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Third Intermediate Period

Egypt Through Time - What is Ancient Egypt?

The Third Intermediate Period 1069–664 BC

Covering the 21st to 25th Pharaonic Dynasties during which Egypt was invaded by a number of “foreign” dominions, some of which had been resident in Egypt for years beforehand

These were compacted by strikes, economic issues and internal revolts countrywide. The country was often split in to Lower or Upper Egypt, and was ruled by independent Pharaohs

The Northern Rulers clashed with the Nubians who were ruling from Southern Egypt at Thebes

An Introduction to the Third Intermediate Period

The last Pharaoh of the 20th Dynasty of the New Kingdom Period was Pharaoh Ramses XI. He was the last to rule a united Egypt for the next 5 Dynasties of Pharaohs, although it can be postured that by the end of his reign, he was not really ruling anything.

The Priesthood of Amun owned and were running most of the Middle and Upper sections of Egypt, ruled by High Priest of Amun, Herihor.

Whilst Pharaoh moved the political capital of Egypt back north, to the city of Tanis, where his supposed heirs held their own Court. Pharaoh died and was buried by his successor, Pharaoh Nesbanebdjed I, who began Egypt’s 21st Dynasty ruling Lower Egypt from the new Capital City of Tanis.

Dynasty 21

Lower Egypt was ruled from Tanis by the 21st Dynasty Pharaohs whilst Middle and Upper Egypt was ruled from Thebes by the High Priests of Amun.

Theban High Priests

By the end of the 20th Dynasty, the Priesthood of Amun owned and were running most of the Middle and Upper sections of Egypt. Their Rulers were the de facto Pharaohs of Southern or Upper Egypt, they wrote their names in Cartouches and were buried in the highest status Royal Tombs

22nd Dynasty

Dynasty 22 was commenced by Pharaoh Shoshenq I, the former Army Commander-in-Chief and Chief Advisor to former Pharaoh, Psusennes II. To unite the country one son became Crown Prince Osorkon, one son was promoted to High Priest of Amun in Thebes, and a 3rd son was the Leader of the Army in Middle Egypt. Egypt was now reunited to be ruled in one family unit which rule lasted for over 100 years

23rd Dynasty

These Rulers ran Middle and Upper Egypt almost parallel with the 22nd Dynasty of Tanites in Lower Egypt. Coup and Power Struggles occurred for over 25 years and eventually the Nubians swept forward seizing power from the 23rd Dynasty

Dynasty 24

Princely Ruler Tefnakht lived in Sais, meanwhile, Egypt’s 22nd Dynasty remained in situ in Tanis for part of this time, and the Nubians from Egypt’s far south had conquered, secured and then left the north, and tried to rule the whole of Egypt from Nubia. Prince Tefnakht saw the power vacuum and established himself as the first Pharaoh of Egypt’s 24th Dynasty.

25th Dynasty

The Nubian Pharaohs from Napata in Kush. Learn how this Kingdom from Egypt’s very south, a sometime enveloped state, saw the fragility of the Egyptian Pharaohs, using their trading ties amalgamated themselves into Egypt’s Religious and Daily Lives before taking advantage of the weak Royal situation to gain their Throne. Only to have it hoisted away from them by the Assyrians

The End of the Third Intermediate Period


This Third Intermediate Period was ended by Pharaoh Psamtik I when he created the 26th Dynasty after the Nubian Kushite Rulers of Dynasty 25 left

His rule coincided with end of the late Bronze Age and the period when many Near Eastern and Eastern Mediterranean Civilisations collapsed


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