1570BC to 1070BC
The new kingdom period includes dynasties 18, 19, and 20. It lasted five hundred years.
The area of the Golden Crescent, marked in yellow on the map to the left, is where the first city/states developed in the third millennium BC. This area is now Iraq, Southern Turkey, Syria, and Lebanon. In the past it was where Babylonian and the Assyrian kings, some mentioned in the Bible, dominated the "cultured" world for hundreds of years.
In this early period Egypt had barely begun to develop a culture. But by 1500 BC these once proud cities bowed before the power of Egypt.
Egyptian culture and power reached its pinnacle in the New Kingdom. Egyptian dominance is indicated in Red on the map above. The great pharaohs of this period were indeed god like beings in charge of a vast earthly empire.
Kamose, the last Theban king of the 19th Dynasty, was succeeded by his brother, Ahmose I. To him, the ancient Egyptian historian Mantheo granted the honor of starting a new Dynasty and inaugurating a new period of Egyptian history. Ahmose I expelled the remaining Hyksos from areas in the Delta, and thus he reunified the two-lands. For the third time in Egyptian history the land was again united by the people of upper Egypt.
To this period belongs Akhenaten, religious heretic and monotheist. Almost as famous was his wife: Nefertiti. A successor to Akhenaten was the boy pharaoh Tutankhamun, whose almost intact tomb was lost for three millennia and found again in 1922 by Howard Carter.
The most important leader of the New Kingdom was Ramesses II, who ruled 67 years and is commonly known as `Ramesses the Great'. He became pharaoh at 25 and was older than 90 when he died. No other pharaoh built as many temples, colossal statues and obelisks, nor fathered as many children. His image today is still found in Temples and stele all over Egypt.
For most of the new kingdom Egypt was ruled from Thebes, known in ancient times as Wast. The new kingdom pharaohs were buried on the west side of the Nile across from Thebes. In general they were buried in the valley of the kings, and queens buried in the valley of the queens. Like the Old Kingdom pharaohs each pharaoh had a funerary temple where he could be worshiped as a god, but unlike the old kingdom pharaohs the funerary temple was not directly connected to the pharaoh's tomb.
|The valley of the kings is a relatively small area although from its name you might expect it to be big. Even pictures don't help you get much feeling for the scale of the place. But the most of the graves lie in a square about three athletic fields high by three athletic fields wide (300m x 300m) .|
Plan of the Valley of the Kings
View of the Valley of the Kings
Entrance to Tutankhamun's Tomb
is in the Center of the Picture
|The graves of the pharaohs are cut into the mountains and the floor of the valley. Here is a plan of Seti I's grave, one of the deeper more complex rock cut tombs.|
|The most famous tomb discovery in Egypt belongs to the Tomb of Tutankhamun the new kingdom child pharaoh who ruled Egypt for ten years until his unexplained death at age 17. Tutankhamun's tomb was robbed soon after he was buried but remained mostly intact and was resealed by the Necropolis priests. It was found again in November 1922 by Howard Carter.|
More Objects from King Tutankhamun's Tomb
More History and Artifacts from the New Kingdom Pharaohs.