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Intermediate Periods of Egypt

The history of Egypt is colorful and rich in well-known and unforgettable events. Each nation has its own division by the periods, which can be more successful or less successful. It depends on diversity factors such as geographical position: climate, availability or lack of water, surrounded by mountains; number of people living on the area, age and size of the country, the degree of development of man as a rational being. Ancient history of Egypt divides into three periods: The First Intermediate Period, The Second Intermediate Period and The Third Intermediate Period.

The First Intermediate Period is often named a ’’dark period’’ of Egyptian history. It includes periodic frames with 2181 to 2055 BC. Unfortunately, because of the shortage of the evidences mankind can not have an idea about what actually have been happening at the time. There were two political forces: Upper Egypt and Low Egypt. The confrontation between two powerful political forces created a lot of problems for the population.  The violation of working of the temples, plunder and destruction of the holy places, a great deal artworks and the statues of the imperators were vandalized. The population was impoverished constant raids by feuding parties. It is the age of degrade art. By the end of the period two parties had to join their forces to fight against the Theban kings to conquer the north. This happened during the reign of the second part of the 11-th dynasty.

The Second Intermediate Period marked by the second confusion in the period between the middle and new kingdoms. It includes periodic frames with 1650 to 1550 BC. After the fall of the dynasty of Egypt, XIII splits into separate nomes.  XIV dynasty established in Ksoise, but actually controlled only a part of the Delta. The period distinguishes that event when the Hyksos invaded the eastern part of the Nile Delta. These raiders came from West Asia. They captured the North-Eastern Egypt with their own capital at Memphis. After the fall of the dynasty of Egypt, XIII splits into separate nomes.  About 1675 BC Hyksos invaded Egypt, creating in the middle XVII century BC extensive tribal alliance in Palestine and northern Arabia, and subject him to a terrible defeat. They capture the Delta and make their capital fortress of Avaris in the eastern part. They used horses in warfare, unlike Egyptians, thereby this contributed to the success.

Hyksos leaders took the title of pharaoh (XV-XVI Dynasty). However, they can not make real subordination of the valley of the Nile, under their authority, is actually only Lower Egypt. Although part of Nomarh recognizes the Hyksos rule, this dependence is more formal, and it is limited to the payment of tribute.

Thebes formed an independent state in the south of Upper Egypt. Only in the early XVII century BC Hyksos Pharaoh Hianu brought under control over Upper Egypt. But after his death Thebes regain independence, and proclaim themselves as the rulers of the Theban Pharaohs (XVII Dynasty). The last representative was Camos, who subordinates others nomes in Upper Egypt and, despite the opposition of the nobility, began fighting for the expulsion of the Hyksos with the support of ordinary soldiers. He makes a successful trip to the Delta and forces them to retreat to Avaris. Ahmose I – the brother and successor Kamose achieved the decisive turn in the war against the foreigners: he scores several victories and captures after three years of siege Avaris. The expulsion of Hyksos completes by taking the fortress Sharuhen in southern Palestine in 1554 BC.

The Middle Kingdom - the era of the history of ancient Egypt between 2040 and 1783 (or 1640) BC, accounting rule of dynasty (XII-XIII) pharaohs. Peak foreign policy successes Kings XII dynasty falls on the board of Senusret III (1872-1853 BC), who made four campaign in Nubia (the system of Egyptian forts moved with him up to the area of modern Semn and Kumm between  2nd and 3rd threshold) and a large campaign to Asia (to the city of Shechem in Palestine). The scope and results of wars Senusret III were unprecedented in Egyptian history, and memories of them in the 1st millennium BC became the basis of the prestige of supporting Egyptian legends of the great king and conqueror.

The beginning of the Middle Kingdom is 2040 BC, when the Theban king Mentuhotep I overthrew Pharaoh of Gerakleopolya. Pharaohs XI, and especially XII dynasty, restored the overall Egyptian irrigation system that existed in the era of the Old Kingdom, focusing in the hands of the human and material resources of the country. Overall XII dynasty Amenemhet - Sesostris (1991 - 1783 BC), Especially Senusret III, managed to stabilize the country and turn Egypt into a strong state that has a powerful military and economic potential. Relying on it, XII dynasty has conducted successful policy of conquest. Continued development of Fayoum, for example, of this swamp built a palace, known to the Greeks as the Labyrinth. Great strides have been made in the development of Nubia, which were discovered rich gold mines. In an effort to capture its dominance in the gold districts of northern Nubia, Egyptians paved roads, built the fortress of cities such Buhena. Nubia virtually became a province of Egypt. Expanded the Egyptian influence in the eastern Mediterranean, where the Egyptians got copper, silver, gold and lumber. Overall, with the XII dynasty Egypt turned into quite a major power in the Middle East, and appropriation of large areas followed by the seizure of large quantities of slaves, cattle wealth. In the Middle period kingdom emerged "middle class" of Egyptian society, however, exploitation of the "king's men" led to an aggravation of the social situation.

