The Bronze Age is a historical period characterized by the use of bronze, proto-writing, and other early features of urban civilization. The Bronze Age is the principal period of the three-age Stone-Bronze-Iron system, as proposed in modern times by Christian Jürgensen Thomsen. An ancient civilization is defined to be in the Bronze Age either by smelting its own copper and alloying with tin, arsenic, or other metals, or by trading for bronze from production areas elsewhere. Copper-tin ores are rare, as reflected in the fact there were no tin bronzes in Western Asia before trading in bronze began in the third millennium BC. Worldwide, the Bronze Age generally followed the Neolithic period, with the Chalcolithic serving as a transition, although the Iron Age generally followed the Bronze Age, in some areas, the Iron Age intruded directly on the Neolithic. Bronze Age cultures differed in their development of the first writing, according to archaeological evidence, cultures in Mesopotamia and Egypt developed the earliest viable writing systems.
The overall period is characterized by use of bronze, though the place and time of the introduction. Human-made tin bronze technology requires set production techniques, tin must be mined and smelted separately, added to molten copper to make bronze alloy. The Bronze Age was a time of use of metals. The dating of the foil has been disputed, the Bronze Age in the ancient Near East began with the rise of Sumer in the 4th millennium BC. Societies in the region laid the foundations for astronomy and mathematics, the usual tripartite division into an Early and Late Bronze Age is not used. Instead, a division based on art-historical and historical characteristics is more common. The cities of the Ancient Near East housed several tens of thousands of people, ur in the Middle Bronze Age and Babylon in the Late Bronze Age similarly had large populations. The earliest mention of Babylonia appears on a tablet from the reign of Sargon of Akkad in the 23rd century BC, the Amorite dynasty established the city-state of Babylon in the 19th century BC.
Over 100 years later, it took over the other city-states. Babylonia adopted the written Semitic Akkadian language for official use, by that time, the Sumerian language was no longer spoken, but was still in religious use. Elam was an ancient civilization located to the east of Mesopotamia, in the Old Elamite period, Elam consisted of kingdoms on the Iranian plateau, centered in Anshan, and from the mid-2nd millennium BC, it was centered in Susa in the Khuzestan lowlands. Its culture played a role in the Gutian Empire and especially during the Achaemenid dynasty that succeeded it
Old Kingdom of Egypt
The term itself was coined by eighteenth-century historians and the distinction between the Old Kingdom and the Early Dynastic Period is not one which would have been recognized by Ancient Egyptians. The Old Kingdom is most commonly regarded as the period from the Third Dynasty through to the Sixth Dynasty, many Egyptologists include the Memphite Seventh and Eighth Dynasties in the Old Kingdom as a continuation of the administration centralized at Memphis. During the Old Kingdom, the king of Egypt became a god who ruled absolutely and could demand the services. Under King Djoser, the first king of the Third Dynasty of the Old Kingdom, the capital of Egypt was moved to Memphis. A new era of building was initiated at Saqqara under his reign, King Djosers architect, Imhotep is credited with the development of building with stone and with the conception of the new architectural form—the Step Pyramid. Indeed, the Old Kingdom is perhaps best known for the number of pyramids constructed at this time as burial places for Egypts kings.
For this reason, the Old Kingdom is frequently referred to as the Age of the Pyramids, the first king of the Old Kingdom was Djoser of the third dynasty, who ordered the construction of a pyramid in Memphis necropolis, Saqqara. An important person during the reign of Djoser was his vizier and it was in this era that formerly independent ancient Egyptian states became known as nomes, under the rule of the king. The former rulers were forced to assume the role of governors or otherwise work in tax collection, Egyptians in this era worshipped their king as a god, believing that he ensured the annual flooding of the Nile that was necessary for their crops. Egyptian views on the nature of time during this period held that the worked in cycles. They perceived themselves as a specially selected people, the Old Kingdom and its royal power reached a zenith under the Fourth Dynasty, which began with Sneferu. Using more stones than any king, he built three pyramids, a now collapsed pyramid in Meidum, the Bent Pyramid at Dahshur.
