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Ancient Egypt

New Kingdom

History >> Ancient Egypt

The "New Kingdom" is a period of time during the history of Ancient Egypt. It lasted from around 1520 BC to 1075 BC. The New Kingdom was the golden age of the civilization of Ancient Egypt. It was a time of wealth, prosperity, and power.

What dynasties ruled during the New Kingdom?

The Eighteenth, Nineteenth, and Twentieth Egyptian Dynasties ruled during the New Kingdom. They included some of the most famous and powerful of all the Egyptian pharaohs such as Ramses II, Thutmose III, Hatshepsut, Tutankhamun and Akhentaten.

Rise of the New Kingdom

Before the New Kingdom of Egypt was a time called the Second Intermediate Period. During this time, a foreign people called the Hyksos ruled northern Egypt. Around 1540 BC, a ten-year-old named Ahmose I became king of Lower Egypt. Ahmose I became a great leader. He defeated the Hyksos and united all of Egypt under one rule. This began the period of the New Kingdom.

Tomb at the Valley of the Kings
Photo by Haloorange
Egyptian Empire

It was during the New Kingdom that the Egyptian Empire conquered the most lands. Pharaohs launched wide ranging expeditions taking over lands to the south (Kush, Nubia) and lands to the east (Israel, Lebanon, Syria). At the same time, Egypt expanded trade with many external nations and kings. They used gold mines in Nubia to gain great wealth and to import luxury goods from around the world.


The pharaohs of the New Kingdom used their wealth to build massive temples to the gods. The city of Thebes continued to be the cultural center of the empire. The Temple of Luxor was built at Thebes and grand additions were made to the Temple of Karnak. Pharaohs also built monumental Mortuary Temples to honor themselves as gods. These included Abu Simbel (built for Ramses II) and the Temple of Hatshepsut.

Valley of the Kings

One of the most famous archeological sites from the New Kingdom is the Valley of the Kings. Starting with the Pharaoh Thutmose I, the New Kingdom pharaohs were buried in the Valley of the Kings for 500 years. The most famous tomb in the Valley of the Kings is the tomb of Pharaoh Tutankhamun which was discovered largely intact. It was filled with treasure, art, and King Tut's mummy.

Fall of the New Kingdom

It was during the reign of Ramesses III that the powerful Egyptian Empire began to weaken. Ramesses III had to fight many battles including an invasion by the Sea Peoples and tribesmen from Libya. These wars, combined with severe drought and famine, caused unrest throughout Egypt. In the years after Ramesses III died, internal corruption and infighting in the central government became worse. The last pharaoh of the New Kingdom was Ramesses XI. After his reign, Egypt was no longer united and the Third Intermediate Period began.

Third Intermediate Period

The Third Intermediate Period was a time when Egypt was generally divided and under attack from foreign powers. They first came under attack from the Kingdom of Kush from the south. Later, the Assyrians attacked and managed to conquer much of Egypt around 650 BC.

Interesting Facts About the New Kingdom of Egypt Activities

More information on the civilization of Ancient Egypt:

Timeline of Ancient Egypt
Old Kingdom
Middle Kingdom
New Kingdom
Late Period
Greek and Roman Rule

Monuments and Geography
Geography and the Nile River
Cities of Ancient Egypt
Valley of the Kings
Egyptian Pyramids
Great Pyramid at Giza
The Great Sphinx
King Tut's Tomb
Famous Temples
Egyptian Food, Jobs, Daily Life
Ancient Egyptian Art
Entertainment and Games
Egyptian Gods and Goddesses
Temples and Priests
Egyptian Mummies
Book of the Dead
Ancient Egyptian Government
Women's Roles
Hieroglyphics Examples
Amenhotep III
Cleopatra VII
Ramses II
Thutmose III

Inventions and Technology
Boats and Transportation
Egyptian Army and Soldiers
Glossary and Terms

Works Cited

History >> Ancient Egypt

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