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The main sources of information about ancient Egypt are the many monuments, objects and artifacts that have been recovered from archaeological sites, covered with hieroglyphs that have only recently been deciphered.
The picture that emerges is of a culture with few equals in the beauty of its art, the accomplishment of its architecture or the richness of its religious traditions.
King Menes founded the capital of ancient Egypt at White Walls (later known as Memphis), in the north, near the apex of the Nile River delta.
The capital would grow into a great metropolis that dominated Egyptian society during the Old Kingdom period.
Pyramid-building reached its zenith with the construction of the Great Pyramid at Giza, on the outskirts of Cairo.
Built for Khufu (or Cheops, in Greek), who ruled from 2589 to 2566 B.
From this era of conflict emerged two different kingdoms: A line of 17 rulers (dynasties nine and 10) based in Heracleopolis ruled Middle Egypt between Memphis and Thebes, while another family of rulers arose in Thebes to challenge Heracleopolitan power. C., the Theban prince Mentuhotep managed to topple Heracleopolis and reunited Egypt, beginning the 11th dynasty and ending the First Intermediate Period.
The official royal court and seat of government was relocated to Thebes, while a rival dynasty (the 14th), centered on the city of Xois in the Nile delta, seems to have existed at the same time as the 13th. C., a line of foreign rulers known as the Hyksos took advantage of Egypt’s instability to take control.
The Hyksos rulers of the 15th dynasty adopted and continued many of the existing Egyptian traditions in government as well as culture.
For almost 30 centuries—from its unification around 3100 B. From the great pyramids of the Old Kingdom through the military conquests of the New Kingdom, Egypt’s majesty has long entranced archaeologists and historians and created a vibrant field of study all its own: Egyptology.
C.—ancient Egypt was the preeminent civilization in the Mediterranean world.
During the Middle Kingdom, Egypt once again flourished, as it had during the Old Kingdom.