Old Middle New Kingdoms

Ancient Egyptian history comprises three principal kingdoms. The pyramids date from the Old Kingdom (2670-2150 BC), when lively trade made ambitious building projects possible. Ruling from the nearby capital of Memphis, Pharaoh Zoser and his chief architect, Imhotep, built the pyramid at Saqqara. Subsequent Pharaohs constructed ever larger temples and pyramids, culminating in the

Gulfof Solium

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Sid i Barani


Mars a Matruh


Sidi Abdel RahmarW*

International Airport


00 Memphis HDahshur H/ Pyramid ropr Meidum

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Qattara Depression al-Fayoum1

? South Gala Plateau

Wadi Rayyan Protectorate



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Far afra



Great Sand Sea limestone Plateau

Temples of Abu Simbej


O Wad i Haifa

Uweinat (2000m)

mighty pyramids of Giza built for Cheops, Chephren and Mycerinus.

The Middle Kingdom (2056-1650 BC) was marked by the rise of a new and illustrious capital at Thebes (Luxor). It was during the New Kingdom (1550-1076 BC), however, that ancient Egyptian culture blossomed. Wonders such as the Temple of Karnak and the West Bank tombs were the visible expression of a rich culture that established Egypt, under the great dynasties of Tuthmosis and Ramses, as the greatest regional power.

From Alexander to Independence

From 1184 BC, Egypt disintegrated into local principalities and it wasn't until Alexander the Great arrived in the 4th century BC that the country was reunited. For the next 300 years Egypt was ruled from Alexandria by the descendants of his general, Ptolemy. The Romans arrived in 31 BC, leaving behind little to show for their occupation except the introduction of Christianity in AD 2.

In AD 640, Arab armies brought Islam to Egypt. With it came a cultural revival and the foundation of Cairo in AD 969 by the Fatimid dynasty. Arts and sciences flourished and trade brought wealth into the country. The Turks found the prize irresistible, and in the early 16th century, Egypt became part of the Ottoman Empire. The French followed suitin the 19th century under Napoleon, and the British made Egypt a protectorate during WWI.

0 150 km

0 190 miles

0 150 km

0 190 miles

After nearly 2000 years of colonisation, revolution resulted in self-rule in 1952. Nasser became Egypt's first president in 1956, establishing his authority by buying out French and British claims to the Suez Canal but losing the 1967 war with Israel. His successor, Sadat, concluded the second war with Israel with the controversial 1979 Camp David Agreement. Widely blamed for betraying pan-Arabist principles, Sadat was assassinated in 1981.

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