The time is the weak centralized Egyptian state. When the Egyptian kings XI dynasty was ruling single Egypt, resumed large-scale construction (funerary temple of Mentuhotep II at Deir el-Bahri, near Thebes), and foreign policy activity (wars in Asia, the expedition to Punt far), but the threat of strife still remained. Egypt was truly united under the rule of a new dynasty XII (1976-1794 BC). The founder of the royal house of Amenemhet I (1976-1947 BC) came from Thebes, or, at least, was Supreme dignitary of the previous king in this city. After becoming king, he chose to move his residence in a well-fortified city Ittaui at the turn of the Upper and Lower Egypt. Fayum Oasis (the so-called Land of Lakes) was not far from the new capital, where the kings of Dynasty XII conducted extensive irrigation. Amenemhat I undertook reforms associated with the specification limits nomes and, apparently, of the creation of the distribution of the labor force in the country. On the eastern edge of the Delta, he built a system of fortifications called "The Wall of the ruler." Thanks to it Egyptian influence was restored in Asia, conducted a successful war in Nubia and Libya.  Senusret I – the sun and co-ruler of Amenemhat I distinguished in these wars during his life.

In Nubia was built a whole system of Egyptian fortified settlements until the 2nd threshold Nile during the reign of Senusret I (1947-1911 BC). Internal stability in Egypt further strengthened by the fact, that the country finally came out of the pores of severe aridity in the second half of his reign. One of the greatest writers of the time, noble Heti, praised renewal truly full-flowing river spills in the ’’Hymn to the Nile’’and the king, is confident in his ability to get the desired reward of the gods of the ritual, he added to his special epithet - "Lord of sacrifice."

Increasingly, small rulers began to speak out against centralized power. Social crisis brought an end to the Middle kingdom. In XIII-XVII dynasty begins the second period of decay. The conquest of Egypt finished thanks to the invasion of the nomadic Hyksos (about 1750 BC), who came from Syria. Horses and chariots (chariots were unfamiliar Egyptians) invaders passed through the northern Sinai, built a building in the town of Tel al-Debat and moved toward the Delta, and then turned south. The scale of the devastation caused by the Hyksos major Egyptian cities, one can only guess as there is no documentary evidence of the state of urban Countries to its occupation.

About 1783 BC social contradictions have led, obviously, to the explosion of popular discontent. For a short time, power passed into the hands of the people. Incurred heavy internal situation in the country took advantage of a mixed ethnic group, known as the Hyksos. Hyksos could occupy the entire Delta, and then to extend their power and in Upper Egypt. Middle Kingdom of Egypt ended, and a period of domination of the Hyksos, the so-called second transitional period (1640-1552 BC).

The word "Hyksos" is Egyptian and meant only first Hyksos pharaohs (literally "Hyksos" means "foreign rulers" or "King of the Shepherds"), and then the whole Hyksos tribe. True self Hyksos is unknown. Most scientists, based on the analysis of Hyksos names (Yakobher, Salitis) and quotations from the writings of Josephus, Manetho, referred to the Semitic Hyksos tribes.

Shortly after the accession of the Theban dynasty imperial residence was moved to the north – Ittaui is a new town, built near Memphis, near the pyramids of the Old kingdom. The pharaohs of the Middle Kingdom - Amenemhet and Senusret - also built a pyramid tomb, although not used strong army of builders, as it did the kings of old age. In order to be able to achieve its ambitious construction plans, they have devised a method simplifies the matter: they began to use the structure of precursors. Grave-diggers were on the alert: this time dated wooden sarcophagi, which related to the Union thieves disguised artisans, make holes. It is not surprising, therefore, that almost all the pyramids of the Middle Kingdom, dating from about 1650 BC up until the time of the New Kingdom (around 1554 BC. e.) were devastated.

The struggle for the liberation of their country from the foreigners led Ahmose I, founder of the New Kingdom (XVIII-XX Dynasty), who expended the hated invaders. The first enslaved countries had an influence on the character of the Egyptians. The understanding that the borders must be protected and this should not only defeat the enemy on their own land, but to pursue it on foreign soil. Thanks to a desire to ensure the national security of the country, came the ambition of military expansion, which was characteristically of the New Kingdom.

New rulers constantly worried thought about how to make their own tombs more reliable. In the end they decided that the very location they should serve to protect them from robbery: Tomb of deified kings was carved into the cliffs to the west of Thebes, in a secluded desert canyon Biban el Moluk ("Gates of the Kings", or "King's Court", which we know as the Valley of the Kings.