In Egypt the earliest known communities were villages established over 5,000 years ago. In time, the villages all became part of two rival kingdoms, Upper and Lower Egypt.

The Ancient Egyptians used a phonetic-pictograph writing called Hieroglyphics. These began with the use of pictures portraying a scene and eventually evolved into a stylish representation of items to symbolise sound combinations and compose words.

Ancient Egyptians had achieved many considerable achievements in art, medicine, astronomy and literature. The unique history and visible monuments helped Egyptians preserve a distinct national consciousness and remain a separate entity during the years of Arab, Mamluk and Ottoman conquest.

The Egyptian polytheistic religion focused on the after-life until the conversion to Christianity. During this time Pharaohs and the wealthy Egyptians constructed complex tombs located in caves or Pyramids. The tombs were decorated with elaborate art on the interior and usually contained jewelry and belongings that would be needed in the after-life.

The ancient Greek historian, Herodotus, wrote that Egypt is the gift of the Nile. Egypt flourished on the rich top soil formed when silt was deposited during the recurrent floods of the Nile. Indeed, Egypt is the gift of the Nile. The country was founded and developed around the river.

The Ancient Egyptians developed an elaborate irrigation system to distribute the water of the Nile and convert their arid land into the breadbasket of the Near East. Egypt was divided into two kingdoms: Upper Egypt (located on the Northern part of the Nile) and Lower Egypt (located on the Southern part of the Nile).

Periodic History of Egypt:

Periods / Dynasties
Main events
3100 - 2950 BC
Late Pre-dynastic Period

* Earliest known hieroglyphic writing

* Foundation of the Egyptian state

2950 - 2575 BC
Early Dynastic Period
(1st - 3rd Dynasties)

* Creation of the capital city of Memphis
* Intensive contact with Palestine
* The first pyramid is built - the Step Pyramid at Sakkara

2575 - 2150 BC
Old Kingdom
(4th - 8th Dynasties)

* The Great Pyramids are built at Dahshur and Giza
* Pyramids and elite tombs include the first extensive inscriptions

2125 - 1975 BC
1st Intermediate Period
(9th - 11th Dynasties)

* Egypt splits into two smaller states, ruled from Memphis in the north and Thebes in the south

1975 - 1640 BC
Middle Kingdom
(11th - 14th Dynasties)

* Mentuhotep reunites Egypt
* Amenemhat I founds a new royal residence near Memphis
* Egypt conquers Lower Nubia under Senwosret I and III
* Classical period of art and literature

1630 - 1520 BC
2nd Intermediate Period
(15th - 17th Dynasties)

* Hyksos kings seize power in the north
* Theban 17th Dynasty in the south

1539 - 1075 BC
New Kingdom
(18th - 20th Dynasties)

* Egyptian empire in Near East and Nubia
* Elaborate tombs of the Valley of Kings
* Rule of woman pharaoh Hatshepsut
* King Akhenaten attempts to introduce a monotheistic religion
* Brief reign of Tutankhamun
* Ramesses II rules for 67 years

715 - 332 BC
3rd Intermediate Period
(21st-25th Dynasties)

* Disunity and Libyan settlement in Egypt
* Nubians conquer Egypt (late 8th century)
332 BC - 395 AD
Late Period
(20th-30th Dynasties,2nd Persian Period)

* Egypt conquered briefly by Assyrians
* Cultural revival under kings from Sais
* Persian conquest of Egypt (525 BC)
* Egypt independent again (404-343 BC)
332 BC - 395 AD
Greco-Roman Period (Macedonians, Ptolemies,and Romans)

* Alexander the Great occupies Egypt
* Alexander's general, Ptolemy, becomes king and founds a dynasty
* The Rosetta Stone is carved (196 BC)
* Cleopatra VII reigns (51-30 BC)
* Egypt becomes a province of the Roman Empire (30 BC)

61 AD - 395 AD

Coptic Creation

Coptic Art

* Christianity introduced to Egypt in limited form early in the faith's history
* The Coptic Orthodox Church is based on the teachings of Saint Mark who traveled to Egypt in 61 AD

639 AD

Amr ibn-al-Aas Mosque
Muslim Conquest

Saladin Citadel

* Arab Amr ibn-al-Aas conquers Egypt
* Amr arrived in Alexandria. Inhabitants he found ready to resist, but the Copts preferred peace
* 1171 AD Saladin drives crusaders out of Jerusalem

1248 AD - 1517 AD
The Mamluks

* First used in Muslim armies by the Abbasid Caliphs in the 9th century and quickly spread throughout the Muslim world

1517 AD - 1798 AD
Ottoman Turkish Rule
Sultan Muhammad V Rashad

* Ruled through a mixture of Janissary and Mameluke soldiers

1798 AD – 1805 AD

Napoleon Bonaparte

* Napoleon Bonaparte launched invasion on Egypt to attack British interests in India

* Discovery of Rosetta stone; consequent deciphering Hieroglyphics

1805 AD – 1849 AD

Mohamed Ali Mosque
Mohamed Ali

* Regarded as the father of modern Egypt
* Officer of the Ottoman empire
* Rose to power sustained by the Egyptian people until forced to withdraw by the British
1863 - 1879 AD
Khadive Ismail
Suez Canal

* Member of Mohamed Ali's dynasty
* During his reign, in 1869 the Suez Canal was finished
* 1879 - 1937 Egypt was ruled by Mohamed Ali family

1937 - 1952 AD
King Farouk

* Came into power in 1937
* 1952 the revolution erupted and King Farouk was forced to abdicate the throne to his son

1952 AD - 1970 AD
Gamal Abd El Naser

* Mohammed Naguib became the first Egyptian president of Arab Republic of Egypt, followed by Gamal Abd El Naser
* Construction of the High Dam in Aswan

1970 AD - 1981 AD
Anwar El Sadat

* Led Egypt to overcome Israel in 1973
* Won a Nobel Peace Prize
* 1981, Sadat assassinated

1981 AD - Present
Hosny Mubarak

* 1981, Mr. Mubarak became President of the Arab Republic of Egypt

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