However, the development of the pyramid style of building was reached not at Saqqara. Sneferu was succeeded by his son, Khufu who built the Great Pyramid of Giza, after Khufus death, his sons Djedefra and Khafra may have quarrelled. The latter built the pyramid and the Sphinx in Giza. Recent reexamination of evidence has led Egyptologist Vassil Dobrev to propose that the Sphinx had been built by Djedefra as a monument to his father Khufu, the Sphinx has been proposed to be the work of Khafra and Khufu himself. There were military expeditions into Canaan and Nubia, with Egyptian influence reaching up the Nile into what is today the Sudan, the kings of the Fourth Dynasty were king Menkaure, who built the smallest pyramid in Giza, Shepseskaf and, Djedefptah. The Fifth Dynasty began with Userkaf and was marked by the importance of the cult of sun god Ra
Nineteenth Dynasty of Egypt
The Nineteenth Dynasty of ancient Egypt was one of the periods of the Egyptian New Kingdom. Founded by Vizier Ramesses I, whom Pharaoh Horemheb chose as his successor to the throne, the warrior kings of the early 18th Dynasty had encountered only little resistance from neighbouring kingdoms, allowing them to expand their realm of influence easily. The situation had changed radically towards the end of the 18th Dynasty, the Hittites gradually extended their influence into Syria and Canaan to become a major power in international politics, a power that both Seti I and his son Ramesses II would need to deal with. The Pharaohs of the 19th dynasty ruled for one hundred and ten years. Seti Is reign is considered to be 11 years and not 15 years by both J. von Beckerath and Peter Brand, who wrote a biography on this pharaohs reign. Consequently, it will be amended to 11 years or 1290-1279 BC, Setis father and predecessor would have ruled Egypt between 1292-1290 BC. Many of the pharaohs were buried in the Valley of the Kings in Thebes, more information can be found on the Theban Mapping Project website.
New Kingdom Egypt reached the zenith of its power under Seti I and Ramesses II, who campaigned vigorously against the Libyans and the Hittites. The city of Kadesh was first captured by Seti I, who decided to concede it to Muwatalli of Hatti in a peace treaty between Egypt and Hatti. He ultimately accepted that a campaign against the Hittites was a drain on Egypts treasury and military. In his 21st regnal year, Ramesses signed the first recorded peace treaty with Urhi-Teshubs successor, Hattusili III, Ramesses II even married two Hittite princesses, the first after his second Sed Festival. At least as early as Josephus, it was believed that Moses lived during the reign of Ramesses II and this dynasty declined as internal fighting between the heirs of Merneptah for the throne increased. Amenmesse apparently usurped the throne from Merneptahs son and successor, Seti II, after his death, Seti regained power and destroyed most of Amenmesses monuments. Both Bay and Setis chief wife Twosret had a reputation in Ancient Egyptian folklore.
After Siptahs death, Twosret ruled Egypt for two years, but she proved unable to maintain her hold on power amid the conspiracies. She was likely ousted in a revolt led by Setnakhte, founder of the Twentieth Dynasty, Nineteenth dynasty of Egypt Family Tree
New Kingdom of Egypt
Radiocarbon dating places the exact beginning of the New Kingdom between 1570–1544 BC. The New Kingdom followed the Second Intermediate Period and was succeeded by the Third Intermediate Period and it was Egypt’s most prosperous time and marked the peak of its power. The part of period, under the Nineteenth and Twentieth Dynasties is known as the Ramesside period. It is named after the pharaohs that took the name of Ramesses I. Egyptian armies fought Hittite armies for control of modern-day Syria, the Eighteenth Dynasty contained some of Egypts most famous Pharaohs, including Ahmose I, Thutmose III, Amenhotep III, Akhenaten and Tutankhamun. Queen Hatshepsut concentrated on expanding Egypts external trade by sending an expedition to the land of Punt. Thutmose III expanded Egypts army and wielded it with success to consolidate the empire created by his predecessors. This resulted in a peak in Egypts power and wealth during the reign of Amenhotep III, during the reign of Thutmose III, originally referring to the kings palace, became a form of address for the person who was king.
