Ancient Egyptian Dynasties - Major Time Periods in Ancient Egypt History
The main ancient Egyptian history time periods are:
Ancient Egyptian History - Dynasties
Ancient Egyptian History covered so many years that it is divided into various time periods, as shown above. There were a total of 31 dynasties each consisting of a succession of kings from the same family who succeeded each other on the throne of Egypt by right of inheritance.
The First, Second and Third Intermediate Periods
The Ancient Egyptian dynasties are grouped into periods of stability referred to as 'kingdoms' and periods of division, destruction and chaos referred to as an 'Intermediate Period'. The stable kingdoms were the Old Kingdom, the Middle Kingdom and the New Kingdom. The end of the Old Kingdom was followed by First Intermediate Period, the end of the Middle Kingdom was followed by the Second Intermediate Period and the decline of the New Kingdom was followed by the Third Intermediate Period that ended with the 26th Dynasty and the start of the Late Period. For additional information refer to:
Egyptian History and the Intermediate Period - Limited Information
The times in ancient Egyptian history referred to as an Intermediate period brought only minor changes to the civilization of the ancient Egyptians. Due to the chaotic nature of the various administrations of the First, Second and Third Intermediate period in ancient Egypt very little documentation survived. Manuscripts were destroyed as were statues, steles and other monuments. Details of the names of kings and the dates that they reigned were also destroyed. Only a brief outline of the people and events of the First, Second and Third Intermediate period is therefore possible.
Intermediate Period and the Nomarchs
Ancient Egypt was divided into 42 regions called 'nomes' that dated to the Predynastic Period (before 3100 BC). These nomes originally existed as autonomous city-states. At the head of each Nome stood a Nomarch, a governor of the region. When the national government was strong, the Nomarchs acted as the king's appointed governors. However, when the central government was weak the Nomarchs asserted control over their regions. During the Intermediate period these powerful men were therefore in place to challenge the power and the establishment of the monarchy.
The First Intermediate Period
The end of the Old Kingdom saw the start of the First Intermediate Period. The chaotic events started in this period is aptly described as "Seventy rulers in seventy days". The there were conflicts between the Kings of Memphis and the Kings of Herakleopolis but the land of Egypt was eventually reunited by King Mentuhotep II leading to the stability of the Middle Kingdom.
The Second Intermediate Period
The end of the Middle Kingdom saw the start of the Second Intermediate Period, which was first dominated by the rulers based at the cities of It-tawy and Xois. However the main development of this Intermediate period was the invasion and rule of the Hyksos.
The Third Intermediate Period
The end of the New Kingdom saw the start of the Third Intermediate Period, another period of foreign rulers and a chaotic Egyptian government. The foreign rulers started with the Libyans which was challenged by Harsiese who succeeded in gaining independence for Thebes. The came the rule of the City States followed by the conquest of Egypt by the Nubians. Ancient Egypt then entered the time period referred to as the Late Kingdom.