The Middle Kingdom of Egypt Overview
When Montuhotep II, a Pharaoh of the 11th dynasty defeated the scattered kingdoms of Northern Egypt, he unified Egypt once again and started a new era in the ancient Egyptian history, the Middle Kingdom.
During this period, Thebes became the capital and an important political, cultural, and economic hub of Egypt. The development and growth witnessed by Thebes at the beginning of the Middle Kingdom hasn’t been seen in Egypt since the flourish of the Old Kingdom.
Despite the stature of the king or the Pharaoh was never divine as in the Old Kingdom, the monarchy in Thebes regained the status of the Egyptian Kingdom which saw a great evolution at the time.
The Pharaohs of the 12th dynasty, who ruled over Egypt in the period from 1985 till 1795, relocated the capital again to Memphis in the North. This was carried out to enable them to be nearer to the country’s center. The kings of this period of time regained the greatness of ancient Egypt. Pharaoh like Senusret III Amenemhat III had impressive structures and pyramids near Al Fayoum, in Saqqara, and in Hawara.
The kings of the Middle Kingdom were able to carry out several successful military campaigns. This widened the Egyptian kingdom. The Pharaohs at the time were also smart enough to get rid of the local governors of various provinces and replace them with loyal officials. Many of these officials were emigrants coming from Palestine and residing in Egypt.
During the ruling period of the 13th and 14th dynasty, these emigrants, mainly called the Hyksos, took control of northern Egypt and gradually controlled the whole country. This highlighted the beginning of the second intermediate period.
During this period of the ancient Egyptian history, the country was divided again and local governors’ authority began rising into the scene, the same as the first intermediate period.
Once again, the inner kingdoms of Egypt began fighting one another. Moreover, several civil wars took place. However, the strength of the two brothers, Kamose and Ahmose ruled Egypt, one after the other, and were able to expel the Hyksos out of Egypt.
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The Middle Kingdom of Egypt FAQs
Egypt is safe country to visit with notable low crime rate, tourist attractions are well secured and there is no common negative attitude towards foreigners, with some sensible precautions and preparations you will feel at home and as safe as you'll ever be.
There is no special dress code when visiting Egypt tourist sites, modest dress is recommended in less tourist sites and there is no special concern for women traveling alone.
Egyptian Arabic is the most commonly spoken language in Egypt, it is also the national language in the country but Egyptians speak and understand English as they study it in school. Fewer Egyptians can speak other languages like French, Italian, Spanish, and German. Egyptians working in tourism sector are accustomed to speak enough English and other languages to fulfill the needs of most travelers.
Egypt is very connected to the world, it has many direct flights with Africa, Asia, European Union and United States. Visit Cairo Airport website for a full list of Airlines that fly to Egypt.
Duty free allowances on arrival to Egypt are 1L alcohol, 1L perfume, and either 200 cigarettes, 25 cigars or 200g tobacco. Duty free shops are available in Egypt airports and major tourist cities (Cairo, Luxor, Hurghada, El Gouna and Sharm El Sheikh).
Giza Pyramids and most monuments and Museums in Egypt open between 8 Am to 5 Pm. During Ramadan, the holy month of the Islamic calendar, be aware that these hours will change significantly.
Shops and stores in Egypt are usually opened from 10 Am to 10 Pm however in major cities it opens much later and some are open 24 hours.
Visitors are welcome in most mosques throughout the year. Modest dress is recommended, women should cover their hair, arms and legs. Both Women and men will remove their shoes before entering.
Taking pictures for people and streets is fine after people permission While Taking pictures for official type or army structures is not permitted. In most historical sites and museums in Egypt it is allowed to use camera, some of them may charge you for camera but at the Egyptian Museum and some similar historical sites it is prohibited and you will be asked to leave camera at reception before entering.
Egypt enjoys big hotel variety from world class luxury to simple hostel accommodations; Check in time in most hotels in Egypt is around midday, 12 or 1 PM.
There in no health concerns or vaccinations required to visit Egypt but we recommend to check with your own doctor, he knows you and your medical history best.
The currency in Egypt is the Egyptian pound (LE), it is about ,06 to USD. Money exchange is widely available, Credit cards are largely used in Egypt major cities and tourist spots.
We do not recommend the public buses in big cities. Taxi and limousine service are fine every where but price is negotiable. Trains go to all big cities in Egypt except Sinai and the Red Sea. Flights from / to tourist cities are always available.
Tipping in Egypt is an appreciated habitual attitude but is Not obligatory. Generally 5 to 10 EGP for small favors is fine for carrying luggage, parking a car or to guys who clean bathrooms. 10 % is fine in restaurant and spa. Tipping your tour guide and vehicle driver should be considered if you're provided with good to great service, feel free to give what you think your experience was worth.