The Dynastic Period (3100 – 2686 BCE)
NMEC – Ancient Egypt (3200 – 332 BCE)
When the ancient Egyptians succeeded in uniting the nation prior to the founding of the Egyptian state in the third millennium BCE, they established a system of government that was passed down through numerous Egyptian royal dynasties. From the commencement of the Dynastic Period in 3200 BCE to Alexander the Great’s conquest in 332 BCE, the Egyptians divided their government into thirty governing dynasties. Throughout its lengthy history, this dynasty period was characterized by relative stability, despite many periods of governmental breakdown, internal wars, and foreign aggressions. The Egyptians believed that all of their virtuous rulers were descended from one divine seed and that the king was the image of God and his descendent on earth, according to ancient Egyptian theology. As the keeper of God’s heritage on earth, the king ruled the state according to the Maat, as he was responsible for the wellbeing of the people and the preservation of the boundaries. The Dynastic Period also saw the formation of the world’s earliest administrative apparatus. The army maintained internal security and extended the country’s boundaries, while ministers represented the administrative power in the state and supported the king in administering the country’s affairs and managing its resources. Egypt’s advancement in the disciplines of medicine, astronomy, and engineering, as well as wisdom and literature, reached its pinnacle during the Dynastic period. Indeed, each of these stages had distinct architectural and artistic qualities, as well as art styles developed by Egyptian artists in reliefs and sculptures that lasted until the end of the Roman Empire.
The Dynastic Period
- The 1st dynasties of the Archaic Period (3100 – 2686 BCE). During this time, Upper and Lower Egypt were united, the state was founded, and it evolved into more complex cultural characteristics.
- The Old Kingdom (2686 – 2181 BCE): The 3rd through 6th dynasties. The construction and evolution of the pyramids throughout the time of civic renaissance. It also witnessed the creation of the “Pyramids Texts,” the world’s earliest collection of religious literature.
- The First Intermediate Period (2181-2055 BCE): From the 7th to 10th dynasties. Egypt was in a condition of weakness and political conflict, which contributed to the country’s collapse.
- The Middle Kingdom: From the 11th to the 13th dynasties (2055-1650 BCE). Egypt recovered its unity and saw a rebirth in agriculture and art, as well as the expansion of its southern and eastern boundaries. During this time period, “The Coffin Texts,” the biggest collection of Egyptian funeral literature, emerged.
- The second intermediate era (1650-1550 BCE): the 14th to 17th dynasties. In response to the local dynasties in Upper Egypt, Asian migrations known as the “Hyksos” gained control of the Delta and expanded their dominance to Middle Egypt.
- The New Kingdom (1550-1069 BCE): The 18th to 20th dynasties. The Egyptian empire epoch: when the Egyptians drove the Hyksos from Egypt and used their military might to build a huge empire, Egypt experienced a unique condition of military might and economic success, which was mirrored in the temple architecture and wealth.
- The Third Intermediate Period (1069–747 BCE): From the 21st to the 25th dynasties. During which time there was a condition of internal schisms. Egypt was attacked by the inhabitants of the Libyan Desert, Upper Nubia, and the Assyrians after losing its possessions overseas.
- The Late Period (747-332 BCE): From the 26th to 30th Dynasties. The Egyptians strive to resurrect the glory of their ancient past during the period of the final awakening. However, until Alexander the Great conquered Egypt, the nation was ravaged by internal strife and Persian invasion.
Goddess Isis Statues
Goddess Isis is shown as a mother feeding her son, the King, who is depicted as deity Horus, goddess Isis’ son. The statues are reminiscent of the icon of the Virgin Mary and her son Jesus.
Limestone / Old Kindgom
Stela of King Qa’a
Qa’a was the final king of the 1st dynasty, which saw the kingdom emerge and the formation of the united state. This stela is one of several he built in front of his grave at Abydos. His Horus name is written above the “Serekh” adornment (The facade of the royal palace). The name Horus is one of the earliest regal titles in Egyptian history.
Archaic Period, 1st Dynasty (3100–2890 BCE) / Umm el-Qaab – Abydos / Basalt
The bread was an important part of the ancient Egyptian diet, and it was often prepared from emmer or barley. This statue portrays a lady shielding her face from the heat of the oven while cooking the bread.
