Pre-dynastic history:

Beginning just before the Pre dynastic period, Egyptian culture was already beginning to resemble greatly the Paranoiac ages that would soon come after, and rapidly at that. In a transition period of a thousand years (about which little is still known), nearly all the archetypal characteristics appeared, and beginning in 5500 BC we find evidence of organized, permanent settlements focused around agriculture. Hunting was no longer a major support for existence now that the Egyptian diet was made up of domesticated cattle, sheep, pigs and goats, as well as cereal grains such as wheat and barley. Artifacts of stone were supplemented by those of metal, and the crafts of basketry, pottery, weaving, and the tanning of animal hides became part of the daily life. The transition from primitive nomadic tribes to traditional civilization was nearly complete.

One of the most interesting aspects of the transition period is the shift in burial customs. Previous to the permanent settlements, most burials were done where it was convenient, often in a centrally-located cemetery near to or inside the settlement, such as the cemeteries at Jebel Sahaba. As the seasonal hunting camps grew into more stable agricultural villages, burial sites and practices changed. Cemeteries and single graves were no longer located near the living, but were placed further and further away, both from the villages as well as the cultivated land, most often on the very edge of what would be considered the village's "territory." Even children, formerly buried under the floor of their home, were now relegated to these outer cemeteries. The reasons for this are unknown, but a growing feeling of necrophobia, a fear of the dead, might be the cause, as is often the case in many cultures. Practices too, changed. Here we see the beginnings of the "life after death" beliefs that centuries later, would make the ancient Egyptians famous. The dead were buried with provisions for the journey into the next life, as well as pottery, jewelry, and other artifacts to help them enjoy it. Offerings of cereals, dried meat, and fruit were included, but hunting and farming implements were also common (presumably so the dead would not starve after having eaten all the offerings). Even then, the Egyptians believed that the next life would be very much like this one. Interestingly enough, the dead were buried in a fetal position, surrounded by the burial offerings and artifacts, facing west, all prepared for the journey to the world of the dead, where the sun shone after leaving the world of the living.

The Archaic Period (3100-2686BC)
The villages along the Nile valley grew in wealth and power. Two of these villages became particularly powerful and wealthy, so much so that it is not an exaggeration to think of them as cities. In the north, the city of Nekheb (named by the Greeks, Hieraconpolis or "city of the falcon") grew powerful, while in the south, Nekhen grew powerful. Around 3000 BC, the rivalry between these two towns erupted into war.    Upper Egypt would emerge victorious in this war and dominate all of Egypt. We are told that this unification was brought about by the warrior-king Menes, whose name in Egyptian was Narmer. Of all the kings of Egypt, Narmer is among the most legendary; for according to Egyptians, he united the two parts of Egypt and became the first king of the Two Lands, Upper and Lower Egypt. The unification of Egypt, however, probably took a few generations. Whatever the truth, the history of Egyptian kings begins with Narmer (Menes) who founded the first dynasty of Egyptian kings. The symbol of this unification are the two crowns of Egypt, the white crown (Upper Egypt) and the red crown (Lower Egypt); these crowns would be combined to form the single crown of the king.

   The unification of the two lands was the single most important event in Egyptian history. It allowed for a centralization of authority which then undertook massive administrative and building projects. Large-scale irrigation projects were begun as well as large-scale distribution of food and regulation of trade. Egypt's wealth increased exponentially. The first kings of Egypt were so successful, that they could build expensive tombs for themselves; these tombs, called mastaba were dug into the ground and covered by a rectangular building. They were larger and wealthier than anything ever seen before.

