dune fields, sand seas, stone plateaus, gravel plains, dry valleys, dry lakes, salt flats.
Unusual landforms include the Richat Structure in Mauritania. Several dissected mountains, many volcanic, rise from the desert, including the Aïr Mountains, Ahaggar Mountains, Saharan Atlas, Tibesti Mountains, Adrar des Iforas, the Red Sea Hills; the highest peak in the Sahara is Emi Koussi, a shield volcano in the Tibesti range of northern Chad. The central Sahara is hyperarid, with sparse vegetation; the northern and southern reaches of the desert, along with the highlands, have areas of sparse grassland and desert shrub, with trees and taller shrubs in wadis, where moisture collects. In the central, hyperarid region, there are many subdivisions of the great desert: Tanezrouft, the Ténéré, the Libyan Desert, the Eastern Desert, the Nubian Desert and others; these arid areas receive no rain for years. To the north, the Sahara skirts the Mediterranean Sea in Egypt and portions of Libya, but in Cyrenaica and the Maghreb, the Sahara borders the Mediterranean forest and scrub eco-regions of northern Africa, all of which have a Mediterranean climate characterized by hot summers and cool and rainy winters.
According to the botanical criteria of Frank White and geographer Robert Capot-Rey, the northern limit of the Sahara corresponds to the northern limit of date palm cultivation and the southern limit of the range of esparto, a grass typical of the Mediterranean climate portion of the Maghreb and Iberia. The northern limit corresponds to the 100 mm isohyet of annual precipitation. To the south, the Sahara is bounded by the Sahel, a belt of dry tropical savanna with a summer rainy season that extends across Africa from east to west; the southern limit of the Sahara is indicated botanically by the southern limit of Cornulaca monacantha, or northern limit of Cenchrus biflorus, a grass typical of the Sahel. According to climatic criteria, the southern limit of the Sahara corresponds to the 150 mm isohyet of annual precipitation. Important cities located in the Sahara include the capital of Mauritania; the Sahara is the world's largest low-latitude hot desert. It is located in the horse latitudes under the subtropical ridge, a significant belt of semi-permanent subtropical warm-core high pressure where the air from upper levels of the troposphere tends to sink towards the ground.
This steady descending airflow causes a drying effect in the upper troposphere. The sinking air prevents evaporating water from rising, therefore prevents adiabatic cooling, which makes cloud formation difficult to nearly impossible; the permanent dissolution of clouds allows thermal radiation. The stability of the atmosphere above the desert prevents any convective overturning, thus making rainfall non-existent; as a consequence, the weather tends to be sunny and stable with a minimal chance of rainfall. Subsiding, dry air masses associated with subtropical high-pressure systems are unfavorable for the development of convectional showers; the subtropical ridge is the predominant factor that explains the hot desert climate (Köppen climate classifica
Desertification is a type of land degradation in which a dry area of land becomes a desert losing its bodies of water as well as vegetation and wildlife. It is caused by a variety of factors, such as through climate change and through the overexploitation of soil through human activity; when deserts appear automatically over the natural course of a planet's life cycle it can be called a natural phenomenon. Desertification is a significant global ecological and environmental problem with far reaching consequences on socio-economic and political conditions. Considerable controversy exists over the proper definition of the term "desertification" for which Helmut Geist has identified more than 100 formal definitions; the most accepted of these is that of the Princeton University Dictionary which defines it as "the process of fertile land transforming into desert as a result of deforestation, drought or improper/inappropriate agriculture". Desertification has been neatly defined in the text of the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification as "land degradation in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid regions resulting from various factors, including climatic variations and human activities."Another major contribution to the controversy comes from the sub-grouping of types of desertification.
Spanning from the vague yet shortsighted view as the "man-made-desert" to the broader yet less focused type as the "Non-pattern-Desert". The earliest known discussion of the topic arose soon after the French colonization of West Africa, when the Comité d'Etudes commissioned a study on desséchement progressif to explore the prehistoric expansion of the Sahara Desert; the world's most noted deserts have been formed by natural processes interacting over long intervals of time. During most of these times, deserts have shrunk independent of human activities. Paleodeserts are large sand seas now inactive because they are stabilized by vegetation, some extending beyond the present margins of core deserts, such as the Sahara, the largest hot desert. Desertification has played a significant role in human history, contributing to the collapse of several large empires, such as Carthage and the Roman Empire, as well as causing displacement of local populations. Historical evidence shows that the serious and extensive land deterioration occurring several centuries ago in arid regions had three epicenters: the Mediterranean, the Mesopotamian Valley, the Loess Plateau of China, where population was dense.
