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The Military

The Weaponry used during different periods of Ancient Egypt much depended on the structure of the Army at the time, what conflicts the Army were engaged in, the materials available at the time, and the location of where they were battling: at home or abroad. To learn more about the Warfare during Ancient Egypt, click here.

Predynastic Period: Bows and Reed Arrows, Knives, and Axes, many made of Flint

Early Dynastic Period: As above and Daggers, Spears, and Maces, now made of copper

Old Kingdom Period: As above and Defensive Shields of Animal Skins or Papyrus, and Skull caps

First Intermediate Period: No real changes to Weaponry has been found by Archaeologists to date

Middle Period: For defence, wood, and leather shields with no real body armour. For attacking, Copper headed Spears, Slicing Axes with a copper blade in the shape of a crescent, Daggers and Swords, Bows and Arrows with bronze tips

Second Intermediate Period: The Hyksos introduced to Egypt the Horse and the Horse drawn War Chariot, the Composite Bow which allowed for a greater range, the bronze one-piece carved Khopesh Sword, Bronze battle Axe. The Egyptians retained their Slicing Axes which were unique and probably could not technologically advance at this stage

New Kingdom Period: After the Hyksos were outed from Egypt as foreign rulers, the Egyptians looked to expand their borders and buffer zones, so a greater emphasis was placed on developing the weaponry. Triangular bow, chain mail for defence, and helmet were added to the developments already made in the Second Intermediate Period, but to these standard weapons they also experimented with different alloys to enhance the strength of the bronze and copper used. Later the Egyptians would use on Iron weaponry, but this took time as they could not access it, or the trees needed to run the furnaces, easily and so this took a longer time than for rivals to Egypt.

To learn about the major battles and campaigns fought during this period, click on the relevant image below

The Battle of Kadesh

The Sea Peoples

The Libyans


Far Left: Flint arrow heads, scrapers and other tools

Middle Left: Bows, Arrows and Animal Skin Shields

Nearest Left Top: Swords

Nearest Left Middle: Chariot

Nearest Left Bottom: Ship


Below: Example of the Khopesh, on the First Pylon at the Mortuary Temple of Pharaoh Ramses III, known as Medinet Habu

Chariot of Pharaoh Thuthmose IV

Images Below:

Left Top: Relief showing Pharaoh Seti I during the Libyan War

Left Bottom: Relief in the Great Temple at Abu Simbel depicting Pharaoh Ramses II in War Chariot

Right Top and Bottom: Relief and Hand Drawn Copy of Pharaoh Ramses III vs Sea Peoples, found at his Mortuary Temple at Medinet Habu


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