The Old Kingdom (2686-2181BC) 
Pharaonic burial practices continued to develop during the Third Dynasty, lasting from 2686-2613BC, which marked the beginnings of the Old Kingdom. The first of Egypt's pyramids were constructed during the 27th century BC. The Step Pyramid of Saqqara built for King Zoser by his chief architect Imhotep, who later generations deified, is considered by many to be the first pyramid ever constructed in Egypt. Prior to this, most royal tombs were constructed of sun-dried bricks. Zoser's gargantuan step pyramid attested to the pharaoh's power and established the pyramid as the pre-eminent Pharaonic burial structure. During Zoser's rule the Sun God Ra attained a supra-eminent place over all other Egyptian deities. 
The Fourth Dynasty (2613-2494BC) was characterized by expansionism and pyramid construction. King Sneferu constructed the Red Pyramid at Dahshur near Saqqara and the Pyramid of Meidum in Al-Fayoum. He also sent military expeditions as far as Libya and Nubia. During his reign trading along the Nile flourished. Sneferu's descendants, Cheops (Khufu), Chephren (Khafre) and Mycerinus (Menkaure) were the last three kings of the Fourth Dynasty. These three pharaohs built the pyramids of Giza. 
Egypt under Cheops became the first state in the history of the world to be governed according to an organized system. The Fourth Dynasty also extended trade relations with the Near East and mined and smelted copper in Nubia. 
The Fifth Dynasty (2490-2330BC) was marked by a relative decline in Pharaonic power and wealth, evidenced by the smaller pyramids of Abu Sir built during this period. The pharaohs ceased to be absolute monarchs and began to share power with the aristocracy and high officials. As the independence of the nobility increased, their tombs became larger and were built at increasing distances from the pharaohs. 
Worship of the sun god Ra also spread during the Fifth Dynasty. It was during the reign of Unas that religious texts were placed in the pyramids bearing descriptions of the afterworld which were later gathered into the Book of the Dead. 
Decentralization of Pharaonic authority increased during the Sixth Dynasty (2330-2170BC) as small provincial principalities emerged to challenge Pharaonic power. The Sixth Dynasty kings were forced to send expeditions as far as Nubia, Libya and Palestine to put down the separatists, but these campaigns served to further erode the central authority. By the reign of the last Sixth Dynasty Pharaoh Pepi II, the Old Kingdom had become a spent force.

The First Intermediate Period (2181-2050BC) 
The collapse of the Old Kingdom after the death of Pepi II had been an unimaginable disaster for Egypt. For 140 years, chaos reigned. Papyrus records from the Middle Kingdom underline the turmoil of this time of political and monarchial disorder. Later historical references are also confusing. Manetho mentions a 7th Dynasty, consisting of seventy kings who reigned for seventy days, but rather than being real rulers, they were probably conjured up by ancient historians to symbolize the chaos of this period.There did, however, appear to be an 8th Dynasty who governed from Memphis, although their authority would have been limited to the immediate area as the Delta had been invaded by Asiatic. This dynasty was short lived, only around twenty years or so. After the breakdown of the government at Memphis, various provinces vied for power, and nomarchs began setting themselves up as petty warlords. During this time, a ruling family from Herakleopolis emerged and founded the 9th Dynasty.The two Herakleopolitan Dynasties were initially somewhat unstable, with frequent changes of rulers taking place. Upper Egypt was controlled by a rival Theban family, the 11th Dynasty. However, as the authority of the Herakleopolitan government began to grow, down in Upper Egypt the authority of the Theban Dynasty also increased. Mounting hostility between the two often resulted in clashes along the border just north of Abydos. Eventually the country was finally reunified by Mentuhotep I of the 11th Dynasty in Thebes, thus creating the period we refer to today as the Middle Kingdom.

The Middle Kingdom (2050-1786BC) 
The Middle Kingdom  began when Nebhepetre Mentuhotep II reunited Upper and Lower Egypt, setting the stage for a second great flowering of Egyptian culture. Thebes came into prominence for the first time, serving as capital and artistic center during Dynasty 11. The outstanding monument of this dynasty was Mentuhotep's mortuary complex, loosely modeled on the funerary monuments of his Theban ancestors. Built on a grand scale against the spectacular sheer cliffs of western Thebes, Mentuhotep's complex centered on a terraced temple with pillared porticoes. The masterful design, representing a perfect union of architecture and landscape unique for its time, included painted reliefs of ceremonial scenes and hieroglyphic texts. Carved in a distinctive Theban style also seen in the tombs of Mentuhotep's officials, these now-fragmentary reliefs are among the finest ever produced in Egypt.

At the end of Dynasty 11, the throne passed to a new family with the accession of Amenemhat I, who moved the capital north to Itj-tawy, near modern Lisht. Strongly influenced by the statuary and reliefs from nearby old kingdom monuments in the Memphite region, the artists of Dynasty 12 created a new aesthetic style. The distinctive works of this period are a series of royal statues that reflect a subtle change in the Egyptian concept of kingship.