This loaf of wheat flour was discovered in one of the tombs of the workers’ settlement of “Deir al-Madina,” and it was one of several varieties of bread known in ancient Egypt.
Deir al-Madina – Luxor / New Kingdom – 19th dynasty (1295 – 1186 BCE) / Organic material
Model of a building
This three-story model depicts the mud-brick building style in a wavy pattern to sustain the structure’s weight with its height.
Sakha, Kafr el-Sheikh / Limestone / Greco-Roman Period (332 BCE – 395 AD)
Models of the “Ka” house
During the Middle Kingdom Period, the habit of putting soul houses in graves emerged; it portrayed a model of the deceased’s dwelling that he believed his spirit would return to. These residences provide information on domestic architecture and housing designs during the period.
Middle Kingdom – 12th Dynasty (1985 – 1795 BCE) / Egypt / Pottery
Plumb bob & Vertical plumb bob
Plumb bob: As the vertical weight causes the inclination of the wall on the horizontal scale ruler, the plumb bob was employed to assess the horizontal straightness of the wall.
Deir el-Madina – Luxor / Wood / New Kingdom – 19th dynasty (1295 – 1186 BCE)
Mud-brickwork and limestone blocks were erected using wooden hammers, which were gently struck above the bricks to suction air and bond the bricks together. This aids in straightening up the structure’s alignment. New Kingdom – 19th dynasty (1295 – 1186 BCE) / Deir el-Madina / Luxor
Senmut the Architect
Senmut was one of the most prominent architects of the New Kingdom; he oversaw the construction of King Thutmose I’s temple at Karnak, as well as Queen Hatshepsut’s temple in Deir el-Bahari; he was also the tutor of Princess Neferura, Hatshepsut’s daughter, who appears with him in this statue.
18th dynasty / New Kingdom (1550 – 1295 BCE) / Karnak temple / Granite
The deities of protection
A group of statues of the protective goddesses discovered in King Amenhotep II’s tomb; they were responsible for protecting the king’s body during his afterlife journey; they are “Wadjet,” depicted as a cobra, “Nekhbet,” the vulture, “Meretsegert,” in the form of a winged cobra, and the cows “Mehet-Weret” and “Hathor,” These goddesses are among the earliest known to have been revered in ancient Egypt.
New Kingdom – 18th dynasty (1550-1295 BCE) / Valley of the Kings – Thebes / wood
The ancient Egyptians worshipped the Ibis bird and linked it with the moon, probably due to its curved beak’s resemblance to the lunar crescent. Ibis’s extraordinary talents in detecting earthworms had earned it the reputation of knowing buried truths. As a result, it was properly regarded as a sign of Thoth, the ruler of wisdom and knowledge, as well as the deity of time and the moon. He was also the patron of scribes, as well as the creator of letters and words.
Tuna el-Gebel / Wood – Bronze – Organic material / Greco-Roman Period (332 BCE – 395 AD)
Hapi the scribe
Hapi was the administrative director of the Amun-Ra temple at Karnak; he is seen carrying a papyrus, which represents his position as one of the temple’s scribes.
19th dynasty, New Kingdom (1295 – 1186 BCE) Sandstone / Karnak
Princess “Isetemkheb II’s” Baldachin
Since the predynastic period, the ancient Egyptians have utilized tents constructed of matting, leather, and thick linen fabric as a temporary method of habitation. The everyday life scenarios revealed that tents were utilized by the ancient Egyptians on hunting trips and military campaigns, as well as as a temporary dwelling for deity statues in processions. In addition, tents were built up in the gardens and courtyards of houses for housewives to use during the last stages of pregnancy and delivery. In the hot summer days, tents and pavilions made of fine linen were erected beside the palaces’ lakes and gardens as a place for amusement and leisure. Furthermore, aristocrats and affluent individuals would place a baldachin made of matting or leather in front of their tombs for purification ceremonies, and it would eventually be buried with the corpse.
