Christian Bayer, Susanne Petschel

The fascinating culture and history of the Egyptians was once the most powerful of the antiquity.

Here you can find a briefly summary of the most important information and events to attune on this breathtaking exhibition.

Prehistory: 5500 – 3100 b. C.

Due to climate change the Nile valley and the Nile delta was settled by the Egyptians. The fertile grounds allowed a regular harvest and hunter and gatherers could become settled farmers. Bigger and more complex societies were developed. Shaping of political units. Conflicts between Upper- and Loweregypt began. First characteristics of religious perceptions. First big graves for fallen kings. Development of writing.

Early Period:

1st and 2nd Dynasty(around 3032 – 2707 b. C.)

Formation of the state. Unification under King Horus Aha. Forming of the government and organization of the state, Memphis became state capital, Abydos will become the royal graveyard.

Establishment of a system regime with holy royalty and a leading king.

Old realm:

3rd till 8th Dynasty (around 2707 – 2170 b. C.)

First continuously phase of cultural and materialistic wealth. First monumental masonry construction, the step pyramid of Djoser by Saqqara. Construction of the big pyramids Giza – The Egyptian Sun temples by Abusir –  Fall of the central power

First interval:

9th till 11th Dynasty (around 2170 – 1976 b. C.)

A period of instability. Civil wars of many principalities for the supremacy in Egypt. Collapse of the supply system. Starvation within the land. Defeat of the princes of Herakleopolis. Princes of Theben rule over all of Egypt. Shift of the royal residence to Theben. Spreading of the Osiris-belief.

Middle Realm:

12th till 14th Dynasty (around 1976 – 1648 b. C.)

Second phase of wealth. Shift of the royal residence to Lischt. Military campaign to southbound Nubian. Navigability of the rapids from the 1st  Nile cataract by Elephantine. Occupation of Nubian. Construction of fortifications by the southern border. Blossom of the literature, arts, science and architecture built on the traditions of the old realm. Resumption of pyramid construction, most of all by Lischt and Dahschur. God Amun arose as “King of the Gods” with residency within the temple of Karnak (Theben). Immigration of the West Semitic people (Hyksos) in the Nile delta.

Second interval:

15th till 17th Dynasty (around 1648 – 1550 b. C.)

Another collapse of the central power. Egyptian princes in upper Egypt ruled parallel to the Hyksos by the Delta. The leader of the Hyksos claim privileges of kings and enthrone themselves as such. The Hyksos beginn trade relations within the greek-mycenaean region and in kerma (Nubien). Increasing militant hostilities with the Egypt. Ahmose, the founder of the 18. Dynasty, succeeded by conquering Auaris and therefor defeating the Hyksos. Technological innovations through the Hyksos within the military like horse and chariot, close combat and range weapons or in everyday life gadgets like the spinning potter’s wheel.

New Realm:

18th till 20th Dynasty (around 1550 -1069 b. C.)

Egypts golden era. Foundation of the royal necropolis within the valley of the kings. Military campaign towards Syria and Palestine under command of Thutmose III. biggest territorial expansion of Egypt. The god Amun receives universal importance. The “ Hereticking” Echnaton constructs monotheism by worshiping Atons. Shift of the royal residence from Theben to Amarna (middle Egypt). Rehabilitation of the traditional Godpantheon by Tutankhamun. Under command of the Ramessidian shift of the royal residence to Pi-Ramesse not far from Auaris in the delta. Wars against the Hattian empire, peaking in the battle of Kadesh. Closing of ranks between the two empires until the passing of the Hattian empire through the Maritime nations. Invasionattemps of the Maritime Nations, Libyan and Nubian in Egypt. Economical riots towards the end of the new realm.

Third interval:

21st – 24th Dynasty (around 1069 – 714 b. C.)

Smendes (Founder of the 21st Dynasty) reigned from Tanis in the Delta in the north of Egypt. The archpriests of Amun had conrol over the southern part of the land. Due to matrimony politics, both domains have a relationship. Phases of competing kings of various Dynasties – The princes of Sais (Delta) expand their domain on the whole Nile delta. Pije, ruler of the Kush realm (today in Sudan) advanced southbound towards Memphis.

Late Age:

25th – 31st Dynasty (Around 746 – 332 b. C.)

Under ruling of king Kashta the Nubian empire of Kush established themselves and founded the 25th Dynasty, which had a phase of wealth until the invasion of the Assyrian under reign of king Esarhaddon 671 b. C. – The Assyrian enthroned a prince of Sais. While the 26th Dynasty the rehabilitation of a unified government succeeded. Time of international politics, formation of alliances against the new, upraising might of the Persian ( Achaemendis) – 525 Egypt falls in the hands of the Achaemendis (27th Dynasty). Revolts against the persian, king Amyrtaeus succeeds banishing them. – Usurpation of the throne by princes from the delta. (29th Dynasty). – With Nektanebo I. from Sebennytos the last native Dynasty (30th Dynasty) beginns. Then Egypt yet again falls in the hands of the Persian (31st Dynasty).

The Greek Ruler:

(332 – 306 b. C.)

332 b. C. Alexander the Great, Founder of the Hellenism, conquered Egypt in the “new era of world history”. He claimed the power over Egypt which was verified  by the famous oracle of the god Amun. Development and Foundation of the city Alexandria (331 b. C.).

Ptolemaic – roman era

(306 b. C. – 313 b. C.)

Alexandria becomes the capital. A gerneral of Alexander founds the sovereign dynasty of the Ptolemy, which rules for about 300 years – within the Mediterranean Sea metropolis a unique center of science, knowledge and  research arises – Intense diplomatic relationship to Rome. Bond between Cesar and Cleopatra later with Antonius. From 30 b. C. Egypt becomes an roman province.