Photo courtesy of Roemer und Pelizaeus Museum
Relief with the image of Pharaoh Tuthmoses IV
New Kingdom, Dynasty 18, 1570-1320 B.C.
Limestone, painted, from Thebes
During the course of the New Kingdom, warrior pharaohs such as Tuthmoses III extended the frontiers of Egypt from Nubia in the south to the banks of the Euphrates River in the East. The rival empire of the Hittites, located in the heartland of the modern nation state of Turkey, challenged Egypt's might and the two fought to a draw during the reign of Rameses III.
The cumulative effect of such wars stripped Egypt of her crown as a world power and plunged her into the Third Intermediate Period. This historical synopsis masks the extraordinary achievements attained by the ancient Egyptians in most fields of human endeavor during these periods.
Egypt's culture during the New Kingdom may be characterized by a monumentality, that colossal, superhuman scale of its temples and statues. Never before had such size dominated the landscape of Egypt from one end to the other. The culture of the Third Intermediate Period was no less remarkable. Its technological advances in mummification and metal work were neither equaled by earlier ages not surpassed by subsequent epochs.
It was during the Third Intermediate Period that the emerging Greek city-states came into ever increasing contacts with Egypt. Eventually such contacts became the catalysts contributing to the birth of Hellenic sculpture and architecture.
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