The Second Intermediate Period (1786-1567BC) 
This period saw the decline of the past thirteenth and fourteenth dynasties and the great increase in number of the Asian population whom, bit by bit started to settle and spread in the whole land of Egypt. Through a number of fifty years, the Asians started to join force and with their new skills, like ironwork and mastery of horses, invade Egypt.For the first time, the Egyptians found themselves under foreign rule- the HYKSOS. This rule was in the fifteenth and sixteenth dynasties. The rulers did not impose a foreign system of government and kept themselves to the existing Egyptian systems. They kept records in Egyptian script, using Egyptian royal titles and copying Egyptian styles on art.  The first capital of the Hyksos was AVARIS, on the Delta shore, then they moved to Memphis. The Egyptians started resistance in Thebes , where a branch of the Thirteenth dynasty arose, which became the Seventeenth dynasty, existing simultaneously with the Hyksos dynasty for 100 years before war broke out on a large scale. It was AHMOSIS I, who broke the Hyksos, storming first Memphis and then Avaris. By then the Egyptian had learned the art of chariot warfare.The Hyksos occupancy had psychological effect on the Egyptian for two main reasons: they had never been conquered and they were somewhat shamed by conquest by an opportunistic army of nomadic tribesmen.

At the Fifteenth, Sixteenth and Seventeenth Dynasties,the first king was SALATIS, he appears to have had total control of Lower and Upper Egypt. The Hyksos also had extended to Nubia. Salatis and his successors took over administrative and religious aspects of Egyptian life without any change.The third Hyksos king, Apophis I, ceded some of his power to a branch of the family that was classified as the Sixteenth dynasty.The Hyksos dynasty took its pharaonic responsibilities  seriously and encouraged buildings, the arts and crafts and literature. It was a considerable time of technical innovation.The Hyksos brought Egypt the horse harness and the war chariots and their military improvements. In the south, an Egyptian dynasty emerged at theses, its founder was Rahotep. Under the Theban kings, Taaa and his successors, Seqenenre and Kamose war broke between the two dynasties.The Hyksos were being forced back on the Delta. Seqenenre and Kamose died in battle, but Kamosees successor AHMOSIS I, completed the task and drove the Hyksos out of Egypt. He became the founder of the mighty eighteenth dynasty, the first in the New Kingdom.

The New Kingdom (1567-1085BC) 
 It was during this period that Egypt reached the top of its glory. Vast military expansions both in Asia and the Sudan were undertaken by the Egyptian ruler.The New Kingdom's first king was Ahmose who reunified Upper and Lower Egypt. This was another Golden Age for Egypt as it expanded its empire. Memphis was the administrative capital again. The term pharaoh began being applied to the king. Queen Hatshepsut became pharaoh by default while acting as regent for a young Tuthmosis III (at right). He eventually came to power and became the "Napoleon" of ancient Egypt. The empire spread far to the south into ancient Nubia (south of modern Aswan and into northern Sudan), while in the north the territory under control was expanded well into the Near East. It was in the New Kingdom that most of the pharaohs' tombs were located in the valley of the kings and their mortuary temples were separately located. Egypt became incredibly wealthy through trade and foreign conquests. The country's religious orders also benefited - particularly that of the state god Amun-Re with its powerful clergy and vast temples and estates. The existing religious orders were deposed for a while during the 14th century B.C. when the heretic king Akhenaten (at left) established a new religious order - that of the sun god Aten. The old temples were abandoned and a new capital, Akhetaten, was established to the north. Attention to international affairs waned. Soon after the death of Akhenaten, his probable son - Tutankhaten - became pharaoh at about the age of nine. His was a short reign, but the old religious orders rose again and Akhenaten's city was destroyed. Tutankhaten's name was changed to Tut Ankh Amon, but his reign was only about nine years. He was followed as pharaoh by the elderly Ay. Several years later, a general by the name of Horemheb came to power and started a campaign to eliminate evidence of his immediate predecessors for whom he had served.  His successor was Ramesses I who was the first in a long line of Ramesside kings in the 19th and 20th Dynasties.  (Note that some Egyptologists list Horemheb as the first king of the 19th Dynasty.) Ramesses I's grandson, Ramesses II, is often referred to as Ramesses the Great. He became one of Egypt's greatest builders and signed the first recorded peace treaty in history. By the 20th Dynasty the power of the pharaohs had waned and there were battles with invaders called the Sea Peoples under Ramesses III, the last significant pharaoh of the New Kingdom. Egypt would never rule again with the same power. Ramesses XI was the last of the rulers of the New Kingdom. The Theban priesthood virtually controlled Upper Egypt by the end of the New Kingdom, while the pharaoh had ruled from the Delta.