Akhenatens religious fervor is cited as the reason why he was written out of Egyptian history. Under his reign, in the 14th century BC, Egyptian art flourished and attained a level of realism. Towards the end of the 18th Dynasty, the situation had changed radically, Ramesses II sought to recover territories in the Levant that had been 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 historys first recorded military ambush, although he was able to rally his troops, the outcome of the battle was undecided with both sides claiming victory at their home front, ultimately resulting in a peace treaty between the two nations. The last great pharaoh from the New Kingdom is widely considered to be Ramesses III, in the eighth year of his reign the Sea Peoples invaded Egypt by land and sea. Ramesses III defeated them in two great land and sea battles and 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 and he was compelled to fight invading Libyan tribesmen in two major campaigns in Egypts Western Delta in his sixth year and eleventh year respectively. The heavy cost of this warfare slowly drained Egypts treasury and contributed to the decline of the Egyptian Empire in Asia. Something in the air prevented much sunlight from reaching the ground, one proposed cause is the Hekla 3 eruption of the Hekla volcano in Iceland but the dating of this remains disputed
Twentieth Dynasty of Egypt
The Eighteenth and Twentieth Dynasties of Ancient Egypt collectively mark the New Kingdom. The latter two dynasties constitute an era known as the Ramesside period, the Twentieth Dynasty is considered to be the last one of the New Kingdom of Egypt, and was followed by the Third Intermediate Period. The Pharaohs of the 20th dynasty ruled for approximately 120 years, the dates and names in the table are mostly taken from Chronological Table for the Dynastic Period in Erik Hornung, Rolf Krauss & David Warburton, Ancient Egyptian Chronology, Brill,2006. Many of the pharaohs were buried in the Valley of the Kings in Thebes, more information can be found on the Theban Mapping Project website. Pharaoh Setnakhte was likely already middle aged when he took the throne after Queen Twosret and he ruled for only around 4 years when he was succeeded by his son Ramesses III. Egypt was threatened by the Sea Peoples during this time period, the king is known for a harem conspiracy in which Queen Tiye attempted to assassinate the king and put her son Pentawere on the throne.
The coup was not successful in the end, the king may have died from the attempt on his life, but it was his legitimate heir Ramesses IV who succeeded him to the throne. After this a succession of kings named Ramesses take the throne, the period of these rulers is notable for the beginning of the systematic robbing of the royal tombs. Many surviving administrative documents from this period are records of investigations and punishment for crimes, especially in the reigns of Ramses IX. As happened under the earlier Nineteenth Dynasty, this group struggled under the effects of the bickering between the heirs of Ramesses III, for instance, three different sons of Ramesses III are known to have assumed power as Ramesses IV, Ramesses VI and Ramesses VIII respectively. Smendes would eventually found the Twenty-First dynasty at Tanis, the Twentieth dynasty of Egypt was the last of the New Kingdom of Egypt. The familial relationships are unclear, especially towards the end of the dynasty, pharaoh is a historical novel by Bolesław Prus, set in Egypt at the end of the Twentieth Dynasty, which adds two fictional rulers, Ramesses XII and Ramesses XIII.
