The Three Major Periods Of Ancient Egypt History

Ancient Egypt is one of the most mysterious cultures there is in the world. There were no enough facts or writings about this civilization except those which were written Manetho who was Egyptian priest. He divided the history of Ancient Egypt in 31 dynasties while the modern historians limited the divisions into three major periods which students, professors and other people follows in present. These periods were separated by an era called intermediate period which shows the decline of the Egyptian government.

Egypt was a blessed country.

It has a lot of barriers which protects the whole nation from invasion and attacks. Despite of this barriers being present around the vicinity of the Egyptian sanctuary, it does not affect the trade they have with other places like Mesopotamia. This location played a very important role in shaping the history of their people and their land. The major periods of Egypt’s history includes the old Kingdom which dates from 2686 to 2181 B. C. , the Middle Kingdom which reigned from 2055 to 1650 B. C. and the last division which is known as the New Kingdom. What are the basic features of each period?

These three major periods have differences from each other. Each of these divisions has basic features which stood differently from one another. Although some of the characteristics were so much alike with a certain period, still there is a difference especially when we try to look at the success of this period. The first period we have to tackle is the Old Kingdom era which is a prosperous period in the Ancient Egypt History.

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This is the time when there were a number of populated areas in the whole Lower and Upper Egypt which was united by Djoser who became the Pharaoh of the land.

He united the upper and lower part of Egypt and it all resulted to prosperity both in culture and way of living. At this time, Pharaohs were very powerful and started the building of Pyramids and tombs which remains to be famous in present. At first, Egypt was ruled by tribal chieftains until the land was united. This is the period of stability in the Egyptian history because there was a strong monarchy and there was relief that there will be no invasion. Included in this period is the third to sixth dynasty wherein Memphis became the capital of the whole country.

In this period, Kings were treated as god-like, the god of their land. People followed them and considered them as divine instruments who follows a set of principles. Before Middle Kingdom started, a decline happened which marked the first intermediate period. Low level of the Nile River and the decline in rainfall resulted to starvation since their main means of food was farming. The coming of the Middle Kingdom introduced another success in the Egyptian History. There was prosperity again all over the land and the government sought after expansion of their land.

The eleventh dynasty started the reign of this period wherein trade with foreign countries and places started. However, the power of the king did not fully come back as it was before. The villagers were already used in their independence and freedom which was one of the reasons why the kings did not have enough power anymore like the Pharaohs of the Old Kingdom. Again, Egypt became prosperous and political order went back into the way it used to be except the power of the king. This time, they took another route by having expansion as they move towards South.

Also during this time, the capital was moved into another place and the building of tombs were simpler that the Old Kingdom period. This time, they made use of small stones and bricks to make smaller pyramids. The last period known as the New Kingdom was also a time of prosperity. Kings asked for higher taxes which made the land wealthy. At the same time, the rulers and the government were concerned with their people. This era was ruled by warrior kings who protected the land from invasion. What elements of continuity are there in the three periods?

Talking about the element of continuity which each period have, we would find out that they have a common denominator. Despite of the fact that all of these periods established their identity already, there are still some things which they have in common. Each period is being separated by an intermediate era wherein it shows the decline that Egypt hand during the Ancient times. Although several dynasties followed each period, it wasn’t enough to compare the success which the Kingdoms had. Also, as sign of prosperity, each period had a lot of pyramids which were part of their characteristics.

What are their major differences? As we drew closer to the end of this paper, we have to identify their differences from each other since in the above heading, we tried to figure out the elements of continuity which they have which actually falls down in figuring out their similarities. The only difference that really caused a lot of impact in the history of Ancient Egypt was the people’s belief and religion. In the first period, the kings were treated as god which was lessened in the middle period since this time, kings do not have much power anymore.

The last period made the greatest impact when Amenhotep IV introduced a religion and did not mind the situation of the whole land.


Humphreys, Andrew, Jenkins, Siona, Farfour, Gadi, Fletcher, Joann and Sattin Anthony. Egypt. Lonely Planet. Brewer, Douglas and Teeter, Emily. Egypt and Egyptians. Cambridge University Press, 2007. The Ancient Near East: The First Civilizations. Hooker, Richard. World Civilizations, Ancient Egyptian, History and peoples: The Valley of the Nile. 1996. http://www. wsu. edu/~dee/EGYPT/HISTORY. HTM

Updated: Jun 05, 2020
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The Three Major Periods Of Ancient Egypt History essay
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