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Posted on July 6th, 2012, by

During the New Kingdom, Egypt had reach unprecedented power and prosperity. Basically, it was the golden age of Egypt because the country was flourishing, its influence and richness consistently overcome the achievements of the previous epoch and after the end of the New Kingdom Egypt would never reach such a level of the development. The achievements of the New Kingdom may be particularly obvious in the territory expansion of Egypt. It should be said that the country has traditionally quite aggressive foreign policy and attempted to establish control over neighboring territories and countries. At the same time, it is only during the New Egypt the territory of Egypt had been extended to Nubia and Near East.

To put it more precisely, Egypt occupied territories from Nubia, which was situated deep in Africa and constituted the Southern part of Egypt, to the territories of modern-day Syria, where Egyptians defeated the Hitties. Naturally, such a success was to a significant extent determined by the development of Egyptian army which was one of the strongest military powers of the ancient world. In this respect, it is possible to name the Pharaoh of Egypt Thutmose III, who was often named by historians as “the Napoleon of Egypt”¯ for his military success and achievements in the organization of the army of Egypt as well as in the battlefield (Grimal, 226).

Obviously, the strong army was the basis of the New Kingdom, which provided Egypt with an opportunity to occupy and control huge territories making the country practically the largest empire in the world. In fact, the New Kingdom was the apogee of the territorial expansion of Egypt and its power.

Naturally, the territorial expansion and invasion of new territories contributed to the development of international relations with other countries as well as it brought enormous profits to Egypt because invaded territories were rich.

At the same time, the enlargement of territory of Egypt stimulated the development of trade within the country as well as with other countries of the world. In this respect, it is possible to name an outstanding Egyptian Pharaoh Hatshepsut who extended Egyptian trade consistently and even sent trade expeditions to the land of Punt. In such a way, Egypt grew more and more involved into the international trade at the unprecedented scale. In such a way, it could not only benefit from invasion but also develop cooperation with other countries in the field of trade.

The territorial expansion and the growth of Egypt, its economic prosperity could not fail to affect the development of culture and life of its people. In this respect, Egypt has also very significant achievements. It should be pointed out that the New Kingdom was the period when Egyptian Pharaohs stimulated the creation of really great architectural constructions. For instance, Ramesses II is well-known for the construction of the largest funerary complex in ancient Egypt which was placed in the Valley of Kings. Basically, he ordered the construction of tombs, pyramids for his numerous sons many of which he outlived. These funerary constructions were executed in accordance with Egyptian traditions, but the country had never seen such a large funerary complex before. In fact, it was apparently an attempt to show the greatness of Egyptian Pharaohs because the after-life was extremely important to ancient Egyptian and the large funerary complex was a proof of the power of Pharaohs who were believed to preserve their power after their death.

By the way, the construction of this funerary complex as well as the construction of pyramids for Egyptian royal families at large was accompanied by considerable socio-economic changes. For instance, there progressed the cast of artisans who worked on the creation and development of pyramids for Pharaohs and members of their families. It was a very powerful and influential caste but it was not unique for the New Kingdom. However, what was really an outstanding achievement in this regard was the first labor strike that was organized by this caste during the rule of Ramesses III (Edgerton, 139). In fact, it was an unparalleled event when artisans refused to work. Their labor strike was provoked by the deterioration of the situation in Egypt in the result of the inability of Pharaohs to provide them with sufficient amount of food. This problem was caused by the production crisis in Egypt under the impact of natural factors.

However, probably the greatest achievements of the New Kingdom were made in the field of religion. In this respect, it is possible to refer to a really unique instance of the monotheism that the Pharaoh Amenhotep IV, who changed his name to Akhenaten in the honor of Egyptian god Aten. This Pharaoh attempted to make an unparalleled change in the life and culture of ancient Egyptians. He promoted the cult of Aten as the only god, rejecting all other Egyptian gods, which traditionally honored in the country. In fact, it was a real revolution in the spiritual and religious field that contributed to the emergence of realism in the art of ancient Egypt, though the idea of monotheism had failed along with the end of the life of Akhenaten.

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