The beginning of the New Kingdom: The 18th Dynasty
belonging to Ahmose
(Greek lekythos, 560 BCE)
Expedition to Punt
(Source: Tulane University website)
Head rest of Tutankhamen
Book of the Dead
Maiherperi, 18th dynasty
(Source: Tulane University website)
tomb of Tutankhamen
(Source: Tulane University website)
The beginning of the New Kingdom
(Dates: ± 30 years)
The 18th Dynasty
1555 - New Kingdom
- Tight central control
- Amen is the chief god of the realm. The power of his priests grows.
- Cultural sophistication. development of naturalistic and expressive art.
- Biological knowledge: the development of the scarabs from eggs, flies
from maggots, frogs from tadpoles.
- The shadouf
comes into use.
|1530 - Thutmose I
- Thutmose I separates his tomb from the temple, the first rock tomb in the
Valley of the Kings near Luxor.
- Revolts in Nubia are suppressed, the town of Napata grows.
- The Tale of the Doomed Prince with a talking crocodile playing the
role of the prince's fate.
- Books of the Dead, papyri containing miniature paintings, incantations and
- Medicine is taught in the temple schools of Memphis and Thebes as part of
the religious mysterium
- Human and animal excrements and urine are used as medicines.
- Frock-coat with short sleeves, shoulder collar and "sphinx-cap".
- Carved wooden spoons (the handle often has the form of a nude servant girl.)
- Vertical looms
- No more pyramids are being built. The rock tombs are guarded against
grave robbers and the mummies occasionally moved to different sites
|1490 - Thutmose II and Hatshepsut
- Hatshepsut, halfsister and wife of Thutmose II orders government with the
help of her favourite Senmut.
- Expedition to Punt (Somalia)
- Glass vessels are being produced
- Search for gold, silver and copper in Nubia (possibly even in eastern South Africa).
- Ships are up to 50 metres long, thin, have cabins at the bow and stern, sails, up to 30 rowers.
- Mortuary temple in honour of Queen Hatshepsut at Deir-el-Bahari
Coloured relief depicting her birth, foreign envoys, people bearing gifts, landfall at Punt
A statue of the Queen sitting
The queen as sphinx
- Bronze saws
- Mercury is known
- Importation of foreign goods
- Myrrh saplings brought to Egypt from the Horn of Africa.
|1480 - Thutmose III
- Thutmose III orders the destruction of reliefs and inscriptions of Hatshepsut as king
- Relief showing Egyptian victories over Asiatic enemies in the Amen temple at Karnak.
- Egyptian empire includes Palestine and Syria. A revolt of Syrian noblemen is suppressed and seven of their bodies are publicly displayed at Thebes and Napata.
- Two obelisks are erected at Heliopolis by Thutmose II (since 1879 in London and New York)
- Temple of Amen at Karnak with reliefs and statues of Thutmose III and Hatshepsut
- Marble statue of Thutmose III kneeling offering sacrifices, the king wears simple old-Egyptian clothing: a pleated loin cloth and regal headdress
- Glass vases with coloured thread inlays.
- Wall picture showing forced labour of prisoners of war
- The manufacture of ropes depicted
- Bellows replace blow pipes
- Smelting of metal with bellows, casting of major artefacts
- Obelisks serve as sun clocks and calendars.
- Thutmose owns a portable sun clock.
- Light, horsedrawn chariots for racing and fighting
- Cleaning up the canal of Sesostris III
|1430 - Thutmose IV
- The great Sphinx of Gizeh is dug out of the sand.
|1420 - Amenhotep III
- Peaceful, extensive trade and correspondence with the Near East
- Culture flourishes
- Abandoning of the art traditions of the Middle Kingdom: a looser style, preference for softer, more pleasant forms, asiatic influences
- Tiye, wife of Amenhotep III and mother of Amenhotep IV (Akhenaten) is of non-royal origin. The revolutionary attitude of her son may have been caused by her influence.