Drylands occupy 40–41% of Earth’s land area and are home to more than 2 billion people. It has been estimated that some 10–20% of drylands are degraded, the total area affected by desertification being between 6 and 12 million square kilometres, that about 1–6% of the inhabitants of drylands live in desertified areas, that a billion people are under threat from further desertification; as of 1998, the then-current degree of southward expansion of the Sahara was not well known, due to a lack of recent, measurable expansion of the desert into the Sahel at the time. The impact of global warming and human activities are presented in the Sahel. In this area, the level of desertification is high compared to other areas in the world. All areas situated in the eastern part of Africa are characterized by a dry climate, hot temperatures, low rainfall. So, droughts are the rule in the Sahel region; some studies have shown that Africa has lost 650,000 km² of its productive agricultural land over the past 50 years.
The propagation of desertification in this area is considerable. Some statistics have shown that since 1900 the Sahara has expanded by 250 km to the south over a stretch of land from west to east 6,000 km long; the survey, done by the research institute for development, had demonstrated that this means dryness is spreading fast in the Sahelian countries. 70% of the arid area has deteriorated and water resources have disappeared, leading to soil degradation. The loss of topsoil means that plants cannot take root and can be uprooted by torrential water or strong winds; the United Nations Convention says that about six million Sahelian citizens would have to give up the desertified zones of sub-Saharan Africa for North Africa and Europe between 1997 and 2020. Another major area, being impacted by desertification is the Gobi Desert; the Gobi desert is the fastest moving desert on Earth. This has destroyed many villages in its path. Photos show that the Gobi Desert has expanded to the point the entire nation of Croatia could fit inside its area.
This is causing a major problem for the people of China. They will soon have to deal with the desert. Although the Gobi Desert itself is still a distance away from Beijing, reports from field studies state there are large sand dunes forming only 70 km outside the city; as the desertification takes place, the landscape may progress through different stages and continuously transform in appearance. On sloped terrain, desertification can create larger empty spaces over a large strip of land, a phenomenon known as "Brousse tigrée". A mathematical model of this phenomenon proposed by C. Klausmeier attributes this patterning to dynamics in plant-water interaction. One outcome of this observation suggests an optimal plan
The Cholistan Desert locally known as Rohi, sprawls 30 km from Bahawalpur, Punjab and covers an area of 16,000 km2. It adjoins the Thar Desert, extending over into India; the word Cholistan is derived from the Turkic word chol. The people of Cholistan lead a semi-nomadic life, moving from one place to another in search of water and fodder for their animals; the dry bed of the Hakra River runs through the area, along which many settlements of the Indus Valley Civilization have been found. The desert hosts an annual Jeep rally, known as Cholistan Desert Jeep Rally, it is the biggest motor sports event in Pakistan. As mentioned above, the Indus Valley has always been occupied by the wandering nomadic tribes, who are fond of isolated areas, as such areas allow them to lead life free of foreign intrusion, enabling them to establish their own individual and unique cultures. Cholistan till the era of Mughal rule had been isolated from outside influence. During the rule of Mughal Emperor Akbar, it became a proper productive unit.
The entire area was ruled by a host of kings. The rulers were the great patrons of art, the various crafts underwent a simultaneous and parallel development, influencing each other. Masons, stone carvers, artisans and designers started rebuilding the old cities and new sites, with that flourished new courts, paintings and pottery; the fields of architecture, terra cotta, pottery developed in this phase. The backbone of Cholistan economy is cattle breeding, it has the major importance for satisfying the area's major needs for cottage industry as well as milk meat and fat. Because of the nomadic way of life the main wealth of the people are their cattle that are bred for sale, milked or shorn for their wool. Moreover, isolated as they were, they had to depend upon themselves for all their needs like food and all the items of daily use. So all their crafts stemmed from necessity but on they started exporting their goods to the other places as well; the estimated number of livestock in the desert areas is 1.6 million.
Cholistan produces superior type of carpet wool as compared to that produced in other parts of Pakistan. From this wool they knit beautiful carpets and other woolen items; this includes blankets, a local necessity for the desert is not just a land of dust and heat, but winter nights here are cold below freezing points. Khes and pattu are manufactured with wool or cotton. Khes is a form of blanket with a field of black pattu has a white ground base. Cholistanis now sell the wool, it may be mentioned that cotton textiles have always been a hallmark of craft of Indus valley civilization. Various kinds of khaddar-cloth are made for local consumption, fine khaddar bedclothes and coarse lungies are woven here. A beautiful cloth called Sufi is woven of silk and cotton, or with cotton wrap and silk wool. Gargas are made with numerous patterns and color, having complicated embroidery and patchwork. Ajrak is another specialty of Cholistan, it is a special and delicate printing technique on both sides of the cloth in indigo blue and red patterns covering the base cloth.
