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date: 17 April 2024

Egypt, pre-Ptolemaiclocked

Egypt, pre-Ptolemaiclocked

  • Alan Brian Lloyd

Extract

Egypt began its historic period c. 3200 bce. By a convention derived from *Manetho this era is divided into 31 dynasties which are currently grouped into several phases: the Thinite or Archaic period (Dynasties 1–2, c. 3200–2700) is the formative stage of pharaonic civilization. The Old Kingdom (Dynasties 3–4, c. 2700–2159) sees the establishment of a highly centralized state which peaked in the Fourth Dynasty with the builders of the Giza pyramids. Foreign relations, peaceful and otherwise, were maintained with Nubia to the south, Libya, and Asia, but there was no attempt to establish an empire. Culturally, this age is distinguished by work of the highest quality in architecture, sculpture, and painting. The fabric of government collapsed at the end of the Sixth Dynasty to create the First Intermediate period (Dynasties 7–mid-11, c. 2159–2040), an age of political dissolution and cultural decline. The country was reunited by Montuhotep II c.

Subjects

  • Near East

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