The Late Period (1085-322BC)In 728 BC, 
after three hundred years of political chaos, Egypt was invaded by its sister civilization to the south, Nubia. The Nubians had built a civilization on the model of the Egyptians and had maintained Egyptian values and culture with a high degree of conservatism. Under the command of Piankhy, the Nubians rushed northwards and conquered Egypt. The Nubians wanted to return Egypt to traditional Egyptian ways and Egyptian religious practices. Many Egyptian traditions that had died out were restored by the Nubian conquerors. But the Nubian renaissance lasted for only the blink of an eye, for they wilted under the ferocity of theAssyrians and their king Ashurbanipal. Ashurbanipal placed another Egyptian on the throne of the Two Lands and so established the Twenty-sixth Dynasty. It took a couple generations to bring peace once again to Egypt, but the country would never accede to its former power and influence. Soon, the empire of the Babylonians fell to the Persians, and Egypt came under the control of Persia. The Egyptians writhed and suffered under Persian control so much so that in 332 BC they welcomed the Greek conqueror of Persia, Alexander the Great, into their country as their great liberator. But Egypt was to become a Greek kingdom under a series of Greek kings. After 332, no Egyptian would be king of Egypt until the nineteenth century AD

The Greek and Roman Period

When the Greek conqueror, Alexander the Great, entered Egypt in 332 BC, he intended to found a universal empire. At its height, Alexander's brief empire included all of Egypt, Greece, Thrace, Turkey, the Near East, Mesopotamia, and Asia all the way to India. Nothing of the kind has ever been seen before or since. The Egyptians thought of Alexander as their great liberator, but soon they found themselves under Alexander as their king. He built a magnificent new capital at the very mouth of the Nile on the Mediterranean. And since Alexander was above everything else a modest man, he named his new capital, Alexandria.
But the super-human empire that Alexander built did not last longer than his lifetime. After its death, the empire divided among his most powerful generals, and Egypt came under the control of the general, Philip Arrhidaeus, and then Alexander IV, and finally Ptolemy I.
 Ptolemy I began a new dynasty in Egypt, the last in history, the Thirty-second Dynasty. Although Ptolemy was Greek, he adopted Egyptian customs and the Egyptian theory of kingship. Like the Egyptians, the Ptolemaic kings married their sisters, who were all named Cleopatra .
All the Ptolemaic kings, likewise, were named Ptolemy. 
Even though they adopted Egyptian customs to a certain degree, the Ptolemaic kings and queens were Greek. They spoke Greek and they thought that Greek culture and peoples were better than Egyptian culture and peoples. Greek became the state language, and cities were renamed. In fact, the word "Egypt" is a Greek word (the Egyptian word is "Kmt" or Kemet). On the whole, native Egyptians occupied the lowest social positions. The Ptolemies, though, as well as their Greek administrators, were highly tolerant and even interested in foreign religions. The most enduring cultural product they produced was a Greek translation of the Hebrew scriptures; the Ptolemies were interested in the Hebrew religion because of the large number of Jews living in Egypt at the time. Because of this translation, the Hebrew scriptures became one of the most important documents in the history of Western culture; had they ignored the book, it would probably have faded into the dust of history within a few hundred years.The final queen of the Ptolemaic line, Cleopatra VII, fell into a dispute with her half-brother over the succession and invited Julius Caesar and the Romans to intervene. Caesar then brought Egypt under the control of Rome under the nominal queenship of Cleopatra. However, when she sided with Mark Antony against Augustus Caesar and lost, Egypt became a Roman province. In the long history of Egypt many foreigners dominated the ancient peoples of the Two Lands, but none was more hated than the Romans. Anti-Roman sentiment soon crystallized around a new religion, Christianity, introduced by the evangelist Mark sometime in the middle of the first century AD. These Egyptian Christians, called "Copts," saw this religion as a tool to use in anti-Roman propaganda and agitation. For this reason, the Romans severely persecuted these early Egyptian Christians. But the religion survived in a form far different than the form it assumed in Europe; Egypt, however, would not belong to the Egyptians again for many, many centuries................