It has been adapted into a film of the same title
Thirtieth Dynasty of Egypt
The Thirtieth Dynasty of Egypt is usually classified as the fifth Dynasty of the Ancient Egyptian Late Period. It was founded after the overthrow of Nefaarud II in 380 BC by Nectanebo I, Nectanebo I had gained control of all of Egypt by November of 380 BC, but spent much of his reign defending his kingdom from Persian reconquest with the occasional help of Sparta or Athens. In 365 BC, Nectanebo made his son Teos co-king and heir, tjahepimu took advantage of Teos unpopularity within Egypt by declaring his son—and Teos nephew, Nectanebo II—king. The Egyptian army rallied around Nectanebo which forced Teos to flee to the court of the king of Persia, Nectanebo IIs reign was dominated by the efforts of the Persian rulers to reconquer Egypt, which they considered a satrapy in revolt. For the first ten years, Nectanebo avoided the Persian reconquest because Artaxerxes III was forced to consolidate his control of the realm. Artaxerxes attempted an invasion of Egypt in the winter of 351/350 BC, the repercussions of his defeat prompted revolts in Cyprus, Phoenicia.
Although Nectanebo gave support to these revolts, Artaxerxes would eventually suppress these rebellions and was again able to invade Egypt in 343 BC. This second invasion proved successful, and Nectanebo was forced to withdraw from his defenses in the Nile Delta to Memphis and he thereupon fled south to Nubia, where he is assumed to have found refuge at the court of King Nastasen of Napata. Nectanebo, may have managed to some form of independent rule in the south of Egypt for 2 more years since a document from Edfu is dated to his eighteenth year. Although a shadowy figure named Khababash proclaimed himself king and led a rebellion against the Persians from about 338 to 335 BC and his flight marked the end of Egypt as an independent entity
The Abydos Dynasty is hypothesized to have been a short-lived local dynasty ruling over parts of Upper Egypt during the Second Intermediate Period in Ancient Egypt. The Abydos Dynasty would have been contemporaneous with the Fifteenth and Sixteenth Dynasties, the existence of an Abydos Dynasty was first proposed by Detlef Franke and elaborated on by Kim Ryholt in 1997. Additionally, Wepwawetemsaf and Snaaib, another king of the period, are known from single stelae discovered in Abydos. Finally, Ryholt argues that the existence of an Abydos Dynasty would explain 16 entries of the Turin canon at the end of the 16th Dynasty. If Senebkay indeed belongs to the Abydos Dynasty, his tomb might signal the royal necropolis of this dynasty, the existence of an Abydos Dynasty is not agreed by all scholars. Thus if the Abydos Dynasty did exist, this workshop would have been producing stelae for two enemy dynasties, something which he judges to be rather unlikely. It remains unclear however, whether these two dynasties ever coexisted at any one time, for instance, in Ryholts reconstruction of the Second Intermediate Period, at the opposite, he wonders whether Senebkay might be a king of the Theban 16th Dynasty.
If the Abydos Dynasty was indeed a dynasty, the seat of its power would probably have been either Abydos or Thinis. A possible graffito of Wepwawetemsaf was discovered by Karl Richard Lepsius in the tomb BH2 of the 12th Dynasty nomarch Amenemhat at Beni Hasan, about 250 km North of Abydos, in Middle Egypt. If the attribution of this graffito is correct and if Wepwawetemsaf did belong to the Abydos Dynasty, since the dynasty was contemporaneous with the 16th Dynasty, the territory under Abydene control could not have extended farther than Hu,50 km south of Abydos
Fourth Dynasty of Egypt
The Fourth Dynasty of ancient Egypt is characterized as a golden age of the Old Kingdom. Dynasty IV lasted from c. 2613 to 2494 BC and it was a time of peace and prosperity as well as one during which trade with other countries is documented. Dynasties III, IV, V and VI are often combined under the title the Old Kingdom. The capital at time was Memphis. The Fourth Dynasty heralded the height of the pyramid-building age, the relative peace of the Third Dynasty allowed the Dynasty IV rulers the leisure to explore more artistic and cultural pursuits. Sneferu’s building experiments led to the evolution from the mastaba styled step pyramids to the smooth sided “true” pyramids, no other period in Egypt’s history equaled Dynasty IV’s architectural accomplishments. Each of the rulers of this dynasty commissioned at least one pyramid to serve as a tomb or cenotaph, the pharaohs of the Fourth Dynasty ruled for approximately 120 years, from c. 2613 to 2494 BC. The names in the table are taken from Dodson and Hilton and he constructed a number of smaller step pyramids, making him the most prolific pyramid builder of the era.
