Old and Middle Kingdom Egyptian

Historical Overview Section

From the IVth Dynasty to the New Kingdom. The third, fourth, fifth, and sixth dynasties are often combined under the group title, the Old Kingdom of Ancient Egypt, which often is described as the age of the Pyramids. The capital at that time was Memphis. The period ends after the 14th Dynasty. After this Egypt was troubled by the Hyksos whose reign comprised the fifteenth and sixteenth dynasties. Before Egypt's New Kingdom, there were four major causes for military conflict.

  • The Early Libyans from the Sahara to the west
  • The Nubians from the south
  • The Syro-Canaanites to the northeast
  • Internal conflict when the regions or nomes divided from the monarchy to form rival factions

All of the areas outside Egypt were connected in conflict either by raiding parties entering Egypt or Egypt maintaining a policy of Imperialism. The Old Kingdom's military was most marked by their construction of forts along the Nile River. Old Kingdom soldiers were equipped with many types of weapons, including shields, spears, cudgels, maces, daggers, and bows and arrows. The most common Egyptian weapon was the bow and arrow. The Hyksos from the northeast were catalysts of great change for Egypt's military, bringing with them to Egypt the horse, the chariot, and the composite bow. These tools drastically altered the way Egypt's military functioned in the New Kingdom Egyptian era.

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