When “Emile Brugsch” and “Ahmed Kamal” cleared the Deir el-Bahari cache (TT 320) in 1881, Brugsch discovered this one-of-a-kind tent buried in one of its corridors, still retaining its bright colors because it was made entirely of applique colored leather, and decorated with carefully cut-out leather ornaments and texts fixed on a different color piece of leather. These writings depict “Isetemkheb II’s” delightful company with God Khonso Lord of Thebes, Goddess Mut, and the deities of the other world amid the fragrance of flowers and perfumes from Punt. It is noteworthy as it is the sole tent from ancient Egypt that has survived to the present day.
This tent was built between 1046 and 1037 BCE for the funeral purification of “Isetemkheb II,” the daughter of the army general and Amun high priest “Masaherta” and Amun chantress “Tayuheret,” and the granddaughter of King “Pinudjem I” of the 21st dynasty. Notable, “Isetemekheb II” held the rank of “superior of the harem of Min, Horus, and Isis in Akhmim” and was one of the numerous princesses in the family to have this name. Although “Isetemkheb II’s” coffin has yet to be unearthed, her cousin “Pinudjem II’s” coffin was discovered in the Deir el-Bahari cache and is currently exhibited within the baldachin.
Sennedjem’s inner coffin
Sennedjem’s inner coffin is anthropoid in shape, and his mummy was put within. The inner cover portrays Sennedjem in his worldly attire, wearing a long white linen kilt. The casket is adorned with funeral scenes of the Book of the Dead’s protecting goddesses, with Sennedjem receiving food from the Tree goddess.
The 19th dynasty of the New Kingdom (1295-1186 BCE). Thebes / Deir el-Madina / Wood – Pigment
Until the end of the Greco-Roman Period, the “Senet” was one of the earliest and most popular games among the Egyptians. It also had religious symbolism, which enabled the player to overcome the obstacles he encountered in the other world, which is quite similar to the modern-day game “The Ladder and Serpent.”
Deir el-Madina – Western Thebes / Wood – Faience / New Kingdom, 19th dynasty (1295 – 1186 BCE)
When Amenhotep IV became king, he instituted a new theology in which the characteristics of all deities were merged into one deity, “Aten,” and he advocated for peace and religious tolerance. His doctrine had a profound effect on ancient Egypt’s intellectual, religious, and artistic life.
Karnak / New Kingdom, 18th dynasty
Lady Isis’s coffin
This coffin was uncovered in Sennedjem’s grave among numerous other family members’ coffins. It is Lady Isis’s property, as she is the wife of the craftsman Khabekhent, son of the Sennedjem. The outside cover portrays Isis wearing a loose robe and clutching holy ivy leaves, while the coffin is encircled by the four sons of Horus to guard her body.
Deir el-Madina, Thebes / Wood – Pigment / New Kingdom, 19th dynasty (1296 – 1186 BCE)
Sennedjem’s Funerary Furniture
A selection of pieces from Sennedjem’s funeral furniture, which was put in his grave in the hope of being used in the hereafter.
The New Kingdom, 19th dynasty (1295-1186 BCE) / Deil el-Madina, Thebes / Wood – Stucco
Statuettes of Captives
Captive figurines were fashioned from a variety of materials for use in the temple’s “Protecting the king’s land” ritual. Thus, spells were performed on them, and they were then bound together with ropes and thrown into the fire to kill Egypt’s foes. Additionally, they were buried in the corners of temples and forts to eradicate their wickedness.
The New Kingdom, nineteenth dynasty (1295–1186 BCE) / Tura el-Asmant / Mud
After his arrival from the other world, the sun god purifies himself in the eastern horizon before ascending to Heaven, where the four gods “Horus”, lord of the North, “Seth”, lord of the South, “Dewen-anwy”, lord of the East, and ” Thoth”, lord of the West” pour the water of life and power over him from the four corners of the universe.
This unique monument portrays king Amenhotep II merged with the sun god in his glory at his cleansing on the horizon.
The 18th dynasty of the New Kingdom (1550 – 1295 BCE) / Valley of the Kings – Thebes / Alabaster
Paser, the vizier
Paser lived during the time of King Seti I when he served as the king’s lone companion and held several positions such as royal palace counselor, governor of the city “Thebes,” and collector of foreign nations’ tribute for the king. Then, during Ramses II’s reign, he became a judge, a seal bearer, and the king’s representative in Nubia, where he oversaw the construction of the Abu Simbel temple. He also served as high priest and administrator of the Karnak temple until his death in Ramses II’s 25th year. Paser appears in this statue holding an alter crowned with the head of a ram, the Karnak deity Amun Ra.
