The history of ancient Egypt spans over 3,000 years. Here are several key aspects of this millennia-old civilization:

  • Predynastic Period (before 3100 B.C.): Before the unification of Egypt, the territory was divided into small kingdoms. During this period, the cultural and political foundations that would define Egypt in the following millennia were developed.
  • Archaic Period (c. 3100 B.C. – 2686 B.C.): With the unification of Egypt under Pharaoh Narmer, the Early Dynastic Period began. The first dynasties were established, and pharaonic power was consolidated.
  • Old Kingdom (c. 2686 B.C. – 2181 B.C.): This period saw the rise of monumental architecture, including the construction of the pyramids of Giza. Egyptian society was structured around a divine monarchy.
  • Middle Kingdom (c. 2055 B.C. – 1650 B.C.): Following a period of decentralization, the Middle Kingdom was a time of cultural and political renaissance.
  • New Kingdom (c. 1550 B.C. – 1070 B.C.): This was a period of military expansion and great prosperity. Pharaohs such as Hatshepsut, Akhenaton, Tutankhamun, and Ramesses II ruled during this time.
  • Later Periods: The Late, Greco-Roman, and Ptolemaic periods followed the New Kingdom, showing a mix of Egyptian and foreign influences in the region.

Religion was central to Egyptian life, with a pantheon of gods like Ra, Osiris, Isis, and Horus. Egyptians practiced complex rituals and believed in the afterlife. Egyptian art is recognized for its distinctive and symbolic style, while architecture is famous for its temples and pyramids. Egyptians made significant contributions in fields like medicine, astronomy, and mathematics.