|NEW KINGDOM EGYPTIANS
AHMOSE I – In 1550 Egypt used new Hyksos weapons including the chariot, composite bow, bronze age daggers and swords)
THUTMOSE I – Continued many of the previous Egyptian religious practices, going so far as to create a secret worker city called Deir el Medina to construct his tomb
HATSEHEPSUT – In 1470 when her husband Thutmose II died, she became regent for her stepson Thutmose III – due to his age she acted as his regent but experienced a power struggle – to avoid this she declared herself Pharaoh – She became the first female to do so, and unlike her predecessors in Mesopotamia, she was very powerful
In order to avoid conflict she sometimes appeared in relief and other images with the false beard of kings. She continued the process of monument building – and put great emphasis on trade and exploration, particularly to the land of Punt.
THUTMOSE III – Minor land disagreements occurred between Egypt and the Hurrian kingdom of Mitanni until they were conquered by the Hittites who were Indo-Europeans probably from southern Russia (warlike horse riders). In 1457 The Battle of Megiddo (Armageddon in Greek) when Thutmose met a coalition of 330 princes led by the King of Kadesh – In a 7 month siege using 924 chariots (2 gold) – took 340 prisoners and 83 hands and penis’ – low casualty due to little infantry involvement. He has been called the Napoleon of Egypt – greatest size 1600 km
AKHENATON (Amenhotep IV) – In 1350 Thutmose III grandson came to power and attempted to create a religious revolution – opposing the polytheistic religion with Amon-Re at its head he instead pushed monotheism (although Pharaoh still worshipped) under the sun disc Aton – banning other forms of public worship, closing temples, building new ones, including a new capital city called Akhetaton at modern day Amarna This preoccupation led to Egyptian decline, allowing Hittite power to grow – Upon his death many attempted to erase his legacy including the religion and all mention – defacing his temples, removing his name and face from buildings and having his steles destroyed – He was the forgotten pharaoh and was later viewed as a criminal – of note was his change to realistic art portrayals of he and his family, which first included his mother Tiy, and later Nefertiti
TUTANKHAMON – In 1336 his successor came to power at age 8, and under the pressure of his advisors he is best known for restoring Egyptian polytheistic religion
He died mysteriously at age 18 – long thought to have died of tuberculosis later a sharp blow causing cranial damage was discovered - perhaps hunting, fighting, or murder. Upon his death his wife feared that she would be deposed so she offered marriage to a Hittite prince who accepted but mysteriously never arrived – she then married Ah (her/Tuts grandfather?) who had Tuts name removed from many inscriptions and left off some King lists – He was soon replaced by the general Horemhed who entered in a new dynasty. Tuts reign is insignificant, but the discovery of his tomb by Howard Carter (with Lord Carnavon) – which was intact gave a great insight.
RAMSES II – Horemhed had no heirs so when he died his crown passed to another general, Ramses I, who was also of his viziers (there were two at this time, one for upper and lower Egypt) they could arbitrate land claims and collect taxes but would be dealt with severely if they abused their power (noses cut off) – Ramses I son Seti I was Ramses II father who reigned for 67 years until 1224 – he brought stability back to Egypt where he continued the reestablishment of religion, increased trade, and military achievements – the most significant of which was the battle of Kadesh when the Syrian principality Amurru switched allegiances from Egypt to the Hittites – the army of Ramses II ( 20,000 infantry and 3,500 2 man chariots) met that of Mutwallis II (17,000 infantry and a similar number of 3 man chariots) both of which included many Sardinian and Nubian mercenaries. It was fought to a draw, creating a treaty which declared their spheres of influence, sealed when Ramses married a Hittite princess. Ramses other claims to fame include his siring of 90 legitimate heirs and at least 60 others – but he is best remembered for his building projects which include the two temples at Abu Simbel, a new capital at Pi Ramses. He later became the subject of Shelley’s Ozmandias which mocked the vanity of power because of his numerous building projects and self images. When he died he was mummified in the Delta, sialed 400 miles to Thebes and the Valley of Kings where his 60 year old son and successor Merenptah presided over an elaborate entombment.
MERENPTAH & RAMSES III– Invasion by Libyans and the sea peoples around 1220 and a Nubian revolt were initially put down, but they, along with poor grain yield which caused famine created internal strife and his heirs experienced a constant power struggle, particularly Ramses III who discovered an elaborate plot by a minor queen to kill him and have her son placed on the throne – they were put on trial and found guilty by 12 judges – Ramses III died soon after – but no sign of murder. Although they did not keep up the building prowess of Ramses II they continued the process – but not all Egyptians were happy with the conditions, in fact the first recorded strike in history occurred in 1165 because of delays in food supplies
By 570 the Greeks had massacred the Egyptians, and had been conquered by Persia in 526. Intervals of independence occurred, but they were once again conquered, this time by Alexander the great later coming under the rule of his general Ptolemy and then it became a province of Rome by 30 BCE around the time of Cleopatra