The New Kingdom, 19th dynasty – Ramses II’s reign (1279 – 1213 BCE) Black Granite / Karnak
Princess Neferuptah’s pectoral
Princess Neferuptah is the daughter of King Amenemhat III, and her jewelry collection is recognized for being one of the most unique and exquisite in the world. It was found in 1956 in her tomb near her father’s pyramid at Hawara at Fayum
Middle Kingdom, 12th dynasty (1985–1795 BCE) / Hawara, Fayum / Gold – Camelian – Faience
The sacred bull catacombs at Heliopolis, Saqqara, and Armant were among the holy sites visited by pilgrims. During festivals, visitors used to lay votive stelae to mark their visit to these locations and to show their gratitude.
Period of Ptolemaic Egypt (305 – 30 BCE) /Limestone
The Priest Psamtik Seneb
The Naophorous or Naos-carrier statue is one of the prominent forms of late-period sculptures that emphasized the owner’s piety and connection to the gods. This statue portrays the priest “Psamtik-Seneb” bowing and bearing the Naos of the deity “Atum,” the god of creation and Lord of Heliopolis.
Tanis / Late Period (747 – 332 BCE) / Limestone
Concerts and musicians were a frequent subject in New Kingdom art; this ostracon depicts a drawing for a musical performance that the artist intended to represent on the wall; the sketch provides us with a comprehensive image of the ceremony’s design.
Luxor / Limestone / New Kingdom, 19th dynasty (1295 – 1186 BCE)
Flute & Harp
The flute was a vital musical instrument for the ancient Egyptians; it was represented in numerous scenes of concerts on the walls of temples and tombs. Typically, the Egyptian flute is identified by five holes.
The New Kingdom – 19th dynasty (1295 – 1186 BCE) / Luxor / Reed.
Women are naturally drawn to beauty and adornment; Egyptian women have had a strong interest in beauty from ancient times, as seen by their usage of black and grey eyeliners kept in a variety of forms and materials, as well as their employment of red-tinted blushers. They were intimately acquainted with oils and fragrant fats and kept them with care in exquisite animal or bird-shaped jars. She also took care of her hair’s look, combine it with combs and fastening it with hairpins in front of metal mirrors.
Amun-Ra King of Gods
Amu-Ra was one of the most prominent and famous deities in ancient Egypt, serving as the state’s primary god during the Middle and New Kingdoms, where he was known as “King of the Gods.” The Karnak temple served as the primary location for his devotion.
Karnak / Diorite / New Kingdom, 18th dynasty (1550 – 1295 BCE)
Ra-Horakhty was a theological union between the heavenly kingship symbolized by the god Ra and the earthly kingship symbolized by the deity Horus as a representation of the sun god’s authority when he ruled the two horizons and appeared on the earth.
San al-Hagar / Granodiorite / New Kingdom, 19th dynasty (1295 – 1186 BCE)
Due to the paucity of wood in Egypt, the ancient Egyptians made baskets from papyrus fibers, saw grass, prickly rush plants, as well as Date and Doum palm leaves. Twisted, braided, and painted in vibrant colors, the fibers were used to create robust boxes for storing clothes, baskets of cereal and food, and even boxes for jewels and cosmetics.
The Birth of Isis
This one-of-a-kind plaque was discovered near Dendara’s temple; it most likely shows the goddess “Nut” giving birth to the goddess Isis on the birth chair, while the goddesses of birth with the head of the cow monitor the delivery procedure.
Period of Ptolemaic / Limestone
Weights in Ancient Egypt
Anceint Egyptian Teeth
Metal Medical Tools
The Wife of God
The heavenly God’s Wife of Amun was one of the most prominent priestly posts in the New Kingdom, and it was reserved for women of the royal house alone since they wore royal crowns, had their names inscribed in cartouches and conducted temple rites and sacrifices. The crown and unique scepter on this statue suggest that it is from the Late Period and belonged to one of the almighty God’s wives.
Karnak / 3rd Intermediate Period (1069 – 747 BCE) / Granite