Cotton turbans and shawls are made here. Chunri is another form of dopattas, having innumerable colors and patterns like dots and circles on it. Camels are valued by the desert dwellers. Camels are not only useful for transportation and loading purposes, but its skin and wool are quite worthwhile. Camel wool is spun and woven into beautiful woolen blankets known as falsies and into stylish and durable rugs; the camel's leather is utilized in making kuppies and expensive lampshades. Leatherwork is another important local cottage industry due to the large number of livestock here. Other than the products mentioned above, Khusa is a specialty of this area. Cholistani khusas are famous for the quality of workmanship and richness of designs when stitched and embroidered with golden or brightly colored threads; the Cholistanis are fond of jewellery gold jewellery. The chief ornaments made and worn by them are Nath, Katmala Kangan, Pazeb. Gold and silver bangles are a product of Cholistan; the locals work in enamel, producing enamel buttons, earrings and rings.
The great desert though considered to be colorless and drab, is not wholly devoid of color. Its green portion plays the role of "color belt" after rains when vegetation growth is at its peak. Adding to that the locals always wear brightly colored clothes consisting of brilliant reds, blazing oranges shocking pinks, startling yellows and greens; the cloth trappings of their bullocks and camels are richly colored and textured. There is a rain forest in Cholistan named "Dodhla Forest" The wildlife of Cholistan desert consists of migratory birds Houbara bustard who migrates to this part during winters; this species of birds is most famous in the hunting season though they are endangered in Pakistan, according to IUCN Red List. Their population has decreased from 4,746 in 2001 to just a few dozens in recent times. In December 2016, a Qatari prince, had his hunting license rejected due to the species being endangered. Another prince, Dr. Fahad was fined with Rs. 80,000 and all of the birds he caught were set free for hunting without permit and license.
The other endangered species in this desert is Chinkara, their population has decreased from 3,000 in 2007 to just a few
The Gobi Desert is a large desert or brushland region in Asia. It covers parts of Northern and Northeastern China, of southern Mongolia; the desert basins of the Gobi are bounded by the Altai Mountains and the grasslands and steppes of Mongolia on the north, by the Taklamakan Desert to the west, by the Hexi Corridor and Tibetan Plateau to the southwest, by the North China Plain to the southeast. The Gobi is notable in history as part of the great Mongol Empire, as the location of several important cities along the Silk Road; the Gobi is a rain shadow desert, formed by the Tibetan Plateau blocking precipitation from the Indian Ocean reaching the Gobi territory. The Gobi measures over 1,600 km from 800 km from north to south; the desert is widest in the west, along the line joining the Lop Nor. It occupies an arc of land 1,295,000 km2 in area as of 2007. Much of the Gobi has exposed bare rock. In its broadest definition, the Gobi includes the long stretch of desert extending from the foot of the Pamirs to the Greater Khingan Mountains, 116°-118° east, on the border of Manchuria.
A large area on the east side of the Greater Khingan range, between the upper waters of the Songhua and the upper waters of the Liao-ho, is reckoned to belong to the Gobi by conventional usage. Some geographers and ecologists prefer to regard the western area of the Gobi region: the basin of the Tarim in Xinjiang and the desert basin of Lop Nor and Hami, as forming a separate and independent desert, called the Taklamakan Desert. Archeologists and paleontologists have done excavations in the Nemegt Basin in the northwestern part of the Gobi Desert, noted for its fossil treasures, including early mammals, dinosaur eggs, prehistoric stone implements, some 100,000 years old; the Gobi is overall a cold desert, with frost and snow occurring on its dunes. Besides being quite far north, it is located on a plateau 910–1,520 metres above sea level, which contributes to its low temperatures. An average of 194 millimetres of rain falls annually in the Gobi. Additional moisture reaches parts of the Gobi in winter as snow is blown by the wind from the Siberian Steppes.
These winds may cause the Gobi to reach −40 °C in winter to 45 °C in summer. However, the climate of the Gobi is one of great extremes, combined with rapid changes of temperature of as much as 35 °C; these can occur not within 24 hours. In southern Mongolia, the temperature has been recorded as low as −32.8 °C. In contrast, in Alxa, Inner Mongolia, it rises as high as 37 °C in July. Average winter minimums are a frigid −21 °C, while summertime maximums are a warm 27 °C. Most of the precipitation falls during the summer. Although the southeast monsoons reach the southeast parts of the Gobi, the area throughout this region is characterized by extreme dryness during the winter, when the Siberian anticyclone is at its strongest; the southern and central parts of the Gobi Desert have variable plant growth due to this monsoon activity. The more northern areas of the Gobi are cold and dry, making it unable to support much plant growth. Hence, the icy snowstorms of spring and early summer plus early January.