The Arab and mamlouk period
In 642 AD, Egypt witnessed the beginning of its Arab and Islamic epoch. Successive Arab rulers governed Egypt as part of the Islamic empire, and at various junctures established it as the center of power of the empire. 
The Arabs were followed by the Mamlukes, who were magnificent warriors and who ruled Egypt from 1250-1517 AD when their reign ended with the Ottoman conquest of Egypt under Sultan Selim.

European conques  (1798-1802)
The arrival of Napoleon Bonaparte to Egypt on July 2nd 1798, initiated a new phase in Egypt's history. Accompanying his expedition were a number of savants and scientists who made a complete encyclopedic survey of Egypt, known as "Description de l'Egypte". The expedition contributed significantly to the study of ancient Egyptian history through the discovery of the Rosetta Stone and the consequent deciphering of Hieroglyphics, the ancient Egyptian language. 
After the departure of the French expedition, Mohammad Ali, who was an officer in the Ottoman Army, rose to power with the support of the Egyptian people. His rule extending from 1805 to 1849 was an eventful period in Egypt's modern history. He is  regarded as the father of modern Egypt who set the country on the march towards modernization.
In 1863, Khedive Ishmael, a member of Mohammad Ali's dynasty, rose to power. If Mohammad Ali had started the process of modernization, it was Ishmael who completed it. He had boundless ambitions to bring Egypt up to the same level of culture, civilization and development which was enjoyed by most nations of Europe. It was during his reign, in 1869, that the Suez Canal was inaugurated. 
Towards the end of the 19th Century, and exactly on August 12th 1882, British troops landed at Alexandria marking the beginning of British occupation which lasted for 74 years. The beginning of the 20th century witnessed the awakening of the national conscience aiming at ending the British occupation. Mustafa Kamel, Sa'ad Zaghloul, Mustafa El Nahas and many others were prominent figures who strove to achieve two national objectives; independence and constitutional reform.
On the 28th of February 1922, Britain unilaterally declared the termination of the British Protectorate and declared Egypt an independent state. In 1923, the first Constitution was promulgated and Sa'ad Zaghloul formed the first representative government of Egypt.
After the 1948 Palestine War, political, economic and social frustration intensified in Egypt. This led to the formation of the Free Officers Movement, which was created by a group of young officers who felt that they had been betrayed by their own government

Egypt ruled by Egyptians 1952 
On the 23rd of July 1952, the Free Officer Movement led by Gamal Abd El-Nasser seized power in a bloodless revolution which allowed King Farouk to leave the country with a full royal salute. 
On the 18th of June 1953, the monarchy ended and Egypt was declared a Republic and Mohamad Naguib was named as the first President. In 1954 Nasser assumed control as the second president. During Nasser's presidency, extensive agricultural and industrial development projects were carried out. Progressive economic and social reforms were implemented for the benefit of the majority of the Egyptian people.
With the death of President Nasser in September 1970, Anwar El-Sadat assumed office.
On October 6th, 1973, the Egyptian army crossed the Suez Canal, stormed the Bar Lev line and recaptured parts of Sinai occupied by Israel in 1967. To overcome the state of belligerency, President Sadat announced his historic initiative to visit Israel in pursuit of lasting peace, which he did in November 1977. Finally, the Egyptian-Israeli Peace Treaty was signed in March 1979.
The Sadat period witnessed changes in the political, social and economic domains, and at the same time, the private sector was given a greater share in the country's economy through the implementation of the "Open Door Policy".
In October 1981, Vice President Hosny Mubarak succeeded Sadat as President. Economic reforms undertaken under Mubarak succeeded in diverting finance towards productive investment in industry and agriculture. The main features of Egypt's national economic policy under President Mubarak are the efforts to broaden the economic base by promoting local, Arab and foreign investment. A process of successful privatization has started, the stock exchange has been revived, and reform programs with the IMF and the World Bank have been signed and implemented


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