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New Kingdom Egypt Essay

2185 words - 9 pages

The beginning of the New Kingdom (after the expulsion of the Hyksos)
Prior to the period of the New Kingdom northern Egypt was ruled by the Hyksos while southern Egypt was ruled by local Egyptian rulers. It was Ahmose who successfully rid Egypt of the Hyksos. Once the expulsion of the Hyksos took place it became the task of each pharaoh to ensure that such an invasion would never occur again. Each pharaoh had his own method of establishing and maintaining control. In their endeavour to maintain ma'at (truth) the pharaohs began to change the nature of the Egyptian state. These pharaohs set Egypt gradually, but not entirely by design, on a course of imperial expansion and firmly established the image of the "warrior pharaoh". By looking at the tasks facing each of the first three pharaohs of New Kingdom Egypt and their policies, we can see how they transformed New Kingdom Egypt.
First three Pharaohs of the 18th dynasty (1570-1518):
Ahmose I 1570-1546
Amenhotep I 1551-1524
Thutmose I 1524-1518

By liberating Egypt, it is safe to assume that Ahmose had already achieved military successes. The workings of an organised army were under way. His achievements were in fact recorded in the tomb of Ahmose son of Ebana. (A marine whose career we can follow, as he matured and gained prestige with each success of the pharaoh under whom he served.) The Pharoah Ahmose needed to re-establish authority within Egypt and did this by punishing Hyksos supporters and rewarding his loyal followers.
Ahmose's next task was to restore the damage of previous years. Destroyed temples and neglected canals and buildings were repaired, land was redistributed and taxes were collected. He introduced new policies that set the wheels of the New Kingdom in motion. The economy was re-established and treasuries were filled. He renewed trade with other nations the result of which can be seen in Ahhotep's jewellery.
To accomplish all the tasks that lay ahead, Ahmose needed a centralised government and effective policies. He appointed a loyal official as commandant of Buhen, in Nubia in the south. This post was a forerunner of the position of viceroy or governor of Nubia. The idea of the "warrior pharaoh" was born during his reign, but was not fully operational as evidenced by his Nubian campaigns. Once the Hyksos threat was overcome he turned his attention to the south.
Worship of the god Amun-Re began to gain status. Ahmose dedicated many of his triumphs to him. A stela found at Karnak not only provides detailed information of gifts offered to the god, but is also an excellent example of the wealth accumulating within Egypt at that time. He also embarked on a building program, adding cedar and limestone features to Amun's temple at Karnak and Luxor. He also enriched Ptah's temple at Memphis, and honoured his grandmother, by building a chapel at Abydos. Therefore through his actions and policies of liberation, the first steps towards imperialism were made.
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