The Gobi Desert is the source including the first dinosaur eggs. Despite the harsh conditions, these deserts and the surrounding regions sustain many animals, including black-tailed gazelles, marbled polecats, wild Bactrian camels, Mongolian wild ass and sandplovers, they are visited by snow leopards, brown bears, wolves. Lizards are well-adapted to the climate of the Gobi Desert, with 30 species distributed across its southern Mongolian border; the most common vegetation in the Gobi desert are shrubs adapted to drought. These shrubs included gray sparrow's saltwort, gray sagebrush, low grasses such as needle grass and bridlegrass. Due to livestock grazing, the amount of shrubs in the desert has decreased. Several large nature reserves have been established in the Gobi, including Gobi Gurvansaikhan National Park, Great Gobi A and Great Gobi B Strictly Protected Area; the area is vulnerable to trampling by livestock and off-road vehicles. In Mongolia, grasslands have been degraded by goats, which are raised by nomadic herders as source of cashmere wool.
Large copper deposits are being mined by Rio Tinto Group. The mine remains controversial. There was significant opposition in Mongolia's parliament to the terms under which the mine will proceed, some are calling for the terms to be renegotiated; the contention revolves around the question of whether negotiations were fair and whether Rio Tinto will pay adequate taxes on the revenues it derives from the mine (an agreement was reached whereby the operation will be exempt from windfall tax. The Gobi Desert is expanding at an alarming rate, in a process known as desertification; the expansion is rapid on the southern edge into China, which has seen 3,600 km2 (1,390
Omdurman is the second largest city in Sudan and Khartoum State, lying on the western banks of the River Nile, opposite the capital, Khartoum. The name Omdurman translates as "Mother of Durmān", but who she was or might have been is not known. After the siege of Khartoum the city, now the location of the tomb of the Mahdi, grew rapidly. However, in the Battle of Omdurman in 1898, Lord Kitchener decisively defeated the Mahdist forces and killed the Khalifa, ensuring British control over the Sudan. In September 1898 the British army of twenty thousand of well drilled men equipped with the latest arms, Maxim guns and Martini-Henry rifles under the command of General Herbert Horatio Kitchener invaded Sudan. In the battle of Omdurman, the British Army faced Sudanese defenders consisting of over 52,000 poorly armed desert tribesmen dervishes; the Sudanese defenders suffered over 93 percent casualty with at least 10,000 killed. By contrast there were fewer than four hundred casualties on the British side with forty-eight British soldiers losing their lives.
General Kitchener proceeded to order the destruction of the Mahdi's tomb and in Churchill's words "carried off the Mahdi's head in a kerosene can as a trophy". Kitchener restored Khartoum as the capital and, from 1899 until 1956 Sudan was jointly governed by Great Britain and Egypt. Although most of the city was destroyed in the battle, the Mahdi's tomb was restored and refurbished. On 10 May 2008 the Darfur rebel group of the Justice and Equality Movement moved into the city where they engaged in heavy fighting with Sudanese government forces, their goal was to topple Omar Hassan al-Bashir's government. Omdurman features a hot arid climate, with only the summer months seeing noticeable precipitation; the city averages a little over 155 millimetres of precipitation per year. Based on annual mean temperatures, the city is one of the hottest major cities in the world. Temperatures exceeds 40 °C in mid-summer, its average annual high temperature is 37.1 °C, with six months of the year seeing an average monthly high temperature of at least 38 °C.
Furthermore, throughout the year, none of its monthly average high temperatures falls below 30 °C. During the months of January and February, while daytime temperatures are very warm, nights are cool, with average low temperatures just above 15 °C. Public universities are: Karary University Omdurman Islamic University University of the Holy Quran and Islamic SciencesPrivate universities are: Ahfad University for Women Omdurman Ahlia University University of Science and Technology - Omdurman Khartoum Airport serves Omdurman. According to Sudanese officials, a new airport facility has been proposed 30 miles south of Omdurman. Arguably speaking to be within the non-defined boundaries of Omdurman, the project was estimated to be completed by 2012 with an estimated budget of $530 million. Al-Nilin Mosque Bant Khalifa House Museum Media related to Omdurman at Wikimedia Commons "Omdurman". Encyclopædia Britannica. 1911
New Kingdom of Egypt
The New Kingdom referred to as the Egyptian Empire, is the period in ancient Egyptian history between the 16th century BC and the 11th century BC, covering the 18th, 19th, 20th dynasties of Egypt. Radiocarbon dating places the exact beginning of the New Kingdom between 1570 BC and 1544 BC; the New Kingdom followed the Second Intermediate Period and was succeeded by the Third Intermediate Period. It marked the peak of its power; the part of this period, under the 19th and 20th Dynasties, is known as the Ramesside period. It is named after the 11 Pharaohs that took the name Ramesses, after Ramesses I, the founder of the 19th Dynasty; as a result of the foreign rule of the Hyksos during the Second Intermediate Period, the New Kingdom saw Egypt attempt to create a buffer between the Levant and Egypt proper, during this time Egypt attained its greatest territorial extent. In response to successful 17th century attacks during the Second Intermediate Period by the powerful Kingdom of Kush, the rulers of the New Kingdom felt compelled to expand far south into Nubia and to hold wide territories in the Near East.
