Ancient Kingdoms: Egyptian Empire

The Egyptian Empire is one of Africa’s earliest kingdoms that made huge civilization strides well before its time. From the great pyramids of the old kingdom to the military invasions of the new kingdom, Egypt was a force to reckon with.

Historians have it that the ancient civilization began around 3100 BC and was initially concentrated along the River Nile banks. In ancient Egyptian History, there were dynasties that consisted of rulers who shared a common faith. According to History, Egypt had 32 pharaonic dynasties. To make it easier for scholars, these dynasties were grouped into:

  • Kingdoms
  • Intermediate periods

The following are the kingdoms of Egypt in chronological order:

  • Old kingdom
  • Middle kingdom
  • New kingdom

Old Kingdom

The kingdom existed between 2686 to 2181 BC. It is the age that they discovered pyramids; thus, it was also called `Age of the Pyramids’. King Sneferu was their ruler, and he perfected the art of pyramid building. Other kings such as Kufu, Menkaure and Khafre who came after him built the pyramids of Giza.

Additionally, the first peak of civilization was experienced during this period. The Egyptians also constructed ships, constructed wooden planks and established trading of goods.

Middle Kingdom

The middle kingdom spanned from 2000 to 1700 BC. It was a season characterized by the unification of Egypt and was led by Mentuhotep II of the 11th dynasty. It was a full-blown civilization empire where they had their common language and religion. They also had a government in place.

Additionally, political instability led to a second intermediate period. The instability attracted an invasion by the Hyksos. They originated from the Middle East and imposed political dominance over the natives. They also brought forth new technological inventions, new breeds of animals, crops and pottery techniques that were non-existent at that time.

Lastly, it was during this period that the agrarian revolution began.

New Kingdom

During the period known as the New Kingdom which ran from 1550 to 1077 BC was the most affluent time and saw the peak of its supremacy over other kingdoms. During this period, Egypt had a powerful military with superior weapons and tactics. Additionally, they had a well-organized tax collection system that saw the kingdom grow in wealth.

This period began with the expulsion of the Hyksos from Egypt and normalcy was restored. Their government was fully back in place, and they had a female ruler for the first time. Her name was Hatshepsut, and she was instrumental in building stronger trade relations with other kingdoms.

Hatshepsut foresaw the construction of many projects and a magnificent mortuary at Dier-el-Bahri. That is not all; she ordered the repair of hundreds of temples that had sustained damage over the years or had been neglected previously.


The ancient Egyptian kingdom is one of Africa’s most prestigious civilizations. They invented many ornaments and better ways to do agriculture. Most of which are still practised today. If you want to learn more about this empire, click on the following links:

Ancient Egypt 101 | National Geographic

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