Cultures > Middle Bronze Age

Middle Bronze Age

Egypt History - Egyptian Chapter Decoration


The Middle Bronze Age in Egypt corresponds to a period of significant cultural, economic, and political developments during the second half of the 2nd millennium BCE, roughly between 2000 BCE and 1550 BCE. Here's an overview of the Middle Bronze Age in Egypt:

  1. Dynastic Period:

    • The Middle Bronze Age in Egypt is characterized by the continuity of the established dynastic system, with pharaohs ruling over the unified kingdom.
    • It falls within the broader timeline of ancient Egyptian history, which includes the Old Kingdom, First Intermediate Period, and the subsequent periods leading up to the New Kingdom.
  2. Hyksos Rule:

    • One of the most significant events of the Middle Bronze Age in Egypt was the Hyksos invasion and subsequent rule over parts of northern and central Egypt.
    • The Hyksos were a Semitic-speaking people who likely originated from the Levant or western Asia.
    • They established the Fifteenth Dynasty (circa 1650–1550 BCE) and ruled from their capital at Avaris (modern-day Tell el-Dab'a) in the Nile Delta.
  3. Cultural Exchange:

    • The Hyksos period brought significant cultural exchange between Egypt and the Levant, as well as other regions of the ancient Near East.
    • Egyptian art, architecture, and technology were influenced by Hyksos and Canaanite traditions, resulting in a fusion of styles and cultural elements.
  4. Military Innovations:

    • The Hyksos introduced new military technologies and tactics to Egypt, including the use of chariots and composite bows.
    • These innovations contributed to the Hyksos' military success and their ability to challenge the traditional Egyptian rulership.
  5. Trade and Commerce:

    • Despite political upheaval, trade and commerce continued during the Middle Bronze Age, facilitated by Egypt's strategic location at the crossroads of trade routes linking Africa, Asia, and Europe.
    • Egyptian goods such as papyrus, linen, gold, and luxury items were traded for materials, commodities, and finished products from neighboring regions.
  6. Urbanization:

    • Urban centers continued to grow and develop during the Middle Bronze Age, serving as political, economic, and cultural hubs.
    • Cities such as Thebes, Memphis, Avaris, and others played important roles in administration, trade, religion, and industry.
  7. Craftsmanship and Industry:

    • Egyptian craftsmen and artisans continued to produce fine goods and luxury items during the Middle Bronze Age.
    • Metalworking, pottery, weaving, and other crafts flourished, producing items for both domestic use and export.
  8. Decline of the Hyksos:

    • The Hyksos rule eventually came to an end with the reunification of Egypt under the Theban pharaohs of the Seventeenth Dynasty, notably Seqenenre Tao, Kamose, and Ahmose I.
    • The expulsion of the Hyksos marked the end of the Middle Bronze Age and the beginning of the New Kingdom period in Egyptian history.

In summary, the Middle Bronze Age in Egypt was a dynamic period marked by political upheaval, cultural exchange, economic prosperity, and technological innovation. The Hyksos invasion and rule over parts of Egypt represented a significant chapter in the country's history, influencing its culture, society, and military practices.


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