In the north, Egyptian armies fought Hittite armies for control of modern-day Syria. The 18th Dynasty included some of Egypt's most famous Pharaohs, including Ahmose I, Thutmose III, Amenhotep III, Akhenaten and Tutankhamun. Queen Hatshepsut concentrated on expanding Egypt's external trade by sending a commercial expedition to the land of Punt. Thutmose III expanded Egypt's army and wielded it with great success to consolidate the empire created by his predecessors; this resulted in a peak in Egypt's power and wealth during the reign of Amenhotep III. During the reign of Thutmose III, the term Pharaoh referring to the king's palace, became a form of address for the person, king. One of the best-known 18th Dynasty pharaohs is Amenhotep IV, who changed his name to Akhenaten in honor of the Aten, a representation of the Egyptian god, Ra, his exclusive worship of the Aten is interpreted as history's first instance of monotheism. Akhenaten's wife, contributed a great deal to his new take on the Egyptian religion.
Nefertiti was bold enough to perform rituals to Aten. Akhenaten's religious fervor is cited as the reason why he and his wife were subsequently written out of Egyptian history. Under his reign, in the 14th century BC, Egyptian art flourished in a distinctive new style. By the end of the 18th Dynasty, Egypt's status had changed radically. Aided by Akhenaten's apparent lack of interest in international affairs, the Hittites had extended their influence into Phoenicia and Canaan to become a major power in international politics — a power that both Seti I and his son Ramesses II would confront during the 19th Dynasty; the Nineteenth Dynasty was founded by the Vizier Ramesses I, whom the last ruler of the 18th dynasty, Pharaoh Horemheb, had chosen as his successor. His brief reign marked a transition period between the reign of Horemheb and the powerful pharaohs of this dynasty, in particular, his son Seti I and grandson Ramesses II, who would bring Egypt to new heights of imperial power. Ramesses II sought to recover territories in the Levant, held by the 18th Dynasty.
His campaigns of reconquest culminated in the Battle of Kadesh, where he led Egyptian armies against those of the Hittite king Muwatalli II. Ramesses was caught in history's first recorded military ambush, although he was able to rally his troops and turn the tide of battle against the Hittites thanks to the arrival of the Ne'arin; the outcome of the battle was undecided, with both sides claiming victory at their home front, resulting in a peace treaty between the two nations. Egypt was able to obtain stability under Ramesses' rule of over half a century, his immediate successors continued the military campaigns, although an troubled court—which at one point put a usurper on the throne—made it difficult for a pharaoh to retain control of the territories. Ramesses II was famed for the huge number of children he sired by his various wives and concubines; the last "great" pharaoh from the New Kingdom is considered to be Ramesses III, a 20th Dynasty pharaoh who reigned several decades after Ramesses II.
In the eighth year of his reign the Sea Peoples invaded Egypt by sea. Ramesses III defeated them in two great sea battles, he incorporated them as subject peoples and settled them in Southern Canaan although there is evidence that they forced their way into Canaan. Their presence in Canaan may have contributed to the formation of new states, such as Philistia, in this region after the collapse of the Egyptian Empire, he was compelled to fight invading Libyan tribesmen in two major campaigns in Egypt's Western Delta in his sixth year and eleventh year respectively. The heavy cost of this warfare drained Egypt's treasury and contributed to the gradual decline of the Egyptian Empire in Asia; the severity of the difficulties is indicated by the fact that the first known labor strike in recorded history occurred during the 29th year of Ramesses III's reign, when the food rations for Egypt's favored and elite royal tomb-builders and artisans in the village of Deir el Medina could not be provisioned.
Air pollutants prevented much sunlight from reaching the ground and arrested global tree growth for two full decades until 1140 BC. On