Crafts and Industries through the Ages

Middle Kingdom

Golden Age of Land reclamation

1 - Grand projects of agriculture
2 - Ahnasia , Thebes are the capitals
3 - The reunification
4 - Borders of state
5 - language and literature
6 - Religious texts (coffin texts)
7 - Innovation in arts
8 -Who were the Hyksos??
9 -Borders of Hyksos influence (Delta& Middle Egypt)
10 - Egyptian resistance against Hyksos.

The rise of the Middle Kingdom began in a period of civil war.
The struggle between the rulers of Thebes and Heracleopolis was
finally decided in favor of a strong family from Luxor. King Monttohotep
II -the fifth king of dynasty eleven- gained control over
the hole of Egypt and was consederd the hero who reestablished
order . Through out the rest of the 11th dynasty Egypt was ruled
from Luxor .
For more than 200 years under the kings of the twelfth dynasty,
Egypt was organized again into a strong centralized state enjoying
great stability . Amenemhat I the first king of the dynasty ,though
a southerner, he understood the difficulty of ruling the Delta
from so far upstream , and established a new capital at Ith-Tawy
( seizer of the two lands ). A southern suburb of Memphis maybe
near modern El-Lisht which remind the capital for the next 400
years.
The large scale Fayum project of land reclamation apparently
started under King Sesostris II, followed and completed by his
grand son Amenemhat III. This king who was very fond of Fayum
– a desert land surrounding the large lake Qarun west of the Nile
and was fed naturally by Bahr Yousef a natural canal diverging
from the main river Nile- constructed a barrage to regulate the
flow of water into the lake for reclaiming a large fertile area .
Steps were taken to limit the power of the local governors who
had set up almost independent states within the country . King
Amenemhat II reorganized the state boundaries then the great
king Senusert III -though not clear how- finally broke the local
governors’ authority.
Other developments were made to establish a military defensive
system. This system was strengthened by a line of fortresses
along the south east Delta and all through Lower Nubia . Sesostris
III to facilitate his Nubian campaigns, had undertaken the cutting
of an easy navigable channel through the rocks of the first cataract
south of Aswan.
Because of the great length of time during which the Egyptian
language was used , it was necessary to distinguish linguistic
stages , The Middle Egyptian that was known as the golden age
of the Egyptian language was based on the language used in the
11th and 12th dynasties . Very rich heritage of ancient literature
reached us from the middle kingdom .
From the first intermediate period and through the middle kingddom
non royal Egyptians started to inscribe their coffins with
spells designed to protect the dead against the dangers of the
hereafter . Like the king , the common Egyptian now desired to
rise up to the sky and join the stars, the texts also spell out more
ordinary concerns and fears such as the fear to suffer hunger and
thirst. These coffin texts descend directly from the old kingdom
pyramid texts except for its non royal parts .
The Middle kingdom had its own school of art. Moving towards
naturalism, it gave some individual features to royal statues that
certainly make it different from the idealistic school of Old Kingddom
art

“Second intermediate Period ”

Kings of the thirteenth dynasty more or less followed the admministrative
policy of their predecessors, gradually the internal
strength of these kings declined and a period of weakness began.
As a result of this weakness, Lower Egypt fill under the control
of the Asiatic rulers, The Hyksos (rulers of foreign lands).
The rule of the Hyksos can be seen as the climax of waves of
Asiatic immigration and infiltration into the north-eastern Delta
known to have occurred from the middle of the twelfth dynasty
, they came equipped with a more effective military technoloogy
( the horse-drawn chariot and composite bow ), slowly and
gradually gained control over Avaris , a city in the east Delta
and made it their capital to rule the Egyptian Delta and parts of
middle Egypt from for the next 100 year.
The south of Egypt was under the control of a Theban dynasty
who established a formal borderdefining their respective terrritories
reaching north to about near modern Asyut . These
17th dynasty kings kept a quite profile for sometime , during
this period of peace, trading links between the Hyksos and
Thebes allowed the native Egyptians to acquire benefits of the
new techniques the invaders had brought with them . The most
important of these techniques was Bronze-working that enabled
the Egyptians to produce thrusting daggers to equip their solddiers.
The last 2 kings of the 17th dynasty led a war of Liberation
against the invaders. Seqenenra was apparently killed in the batttle
field as his scull clearly shows. He was followed by his son
Kamose who led a campaign to the north reaching the walls of
Avaris. It fell not to Kamosa however but to his younger brother
Ahmos finally to free Egypt from the Hyksos and to establish the
New kingdom.