- Immigration of semitic nomads into Egypt.
- Temple at Luxor with columns in the form of bundles of papyrus reeds.
- Tomb of Khaemhet: Reliefs depicting people wearing court dress, jewellery and hairdressing
- Tomb of Nakht at Thebes: Wall painting depicting dancing and harp playing women, agricultural scenes (ploughing, hoeing, sowing, tree felling)
- Scrolls made of papyrus
- The Brugsch Papyrus : Medicine, theory of respiration
- Domestic chickens as a curiosity
- Courtiers wear wigs
- Two wheeled wooden chariot for battle and hunting, covered with leather.
- Tomb of Ramose: courtly sophistication, softening of the severe old-Egyptian forms
|1385 - Akhenaten
- Founds a new residence at Amarna
- His revolutionary measures cause resistance of the army and the priesthood
- Hymns of Akhenaten praising the Sungod Aten (Aton, Atum)
- Suppression of all cults (especially the worship of Amen) but Aten's
- Building of new Aten temples in the whole empire
- Head of Tiye made of yew
- Plaster masks made by the sculptor Thutmose at Amarna, realistic style
- The Amarna Period is a time of naturalistic depiction, strong resistance against the new formalism.
- Coloured wall paintings in the tombs at Thebes.
- Sculptor's tomb with pictures of the artisan's activities
- Close contact of the pharaohs with foreign powers through marriage, exchange of presents, trade. Lively contact with the Near East and the Aegean by land and sea
- Archive of clay tablets at Amarna: royal correspondence with foreign rulers and vassals (Babylonia, Assyria, Mitanni, Palestine, Syria, Cyprus, Hatti, Crete). Decreasing Egyptian influence in Asia
- Sculptors use more auxiliary lines and outlines
- Limestone sculpture of Akhenaten kissing his daughter
- Relief of Akhenaten and Nefertiti playing with their children protected by the rays of the sun god Aten
- Stone busts of princesses (some showing traces of caricature)
- Egyptian music retains a toneladder of five tones (the Syrian tone system containing half and full tones is not adopted). Music is intimately connected with religious and ethical mysticism. Instruments: Harp, oboe, percussion instruments.
- Painted limestone bust of Queen Nefertiti
- Painted negative relief of Nefertiti
- Phoenician wares found in Egypt (e.g. wooden models for gold jewellery)
- Memorial stone of a Syrian mercenary: the soldier with his Egyptian wife and son, sucks beer from a jar through a pipe.
|1358 - Tutankhamen
- Pressured by the Amen priests he returns to Thebes and restores the worship of Amen
- Horemheb stops the advance of the Hittites in Syria
- The orthodox cult of the state god Amen is restored
- The art style of Amarna is continued, but in a less radical form
- Chair showing the king and queen on its back
- Chest with inlaid pictures: a hunt conducted from a two-wheeled chariot, battles against negroes
- Gilded wooden statuette of the king
- Shrine covered with gold sheet reliefs: The king and queen hunting wild ducks
- It has been proposed that Tutankhamen was murdered, but there is no evidence for this.
|1350 - Horemheb
- From a papyrus (at Leiden): All gods are three, Amen, Re and Ptah, and there is none equal to them. "Hidden" is his name as Amen, his face is Re's and his body Ptah.
- Relief from the king's tomb shows Canaanite prisoners in double rows
- Restauration of the Egyptian art parallel to the reintroduction of the cult of Amen: softer style similar to the pre-Amarna style, but with a stronger emphasis on the corporeal and spacial.
- Wooden statuettes of officers
- Relief in a Memphis tomb: Celebration of the dead with psychological-individualistic depiction of the figures.
- Gilded bronze mirror with a handle in the form of a nude woman.
- The Great Edict of Horemheb attempts to restore law and order.
- Memphis replaces Thebes as capital
- Statue of Horemheb
- Painted reliefs in the tomb of Horemheb, in the severe pre-Amarna style: Horses from Asia are brought to Tutankhamen.