It is said that Sneferu had more stone and brick moved than any other pharaoh, sneferus chief wife was Hetepheres I, his half-sister and the mother of his son Khufu. His other two wives bore him more children, a well-liked ruler, Sneferu bolstered the power of the ruling family line by giving official titles and positions to relatives. He maintained control over the nobility by keeping a tight rein on lands and he conducted military excursions into Sinai, Nubia and began trade arrangements with Lebanon for the acquisition of cedar. Surviving from this era are the records of Egyptian contact with her neighbors. They are recorded on the Palermo stone, information carved on the stone pre-dates and antedates this dynasty. Objects dating to the reign of Khafre have been found farther away, at Ebla. Khufu is the ruler who is known in Greek as Χέοψ = Cheops and his son is Khafre and his grandson is Menkaure. All of these rulers achieved lasting fame in the construction of their pyramids at Giza. In fact, recent excavations outside the Wall of the Crow by Dr.
Mark Lehner have uncovered a city which seems to have housed, fed. Some records indicate that each household was responsible for providing a worker for civic projects, civic duties were not necessarily building projects, there were duties for the temples and festivals as well, and both men and women filled some of the positions
Ancient Egyptian religion
Ancient Egyptian religion was a complex system of polytheistic beliefs and rituals which were an integral part of ancient Egyptian society. It centered on the Egyptians interaction with many deities who were believed to be present in, and in control of, rituals such as prayers and offerings were efforts to provide for the gods and gain their favor. Formal religious practice centered on the pharaoh, the king of Egypt and he acted as the intermediary between his people and the gods and was obligated to sustain the gods through rituals and offerings so that they could maintain order in the universe. The state dedicated enormous resources to Egyptian rituals and to the construction of the temples, individuals could interact with the gods for their own purposes, appealing for their help through prayer or compelling them to act through magic. These practices were distinct from, but closely linked with, the formal rituals, the popular religious tradition grew more prominent in the course of Egyptian history as the status of the Pharaoh declined.
Another important aspect was the belief in the afterlife and funerary practices, the Egyptians made great efforts to ensure the survival of their souls after death, providing tombs, grave goods, and offerings to preserve the bodies and spirits of the deceased. The religion had its roots in Egypts prehistory and lasted for more than 3,000 years, the details of religious belief changed over time as the importance of particular gods rose and declined, and their intricate relationships shifted. At various times, certain gods became preeminent over the others, including the sun god Ra, the creator god Amun, for a brief period, in the theology promulgated by the Pharaoh Akhenaten, a single god, the Aten, replaced the traditional pantheon. Ancient Egyptian religion and mythology left behind many writings and monuments, along with significant influences on ancient, the beliefs and rituals now referred to as ancient Egyptian religion were integral within every aspect of Egyptian culture. Their language possessed no single term corresponding to the modern European concept of religion, the characteristics of the gods who populated the divine realm were inextricably linked to the Egyptians understanding of the properties of the world in which they lived.
The Egyptians believed that the phenomena of nature were divine forces in and these deified forces included the elements, animal characteristics, or abstract forces. The Egyptians believed in a pantheon of gods, which were involved in all aspects of nature and their religious practices were efforts to sustain and placate these phenomena and turn them to human advantage. This polytheistic system was complex, as some deities were believed to exist in many different manifestations. Conversely, many forces, such as the sun, were associated with multiple deities. The diverse pantheon ranged from gods with vital roles in the universe to minor deities or demons with very limited or localized functions. It could include gods adopted from foreign cultures, and sometimes humans, deceased Pharaohs were believed to be divine, and occasionally, distinguished commoners such as Imhotep became deified. The depictions of the gods in art were not meant as representations of how the gods might appear if they were visible.
Instead, these depictions gave recognizable forms to the deities by using symbolic imagery to indicate each gods role in nature